Please check local laws when selecting defensive items.
Most peoples EDC are a good starting point, but are a bit lacking in the face of most emergencies. Your EDC should at the very least get you back to your vehicle (or home or office), so that you can get to your 72 hour pack (bug-out-bag) if the event dictates that you need to. We’ll cover 72 hour packs later.
As a starting point we’ll be using/adapting the Ten Essentials, plus adding for our own needs in an urban environment. The Ten Essentials were developed in the 1930s by The Mountaineers as a list of must have items for surviving in the mountains of the Northwestern United States.
Classic Ten Essentials
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Extra clothing
- First-aid supplies
- Extra food
In most scenarios our smartphone has good street level maps, usually with satellite imagery that can aid in land nav. It’s a good idea to have a good watch such as Casio G-Shock or, my personal favorite, Citizen Skyhawk AT
. It’s powered by ambient light, sets itself with the atomic clock, and it’s durable (but it is pricey). In an urban environment navigation is much easier due to the general grid layout and labeled streets, so this is where you will adapt this section to your personal needs (such as being in an unfamiliar city).
This is still important, but needs to be adapted to your personal health needs. Sunglasses and a hat will usually suffice considering the amount of buildings in an urban environment.
This is pretty important. Most urban environments dictate that you only need a good jacket, but you should be prepared for the worst possible weather that your particular climate can throw at you at that time of year. A quality softshell jacket is great for keeping you dry and warm in most situations.
I highly recommend a high quality, bright LED head lamp AND a high quality tactical flash light (preferably with a red filter).
I highly suggest seeking out training in this area and carrying a good Trauma Kit
. You never know what may happen and being prepared can save yours or someone else’s life. I believe this to be one of the most import parts of your kit.
Although not as important in an urban survival situation, it is still an important tool. I suggest carrying a butane lighter and a film canister filled with cotton balls that have been coated with petroleum jelly. I also suggest having a back up in the way of a magnesium fire starter. Dryer lent can also be used as tinder.
This is fairly important. I suggest carrying a quality multi-tool (I carry a Leatherman Surge
), a single handed opening pocket knife, duct tape, 550 cord, and super glue. I also carry a Ka-Bar TDI
for weapon retention purposes. Pen and paper are quite important for many reasons, such as taking copious notes when you render first aid to someone, so that you can pass them on. I use a Rite in the Rain
notebook and a Tactical Pen
(that can be used as a Kubotan and glass breaker).
A good natural source of energy is good to have, such as granola and dried fruit.
I use a 32oz Nalgene Bottle for water. Hydration is important even in an the United States where the water that come out of our toilets is cleaner than most of the worlds drinking water.
This is not as important as most things in your kit as shelter in a city is readily available in most situations.
Unfortunately this is a lot to carry in your pockets, so I suggest using an inconspicuous bag. You don’t really want something that makes you a target for anyone, so I would avoid molle webbing and tactical looking packs in your favorite multicam, ACU, or MARPAT pattern. It’ll make life easier if you blend in with everyone else. I currently use a messenger bag
. Mine is weatherproof, nearly indestructible, guaranteed for life, and made in the USA.
Along with these essentials I suggest obtaining a CHL and carrying a firearm (legally) along with at least two extra magazines.