Surviving in an urban or suburban environment requires some tools that are not required or are less critical in the rural regions or wilderness . There are a lot more blind corners, dark enclosed spaces, and solid obstacles in towns than in the open forests. We will not be discussing universal survival needs such as first aid kits, food, water, effective camouflage or other field kit items. I also will not cover weapons in detail. Obviously high capacity handguns, carbines and short-barreled shotguns are better suited to urban situations than long-barreled weapons. A good quality “survival knife” is essential in all environments. The following items are of special value when moving through a built-up area.
List of 9 Urban Survival Tools
Stainless-steel mirror: As you move through or around buildings you will need to peek around corners, over walls and through windows and doorways. A small stainless steel camping mirror on a short handle could truly save your life.
Variable intensity flashlight: The new “tactical” flashlights that can be set to give the minimum light when you don’t want to be noticed and a very bright light and/or strobe to blind potential attackers as you move at night or through darkened buildings is essential. These are expensive, costing from $50.00 to $200.00, but well worth the cost for all kinds of emergencies.
Axe/Hatchet: You will probably need to cut through locked buildings to avoid danger or find shelter. This will necessitate breaking windows, gates, fences and doors. You may also be forced to escape through a wall or locked door.
Pry bar: You may need to pry open a door, move debris or break a lock. This is useful in escape, rescue and even self-defense
Wire cutters: While you probably are not going to carry a pair of heavy bolt cutters around, you should have something capable of cutting fence wire and barbed wire that you encounter.
Smoke bombs: Smoke can be used to distract potential attackers or to cover your movement across an open street. It can also be used to smoke out hidden trouble. Remember that most smoke bombs will set fire to buildings and furniture so use them with discretion. The larger smoke bombs made for paintball games work well.
Heavy gloves: Heave leather faced work-gloves will protect you from broken glass, jagged metal and nails. You cannot afford hand injuries and possible infections under these conditions
Rope: Rope can be used to climb or descend walls and obstacles. You may need it to pull open doors or drag away obstructions. Consider making up a “commando rope” like the ones used by the British in World War Two. They use a 6-foot long heavy rope with a large loop tied on one end and a wooden handle on the other. These could be linked together to make a ladder or used in many other ways.
Manhole cover lifter: street manholes access underground electrical valets, sewers and storm drains. These can serve as emergency blast shelters or escape routs. While these covers are very heavy they can be pulled open using a device made from two bolts tied together with a two-foot length of strong cable or wire.
Most of these devices can be used fore escape, defense and rescue activities depending on the circumstances.