Common survival skill sets are by design usually calibrated for rural living. However, calamity strikes anywhere, thus learning these survival skills is deemed necessary.
Urban Survival Skill Sets Most People Overlook
1. Water Detection
When calamity strikes in an urban area, one of the first services that go down is water supply.
After everything settles down, keep your head straight and find water. This is urgent since your mind and body will function harder under dehydration. Be on the lookout for lakes, ponds, city fountains, or any water source in the vicinity.
In the absence of conventional water sources, you could look for alternatives such as plants, fruits, or even moisture collected from containers. But, before you consume water from these sources, make sure you purify it.
2. Water Purification
What’s the use of finding water when you can’t drink it? This is why aside from finding water, you also need to learn how to make it potable. To make water safe to drink, there are various options at your disposal.
However, we would only focus on methods that can be done in less than ideal scenarios:
- Use purifying tablets. It is important to have them ready in your bug-out bag at all times.
- You can also use bleach. Just the right amount is enough to kill harmful bacteria in the water.
- The easiest purifying method is by boiling.
3. Food Hunting
Next to finding water, one of the biggest problems you will face in times of calamity is feeding yourself. In times of crisis, it is most likely that stores will be closed or worse looted by mobs of famished people. Conventional food sources, therefore, would be a no-no.
In this situation, you will be relying on your caveman instinct. You will have to re-learn how to hunt and gather food. In an urban setting, hunting means going for available fauna that are edible such as pigeons, ducks, and fish.
You can devise makeshift traps and craft improvise hunting weapons out of founding materials. Crates and grocery carts are excellent materials for traps. Wires, poles, and the interior of rubber tires, on the other hand, could be fashioned into excellent bows and arrows. Our ancestors achieved greater things with less so we don’t have any excuse.
4. Shelter Finding
In urban areas, you will not find caves or fallen trees. But in the absence of these natural habitats, you will have plenty of instant abodes free for occupation.
The possibilities are countless. You can build a shelter out of boxes and cardboard. If you want to live on something more stable, you can squat on abandoned buildings. Pay no mind to trespassing laws because that would be the least of your worries in this scenario.
5. Urban Homesteading
You will eventually face the second phase of a post-disaster scenario. This is called sustaining survival. Now that you have gone past the onslaught of calamity, you need to ensure that you keep on living.
To live, you will be needing a stable food source. Hunting and gathering wouldn’t cut for long. After all, your city has just enough pigeons and wild ducks to support hundreds of starving survivors. What you need to do is start a garden and grow your own food.
Self-sufficiency is key to long-term sustainability. Gather every seed you can find and start your vertical gardening project from scratch. For fertilizers, you can use animal and human waste, and to keep your plants moisturized, you can take advantage of collected rainwater.
6. Reading People
The worst situations bring out the worst in people. People will be at each other’s throats just to survive.
In a hostile environment, you need to keep your head down. But apart from getting your body out of harm’s way, you also need to anticipate other people’s next move. You can develop an instinct for reading people’s minds and body language by increasing your observational skills.
After honing your people-reading skill, you can then develop your ability to adapt. Go along to get along. You may have heard this adage before but it’s really effective. Ask any lifer who has lived long to survive the worst prison cell in the country.
To develop your adaptability skills, practice is key. You need to put yourself in uncomfortable situations during normal times. Attending a survival class is an excellent way to do this or if you want to go for broke, join the military.
8. Defending One’s Self
If the situation calls for it, you might need to attack your enemy.
Learn some rudimentary self-defense techniques. You can find a multitude of classes on and offline that offer courses such as judo, jujitsu, and mixed martial arts. Self-defense, however, is not limited to hand-to-hand combat.
9. The Art of Escaping
Escaping an attack is also an excellent self-preservation technique. A seasoned survivor knows when to fight and when to attack. Remember that the ultimate goal is to survive.
You cannot successfully evade threats when you don’t know where to retreat. The key to effective evasion is mastery of the terrain. By developing a heightened knowledge of your location’s topography, you can easily escape through routes and alleyways without detection.
10. Medical Know-How
Whether you like it or not, you will find yourself in a position where you are wounded or worse incapacitated. This is the reality of living in a hostile world. It’s a given so the point is to know how to treat yourself. And of course, it would help if you have a first aid kit with you.
Invest in a high-quality medical kit. Even during normal times, you can have many uses for it. But a first aid kit is useless if you don’t know how to use it. Make sure that you practice some basic first aid skills. You can find awesome videos online to help you with this.
11. Developing Mental Strength
You must be mentally prepared to cope with the stress of living in a post-disaster urban area. Your body can only do so much to keep ongoing. But when your mental foundation is unstable, everything will fall apart.
The secret to a strong mind is gradually developing a positive mindset and world outlook. You need to accept that nothing in this life is permanent. We are all going to die eventually but it’s not about how long you live but how you live.
Survival is all about the right mindset combined with cultivating necessary physical skills. Mastering these survival skills will not happen overnight. It will take time so you need to start as soon as you can.
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