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In our Urban Prepper 101 guide, we’ll tackle the basics of preparing to survive in the city during a major catastrophe from urban prepper mindset to how to start preparing and what gear to acquire. 

Half of the population lives in urban areas like major cities in these uncertain times. Chances are you might be one of the 4.2 billion people who reside in urban areas all over the world and should begin to prepare.

When the collapse, disaster, war, or other survival scenario strikes, are you prepared to survive in a city or urban area with few natural resources and thousands of others desperate to survive surrounding you?

We’re going to cover its unique challenges and give you strategies that you can employ to ride out possible survival scenarios as an urban prepper.

urban prepper

Urban Prepper Mindset

A lot of urban preppers prepare for a SHTF scenario by making a “bug out plan” as their primary option once things go south.

Here’s the usual urban prepper game plan once a disaster strikes:

  • Orient and meet family
  • Grab their bug-out bag and supplies
  • Throw it in the truck and get out of dodge
  • Move to a secure bug-out location

Many urban preppers make these plans as if they are going to cruise down the open road in their truck/car to go camping.


The Truth About Bugging Out As An Urban Prepper

However, the truth is bugging out is way easier said than done in a true survival scenario in an urban disaster. You’re not going to waltz out of the door with your urban prepper gear and drive smoothly to your bug-out location out in the woods during a true emergency.

It just will not work like that unless you leave before any event or disaster happens, which I highly recommend.

Consequently, the fact is, as an urban prepper, you’re going to encounter a lot of chaos, downed communications, and potentially mass hysteria and desperation. It all depends on the scenario at hand.

Something to keep in mind as an urban prepper is that panic can set into a large group of people very quickly. Just look at what happened during the COVID-19 lockdowns and how quickly the riots spread across major cities.

urban prepper

Attempt to Leave Or Hunker Down?

Unless you leave the city before everyone else does, or before any sort of disaster occurs in the first place, you’re most likely going to be stuck in traffic while the roadways are in gridlock because everyone’s going to try to flee to safety just like you. This is your major hurdle in urban prepping if bugging out is your primary plan.

With all of this being said, if you decide to reside in a densely populated urban environment, you should also prepare to survive in the city as an urban prepper in case circumstances do not allow you to leave for a while.

As an urban prepper, you must face the fact that your chances of hunkering down in the city are pretty high.

And, not if, but when that day comes, you want to be prepared to survive until the immediate threat has passed and/or until you can evacuate to a much safer location.

Primary Challenges For A Urban Prepper

urban prepper

If you decide to stay in the city as an urban prepper, here are some of the factors that you must consider in your preparedness planning.

Population Density

New York City has approximately 27,000 people per square mile, while the entire state of North Dakota only has 11.

Population density is the biggest challenge and threat to you as an urban prepper. It complicates survival and forces you to have a unique prepping plan. Even the most organized and efficient cities will not be able to restore law, and order or help you once all hell breaks loose.

You will be on your own until the situation is brought under control.

If you consider yourself an urban prepper, you need to devise an urban prepping survival plan that will allow you to survive away from violent crowds and inevitable riots.

Especially if you come across as an urban prepper or someone who looks prepared. The mob of desperation will come after you and your supplies. Not to mention they may even hurt you out of pure desire because they know they could get away with it.

People are unpredictable and chaotic in true emergency situations and history has shown us that there are people who will not hesitate to take advantage of the crisis to loot, rob, and murder others for their own gain.

urban prepper

Accepting A Harsh Reality:

Discussing preparedness for survival and collapsed scenarios forces us to face the dark truths many do not like to talk about.

Moreover, being an urban prepper means you accept the harsh reality that evil people exist and will not hesitate to commit heinous acts against you when given the opportunity. This premise should guide your overall urban prepping plans.

Society will break down after the rule of law no longer being enforced. This will require you and your family to be self-reliant.

You cannot depend on the government, first responders, or law enforcement because they’ll be overwhelmed or inoperable in such a dense area during such a catastrophe.

urban prepper

Another Harsh Concept To Accept:

Desperation itself will cause even the most upstanding person to do horrible things just to survive or save their loved ones. This is another harsh truth to accept as an urban prepper because you may be on both sides of that coin.

That sweet mother who lives a few doors down with tear your throat out for a can of beans when she becomes desperate enough. This is a part of human survival instincts and must be considered when surviving in a densely populated area.

As an urban prepper, you must have those same instincts as well. You must accept that there is a strong chance you will have no choice but to be ready to fight to the death to protect yourself, your family, and your chance of surviving. You will need to defend yourself, your family, and your supplies at all costs.

Consequently, you must prepare with the mindset that others may come to harm you and take your supplies, whatever their motive. As well as be prepared to do whatever it takes to survive while still remaining a moral and righteous person.  

Limited Natural Resources and Dependence on the City for Utilities

urban prepper

Another important factor you have to consider as an urban prepper is the lack of natural resources to utilize for survival within major cities.

These places are called concrete jungles for a reason. The concept of living off the land virtually doesn’t exist. People hardly have any space to grow plants, let alone a garden. Foraging and hunting for food are not very viable options, either.

So, what happens when the system collapses and the grocery stores shut down or are empty? Would you have an emergency food storage ready?

Worse, what would you do when the city itself can no longer provide utilities like electricity, heat, or water? Are you prepared with alternative sources of energy? Water filters or collection methods?

We will get to supplies later in the guide, but these are concepts to consider as an urban prepper.

Limited Storage Space

Not all urban preppers have huge pantries, garage space, or extra rooms for emergency supplies. Most live in tiny apartments in the middle of the city with barely any space to spare for a survival stash.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to make do with the little space you have in your urban prepping space.

Using “dead space” in specific areas is going to be your best friend in this case. Utilizing space under your bed, overhead voids, and in closet/cabinet space can be really effective. Using plastic tubs to store stuff in can be really helpful and are cheap at any hardware store or get some heavy-duty ones.

Once you fill all of these areas, some urban preppers opt to start storing their supplies right in their living spaces and they don’t mind moving around them.

What you do as an urban prepper will be up to you, but making use of that dead space and utilizing things like stackable food buckets and stackable water containers are going to be your best friends.


Urban Prepper Communication and Transportation Concepts

As an urban prepper, you have to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a solid evacuation and communication plan for your family?
  • A designated meet-up or bug-out location to go to when communication isn’t possible?
  • How about a stash of cash to have on hand?
  • Do you have any supplies on hand at all?
  • Evacuation routes and plans for a vehicle as well as on foot?
  • And so on

These concepts are all things you need to think about ahead of time so you have a plan in place to keep you as safe as possible.

urban prepper


First and foremost, during a disaster phone lines will certainly become congested and will be rendered useless if they aren’t down already in the first place. If the scenario is bad enough, the power grid will most likely be down as well, taking with it the internet and all the useful tools we have grown accustomed to.

That will eliminate all modern means of communication and transportation for an urban prepper.

That being said, how are you going to be able to communicate with loved ones in a scenario where the grid is down? The answer is going to be relying on previously set plans and then turning to satellite communication tools and/or radio waves.

Satellite phones are super expensive and the plans you pay for can be too much to maintain, making it not practical for most people. Fortunately, there is an affordable option for those of us out there who cannot pay the premium that comes with satellite phones. 

The Bivy Stick is a great option to take advantage of satellite communications while saving a whole lot of money. The device takes advantage of the Iridium satellite network to turn your smartphone into a satellite text messenger no matter what is happening with the grid on Earth. You can learn more about the device and how it works by clicking here.

Second, another option for localized communications is going to be utilizing the radio waves. Handheld radios come in many different shapes and types. They can be essential to your communication needs within your family or group particularly in a survival scenario as an urban prepper.

Handheld HAM radios by Baofeng do the job, are super popular, and are affordable. I have a couple of the Baofeng BF-F8HP handhelds with upgraded antennas and batteries to get more reach out of them.


Major cities rely on mass transportation systems like buses, taxis, and trains. Unfortunately, these will be the first to go when disaster strikes.

If you miss your window to get out of dodge before panic sets in, the roads will be gridlocked almost immediately. Consequently, this means your only modes of transportation are reduced to motorcycles, bikes, or on foot.

These options leave you unable to carry much and exposed to threats and other dangers on the road.

Leaving a major city will be very difficult and dangerous when the chaos is in full force. Your best option is to leave before anything happens. However, depending on your circumstances that may not be feasible.

In this case, bugging in will probably be the best option. Exposing yourself and your family to the elements and traveling with loved ones, small children or babies is just too difficult and risky unless absolutely necessary in my opinion. Let us know what you think about this topic.

urban prepper

Urban Prepper Safety And Security Concerns

Firstly, the biggest threat I think of as an urban prepper in a survival scenario is going to be surviving the dangers posed by others in such close proximity to you.

Remember that disasters can bring out the best in people, but for others, it can bring out the worst in people.

The unprepared masses will panic and desperately try to get their hands on any supplies or resources they can to feel comfortable.

Make no mistake, they will do this even if they have to fight tooth and nail to get it.

Think about the toilet paper frenzies people got into during 2020-2021.

On top of that, you have the ones who want to come steal and harm you simply because they want to or they want to take your supplies. This poses a very real threat to urban preppers trying to survive in the city.

Once all of the easy-to-get supplies from the stores are gone, where do you think they are going to look next? You guessed it. They are going to go door to door to look for any vulnerable people to steal supplies from.

urban prepper rioting

Rioting and Civil Unrest

In the event of a disaster or major event, riots and social chaos are likely to ensue. This will most likely be your biggest threat as an urban prepper.

We know this is a recurring phenomenon because it occurs nearly every time there is a major event or protest these days. Unfortunately, the evil and morally misguided prey on the weak and misfortunate for their own gain.

People of this nature did exactly this in 2020 when they claimed part of Portland and called the region “CHAZ”. When they became desperate because they ran out of food, they kicked in the doors of their own to steal and feed themselves. There was no law enforcement response and no law and order so chaos erupted.

Furthermore, this is why you need to know how to protect yourself, your family, and your supplies as an urban prepper. Avoidance and staying incognito will be key. However, knowing how and being willing to defend yourself and your family is essential to your survival.


How To Become and Think Like An Urban Prepper

Finally, let’s dive into what you can actually do to become an urban prepper and survive in a heavily populated area.

Becoming an urban prepper is the same as being a “regular prepper”. However, there are some unique skills and challenges to those dwelling in the city, hence the designation of urban prepper.

There are some skills that will be incredibly beneficial to have to survive the chaos of a city in turmoil.

urban prepper

You Are Your Greatest Asset

First and most important, most people think that being an urban prepper is only about stashing survival food, collecting gear, and buying weapons.

That is a big part of it, but the reality of prepping is that it is all about becoming better capable of handling hardship and enduring traumatic scenarios while having the proper equipment to aid in that endeavor

This means that you actually need to be a capable human being.

You cannot fall into a false delusion and false sense of security that just because you bought a bunch of supplies, food, and ammunition, that means you are safe. 

Doing all of that doesn’t mean you are automatically safe from trouble because you think you are “prepared”. If you aren’t capable of using your equipment and supplies effectively, they will actually become more of an issue for you when you need them most.


That being said, as an urban prepper you have to be prepared for anything by being fit, strong, conditioned, and skilled in a number of very specific areas. Here’s just a few:

  • Overall fitness, strength and conditioning
  • Medical training
  • Firearms/tactical training
  • Gear familiarity and training
  • Mental toughness
  • Unwavering faith and/or mental resilience
  • Leadership skills
  • Overall awareness and ability to manage emotions effectively.

This sounds like a lot of stuff. That’s because it is and this list does not even cover it all. Your goal as an urban prepper is to make yourself the most capable individual you possibly can be. When it all comes crashing down, there is a very real possibility that no one is coming to save you. You need to accept this fact and become the one others rely on to make it through the hard times. It is your role as a man and a leader of your family.

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Urban Prepper Frame of Mind

First and foremost, I take this section very seriously, especially as an urban prepper. Keeping a cool and level head is your most important tool in any emergency/survival situation, and it’s no different for urban survival. In fact, you will need keen situational awareness even more as an urban prepper since human contact will be far more prevalent.

It is my firm belief that the most important thing about being an urban prepper is that you are your most important asset. You need to make yourself into the strongest and most capable tool, both in body and in mind, to accomplish the goal. To survive and protect others.

Any urban prepping you do will mean very little if you have not taken it upon yourself to get fit, get skilled, get trained, and acquire the knowledge you need to come out of any disaster with you and your loved ones unscathed.


Situational Awareness:

That being said, you have to develop something called situational awareness. It is not a recommendation it is required, not only as an urban prepper, but in everyday life as well.

Situational awareness is one’s ability to perceive and assess a certain scenario and act accordingly. This means knowing:

  • Where you are
  • What time it is
  • How many people are around you?
  • How bad the situation is?
  • What resources are available?
  • Factors you can control
  • The factors that are out of your scope
  • Potential threats and where they are

In other words, you have to develop a keen sense of what’s going on around you so you can make the right calls AND do this on a near-constant basis. It is a developed skill and is very common in military, law enforcement, and other security professions.


Reading People:

Situational awareness encompasses learning how to read people by their body language. You need to be able to trust and develop your instincts. All of the modern world’s distractions and comforts have left so many of us out of sync with our instincts. You need to ask yourself these questions with every person you come across:

  • Can you trust this person?
  • Are they going to harm you and your family?
  • How are these people going to react to a SHTF scenario?
  • Are they acting desperate?
  • Acting to trick or rob you?
  • Does that path look like an ambush?
  • How does my dwelling look from the outside at night? Am I easily found?

As a protector, leader, and the prime urban prepper of your household, you have to develop this essential skill by practicing it every day. Be observant and know what’s going on around you at all times so you can make sound decisions that keep you out of harm’s way.

Collecting and Storing Supplies for the Urban Prepper

Collecting supplies for the urban prepper is not very different than any other sort of prepping. However, storing your supplies will be a little more difficult if you have little space as we discussed before. Using some of the methods from earlier in this article, you can store almost everything effectively.

Here are some of the things you should begin storing, gathering and becoming effective with:

urban prepper
When the shelves go empty will you be prepared?


Humans can only survive without water for 3 days in decent conditions. That being said, water will need to be a priority for you and your family. Not only for drinking but for hygiene as well. You have to remember that in most disasters and a major SHTF scenario, the grid, water systems, and other utilities will most likely be offline.

That means no water will come out of the sink and no working shower or toilet.

In turn, you need to think about how you will acquire drinking water. Being in an urban environment probably means there are no natural water resources nearby and you will be left with whatever water you can find or have on hand. This is why storing water is even more important as an urban prepper.

That being said, make sure to store enough water for drinking and hygiene purposes for your household. The recommended volume is usually 1-2 gallons of water per person per day but aim for more if you can store it. Which is no easy task I know.

You can store water in these tough BPA-free containers if you have some real estate to spare. They are also stackable to save on space and hold 5 gallons each so they are manageable to move around.

If not, you can always go for store-bought water bottles. These are purified, sealed, and relatively easy to carry should you need to bug out.

If you don’t have enough space to store this much water in your home, make sure to stock mobile water filters, a larger water filter system and water purification tablets/drops. These urban prepping essentials take up little space, don’t require fuel, and are effective for purifying your water.


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Water Storage Hacks:

These are some simple water storage “hacks” you can keep in mind.

Fill up your bathtub before the water shuts down. Although, you may not have time to do this.

If you have a water heater in your place, that’s also a source of water you should keep in mind that will stay contained and you can drain a fair amount out when needed. All you need is a little know-how and simple hand tools.

You can also find water sources in rainwater catchment systems, water towers, or even fire hydrants. You’ll have to know where to find these water sources, though. Mark these spots on a street map for good measure. You’ll never know when you’ll need them. These are good to keep in mind but should never be your sole plan for water.

Think about places where water is stored ahead of time to help you when things get desperate. You will be ahead of the curve and can beat other people to it and avoid the potential fight over it.

You can get cheap and easy to store rainwater collection systems so this shouldn’t be much of a hurdle.

Emergency Survival Food Storage:

Government agencies suggest storing at least 2 weeks’ worth of food…

Are you kidding me?

A two-week supply will barely scratch the surface when a long-term situation arises…

It’s better than nothing but if you’re really serious about being an urban prepper, you’ll want to build a long-term stash of non-perishable items like canned goods, freeze-dried food, and emergency survival food from a genuine supplier of good products.

Maximizing the calorie count of your foods, especially if you’re low on space is essential. Nutrient-dense food to get all of your required nutrients is necessary. You cannot just buy sacks and sacks of rice and expect to be okay long term.

You need protein, carbs AND fats.


Your body will burn body fat for energy when you are starving and once there is no more, it starts to decay your muscle tissues. This includes your organs, leading to organ failure, so this needs to be avoided at all costs.

There are two approaches you can take to storing food. Buying foods in bulk and preserving/storing them yourself or buying pre-assembled emergency food kits.

I’d say do a little of both and see what fits your budget and needs. Pre-assembled kits can cost more, but are already done for you and will last up to 25 years on the shelf so you have peace of mind.

Buying food items in bulk and repackaging them in containers like food-grade buckets and mylar bags with oxygen absorbers are great for protecting your goods. This method requires you to put in a lot of time and beat the learning curve to preserve and store food properly.

That being said, it is a great skill to have. Canning, smoking, salting, freeze-drying, and properly packaging foods are worth knowing and this can be a great opportunity to learn these skills.


Pros and Cons of Survival Food:

Buying some emergency food kits to have on hand is nice because they are compact to grab and go in case of an emergency bug-out situation. They also are easy to store to save space.

However, there is a caveat to buying these. Most mainstream survival companies seek to take advantage of people who prepare and load their “food” buckets with horrible fillers and empty calories and use sketchy advertising methods.

For example, a “3-month supply” from some “patriotic prepper company” sounds great but it’s deceiving because there are many variables at play.

Usually, they are referring to only one person who eats 2,000 calories a day.

To someone who is going to be surviving, working, and potentially defending themselves, if those are empty calories that don’t provide real nutrition, then you’re in a bad spot. So it is important to look into how many servings/calories the buckets have and what those ingredients are.

If you go this route, it is important to look for a genuine company that makes real quality food kits.

My go-to source is Nutrient Survival. I enjoy their food so much that I negotiated a discount for all my readers. Use code “STRENGTH15” to save 15% on everything. They also have numerous free samplers you can check out as well.

urban prepper food storage
Prepare your own food storage or buy kits? Why not try both?

My recommendation if you are interested in getting real emergency food kits for storage is to look at their ingredients, look at how they advertise their contents and quantity, and weigh the cost for you.

Personally, I want all-natural, real food to eat that will actually fuel me with proper nutrients for the rough times ahead.

Not to mention, the positive psychological effects it will have on my mental state during hardship.

That being said, if you want to go with pre-assembled food storage, I recommend checking out Nutrient Survival. I am so confident in their food products, I negotiated a discount code for all my readers and followers. Use discount code “STRENGTH15” to save some cash on anything you buy.


Use code “STRENGTH” for a discount

Miscellaneous Gear:

Furthermore, as an urban prepper, you want to collect as many tools and supplies as possible to help make surviving and even thriving, easier for you and your family in such a difficult area.

This is a brief list of some general items you want to consider, some items I recommend, and some items useful to the unique challenges of surviving as an urban prepper.

This list is by no means exhaustive and they are suggestions of only some of the basics.


To start:

Urban Survival:

In addition:

These are a few extra items that could be beneficial to an urban prepper and their families.

When it comes to urban prepping and survival, you want to keep a low profile and remain secure. If you venture out for water, and supplies or to make a bugging-out attempt, these items may prove invaluable.

We’ll talk about these a little more down below. Building a bug-out bag or a get-home bag to hold and organize all of these is a good idea for all of the urban preppers in your household.

Security, Protection and Defense

This section touches every true prepper’s heart. The majority of us love our guns and love to share opinions on great tactical gear. While this won’t be a complete tactical guide, we will cover some basics for an urban prepper to know, think about, and consider acquiring.

There’s no questioning whether you will need personal protection or not in an urban survival setting. The population density, unpredictable crowds, desperate masses, and angry rioters/looters in a time of struggle are all obvious reasons for needing tools for protection. But, where do you start and how can you begin to prepare?

Primarily, you definitely need to consider the gear listed in this section. It is my firm belief that every prepper should get their hands on firearms, ammunition, a plate carrier and body armor plates, a small chest rig, a gun belt set up, and medical supplies to manage injuries that may arise.



Everyone has their opinion on what they think is best and what they want.

The reality is you should have a small variety of different weapon systems to apply to different threats and use in different circumstances. This is not a hard rule, only a suggestion.

Whatever you can afford is better than nothing at all or numerous firearms you don’t know how to use.

However, having different firearms can be useful for different scenarios. For example, you wouldn’t carry a rifle out in the open when trying to stay incognito.

Therefore, I think a safe bet is to collect a quality handgun and a primary rifle like an AR-15. Additionally, a shotgun is a useful weapon system to have. They each have specific uses that cover a lot of self-defense scenarios. 

When purchasing a pistol, I recommend a full-size 9mm handgun but get whatever suits you. The debate over why 9mm is the most popular option out there is for another article. Our guide on the best handguns for beginners and home defense is a great resource for finding a great performing handgun.

Furthermore, proficiency with it is what matters so be sure to train with it. You can learn to do so at home in this dry fire training guide. Once you own a firearm you can train for free in a safe area so there is no excuse to not be at least somewhat proficient.

Additionally, I recommend considering the idea of carrying concealed under your clothing in a survival scenario and in everyday life.

urban prepper ar 15

Next, I highly recommend an Ar-15 platform when getting a rifle/s. They are commonly acquired via two methods.

You can buy complete rifles or build them yourself by collecting all the parts and then assembling them. If you are new to this stuff, I’d say buy a complete AR. Whether you decide to build one or buy complete here are some brands to look out for and places to look:

Next, choosing to have a shotgun is up to you. I personally have a semi-automatic 12 gauge. This is a low-priority weapon to have in my opinion. You can find great deals at all of the websites I mentioned above but if you’re curious as to what I own you can see it here.

Lastly, a precision rifle is something that can be put on the back burner but is something to seriously consider when urban prepping. A lot of urban survival will be up close and personal but you could definitely take advantage of rooftops for scouting and having long-distance shooting abilities is never a bad thing.

urban prepper gear

Plate Carrier/Armor/Chest Rig:

There is a debate in the online tactical community about whether you should run a plate carrier with armor plates or a chest rig to carry the essentials. The correct answer depends on your own scenario, needs, uses, and budget. In all honesty, you should have both to remain adaptable. 

Both pieces of gear accomplish the goal of carrying rifle magazines and other essential gear on your torso. One just has the benefits/pitfalls of giving you ballistic protection while the other is a lightweight option to carry a little less gear.

My current go-to for armor plates is RMA Defense. They offer some of the best body armor plates for an affordable price and are always growing their offerings. They also have affordable plate carrier vests and more.

       => Read my “Top 5 Best Plate Carriers of 2023” round-up to learn more

Battle/War Belts.

Battle belts and War belts are the same thing with different names and something you need to have. A proper battle belt carries all of your magazines, holster/sidearm, your med-kits, knives, and any other essential gear you may want right at your side.

Not having one puts you at an extreme disadvantage should a serious situation arise. Not to mention this is the standard for firearms training, combat, and competing as well.

The belt you choose depends on your budget and taste. I personally am running this belt for my training set up and it has done well for me, although I will be upgrading to something else soon.

Anything from Blue Force Gear, High Speed Gear or other brands on this page will do you well.

If you haven’t acquired medical supplies you need to

Medical Kits and Supplies:

Medical supplies and training for an urban prepper, and preparedness overall, are widely overlooked. These are literally lifesaving supplies/skills that you need to save yourself or your loved ones if someone is injured.

I consider these to be required items to put on your prepper list.

Additionally, you NEED the skills to save lives in an emergency or SHTF event. Get CPR certified and find a TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) class near you. In these classes, you will learn how to save yourself and your loved ones if something were to go seriously wrong.

Get some real medical training and refresh it every so often to keep your certifications current. It is truly invaluable when you need it most.

That being said, you also need some quality medical gear to use to be able to bandage up cuts, clean dirty wounds, stop bleeding out, resuscitate someone and manage other injuries.

My recommended starting point is to look into an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) and some sort of large trauma/first aid kit to have stored to have essentially a mini hospital in your home. 

Because this section is so dire here are some brands/resources to look into that I have partnered with to offer discounts:

I’ve snagged you guys a great discount at MyMedic if you use code “Strength15”.

Urban Prepping Concepts and Considerations

As we begin to wrap up this guide on becoming an urban prepper, I want you to take some concepts into consideration when working through your urban prepper journey.

In an urban survival scenario, there are some specific things to consider that may not be as big of a deal if you are out in a rural area.

Certain things like cooking meals, using lights at night, coming across like you have lots of gear, and making noise can all give away your location/stash in the blink of an eye, making you a target. This will lead desperate people to your location for survival equipment.

This is not a good thing for you.

urban prepper gray man theory
Gray man theory is the act of blending into your surroundings, not just wearing the color gray

Gray Man Theory:

As an urban prepper remaining incognito will be crucial. Gray-man theory is the concept of blending into a crowd and your surroundings to not attract unwanted attention.

The reality for a true gray man is that they are prepared for most situations, but they don’t appear to be to the untrained eye. This is something you want to accomplish if you want to keep your supplies hidden and avoid a fight to defend the gear that keeps you alive.

(I just recommended all kinds of overt/obvious tactical gear that will draw a lot of attention when worn in public I know.)

This is gear you should have and will need because when it’s a true disaster defense becomes paramount.

However, avoiding conflict by remaining incognito is your safest bet. You can still have the means to be prepared to defend yourself/your family while out and about, in everyday life, and a survival event alike.


Ego is another thing to keep in mind as men. We think we can be badass and take on the world at times when really we are just as vulnerable as anyone else.

With all of that gear you collect, can come a false sense of security. It can even lead some people to become arrogant.

You need to defeat that sort of mindset NOW if it is developing through your training and prepping endeavors.

All ego needs to disappear in a disaster or SHTF environment, and it would serve you well to dispel it now in day-to-day life. To be frank, it will get you killed.

There is no need to go looking for a fight with all your fancy gear and guns because you have something to prove. Or worse to use your gear for evil means itself. This information and all of your gear are meant for defensive purposes and to stop evil in certain circumstances.

Cooking, Lighting and Visibility:

Furthermore, some more things to keep in mind are the level of your “presence” that you give off, emit and show. Cooking creates a smell that starving people can pick up very easily and using lighting and campfires can easily be seen in a dark environment. This all elevates your presence to others and can attract unwanted attention.

So what do you do?

Never have a fire and not use any lanterns, fires, or flashlights?

No, you just have to be smart and careful as you go about it. This is the life of an urban prepper, you have to contend with the fact that desperate, starving, and evil people will all be within a very short distance of you. You should take that into consideration with any plans you make or gear you decide to gather.

Night Vision and Thermal:

Night vision, NODs, NVGs, and thermal imaging have become increasingly popular in the tactical and prepping communities. This is because of the overwhelming advantages they bring to you in a world where we live in the dark half of the time.

Being able to see in the dark obviously is a huge advantage and can increase your capabilities and chances for survival.

Anyone in their right mind would add them to their prepping supplies, but here’s the catch; they are very expensive.

This is becoming less of a hurdle with certain payment options, sales, and the development of digital night vision but remains a barrier to acquiring this superpower.

Don’t go into debt over it. Remember that your life as it is now is still the priority and we are aiming to become better off, not worse off.

Regardless, it is worth sharing resources for you to learn more and potentially get your hands on some quality night vision equipment yourself.

For a quick and helpful guide on the basics of night vision, click here.

Here are some resources you can find good deals on night vision and thermal:

Final Thoughts

The fact is that as an urban prepper, you have a set of unique challenges but with proper preparedness, you can curb some of the dangers. This will be a helpful starting point in your preparedness journey as an urban prepper. It can also serve as general prepping guidelines for overall preparedness even though it was tailored for urban prepping so feel free to share with anyone who you feel could benefit from it.

As a short recap, you need to think about leaving the big cities and relocating to a less populated area before a disaster happens.

If that isn’t possible get yourself ready, accept the dangers, collect the gear/supplies in this guide, and get your body and mind ready for the challenges that an urban prepper could face.

I am always available through the contact page and on my Telegram channel/group.

Continue the journey by reading more articles like this one down below.

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