Introduction: Disaster Pack: Urban Edition, 50 Shades of Grey...

Picture of Disaster Pack: Urban Edition, 50 Shades of Grey...

This kit revolves around the "grey man" concept (Sorry no NC-17 content here) and was partially influenced by this ible here:

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the "grey man" is the ambiguous bystander. He (or she) doesn't stand out from the crowd. It doesn't mean they're a master of disguise, just that they aren't shouting from the mountain tops, "I've got stuff! Please, everyone look at me!" Instead, they blend into the background like a poorly paid extra to detract from the fact that they've got their proverbial sh*t together.

As with most of my kits, no special training is really required to use the items contained therein and everything should be readily available at your local five and dime. Of course, the most critical aspect of survival is your survival mentality. Given that you're reading this ible, I'd say you're on the right track! Let's dig in!

*Authors note: I gave myself a few restrictions/guide lines in the development of this kit. For instance, there are no knives, ferro rods or pry bars contained therein. I'll explain why later. Also, I wanted the entire bags "wet weight" (meaning, containing water; you'd be surprised just how much water weighs!) to be well under 20lbs. Lastly, I wanted to ensure that there was enough empty space to be able scavenge if necessary. You've got to be more fluid in your thinking when trying to survive in the concrete jungle.

Double note: Please vote for me in the survival/remix 2.0 contest by clicking the trophy icon in the righthand corner of the orange band atop your screen if you dig it. Comment and tell me why if you don't. Constructive criticism is always welcome, Cheers! As always take what you need, ditch the rest.

Step 1: Now You See Me...

Picture of Now You See Me...

Given that this ible is about the kit, that's where we're gonna start. If you've got hot pink gauges (earrings that stretch the ear lobe) facial tattoos like Mike Tyson and bright blue hair, blending in might not necessarily be a viable option... for the rest of us it begins with the bag.

I've watched dozens of YouTube vidoes and combed through probably hundreds of forums at this point, and everyone's got something to say...

"You should look military; that way no one will want to mess with you..."

"If your loaded to the gills, you're making yourself a target..."

"Camo bags scream prepper."

"Everyone wears camo nowadays..."

Whichever side of the debate you fancy, the fact of the matter is, it's better to not be considered at all, rather than a as a threat or target of opportunity. Enter the Grey man.

Step 2: The Pack

Picture of The Pack

In the end, it is what it is. If you feel as though in your neck of the woods you can be decked out in camo from head to toe without anyone batting an eye, go for it! Myself, I live in a College town (university actually, but there's no need to sound pretentious) with college students galore. It's doubtful 90% of people where I live have spent any time in the woods, and as such, I've chosen ol'fateful (my actual book bag from back in the day) as my pack of choice.

It's funny, but way back when, before I got into preparedness (sue me I don't wanna be called a "Prepper"), I bought this bag because I thought it looked cool. Now a little older, a little wiser, I can see all the key features I'd never really appreciated before: well padded shoulder straps, cinch straps, sternum straps, hip belt, grab handle, the list goes on. What I like most about it these days however is that it looks... ordinary.

Sure, it's got all these bells and whistles, but these days so do most bags. It's a nondescript color, fits me well, and it's withstood the test of time. Can't argue with that!

Step 3: The C's and Such

I have to say, my hat's off to Dave Canterbury for coining the 10 C's of survivability (for those unfamiliar, they are: Cutting tool, Combustion device, Cover, Container, Cordage, Cotton bandana, Compass, Candling device, Canvas needle and Cargo Tape). It's not because their brilliant, pertinent and easy to remember. It's because they're just good common sense, and having coined them as his "10 C's of survivability," now every gear list ever made there after will look as though they've used his mantra as their framework! That glorious bastard...

All of the C's are essentially covered in this kit with the exception of the canvas needle, though if you were to include my EDC (see that ible here:'d be covered as well. As it's already a pretty well established framework (Damn you D.C.), we'll use the aforementioned C's to break down the content into more manageable segments. Walls of text can be brutal.

When assembling a kit, it's important to realize where you are, where you're going and what it might take to get you there safely. Not every disaster is going to be a doomsday scenario that will shake civilization to it's core. In all likelihood it's apt to be a bit more mundane i.e. hurricanes, tropical storms, fires etc. Remember, being prepared doesn't equate to being scared or paranoid. It's being ready, come what may.


Step 4: Cutting Tool & Cordage

Picture of Cutting Tool & Cordage

Cutting tool: Just because the worlds gone to heck in a hand basket doesn't mean that we're all living in a WROL (Without Rule Of Law) type environment. Knives have a certain connotation to them, especially big knives. While you can absolutely carry a BECKER BK2 into the woods, try getting one onto a plane!

*Disclaimer: Don't actually try and get a knife onto a plane. That wasn't a dare.

Scissors, on the other hand, are generally considered less stabby by nature and can be as effective as a knife, particularly in an urban environment. The model I've chosen is the FISKARS CUTS MORE PLUS for a number or reasons. They come with a sheath and built in sharpener for one. Also, if you do need a knife for whatever reason, the blades separate so that "TADA!" you've got a knife! Well, technically two knives but who's's counting..? They're a little on the pricy side, just north of $20.00USD, but they're also titanium. You take the good with the bad.

Cordage: For cordage, just about anything will do from jute twine to paracord, it all depends on your budget and intended use. For this kit, I chose No.36 tarred bank-line purchased through the Pathfinder School LLC. You can go ahead and pick this stuff up at Walmart but "Cavaet Emptor," you'll get what you pay for. I typically use paracord for everything, but thought I'd give this stuff a try after having read about it in half a dozen different forums. I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised. It's stiff and easy to work with, holds knots well and doesn't really fray unless you intentionally splay apart the braiding, and boasts a tensile strength just shy of 400lbs. Purchasing it by itself is a little pricy though, so tack on some fix'n wax and your good to go.

Step 5: Cover & a Cotton Bandana

Picture of Cover & a Cotton Bandana

The Cover of the 10 C's is more so a blanket term (Get it?) It embodies a wide array of gear from your hat and gloves right on down the line to your three season Coleman sleeping bag. Of course, there's no Sleeping bag in this kit, we're trying to remain inconspicuous remember? You won't be as comfortable, bottom line. But you'll have enough gear tucked back to keep relatively warm and dry. Besides you're in a city/urban environment; there should be any number of man made structures to shelter under/in. That being said:

Rain gear: I'm personally not a fan of single use items and mil-spec poncho might look a little out of place, as such I went with a full on rain jacket. I know, I know, "I thought we were trying to blend in?" Well, that's the idea, but this is all I had. It's warm, rain proof, good for signaling, should the need arise, and big enough on me to throw over my pack as well. "What supplies? I don't have any supplies." The rain pants are a little more subdued and are also wind proof ta boot. These two also serve as a change of outerwear should something happen to my civvies.

Skivvy roll: Because mom always said I should wear clean underoos.

Thermal blanket: If you're going to buy a mylar blanket spend the extra few bucks and go with a quality product. The one I choose is large enough for two and durable enough to make an impromptu shelter if need be. The cheaper of their ilk generally don't hold up to much use, let alone abuse, and getting it back in it's original packaging... "Fuhgeddabouit"

Wool beanie: If your trying not to stand out, a boonie hat may not be the best choice. You could go for a baseball cap, but I prefer a wool beanie. Wool is a great insulator and will retain heat even when wet! Plus, I think they're stylish in that whole stoner kind of way.

Work gloves: If you've got to negotiate rubble or navigate on your hands and knees through broken glass, you'll be glad for the added protection. I like these rubberized work gloves because they do a decent job protecting my hands and lessen the grip strength required when handling objects.

Cotton bandana: Plethora of uses. not much more to say really... Some people opt for a Shemagh or Keffiyeh (basically a much larger bandana) but the colors and patters are a little too out of place in the US for my liking, and I'd be worried that they might send the wrong message to the ignorant or uninformed.

Step 6: Combustion & Candling Device (Fire & Flash Lights)

Picture of Combustion & Candling Device (Fire & Flash Lights)

Whether caves crafted by God or men, there are many a dark place in the world. Having a light with which to banish the darkness to the far reaches of ones imagination is a must, for both sanity and security.

The lights I've chosen for this kit all work to serve a particular purpose. I've included a headlamp for handsfree shenanigans and a lantern/torch combo to provide both directional light (as a flash light) and omnidirectional light (as a lantern). Both units operate off of lithium AAA batteries, so I've no worries about them losing charge over time and it allows for the transference of power from one to the other as needed.

*Note: Some people opt for lights requiring special lithium cells i.e. CR123's. Personally, I've never once seen them available at my local gas station or grocer, something to consider when resupply options are limited.

Candle: Who would have thunk it? A candle for a candling device, but it makes sense. I also like that it allows me to bring fire safely indoors with little likelihood of causing an incident. There are a number of camp candles or emergency candles on the market. I've chosen this one because I like the three wick design and I appreciate the tin, which once liberated of said candle, leaves me with yet another container, albeit a small one. This candle in conjunction with the water bottle I've chosen also serve as an alternative source of water purification (i.e. boiling!) I keep a small box of matches contained therein and keep the whole shebang wrapped in a little electrical tape to keep it water tight.

Step 7: Container, Compass and Cargo Tape.

Picture of Container, Compass and Cargo Tape.

Water is a vital resource, as is making your way from point A. to point B. while finding water along the way. With that in mind, I've included the following gear to do just that:

Container: Now in an urban environment containers are everywhere. All you need do is check you nearest dumpster or waste bin. For those of you with an aversion to dumpster diving, I give you the stainless steel water bottle. I've gone with an 18oz Klean Canteen which I picked up at the local thrift store for $1.00USD. I know it's not a lot of water and I get that, but what I was looking at here was volume.

If I lose my main water purification method, than at least I have a back up. The small backpacking candle I've included in this kit is great, but a camp stove it is not. If I want to be able to adequately boil water sufficient to kill what otherwise might kill me (or in the least, ruin my day), than I can't go getting all crazy with a full 40oz. The more volume, the more energy required to bring said volume to boil. Physics- aint it fun? Hence the smaller bottle. Of course, I could always bring a larger bottle and only fill it up half way... But I didn't, so there!

Life straw: My primary means of water purification/procurement. From toilet bowls to puddles, these are designed with no moving parts and minimal care. making them practically bomb proof. Just try not to lose it, or step on it.

4 way Sillcock Key: Known as a water key in some circles, these are handy for getting at water sources otherwise inaccessible, like the spigots on the sides of most gas stations or municipal buildings. Just be sure not to go getting yourself into anything you cant get yourself out of. Those spigots don't have access valves for a reason. You could try using a small crescent wrench, but some of the valves have a bit of a recession to them, making the leveraging of a wrench impossible.

Compass: In this kit I don't have a physical compass per say, instead I have what every red blooded american has, their cell phone! I have the army emergency navigation app on my phone, which should work even in a grid down type scenario. If not, I can always fashion one in the field, as there are no end of ferrous objects littering the streets of any major (or minor) US city. If that's not in your skill set, a good street map of the area can work wonders! No map, no worries. Most cities have some sort of rail system or mass transit system, find a stop or a station and you can typically get your bearings from there, as there's usually a posted route, usually...

Cargo tape: Though not actually cargo tape, but a fanciful way to turn a D into a C. Duct tape should be a apart of every kit. I make it a habit of having a small roll in every kit I put together. Of course, I end up using it out of the kits and run out....

*Mental note: Buy more duct tape*

Step 8: Security and Self Defense

Picture of Security and Self Defense

No guns. Sorry folks but you're not going to hear me wax poetic about my AR15, or decked out chest rig with plate carrier. No, here I've taken a more minimalistic approach and have gone the less then lethal route.

Pepper spray: Tried and true, pepper spray is a great alternative for those of us without the zeal of the NRA aficionados. Just be sure that you're upwind of your would be attacker, otherwise you'll be that much worse off then when you started. Also. be sure to get the highest concentration of capsaicin permitted in your area. That's the active ingredient in pepper spray and some states regulate what a citizen can use/carry. Be sure to abide your local statutes or be prepared for the consequences.

Pad lock: I like the concept that if I find somewhere safe, I can keep it that way or make it that way with a bit of salvaged chain and a lock only I have the key to. Also, this item combined with the cotton bandana creates a devastating impromptu flail! You know, just in case you find yourself having to get all medieval on someones tuckus.

Any lock will work but I like the kind that you can't really get ar with bolt cutters and i personally prefer keys over combos. Sure you can pick a lock but that's a skill set not many people in my area have I reckon. If all else fails you could always fork the door:

Whistle: Good to sound the alarm or signal for help. I've got this one rigged up to one of the shoulder straps for quick and easy access. I attached it to one of those Keycard holders with the retracting lanyard for convenience sake. It also acts as a dummy cord so i don't lose it.

Step 9: Communication and Power.

Picture of Communication and Power.

We live in the modern era and though I'd often like to believe that I'm above the trappings of modern civilization I still find myself checking my e-mail and Facebook more times in a day then I care to mention. Being able to communicate and gather information is important no matter how you slice it, and having the tools on hand with which to do so effectively is an absolute must.

Cell phone: Of course if things go sideways cell reception may be nil. But cell service can be restored and Cell phones can do a lot even without service. There's FM radio apps (a great many phones have the ability to receive FM radio even without cell service) and Nav. apps that don't require service. If the lines are bust and you can't get a call through there's always text messaging. Most phones will continue to try to send and receive texts continuously till they are able to get through. The bottom line is that a cell phone should be a part of any disaster preparedness package.

Back up battery charger: I picked up this little beauty when my local RadioShack went the way of the dinosaur for a song and never looked back. It's got enough juice to give my phone a good three - four charges before copping out on me. That's enough juice to get me by for at least a week. I keep it in a little external hard-drive case I picked up from my local Staples before they went bust and paired it with a spare charging cable I had laying around.

Baofeng VHF/UHF dual band radio: I am still quite the novice with this nifty little gadget but so far I'm pretty pleased with it. You have the capability to transmit on either band (though doing so is illegal without a license, be forewarned) and receive just about anything and everything out there. Plus you can't beat the price *sub $25.00USD on Ebay or Amazon. All in all it makes a great addition to this little kit.

The only problem with it, is that it requires some preprograming to get it working smoothly and for that you really need a specialized cable (sold separately), software: i.e. CHIRP: and most importantly patience! I've upgraded the battery from stock to a battery pack that takes 6 AAA's instead. Again, I use lithium cells. I'm testing now to see if I still get the same amount of life out of the radio, we'll see. I did this to avoid having to tote around the charging dock and a/c adaptor. Every once counts!

Step 10: Pockets, Their Like Mini Packs in Your Pants!

Picture of Pockets, Their Like Mini Packs in Your Pants!

Needless to say there are just some things you can't, or rather shouldn't have squirreled away in the bottom of your pack in an emergency: cash for one and documents, another. The harsh reality is that the more desperate the situation the more desperate the people living through it.

If someone asks for your pack and you're not in a position to flee or defend yourself, give it to them. There's nothing in this pack I cannot live with out. Sure, not having this gear on you when you need it could prove problematic, but not as problematic as a bullet or a stab wound! To that end, there are a number of things you should carry in your pockets or otherwise on your person.

Cash: Cash is king and it's home need not only be in you wallet; a sock, a bra, in your shoe... Get creative! Cash is the proper tool in any number of situations. So long as the greenback has value, you'll have a means to procure what you need, when whatever you had is gone.

Personal identification: Depending on just how bad things are, you may very well have to be able to prove who you are and that you belong where you belong. Not having an ID can make you a person of interest if the authorities stop you at the border.

Misc. documentation: Insurance papers, marriage certificates, medical records. If necessary you could always carry these with you on an encrypted flash drive, but keep in mind that scans of most federal documents aren't valid without a raised seal. Still, it's piece of mind. I like the micro SD card/adapter combo myself. There are a lot of places you can hide a micro SD card!

*Side note: Do not laminate your social security card! If it's falling apart take an afternoon catching up on your reading at the S.S. office and get a new one! Learned that lesson the hard way.

I like the concept of those travel body wallets for the above items. That way if you get mugged after someone else steals your pack (bad luck for you) you can hand over your wallet without handing over your entire life while you're at it; just be sure that there's some cash in it to keep them from trying to make the best of a bad situation (theirs) by asking for your cloths, shoes etc.

Step 11: And One to Grow On!

Picture of And One to Grow On!

I honestly cannot believe I've gotten this far and haven't yet mentioned food. I do have some goodies packed away for a rainy day in this pack. But solely foods you can eat on the go.

Lets face it, you're not going to go foraging for chanterelles in the lower east side or morels in Harlem (Those are both New York references for those of our out of town friends and mushroom references for the non-culinarians)

In all likelihood the "wild" edibles your apt to find in a city are likely to be found amongst refuse and not worth mentioning. Decisive to say; When you're hungry, I mean, really hungry, your's becomes an appetite without borders and all sorts of things you'd have never consider cramming down your gullet start to look appetizing. Till then, it's nice to have a bit of nibble here and there. Hence the snacks.

You cannot grow food through concrete. Have a plan for when the food runs out... and it will!

Step 12: Thanks But No Thanks.

Picture of Thanks But No Thanks.

Bolt cutters/pry bars/breaching tools: Sure these could be handy in a pinch. But they can also be construed as tools for more purposes more nefarious then survival. In a WROL maybe these might be warranted. Personally, I think under most circumstances you're libel to get into trouble or wind up injured/dead by their implementation. I'll leave these in the tool box at home thank you.

Fire Arms: Honestly, if you have the legal capability to carry a weapon and the good judgment to know that a gun is as much a tool as a weapon. Well, that's your prerogative. My wife abhors guns and I care about her more then I care about some shiny piece of kit I hope never to use. Besides she never said anything about a Bow... humm,,,

Parangs, combat knives, Machetes and the like: Honestly, I live in a city that may as well be a suburb. Never will I ever have the need to own a knife larger then I can cook with and their place is in the kitchen. Besides, I doubt things will ever go to pot to the extent that it'll be permissible to carry a foot long hunk of baddass into the local High school shelter.

Zip ties: I don't know why really. I have them, just something in my gut tells me that I don't want to be the guy with rope, duct tape and zip ties in his bag traipsing around the mall. Maybe it's just me...

Water filters: In trying to blend in it's hard to keep something like a water filter under wraps for too long... a life straw is small and doesn't take much fuss to use. Can't really say the same of a $200.00+USD katadyn "pocket" water filter.

Multi tool: I just don't have a good one. Maybe if I win this contest, eh? Seriously, a mulit tool is a great option for carrying a whole lot of gear in an exceedingly small footprint. This is one of those items that should be kept on your person. That way, even if your pack gets carried away by a pack of rabid badgers you'll still have a leg up with tools enough, to help you keep on, keeping on and that's what survival is all about.

Medical kit: I have a minor injury kit with me at all times so I skimped out on adding one here. A zip lock with some boo boo stuff and some disinfectant wouldn't be a bad idea. The nice thing about a city is that there's usually help within ear shot. If not, consider something like my full blown medical kit:'ll add about a pound of gear but could save your life or someone else's, weight your options.

Deliciously random question: Would a large grouping of badgers be considered a pack, a swarm, a gaggle, a murder? Just curious. Leave it in the comments if you know. Thanks for reading it through, Cheers!


tylerj (author)2015-09-03

In a shtf scenario you are left vulnerable, you won't have a way to protect your wife. Other than that you have a hiking pack.....

dsantil71 (author)tylerj2016-12-30

There are other ways to "defend" ourselves besides using or having firearms.

4WantofaNail (author)tylerj2015-09-03

Mankind has gotten along quite well for some time without things that go, boom. That being said, I'm not necessarily anti gun; just not one of my interests. Besides, you should always avoid confrontation when possible; fighting, or gun fire for that matter is a sure fire way to call attention to yourself and not the intent of this ible. Cheers

Battlespeed (author)2015-09-03

Here's the best advice you'll ever get: Stay away from those "Ten C's of...", "Seven K's of..." etc. lists. Very few truly useful lists fit naturally into such "cutesie" formats, which means either the language will be contorted all out of recognition ("candling device"???) to fit the "cutesie model", or things will be chosen that fit the model and other important things will be omitted. There are at least 3 critical things omitted from the "Ten C" list, for instance - I assume because there was no way to figure out how to turn them into "C-language". I'll let you figure out what they are.

4WantofaNail (author)Battlespeed2015-09-03

If you read through my post you'll notice that i was simply using the "ten C's" as a platform because its the one most likely to recognized by a layperson. Myself, I use what works for me and ditch the rest as should you. Cheers

dsantil71 (author)4WantofaNail2016-12-30

I had never heard of that type of list till I read your 'ible. Interesting.

dsantil71 (author)Battlespeed2016-12-30

I was thinking one of them had to be medical/1st aid supplies, then food, then paper & lil spare change money, then extra wet & dry bags for dirty clothes & waterproof bags as well.

Sandy 1949 (author)2015-09-05

With regard to being "armed", with what and to what degree, my personal opinion is, it doesn't matter how much you prep and how much "stuff" you accumulate, if you can't defend it, you have NOTHING. So, arm yourself with what you are comfortable with and capable of implementing, within or outside the parameters of the law is an individual decision and should be made taking under consideration all the advice given here (and keeping with the idea of staying 'grey', the point here) and other reputable discussion boards.

Quaamik (author)Sandy 19492015-09-08

Actually, there is a lot to be said for minimizing the weapons.

First, and most importantly, possession of a weapon does not make one “armed” any more than possession of a guitar makes one a musician. Kudos to those who recognize where that quote comes from.

Second: Consider the scenario you are preparing for. For all out SHTF, Without Rule Of Law survival, weapons are going to be awful handy. So is running and hiding when a group with more people & weapons comes by. But for other, less WROL but more likely scenarios? The FIRST thing that any type of official community / evacuee shelter will do is confiscate any weapons you have on entry. If you get them inside (which is likely since searches will probably be curtsory) you will be arrested or kicked out if found with them later. What good is carrying 2 – 4 pounds of weapons and ammo if the first time you get any type of assistance you have to give it up?

Third: Consider where you live. If you live in one of the states that frown on weapons (New Jersey comes to mind) possessing one without ALL the right paperwork is more likely to get you in trouble day to day than help you. And if you don’t have it with you day to day, what are you planning to do – run home and get it? On the other hand, if you live in an area where it’s common and legal for people to carry weapons then they aren’t going to attract undue attention or cause uncomfortable questions.

dsantil71 (author)Quaamik2016-12-30

I love "possession of a weapon does not make one "armed" anymore than possession of a guitar makes one a musician"! AWESOME. I think you're mistaken on the part about people who do carry guns needing to go home & get paper work. Every state is different, but usually for private citizens who get conceal & carry permits they are supposed to keep said permits on their person. For people who don't have those, then it's anybody's guess.

scottbowen (author)Quaamik2015-09-09

The good of carrying one is you have to make it to the assistance. A firearm is good for this purpose. Most people do not worry too much about knives, spears, or other such weapons. However, mention gun and people cringe and scream as if a gun is an object made by the devil himself. Firearms are tools and are a large part of what made this country. Remember other countries that do not allow their citizens the RIGHT to BEAR ARMS are some of the largest producers of firearms and military weaponry. "I would rather have a gun and not need it, than to need it and not have it." Guns are tools and give the possessor options. Possessing a firearm does not make you bloodthirsty, does not constitute instant killing and destruction. In many cases brandishing a firearm prevented a major altercation that could have caused all involved major harm and instead just hurt the other guys feelings for bringing a knife to a gun fight. Many people ignorance of many lifestyles, cultures, beliefs, etc. are what causes hatred and prejudice. Ignorance of a firearm causes hate and prejudices towards average gun owners who have intention or wanting of killing and/or injuring. A useful and sometimes vital tool is demonized due to ignorance.I believe many deaths are due to not being informed that a firearm is a potentially dangerous tool. I was raised around them and taught their dangers and uses as child so I could respect them instead of fear them.

Quaamik (author)scottbowen2015-09-09

You are correct on most of your points, but are missing
an important one:

Your kit should be with you all the time (as much as possible). If during normal times (i.e. right now) you cannot legally carry a firearm with you, it's far more likely that having a firearm in your kit will wind up with you arrested and in prison than that it will help you in an emergency.

Consider the last 3 months. You probably did not experience a single SHTF scenario where the rule of law was suspended. If you had been arrying a firearm 24/7 during that time, how many times would it have been possible that said firearm would have come to the attention of police, or a employer, and caused you financial or legal problems? If you can honestly say that it would never have caused you problems, even if discovered, then feel free to keep one in your kit. If you can carry legally without a problem, but only with certain paperwork (a concealed carry license), then get one if you want to have a firearm in you kit. If you know it could have caused you problems if found, but you think you could have kept it from being found, then understand the risk you are running and how - over time - the odds could stack up against you.

That's just a 3 month window. You may have the items in your kit with you 6 month, a year or 5 years before needing them. You may (hopefully) never need them.

Compare it to prescription drugs. Many are very useful in a SHTF scenario. Antibiotics & heavy duty painkillers have very valid uses. But walking around for months, or years, carrying prescription drugs in someone else's name is a recipe to wind up in prison.

A firearm can be a useful tool. But like any tool it has its downsides. Be aware of them.

scottbowen (author)Quaamik2015-09-10

Guns can always cause problems, but can also solve and/or prevent many life threatening situations. Once again the problems in many cases I have seen involves ignorance on one or both sides. You have several good points and believe in fact it does come down to what your your situation is, what you are comfortable with, and what is available to you in a given situation. My main aggravation is I keep seeing firearms demonized by ignorant people. Simple "I am not comfortable with guns for my uses" would be better, just as some may not see the need for a large survival knife while others would.

Quaamik (author)scottbowen2015-09-10

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not demonizing them or minimizing them. I carry one almost all the time and own ... lets just say several.

I'm trying to point out that carrying one involves knowing - and following - a myrid of laws otherwise its going to cause problems. Where I am, a concealed carry license is simple to get and with it I can have a pistol with me most places. In some states you don't need the license. In others, while you technically "can" get one, they are in reality reserved to those with a great deal of money and / or political pull. Many states limit what you can carry, how much ammo or haow large a magazine. Other states have significant restrictions on where you can carry one.

More importantly, most law enforcement are more than wiling to enforce laws that restrict weapons. If you think those same officers will not enforce, vigorously, a blanket prohibition on weapons durng a disaster, you haven't followied the news. Look at Katrina. Or look up the electrical worker called in after the hurricane hit New Jersey who is now facing prison time because he had a pistol in his truck (legal in his home state).

You can't pack things in your kit ONLY thinking of what will happen when the SHTF and the rule of law disappears. You also have to think of what will happen between now and then.

definingsound (author)scottbowen2015-09-09

Try to find the time to read the wikipedia entry about Sandy Hook, Australia.

bpfrocket (author)2016-01-26

Well thought our for an urban/suburban environment.

Alex 2Q (author)2015-11-04

Hi mate, congratulations to earning a second contest price with this Instructable.

Cheers Alex

4WantofaNail (author)Alex 2Q2015-11-04

Thanks Alex. I was a little soar I didn't place but being a runner up is okay too. looks like I'll have to save up to buy my leatherman.

Akinventor (author)2015-10-30

Great job! I would however suggest adding a Knife besides the scissors...Especially for a urban environment the tools on a multi tool would be very handy. I find myself using my knife every day to cut open boxes, packaging, or just about anything. In addition, it was very smart of you to include a padlock, but I have personal experience with those locks and they are very heavy and pretty insecure. While the locking mechanism and body is secure, the core of the lock is surrounded in zinc. This can easily be melted with a torch in a short time. Again, I like what you have done so far!

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)2015-09-29

Excellent. Some very good practical advice. And I agree completely on the choice of weapons. Non-lethal is the way I would go as well (and it can always become lethal if it is absolutely necessary).

"If you look military no one will mess with you" sounds like advice from someone who spends too much time watching movies, imho. Not the smartest way to go, and certainly not going to help keep you safe, especially if you don't have the skills to go with the look.

If I may make one suggestion, I would probably choose a slightly better food option, one that is not just carbs. Although I am not familiar with these "breakfast biscuits", so perhaps I am mistaken. But a meal replacement bar with lots of fibre and protein will give you more energy, keep you satisfied longer (or at least less hungry) and give you more of the nutrients your body needs. I would also include some dried fruit, such as apricots, maybe a small bag of nuts, and some vitamin pills. Vitamin C in particular, since it may be difficult to find good sources of it and it will help to keep your immune system functioning well.

Another good addition might be a small bottle of iodine. It can be used to clean wounds and purify water, in a pinch. Maybe not the best way to do either, but it doesn't take up much space or add a lot of weight and it's better than nothing.

Alex 2Q (author)2015-09-27

Excellent witten and well thought through instructable. I will be taking some inspiration for a future project from this.

Cheers Alex

4WantofaNail (author)Alex 2Q2015-09-27

Thanks for the kind words. Happy to inspire. Check out my other instructables. Might find some more useful info. cheers

JD Grayman (author)2015-09-25

Wow! Thank you for shout out! Glad I could help inspire you! I am working on a different bag myself, as I gave my Under Armor one to a friend (It was too large in my opinion). Maybe I will make v.2.0 ible soon! Good luck on the contests!

4WantofaNail (author)JD Grayman2015-09-27

No sweat, you've got some great info between all your instructables. keep 'em coming.

Ambermile (author)2015-09-15

First time I've logged in for ages... but had to vote for this. Cool ;)

4WantofaNail (author)Ambermile2015-09-15

Thanks for the vote. You should sign in more often. I've taken to reading CNN each morning and this provides a nice counterpoint to the bad news of the day. Cheers

Phoghat (author)2015-09-15

Very good 'ible,in a survival situation stealth is key. That said, here re afew thoughts:
Water: 1 liter weighs on Kilogram ( 2.2 lbs.) Isn't metric wonderful?
Knife: Size of knife is directly proportional to size of ego, inversely to IQ (IMHO)
Same with firearms.A slingshot is more useful than an AK 47 sometimes, as in putting food in your mouth ( can also be used as a bow)
BTW, as a retired health professional, that warm head thing is largely myth. keeping the head warm because heat escapes there is false, rather a hat that shades my eyes

4WantofaNail (author)Phoghat2015-09-15

Thanks for having read it. I'm in the process editing it a bit. As a former health care provider, I'm interested to know what you think of my medical pack; should you get the opportunity to check it out, that is. Thank you so much again. Cheers.

jls99 made it! (author)2015-09-11

Hey man there is some good stuff here. My situation is less urban than yours it would seem. And my bag is less "gray man" than yours. But I like the real world take on life.

4WantofaNail (author)jls992015-09-12

Thanks, I actually read through yours last night. Interesting take, I especially like the tent without poles. In my other pack I carry two tarps in place of a tent, maybe it's time for a revisit...

Couple of thoughts on your kit: maybe rethink the aerosol can, as they don't fair too well in warmer temps. Also you may want to think about moving that everclear to a more durable container. beyond that not too shabby good sir. Congrats on being featured.

jls99 (author)4WantofaNail2015-09-14

Actually I know from my college days that those pint bottles are solid. I understand about glass being breakable but glass is better than other materials in many ways.

The aerosol can is a good point. I have a few Off wipes (with DEET) in my first aid kit. But I should pick up more.

mid_life_crisis (author)2015-09-09

The comment about making sure there is money in your wallet reminded me of when I moved to Chicago and a local found out I was taking public transportation. He advised that I always have at least a $20 in my wallet for the mugger, otherwise he might get pissed off and stab me for wasting his time robbing me.

I like the gray man idea and will keep it in mind when I put something together to keep in my car. Unfortunately, I'm 6'2" and have one of those faces that somehow looks angry when completely relaxed, so any attempt at blending in may be a lost cause. Oh, well. It's worth a try.

thegrendel (author)2015-09-08

Thank you for a well thought out and potentially useful Instructable.

(Hopefully, we can avoid natural and man-made disasters, so that there will be no actual need to test its usefulness.) The only thing I'd suggest adding to the pack

is a small spiral-bound notebook and an all-metal writing instrument, such as a

Zebra F-701, which is useful as a defensive tool as well as for taking notes.

4WantofaNail (author)thegrendel2015-09-09

Thank you for the kind words and the back up, lol. I actually carry a pen on my person at all times, one of the military style fisher space pens. Comes in handy quite often and due to the pressurized cartridge it writes on just about anything. A note pad is indeed a great idea. Thank you for the contribution.

thegrendel (author)4WantofaNail2015-09-09

No problem. What the "critics" and trolls fail to realize is that it takes hours, often many hours, to compose and construct an Instructable.
It only takes a few seconds to make a thoughtless comment.

gurcano (author)2015-09-08

I really wondered the brand and model name for the wallet belt in the above photo. It looks very executive and have some wallet functionality.

4WantofaNail (author)gurcano2015-09-09

Sorry my friend, I don't rightly know. I just gave it a once over and there aren't any distinguishing markings. Truth be told I picked it up at my local thrift store ages ago for a buck. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

martincoetzee (author)2015-09-09

Great instructable and got my vote.

I was also very impressed with how kind you have been to a few of the unbelievably rude comments I saw here, shows real class.

Thanks for the vote and the kind words. I've lived through enough in my time not to let the things people say or do bother me too greatly. Besides as Voltaire said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Everyones entitled. Cheers

RomanS16 (author)2015-09-09

A group of badgers is technically called a cete, but are often referred to as a clan. Thanks for the post!

jackofalltrades1980 (author)2015-09-08

As far as weapons are concerned, for those who are legal CCW's and concerned about weight/space issues, I would recommend one of the NAA mini revolvers in .22LR/magnum, they're so small that you can have one in your pocket and almost forget about it. The 5 shots give you at least some chance to hurt someone long enough to run like the wind and a box of 50 .22LR's takes up very little space in the bag. It's one of those things that gives you more of an edge than any non lethal means would while at the same time not screaming to the whole world that you're armed.

MirrimB (author)2015-09-08

SteveS89 you must be in your 50+ if you went to school with a knife and didn't get expelled. I was almost expelled from High School for forgetting my little pocket knife was with me and having it fall out, and this was a about 20 years ago, in the USA.

He is talking about Urban disaster scenarios, not TEOTWAWKI. Times when law and order maybe impaired but not collapsed. Most of his suggestions are very good for that situation, and are certainly better then nothing, and not even close to what not to do. The Gray Man has much to recommend it.

Being judgmental about other peoples choices, when they are not impacting yours is silly. Making nasty comments because he loves his wife and cares about her opinions shows your lacking in social graces, and your opinion of women's worth.

As an aside I am pretty sure he lives in New York, at least East Coast US, from some of the things he wrote.

blackrazor (author)2015-09-08

Nice i'ble! Really enjoyed the thoughtful and thorough approach. As for charging your HT radio - there are some simple solutions which would let you use the USB battery pack you are already carrying - take a look at this one, which is easy to build and takes up almost zero space:

SteveS89 (author)2015-09-08

Interesting article and mostly malarkey. Where in the World do you live? I'm thinking the UK possibly?

I've carried a knife or three everyday for most of my life including all through High School. Nary an issue but now a days I carry a sidearm as well. Your choices and decisions make no sense at all. This is more of a what not to do to survive. I'd suggest you learn more about self defense and related tools and the world of prepping. Until then, keep hiding behind your wife's dress.

tiny.tim.3705 (author)SteveS892015-09-08

You're my hero.

thegrendel (author)SteveS892015-09-08

Steve, I agree with the author that this is not helpful criticism. What you're doing is generalizing from your own circumstances and experience. It is not necessarily the case that what is valid for you is valid for everyone else. I suggest that you post your own Instructable expressing your own point of view. And, I suggest you apologize for the inappropriate "wife's dress" remark.

4WantofaNail (author)SteveS892015-09-08

I live in Connecticut actually but have adopted several random phrases here and there that add to my charm. As for my article, constructive criticism is always welcome. If you're looking for a little beefier kit check out my full on Disaster pack. Thanks for the comment.

sitearm (author)2015-09-08

This reminds me of a Boy Scout project, years ago, where we made survival kits and then went camping to try using them to live off of. We caught a scrawny little fish and boiled it in a pot for a few scraps of meat. Items used: safety pin, string, razor blade, wax-coated strike-anywhere match, small pot, water, wood.

In addition to "cete," Wikipedia cites "colony" as a collective noun for badgers.

druck (author)2015-09-08

You went beyond 6th grade in school? Why didn't you learn how to spell and the proper use of grammar? It looks like English may be your first language, but if it is you need a remedial course.

thegrendel (author)druck2015-09-08

If a person went beyond the 6th grade in school, that implies that he has learned courtesy and respect.

About This Instructable




Bio: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider ... More »
More by 4WantofaNail:Disaster Preparedness Pack V3.14159265....Introduction to hobbyist Lock picking Aka: LockSportThe Lock Box: Lockpicking display & Practice stand
Add instructable to: