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#217525 - 02/19/11 05:06 PM Urban Survival Kits
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1928
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
I am considering getting the book Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John D. McCann. However, I want to know what you think belongs in an urban survival kit since that is the environment I live in. As part of my EDC, I have a whistle (I'm seriously considering getting an additional whistle), a flashlight, first aid gear and EMT sheers (it's for more than just first aid).

Living in an urban environment, the odds of needing a fishing kit are slim though I don't live far from a lake. I have never caught a fish. Fire making tools do come in handy in an urban environment. I've never built a camp fire but I have built a fire in the fireplace, lit oil lamps, candles and charcoal grills.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#217528 - 02/19/11 05:28 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Have fun with this!

To be sure we are on the same page semantically, consider reading the "ETS Acronyms" posting found as a "sticky thread" in the Around The Campfire forum.

I am a proponent of form follows function. So I suggest you consider the functions for your kit first.

I look to the proverbiual Rule of Threes:

You can die in 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and, some say, 3 months without human contact. So your kit wants to cover these categories.

The categories I am using now include: First Aid, Shelter, Fire, Water, Food, Navigation, Light, Signaling, Self-protection, Hygiene, and Morale.

Your budget will play a large role in how you address whatever categories you decide to use. Things that can play many different roles - multi-taskers - are often good choices [like a multi-tool]. You can use your search tool on this forum to find discussions of such things.

There have been several discussion threads in the "Urban Preparedness" ETS forum as well, so I suggest you consider searching there.

Good luck!

#217530 - 02/19/11 05:52 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
i recently read an article on urban survival kits in "The Backwoodsman Magazine" that advocates for no less than 3 seperate lock-picking kits. the author says they are not for theft but for unlocking treasures that may be held behind locks. morally murky waters for sure, but it did enlighten me decide to add an extra house and car key to my kit.
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#217531 - 02/19/11 05:55 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Crookedknife Offline

Registered: 06/15/10
Posts: 24
Loc: Washington
I started by looking over gear lists on this & other websites. After that, I asked myself what would be good things to have on hand in my climate if things like electricity & gas went away for a few days. We live in the chilly & wet pacific NW, so I started saving old clothes & raingear to keep in the garage and car trunk. We identified our likely neighborhood dangers as fire, flood, and burglary, so we now have a fire/flood safe on our shopping list. I also signed up for an online service that sends emails & text messages whenever the rivers start to rise.

What you should keep on hand really does depend on where you live... for example, I grew up in a rural town on the Alaskan coast, and about every year we had to evacuate to higher ground because of tsunami warnings. In that case, it made sense to be able to get the car packed for an extended camping trip in under 15 minutes. Preparing ourselves like that makes little sense now that we live in the city. We still have camping equipment, but now it's for leisure.

As far as daily carry gear is concerned, I basically expect it to get me to my house, car, or work, and from there I'll be better set up to deal with things. I don't lug around much with me except a canteen, umbrella, first aid kit, book to read, pepper spray, and wallet & keys & such. I don't bother with a compass, firestarter, etc. unless I'm going on a hike.

Getting training helps bring things into focus. I've taken first aid + AED for professionals, wilderness first aid, and an edible wild plant class. Soon I'd like to take a CERT class, and I'm looking for another martial arts dojo to join now that my current one has closed. Getting trained is empowering and helps build community.
"Let us climb a mountain, hanging on by low scragged limbs." - Roger Zelanzany

#217540 - 02/19/11 08:23 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
you might get some not so obvious ideas from lessons learned with hurricane supplies I've accumulated...hope this helps

water...blue 6gal storage containers year around, Sawyer .1 micron filter

33gal Rubbermaid trash can placed in shower/tub and under eaves, filled with water to flush and shower with, you still have access to tub drain...pump up lawn sprayer for shower

several bottles unscented bleach...disinfect and water purification

I've switched from Coleman fuel to propane...several 20# propane tanks and adapter to refill 1#bottles and bulk feed hose.. 2burner stove, backed up by Trangia alcohol stove, and catalytic heater...couple of 6 gal gasoline containers

several Dietz style kero lanterns/fuel....LED head lamps and LED flashlight with clip attached so you don't loose it....cyalume light sticks....try to standardize batteries

several 3 day Igloo ice chests... one for food, one for ice

cordless drill, charger, and extra battery....couple of boxes of 2 and 3 inch deck screws with extra bits... hammer/ nails...wonder bar...duct tape and some plastic sheeting..vise grip pliers...straight/Phillips screwdriver (I back up the cordless with a Yankee Screwdriver... I have 28 windows to board up.

blue tarps and firring strips / roof mastic to cover roof damage

battery powered fan, (an auto battery with a couple of clips on a female lighter plug adapter is a good power tap) portable digital TV, dynamo AM/FM radio...running a generator really aggrivates your neighbors that don't have one, so offer to share power to keep their refrigerator up...lineman's handset style of phone with home made clips

30day supply of canned supplies and plastic ware.. baby wipes ..toilet paper

in addition to my blow out trauma kit (Israeli bandages, Kerlix,tourniquet,NPA tube, QuickClot bag), the house kit has dental and additional burn dressings, sterile saline for irrigation...hand sanitizer...N95/100 face masks...squeeze bottle of H202 to disinfect surfaces

good GoreTex or Helley Hanson PVC rain gear, good heavy duty shoes and way to dry feet (Teva sandals indoors)...citronella bucket/ Deep Woods Off... mosquito netting...air mattress...sleeping bag

if you have to open your house for ventilation, battery powered motion sensing alarm

I'm a competitive shooter so some form of blaster is close

it really helps to store the less bulky stuff in the same shelf area

Edited by LesSnyder (02/19/11 08:27 PM)

#217541 - 02/19/11 08:40 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Living in an urban environment doesn't really tell enough to get constructive suggestions.

I'd want to know what disaster you expect. I live in earthquake country. I used to live in blizzard country. Before that I lived in tornado country. My survival kit for each disaster is very different.

I'd want to know if you commute to work. If so, you need a car kit. You need a go bag at your work desk. Do you work in a highrise? If so, your work go bag may need some hiking shoes if you normally work in dress shoes; you may need leather gloves if you work in an area with glass; you probably need a dust mask. But this depends on what disaster you expect. I expect an earthquake and building destruction, so I want the sturdy shoes, leather gloves, dust mask, chemical lights because I expect broken gas mains, etc.

In my car, I expect rubble in the streets and downed overpasses. I expect either to be stuck in my car or to have to walk out, depending on conditions. In my car, I have shelter, heat, food, water, clothes that are picked for the season, walking shoes, leather gloves, first aid supplies, and such.

If you have a disaster at home, you may find water from the lake is a life saver, so I'd have a means to purify water and to carry it from the lake and store it at home. A month's worth of food for every person, same with water, a way to cook and eat for a month (stove, utensils, etc.) for each person, a lot of clothes appropriate for the season, honkin' huge first aid supply kit since I live in earthquake country and expect severe injuries from falling buildings and debris.

If you're in DFW, I'd concentrate on tornados, range fires which develop into city fires, and ice storms. You may also have rolling blackouts, I hear.

My wife and I camp out a lot, so we're completely comfortable in a tent, making lunch on a camp stove, and using "outdoor facilities." (If you lose your water mains for any reason, you won't have water to flush commodes, in addition to having nothing to drink, cook with, and bathe in.) If you care to, I'd recommend going camping enough to become comfortable roughing it in a tent in a national park with pit toilets and only a cold water tap. You'll find out what you need to survive without a house if the big tornado blows yours down.

Good luck and have fun.

#217544 - 02/19/11 09:38 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: philip]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1928
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: philip
Living in an urban environment doesn't really tell enough to get constructive suggestions.

Well, I thought I was clear when I mentioned the acronym "EDC" and the book Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John D. McCann. I have the PSP but I'm needing an urban survival kit more so than a wilderness kit. I've tried converting my PSP into an urban kit without much success.

I realize I need more on my person than gear when I can't get home or there is no home to get to. I have considered wilderness survival classes, but they cover the wilderness, not the urban environment.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#217545 - 02/19/11 09:45 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: philip]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6685
Loc: southern Cal
In a survival situation, urban or wilderness, you blend your knowledge and skills with available gear to surmount the challenges presented by the emergency. Threat profiles vary widely - Philip puts it very well in his post. Knowledge and skills outweigh gadgetry in the final outcome.

Get training in first aid. Almost by definition, a disaster will tax the EMS to its limits. Even when not strained, the most immediate relief for an injury is at the ends of your fingertips, guided by your smarts.

There are lots of useful, cool items out there which can help if properly used. There is also a lot of marketing hype, selling junk by the carload. Some things are useful in some circumstances, not so in others. Most of what you need is probably already at hand, needing only recognition and organization. A lot can be picked up locally at your supermarket or home center. The fun comes in acquiring the rest (I am an incorrigible gadget freak - my colleagues referred to me as "Captain Gizmo.").

Edited by hikermor (02/19/11 09:45 PM)
Geezer in Chief

#217546 - 02/19/11 09:58 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Weekend urban survival kit for Las Vegas or even Dallas. wink


#217550 - 02/19/11 10:59 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: ]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2730
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Doublemint or Juicy Fruit? Think carefully ...

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