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#217575 - 02/20/11 01:19 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 830
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
On another note, I think the question of urban EDC and survival kits is harder than that of forest or rural survival. More variable situations.

I tend to think about it this way:

What do I have on my person, at all times, baring the intervention of local rules (e.g. D.C.'s government buildings)?

For me, this is a quality light, SAK or Multi-tool, keys, cell phone, wallet, credit cards and Cash (about 50$, small bills). These things are intended to get me back to the office or car (where there is a larger get home kit, contents a separate discussion).

My basic idea it that if you are in the typical high rise building and the power goes out, you are in the dark except for the rare and usually inadequate emergency lighting. You need to get back to your office/car where the bulk of your equipment is. So, things like a FAK, lots of water etc. are not strictly necessary.

Also, try to know the buildings you are in. Locally, some have stairwells that if you go in, the only way out is on the ground floor--no exit to another floor. Bummer if you just need to go one floor back to the office and the elevator is out.

In my experience, you can't go to a formal business meeting dragging a backpack of equipment. A briefcase/laptop case would be the max socially acceptable, so this constrains how much you can lug around. The gals have an advantage in that they can also have a purse and it not be noticed, so more room. Remember, you still need to carry what you actually need at the meeting!

The next major issue is the commute to and from work. If you drive, you have lots of room for equipment--take your pick.

If you take public transport, you are again limited, this time to probably a backpack size bag or rolling bag. Here is where you want most of the stuff that would keep you going for a couple of days or longer, presumably to get you home or to a large stash of equipment. Specifics of this kit depend a lot on weather and the type of transport, e.g. bus, train, subway, or a mix. In all cases good walking shoes (waterproof a good idea) are a must, as is clothing that will keep you comfortable in the outside weather.

So all my urban survival plans are oriented toward getting back home where the family is and I have considerable resources. Perhaps it is wrong, but I do not seriously plan on a totally "come as you are" bug out to parts unknown.
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

#217578 - 02/20/11 01:56 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Kona1 Offline

Registered: 09/29/09
Posts: 42
Loc: Pacific Northwest, USA

What is your every day carry? --part four has some great ideas for urban carry. Your post in that thread is a very good urban kit IMO.

I agree, though I would add a face mask, some type of rubber gloves (small and handy if you need to pick up something you would rather not), a poncho, small bottle of Visine or similar eye rinse and a small cell phone charger that takes AA batteries (I use the iGo system and this allows me to have extra batteries for my flashlight plus a means to re-charge my cell phone if power is unavailable). I don't recall if you mentioned carrying a SAK or multi-tool but I would suggest at least one preferably both.

#217580 - 02/20/11 02:16 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: TeacherRO]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3270
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
Chaos -- Nice set-up. I'd add food ( bars of some sort)
Paper records ( map, bus sched/map, phone numbers) Tiny radio?
Assumed: cell phone, cash, amusements.

I should have mentioned that I always have at least a few snack bars in my laptop bag.

Maps were rejected as being too bulky and unnecessary -- I know the local area very well. The train schedule is sparse enough that I've largely memorized it. If my phone is available I have all my contacts (and a GPS, and the train schedule, and so on). If it's lost or broken I have several important numbers memorized.

A tiny radio is a very good idea, I'll look into adding one. I carry an iPhone, at least $100 cash, a book to read, and a USB battery that can recharge my iPhone completely, twice. Not to mention my laptop, which is almost always fully charged.

If I were going to carry more food, I'd probably take a Mainstay bar over an MRE entree. The possibility that I'd need more food during a train commute and couldn't buy it seems too remote to justify the added weight and bulk.

#217581 - 02/20/11 02:24 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: LesSnyder]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3270
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
....insect wipe or spray, mosquito head net as I live in Florida..dedicated boonie hat or watch cap depending on season...safety glasses or goggles if appropriate.. a cheap PVC poncho to go with the heatsheet and contractor bag

I do have an insect wipe and a sunscreen wipe in my FAK. I always carry a watch cap or something like it if it might get cold. I always have sunglasses, so they can serve as safety glasses if need be. Any why didn't I list my cheap PVC poncho? I do carry one.

#217583 - 02/20/11 02:33 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: bws48]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5267
Agree entirely. The point of EDC is to make it through temporary/short term issues and get home or to a larger kit. It isn't an issue of having only one kit and needing to carry the entire thing.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#217585 - 02/20/11 02:40 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
In addition to the briefcase and edc, consider keeping a gym bag at work;
small enough to tuck away but carries water, snacks, full change of clothing including shoes, personal items (cosmetics, etc.) Esp good if you are stuck overnight.


#217593 - 02/20/11 06:25 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
If you have to walk home from work, First Aid training and a kit can help to make you some temporary friends along the way. If you come across a few young guys looking to make trouble, and they're near a bus bench where there are three women and an injured kid, what do you think will happen if you stop to put some antibiotic ointment and a bandage on the kid?

Not only walking shoes, but if you aren't very familiar with all the possible routes home, you should carry a map that covers the area between work and home, so you don't have to waste time with dead-ends and roads that end up going in the wrong direction.

A bag is better than nothing, but a coat with lots of pockets to carry stuff often doesn't as easily catch the eye of certain types of bottom feeder. This might help out when traveling DART, too.

Your mentioning the crowded car in a snow storm reminded me of something I saw in Los Angeles many years ago. I was following a car filled with more people than one might think a car could hold, and they had some net bags on straps that they had hanging outside the car. A thrift shop belt, pulled out of the bag and run through the handle could be carried the same way, with the strap held by the rolled-up window in winter.

And if you do find yourself afoot, be extremely aware of your surroundings. Sure, most stores will close, but if you're passing the only one that isn't (yet), it could be very useful.

Keep your water stored in containers sized to what YOU can carry. Five- or six-gallon containers weigh 40-50 pounds, not easily or quickly carried by many women.


#217596 - 02/20/11 07:36 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
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).
Sounds good to me. The main thing I'd add is a dust mask. Might as well make it an N95 medical mask. You can get ones that store flat. The ones with a filter are better in use, but more bulky to carry. Packs of 10 are so you have some spares for testing the fit.

These are for any kind of disaster that leads to building collapse. The reports I've read about 9/11, for example, say the things most useful for survivors were torch, whistle and mask.

An urban tool should be a bit different to a wilderness tool. It's more important to be able to cut metal than wood. A can-opener attachment may be useful too.

Otherwise, the usual survival stuff: bandanna, cordage, water. I think fire-making is less important in urban situations. The usual urban stuff: money, credit cards, phone, ID, contact info. There is probably a higher risk of theft or mugging so you might want to think about that. Usually, though, having more people around is a good thing, because the bad eggs are relatively rare.
Quality is addictive.

#217607 - 02/20/11 09:27 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Russ]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2274
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted By: Russ
Where to start . . . It isn't a question of having only one kit and that kit having to answer all requirements; I view my various kits as somewhat inter-related, comprising multiple layers, each of which has more capacity, but will also be more difficult to carry.

You're right. It's all about layers. I was a little stressed yesterday. My home and car are covered. I am looking to improve what I have on my person. Depending on the situation I take public transportation which means I am away from my car and any place to store gear for that matter. The only natural disaster which can hinder means of transportation is a snow or an ice storm which has suddenly became quite common in Dallas, TX within the past two years.

Most of what I carry is the result of personal experiences. I believe my FOX40 is the only exception. I don't want to be in a situation whishing that I EDC a certain item.

Jeanette Isabelle
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#217611 - 02/20/11 09:44 PM Re: Urban Survival Kits [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1400
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)

How far is your work from home and are there any large obstacles in that path? For example: River bridges or overpasses, that if they are fairly large will probably withstand a hit from a tornado with perhaps minimal damage that may render it not usable for vehicle traffic, but ok for people to walk across.

Also do you not have any family, friends or co-workers that live closer and whose homes may not be affected by whatever disaster occurs? I am sure that if you get along with co-workers, one of them may take you in for a short time until things calm down a bit.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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