Urban Survival Guide

LED LanternDo you have plans for the apocalypse? No?

What about in the event of a sudden, unexpected zombie outbreak? Hmmm.

Fear not, we have a few tips on how to survive the worst.

Joking aside, there have been too many heart-wrenching catastrophes to count in recent years. From nuclear fallout to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, sometimes our best scientists are unable to predict pending doom, and the average citizen can be left to lawlessness and general survival. How will you fare? What will you grab?

Some hard-core survivalists have spent countless hours and dollars preparing their homes for urban survival. They’ve stockpiled months’ worth of food, water purification and sanitation systems, all to prepare for off-the-grid living. However, this article assumes you may not be able to shelter at home in a disaster. Rather, it’s geared toward preparing you to land on your feet and survive the urban jungle with whatever you can carry.

Here’s the short-list for urban survival:

  • Multi tool or hunting knife
  • Iodine tablets
  • Thermal sheet and poncho
  • LED lantern or headlamp

What to Plan For

When thinking purely in survival mode, you must think about the first things that will be compromised:

  • Utilities (electrical, clean water)
  • Transportation arteries
  • Living structures
  • Access to food, 4-10 days out

Depending on how advanced your local government is, you should plan to be self-sufficient for 1-2 weeks. Assuming good health, you could likely walk to a safer location for supplies within a week.

Storing Your Survival Gear

Before gathering your survival supplies, give careful consideration to where you’ll keep them. You’ll need a cool, dry place that will be easily accessible in most emergencies. The basement seems like a handy spot – until your house is reduced to a pile of toothpicks by a tornado or collapsed by an earthquake.

Some survivalists prefer to use an outside storage shed or even bury a survival cache in their yards. While you can’t predict the nature of a disaster or how it will affect your home, you do want to choose the most secure location possible.

Staying Hydrated

Of all the dire necessities that may be unavailable in an emergency, drinkable water is at the top. You’ll likely be able to scrounge up food in stores or houses – or kill something with your multi-tool – but water needs to be planned for.

Iodine tablets are the cheapest, safest way to go if you don’t mind brown water. (As a newfound survival ninja, brown water hopefully won’t give you the heebie-jeebies). Buy multiple packets and store them in your car and other frequented places. An alternative is a water purifier, but parts could deteriorate or malfunction. Plus, these devices are bulky and expensive.

Staying Warm and Dry

When disaster strikes, you may end up with only the clothes on your back – which, let’s face it, could be your PJs and fuzzy slippers. Include a thermal sheet for warmth and a poncho to stay dry. Being wet and cold can mean certain death in some circumstances.

Let There Be Light

Scrambling around in the dark among debris could deliver an injury that will drastically alter your ability to survive; even a minor twisted ankle has a hyperbolic effect. An LED lantern or headlamp that’s energy efficient and reliable will help you pick through the rubble, scramble through dark woods and generally keep your spirits up. Choose an LED lantern with multiple brightness settings to help you conserve battery life.

Tooling Around

Of all the items you could put into your survival pack, few will get you as much mileage as a sturdy hunting knife or multi tool. Provided you know how to use it, a hunting knife or multi tool can help you hunt or forage for food, build a shelter, protect yourself against outside threats, make other tools and perform any number of other unforeseen tasks.

A multi tool is a great way to pack a lot of versatility into a compact item. In addition to a knife blade, a multi tool can include pliers, screwdrivers, saw blades and many other useful features. When it comes to cleaning and skinning game, carving wood or other rugged survival activities, however, a good hunting knife offers far more strength and durability than most multi tools. Smart survivalists carry both.

Your lip may be quivering as you wonder, “Where are the bottles of water? The freeze-dried foods?” This is not a comprehensive list of gear to buy. Rather, we’ve covered the absolute bare essentials to stay alive. The rest is up to you – and perhaps a survival skills course.

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