Urban survival is a tricky thing. Resources and the ability to gather from the natural environment is difficult in the traditional sense. Water and sanitation become huge issues quickly due to population and infrastructure reliance. Far more predators who present real threats to both security and supplies.
I never pictured myself coming back to live in a city. Now that I’m here solving problems that were once simple in a small town or rural setting are increasingly more challenging. Space alone presents the largest barrier to keeping supplies on hand. Situation awareness is always high due to people always being around. You must find creative ways to bring supplies in and out with it leading to inquiries or questioned looks.
You learn to maximize space and use it in more innovative ways. Gear collecting was border lining a hobby into an obsession with a quest for the perfect pack or backpacking stove. Leading to bins and storage spaces with items that didn't make the cut.
Now I find myself selling or giving away what I won’t use. A minimalist approach to exactly what gear I keep and getting rid of the rest. As American's not many of us have been hit with the "you got 10 minutes to grab everything you can take before we (insert disaster) gets here." If something happened tonight at 1 am, what would you take? These are the tough choices you have to decide upon.
“The things you own end up owning you.” -Tyler Durden
One of the excuses I told myself was “Oh I’ll keep this in case SHTF, and my buddy needs a vest” or “3 of these isn’t that much… I’ll just throw the spares in the shed.” Now my mentality has become if I had 1 hour what could I take… What about 10 minutes… What about 2 minutes? What if a mob is at the end of the street burning houses and kicking in doors? I don’t say this to scare you, but rather make you think critically. The key question you need to ask yourself is, “what key critical items can I take to maximize my survivability in my current environment?” The second question is “Where am I going if I leave?”
If you leave home, you better have some place to go.
And now you should factor in distance, time, supplies, fuel, communication, navigation, defense, etc. This planning process is where most people fall apart. They usually have the buckets of food, guns, ammo, and no real course of action. And when there’s no plan in place something gets missed, essential items not accounted for, and now he’s contributing to the chaos. Preparedness is a tortoise and hare race. Slowly progressing and extending your ability to survive. I think of it in the same way as weight training. Maintaining key gains slowly and consistently. Trying to balance your preps accordingly, so that you don’t overbuild in one area and leave another weak. Focusing on fine tuning for greater results, tracking your progress, and building a plan for success.
Easy things are often less satisfying and tend to be disappointing when they’re finished. People who I have taught in the past have often thrown money at the problem. Buying the best gear but never training with the item or learning how to use if efficiently. You can have the best gun, body armor, or anything else, but if you haven’t tested it and yourself you will fall short.
“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” Archilochos
Skills beat gear. Ask any guerilla fighter in the world. As cheesy as it sounds that gray lump of matter between your ear is far more valuable than your fully upgraded SUV or that bug out location in the mountains. You just go to put it to work along with those muscles. The wolves are always at the door, be prepared to deal with them.