“People are being cheated, robbed, murdered, raped. And that goes on 24 hours a day, every day in the year. And that’s not exceptional, that’s usual. It’s the same in every city in the modern world. But suppose we had no police force, good or bad. Suppose we had… just silence. Nobody to listen, nobody to answer. The battle’s finished. The jungle wins. The predatory beasts take over” ~Asphalt Jungle by John Huston, 1950
The pros and cons of living in a metropolis are obvious to everyone. What a big city offers in terms of amenities: museums, theaters, cinemas, live music shows, and public transportation are typically offset by increased crime.
Specifically, I am talking about safety. That’s also the reason why a lot of people, in recent years, have moved away from large urban centers. The constant threat of being robbed, assaulted or even worse is much higher than any rural location. This makes living in metropolis hard to deal with. For some individuals, it’s unbearable.
Some statistics on violence
“Violence is just when kindness is vain” ~Peter Corneille
The FBI reported “[…] 366.7 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in the United States […] including murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as violent crimes […]”.
The global crime rate went down during the Worldwide pandemic. A study conducted by John H.Boham and Owen Gallupe, demonstrated that “[…] Compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, crime – as measured by calls for service to law enforcement – has decreased markedly. However, there are multiple indications that the crime drop is being driven by decreases in minor offenses which are typically committed in peer groups. […] The most common metric of these reports is police calls for service (911 calls). Probably due to the fact that 911 calls are events that are easily track-able over time, major news outlets like The Washington Post (Jackman, 2020), USA Today (Jacoby, Stucka, & Phillips, 2020), and CNN (Waldrop, 2020) have all used this as the metric for determining that crime is down across the U.S.[…]”
If on one hand, the data is encouraging, on the other hand, your level of situational awareness should not be neglected.
In a world in constant change, our alertness and, consequentially, our preparedness should always keep us on track.
Even the most comfortable and apparently easy situations can hide threats. It could be a catastrophic natural event, a minor accident, or an encounter with people with bad intentions.
Far from being a remote possibilities in a world where social distance has already increased in us all a surprisingly high level of awareness connected
In addition to the physical aspect, we should also consider the mental ones.
Preparedness: mind & body
The gear you chose is useless without a solid mindset. Our brain needs to be trained as well as our body.
Behavioral Analysis Program (BAP) could be extremely useful in training your brain, enhancing your judgement skills towards people.
Developed by the FBI, this program focuses in providing remarkable tools to understand – and to verify – the reliability of people, and even more important, to predict their actions and thoughts.
In an urban and suburban context, this skill represents a consistent aid if connected to situational awareness. Reading people requires patience, perseverance and experience, but the benefits you will acquire are immeasurable.
Think of being a hostage. By reading the mind of your kidnapper, and by predicting his/her actions, you could actually find a way to escape taking advantage of a moment of distraction, maybe triggered by a weak point. A lot of cases ended up that way. History, as always, has a lot to teach us.
“Sizing people up”, by Robin Dreeke is one of the best books I have personally studied on this topic. Sizing people up doesn’t turn you into “too judgmental”. It simply protects you:
- from disappointments
- from threats
- from dangers
As well as, elevating your insight,increasing your rationality, and reducing emotions.
In a worst case scenario which could take place in a city, no one wants to be an easy target. Being too emotional makes a target in many cases. Being rational, instead, helps you to keep yourself at arm’s length from danger. Last but not least, it helps you to set your EDC in a proper way.
Disregarding your health is the first mistake to avoid. What if you need to run away from a dangerous situation? Or to climb, or jump from one spot to another? No one can do that for you. You definitely can’t rely on the presence of good people to help you.
You might find yourself alone which is the very first thing you need to consider when you start to dedicate yourself to specific training and diet. By acclimatizing yourself to physical fatigue, and by adopting a balanced life style, you will gain instant benefits in your daily life, way before than in any emergency situation.
The advantages of this will amaze you and will also help determine your personal selection of EDC gear.
Setting up an effective EDC
Prior to explaining the items noted below, I would like to stress how important it is to have knowledge on each piece. Too many times, I’ve run across women who carry Pepper spray but they don’t know how to use it and, even worse, how to maintain it.
In an emergency situation that requires you to go into action, you must be prepared!
Also, it’s mandatory to know the legislation of your Country and State relative to self defense and using weapons. In Europe, some countries don’t allow you to carry a fold-able knife. Even if you are a woman and your purpose is just self defense.
Bee informed, compliant and respectful of laws, as they play an essential role when you are setting up your perfect EDC.
Your perfect EDC should cover the following requirements:
- Personal defense
I’ll go through my EDC point by point. Some items may appear odd but they’re definitely worth it for me due to their purpose or multipurpose.
As a Tracker, I feel the need to always have a measuring device with me. Urban Tracking is very tough, due to the nature of the metropolitan substrate (mainly asphalt, concrete).
Nonetheless, it can be done successfully in certain areas like gardens and flowerbeds, or whenever the presence of liquid material allows you to see footprints clearly.
Tracking people can also help you to chose the safest path to take. It may also keep you away from rundown areas where the probability of an encounter with bad people is much higher.
- A key ring made of paracord with a steel ball wrapped in
- A fold-able knife as a necklace
- A Pepper Spray Gun
- A sharp bracelet
- A sharp ring
- Some windproof matches
- Some cotton as tinder
- Dutch tape
- A Lighter
- A flint
- Charger (even better to have a solar panel)
- A mobile phone
- Data card
- USB Keys
- Paracord bracelet with flint, compass and whistle
- Measuring device
- Sewing kit
- Iron wire
My wallet also contains a small piece of paper with essential phone numbers.
- High protein meal ready to eat
* Containing personal meds, bandage, tourniquet, etc.
A multi-light torch (colors: red, white, green, blue to better seeing tracks in different contexts), And a watch.
Where to put your EDC and how to maintain it
Every time you move from one bag to another don’t forget to transfer all the items contained in your EDC. I suggest you adopt just one pouch to keep all of the items together.
A molle pouch is a good option, as it is consistent with tactical backpacks and bags. Resistant and durable, it won’t let you down even if over-stressed. Any other tough bag will work, if your goal is to not draw too much attention on you because you are too “tacti-cool”.
A periodical check of all the items in your EDC and Medkit is highly recommended.
Remember that some pieces could get spoiled or totally damaged by excessive heat or humidity. Be careful where you store them and, even more important, where you put your bag or backpack at home.
Our EDC follows our personal improvement in terms of:
- skills we gain and master
- situational awareness
- new technology
Do not let your EDC fall into oblivion, stranded somewhere in your bag or backpack. Check it, test it, reconsider parts of it on a regular basis.
Be prepared and meticulous and do not let bad habits like laziness take over your attention to your EDC: it may save your life.
Kyt Lyn Walken
- Certified Wildlife Conservation Ranger at Conservation Ranger Operations Worldwide
- Official Representative & Instructor at Hull’s Tracking School
- Directora de Rastreo Humano por Dynamic Tracking (Spain)
- The way of Tracking – European Mantracking School