Riots and other violent “demonstrations” are an increasingly common sight in many cities across America. Often motivated by political ideology along sectarian lines, we are seeing a sharp uptick in the frequency, duration and intensity of these events.
From clogging major thoroughfares with a mass of bodies to completely shutting down public spaces with mob tactics and violent disruption, there seems to be no end in sight for this type of behavior unfortunately.
In just the past three years alone we have seen clashes between various violent factions like Antifa and police, or two opposite sides of the political spectrum locking horns, with innocent citizens and their property caught in the middle.
One can hardly turn on the news without more coverage of this nature: masked and black-clad rioters, many armed with crude weapons, hassling and even attacking their opponents (or perceived opponents) brazenly in broad daylight.
Since these events are showing no signs of abating anytime soon, it would be best if one were to brush up on the needed gear and techniques to survive such mayhem. In today’s article here on Survival Sullivan, we’ll take a look at seven common EDC items that will help you survive a riot.
The 7 EDC Items to Help You Survive a Riot
The following items are commonly carried EDC selections that are of special import for riot survival. Each selection will have more info on how best to employ it to ensure you make it out of a furious riot. Unscathed, hopefully!
1 – Backpack
A sturdy backpack will do more than just carry the rest of your EDC gear; you can flip it around to the front and use it as a sort of improvised padding or armor. A backpack full of goodies will make for a bulky but effective chest protector against blows to the torso and even rubber bullets or batons fired by police launchers. You might consider installing an actual soft armor panel or even just an old bulletproof vest to yield even more protection.
You’ll also help protect your bag from theft by flipping it to your front side, and this will make it that much harder for some miscreant to use it as a handle against you. Make sure any pack you consider for this duty is rugged with especially tough straps.
2 – Bandana or Neckerchief
A bandana is an item that all preppers love thanks to its simple, multipurpose nature. A bandana makes a handy bandage, sack and more, but for riot-specific duty it serves two very important functions: primarily, you can soak it with water and hold it over your mouth to afford some protection against a variety of riot gasses and O.C. that police will invariably deploy, and second you can tie it around your face to help blend in to the rioters in case escape is immediately impossible.
Remember: Anyone within the mass of rioters is a rioter as far as police are concerned. Dressing like them will only further cement this in the mind of cops responding to the incident. If you must don your bandana as a disguise, make tracks out of the situation as quick as you can.
3 – Quality Sunglasses
A good pair of shades, ANSI or Mil-STD rated for impact protection, will afford your peepers protection from all kinds of airborne hazards ever present at riots. Beanbags, (rubber) bullets, batons, glass fragments and more will be moving around in quantity and at speed. You don’t want to catch any of them any which way but you definitely don’t want to catch them in your eye!
Some folks recommend a pair of close fitting goggles for their better protection and security on your head, and since you will be carrying a backpack anyway and you can don them when the trouble starts, but for my money I would rather have eye-pro that I can wear in any situation without drawing undue attention to myself.
Don’t forget that the more jocked-up you look to cops and rioters the more attention you are likely to draw. Attention from either is the last thing you want in this situation.
4 – Boots or Heavy-Duty Hiking Shoes
The value of good, rugged footwear should be obvious for life in general, but some people insist on being fashion forward or just fashionably derelict in appearance. If your feet become injured, from deliberate stomps, trampling, sharp debris or just a skipping baton or gas can to the piggies, you are going to have a much harder time getting away from all of this in the first place.
Heavy, sturdy footwear will allow you to protect your feet and use them to kick a little ass if you need to.
5 – Pepper Spray
Pepper spray makes a lot of sense for riot defense. It is quiet, discreet, and unlikely to further enrage the rioters en masse compared to the bark of gunfire. Don’t listen to haters: good OC, while never foolproof, is extremely effective when it comes to draining the fight from someone.
Considering that most folks who get a good dose to the eyes will cease their offending behavior within 10 to 20 seconds, this is a cheap, quiet insurance policy against being singled-out.
This is also an option that should not draw as much heat from the police as a knife or firearm. If it is taken away from you, it cannot be used to lethal effect against you, at least.
Make sure you have a quality unit, and practice in using it. A swarming riot is no time for on-the-clock test runs.
6 – Gun/Knife
Face it: for some lost souls, or those who are simply overtaken by the revelry of carnage, violence is the only thing they will understand. If you are facing down too many attackers for your pepper spray to cope with, or are threatened with lethal force yourself, it makes sense to use lethal force in return.
A gun can be used to good effect, but the blast will unleash a Pandora’s Box of chaos and certainly attract the wrong kind of attention from cops and other rioters. Guns are also easily taken in crowded situations.
A knife in such cramped confines will be even more effective, difficult to take away and discreet compared to the gun. Remember what I said above: keep it hidden unless you have no other choice!
You cannot expect to “go loud” and then stroll away free from harm. A mass of people, already enraged, may react quickly to injury with extraordinary violence.
7 – Flashlight
You should have a flashlight as part of your dedicated EDC setup as a matter of ritual no matter who you are and where you live, but assuming you don’t already make one part of your load now for riot prep.
An edc flashlight has obvious utility for lighting up darkened alleys, gloomy buildings and more potential avenues of egress to check for suitability and lurking baddies, but it also has value as another defensive implement for dealing with the barbarian horde.
A quality, metal, tactical flashlight makes a dandy fistload or impact weapon, adding power to punches or providing a sharp blow when delivered with a hammer-fist motion.
This is another tool in the toolbox, certainly, and also works well (if powerful enough) for temporarily removing an aggressor’s visual horizon. If you use the brief opportunity provided once they are dazzled to fade into the crowd or just sprint clear you are likely to lose them.
Riots are major emergencies no matter why they occur, and you can count on them becoming extremely violent as we progress through these uncertain and fractious times in our nation.
By employing common EDC items intelligently, you can significantly increase your chances of escaping or moving through a riot unharmed.