Gear Face-Off: Urban Jungle vs. Wilderness Frontier - A Tactical Gear Showdown

Choosing the right tactical gear involves understanding what works best for your locale. Environment-specific tactical gear will serve you well.

When you’re checking out equipment, you may find yourself thinking about the benefits of urban vs wilderness tactical gear. What would be the better option? Feels like one should get environment-specific tactical gear that’s most relevant to one’s everyday experience, right?

The catch is that tactical gear is most beneficial in high-intensity scenarios, not one’s everyday experience. A normal, uneventful day is not one that calls for urban or wilderness survival tools. On the other hand, an emergency situation in the city is gonna be very different from an emergency situation while hiking.

We’re gonna break down the advantages of equipping urban vs wilderness tactical gear⁠—and vice versa. This 14er Tactical gear comparison guide will go over the following questions:

  • What should you look for in urban survival gear essentials?
  • What should you look for in wilderness tactical equipment essentials?
  • Can you expect tactical gear adaptability to different environments?
  • How can you be prepared for the worst case scenario?
  • What is a bug out bag and why do you need one?


Urban vs Wilderness Tactical Gear Selection Guide

The urban jungle, they call it. But no city is truly comparable to the wilderness. Even on dangerous streets, you’re never too far from emergency services⁠—not to mention the comforts and amenities of city living! 

But when you’re on a nature trek, you can be a long way from help. You’re on your own, unless you’ve got a fellow hiker by your side. Even then, they are limited in what they can do by their gear and survival skills. That’s why every hiker’s gotta be equipped with essential wilderness survival tools.

When you’re in an urban environment, your concern is less about survival and more about readiness, responsiveness and mobility. You also want to show people that they don’t want to mess with you. Nature doesn’t care that you look like a badass. But urban folks are gonna notice, and that’s sure to steer trouble away from you in a lot of cases.

When equipping urban tactical gear, you’ll want to choose something discreet as well as functional.

Urban Survival Gear Essentials

When it comes to navigating an urban environment, you may have to balance readiness and acceptability. Some businesses may not be accepting of visitors who are geared up like a military commando. Besides, that’s gonna be overkill. You can look badass and confident without parading about like Rambo.

Urban tactical backpacks will let you discreetly carry your urban survival gear essentials, including your piece. A quality bag like the 14er Tactical Backpack will come with a CCW pocket in which to store a firearm. Casual onlookers won’t even know it’s there, but you can draw it at a moment’s notice.

You should also consider carrying a multitool. This can come in handy in a variety of situations. It includes a sturdy knife, of course, which can have a lot of uses. It will have a screwdriver, pliers, scissors, file and other tools. 

Perhaps the most essential tactical gear for different environments (city or wilderness) is a first aid kit. Here’s how to put one together so you can be suitably prepared.

Wilderness Tactical Equipment

Any tactical gear selection guide will tell you that you will want tough equipment for a wilderness trek. Durable products are always great, but keep in mind that your wilderness tactical equipment may face harsh conditions, including high levels of sun exposure, intense heat, wetness, mud, soil, rocks, and bad weather. Your gear is likely to get banged about and possibly dropped. It’s not in for an easy time.

You can consult our packing guide for pointers, but in short: you’ll want to carry the Ten Essentials of outdoor adventure. These wilderness survival tools include fire starting accessories, a knife or multitool, a flashlight or headlamp, and a first aid kit. 

Environment-specific tactical gear can make a difference. If you are going on a cold weather hike, for instance, you should get gear to match. 

Attitude can make a big difference to survival as well as one’s enjoyment of the hiking experience. That’s why it can be helpful to bring these on a hike: good music, favorite snacks, and morale patches. While these don’t exactly count as wilderness tactical equipment, they can keep your spirits up, and that’s a great benefit on a rugged outdoor adventure.

In a disaster scenario, you may have to leave the city and focus on outdoor survival. Depend on tactical gear adaptability to pull you through in such a situation.

Urban Survival Gear Essentials for the “Worst Case Scenario”

The wilderness can give you a bad time. Nature can be unforgiving, and help can be hours away. But in general, you can avoid trouble by planning ahead. Knowing about the terrain, wildlife and expected weather can guide your preparations. You can decide on a hike location and schedule that is ideal for your adventure. You can avoid going on treks that are expected to pose an unreasonably high level of risk.

Minimizing risk in the midst of an urban environment is not so simple. Areas full of people are very unpredictable. And you have no way of guessing what incident might possibly take place. A fire, gas leak, earthquake, vehicular accident or attack? These are only some of the possibilities. 

In the city, your main concern is not survival but mobility and reaction time. You’ll want to escape from a high risk situation and get safely to your home. From there, you can grab your bug out bag and start making your way out of the city, if necessary. Your goal then becomes long term survival.

Surviving in a “Worst Case Scenario” in a City

A bug out bag is your best friend in the event of a full-scale disaster that threatens a large urban area. If you are able to pull through the initial danger and get to your home, you should immediately equip your bug out bag. It will have the tactical gear and supplies you’ll need to survive for several days outdoors, enough time to reach a place of safety. For more info, check out our tactical gear selection guide for packing a bug out bag.

The Bug Out Bag Guide has a helpful article that talks about how you can survive a disaster scenario in your city. It emphasizes the need to downplay your appearance, because you don’t want to look like a valuable target to others. Urban tactical backpacks of a discreet design would serve you well in such a situation. You can lower your risk profile by making your backpack look used and dirty, with the goal of signaling that your stuff is not valuable.

For long term outdoors adventure, you will need a durable backpack in which to keep all your wilderness survival tools close at hand.

From City to “Wilderness”: The 14er Tactical Gear Comparison

Once you get away from the city, outdoor survival then becomes your main concern. Count on tactical gear adaptability to help you to adjust to these changing conditions. 

Urban tactical backpacks should serve you well in such circumstances, even if you end up venturing into the wild. Tactical backpacks are incredibly durable and designed to weather the elements. They actually do well as outdoor survival gear⁠—just as well as commercial outdoor adventuring gear. But they often do a better job of blending in. 

You definitely want to equip yourself with the tactical gear that makes sense for your location: either urban or wilderness gear. But if you’re an urban survivalist, you need to prepare your everyday carry bag as well as your bug out bag. The latter needs to be stocked with wilderness survival tools. All part of your tactical disaster planning. It’s a way of ensuring you’ll be prepared no matter what.

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