Useful Tips to Remember in an Urban Survival Situation

Urban Survival

Urban survival situations pose a wide-range of challenges that are unique to this type of environment.  The difference between success and failure will rely heavily on being able to improvise and adapt, often with little advance warning.  A big part of developing this capability is learning how to make use  out of whatever resources may be available at the time and finding ways to modify them.  Let’s take a look at a few examples that illustrate this point.

Grappling Hook

Chances are that you will encounter all kinds of obstacles that will impede your ability to seek safety on foot.  Anything from walls or debris from collapsed buildings to draw bridges or sinkholes can force you to lose a lot of time and energy as you find ways to get around them.  One excellent option is to go above them, and the best thing to have in order to do that is a grappling hook.  Making one is very easy.  All you need to do is tie some cordage that can support your weight to a crowbar, and use the crowbar as the anchor.   

Indoor Fire

Building a fire indoors comes with unique risks.  You can be exposed to smoke and noxious fumes if the area is not well-ventilated, or the fire can spread and burn down the structure.  One way to minimize the risk of the fire spreading is to create an above-ground fire pit with some cinder blocks.  Stack them two or three bricks high and make a square to box the in the fire.  One way to reduce the amount of smoke the fire produces is to cover a portion of it with some damp cardboard, and add water as necessary to keep the material moist.

Opening Manholes

You may end up deciding that it’s better to use an underground sewer or tunnel system to safely escape the area.  However, one of the biggest challenges that you will face is trying to remove manhole covers because many can weigh more than 100 lbs.  A simple and efficient solution worth remembering is to use a shoelace or cordage, a short piece of metal that’s about 2-3 inches long, and your flashlight or crowbar.  Tie one end of the shoelace around the small piece of metal before inserting it into the hole in the cover.  Position it so that it locks in place as you pull on the string.  Next, tie the other end of the string around the center of the flashlight or crow bar.  All you need to do is give it a good pull, and the cover should slide off with ease.

Bike Pump Siphon

Finding a fuel source that hasn’t been used up is like winning the lottery in urban survival situations.  However, you’ll need a way to extract the fuel and fill up your containers.  One solution is to improvise a siphon with a standard bicycle or hand pump and some tubing or small hose.  Connect your hose to the one attached to the pump, and secure it with a generous amount of duct tape.  Think of the pump as a large syringe that can hold fuel as the air is drawn out.  Depress the handle, place the hose into the fuel, and slowly pull the handle all the way up.  To release the fuel, place the end of the hose into your container, depress the handle, and it should flow right out.

Emergency Bio-Diesel

If you need access to fuel for a bug out vehicle, you can make some bio-diesel that should be able to get you at least 50 miles away before the engine starts to gunk up and break down.  All you need to do is find some used vegetable oil, some antifreeze or a fuel heat additive and some lye, which is found in most drain cleaning products.  The best place to find used oil is in large waste bins behind restaurants or stores.  The ratio is 5 parts fuel, 1 part methanol and ½ tablespoon of lye.  Heat the oil to make it more viscous, strain out impurities, add in the methanol and lye, give it a good stir or shake, and pour it into the gas tank.  While the effectiveness of this method is hit-or-miss, it’s worth knowing about nonetheless, because it can end up giving you the chance to drive out of the area instead of having to walk.

These tricks illustrate how easy it is to improvise and create valuable urban survival resources.  Always keep your eyes open for ideas as they come along, and don’t be afraid to put some of your own to the test as well.  The more you know now will most-definitely give you options in the middle of an urban survival situation, and you will need all the help that you can get if and when that time comes.

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