Second-Line Urban Survival Kit Part 1

In the previous post on an everyday carry urban survival kit, we discussed first-line survival items helpful for surviving an urban disaster scenario. Those scenarios included earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, acts of terrorism, and other disasters that occur without notice. The focus of this post is preparing a lightweight go-bag for those items that may be necessary but too large to carry on your person. Don't misunderstand, however, this is not a bug-out bag. The purpose of this bag is to carry items that will help you escape from a dangerous situation (such as a burning or collapsing building) or sustain you in place until help arrives.

The second-line item list is purposely minimal. My feeling is that a stand-alone bag of this nature is probably not practical. Most people, however, do carry some type of bag; be it a messenger bag, briefcase, or purse (including the man purse). These are items that could be inserted into those already carried bags, taking up minimal space.

If you do wish to build a kit of this nature from scratch, including the bag, here are some options that I feel would work perfectly. I like the idea of always maintaining as low of a profile as possible, especially in an urban environment. Therefore, some good options for your urban survival kit is the Arcteryx Mistral bag. They are sling bags that are available in 8 or 16 liter versions. Just as important, they are available in three different color choices, all of which appear mundane and non-threatening. Another option is the various-sized Versipack sling bags available from Maxpedition. They appear more tactical so keep that in mind.

Now that you have a bag for your items, what do you put in it? First of all, depending on the climate where you live and work, it may be a good idea to put a lightweight, waterproof windbreaker into your bag. Obviously, you need a jacket that is lightweight enough to pack tightly. If you live in a cooler climate and have the space, a heaver jacket may be a good idea. The idea behind the jacket is to keep your body temperature regulated so that you can effectively make the necessary decisions to keep yourself alive.

The second item i'll mention is a small pry bar. It needs to be something relatively compact and devoid of sharp edges that will destroy your bag and the items in it. It should be long enough to pry heavy objects. Look around at your local hardware store. If weight is a concern, look online at titanium pry bars. Also, several companies, including TOPS Knives and KaBar are now making knives which are, in effect, sharpened pry bars. They can do double duty as a cutting and prying tool. These knives are tough enough that they can hack through sheet metal, such as that used in exterior building doors and auto bodies. They also come with protective carry sheaths. If you're pinching pennies, take a look at the County Comm Breacher's Bar. It won't hold an edge like a knife but would work fine for prying.

These are some ideas to get you thinking about urban survival situations. On the next installment I'll cover more items to put into your urban survival kit.

Check out the Maxpedition Versipack Go-Bags on eBay!

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2 Comments on "Second-Line Urban Survival Kit Part 1"

  1. Jason on Tue, 22nd Jun 2010 3:37 pm 

    I have a very similar setup for my EDC bag. On deciding what goes into the bag, what works for me is this: what’s the main purpose of the bag? Just like a sidearm’s purpose is to get you back to your rifle, this bag’s purpose is to get you to your friends, family, home — place of safety. So, in case of a serious disaster (major earthquake, terrorist attack, EMP, etc.), you might have to walk back through dangerous terrain to get to that locale. So, what goes in your bag should be the minimum supplies necessary to accomplish that. I also use it for things that are just too bulky for on-person EDC, as well.

  2. admin on Mon, 5th Jul 2010 4:53 pm 

    That’s great advice and exactly the purpose of the bag.

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