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Top 10 Must-Haves in Your Urban Bug-Out Bag

Bug-out Bag Supplies

Urban environment survival is very different from outdoor or wilderness survival. First, and most importantly, shelter opportunities will be more abundant in urban survival scenarios in the form of abandoned and/or otherwise available buildings which can also provide useful items for scavenging. So your bug-out bag for this possibility should reflect this specific environment. However, all survival kits should include the basics of a knife and first aid kit, plus firearm, food and eating utensils, and even bedding if possible.

Here are the 10 most overlooked items in most urban survival kits you should consider adding to your own bug-out bag:

1. Mace

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If you ever have the fortune/misfortune of ending up in an urban survival situation, it will be very likely that other people will also be trying to survive and they may be willing to hurt you to get your resources. A simple can of mace can get a would-be attacker off of you and then give you valuable time to decide your next steps.

2. Crowbar

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Sometimes you will find the need to pry open a window or door or even smash through the window (or something else) and a crowbar is the perfect tool for these jobs in urban survival situations. With hundreds of potential uses and ease of portability, this is one item you definitely don’t want to be without.

3. Can Opener

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The grocery stores and fast food restaurants won’t be an option at the moment, but you’re still going to need to eat. Your safest bet in an urban environment may be canned goods which are completely worthless without a can opener. Be sure to stock one and stock up on your own canned goods supply too.

4. Wire/Bolt Cutters

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In an urban environment, you may need to access areas that are usually fenced off to the public. A good pair of wire cutters or a small bolt cutter is the right tool for this job and you can also use them for cutting rope, tree branches, or other jobs you encounter along the way.

5. Breathing Mask or Gas Mask

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These little white masks that surgeons and painters wear can protect your airways in case of heavy smoke or toxic debris floating around. A full gas mask is definitely the best option if possible, but it will take up a lot more space in your kit than the paper masks.

6. Water Keys

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To gain access to residential or commercial water in urban disaster scenarios you will need water keys. A supply of drinkable water will be more valuable than gold in any survival situation.

7. Water Tablets

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If you can’t find a reservoir of clean water, you will have to use whatever water you can find. But drinking random water can put an end to your adventure quite slowly and painfully. To avoid this, just keep water purification tablets in your kit. They are very simple to use and make the water you find safe to drink. Another simple alternative is to pack a water filter.

8. Portable Solar Panel

Often overlooked, a portable solar panel can keep your electronic equipment like cell phone, flashlight, radio charged or functioning without the need for batteries which would be temporary anyway. They are usually foldable, but always lightweight and thin so packing and carrying one should be a no-brainer for this item.

9. Emergency Radio

Briefly mentioned above, an emergency radio can help you stay updated on important information in case of a disaster or survival scenario. Again, just make sure you can power it somehow either with batteries or your solar panel.

10. Axe


Like a knife, an axe has countless uses in any survival situation. Not just for chopping firewood or breaking through handcuffs on sinking luxury cruiseliners, axes make excellent weapons if needed and are great for knocking doors down. You don’t need the big Paul Bunyan version, a small, strong handled axe that will fit in your kit is exactly what you want here.

To Sum Up

A survival situation is exactly that and ideally you will want to be prepared as possible. Some items are necessary for any survival kit in any environment, but in an urban environment scenario there are special considerations. These 10 items should be added to every urban survival bug-out bag, but are often overlooked. Make sure you and your family are prepared.

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What started out as a commitment to protect my family from the dangers of the world has turned into a mission to share my research with as many people as possible. Despite the ever-increasing threats of today, there are ways to keep ourselves protected. Knowledge is Power.

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