For most of us living in a city, daily survival is something we take for granted. An urban EDC kit isn’t at the forefront of our thoughts. Just because you live in an urban environment doesn’t mean you should be any less prepared than if you live in the country. When SHTF you don’t get a warning, you might be away from your home and gear, and your survival could depend on the items you carry with you every day. So do you know exactly the essential EDC items you need in an urban environment?
How to Pack Your Urban EDC Kit the Right Way
Things to Consider
Packing your EDC to prepare for survival situations isn’t easy. To get you started, here’s a list of important categories to consider when packing:
- Self Defense
Make sure to fill each of these categories when prepping your urban EDC bag. Keep reading to find out why these categories matter and what the best EDC survival items are.
1. Self Defense
Unlike being isolated in the wilderness, your primary threat in the city is other people. That’s why you should never leave the house without some sort of protection in case you are attacked and forced to defend yourself. The market is saturated with legal and illegal self-defense weapons. I like to play it safe since you never know when you might be searched by law enforcement. For this reason, I prefer a good box cutter.
Box cutters are legal as long as you’re not waving them around, and they’re perfect for keeping attackers at bay should the situation arise. They also make great utility knives. Being able to replace the blade means it’s always razor sharp, and you don’t need to worry about using it on dirty jobs. I love box cutters and carry one everywhere I go in my urban EDC. I even carry extra blades in my pack in case I need them. Box cutters also make great bottle openers.
Not everyone is comfortable carrying a knife, however, and in that case, I recommend a good tactical pen. I always carry a pen and notebook, so why not carry a pen that smashes a car window in an emergency or strikes an attacker in the temple and incapacitates them?
The Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is the perfect blend of defense and utility. It’s heavy enough to take down an attacker but small enough that you won’t mind carrying this baby everywhere you go. Both stylish and discreet, no one will even suspect you’re carrying a deadly weapon. It also makes a great writing tool and has replaceable cartridges for when it runs dry.
If you travel after dark or use underground transportation, it’s in your best interest to always carry a flashlight. You never know when you might find yourself in the dark and need to see where you’re going. If you are attacked, chances are it’s going to be at night when you are the most vulnerable. You should carry a flashlight in your urban EDC that’s small enough to conceal easily but bright enough to illuminate your surroundings.
The tactical flashlight from Hybeam is a compact and a heavy duty survival item. It has a high beam setting to quickly identify your surroundings or to blind someone running up on you in the dark. It’s waterproof and great for carrying in a back pocket or a purse. If you’re looking for something bigger which can also double as a weapon, I highly recommend a Maglite.
There’s a reason that cops use these flashlights. Not only do they completely illuminate your surroundings, they make an exceptional blunt weapon should you need it. Their large size makes them hard to conceal outside of backpacks or large purses. I keep mine under the front seat of my car in case I need it.
Even in a city, the best thing you can do is stay hydrated. Having access to clean water is the most important part of survival. Sure, you can buy bottled water at gas stations everywhere. But you’re just throwing money away and filling the ocean with plastic. Everywhere you go you should have clean water, so why not do it right.
Water bottle from Klean Kanteen is made of double layers of stainless steel that insulates it. This means it keeps water cold for 24+ hours, even in the summer heat. It also comes with a loop cap, making it easy to clip onto your backpack. I recommend getting the 32 oz. size for your urban EDC. Not only will it keep you hydrated all day, it also makes a great weapon. When filled up, it doubles as a stainless steel club that can easily bash in an attacker’s skull.
You can’t always carry enough clean water and when you run out, it’s important to get more. The Aquastiq portable water filter lets you drink water on job sites you normally wouldn’t trust. They also make a water bottle that fits the straw, perfect for traveling in nature or a modern city.
The following items don’t just do one thing, they do it all. They are also small enough that you will hardly notice they’re in your urban EDC until you need them.
The M48 Kommando rescue tool comes with the standard array of wrenches, wire cutters, bottle opener, can opener, screwdriver, and knife blade. It also comes with emergency paracord and Morse code for help and SOS.
Here is another tool that does it all and is small enough to fit on your keychain. It has a small and medium flat driver, a Phillips head driver, wire stripper, pry bar, and a bottle opener. It’s so small you can even carry it on airplanes.
You don’t get more utility than a multitool. This 13-in-1 tool from Hoffman Richter comes with needle nose pliers, wire cutters, two different knives, a saw, a file, large, medium and small slotted screwdrivers, a Phillips screwdriver and a bottle opener. This baby does it all. My favorite part is the pliers, which come in handy in so many different situations.
Watch this video by SensiblePrepper for more ideas about what to put in your EDC bag:
Just because you live in a modern city, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the worst. Once you get in the habit of carrying survival items in an urban EDC, you stop having to worry about them. When SHTF, the items you are carrying may be the only things keeping you alive, so make sure you’re carrying the best.
What do you carry every day? Leave a comment and let us know your personal favorite EDC gear and how it has kept you alive.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 9, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.