Whether doing some urban exploring or just spending a relaxing day in the city, there are things that everyone should carry with them. From practical tools to safety items, we’ve put together this guide to cover everything you need for your urban adventures.
Everyday Carry Essentials
You don’t have to have crazy urban adventures to need some essentials. In fact, there are everyday carry essentials that we tend to take for granted these days, but they are often stuff we carry on a daily basis without putting any thought into it.
Keys, wallets, and smartphones are just a few examples of the items we carry with us each and every day, and it’s those items that not only make our days more enjoyable and easy to navigate but can keep us safe.
From navigating the city through a smartphone app to being able to call for help when needed to using the right wallet that protects our sensitive information from being stolen, everyday things that are now commonplace can go a long way in making your adventure more enjoyable.
Safety and Security Gear
- Personal Alarms- personal alarms can come in many forms, from whistles to keychain alarms. These small devices can significantly impact in the face of danger, warding off would-be criminals or alerting others that you need help.
- Self-defense Tools- As scary as it may seem, there is always a chance that you may need to defend yourself in a bad situation. You should always be prepared for the worst, even if it never comes, from weapons like a knife or a gun to non-lethal tools like pepper spray. Be sure to check local laws to know what you can and cannot legally carry with you.
- Flashlight- A flashlight is one of those items that you don’t realize how important it can be until you need one and don’t have it. From walking dimly lit streets to enduring a power outage, a flashlight, even a tiny one, can come in handy when least expected.
Urban Exploration Gear
- Quality Footwear- Nothing will spoil a day quicker than being uncomfortable or, worse yet, in pain. Urban exploration means hours on your feet, walking around the city, and without suitable footwear, your journey will surely be miserable.
- Reusable Water Bottle- Urban exploration can be a very demanding pastime, and staying hydrated is a must when doing something that involves so much physical exertion. Of course, carrying a bunch of water bottles is not practical, so a reusable water bottle will quickly become your best friend.
- Navigation Tools- When we think of navigation these days, our thoughts immediately go to our smartphones—directions at our fingertips. A smartphone can be a great way to navigate unfamiliar territory, but it's always a good idea to have a backup if your smartphone loses connection. The backup? A compass and a good old-fashioned paper map of the area.
- Portable Chargers- Just because you’re in an urban setting doesn’t mean you’ll always have access to a charging area. Carrying a portable charger means you don’t have to worry when your device's battery gets low, and there's no need to be frantically looking for a place to charge it.
- Backpack- Don't limit your urban exploring by restricting the amount of stuff you carry. You can choose from many bags, but many people prefer a backpack. Use a quality hiking backpack to easily carry all your gear when you travel, from food and water to electronic devices and camera equipment.
Weather Protection Gear
- Sunscreen and Sunglasses- When we think of protecting ourselves from the elements, it's natural to think of things like rain or wind. Because our minds tend to head in that direction, we often underestimate how powerful the sun can be. Long days of exposure can cause sunburns, heat stroke, and lasting damage to your eyes. When planning your outdoor adventure, don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Waterproof Windbreaker- Windbreakers protect you from the wind, and rain jackets protect you from the rain, but it’s not always practical to carry both. Instead, purchase a waterproof windbreaker that will cover you in any situation and keep the elements from cutting your adventure short.
- Compact Umbrella- You might not always need the protection of a good waterproof windbreaker. Maybe the day is only calling for a light shower here and there. Not something you have to pack extra clothing for, but still something you want protection from. A compact umbrella is lightweight and easy to carry, yet it can come in handy when those unexpected light showers pop up.
Tech Gadgets and Accessories
- Smartphones- Smartphones are a part of our everyday lives, so it's unlikely that you or a member of your group won’t have one. With a good navigation app, a smartphone can guide you to places you would have never known were there and provide entertainment in the form of music and podcasts to break up those long days.
- Earbuds- Sometimes, it's nice to be able to escape while you’re escaping. To drown out the noise of the bustling city. Whether in the form of music or your favorite podcast, a set of earbuds can eliminate the background noise without disturbing the people around you.
- Camera- Yes, smartphones have come a long way in capturing great photos and video, but no matter how advanced, they often can’t compare to a high-quality camera. If you're serious about urban adventures and sharing those adventures with others, then a good camera is a must-carry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of everyday carry (EDC) items?
Everyday carry items have a wide range of purposes, from making your adventures more convenient to making them safer; the purpose of EDC in an urban setting will depend on what your adventure entails.
Are there any legal restrictions on carrying certain gear in urban areas?
Certain EDC items can have restrictions, especially regarding self-defense items like pepper spray or a knife. Always check local laws for restrictions in your area.
How do I choose the right backpack or bag for urban use?
There can be many variables when choosing the right backpack for urban use. The best one is the one that suits your needs and can carry all the necessary items while still being comfortable enough to carry all day.
What safety measures should I consider when carrying self-defense gear?
Self-defense gear will come with manufacturers' recommendations on proper use and safety while carrying. Always follow the recommended measures for your specific piece of equipment.
Can I find urban gear at local stores, or should I shop online?
Yes, you can find a wide range of urban gear in a store. Many outdoor stores will cater to the urban explorer, and much of the gear used in rural exploration can also be used in an urban setting. There are plenty of places to shop online, too!