15 Urban Survival Skills to Master before SHTF

Some people think that survival skills can only be applied if you go out in the wilderness frequently. Most especially for those that are living in urban areas. But do you know that if you’re live in the city you will still need to learn urban survival skills?



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Being prepared in all sorts of situations, especially now we saw how society and humanity almost or could crumble in extreme situations. When you’re living in the city, equipping yourself with urban survival skills is essential to keep yourself alive.

RELATED: Top 13 Urban Survival Gadgets

Learning Urban Survival Skills Can Be A Life-changer

1. Build a Stockpile

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Learning how to store your food is definitely an urban survival skill you need to learn. Checking, replenishing, and replacing your stocks in a timely manner are vital. This is to make sure they are suitable for consumption for the next few months after a disaster.

You’ll never know just how long the stores can keep food on the shelves. Learning FIFO (first in first out), can or bottle your own food, and water supply are just a few of the skills you need to learn for stockpiling your food.

2. Acquiring and Purifying Water

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In the event where water doesn’t come out of your pipes anymore, you know you have to find or buy some. If you do find water, chances are it may be polluted.

There are more than a few ways to purify it. Another easier way is to learn how to collect rainwater around your home. You can dig your own well or build a simple rainwater collecting system that can flow directly into your pipes.

3. Prepare an Emergency Survival Kit

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Learning how to prepare and where to store your emergency survival kit is a must. It must contain various essential items that will aid and last you for 72 hours.

It may be a small thing but it will matter big time when the need for bugging out or sheltering in place arises.

4. First Aid and Medical Skills

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Having a first aid kit at home or with you is totally different from knowing how and what to do for a first aid scenario. By being able to perform these urban survival skills you or your family might come out of a survival condition despite being incapacitated, injured, or near death.

Some common injuries and circumstances are sprained ankles, broken bones, heart attack, etc. Without the proper knowledge and skill application, you might as well just put up your first aid supplies for decoration.

5. Security and Awareness

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Other than an emergency or major disaster where crime may rise is your everyday life. It requires you to be security conscious from your home to be aware of what is happening around you when you walk or drive into a neighborhood.

Keep your home secure by installing the necessary security equipment like CCTV’s and alarms. When out on the streets take note of the people that may be following you, any suspicious vehicles parked near your home, anything out of the ordinary.

Paranoia is different from being prepared for the worst.

6. Weapons Training Skills

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Keeping a firearm with you for self and home defense may become more of a need than a necessity should there be an emergency or disaster. You must have the discipline and proper training on how to handle and shoot a weapon for different scenarios.

You must always be ready to defend yourself from intruders and bad elements on the street.

7. Combat and Self-Defense Skills

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When worse comes to worst and you can’t reach for your gun or lose it in the process of defending yourself, these skills will surely come in handy. You can either be caught by surprise at home or mugged on the street.

When disaster or emergency strikes everyone who is unprepared, will want what you have. In whichever scenario you know you have the ability to defend yourself from life-threatening situations.

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8. Be a Handyman

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This is a skill you can use to create alliances or trade for things. Learn a wide array of handyman skills like repairing things around the house, survival equipment, radios, generators, stoves, filtration systems, heaters, and a lot more.

Maintenance work to keep things in tip-top shape is something you can learn. We’re so used to calling in a professional. Should they not be available anymore, the skills you have can determine whether you need to stay or leave.

Even repairing your vehicle or wiring an abandoned car for travel will become a must-learn skill.

9. Learn to Negotiate and Barter

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This is a skill you can apply almost in everyday circumstances from buying food to closing a real estate deal. The economy is sure to collapse after a disaster or state of emergency. Prices are sure to blow off the roof.

You should learn how to get what you need at a fair price by knowing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. This requires practice too.

10. Urban Gardening of Farming Skills

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Learning how to grow and manage a small garden or farm that can supply you with fresh fruits, vegetables and meat can bring you a long way. You will eventually run out of SHTF for months or years.

There are different methods of raising a vertical garden using everyday materials we just throw away.

Learn this to sustain you by cooking quick and easy homemade recipes. It will help you save instead of buying them out in the store if all is still well.

11. Waste Management

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This is something you cannot rule out in a survival scenario. If you’re unable to dispose of your waste properly, considering there wouldn’t be anyone to collect them anymore, then you might contract diseases or illnesses.

Digging up a garbage pit or using a bin for biodegradable and non-biodegradable will help for a time being. There are other practical ways of disposing of your waste like recycling and reusing other materials.

12. Learn to Save

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Setting aside extra cash for survival situations can help you get through by paying people to do things for you or getting through a checkpoint, hiring a car, or buying emergency supplies or guns and ammo.

You’ll never know when it comes in handy especially for the first few months of a disaster.

13. Learn to Blend In

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When SHTF, for whatever reasons standing out in a crowd can get you killed. Learning how to blend in by not triggering anything in the thought process of others can get you places without getting hurt or killed in the process.

The choice of clothes, the way you walk, the way you smell or should even have a smell, and all that can be learned to survive.

14. Practice Drills

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Even survival experts continuously practice survival drills. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect” the more you practice drills of a certain survival scenario the easier it will be for you and your loved ones. It will become second nature.

By constant practice, the panic or adrenaline is a bit lower compared to not having practice a scenario at all. When you start to panic you usually blank out or make irrational decisions no matter how much you know about survival skills.

Put in mind that in a survival situation time is of the essence. The next second could be a life or death decision.

15. Mental Preparedness

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By doing regular drills or practice scenarios you are also preparing yourself mentally. When the need for being calm and rational in a survival situation arises you’ll be more efficient and precise. Every second counts and we’ll never know when you find yourself in survival mode.

Skills are but 10% but 90% is mental preparedness. Being mentally prepared is everything.


Watch this video by Absolute Rights on Urban Survival skills: When Civil Order is Lost:

There are more survival skills you can learn even when living in the city. You can choose to learn more if you would want to be fully equipped and ready for whatever emergency or disaster will come your way.

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Do you have anything in mind you would want to add? Don’t hesitate to add them in the comments below!


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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 10, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  8. Jerome McDonald

    October 24, 2021 at 2:40 PM

    When asked why you stock up the way you do , which I was asked and if I were pepper and scared. My answer was no not scared just prepared. What with all that’s going on is it not better to be like me than like most of the people who think they are going to be all right just as they are! You know always having a job to go to a pay check to rely on , stores to buy what they need. All that could be gone tomorrow, then what , has the virus taught them nothing at all ? These are questions that I believe that they need to be asking themselves.

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