Must Have Urban Survival Gear for City Dwellers

Survival is commonly associated with the wilderness and most TV shows and sites focus on skills and items you need outdoors. That’s probably why most people tend to ignore the importance of being prepared in a city. Instead of worrying about surviving in the wild, we should focus more on learning survival skills and being prepared for emergencies in our own cities. Urban environments pose different threats than what we might experience out in the wild. This means we also have to prepare accordingly while considering the modern-day threats city dwellers now face.

Why Prepare for Urban Disasters?

Your home or office is the most likely place you’d be when a disaster strikes. That’s why you need to be prepared for these everyday environments and consider gear that helps you survive a long-term emergency. The more prepared you are, the better the chances of your survival, which is also true for concrete jungles.

We already have to face a lot of challenges in our normal ‘urban’ lives but imagine how things would turn out if disaster strikes. Millions of other people also share the same urban infrastructure and other resources, and you would definitely not want to be at the mercy of others in case of a serious emergency.

Since most survival shows, and sites focus on outdoor survival gear, it might become difficult for an average person to figure out what they need to survive in the city. This guide aims to make things easier for them and discusses urban survival items every city dweller and prepper should have. It’s practically not possible to cover every item here, but you should be able to get a fair idea of the kind of stuff you need to survive. Here are some of the most important items you should stock up (and pray you never have to use them).

Urban Survival Gear Check List

Transport Pack / Bug Out Bag

A medium-sized transport pack or box is ideal that provides ample space for packing all the necessary items while still being fairly portable. You will hear this also commonly called a “bug out bag” in the prepping community.  Important features to consider include heavy-duty zippers, additional storage compartments, water resistance, and padded/adjustable shoulder straps. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a decent transport pack as it’s more about finding the right balance between storage capacity, comfort, and price.

First Aid Kit

First aid kits are available in different sizes (based on the number of items), but a kit should be fairly portable and include everything needed to treat minor pains and aches, including plastic bandages, trauma pad, burn relief pack emergency blanket, sterile eye pad, thermometer, cream pack, aspirin and ibuprofen tablets, cleansing pads and adhesive plastic bandages. Thyrosafe Potassium Iodide Tablets are also recommended, especially for those who live within a 200 KM radius of a nuclear reactor.


Chances are good that you already have a flashlight, but you might want something more ‘tactical’ for surviving a long-term emergency. Tactical flashlights offer brighter light, more battery capacity, can survive a dip in water and support SOS/emergency signals.

Food, Water, and Fire

A quick boost of nutrients greatly improves the chances of survival and there are plenty of options to choose from. Such food rations have high energy value and come with around 5-year shelf life for long-term storage. A stainless steel water bottle allows storing around a liter of water, while you’d also want to stock up water purification tablets. Disposable lighters are the most economical and easiest way to light up something, but you can also consider magnesium fire starters and stormproof matches.

Self Defense

While you might be able to get away with a knife in most situations, you need something better to deal with long-term emergencies. You can find a variety of multi-purpose knives that can also be used as a pickaxe and hatchet. Made of 1095 carbon steel, SP16 SPAX is one such product that is specially designed for rescue, military, and sporting use.

Environmental Protection

Essential items that can greatly help protect from environmental hazards include safety goggles, specialized gloves, masks, and earplugs.


Shelter equipment includes tear-resistant, water proof emergency blankets (able to reflect most of the body heat), a tube tent, roll duct tape, cord such as paracord and zip ties.


Your mobile phone won’t be of much use when there is no power and people are running for their lives. You’d need gear like a multi-purpose AM/FM radio with crank charging and built-in flashlight and an emergency whistle.

Other tools

Some other tools and items that can be helpful in an emergency include multi-tools, eating utensils, batteries (such as AA and AAA) and a small pry bar. Keeping some cash hidden at home might also be a good idea as you cannot count on plastic money when there is no power. Cash can give you an upper hand when you have to negotiate for buying food and other basic necessities.

Where to Buy
SAS Survival Handbook (3rd Edition)
Tactical Backpack
All-Purpose First Aid Kit
RedLine Flashlight
Datrex 3600 Emergency Food Bar

Below we have assembled some resources you can consider when beginning to assemble your disaster recovery supplies.  These are particularly focused on the needs of an urban prepper and disaster planner.

SAS Survival Handbook (3rd Edition)

  • Urban Survival and terrorism
  • Basic survival skills
  • Camping and food preparation
  • Climate and terrain
  • Self-defense and security

Tactical Backpack

  • 30L capacity
  • Durable, waterproof 600D nylon
  • Padded/adjustable shoulder straps
  • Two compartments
  • Small pouches
  • Inch Sternum Strap

All-Purpose First Aid Kit

  • 299 supplies recommended by physicians
  • Injury treatment
  • Antiseptics
  • Bandages

RedLine Flashlight

  • 220 lumens output
  • Runs on 3 AAA batteries
  • S.O.S. Sequence
  • Up to 15 hours backup on 22 lumens
  • Flashing Strobe Mode at 220-lumens
  • Compact body

Datrex 3600 Emergency Food Bar

  • 10 18 bar packs, 180 bars
  • 200 calories per bar
  • Sub packaged and tabletized
  • Easy to ration and store
  • No preservatives, all natural ingredients
  • Coconut flavor
  • USCG approved
  • 5-year shelf life
  • Does not provoke thirst
Where to Buy
Ontario SP16 SPAX Knife with FG/UC Sheath
Uvex Stealth OTG Safety Goggles
KN95 Face Mask (5o Pcs)
S.O.L. Heat Reflective Survival Blanket
Coghlan’s Emergency Tube Tent

Ontario SP16 SPAX Knife with FG/UC Sheath

  • 1095 carbon steel construction
  • Foldable knife
  • 8-inch plain edge blade
  • With sheath
  • Also usable as a pickaxe and hatchet
  • Secure grip

Uvex Stealth OTG Safety Goggles

  • Anti-fog and anti-scratch coating
  • Full eye protection
  • Fits over eyewear
  • Soft and flexible body
  • Comfortable grip
  • Quick-adjust headband
  • ANSI Z87.1-2003 and CSA Z94.3 compliant

KN95 Face Mask (5o Pcs)

  • Easy storage, flat-fold design
  • Blocks particles
  • Eyewear compatible

S.O.L. Heat Reflective Survival Blanket

  • Reflects 90% of body heat
  • Tear and puncture resistant
  • Can also be used as a ground cloth and first aid blanket
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Coghlan’s Emergency Tube Tent

  • Instant protection
  • Can accommodate two people
  • Can also be used as a ground cloth
  • Quick setup
Where to Buy
The American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency Weather Radio
Storm Alert Whistle
MIRA Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle
Zippo Typhoon Matches

Paracord 550 LB

  • The minimum breaking point of 550 lbs.
  • 7 inner-core 2-ply nylon strands
  • Abrasion, rotting and mildew resistant
  • No fading due to UV sunlight

The American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency Weather Radio

  • Large, ergonomic hand crank
  • AM/FM, 7 NOAA Weather Bands
  • Digital tuner
  • LED flashlight
  • Red LED flashing beacon
  • USB port
  • Built-in solar panel
  • Rechargeable lithium ion battery (2600mAh)

Storm Alert Whistle

  • 130db
  • Ergonomic
  • Works under water

MIRA Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle

  • 1200ml
  • Made of food-grade 18/8 unbreakable stainless steel
  • Powder coated finish
  • Open wide mouth
  • Double walled vacuum insulation
  • Leak-proof
  • Up to 24-hour insulation (cold) and 12 hours (hot)

Zippo Typhoon Matches

  • 15 matches
  • Water-resistant storage
  • Textured grip
  • Floats in water

That’s a good list for starters.  Here at The City Dark we will be providing you with in-depth guides on all your disaster planning and prepping needs!