Catastrophes and natural disasters can happen at any time, anywhere without a single warning. There are many situations where you may find yourself at a loss as to what you should be doing and how you should be preparing for any imminent danger. People always feel that there might be situations that come upon us where many will be at a loss and striving to survive. For a long time now, people aka preppers and survivalist have been preparing for such terrible wars or natural disasters. These are the people that will have a wealth of knowledge and are most likely to help you get started preparing your urban bug out bag.
The concept of preparing a bug out bag is to have a backpack ready to go at all times that is both accessible and transportable. You need to be able to simply pick up the bag and head out without fear of lacking any necessities. A bug out bag is equipped with the latest gadgets and tools coupled with food and possible shelter so that you can survive out in the wilderness where things are scarce. The urban bug out bag will help you survive the period until you can find the right kind of friendly civilization or appropriate help. If you are living in a city, you need to tailor you bag for your urban environment and have the right kind of accessories and be customized accordingly.
Factors to consider when preparing your Urban Bug Out Bag
1. Population Density
Urban areas are always packed and therefore fighting for survival in areas where people are tightly crowded together is quite a difficult task. The density of the population has a great impact on the kind of bug out you should be preparing. If you are looking to combat a multitude of people you should be preparing a bag that helps you fight for your right to survive. Since the population would be dense, there would be many others who would be fighting for survival too, and you would have to compete with all of them to make it out alive. Therefore, the Urban Bug Out Bag needs to contain many more weapons then your otherwise pack in a rural bug out bag. If you have extra things in your B.O.B that would be essential for survival you always have the chance to barter your way out of sticky and difficult situations.
2. Extra Weapons
The reason your urban bug out bag needs to contain weapons in a greater quantity is that there will take a lot of people and all kinds of people around you. On the one hand, it can be said that necessarily all will not be criminals, but dire situations like hunger and needs may cause them to become violent. It’s been written that we are all only nine meals away from anarchy and therefore a person in this desperate situation is much worse than a criminal. Some of the weapons that you can carry for your survival are:
• Guns: Carrying rifles could be a bit of a difficult task, but if you are good with them there is no harm in carrying them. Small guns are non-conspicuous, and therefore they are a good weapon to carry as you can attack without bringing much notice. Carrying extra ammo is important.
• EDC Knives: They are must have. They come in all kinds and varieties with broad or thin blades, with pointed, flat or sharp ends. It all depends on the one you are comfortable with.
• Tactical Pens: Very small and concealable on your person and a great defense tool for the ladies.
• Tactical Flashlights: Most small, compact flashlights built these days can pack a punch when used as a bashing weapon.
• Stun Guns: A great weapon if need to immediately subdue your attacker and escape to safety. They are quite helpful if you are a bit wary of choosing the right weapon or carrying an actual gun.
• Projectile Weapons: such as arrows or small pellets can also help you fight if the need arises.
Weapons would be of great assistance, but you also need to know a few simple self-defense tricks that can help you combat hand to hand if need be. In case of turmoil and unrest there are usually unnecessary arrests and captures to prevent yourself from being captured and taken away to unknown confines, you should be able to know how to untie yourself and be able to open handcuffs. This will help you escape. Having maps with you will help you and blueprints of buildings near you, sewer and subways will help you navigate around the city without any issues or fear of being caught. You should also know the art of stealth and camouflage.
3. Camouflage Your Shelter
This is the crucial factor when you are preparing a bug out bag for the rural surroundings since you will be out in the open quite a lot and you would need to keep yourself out from the harshness of the weather. In the case of an urban bug out, you don’t really need to worry so much about the shelter because such situations in urban settings always have abandoned buildings where you can hide. In such settings, you would require black curtains and long sheets to cover yourself up which will help keep you undetected by others.
4. Urban Debris and Wreckage
When there is an ongoing war or unrest in the city area, there are collapsed buildings, loads of debris lying here and there. The rubble of fallen buildings and broken roads and pavement can be quite tricky to navigate. For that, you need sturdy boots that cover up your ankles and have thick rubber soles with proper grips. You should also have a change of socks and thick woolen ones so that your feet and legs are protected.
In many instances, when there would be so much civil unrest and buildings are being torn down around you, there is a heavy chance that there will be a lot of gas leakages. Even inside the buildings where you seek shelter, gas leakages are most likely. You need to have dust mask or even a bandanna that can help you filter out the dust and smoke that is swirling around you. The masks with the right filters that can help filter out the harmful gases for your breathing are a must. Your urban bug out bag needs to also contain inhalers if you or anyone is slightly asthmatic. Carrying bandages, and proper medications that could deal with bruises and cuts can be very helpful. Gloves for hands are also a good idea as they can be used for warmth as well as protection.
5. Food Supplies
When you are trying to find shelter in an urban area, you need to keep in mind that greenery would be limited and hence being able to scavenge and consume food is literally out of the question. You need to carry granola bars, dried fruits and protein powders so that you can consume them and gain energy. Knowing the edible plants can also be very helpful as you can consume them in dire circumstances.
6. Eating And Cooking Utensils
When you are packing your urban bug out bag, you need to include utensils for eating and other purposes. Some people prefer to carry plastic utensils, but they can become pretty useless after one or two uses. Yes, they are light weight but they are damaged far too easily and therefore only metal utensils should be packed. Metal utensils have a solid form, that don’t need to be disposed and can be used as an alternative weapon too.
You also need to carry a small rocket stove or camp stove, because you need fire for cooking or warmth purposes. Using debris to light fire can be an invitation for danger as it would emit smoke and end up drawing attention to your hideout.
7. Light Source
When you are hiding out and traveling through underground tunnels, you’re going to need light. You need to carry some torches with extra batteries. The batteries should be a combination of solar-powered, simple batteries and rechargeable ones. You can keep the solar-powered batteries recharged through sunlight by hiding on rooftops and other areas that may have access to sunlight. Since you are hiding out in an urban environment there are chances that the building you may be hiding in may still have electricity, which will make recharging your batteries easy.
If some warehouse or abandoned office becomes your hideout, you may need light to move around. Switching on lights may draw attention to yourself, and therefore, the preferred method for light would be to use a torch.
8. Tools To Break Into Locked Areas
When you struggling to find a hideout for yourself, you may find the perfect isolated place, but it could be locked. To overcome such factors, you should be carrying tools that could help you pick locks and break them and gain access to restricted areas. You could also find houses and flats that would have been left in a hurry by the owners and they could have many of the supplies that could help you later on.
9. Desperate Escapes
There might be situations where you could end up cut off from the outside world due to rubble. If you have a pry bar or a crowbar you can at least worm your way out from the debris. These tools can help you open up spaces and doors and also help you find secret escape routes and break through glass.
10. Permanent Marker
This is a must-have, as small and petty it may sound; there are chances that you will need it time and again. The marker can help you mark landmarks and spots where you have been. You could develop a sign amongst your group and use the maker to create them so that you can warn, guide or help them. If you are traveling away from a safe sanctuary in the hope to find a better place, you could mark a trail. If you are unable to find the right place you could always follow back the trail to the safe place you already know of. Since it would be a permanent marker, no amount of wind or rain or light can erase it.
11. Rope Ladder
A rope ladder can be carried out and even used to tie up things. The rope ladder can help you find an escape route from any place that is above the ground. You can simply exit buildings, apartment complexes through roofs by simply traveling down through the rope ladder.
12. Water Purification System
You do not need to carry a bulky setup in order to purify water. There are smaller and more compact versions of water filters that are specially designed for camping trips. These filters can filter the water without much difficulty and at the same time ensure that you always have safe water to drink. Some people carry additional tablets for water purification. These tablets can add missing minerals and nutrients to the water and ensure that the water is safe for drinking.
13. Can Opener
This can be very helpful if you are carrying canned food as part of your survival food. The most likely scenario is however, you find canned goods while looking through abandoned houses. Eating these first and retaining your other food stores secured in your urban bug out bag such as protein bars is recommended.
Urban Bug Out Bag Considerations
The bag that you choose be padded, with sturdy shoulder straps and should come with extra belts to strap on your chest and waist so that the bag is secure. The bag should have additional mesh and hooks, that would allow attachments. The bag should have a padded and strong base so that the bottom does not give away when the bag becomes heavy. The bag should have an additional rolled up blanket on top and numerous zipper and pockets so that you can always keep things organized. The bag should have a ladder net which would allow easy access to flashlights, guns, ammunition and an EDC knife if the need arises.
It should have an additional hip pocket for attaching water bottles. The material of the bag should be able to withstand rough usage and terrain and should be waterproof. The type of back should be selected with immense care and deliberation because when the whole world goes crazy you might just be carrying your life in your urban bug out bag.
Kel Warner is the owner and writer of www.EverydayCarryGear.com. A site designed to inform, direct and introduce like-minded readers about Survival Topics, Bugging Out Preparation and EDC Tools. Kel is a current serving military member of the Australian Defence Force, which has influenced her love for gadgets and tools that any GI-Joe or Jane would have in their kits or carry on their person.