What is Urban Survival?
When the word “survival” comes to mind, what do you think about? For most people, a picture of someone braving the wilderness is probably lingering in your head. But wilderness survival and urban survival are two very different things. If you live in an urban area, knowing how to survive can be essential for your mental and physical well being.
It’s important to note that urban survival isn’t just about tips and tricks you can use to “make it” in the city. It’s about more than just being smart on the street. Instead, urban survival focuses on having the skills, abilities, and resources to take care of yourself in a crisis or disaster.
Urban Survival = Adaptation
The Importance of Being Prepared
Urban survivalism isn’t just about waiting for something “bad” to happen. Take a look at the news headlines on a daily basis. Many people argue that 2020 was one of the worst years ever, but consider why. It seemed as though every day there was either a shooting, thousands of people dying from a pandemic, racial injustice, social unrest, and political threats.
You don’t need to wait for a crisis when they happen on a regular basis, especially in larger cities.
Because of that, it’s more important than ever to have the skills, knowledge, and tools you will need to survive in a city throughout a crisis. Things could drastically change at any minute, so never wait to prepare yourself for the inevitable.
That doesn’t mean you won’t face challenges. In a big city, there are usually strict laws to follow. You may not be able to visibly carry a gun or other weaponry on you, and you may not be able to protect yourself the way you want. The good news? In a crisis situation, the police may be busy and distracted, so you could be more likely to carry what you need with you.
Understanding What You Can Use
Before you start to prepare for the unexpected, learn the laws of your local community and your state. Again, you don’t want to get caught up with a police officer or risk going to jail just because you’re trying to keep yourself and your family safe.
So, if state laws suggest you can’t carry a gun, choose a knife instead. Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to protecting yourself.
It’s also important to have the right resources at your disposal. Packing a bag and keeping it somewhere safe will allow you to grab it and go, if necessary. Your bug-out bag should include things like:
- First Aid Kit
- Sleeping Bag
- Water Filtration Device
- Fire-Starting Tools
Have a Plan in Place
Perhaps the best thing you can do to be an urban survivalist is to always have a plan in place. In the case of an emergency situation, your plan should include how to safely get out of the city. You’ll have to take plenty of things into consideration, including the fact that traffic will be clogged, there could be danger at every corner, and you may even need to take some risks in order to get you and your family away from the chaos.
Your best plan of action will be to avoid people as you leave. If you feel like you can’t get out of the city, hunker down in a safe space within your home or a shelter, and continue to try avoiding others who aren’t in your family unit. If you already know that you’re more likely to stay than leave, make sure your shelter has adequate supplies.
Your plan should also include a basic awareness of the city. Do you take a certain route to work each day? Observe what’s around it and if there are any alternate routes you can take. Where are the nearest places you would be able to get resources in an emergency? Do you know any shortcuts?
Having the layout of your city in your head can make a big difference during your planning stages, and help you to feel more confident in the strategy you put forth.
Why is Urban Survival Important?
Urban survival isn’t just important, it’s necessary for anyone living in a major city with thousands of people. As stated above, there are calamities happening all the time, and all you have to do is turn on the news to see them. Unfortunately, during times of crisis, cities are often unsafe. Stores get looted, people become violent, fires get started, and you may not be able to come by basic needs like food and water.
So, urban survival is about so much more than just “street smarts”.
Instead, it’s about literally being able to survive in a crisis situation. The last thing you want is to be caught unaware when disaster strikes, without a plan in place, and without resources to keep you and your family safe. So, keep in mind that survivalism isn’t just for the wilderness.
Sometimes, the concrete jungle can be even scarier than what nature has to offer. Being fully prepared in an urban environment will make a huge difference in your life when a crisis occurs.