posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 01:38 PM
I've been reading a lot of survival books after a recent camping trip renewed my interest. However, one or two of the books have been in reference
to Urban survival situations. So far, they have made some compelling arguments in favor of urban survival over rural survival. Living in an urban
environment it's nice to not hear about how I'll die immediately for a change.
I thought it would be fun to have a friendly discussion weighing the pros and cons of urban survival versus rural survival. I'll start:
There was once a time when wars were fought in open fields with thousands of soldiers, these battlefields were generally removed from most cities or
towns due to technological limitations on the war machines and weaponry. Simply put, seiging a town could take years, smashing an army in a field
could take a day.
However, with technological improvements to military machinery and combat theory most wars of the 20th century have been set in urban environments,
this holds especially true for insurrections, revolutions and coups. It makes perfect sense really as the majority of modern life has been moved from
the rural areas to more populated urban and suburban environments. Urban environments also offer better strategic options to both attackers and
defenders and in many cases offer much more resources than rural environments. It seems very likely that if such a "bug out" type scenario would
happen it would be located in an urban area, take 9/11 for example.
One of the basics to any survival theory is that of the caching and storing of food and supplies. Common notion would have us think that a rural
setting would be more conducive to the creation of a survival location but much has changed in the past century. In some states it is extremely hard
to do any type of construction or improvement to your own property with out the proper licensing, inspections, tax audits etc. In many cases, such as
here in NY, the government will use satellite imaging to check in on certain larger properties to make sure that "illegal" construction isn't
However, in an urban environment most people will think nothing of an addition to the back of one's house, the placement of water purification
systems or the reinforcing of security around one's home. Basically, an urban environment offers one the anonymity needed in a survival situation.
A strongly reinforced house will become a local landmark in a rural environment.
This brings us to the idea that perhaps you didn't cache and store supplies, stored inadequate supplies, or were forced to leave your location or are
unable to get to your cache. This situation will necessitate scavenging what ever useful materials one can find. If we take into account the idea
that most people, a good 90% will not be prepared for a survival situation we can assume that there will be a scavenging rush on most well known
sources of survival necessities.
In today's rural environment the majority of one's shopping is done at places such as Wal-Mart, Costco and the Mall. These places have massive
amounts of resources yet are also gigantic landmarks that everyone will know about. You can expect these local chains to be all but empty or under
the control of military, militia or gang powers within the first week. In essence, rural resources are more centralized than they were in the
In an urban environment there are a greater number of smaller stores, nearly every block has some sort of small bodega, hardware shop, clothing store
and row upon row of houses filled with resources. If we are to assume some sort of exodus or a state sanctioned rounding up of people such as what
happened right before Katrina then we can assume that a majority of these stores and houses will be left vacant save for their supplies. Now, this
isn't discounting a fair amount of looting and scavenging but common sense would dictate that most people loot high end items such as televisions and
computers and leave smaller things like sweaters behind. A great deal could be scavenged from your own block alone.
The commonly held notion is that the cities will be over run with gangs and criminals, while this may be the case in some areas it will also be the
case in a rural environment. However, it is highly likely that an urban environment will also be where the majority of military focus is thus
creating a greater military force to oppose lawless gangs. In a rural environment it is very likely that militias will take it upon themselves to
fill a power vacuum and might go so far as to claim ownership of large areas of land and the resources contained therein.
One of the most important rules to any survival situation is not to become a refugee as you will lose all control and freedom and not fair very well.
This will require anonymity and a good place to hide when the tanks roll by. In a rural environment it is likely that every large house or compound a
military force or militia come across will be searched and supplies taken. In an urban environment such combing of the area will be near impossible
and most military people will be concerned with merely reaching their destination unharmed. Also, undetected travel could theoretically be easier in
an urban environment as most buildings are connected and you can easily find entire blocks of buildings at the same height allowing rooftop travel.
I suppose I'll stop here as this is supposed to be a discussion and not just me preaching. I have more to say but I'll save it for later.
Please feel free to join in on the discussion from either side, agree with me or tell me I'll die the minute the bombs blast, thats why it's a
FRIENDLY discussion. I also haven't mentioned the feasibility of guerrilla type opposition to an occupying force and whether such an idea would be
more viable in an urban or rural situation so fee free to mention that as well. I look forward to hearing other's opinions.