Urban Personal Equipment.

URBAN Personal equipment

I believe the kit and clothing requirements will match those or even surpass those of rural preppers especially the need for extra protection from pollutants and toxins in an urban environment after TSHTF. Any foraging or movement that could kick up or disturb toxic particles from burnt or decaying buildings will require eye and mouth/nose protection (goggles and face mask) gloves and closed hems, draw cord, cuffs etc is also likely to be an important consideration. 

Work gloves are likely to be essential in urban areas with its inevitable large amounts of broken glass and sharp fractured bricks and stonework. One piece of feedback I received from an urban prepper suggests that preppers buy as much clothing as possible for foraging and recce roles made from RIP-STOP fabric as its very very likely the damaged buildings and debris is likely to cause very heavy wear on clothing. He also added that the soles of boots MUST be inspected after each foray out to ensure nail, tacks, glass, wire, stones etc are not greatly shortening the life of the boots, (he also suggested that after TSHTF when streets are badly littered with debris that air filled footwear like Dr Martens or Nike Air Max are NOT used)

Extra protective clothing is likely to mean greater thirst caused by getting too warm whilst working so extra drinking /washing water is likely to be required.

Tools for prying open doors, hatches, windows, lift shafts, water tank covers, manholes etc is likely to become standard kit for long term urban preppers. Feedback from established urban preppers I have received suggests that a “Spring Loaded Centre Punch” will be a useful addition to kit for safely shattering toughened glass windows and doors in abandoned structures when out foraging.

I think that in the long term preppers determined to utilise every possible resource left in the city are likely to need climbing gear, ropes and harnesses to access some locations where staircases are no longer accessible and to assist in escaping if the prepper falls through a decayed surface into a void.

A couple of Urban preppers have also pointed out the increased risk in cities after a disaster from packs of feral dogs and suggest other Urban preppers consider measures to keep them at bay (preferably QUIET measures for OPSEC)

Aerosols of bright coloured paint will assist in marking routes in dark subterranean locations as a means of retracting the route out or marking areas that have been checked out.

I also guess (and it is a guess) that urban preppers are likely to end up relying on bicycles for most transport needs as its likely to be the only truly viable swift and cargo capable vehicle for travelling through clogged abandoned streets. 

Urban preppers in situ now should consider obtaining AT bikes with puncture proof tyres NOW whilst they can still obtain them through normal means. I think the mantra of the Urban prepper is going to be “Don’t just look left and right, look up and down as well” and at night the Mk 1 Eyeball is definitely going to be at a disadvantage and your hearing is likely to be the most useful way of detecting approaching trouble, So ensure your URBAN BOL does not have any extraneous noises at night from things like wind chimes, rattling gates, busted windows rattling, curtains or abandoned washing flapping about. 

A few handfuls of broken glass and gravel on the approachs to your BOL should give notice of people approaching on foot.

Urban preppers should be able to rule the night in the cities providing they remain unseen and unheard but even simple recceing is not going to be so easy in a large city. Preppers wanting to find out what is going on in a new neighbouring area are likely to have to move quietly into the area at night and set up an OP/LP and spend the daylight hours watching, listening and noting what is going on for at least 24 hours before moving into the area to access resources.


  • Comments (14)

    • 4

      Even though I am rural and would like to stay that way, one never knows if in a protracted emergency or change in circumstances that urban living would again be a reality.

      Right now, I have railroad ballast (looks like gravel type river rock) that I purchased for a song from when our rail lines were removed. When I built the masonery stoop in the front, I wrapped the house in a “decorative” perimeter of stone – one level high several feet from the foundation. It was then infilled with the gravel sized rocks. No one gets close to any window with me hearing them.

      With respect to footwear, waterproofing (we use mink oil) and emergency repair (we use “shoe goo”)  Shoe Goo is in a tube, looks like heavy clear silicone and works very well if you have a blow out between side of boot and sole. I usually clamp the area if possible or weight it to ensure good contact while it cures.

      Great topic, thank you.

      • 5

        That’s smart to have some Shoe Goo on hand. If my shoes are wearing out to the point of coming apart, I usually just go buy some new ones as it’s probably time for a new pair. 

        But we won’t always have that luxury of endless supplies of shoes.

        During the world wars, I think they would take the boots and shoes off of the dead because those were needed and in short supply.

        We could see similar situations if trade between foreign countries like China and other Asian countries (where probably many of our shoes come from) is cut off. I wonder how many domestic shoe manufacturers there are.

      • 5

        Thers are articles on the web for resoling boots etc using pieces of old car tyres.

      • 6

        Bradical, You are right, they salvaged whatever they could in those days.

        Your point about how many domestic shoe manufacturers there are got me wondering, too. So, I did a quick search for Canadian shoe and boot manufacturers. I am happy to report, here at least, that we do still make products domestically. More companies than I thought, actually.

        However, there is always the possibility of manufacturers re-tooling and shifting to another commodity in the event of a major crisis. We have already witnessed that with Covid-19 and how certain plants switched to making hand sanitizer, for example.

        I try to keep all season footwear with back up pairs for the really critical weather: cold and wet conditions.

    • 7

      For those urban preppers in flood zones, it is advantageous to have in,at, near, front door a large plastic container with disinfectant so when returning home, boots up to top of sole get soaked in solution if had walked in flood waters.  These waters contain everything from medical waste, mortuary chemicals, industrial and agricultural pollutants and et cetra. Better to try saving boots with saddle soap 10 days later than trying to save the protoplasm.

      In some areas of metro Washington, D.C., some urban preppers rely on vertical axis thick wire grocery shopping carts. Some preppers use garden wagons, especially if child in a prepper family. In some metro areas of Hampton Roads, ~ 200 miles south of D.C. some urban preppers have All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Typically, they are not “street legal” – only for non-public roads. If an emergency, other rules get activated.

      Much depends on location and specifics of emergency concerning an urban prepper going out at night.  The public service announcements via all the means of reaching population will specify. The critical sections of an urban area will become extensions of the garrisons.

      • 3

        Thank you Bob for the reminder on the boot wash containers.

        We also used them when running drills for avian to elimate transporting virus. Vets use them all the time at farms to avoid cross contaminating farms.

        I am adding them to my shopping list.

    • 4

      You are right that many will use bicycles if gasoline is scarce or an EMP hits and takes out most cars (although The Prepared says that this isn’t likely to happen which is nice https://theprepared.com/blog/cars-and-emps/).

      Buying spare bike tires now is smart, and while you can repair them, having a few cheap tubes on hand sure is a lot easier to swap out. 

      But don’t forget the bike pump! And don’t only have an electric one that won’t be able to be powered if the grid is down, get a good old fashion one as a backup.

      • 7

        Alternatively buy puncture proof tyres, in the UK we have the Green tyre company who make tyres that cannot be punctured for bicycles and wheelchairs. There must be something similar in the US.

      • 8

        In the US, they are called “thorn resistant” tubes. They’re not puncture proof, but they’re darned close. Alternatively, you can get tire liners that sit between the tube and the tire and protect the tube from punctures.

        If you’re going to be dependent upon a bicycle for an emergency situation, consider getting an extra set of tires too. If a tire gets sliced, the tube is going to be exposed to the road surface & you will quickly get a flat. Additionally, the slice will continue to rip open further.

        While I’m on the subject of tires, be aware that tires with whitewalls or molded-in colors don’t last as long as all-black tires. The colored rubber deteriorates much faster – even in storage and particularly in the heat – and eventually the colored section will either split or separate from the black rubber.

      • 11

        Good to know, thank you very much, Watermelon Samurai

      • 8
      • 4

        I replied earlier Bradical and must have mis-posted

        Getting bike gear and spare parts/tires and the hand pump is a smart thing to do given how we could become very dependent upon bicycles.

        I would also rig up carrying containers in advance that could be mounted if necessary.

        Thank you very much.

      • 7

        We have Schwalbe Marathon tyres on our bikes. They are also puncture resistant and they do an E-Bike version, as we both have E-Bikes.. We also use ‘Slime’ self healing tubes. I have a good sized basket on the front of my bike and we have a trailer that fits either bike, depending on who wants to use it. 

        My son is a dab hand at bicycle repair. 

      • 3

        Linnet, I checked out Schwalbe. They have very sturdy looking tires with a good tread.

        I had wondered if a mountain bike (all terrain bike) would be good, but an E-Bike makes more sense.

        It would be a way to ease of transportation, should a family member be functioning at reduced capacity (or very, very tired from the additional work and stress involved when coping with a crisis).

        Many thanks for the info.