5 Things you must have for Urban Survival


When you start making preparations for a catastrophic event trying to figure out what to include and what to omit can be overwhelming. You can actually break it down into five basic sections and customize from there. These things should be added to your Bug Out Bag and will put you ahead of the majority of the people who will be out there scrambling to survive. Have at least enough to last three days for each member of your family.

These are the basics. Customize yours with medications, feminine products, and other personal items that you might need.

Food and Water

In any survival situation water is the item that is the first to become a precious, highly sought after commodity. It is an urban survival basic – or any survival situation for that matter. Food comes in at a very close second. Experts recommend that you pack at the very least 1 liter per person per day. This means that each person’s Bug Out Bag should have at least 3 liters of water to sustain them for 3 days. A water purification system will extend your water supply and sustain you beyond the 3 day period.

Backpack meals, jerky, and energy bars are lightweight and are adequate nutrition for 3 days. Backpack meals are freeze dried food in packets. Add boiling water and eat. For extensive survival situations you will need to find a food solution that is longer term, but these are good, basic options for the onset of a crisis.


Your 3 day survival preparations need to include a method of sheltering. While you may be able to find an unoccupied building that is structurally safe, you don’t want to count on that. A small tent or tarp can be set up to protect you from the elements. It is also strongly suggested that you have a sleeping pad or ground tarp so that you are not lying directly on the ground. You also need a good sleeping bag or bedroll. Choose a sleeping bag that is rated for the lower temperatures in your area to ensure that you can stay warm and dry.

Clothing and Shoes

Pack your Bug Out Bag like you would pack for a weekend of hiking or backpacking. Include 2 pair of wool socks (avoid cotton), 2 pair of underwear, 1 pair of long pants (avoid denim), 1 long sleeve shirt, 1 short sleeve shirt, a hat, long underwear, a bandana, and a jacket that is warm, blocks wind and repels rain. Good hiking boots are a good option. Some athletic shoes may be OK, but if you are climbing over rubble and walking the streets you need to have sturdy shoes that will protect your feet. If you wear lace up shoes, toss in a couple of packages of laces. Of course just how you pack will depend on your geographical location and the weather in your area. Also, an urban setting can in some cases be more severe that suburban if these is a great deal of destruction.

First Aid Kit

Building a first aid kit is an article in itself. You would be better served to build your own as opposed to buying one. When you build it you can customize it for your own needs while a pre-assembled kit usually has a lot of stuff you probably won’t ever need. Additionally, when you build your own kit you know exactly what is in it. Include items like bandages, peroxide, alcohol, gauze, medical tape, aspirin, and surgical scissors. Think about situations you might encounter and try to plan for that. You may also want to toss in a couple of self-cooling ice packs and of course your personal medications.

Survival Gear Basics

In an urban setting your survival gear may be a little different from a suburban or rural setting. Still, there are some items that are universal and you need to make sure they are in your bag. First, you want to have some way to make a fire – at least 3 different methods such as matches, flint, lighters, and firesteel and scraper. Next, you want some type of rain gear, even if you just wrap up in a tarp. You also want a small pot or a large cup for boiling water to drink, clean wounds, and for your freeze dried meals. Another must is a good flashlight. You want to have at least two with a couple of sets of back up batteries for each light. As you think of other things that you may need you will want to toss them in your bag. You definitely don’t want to be stranded without an essential item and no way to get it.

Finally, don’t forget your survival knife and weapons. These things are essential and you need to pack them so that you can get to them quickly should you need them. It is better to be over prepared than to be caught without the things you need most.

Sometimes you need to survive where you are… even if that’s an urban environment.

Learn the secrets to Surviving in Place.