The survival directives of urban environments aren’t just for severe emergencies or life-threatening scenarios, but extends equally to the human element and day-to-day city life.
This will be a periodically updated list of urban survival skills, skillsets, tactics and philosophies.
- Demolition + Deconstruction
Sometimes in order to rebuild or repair, you must skillfully destroy completely or carefully take apart.
- Everyday Carry
Equipping the most strategic gear and setups for on your person urban survival EDC and loadouts.
- Survival Prepping
A continuous discipline of procuring and stockpiling pertinent survival goods; food, water, munitions etc.
At least a basic understanding of creating maps by hand. Not just land but building layouts and zones.
- Confrontation Conduct
Being civil yet strong, firm and prosperous during moments of conflict with individuals and groups.
- Selective Parkour
Utilizing the situationally useful elements such as urban “mountain climbing“ for evasion or transport.
The strategic allocation and conservation of not just food and water, but any non-renewable resource.
- Gray Man Mentality
The concepts of blending-in within a crowd or type of people using various urban camouflage techniques.
Stay Learning Your Kit. This means to always know how to use your equipment and keep training.
As an urban survival skill, it’s not for the environment but to get the most out of dwindling resources.
- Urban Agriculture
AKA urban gardening, the skillset of farming and cultivating foods on a sustainable scale in the city.
- Water Management
Procuring, storing, harvesting and if necessary, purifying water for consumption and utility.
- Weather Conditioning
Hardening and optimizing your body to withstand and be functional in harsh temperatures and weather.
A necessary function of life to survive. The ability to sleep anywhere at anytime as a strategy.
Depending on the level of urban survival severity, this may be the only way to procure resources.
- Firearms Proficiency
Even if you don’t have any guns or don’t like them, basic training could be life-saving during urban survival.
Position ascertaining and directional routing urban areas with or without the use of GPS and maps.
Modest technical knowledge and various hands-on experience with woodworking and construction.
- Trap Setting
For the wilderness, it’s for hunting small game. But for the urban, it’s for proximity security and defense.
Before money, humans bartered – after money, humans will barter. This is street buying power.
- Vehicular Hot-Wiring
A range of methods of starting the ignition of the engine or otherwise starting or turning on a vehicle.
- Location Independence
Survival often equates to mobility and in this case it means your life. Being able to live anywhere, anytime.
There’s nothing like a good story when the power grid is shot, lights are out and the internet is gone.
An urban skillset that’s useful in everyday life and when the world ends and you’ll have to do it yourself.
- Dumpster Diving
When absolutely necessary, salvaging from trash could yield great results to use in urban survival.
- Tactical Hand Signals
AKA Army Standardized Hand Signals, urban survivalists should learn it and teach it to their tribe.
A rapidly applied type of appearance altering maneuver done while in the field and on the move.
An ancient skill that’s just as useful today. Know how to repair clothes and even make your own, if need be.
- Morse Code
When phones, satellites, the internet and even radio goes out, this type of telecommunication will prevail.
- Lock Picking
Part of the covert operative tradecraft skillset, of which “entry” is an urban survival tactic element.
- Urban Foraging
Much like gathering edible foods grown naturally in the wild, this is done instead within the cityscape.
- Improvised Weaponology
Creating a weapon from something that’s not or using it as such – for planned devices or utilized on demand.
- Fire Starting
While a staple of bushcraft, the ability to start a fire without a lighter or match is also an urban necessity.
- Strategic Deception
Interpersonal capabilities are one of the most important urban survival skills, including deception.
- Secondary Language
English is vital, but proficiency in another that’s geographically common to your locale can be useful.
- Method of Loci
An advanced memory recollection and retainment strategy using visual and spatial reasoning.
- Electrical Wiring
A basic understanding of an electrician’s trade would be an invaluable skillset in an urban societal collapse.
- Urban Exploration
Also known as URBEX, it’s a deliberate, investigative and sometimes intrusive method of exploring a city.
- Sink Laundry
A general term regarding washing and drying laundry by hand, on the fly and anywhere, without a machine.
- Anti-Facial Recognition (FRS)
A discipline of avoiding, bypassing or manipulating FRS (facial recognition software) security measures.
Particularly a standard car but as well as motorcycles and trucks plus manual transmission vehicles.
- Fuel Siphoning
Procuring gasoline by extracting it from the tanks of vehicles to a portable container to use as your own.
Direct contact, close quarters combat defense capabilities with and without the use of weapons.
- Crowd Scanning
The ability to scan a large or moving group of people and discern a specific person, activity or action.
- Food Preparation
A broad but most useful skillset involving cooking, baking, grilling or any type of making sustenance.
A general knowledge of common medical treatments and practices as well as using relevant equipment.
- Social Engineering
A manipulation technique skillset to alter the opinions, behaviors and beliefs of human assets and groups.
A mindset to fix anything, make something into something else and make something out of nothing.
- Reduced Public Task-Fixation
This is being more alert by being less fixated on certain tasks (using a mobile phone) in public spaces.
- Situational Awareness
Minding your immediate surroundings and physical vicinity, like a radar and alarm system.
- Post-Route Mental Mapping
A reverse navigation technique to mentally “map out” where you’ve just been, for evasion and backtracking.
- Proficient Running
Arguably the most important physical urban transit and escape skill is the ability to run fast and long.
Actively adapting to the changing situations and scenarios of your surroundings and the people in it.
- Remember Your Training
When the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI occurs, don’t forget all the skills and knowledge of urban tactics.
Survival in any form for any environment is an act of prevention and or recovery.-John Cain