I prefer to find myself in rural settings when SHTF. I am subjective with that opinion simply because I experienced urban survival in urban setting once and can not imagine that it can be worse on country side. In fact, relatives who survived in rural setting simply had much better time.
But we all need to consider the actual pros and cons of choosing between these two options and we need to be objective, it is hard but we can try.
What you have with you is what you gonna have for some time if you find yourself in urban survival scenario.
If you have stored food and water most probably you can count on that only for some time, before situation changes or you manage to find some more supplies.
There are ways to obtain resources at the beginning of SHTF in the chaos, but it is not like in the movies, and you can count on the fact that mostly you will be late for these events and more organized units such as local gangs control who gets what when looting. It is high risk, medium reward and most of us prepare to not have to risk anything in this chaos.
Some greedy prepper will still head out to get that bit of extra and if you know my story from my time in war, that we looted the alcohol factory was very helpful in the weeks and months after. But we were not prepared. Big difference.
Better organized groups will control looting so this is no real benefit for urban survival.
Count on the fact that being in a city when SHTF means too many folks and way too little resources, and when that happens you can expect bad things.
Being in rural settings gives you advantage of having some (if not all) resources, of course with some planning ahead.
Trees in forests close to you or some small creek will mean a lot to you when SHTF. Not to mention animals, and food production from land of course.
No matter in what kind of house or apartment or whatever you are living in urban area, sooner or later you will be forced to defend it.
It is hard job, simply because you will not be sure who is your enemy, or in other words, you gonna have too many possible enemies.
When you have too many hungry folks everyone is your possible enemy. Can you imagine how much effort and time will this fact cost you? You gonna need to be alerted and ready to fight-defend at every minute and after you see true nature of most people trying to survive (and doing whatever necessary) there will be very few friends left.
Being in rural settings does not mean that you do not need to be prepared do defend yourself, but it is gonna be much easier because as I said less (unknown) people mean less troubles and less very desperate people mean people stick together more.
If you planning ahead to be in rural setings when SHTF you should have your group of people that you can trust, family or friends and neighbours, together with plans how to defend yourself. This is big ideal for most of us and just having bug out location and plan to get there is not enough.
Common sense, again
Now please, you need to understand that I am not saying that in case of SHTF it is impossible to survive in the city. I survived. I am just saying that in most of the SHTF cases it is gonna be MUCH HARDER to survive in the city than in some small rural community.
Of course I am talking here about real SHTF event. I know there are opinions that in some cases of SHTF there is gonna be much safer to stay in the city where there is some kind of law, and where that law still can protect you.
There are opinions that in distant rural places most of the murders, robbing and rape will happen because law is gone first in more remote areas. All this still makes rural settings much better in my opinion.
If you compare it to the normal life that most of us have today of course my relatives who survived war on the countryside had some hard time. They lost electric energy, almost all ways to make money, people who worked in cities lost jobs, it was war and situation was hard.
But point is that they had RESOURCES all around them, land for growing food, woods for fuel, animals for hunting etc.
And as you can imagine some old skills were in use again. People started to make juice from fruits, older folks remembered what kind of wild fruits and berries were used in hard time of WW2.
Folks simply „re-invented“ for example very old style wooden press for making jams and syrups from different kinds of fruits. It looked funny, it used very long skinny trunk (timber) as a kind of leverage, from the distance it looked like someone want to launch something from old Roman catapult.
But it worked, and it was not nothing new, people used that thing for centuries maybe, just it was forgotten maybe because it is easier to buy jam, or to make it with electric devices.
Horses were put in use for plowing fields, tobacco was grown etc. But what was most important is fact that people stood together much much better in small rural communities, they were in many cases relatives, or simply people who know each other for years.
In cases like that security issues were easier to solve, people were better in any kind of organisation.
One of the guys I know started getting rich at that times. He simply grew potatoes in big amounts, and had good connections for smuggling them to places where price was many times higher.
In short, resources and security are much easier to have in rural settings than in urban settings. Urban survival matters a lot but do not forget that all our goal should be to just need it until we left urban areas.
It is not some hard rule, but there is gonna be much more fighting for small amount of resources in urban settings, while there are many more resources and probably less fighting for it in rural settings.