For most of us survival means getting a reservation at that awesome new restaurant and the most serious threat we face on a daily basis is some jerk texting and driving. All the same, survival in the urban jungle means being prepared for a different and constantly evolving set of threats. Fortunately, it’s relatively inexpensive to equip yourself with some next level urban protection.
A Dash Cam
Remember that jerk texting and driving? These days being able to prove who was at fault and show what happened to law enforcement and the insurance company, is a hugely valuable tool. There’s a reason every police car has a dash cam and, with prices under $200, there’s no reason for you not to have one. There are stealth models that fit around the outside of your rearview mirror and are hard to see from the outside. Most models have a setting to start recording when your car is bumped, others are motion sensing. With all the distracted, rude and downright incompetent drivers on the road today, a dash cam is not optional. You’ll also discover that you change your driving habits when you know you’re being recorded all the time.
There are so many places where any type of weapon, even a pocket knife, is restricted that it’s sometimes not even worth carrying one in town. But something that I’ve found can sneak through almost anywhere is a tactical pen. It’s probably okay that tactical pens can get through security as they are relatively poor offensive weapons but they’re awesomely effective defensive weapons. My tactical pen of choice is the Auto EC tactical pen, just $15.99 on Amazon, so if I lose one it's no big deal. It’s solid and effective as both a defensive weapon and writing instrument. I tested one on heavy cardboard, wood and it did a surprising amount of damage. Here's a good instructional video on how to use a tactical pen for self defense.
The Tuff-n-Lite Pullover
Tuff-n-Lite is a fabric that’s light and comfortable and yet nearly impossible to cut and resistant to puncture. Worn by glaziers (glass technicians) and people routinely working with sharp knives, Tuff-n-Lite fabric products are remarkably resistant to cutting and abrasion. For urban survival you can’t beat the Tuff-n-Lite Police Pullover priced at $236.99-$269.99 depending on size. The level of protection from cuts is astonishing, check out the video below. For bike commuters and motorcycle enthusiasts the company has jackets and pullovers in safety colors.
Bulletproof Laptop Bag
These days you can get a briefcase or laptop bag fitted with NIJ Level IIIA ballistic panels. If that’s too spendy or too formal you can always pick a backpack with NIJ IIIA shielding or a simple ballistic panel to line the briefcase or laptop bag of your choice. A laptop bag may not be much protection but, if the lead starts flying, it’s better than nothing.
Clotting Sponge, Compression Bandage, Splint
It’s not always convenient to carry a medical kit but imagine three very compact and light emergency supplies that could save someone’s life. In my days as a volunteer firefighter I started carrying three things all the time. Those items are a flashlight, a pocket knife and a small medical kit. In that medical kit should be a bleed-stop pad, a compression bandage and a good old Sam Splint, which we carried on all our fire department vehicles. With just those simple items, together costing less than $30, you can manage some surprisingly ghastly wounds and possibly save your own life.
You can’t anticipate every contingency but you can give yourself an edge. The great part about these urban survival products is they don’t look like anything threatening. You’d blend right in and, sometimes, that’s the best protection of all.