Half of the world is living in densely populated urban areas. Cities offer all the resources necessary for the survival of their inhabitants for now. But what would happen in the case of a natural disaster or emergency when most resources will be destroyed?

How will the other people react to an event of this kind? How should you prepare to survive a crisis when the resources are scarce and people panicked?

Urban survivalism is about preparing for these events. No matter how optimistic some people prefer to be, we have already caught a glimpse into how the world will be in case of a natural disaster.

The coronavirus pandemic took most people by surprise. The panic installed quickly and people rushed to stores to stock up food and other necessary items. It is easy to notice that mayhem and chaos can install so quickly, and this pandemic was not the worst that could happen.

There are some unique challenges posed by urban survivalism. There are many details and possibilities to take into consideration when preparing so that you maximize your chances of survival in a concrete jungle.

Population Density

Urban survival is different from wilderness survival, as many people think otherwise. The difference lies in the environment around you. The wilderness offers you more resources in case of a disaster; you can hunt for meat, find berries, and edible mushrooms.

On the contrary, in a city, things are quite different. Especially because in high-densely populated cities, the competition for resources would be tough.

For example, the entire north state of Dakota has 11 people per square mile, while New York City has around 27.000. Imagine how different urban survival would look like in these two different locations.

View of the gritty urban jungle of Guangzhou from a derelict safehouse in China /// Vinjatek

Population density is a unique challenge for urban survivalism, as one who started prepping for the disaster that is yet to come needs to consider this detail too.

Panic will slowly seep into people; chaos will break out and even the best-prepared authorities will be overwhelmed. Choosing to live and secure your resources in an area with fewer people would be the solution to this challenge.

Urban Survival Kit

Another challenge posed by urban survivalism is having anything you need in your urban survival kit. The competition for resources will be scarce and all people will need food, water, medical supplies, and even more. Living in a concrete jungle is a unique challenge you can face if you have everything you need in your kit.

Urban Survival Everyday Carry /// Vinjatek
Read: Urban Survival EDC Kit

Most survival kits are about surviving in the wilderness and most bags are designed for this. They can easily be adapted to an urban survival bag, especially because they have small compartments where you can add multi-tools or personal protective equipment (N95 masks).

A good urban survival kit needs to have an emergency radio, tactical flashlight, a pry bar, and self-defense items.

Dealing with Other Survivors

Almost 4.2 billion people reside in urban areas, and this means that 55% of the globe’s population is living in a city. In case of a biological hazard or natural disaster, when there are fewer and fewer resources, dealing with other survivors will be a unique challenge.

According to of Peter Vans, a data analyst, on survival instincts, people will fight for resources, water, and shelter.

Everyone wants to survive, so the competition will be tough. Some of them might be friendly and forming alliances might increase your chances of survival. But other survivors will be unfriendly and one needs to be prepared to face them (by having the right self-protective equipment in their urban survival kit).

Being a gray man is the best approach to a scarce and tough situation. This means blending in and avoiding drawing attention to yourself.

Gray Man Survival : Paradox /// Vinjatek
Read: The Gray Man Paradox


We have all seen what happens when people panic. They rush to stores to buy supplies and those who get there later can hardly find any food or water. The coronavirus pandemic took many people by surprise and a future disaster will likely be the same.

“This is why it is important to store supplies to meet your family’s need for nutrients during hard times. Clean water will be the first to run out and a man can live only three days without water. It might stop running or it can get contaminated, so having enough water for food, drinking, and hygiene is important as it keeps you healthy”,

Says Brad Weals,  who practices going into the wild once in two years.

Even though the governments store the food supplies needed for two weeks, biological hazards or natural disasters can last more than this. And the authorities will be overwhelmed by people’s needs and they will not be able to meet them. Stocking on high-calorie foods and buying items in bulk is a good solution for people that have already started prepping.

Pandemic Survival EDC Kit /// Vinjatek
Read: Pandemic Survival EDC Kit

Some tricks can help you protect your food and extend its life. Keep it in dark containers that do not let the sun rays reach your food. Choose foods that do not need additional preparation, such as canned food. A mini stove that is usually used in the wilderness can be useful during biological hazards.


Urban survivalism is different from wilderness survival. Managing to survive in a concrete jungle is a challenge, as cities are the most densely populated areas. One needs to adapt his survival kit to an urban context and include multi-tools, self-protective equipment, and self-defense items.

The competition for resources will be tough and stocking up canned foods and water is needed. Dealing with other survivors might be the biggest challenge of urban survivalism, as many of them will attempt to take advantage of you.

We have seen that governments and authorities can easily be overwhelmed and preparing yourself for the next biological hazard or natural disaster is impetuously necessary. This means that you increase your and your family’s chances of survival in a concrete jungle, where the competition for resources is fierce.


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