Although people living in the country are usually a lot safer during major disasters, many of us have no choice but to continue living in the city. If we’re unable to make it out of the city before disaster strikes, we’ll be facing a very different set of challenges than what we would face in the country, and our survival gear should reflect that. The type of gear I want to focus on in this article is knives.
If you live in the city, you should carry a knife designed to deal with urban survival scenarios. It needs to be tough, dependable, and capable of a variety of different tasks. And in a last ditch situation it needs to be a good defensive weapon against stray animals and two-legged vermin. Here, then, are 3 great knives you should consider purchasing.
The Gerber infantry knife is a 4.8 inch fixed blade fighting knife designed for use with the U.S. Military. The knife’s design was heavily influenced by the urban combat troops who were facing more and more dangers during the war on terror. Although the knife was never a general issue tool for the troops, it became a favorite among those who didn’t mind buying a knife with their own money.
The Gerber Infantry features a very wide blade that is effective as a weapon, a digging implement, or even a light prying tool. The Infantry’s versatile design allows it to be used for many different things. For example, it features three different holes: one at the rear of the handle, and two at the handguard. These are the perfect size for paracord lashing to turn your knife and a good solid stick into a spear. The handle also has an integrated glass breaker for escape from cars, or to permit access into and out of buildings.
The Gerber Infantry also has a sharpener integrated into its sheath. Such a small feature is very handy to have. The grip is a very sticky rubber that provides a comfortable and sure grip when using the knife for heavy work. The blade comes in either a straight blade option or partially serrated. I suggest the partial serration since it’s impossible to predict everything you’ll use a knife for. The Infantry is quite affordable as well, and can be had for right around 60 dollars.
2. M.A.K. 1
If there is one group of professionals who know the ins and outs of an urban environment, it’s firefighters. They are tasked with entering and exiting buildings while facing an indescribable amount of danger. Columbia River Knife and Tool company, aka CRKT, teamed up with Urban firefighter and knife maker James McGowan to make the M.A.K. 1.
The M.A.K. 1 was designed as a knife for fire and rescue crews, which makes it a near-perfect urban survival knife. M.A.K. stands for multiple access knife, and the knife is perfect for building entry. The tip of the knife is a square-edged chisel tip, meaning there is no traditional tip. The end of the blade is designed to be used as a pry bar for opening doors and windows when they need a little extra force. The blunt end can help get under a window sill and force it open without having to break it.
When it comes to breaking windows you get two options: First is the traditional carbide tip at the end of the weapon’s grip. This allows for rapid smashing of both automobile and building windows. This carbide tip is perfect for an emergency situation. The second option is the twist breaker groove. This is good when you are able to take your time. It allows for the controlled and slow destruction of car windows. The M.A.C. 1 may not be the best choice for defense, but if push comes to shove and shove comes to slashing, this tool won’t let you down.
There is a real chance you could be caught at work, out to dinner, or simply out on the town when disaster strikes. All those preps you have at home are pretty useless in those moments, and your get home bag could be a mile away in a parking garage. In these situation you may be up a creek, but you can still have a paddle. And that paddle is the Sog SwitchPlier 2.0. It’s small, lightweight, and very handy.
Unlike traditional multi-tools, this model is very thin and can slide into a pocket easily. There are no issues with comfort or bulk like a regular folding multi-tool. Although most cities have stricter knife laws than rural areas, there is often an exception for multi-tools. The SwitchPlier gets its name from the fact that it acts very much like a switchblade, but with the pliers. Simply hit the button and the pliers and handle will quickly rotate upwards. This allows one-handed use and easy access to the pliers.
Packed away in this little convenient carry tool are 12 total tools–three screwdrivers, a knife, can opener, file, bolt grip channel, awl, bottle opener, ruler, and of course the pliers. The Sog SwitchPlier is a perfect everyday carry knife that can provide an extreme level of versatility and durability.
Surviving in an urban environment is bound to be difficult. The sheer mass of unprepared people will cause all sorts of chaos, so people living in the city need to be ready. Urban survival is like rural survival–a good knife is an absolute a necessity. When choosing a knife for urban survival, look for one designed for the police, military, or firefighters. These three groups of people work in urban environments on a daily basis, and they do rough work. Regardless of the knife you choose, have a knife!