Sh#t can hit the fan can happen at any moment, while you’re at store shopping for groceries, while in your car driving to work, or perhaps while you’re enjoying a walk in the park. If you care about your family and own personal survival, you’ll want to take your EDC seriously. For those who don’t know, EDC is short for Every Day Carry (the items you carry with you when going out). This list is of course on top of all the normal standard things you would carry such as house keys and your wallet with various identification cards.
1. Multi-tool: A good multi-tool like a Leatherman can be incredibly versatile and used in the countless array of urban survival situations you may find yourself in. Don’t cheap out on this item and go for a multi-tool with at least 10+ tools on them. The higher end Leatherman’s usually sell for around a $100 and they’ll last you a life time.
2. Bic Lighter: Don’t bother with matches, Zippos or any other form of lighters/fire starters as they’re usually over priced and not as effective. A Bic lighter is all you’ll need; they’re cheap, effective, and reliable. You can buy a pack of them for just a few dollars and assuming you don’t play around with them often, they’ll last you a while. You can carry it in your pocket loosely or with a simple modification you can add it your keychain. Post SHTF, you’ll want fire to keep warm, cook food, or create a signal for rescue workers. Get a Bic lighter, it could save your life!
3. Flashlight: Just as with the Bic lighters, go for something cheap and simple. Don’t worry about getting a pricy, high end flashlight as it’s not necessary. A cheap flashlight for a few dollars that can attach to your key-chain is all you need. You’ll want a flashlight in case the power goes out and you’re left in the dark. Have you ever had to walk down 10+ flights of stairs in perfect darkness? It’s not fun! You’ll also want a flashlight in the event that you’ve been trapped under ruble and can’t see what’s around you. If you find yourself in a SHTF situation, you’ll be happy you have one.
4. Hand Gun + Extra magazine: If you live in an area where conceal carry is not an option, go for a good tactical knife, pepper spray, or some other self-defense item. Violence usually doesn’t break out right away after a disaster (as people aren’t desperate for the first week of a disaster) but good people will resort to violence with enough desperation. Keep in mind that your EDC is not just for a big disaster, it’s also for the day to day problems we may face. You could be mugged, caught up in the middle of a riot, or find yourself in a situation where someone else is being hurt… this is why you want a self-defense weapon. If you can get a gun, we suggest a Glock and be sure to carry an extra magazine just in case.
5. Whistle: A whistle can come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re cheap! You have no excuse to not have one on you, as it’s rare that you’ll find a whistle over $10. There are many possible scenarios in which a whistle can increase your chances of survival. If you’re stuck under ruble, you can use a whistle to signal to rescue workers. If you see a crime in progress, you can use a whistle to attract attention to the perpetrators. You can also use a whistle to attract attention to you in the event that your own life is in danger. You can also use a whistle as a distraction. It takes up little space and it’s incredibly cheap, get a whistle!
6. USB Stick: How can a USB stick help with urban survival? On a single USB stick, you can have an entire library of eBooks necessary to rebuild society and survive doomsday! You can have thousands of eBooks ranging in a wide variety of subjects teaching you how to deal with complex medical issues, repairing engines, dealing with plant fungi, building a structurally sound building, and so on. Knowledge is power! You should also have a live bootable operating system on your USB since many computers have passwords that are necessary to access them.
7. Paracord Lanyard: Paracord is like duct tape in the urban survival world in that it could be used for practically anything. It’s cheap and can be braided into a lanyard for your key-chain, then unraveled when needed. It could be used to stich clothing, for fishing, rappelling, making a net for catching prey, building shelters, snares and other traps, making a bola/sling, and much more. It’s cheap so you have no excuses to not get it.
8. Cash + Coins: In the event that the electrical grid goes down, your visas/debit cards won’t work. This may not be a problem for some as you might be the type of person who pays only with cash. If on the other hand you’re someone who doesn’t carry cash and only uses cards to purchase, you could be in serious trouble. We suggest keeping $50 in $10 bills and about $5 – $10 in coins. The cash could be used to purchase essential supplies/services in a disaster situation such as fuel for your vehicle, a taxi service or public transportation to get you around. Coins could be used to acquire shopping carts (that require coins to unlock) which can then be used to transport supplies.
9. Sturdy Pen + Notepad: Post SHTF, a pen/pencil and notepad could become extremely useful. You may need to leave messages for your family and friends to let them know that you’re still alive, and where to find you. You could also jot down important information that you come across such as dangerous locations to avoid, addresses, contact information for emergency services or other people you may meet. This next suggestion is grim but you may need it to write a death letter to your family in the event that you’re trapped and death is certain. You could also use your notepad as a journal to help you heal from the traumatic experiences you may face post SHTF, sounds wishy washy but it had credence. And finally, you can use your sturdy (preferably metal) pen as a self defense weapon!
10. Smartphone + Extra Battery: Get a smartphone! After a disaster the cellular services and power grids will likely be out, this is fine though as you can use a smartphone for so much more than just calling/txting people. Download urban survival related documents and apps now so you can access them post SHTF. The large amount of information you can contain on your phone can be incredibly valuable, especially if a situation arises where you’re not sure what to do. Most disaster scenarios are not long term and only last a few weeks at most so a fully charged smartphone with a backup battery will be a lifesaver. Another reason to get a smart phone is that they have fm/am radios built into them now, which can be a great tool for staying informed of the disaster situation.