25 Dec

Odds are, if things ever get hairy, most of us will be in some sort of urban environment. As such, would it not make sense to build a survival kit ideally adapted to this environment?

An urban survival kit should be geared towards scenarios city-dwellers would most likely run into in an

emergency situation. It should of course cover various natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc), but also events either unique to or more severe in urban environments, such as:

Pandemic outbreaks, such as influenza

Terrorist attacks (bombs, biological or dirty nuclear attacks)

Technological breakdowns such as dam failures, power grid or utility failures

The items in your kit should be geared towards dealing with these sorts of scenarios.

So here it is: the urban survival kit. It’s a good way to wrap up a week that has been very survival kit-centric.

As always, if you feel I’ve missed something important, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list.


A foldable multi-tool: with a sharp blade, pliers, screwdrivers and scissors. This will come in very handy in just about any scenario.

A good knife: this can help with prying open things, digging, fashioning hooks, etc.

An LED flashlight with extra batteries: Always an essential part to any survival kit, a flashlight is extra important here as even during the day the interior of buildings may be pitch black during a power outage.

100 feet of Paracord: Another survival kit staple. Here you may need it for tying things to vehicles, creating ladders and nets, setting traps, etc.

A first aid kit: Every survival kit should have one. In an urban kit, have extra antibiotic ointment to treat things like getting snagged on a rusty nail. Have CPR guides to help with things like falls, electrocution, etc.

Strike anywhere matches, a piece of emery board and fire starter, all kept in a waterproof container: even in urban environments, you may need to get fires started.

A fire extinguisher: you may also need to put out fires as well.

A tool kit: with a screwdriver, wrench, hammer, pliers, etc.

A pencil, permanent marker and pad of Post-Its: These can be used to leave notes on doors, and to take down information.

Duct Tape: a million potential uses, even more so in an urban setting.

Crazy glue: can be used to repair things, but also to seal wounds shut.

Dental floss, thread and needles: These items can be used to sew torn fabrics, but also to stitch wounds. And even to clean your teeth.

A USB Key: it may be necessary to store information if the power (or internet) goes down.

A whistle: to signal to others.

Stand-alone Candles: to give you a source of light that you don’t need to worry about falling over.

A map of the area and a compass: these will help if you need to move, or go on scavenging missions during a long-term emergency.

A lock-pick set and bolt cutters: to help you get into buildings in non-strictly-legal fashion.

A gas mask: this one is a bit optional, as it may be out of many people’s price range. Still, if you’re in an area that could see a chemical or biological accident or attack, it could make a big difference. Include or not at your own discretion.

Bug Repellant: If bugs will be in an issue in your city.

Sunscreen: to avoid sunburn.

Disinfectant gel: be able to disinfect your hands without needing to use water. Around 50% of all infections come from getting germs on your hands and then touching your face.

A personal hygiene kit: to stay somewhat clean and healthy. Include toilet paper, a toothbrush and paste, etc.

Extra garbage bags: will find multiple uses.

Extra cash: always good to have a little extra on hand as banks may not be reliable.


Some extra items of clothing to include in your kit:


Extra socks

A warm jacket and hat (if you live in colder climates)

A waterproof poncho

A hat that will offer sun protection

A thermal sleeping bag



Bandanas (can double as dust masks)


Seeing as this is an urban survival kit, it will be used close to home in most cases. In your home, you should already have an emergency water supply and emergency food supply, meaning less space will need to go to water and food in your kit (If you don’t have those yet, get on it!).

Still, you may need to move at times, so it would be wise to include these items:

2L of water

Water purification tablets

2-4 high-calorie protein bars



  1. Irving January 29, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Good tips, I’m telling as a military man. Thanks for posting, was very interesting to read.

  2. Tim September 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Great list.
    I earmarked the site so I can work on the list.

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