Everyday Carry Urban Survival Kit
Urban survival is a topic that is becoming more prevalent. Preparing for an urban survival scenario involves considering the possible situations that you could find yourself in during and following a natural or man-made disaster. Some of those scenarios include tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, acts of terrorism, etc. Each comes with it's own set of circumstances that must be dealt with to survive.
The purpose of this post is to discuss the items that you can carry on your person everyday to increase your chances of survival. Many of these items may be tools that you already carry. These items are first-line only. You may not have your go bag or rucksack with you when you're sitting in your office during an earthquake.
The first item you should have on your person is a multi-tool. Stick with the name brands, such as Leatherman, Gerber, Victorinox, and Sog. I prefer multi-tools that have pliers with a wire cutter, knife blade, saw blade, file, scissors, can opener, awl, and flat and phillips-head screw drivers. Locking blades are nice to have but not a necessity. Not only can a multi-tool help you make repairs but can be used to pry with enough force that would break a folding knife.
I also like to carry a quality folding knife with locking blade. They are what some people refer to as tactical folders. The market is full of them so choose the one that has features that you like. Some of the brands to look at include Kershaw, Benchmade, and Spydero in the under $200 arena. For higher-end knives, look at the knives from Zero Tolerance and Chris Reeve.
If you don't like carrying a multi-tool and a folding knife, take a look at the Leatherman Wave or Charge. It has an exterior locking knife blade that can be opened with one hand.
For those legally able, a small fixed-blade knife will take more abuse than a folder. Something like the RAT/ESEE Knives Izula seems ideal.
Something not usually considered is a high-quality nylon riggers belt. I like the Wilderness Instructors belt. Not only do they offer support for all of your carry gear, they are also incredibly strong. In an emergency the belt could be used as a short rope, tow strap, tourniquet, etc. The uses are only limited by your imagination. Riggers belts also offer an emergency rappelling option or back-up system when operating in structures high enough that a fall would be deadly.
Another item that has a thousand different uses is paracord, also known as 550 or parachute cord. Small in diameter but strong enough to hold your weight, paracord can be stashed just about anywhere on your person. Try to prepare it so that it can be readily used without having to undo braids or knots.
Don't forget about your cell phone. It is probably the most important item in your kit. Most new phones are equipped with E911 and many have GPS locators to help emergency responders get to your location quickly. It's not a bad idea to carry a charged spare battery also. Remember, if you can't get a call through due to lack of signal, text messages will usually still work. A text message can save your life as easily as a phone call.
An indispensable item is a flashlight. Modern LED lights are small, bright, and energy efficient. A flashlight can make survival easier by assisting with navigating in the dark as well as signaling rescuers. I prefer a small LED light with dual output; a low output for general use and a high output for emergency or tactical situations. My favorite light is the Surefire L1 (until the LX1 finally gets released). The Surefire E1B is another good option.
Some other smaller items that you may want to carry include a fire starter or lighter, loud whistle, small travel roll of duct tape, compass, wire, Ziploc bags, and water purification tablets. Medical items such as Band-Aids, steri-stripes, vacuum sealed primed gauze, and a small ACE bandage could also save your's or someone else's life. All of the above items are small enough to fit into a small container or pouch.
If you are lucky enough to wear cargo pants or shorts everyday, the Spec-Ops Brand Dry Cell On Board pouch will hold all of the above tools and gear discreetly in a cargo pocket.
These are just some ideas to get you started. In the future we'll discuss some items that you can put into a go-bag to increase your odds of survival even more.
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