This is a segment that you can take for ideas and build off of for yourself. Survival is all about improvisation, and adaptability: those who adapt to the situation have a better chance at making it through the tough times. This is a different kind of segment, though. The information here is how to make it on what you can scrounge in the wintertime. Sounds simple, right? It isn’t.
We Live in an Imperfect World That is Not Prepper-Friendly
The reason is the “perfect” world we live in does not present you with many opportunities to train. For that matter, there isn’t a lot of encouragement either. Certainly, no one will encourage you: not your family members, your neighbors, or community in general, let alone the government…local, state, or federal. That’s not “life.”
No, most of these guys just mentioned are only concerned with you playing to the system by getting up in the morning, going off to your work (to earn taxable income) so that you can pay your taxes, consuming foods, materials, and other necessities (with taxes), driving (using fuel that’s taxed) home…the one with your mortgage and property taxes, that have, well…a nice, “established” way for you to keep your lawn, grounds…you know…how to live, right? In an acceptable manner, right? A small cog in a giant machine, working and consuming until it’s time to call your number in. Then your money and property… what you have left, that you paid taxes on all the way? Time to tax it again until the government (kicking and screaming) magnanimously gives what’s left to your heirs.
The Only One Who Will Help You Succeed and Excel is You
As a general reminder, you never know when the next emergency will happen, so make sure you have the basic necessities to get through the most unpredictable situation.
- Lighter (I prefer Zippos, as they can take white gas or gasoline),
- Lock-blade knife
- Flashlight (I prefer the mini-mag, the little pocket one)
3 Places That Preppers Would Never Think to Scrounge For Survival Supplies
Remember: these suggestions are SHTF/emergency suggestions…as most of this stuff is illegal, and if it’s not? You’ll be “marginalized” until they come to remove you from Fisher Price-ville.
- Auto Wrecking Yard/Junkyard: It’s amazing the number of supplies you can come up with here. Seatbelts can be pulled out to their length and cut to use as straps. Upholstery sometimes has fabric that can be cut or fashioned for makeshift shoes or clothing. The number of field-expedient weapons you can find or fashion is limited only by your imagination. Mirrors and glass are found here in abundance…glass for lenses to concentrate light and make fire…mirrors for signaling or channeling light. Copper wire can be pulled out of the insides. Metal antennas can make useful tools or weapons.
- Construction Sites: You can find lots of preparedness supplies here. For instance, wood for shelters, for lean-to’s, and to fashion snowshoes or fuel for fires. Insulation can be wrapped up in plastic bags and used. Hardware and other construction materials, such as rebar can be used to make field-expedient tools and weapons. In addition, construction sites are sometimes tapped into a water supply. Don’t sleep in the building! Everyone and their brother will be “grasping” such an idea!
- Dumpsters/Trash Sites: often the source of fuel for burning, scrap/discarded clothing, cheap items to harden your home, and cardboard…plenty of cardboard…plenty of plastic. The cardboard can be “sheathed” in the plastic, and stacked to make a ground cover (preventing conduction of heat), and cardboard also burns. Do not discount the use of paper to insulate your body…newspaper crumpled up tightly gives loft to what you wear…more airspace.
The way to do it is to perpetually scrounge, and utilize things for purposes that they can fill, but were not originally designed. This takes some practice. You have to blend what you can pick up that is used or cast away by a man with what you can forage from the woods. We did some pieces on how to find food during the wintertime, and how to make shelters for yourselves. I give you this one extra caveat before closing the topic:
If it looks as if it can be lived in and is unoccupied, you may have it…but you’ll have a “visitor” eventually.
It is better to take materials and supplies (either man-made or natural) and establish a camp and shelter for yourself away from the haunts of people, out of sight…thence, out of mind. This for safety and security, your first and foremost concerns. Camouflage and conceal your shelter, and keep your supplies out of view, whatever you have with you and what you scrounge. Perhaps you’re “gaming” this in your mind and thinking about challenging yourself with a training exercise. Excellent thought! Plan it out in advance and run with the ball. Remember: Millions will tell you “you can’t,” and millions will not adapt and make it in the long run. Step up to the line of scrimmage, and make the pass. Good luck, and happy scavenging! JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.