Stuff to carry on the Tube in London

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar


Mar 6, 2007
London, UK
Yeah, like Mesquite, I carry water - after being stuck on your first broken down tube train, that's an essential.

I forgot to mention that I have a protein/energy bar in my bag too - don't really think of it as an emergency item, hence not thinking about it. It's in there just in case I get stuck again and feel peckish.

Avoiding the tube isn't really an option for me at the moment (as I guess is the case for most users) - a 15 minute tube ride is preferable to an hour in the car or 1.5hrs on a bus.

That said, I'm about to swap living in Zone 1 for 10 years to go and live 200m from the edge of an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". Cannot wait!

monkey boy

Full Member
Jan 13, 2009
Every time I go to London
I always carry cash coins and notes,

a small power bank for my phone,

water and snacks as a train can be at a stand still for a long time,

a small torch just incase I may have to walk through the underground in the dark due to bomb scares and terrorist attacks, we say this is unlikely but it has happened in the past.

A glass breaking tool of some sort.

Paper underground map and bus routes.

First aid kit just in case.
Dust mask, space blanket and eye protection.

Baby wipes and alcohol gel for your hands as to many people touching stuff spreading germs.

Make a laminate card with details of next of kin, medical history, medication, allergies and blood type as you could be the casualty so you want to help out the paramedics.

Hope that helps

Old Bones

Oct 14, 2009
East Anglia
Umm, your on the Tube. A small torch is always handy (I bought a Lenser P5 not so long ago, and Cotswolds still have the offer -, a tube map (and there are some interesting apps for your phone, and always put an ICE number for a contact), your phone, a power bank and a book. And deoderant, and patience. Because its the Tube. I normally bring painkillers as well. And possibly a Swiss Army Knife. And a bottle of water.

Anything else is just not needed, and yeah, there will be a 'prepper' vibe. Put it this way - if someone sets off HE in a crowded tube train (and I stopped commuting in the mornings on the Kings Cross Piccadilly line about a year before 7/7), the best you can do is to remember basic first aid.

In reality, the chances of someone being hurt in a terrorist attack is statistically far less likely , then slipping on the steps or being hit by a car after you've left the station. London has always had its risks - I remember cycling past a police cordon back in about 1992, when the IRA put a car bomb in a Transit about 2 streets away from my university department. But London survives.
Last edited:


Dec 18, 2008
If your carrying a day pack,
a small first aid kit (pocket size)
1-2 large handkerchief,
water bottle(s) (2 small better than 1 large),
a headlight with fresh batteries,
A pair of sport walking shoes (runners) with extra socks: unless that is your regular wear
packet of hard candies
a legal sized knife
a light jacket (windbreaker) to fit the season. You may have to be located outside for a bit.
Assuming you have a cell with a full charge


Dec 18, 2008
(A pair of sport walking shoes (runners) with extra socks: unless that is your regular wear)

The reason for the comfortable walking shoe, is that the ground in between stations in the subway, whether in ground or open is usually broken rock.
Some years ago, a large scale power outage left riders stalled in between station and they had to walk out when the power wasn't coming back on.
Males were better shoed, not perfect but were able to walk out easier. The minimal constructed male shoes suffered alarmingly. Most females were shoed for "work". Uneven broken rock is not the best surface for high/medium heels or flimsy construction. there shoes failed miserably, contused, punctured feet were the result in many cases, it was a hard go, thirsty, dark, a lot were weak (no or little breakfast) and terrified from the in ability to provide their needs.
Later after power was restored, most wore track shoes, also a lot had acquired day packs to hold their "work" shoes, water and such.
The following year, memory was lost, the same flimsy accoutrements and lack of items were again the norm, such is life.
Aug 4, 2013
A friend was stuck down the Tube on 7/7 - not on a train that was bombed, but behind one that was and he was stuck down the tunnel for hours. He told me to always carry a torch. I think he also got stuck in a tunnel when a train broke down.

Another guy I knew got seriously dehydrated on a train (I won't bore you with the details), so he always carried water.

I therefore used to carry both when I worked in London. Plus a small FAK and a little gadget that used an AA battery to charge my phone. And a few other odds and ends.

My rationale was that I probably could find e.g. painkillers, but being able to keep moving rather than stop and source/buy something allowed me to get away from the situation quicker when the trains/tube went SNAFU. I also had a small A to Z in case one tubeline went down, so that I could get back above ground and go to another line - or just plain walk it (this I did several times).

Did I feel like a prepper? A bit.

Did I save myself from minor to medium levels of grief when things went wrong (like contractors pumping concrete into a tubestation control room). Yes I did.


Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
Did I feel like a prepper? A bit.

Did I save myself from minor to medium levels of grief when things went wrong (like contractors pumping concrete into a tubestation control room). Yes I did.

Thats all that matters then isn't it?. Prepping doesn't need to be full on chicken little paranoia. It can be done in a sane pragmatic fashion.


Full Member
Aug 13, 2007
I use the tube daily and have done fir 20 odd years

I carry a water bottle (2 in the summer) I'd like one I could share out, 2 keychain torches - a small keychain compass, a snack or 2 and an A-z so if I get kicked out I can walk rather than wait, thats happened too many times not for the weight to be worth it


Dec 18, 2008
If you're seriously that concerned - stick to overground.

Sent from my UMI eMAX using Tapatalk

Overground, the same, if you have to walk out any distance better to have shoes that can carry you and water to hydrate plus whatever you are comfortable with.


Jun 21, 2008
I'm moving out of London in a month or so, and I know that some proper first aid training is top of the list, but there is no time.

To be honest it's this first bit that has me confused. Don't know whether to be amused or faintly annoyed by the suggestion that leaving London means you need first aid training? There is an NHS in the whole country you know, or are you heading somewhere truly remote?

Or are you only in London short term and it might be handy there "just in case"?

Either way, torch and a drink seem very practical.
St Johns do some decent first aid kits in sensible packs. One of which I bought at the end of my first aid course they ran for staff in my school which had enough space to augment with some more supplies for stuff I might want in the woods. Nothing like some decent training to open your eyes to what is important within your abilities. If you are going to be remote, and playing in the woods I would be tremors by ones of the higher level outdoor focused ones. One of our staff has done a substantial 2 day course with lots of focus on more substantial injuries, he isn't a paramedic by any means, but is rather be looked after by him than me if that makes sense.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
Last edited:

Old Bones

Oct 14, 2009
East Anglia
I also had a small A to Z in case one tubeline went down, so that I could get back above ground and go to another line - or just plain walk it (this I did several times).

You notice most Londoners do have an A-Z, its just that its generally hidden, and only to be used when you do need to leg it when there is a strike or the whole line has ground to a halt. Tourists have them too, but they are in full view. No Londoner wants to be seen as a tourist!

When I worked in London, there were several Tube strikes, and I once had to walk from Westminster to South Ken. It would have been worse, but I got a waterbus from Blackfriars down to Westminster, and didn't even bother with the buses - I knew they would rammed. In that sort of case, a pair of trainers did help, but I certainly wouldn't have brought them normally. Its situations like that when the AZ is a godsend - no batteries, no need for credit or a network.

One of those little battery fans is possibly an idea - if the line goes down, the trains stop, and its them which largely circulates the air around the network. It can get pretty warm down there!


Dec 18, 2008
Ok thank you, when I go to Toronto I carry one also. That and a compass, I got lost in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) on a very overcast day, in between towering buildings and couldn't tell N,E,W,S.
Streets bear the same name from one "city" to the next but go East West on the same corner but in reference to that particular "city". Confusing isn't it.
Mar 27, 2016
milton keynes
Interesting question and one i always ponder before I go on any journey let alone on the tube.
On my key ring I carry a pocket mask so I can perform CPR with reduced risk to me and casualty and the tittle bag is enough to hold a couple of coins.
I have a utilikey, tiny torch and a whistle on a carabiner
I usually have my ventolin, a packet of tissues and a 500ml bottle of water and tictacs, phone etc in my pockets.
When I go to any town with an underground I like to have a paper pocket map and a biro.
I usually have a little makeup bag with a few feminine essentials (sani-pad, wipes) and plasters.
I have had pre hospital emergency care training and I'm a registered nurse with A&E experience. If I was to carry a 1st aid kit I would usually end up with a full kit bag that would just slow me down. Its worth keeping it simple and remembering the saying 1st help yourself (personal safety always comes 1st and there is no point in increasing casualties when trying to help by getting your self in to trouble).
My pocket essentials from a 1st aid point of view would be a pair of disposable gloves, a triangular bandage which can be used in many ways, cotton handkerchief all in a sealed plastic bag, string (couple of metres or the paracord bracelets) maybe a safety pin or 2 with the knowledge of how to use the kit (brownie guide 1st aid badge did that when I was 8yrs old).
Remember every train is supposed to have a 1st aid kit as is every station and since 7/7 there are emergency responder kits all over the city accessible by trained users and police.
Be prepared to improvise. A trauma bandage is great but which wound would need it 1st, better to be able to use a scarf, sleeve or jacket liner or a petticoat of the victim rather than carrying tons yourself.

cpr mask and pouch
how to use a triangular bandage
uses of a hanky

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.