Over the last 20 years, there has been a massive incline in the number of people carrying small, survival kits in their pockets or backpacks. (Please see our earlier blog article entitled "What is an EDC Kit and How To Build One?").
However, due to size, convenience/ease of carry and national laws, carrying a small survival / EDC kit may turn out to be impractical, if not illegal. This is all the more so when living / working in an urban environment. Particularly in office environments, pulling out a medium or large folding knife will have all types of alarm bells ringing (poor sheeple!).
In the UK, for example, it illegal to carry any knife with a locking mechanism, in a public area. So even a one inch blade can get you arrested, if it had a lock on it. Where as, a knife with a sub three inch blade and no locking system would be acceptable (and legal). This may seem an odd way to go about things but that is the law.
So, sometimes carrying a survival / edc kit can be cumbersome. If something is inconvenient to carry, chances are, it won't get carried. Solution - a small collection of useful items carried on your keychain or keyring which will always be with you wherever you go!
So what items should you try and carry, particularly in urban environments, food, fire and water procurement are unlikely to be a priority, in the short term. If we are talking actual survival situations, then how much can a person actually carry on a keychain, that is of any use at all? Well surprisingly, quite a lot!
Urban EDC essentials - the classic combination of knife, flashlight and pen. Amongst EDC aficionados, this trifecta will help cover 99% of daily needs. These items are not "survival" items per se but undoubtedly could be of great use in a survival situation.
Other items you may want consider -
A multitool - what better item to carry than something consisting of many tools, useful for a wide range of tasks. Some of the smaller multi tools combine great, functional tools with a minuscule size and weight meaning key chain carry is very practical.
An emergency whistle - attract rescuers attention. Weighs next to nothing and takes up no room. A very useful survival item.
A lighter - although more suited to long term survival, this can also be useful item to carry. Even if you are not a smoker, a lighter can still be a useful item to have. Ultimately, it can provide you with heat, light and a way to signal in the dark.
A stash capsule - fill it with anything you could find useful. Pills, bank notes, memory cards, gold bars, plasters or other first aid items. Buy a good quality one that is 100% water tight, to keep your items in mint condition.
Signal mirror - not just good for signalling but also useful as a medical item eg removing debris from an eye. Also allows you to check around corners or over over walls safely.
Trying to cover all emergency eventualities with a key chain style survival kit will be impossible, so bear this in mind when putting yours together. Choose items that could be genuinely useful.
Ultimately, two is better than one and one is better than none. Having some small tools with you is unlikely to be the be all and end but it will certainly give you a bigger fighting chance.