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Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos 5497

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« on: May 24, 2019, 07:37:48 PM »
Lately I've been planning my own 'urban emergency/survival bag' and watching a fair amount of Urban survival kit/Bug out bag/Get home bag youtube videos, what baffling to me is the constant confusing about the purpose/motivation behind those "bags", and how often time I felt it is made for its own sake.

For example,

When people say 'urban survival', what do they exactly trying to 'survive'?  Is it apocalyptic kinda deal or some kind of disaster?  It is often unclear--you obviously cannot expect a bag will do you much good with apocalyptic kinda deal, even if it does, what kind of items are good for catastrophic event?(For example, I almost never see any radiation pills/meter/Bio hazard/Hazmat mask/suit etc)  If not, what kind of emergency are we even talking about?  I don't often see bag/gear cater to specific emergency, but many borrowed ideas from wilderness survival/camping trip bag.

Bug-out bag...I am no survival expert, but I always thought the term 'bug out' or 'bail out' are for spies/military working in foreign hostile environment, and if they need to disappear/leave the location, that's what they will rely on.  I can see very valid reason why they need to 'bug out' and potentially what they may need to achieve that(weapon, different cash, false identity, disguise, safe house, data, comm, protocol, etc).  But in civilian situation, what could happen so bad that cause you to bug/bail out from the safety of your own home?  Are we talking about apocalypse or total melt down again?

Get home bag, this confuse me the most, and it often contains the weirdest collection of gears.  It is not unusual to see lockpick, small prybar, or various kind of 'entry' device included in this kind of bag.  Somehow I just don't understand why people need to 'break in' to their own home?  What is so secretive that requires you to break in and out of places/barricade just to get home?  Is it in a war-torn location deep behind enemy lines? 

Anyhow, there's more than 2 cents worth of my venting, what are your thoughts/experience/vent about 'urban survival'?


Back to the real topic, I now live in a high rise apartment in a densely populated urban environment, and am planning protocol/gears for the following 'survival' scenario:
Fire
Gas Leak
Nature disaster: Typhoon (Earth Quake/Flood/Storm/Volcano/Heat wave don't apply where I live)

Would you recommend something you use/unique for these scenarios?

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,560 Bon Journee!!
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 07:47:41 PM »
Quite honestly, as long as I have a SAK/ MT,  tape, Bic lighter and some 550 cord I'm set for anything.  I get a charge out of some of the crazy ideas some of these experts put out too.

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 3,928
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 07:48:16 PM »
Hmmm. Both the fire and the gas leak scenario suggest some form of respiration assistance. To start with, some normal face masks might already help a little, however for any seriously toxic atmospheres you'd obviously need to go much further.

Cheers!
Dutch_Tooler

Location: Southern Germany, most of the time
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 08:05:57 PM »
Quite honestly, as long as I have a SAK/ MT,  tape, Bic lighter and some 550 cord I'm set for anything.  I get a charge out of some of the crazy ideas some of these experts put out too.

Those are some really handy EDC suggestions!  :like:


I would actually much prefer people talk about some of the protocol/criteria involved for different scenarios.  Someone has told me stories about folks getting suffocated during high-rise hotel fire escape, only the fire department had found their rooms to be perfectly safe, should they have stayed.  The moral of the story is not about staying in your room during a fire, but don't react impulsively without clear and critical thinking.

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 08:12:01 PM »
Hmmm. Both the fire and the gas leak scenario suggest some form of respiration assistance. To start with, some normal face masks might already help a little, however for any seriously toxic atmospheres you'd obviously need to go much further.

I agree, and that's something that needs more looking into, I just don't feel entirely comfortable to rely on some life-saving tool when it is merely based on amazon or youtube review.  Best is if I could somehow take it for a 'spin' in a very safe and controlled environment.

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Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 4,449
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2019, 12:52:34 AM »
These guys who come up with a contents list are conducting an exercise in critical thinking to help themselves determine what equipment is best suited to their own needs and by filming their process they're helping anyone in similar circumstances to find a starting point to their own needs. There are certain items that we all may have in common for urban survival as opposed to rural survival and some items would be completely different if you expect to be deep in the woods when you started.  For urban survival the first thing I want is a copy of Tom Brown's Field Guide to City and Suburban Survival.  Some items that most people don't think about include a smoke hood that will give you 15 minutes or more to evacuate a smokey environment. A 4 way sillcock key to turn on water at hose outlets that don't have a handle. An expandable water carrier that doesn't take up too much space when collapsed. Some chemical light sticks.  Back up battery for phones, etc..  Other items are already on everyone's lists such as gloves and tape, para cord and a tarp, and of course a first aid kit. I had a talk with one guy a couple of years ago and his issue was working in San Francisco and living across the bay in Oakland.  The bridges may be out or unsafe after an earthquake so the solution I came up with for him was to keep a folding or inflatable kayak in his office.  Not something typically considered for a get home or bug out bag but he might need it. Also since gas lines may be compromised I suggested he have a shut off wrench in his kit.  You just have to think about what you're likely to encounter (realistically) in your environment.  :cheers:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2019, 06:06:58 AM »
These guys who come up with a contents list are conducting an exercise in critical thinking to help themselves determine what equipment is best suited to their own needs and by filming their process they're helping anyone in similar circumstances to find a starting point to their own needs. There are certain items that we all may have in common for urban survival as opposed to rural survival and some items would be completely different if you expect to be deep in the woods when you started.  For urban survival the first thing I want is a copy of Tom Brown's Field Guide to City and Suburban Survival.  Some items that most people don't think about include a smoke hood that will give you 15 minutes or more to evacuate a smokey environment. A 4 way sillcock key to turn on water at hose outlets that don't have a handle. An expandable water carrier that doesn't take up too much space when collapsed. Some chemical light sticks.  Back up battery for phones, etc..  Other items are already on everyone's lists such as gloves and tape, para cord and a tarp, and of course a first aid kit. I had a talk with one guy a couple of years ago and his issue was working in San Francisco and living across the bay in Oakland.  The bridges may be out or unsafe after an earthquake so the solution I came up with for him was to keep a folding or inflatable kayak in his office.  Not something typically considered for a get home or bug out bag but he might need it. Also since gas lines may be compromised I suggested he have a shut off wrench in his kit.  You just have to think about what you're likely to encounter (realistically) in your environment.  :cheers:

I too do agree the kit should always be catered to personal surrounding, that's golden.

I too will look into your Tom Brown's urban survival guide recommendation.  I quickly browse through the index, I find the disaster and crime section could provide safety or helpful tips, but not sure about the 'catching wild animal' or 'foraging', personally I always steer away from that for 'survival situation', unless someone is a professional trapper with dozens of traps and doing that for a living.   But never should judge a book by cover/index, I would definitely give it the benefit of the doubt and try to find a copy to read it.

To me, the premise of survival is one's well being is under duress without outside assistance, and the goal is get rescued immediately, with least effort possible.  I think most Youtubers meant well when they share their kits/preparation/thoughts, but what dissatisfying/confusing to me is whether those ideas/gears/logic are well thought out and worth spreading. 

For example, I have actually seen a youtuber showing how to escape a civil unrest or riots scenario on foot, meanwhile teach firearm disarm, and live like a hobo for a night in the outskirt of the city, 'roughing it out' and trying to reach his destination or 'bug out location'.  Not everything said or done in this particular video are ill advise and I admire his effort to 'rough it', but what on earth are we even talking about here?  And while not all YT videos are like that, but if any viewer actually believe and practice it, one is already way too many.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 07:37:40 AM by comis »

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Hero Member Posts: 578 Outdoorsy type and over-opinionated buffoon
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2019, 07:14:44 AM »
There are a couple of problems with the types of review that are mentioned. 

The first being that they are only subjective opinion.  So someone feels they need a "bug out bag" in a city for commuting (why, they are probably not bugging out but heading home, or do I have bug out bag confused with handbag?).  Yes youtube is full of "couch experts" giving us their opinions.

The second issue for me is the apparent confusion caused by watch too much TV/zombie films/whatever.  I baffles me that getting home in an urban environment could possibly be that challenging.  In our day to day lives we are unlikely to come across a situation much more challenging that that which could be helped by a basic first aid kit, small multitool and some spare change.

My other thought is that there is a fair proportion of survival kit on the market that is either pointless or very poor quality.  Surely a decent training course and a bit of common sense might be of more use?  :whistle:
No Life Club Posts: 4,081
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 01:04:11 PM »
I might go into more detail somewhere else, but broadly a lot of the end-of-the-world BoBs are a bit...well, I'm sure they have their place.

I have bag, I call it an "overnight bag" rather than anything else, but that's just my name for it.

Basically I'm "planning" for 2-3 days away from home. A not entirely unrealistic situation for me, in fact, it happened last week. Whether due to unexpected travel, vehicular break-down, or (minor, localised) issues, like roads being out due to fire or flooding, etc etc. I'm not really "prepped" for nuclear warfare, but that's a risk I am willing to take....)

Anyway, the contents is basically toiletries, a water bag, some food (sustagen powder, and some tinned soup, the means to make a coffee or tea), first aid kit, PLB*, torch, pocket knife, deck of cards, gloves, jacket, change of socks and jocks, book.

Those expecting TEOTWAWKI next tuesday will mock my lack of survival-mindedness, but for me, in practical terms, it's built from experience of more than a few inconvenient events (those who mostly stay in cities might just be able to call an Uber, but for some of us, it can be a bit more of a stuff-around, so some simple supplies (both essential and comfort) can be the world of difference.)

I've been in some pretty average situations, and I'm still here - whether it was skill, preparation, or dumb luck that kept me around is anyone's guess.



*I really only pack this when I'm on the water or likely to be more than a few hundred kms from the nearest...anything....



I don't have any genius suggestions for your particular bag other than what other people have already mentioned - but (as you may have worked out from your own research) it's probably not worth spending a great deal of time or thought on the relative benefits of different kinds of rubber bands, or your favourite colour of paracord - if you need a bit of string, fine, have some around, but whether it is green or black is the least of your problems.....


Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,631
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 04:01:13 PM »
I have an evacuation bag for the wild fires here in California.  My bag is geared toward going to a fixed location and being comfortable as best I can.  I like to think of it much like Sea Monsters bag.  Its like you were packing for a few days camping.  I also include some camping gear in case the shelter is full or if I decide I want to "smooth it" at a nearby car park.  Likely I'd go to a friends who was not in the evacuation zone so my pack would have things to shower, change, and help me smooth it best I can.  Yes of course all important documents are accounted for. 

As to your high rise emergency potential?  I'd probably keep things manageable.  If you are to evacuate you'd be using the stairs.  Lots of others will be also using them so keeping light an manageable would be ideal. 

Where would you go once on the street?  How many days? In terms of surviving while emergency services are dispatched  :dunno:.  My challenge will be congested roadways.  We've mapped out several routes and a meet up spot.  We had a massive brown out several years ago ( all lights in the city went out ) which also disrupted my cell service.  Communication was non existent for me.  I think one thing could help would be fire ABC extinguisher.  Smoke masks of some type would be on my list.  Any added respiration with mask seems like a great option to have.  A good head lamp vs hand held.  I'd want my hands free.  I like the idea of chem sticks too.  Wouldn't hurt to attach to yourself if you had to evacuate. 

Knowing your routes of escape and doing a "dry run" with whatever gear you might want to take.  Can you descend the stairs?               

Esse Quam Videri
Full Member Posts: 185
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2019, 04:31:01 PM »
It is difficult for me to respond in a decent way with Google translator but I try.

Since we are talking about urban survival, I would focus on mobility.
In case of difficult situation the urban environment is more dangerous than the one in the countryside and being able to move light and fast is fundamental.
In the case of SHTF in the city there will be many people, almost all of them will be disorganized (without equipment) and could therefore become predators by necessity.

It doesn't make much sense to have a heavy bag (even with wheels) to carry your complete equipment because it would slow you down if you run away.

Better a backpack that contains the essentials.
I in my backpacks (I have more than one who are a clone of the others) pay attention to 3 fundamental things: water, fire and shelter.
Then 1 mini Sawyer filter (and Oasis Water tabs tablets) - firestarter (use quality firesteel and test before stocking) and lighter (with cotton wool and other flammable materials)

One or more isothermal blankets (better if gold / silver) + small bivvy bags (even a small ultralight poncho)
Depending on the season, even gloves and a hat (or summer bandana) if the weight does not become excessive, add a small TARP with paracord - better minicord or microcord they are lighter (view Atwood rope catalog)

Then a small solar panel and a 18650 flashlight - recommended Headlamp (it leaves your hands free) if you use a Headlamp like Armytek Wizard Magnest USB or ELF C2 you can also save the few grams of a small charger similar to Xtar MC1

Do not forget a few vitamin tablets or some (water soluble) magnesium and potassium sachets in your backpack.
They take up little space and little weight but in an emergency where you may have little food and certainly a lot of mental and physical stress they could be very useful.

They look like few things but the backpack has already become heavy .. there are other little things that I don't mention but that weigh down what I've already mentioned.
I often read various survival sites and I am surprised how often water (filtration) is underestimated.
It is essential in a short or long term emergency, over time I have invested heavily in this, I have various Sawyer Mini filters and 2 Katadyn carbon filters.
In case of emergency, having light and clean water to drink is a fundamental thing, stories of disasters of recent disasters demonstrate this (hurricanes, earthquakes)
Drinking, defending against heat or cold and also being able to see where you put your feet is a fundamental thing in an emergency, everything should start from this and rotate around it.

These are just some thoughts, I hope understandable as a translation
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2019, 05:03:27 PM »
A lot of it is just an excuse for folks to buy bushcrafting stuff they don't need.  :D

Back to the real topic, I now live in a high rise apartment in a densely populated urban environment, and am planning protocol/gears for the following 'survival' scenario:
Fire
Gas Leak
Nature disaster: Typhoon (Earth Quake/Flood/Storm/Volcano/Heat wave don't apply where I live)

Would you recommend something you use/unique for these scenarios?

OK, so you've identified the hazards. Now, what would you do? Where would you go? How far is it? Do you know the way? Will streetlights be on? Will phone networks be operational? How long will it take you to get there, and if that place is compromised too, where would you go next? Does that change any earlier answers? What first aid skills do you have? Will medications be needed? How many people other than yourself does your plan need to cater for? If you're out of the picture due to being elsewhere, sick, or injured, does one of the others have what it takes to take your role? If you need something that you didn't plan for, how will you buy/acquire it?

I think the key to putting together a plan, and necessary kit, isn't about having all the answers. It's about asking the right questions. Once you ask the right questions, the answers take care of themselves  :)



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2019, 06:00:13 PM »
The second issue for me is the apparent confusion caused by watch too much TV/zombie films/whatever.  I baffles me that getting home in an urban environment could possibly be that challenging.  In our day to day lives we are unlikely to come across a situation much more challenging that that which could be helped by a basic first aid kit, small multitool and some spare change.

My other thought is that there is a fair proportion of survival kit on the market that is either pointless or very poor quality.  Surely a decent training course and a bit of common sense might be of more use?  :whistle:

Same here, I think some of those "get home bag" too often is an unclear mixture of "wilderness survival", "apocalypse bag" or even "EDC".  Good point on training, that's something I need to renew as a matter of fact.




Anyway, the contents is basically toiletries, a water bag, some food (sustagen powder, and some tinned soup, the means to make a coffee or tea), first aid kit, PLB*, torch, pocket knife, deck of cards, gloves, jacket, change of socks and jocks, book.


I like your realistic approach to things, and I am sure most MTOers here have their heads above their shoulders like you, and probably all have sensible gears for the situation.  PLB is great idea!  Maybe not so much for my urban emergency escape bag, but definitely will be a great addition to my car kit(I have one for my wilderness kit, which I have for one to multiple days solo hikes)

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2019, 06:08:43 PM »
I have an evacuation bag for the wild fires here in California.  My bag is geared toward going to a fixed location and being comfortable as best I can.  I like to think of it much like Sea Monsters bag.  Its like you were packing for a few days camping.  I also include some camping gear in case the shelter is full or if I decide I want to "smooth it" at a nearby car park.  Likely I'd go to a friends who was not in the evacuation zone so my pack would have things to shower, change, and help me smooth it best I can.  Yes of course all important documents are accounted for. 

As to your high rise emergency potential?  I'd probably keep things manageable.  If you are to evacuate you'd be using the stairs.  Lots of others will be also using them so keeping light an manageable would be ideal. 

Where would you go once on the street?  How many days? In terms of surviving while emergency services are dispatched  :dunno: .  My challenge will be congested roadways.  We've mapped out several routes and a meet up spot.  We had a massive brown out several years ago ( all lights in the city went out ) which also disrupted my cell service.  Communication was non existent for me.  I think one thing could help would be fire ABC extinguisher.  Smoke masks of some type would be on my list.  Any added respiration with mask seems like a great option to have.  A good head lamp vs hand held.  I'd want my hands free.  I like the idea of chem sticks too.  Wouldn't hurt to attach to yourself if you had to evacuate. 

Knowing your routes of escape and doing a "dry run" with whatever gear you might want to take.  Can you descend the stairs?               

I think the smoothing bag could be great, make life after disaster much easier and adaptable.  But we both probably may agree that's gonna be a second tier gears after the main survival stuff.  Wild fire is no joke, and I have read many articles where the fire sometimes spread so fast with the wind that it exceeds car speed.

In terms of where to go and how many days, where I live is like any metropolis city, New York/Tokyo/London, and it will not be a problem so as long family and myself could escape the building/structure.  Ideas about extinguisher and smoke mask are great, where I do need to get and test out.  Head lamps I do have for everyone, and instead of chem sticks, now we are all using glo-toob(which I highly recommend)

Dry run is important, done that, but will definitely do it again this year(so we know the routes are still valid and usable)! :cheers:

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2019, 06:19:00 PM »
It is difficult for me to respond in a decent way with Google translator but I try.

Since we are talking about urban survival, I would focus on mobility.
In case of difficult situation the urban environment is more dangerous than the one in the countryside and being able to move light and fast is fundamental.
In the case of SHTF in the city there will be many people, almost all of them will be disorganized (without equipment) and could therefore become predators by necessity.

It doesn't make much sense to have a heavy bag (even with wheels) to carry your complete equipment because it would slow you down if you run away.

Better a backpack that contains the essentials.
I in my backpacks (I have more than one who are a clone of the others) pay attention to 3 fundamental things: water, fire and shelter.
Then 1 mini Sawyer filter (and Oasis Water tabs tablets) - firestarter (use quality firesteel and test before stocking) and lighter (with cotton wool and other flammable materials)

One or more isothermal blankets (better if gold / silver) + small bivvy bags (even a small ultralight poncho)
Depending on the season, even gloves and a hat (or summer bandana) if the weight does not become excessive, add a small TARP with paracord - better minicord or microcord they are lighter (view Atwood rope catalog)

Then a small solar panel and a 18650 flashlight - recommended Headlamp (it leaves your hands free) if you use a Headlamp like Armytek Wizard Magnest USB or ELF C2 you can also save the few grams of a small charger similar to Xtar MC1

Do not forget a few vitamin tablets or some (water soluble) magnesium and potassium sachets in your backpack.
They take up little space and little weight but in an emergency where you may have little food and certainly a lot of mental and physical stress they could be very useful.

They look like few things but the backpack has already become heavy .. there are other little things that I don't mention but that weigh down what I've already mentioned.
I often read various survival sites and I am surprised how often water (filtration) is underestimated.
It is essential in a short or long term emergency, over time I have invested heavily in this, I have various Sawyer Mini filters and 2 Katadyn carbon filters.
In case of emergency, having light and clean water to drink is a fundamental thing, stories of disasters of recent disasters demonstrate this (hurricanes, earthquakes)
Drinking, defending against heat or cold and also being able to see where you put your feet is a fundamental thing in an emergency, everything should start from this and rotate around it.

These are just some thoughts, I hope understandable as a translation


Stefano, thank you for some of the idea.  I think we may differ in terms of the purpose of our bags, mine is more geared towards "urban emergency survival/escaping from a high rise building" but yours is a much broader topic about SHTF/apocalypse/Melt down/anarchy scenario. 


I don't think I would totally deny the chance of so called 'SHTF' situation, but if that happens, I think weapon and personal security would be of upmost concern.  Unless there is definite upside and it is immediate life/death situation(for example, after SHTF for a month, and your building is on fire), I will never go out on street, because behind every door/window, there will be someone preying on me.  And I ain't cut out for that kind of job, and I seriously doubt anyone can defend themselves on foot(or even in car) regardless how well armed they are. ;)

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2019, 06:30:34 PM »
A lot of it is just an excuse for folks to buy bushcrafting stuff they don't need.  :D

OK, so you've identified the hazards. Now, what would you do? Where would you go? How far is it? Do you know the way? Will streetlights be on? Will phone networks be operational? How long will it take you to get there, and if that place is compromised too, where would you go next? Does that change any earlier answers? What first aid skills do you have? Will medications be needed? How many people other than yourself does your plan need to cater for? If you're out of the picture due to being elsewhere, sick, or injured, does one of the others have what it takes to take your role? If you need something that you didn't plan for, how will you buy/acquire it?

I think the key to putting together a plan, and necessary kit, isn't about having all the answers. It's about asking the right questions. Once you ask the right questions, the answers take care of themselves  :)

what would you do?
Escape as planned


Where would you go?
Just down the many flights of stairs


How far is it?
dozens of floors high


Do you know the way? Will streetlights be on? Will phone networks be operational?
Yes, yes and yes.  It will be an isolated happening(it's not like the entire city will be engulfed in flame, fire service in our city is well trained/equipped)


How long will it take you to get there, and if that place is compromised too, where would you go next?
15-20 min tops, just down the street, there are 7-11s that always remain open. :drool:


Does that change any earlier answers? What first aid skills do you have?
CPR, Wilderness first aid, but there is always room to learn more, for sure


Will medications be needed? How many people other than yourself does your plan need to cater for?
Seniors may need meds, a couple.


If you're out of the picture due to being elsewhere, sick, or injured, does one of the others have what it takes to take your role?
My wife will take over.


If you need something that you didn't plan for, how will you buy/acquire it?
I think what I don't know, I don't know. :dunno:   But luckily, I am not prepping for apocalypse, so it is not like I have to find ways to acquire weapons illegally.


Those are some good questions, and totally agree on always trying to ask the right questions.  :cheers:

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Full Member Posts: 185
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2019, 06:42:02 PM »
Your reasoning is good.
But I still write (for all those who read) I often read on the survival sites of the importance of the knife, of personal defense (it is ok !) but then discover that many preppers do not have a water filter,
I think that water is a fundamental pillar to survive.
Without drinking water you die, drinking contaminated water means getting sick immediately and in a SHTF situation getting sick often means dying.
Buy a knife less and buy an extra water filter.
I have a mini Sawyer in every backpack (even in those I don't use) it is small and cheap and filters 100 thousand gallons.
Chlorine tablets are inexpensive but should be used only when necessary and prolonged use is not advisable, but it is good to have it.

It would be nice to do a survey among the readers of this forum..

Do you have a water filter like the Sawyer Mini or Life Straw in your Backpack?
Do you have only one of them or more than one?
Do you perfectly know its use, its limits and its maintenance?
Full Member Posts: 185
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2019, 06:52:19 PM »
@comis
Perhaps I only understood now what you were asking in the original post, do you mean a survival from a dangerous situation like a burning building, or an emergency that lasts a few hours?
The problem is that none of us knows when this emergency will occur, no one knows what kind it will be, its severity or its duration.
Here we return to the famous discourse that survival is mentality and not equipment but to survive is also to plan (first) and imagine every kind of scenario, even the most unlikely ones.
Sorry if I misunderstood the question and have gone out by the argument.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,804
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2019, 07:14:42 PM »
Your reasoning is good.
But I still write (for all those who read) I often read on the survival sites of the importance of the knife, of personal defense (it is ok !) but then discover that many preppers do not have a water filter,
I think that water is a fundamental pillar to survive.
Without drinking water you die, drinking contaminated water means getting sick immediately and in a SHTF situation getting sick often means dying.
Buy a knife less and buy an extra water filter.
I have a mini Sawyer in every backpack (even in those I don't use) it is small and cheap and filters 100 thousand gallons.
Chlorine tablets are inexpensive but should be used only when necessary and prolonged use is not advisable, but it is good to have it.

It would be nice to do a survey among the readers of this forum..

Do you have a water filter like the Sawyer Mini or Life Straw in your Backpack?
Do you have only one of them or more than one?
Do you perfectly know its use, its limits and its maintenance?


I do agree with you on the importance of water, and yes, I do have filter with me.  :cheers:

Do you have a water filter like the Sawyer Mini or Life Straw in your Backpack?  Yes, but mostly in wilderness pack
Do you have only one of them or more than one?  multiple, but I prefer different form of purification(boil/tablets)
Do you perfectly know its use, its limits and its maintenance?  Yes, but probably not as much as those whom use them daily on thru-hikes.







@comis
Perhaps I only understood now what you were asking in the original post, do you mean a survival from a dangerous situation like a burning building, or an emergency that lasts a few hours?
The problem is that none of us knows when this emergency will occur, no one knows what kind it will be, its severity or its duration.
Here we return to the famous discourse that survival is mentality and not equipment but to survive is also to plan (first) and imagine every kind of scenario, even the most unlikely ones.
Sorry if I misunderstood the question and have gone out by the argument.


No worries, and I do agree survival is not only about gears, but planning/training/mentality, that's why we are having conversations here.  :cheers: :D

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Full Member Posts: 185
Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2019, 07:25:33 PM »
No worries, and I do agree survival is not only about gears, but planning/training/mentality, that's why we are having conversations here.  :cheers: :D

I am viewing your 2014 Youtube video (No budget 72 hours Outdoor Survival Kit) very interesting and thanks to the translation of the subtitles I also understand what you say - I like that Alox Lumberjack that you see at minute 14 :-)
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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2019, 07:40:12 PM »
I am viewing your 2014 Youtube video (No budget 72 hours Outdoor Survival Kit) very interesting and thanks to the translation of the subtitles I also understand what you say - I like that Alox Lumberjack that you see at minute 14 :-)
On my wish list is Victorinox Walker red, I'm waiting for the price to go down


That's awesome, and thank you for watching! :cheers:   I hope you will get the Victorinox Walker and get to enjoy it, looks like a very efficient tool!

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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2019, 04:23:52 AM »
Get Home Bag:  The basic assumption here is that one is somewhere away from home (work, shopping, out to dinner, etc.) when a problem occurs, and that one's (at least immediate goal) is to return to the (relative) safety of one's home.  Examples of possible scenarios could include vehicle breakdown (or temporary interruption of public transportation), riots, terrorist attack, etc.

Bug Out Bag:  The basic assumption here is that one is at home, but has decided that leaving home (i.e. bugging out) is a better option than sheltering in place at home (i.e. bugging in).  One may have only a few minutes to grab essential items, so it makes sense to have a bag ready to go.  It also makes sense to have a plan of where to go if one does bug out.  Examples of possible scenarios include:  typhoon/hurricane, civil unrest, wild fire, etc.

As others have already noted, it's all about coming up with realistic (for your situation) scenarios, and figuring out what you would need to make it through.
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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2019, 05:08:26 AM »
Okay to me there is a difference to BOB, Get Home and 24 hour bags. 

I am in an urban environment too but live about 5-7 miles for town, actually downtown but only a short distance from stores etc. 

Now if I had a BOB (bug out bag) that means that I may not be able to get or go home at all so that would require shelter, fire making items, some clothes, food, water etc that I would need because I cannot get home which the cause maybe be gas leak/explosion in my home area, fire, etc. 

A Get home bag is one that I may have with me if something happens say a riot/looting caused by a demonstration gone bad or major power outage or flooding, etc.  so this bag may have items like lockpicks, etc cause I need to work my way thru the urban jungle so to speak to get home and I don't want to be seen that much because of rioting/vandalism or whatever so I may need to hide at times in a building or office so I would need lock picks to pick lock to get in cause you don't want to break any windows or someone might assume someone is inside but if it appears all locked up, then the groups or gangs of folks looking for trouble may pass you by!

A 24 hour bag to me is just a bag with a few things in it like maybe some food, water, maybe a change of clothes or just a jacket, pants and some kind of shelter making stuff like tarp, blanket, etc so I can be stuck somewhere whether inside or out for like over night.

So if I am downtown which is 5-7 miles away from my house vs my work with is like 200 yards from my house, I would obviously have different stuff in a bag in my car or on my person!  That said, those are my ideas of what types of bags are used and why so I would make them types of bags to fit my idea of them, item wise, shelter wise, food/water wise, etc.  Wrong or right!

And yeah there are a ton of video's online and I am sure alot of them are from couch potatoes and folks that just want to try to sell you something!
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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2019, 11:47:34 AM »
Get Home Bag:  The basic assumption here is that one is somewhere away from home (work, shopping, out to dinner, etc.) when a problem occurs, and that one's (at least immediate goal) is to return to the (relative) safety of one's home.  Examples of possible scenarios could include vehicle breakdown (or temporary interruption of public transportation), riots, terrorist attack, etc.

If it is a vehicle 'emergency kit', it makes total sense to be prepared(classic would be phone battery, something to regulate body temp, tools, signal devices, etc), or if it were an urban disaster/emergency kit(for example, hurricane, fire, etc), it still make perfect sense to me. 

But if we are talking Riots/Terrorism(or anything along the line of melt down/lawlessness/End-of-world), I just don't felt what shown in most of the YT 'get-home-bag' is adequate(protection from riot/lethal weapons/IED/bio/radiation hazard), nor logic is convincing--I mean why would you want to roam around when there are hundreds/thousands of people rioting out on the street?  Even there is this urgency to get home asap, what good is it to get killed or injured to those folks waiting at home?  Will it not be a sensible option to 'wait it out' or seek keep?  If we can 'wait it out', then are we falling back to the 'vehicle emergency' or 'urban emergency' kit?   :think:

I know most of the time, folks are just throwing videos/comments out for the sake of discussion, but if any of those video were to induce some false sense of security to their viewers, I think they could be doing more harm than good.  :dunno:

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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2019, 11:52:13 AM »
I do have a backpack for use in emergencies. My emergency backpack is designed so that I can (if I can) escape out of town for a grand total of 3 days, and be able to survive in relative comfort. My biggest worry is the local steel plant. It is said that if blast furnace # 7 was to ever let go, it would take out a good 1/3 or more of the city with it. Unfortunately, I live inside that danger zone. I basically took a backpack and filled it with camping stores, and roughly the traditional 3 days of water and foods, including a small camping tent. I then threw in other things I thought might come in handy for other scenarios.

I am not worried about the end of the world, or zombies. I used to have it in my Jeep, but the room it took was a bit too much, and now I store it upstairs. The plan is that if I hear warning sirens, I take a quick look down the street. If I see fire, black smoke, etc, I am to go upstairs, grab the backpack and toss it into the back of the jeep. I then call my neighbour and drive both of us out of town going in the direction of Gros Cap (where I take many a motorcycle relaxing rides). Sit in the vehicle and wait. If the place blows up or gets further than that, We can either stay in the Jeep, or camp for a few days if needed.

The last time we had to do this was back in 2013 during the summer. Unfortunately, many idiots came into the neighbourhood and cost us valuable time in evacuating. I hadn't planned in having moths driving to the flame as we tried to gain valuable distance. The only way I could see around this is to evacuate faster than having the general public stream into the neighbourhood to watch the fireworks. :facepalm:

The one positive from that prior experience was the need to have a quick backpack ready to go in case of emergency.

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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2019, 12:09:41 PM »
Okay to me there is a difference to BOB, Get Home and 24 hour bags. 

I am in an urban environment too but live about 5-7 miles for town, actually downtown but only a short distance from stores etc. 

Now if I had a BOB (bug out bag) that means that I may not be able to get or go home at all so that would require shelter, fire making items, some clothes, food, water etc that I would need because I cannot get home which the cause maybe be gas leak/explosion in my home area, fire, etc. 

A Get home bag is one that I may have with me if something happens say a riot/looting caused by a demonstration gone bad or major power outage or flooding, etc.  so this bag may have items like lockpicks, etc cause I need to work my way thru the urban jungle so to speak to get home and I don't want to be seen that much because of rioting/vandalism or whatever so I may need to hide at times in a building or office so I would need lock picks to pick lock to get in cause you don't want to break any windows or someone might assume someone is inside but if it appears all locked up, then the groups or gangs of folks looking for trouble may pass you by!

A 24 hour bag to me is just a bag with a few things in it like maybe some food, water, maybe a change of clothes or just a jacket, pants and some kind of shelter making stuff like tarp, blanket, etc so I can be stuck somewhere whether inside or out for like over night.

So if I am downtown which is 5-7 miles away from my house vs my work with is like 200 yards from my house, I would obviously have different stuff in a bag in my car or on my person!  That said, those are my ideas of what types of bags are used and why so I would make them types of bags to fit my idea of them, item wise, shelter wise, food/water wise, etc.  Wrong or right!

And yeah there are a ton of video's online and I am sure alot of them are from couch potatoes and folks that just want to try to sell you something!


To me, what so-called a 'bug-out bag' is for leaving current position/home to another 'safer' location VS 'Get home bag' is supposedly help you to get home from current location. 

As discussed with many in earlier exchanges, I personally felt there is good reason to have an 'urban emergency/disaster bag' ready(in my case, it is mainly to escape high-rise fire/gas leak/outage of electricity/water/gas etc), but given what dozens of 'Get home bag' and 'Bug out' bag videos I've seen on youtube, just not sure how many are filming it for the sick of getting more clicks, or they genuinely really believe what they shown is the right/adequate gear to use.

I don't entirely see the point of 'lockpick' because it may cause more problem than it supposed to help.  Even if we were to assume it is total lawlessness/civil unrest situation, it will be impossible to explain to a property owner you are just here to 'rest' instead of "breaking-in to steal", and worst case scenario, one could get shot and killed right on the spot, in the name of self-defense.

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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2019, 12:17:23 PM »
I do have a backpack for use in emergencies. My emergency backpack is designed so that I can (if I can) escape out of town for a grand total of 3 days, and be able to survive in relative comfort. My biggest worry is the local steel plant. It is said that if blast furnace # 7 was to ever let go, it would take out a good 1/3 or more of the city with it. Unfortunately, I live inside that danger zone. I basically took a backpack and filled it with camping stores, and roughly the traditional 3 days of water and foods, including a small camping tent. I then threw in other things I thought might come in handy for other scenarios.

I am not worried about the end of the world, or zombies. I used to have it in my Jeep, but the room it took was a bit too much, and now I store it upstairs. The plan is that if I hear warning sirens, I take a quick look down the street. If I see fire, black smoke, etc, I am to go upstairs, grab the backpack and toss it into the back of the jeep. I then call my neighbour and drive both of us out of town going in the direction of Gros Cap (where I take many a motorcycle relaxing rides). Sit in the vehicle and wait. If the place blows up or gets further than that, We can either stay in the Jeep, or camp for a few days if needed.

The last time we had to do this was back in 2013 during the summer. Unfortunately, many idiots came into the neighbourhood and cost us valuable time in evacuating. I hadn't planned in having moths driving to the flame as we tried to gain valuable distance. The only way I could see around this is to evacuate faster than having the general public stream into the neighbourhood to watch the fireworks. :facepalm:

The one positive from that prior experience was the need to have a quick backpack ready to go in case of emergency.

That sound like a totally reasonable bag to have, and in terms of congestion, it sounded like a similar kinda dilemma as Aloha. 

I think having that plan B(maybe to RV with local friends/neighbors to car pool out, in case of congestion) maybe a good idea.  I remembered you have a motorcycle, that may come in handy and perfect excuse for a ride. :tu:   I think a small radio will definitely come in handy to listen to local news for the latest update too.

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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2019, 01:16:22 PM »
The whole bug out/get home thing is kinda interesting, and possibly varies with your particular environment -

If you live somewhere where fires, floods, storm, volcanoes etc are commonplace, then you'll want some key items (paperwork probably) and gear set up and your vehicle ready to go...
If instead you live somewhere that, 9,999 out of 10,000 days is going to be just fine, you're more likely to want something to get you back there (or a mate's house, or at least a half decent hotel ;) )


I guess you've got to do your analysis and do what works for you....
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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2019, 04:02:30 PM »
I do keep things ready to go in my garage and my pack in my hall closet.  We can be loaded and driving away in 30mins.  Wild fire season is now year round here in California.  I now live in very close proximity to Tsunami danger zone.  Thankfully my area has been part of the TsunamiReady program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) since 05.  Reverse 911 calls and other means of early warnings are in place.  The "safe" zone is an 30-60 min walk with gear.  We have bikes that can reduce time should we need to use them.   

Being fit is important should one need to walk especially with gear.  I am confident we can sustain ourselves for a week with food, shelter, etc.  We can go a little longer rationing foods or we decide to take non perishables from our pantry.  Our evacuation prep is designed to be a few days camping as I said.  We have items needed to be on our own.  We live in an environment that does not get terribly cold or hot but we have made preparations. 

Having camped quite a lot I feel very good about how we've prepared.  Having gone thru a few scenarios also has me revisiting my kit yearly if not more so with each natural disaster that hits California, floods, earthquakes, fires, unrest.  Say what you will but unrest is just beneath the surface for some cities. 

I don't like to discuss personal security but suffice to say we are as prepared as can be.  If we are to bug in as they say, our home is as hardened as reasonably possible without being paranoid.           

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Re: Venting and thinking about Urban Survival Kit/videos
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2019, 04:59:29 PM »
I guess you've got to do your analysis and do what works for you....
:tu:




I do keep things ready to go in my garage and my pack in my hall closet.  We can be loaded and driving away in 30mins.  Wild fire season is now year round here in California.  I now live in very close proximity to Tsunami danger zone.  Thankfully my area has been part of the TsunamiReady program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) since 05.  Reverse 911 calls and other means of early warnings are in place.  The "safe" zone is an 30-60 min walk with gear.  We have bikes that can reduce time should we need to use them.   

Being fit is important should one need to walk especially with gear.  I am confident we can sustain ourselves for a week with food, shelter, etc.  We can go a little longer rationing foods or we decide to take non perishables from our pantry.  Our evacuation prep is designed to be a few days camping as I said.  We have items needed to be on our own.  We live in an environment that does not get terribly cold or hot but we have made preparations. 

Having camped quite a lot I feel very good about how we've prepared.  Having gone thru a few scenarios also has me revisiting my kit yearly if not more so with each natural disaster that hits California, floods, earthquakes, fires, unrest.  Say what you will but unrest is just beneath the surface for some cities. 

I don't like to discuss personal security but suffice to say we are as prepared as can be.  If we are to bug in as they say, our home is as hardened as reasonably possible without being paranoid.           

Sounds like you have it pretty well thought out, and it's cool that you have camped enough of times to have already knew what involved or worked. :tu: :cheers:

Personally, I am a believer in global warming/climate change, and I think we are starting to see the effects of it.  I remember Cali wild fire 'season' used not to be that long and easier to contain, just yesterday, I heard news about hail alert in Beijing(which by this time of the year, should be spring or early summer), the weather is so weird nowadays that it's almost creepy. :whistle:

I do see on news about some form of demonstration/protest/unrest in US from time to time, and politics is probably beyond MTO topic.  I don't live in an area where this happens often, but from some early years of self defense learning, I did remember the exercise of moving/fighting/shoveling around with literally a hundred people.  Even it was just a very mild taste of what could happen in a riot(and people are not even fighting), there was broken bone and sprained within minutes.  I can't imagine how serious it gets if people are armed or determined to hurt/rob. 

Personally, unless it is a upcoming life/death situation, 'bug out' to civil unrest/riot/lawless streets is just bad idea, and complicate the whole situation.  Anyway, I am sure you'd probably thought it thru, and it is just always good to hear good sensible prep after watching so many wild YT videos.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 07:54:07 PM by comis »

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