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Urban EDC: Tools for the Best Urban Every Day Carry



edc bag

For most of us living in a city, daily survival is something we take for granted. We commute to our jobs, run errands, and socialize in relative comfort. But just because you live in an urban environment doesn’t mean you should be any less prepared than if you live in the country. Daily survival is a matter of being ready for any situation that might arise. When SHTF you don’t get a warning, you might be away from your home and gear, and your survival could depend on the items you carry with you everyday. So do you know exactly what you need to EDC(every day carry) in an urban environment?

Here is what I use:

Self Defense

The Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen on a rock background

Unlike being isolated in the wilderness, your primary threat in a city is other people. That’s why you should never leave the house without some sort of protection in case you are attacked and forced to defend yourself. The market is saturated with legal and illegal self-defense weapons. I like to play it safe since you never know when you might be searched by law enforcement. For this reason, I prefer a good box cutter.

Box cutters are legal as long as you’re not waving them around, and are perfect for keeping attackers at bay should the situation arise. They also make great utility knives. Being able to replace the blades means it’s always razor sharp and you don’t mind using it on dirty jobs. I love box cutters and carry one everywhere I go; I even carry extra blades in my pack in case I need them.  Box cutters also make great bottle openers.

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Not everyone is comfortable carrying a knife however, and in that case I recommend a good tactical pen. I always carry a pen and notebook, so why not carry a pen that can be used to smash a car window in an emergency or strike an attacker in the temple and incapacitate them.

The Hoffman Richter Stinger Tactical Pen is the perfect blend of defense and utility. Heavy enough to take down an attacker but small enough that you won’t mind carrying this baby everywhere you go. Both stylish and discreet, no one will even suspect you’re carrying a deadly weapon.  It also makes a great writing tool and has replaceable cartridges for when it runs dry.

Illumination

A hand holding the Hybeam flashlight with a nature background

If you travel after dark or use underground transportation, it’s in your best interest to always carry a flashlight. You never know when you might find yourself in the dark and need to see where you’re going. If you are attacked, chances are it’s going to be at night when you are the most vulnerable. You should carry a flashlight that’s small enough to conceal easily but bright enough to illuminate your surroundings.

The tactical flashlight from Hybeam is compact and heavy duty. It has a high beam setting to quickly identify your surroundings or to blind someone running up on you in the dark. It’s waterproof and great for carrying in a back pocket or a purse. If you’re looking for something bigger which can also double as a weapon, I highly recommend a Maglite.

There’s a reason that cops use these flashlights. Not only do they completely illuminate your surroundings, they make an exceptional blunt weapon should you need it. Their large size makes them hard to conceal outside of backpacks or large purses. I keep mine under the front seat of my car in case I need it.

Hydration

A man drinking from a river using a LifeStraw water filter.

Even in a city, the best thing you can do is stay hydrated. Having access to clean water is the most important part of survival. Sure, you can buy bottled water at gas stations everywhere. But you’re just throwing money away and filling the ocean with plastic. Everywhere you go you should have clean water, so why not do it right.

This is my favorite water bottle, and it’s the only item besides my box cutter and phone that I carry everywhere. This amazing water bottle from Klean Kanteen is made of double layers of stainless steel that insulates it. This means it keeps water cold for 24+ hours, even in the summer heat. It’s also comes with a loop cap making it easy to clip onto your backpack. I recommend the getting the 32 oz. size. Not only will it keep you hydrated all day, it also makes a great weapon. When filled up it doubles as a stainless steel club that can easily bash in an attacker’s skull.

You can’t always carry enough clean water, and when you run out, it’s important to get more. LifeStraw makes a personal water filter that lets you drink water on job sites you normally wouldn’t trust. They also make a water bottle that fits the straw, perfect for traveling in nature or a modern city.

Utility

multitool

The following items don’t just do one thing, they do it all. They are also small enough that you will hardly notice they’re there until you need them.

Of all the credit card survival tools, this one is my favorite. The M48 Kommando rescue tool comes with the standard array of wrenches, wire cutters, bottle opener, can opener, screwdriver, and knife blade. It also comes with emergency paracord and Morse code for help and SOS.

Here is another tool that does it all and is small enough to fit on your keychain. It has a small and medium flat driver, a Phillips head driver, wire stripper, pry bar, and a bottle opener. It’s so small you can even carry it on airplanes.

You don’t get more utility than a multitool. This 13 in 1 tool from Hoffman Richter comes with needle nose pliers, wire cutters, two different knives, a saw, a  file, large, medium, and small slotted screwdrivers, a Phillips screwdriver, and a bottle opener. This baby does it all. My favorite part is the pliers, which come in handy in so many different situations.

Just because you live in a modern city, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the worst. Once you get in the habit of carrying survival items every day, you stop having to worry about them. When SHTF, the items you are carrying may be the only things keeping you alive, so carry the best. What do you carry everyday? Leave a comment and let me know your personal favorite EDC gear and how it has kept you alive.

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