20 Economical Prepping Solutions for Urban Dwellers

Everything’s more expensive when you live in the city. Add to that the challenges of limited space and a unique environment that suburban and rural dwellers don’t have to deal with and it’s no wonder why so many of those who live in the city feel as though they can’t properly become preppers.

But does that mean you can’t get started? There may only be a few tweaks you need to make, and you can still manage to start prepping affordably.

Tapping into the wisdom of preppers who live in the city, we’ve come up with a list of affordable prepping solutions that work for individuals who live in the city. Let’s take a closer look at 20 economical prepping solutions for urban dwellers that you can use in your prepping to get results that are better for your needs.

1. Focus on Building a Bug-Out Bag First

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When you’re living in the city and there’s an emergency, the best first choice isn’t always to shelter in place. From an emergency like an earthquake or a fire to something else that may demand that you leave your space quickly, you’ll need a bug-out bag.

Bug-out bags are basic survival tools that contain some of the essentials you’ll need to survive for at least a few days. These are quite affordable to build if you choose cheaper supplies and will be invaluable in the event of an emergency that requires a speedy escape.

2. Turn Available Spaces Into Storage

A housewife woman pulls neatly folded bed linen out of the closet. The concept of space organization and storage. Cleaning and order.
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The biggest challenge urban dwellers face is not having nearly enough space as suburban or rural dwellers. Fortunately, other dwellers have found cheap ways to be more savvy about the available space they do have for food and water storage.

From inexpensive storage like using space under the bed or inside a hollowed-out sofa to quick shelf builds and creating cheap coffee tables using water containers as a base, there are many creative ways to utilize available space without breaking the bank.

3. Stock Up on Water Filtration Devices

echnician installing reverse osmosis equipment under the sink. water filter system
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Make no mistake, having a few gallons of water as well as some water bottles and water packs that you can take with you is not a bad idea. But urban dwellers won’t be able to store a ton of water or take a ton with them if they need to go somewhere.

Keeping plenty of water purification tools on hand ensures that you have what you need to drink from any water source that might be available to you. Better yet, most are relatively cheap, making it so that you can get potable water anywhere.

4. Have Basics Like Batteries, Flashlights, and Other Power Sources

Tactical Flashlights
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A power outage can be a major concern in the city due to most urban folk not having generators and backup power that they can use.

Start small and affordable with batteries, flashlights, and other small power sources like solar power banks or small power stations. It may not keep your entire space powered, but it will be enough to make a difference when it matters most.

5. Start a Small Herb or Vegetable Garden

vegetable garden
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Growing your own food can seem impossible if you have limited space (and limited sunlight). While an entire garden may be out of the question, you could always grow herbs using a small kit, use available window space for small vegetables, or even plant a few essential vegetables or fruit on any available balcony or patio space.

This will teach you some essential survival skills and give you access to some food if times get tough.

6. Calorie Bars and MREs Are Your Best Friend

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Stocking up on food can be a bit difficult once you run out of pantry space. The good news? Survival food items are there to save the day. Calorie bars and MREs take up minimal space in your living area and can be cheap if you make sure to avoid massive meal kits or boxes upon boxes of bars from some retailers.

Just buy as many as you think you might need, and you’ll have emergency food you can fall back on if disaster strikes.

7. Visit the Dollar Store for Medicine and First-Aid Tools

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Your health and safety are at the forefront of your prepping activities. But while you may come across a host of specialized tools and kits that are supposed to offer some elevated first-aid experience, most often you’re tricked into overpaying for goods you can easily get at a much lower price.

Whether you need medicine like painkillers and cold relief liquid or you need bandages and gauze, you can get a ton for cheap at your local dollar store.

8. Know Where You’re Going to Go If You Need to Flee the City

tourists reading a map
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Making a plan of action costs absolutely nothing. When you live in the city, knowing where to go when you need to flee is crucial. Are there safe spaces nearby? Do you need to leave earlier to avoid traffic? How are you going to get to your next destination?

With a map and emergency plan, you’re much more prepared should the time come when you need to execute your plan.

9. Network With Those Who Have Skills or Resources You’ll Need

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Community is everything when you live in an urban space, especially if there’s an emergency and all you have to rely on is the people around you. Start networking with like-minded individuals in your city who are also focused on prepping.

Establishing a network of people with different skills will ensure you have people who will support you because they know that you can support them.

10. Buy Cheap Outdoor Survival Gear and a Reliable Pack

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An emergency in the city may mean that going somewhere in nature could be your best bet for survival for the foreseeable future. Beyond just a plain bug-out bag for certain emergencies, you could also have an outdoor pack with various camping gear and outdoor survival gear that you’ll need in the great outdoors.

As with a bug-out bag, you only spend as much as you wish when putting this emergency resource together.

11. Get a Small Camping Stove

A man cooking on a camping stove
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A small camping stove is something you’ll be grateful to have during a power outage. Small camping stoves are relatively cheap and can be powered by gas, making them useful if you find yourself without power for long stretches of time.

You may even wish to get some catering supplies at wholesale prices so you can keep food warm for longer too.

12. Multipurpose Items Are Your Friend

hank crank radio
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Multipurpose items are your friend. They make it so that you can save space and still retain access to the things you might need in case of emergency. One great example is something like a four-in-one radio.

The only thing to remember is that not all multipurpose tools are built the same, so you want to assess the quality and customer reviews to make sure you’re making a worthwhile purchase.

13. Buy Basic Defense Items

Pepper Spray
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Pepper spray, tactical knives, and tasers are all examples of defense items that most people living in the city should already have their hands on (if the law allows).

If you don’t already have these and you plan on prepping, now’s the perfect time to buy them!

14. Invest in a Hand-Operated Washing Machine

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One key survival activity that people forget about is doing laundry. Walking around in dirty clothes is not ideal, but access to washing machines might not be so available.

Portable washing machines or even older methods of doing laundry can help you keep your clothes clean and don’t cost too much to buy.

15. Collect Rainwater

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Rainwater is free and something that many recommend collecting if you’re a city-dweller looking for cheap ways to begin prepping.

There are a host of systems and setups out there, so look around to find a system that works best for your space.

16. Have a Balcony? Use It for Solar Power

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Solar panels can be set up easily if you have the space. All you need is compatible power stations, and the power of the sun is at your disposal.

They are a little bit bigger of an investment, but they’re not so ridiculously expensive that you’ll scoff at the idea of them. Plus, once you own them, you just put them outside when you need more power so you can keep certain things charged or running.

17. Make Your Own Beeswax Candles for Multiple Applications

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Candles are probably one of the best survival tools out there that often get overlooked. They produce heat and light, they can be used to warm things up, and they can act as a lubricant or sealant.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to stock up on candles, make them yourself. You can make a ton of candles with a few pounds of beeswax and some cheap containers.

18. Get a Small Personal Safe for Quick Cash and Important Documents

home safe
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Having cash and other essentials in your home could be a problem if they’re easily accessible and someone manages to break in. Buy a small personal safe (better if it’s fire or floodproof) to keep these items in.

If you ever need to go, you can just grab these secure items and take off. If you face an emergency where these things are normally at risk, they’ll be safer since you planned ahead.

19. Spend Time Improving Your Urban Survival Skills

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One thing that takes up no space is a new survival skill. Free courses and cheap courses can help you learn how to grow food, defend yourself, and survive outdoors.

The more skills you acquire, the better you’ll be able to survive in the city and beyond.

20. Look to Cheap Heat Sources During Major Power Outages

camping stove with wind screen shield. Cooking hiking food
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Being able to cook during a power outage is desirable, but not necessarily essential. Staying warm, on the other hand, is a life-and-death scenario.

Since portable heaters are out of the question, look to rocket heaters made of materials like tin cans. These heaters alongside the right clothing can keep you warm even when the power goes out.

Best Hunting Rifles of the Last 50 Years

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Choosing the “best” hunting rifle is a pretty personal thing. We all have different opinions and preferences on what we like to hunt with. But still, over the last 50 years, there have been some remarkable weapons. Over the past half-century, the evolution of hunting rifles has seen so many innovations, catering to a wide range of needs from the casual deer hunter to the adventurous big-game enthusiast. What’s your favorite hunting rifle? Which weapons deserve a spot on this list?

14 Most Versatile Hunting Cartridges

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With almost 16 million hunters in the United States, and with such a huge range of game to hunt, the right rifle and the best cartridge is critical. We have some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, with animals ranging from tiny squirrels to gigantic moose. The cornerstone of a successful hunt lies in the hunter’s skill and knowledge but also in the choice of ammunition. The right cartridge can make all the difference, offering the power needed for a clean, humane kill without compromising the quality of the game.

38 Things Every Prepper Should Stockpile That Aren’t Water, Food, or Weapons

Get home bag
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This list extends beyond the basic survival trio of water, food, and weapons. It’s a given that we need to stock up on water, food, and a way to defend ourselves and what we have. But what other things will you need in a survival situation? None of us truly knows what TEOTWAWKI will really look like, although most of us have theories we think most likely. But whatever the situation is, there are certain supplies that it just makes sense to have on hand, aside from the obvious trio I mentioned above.

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