Scavenging for supplies in a post SHTF world will be more dangerous than you think.

Hello, my friend and welcome back!  Most of us have never had to scavenge for food or anything else for that matter.  In a post SHTF world, when you run out of food or maybe you just want to see if there are any usable items that others may have overlooked, you will need to scavenge and it will not be as easy as you may think.  This is the subject of today’s post, so grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.

Modern day scavengers will tell you that it’s an art form and not one for the faint of heart.  Then again they are not talking about a post SHTF world either.  This is where it’s going to get really bad and you won’t be the only one doing it, you can bet.

Hopefully you will have enough sense to wait, until most of the walking dead have died off, before you even consider wandering into town to look for more food and supplies.  In this case, the only people you should have to deal with are other Preppers who have weathered the storm, but I wouldn’t count on it.

I think it is a pretty sure bet that there will be someone watching the streets and stores around town, just waiting for someone to come along that they can rob of supplies or possibly even eat.  If you are going to go scavenging, then you had best do it at night, when you can use the shadows to your advantage. The trouble is that you will have problems seeing and if you’re not familiar with the area you could easily get turned around or lost.

If you are going to go, I strongly suggest that you take several people with you and place one of them on   watch, by putting them on the top of a tall building.  This way they can see if you are being followed or if there is a trap ahead of you.  It’s just good tactics and in a post SHTF world, you will need every advantage you can get.

So what is it that you can reasonably expect to find that other survivors would have most likely over looked? Here is a list of those items and where to look for them:

  • Cloth, needles and thread – found in fabric stores and some grocery stores. Starving people will not be worried about sewing new clothes, so these should be available.
  • Oil and water repellent – used to make oil tarps for keeping things dry.
  • Garden supplies – Hungry people are not going to be thinking far enough ahead to take these vital tools. Fertilizer is another item that should be still available.
  • Natural oils for healing – While the people are robbing the Pharmacy’s blind, they will in most cases not even considering the natural healing oils that many stores carry these days.
  • Food – While people will swarm the stores, many will fail to look in the store-room in the back of the stores or in warehouses. Of course this all depends on how long it has been since the disaster struck.
  • Toilet paper – Oddly enough, this is something that many will overlook, simply because they can’t eat it.  The same will be true for cleaning supplies.

There are many other items that will be available if you only take the time and look.  Just remember, unless you are out of food or sick, no supplies are worth your life.  The largest issue you will face once you have located your goodies will be how to get them home?  Anyone who has ever tried to push a shopping cart through grass knows that they are not made for soft ground.  Your best bet would probably be to use a wheel barrow of some other such item to carry your loot.

Just remember that if you are caught, then you will probably be killed, so make your choices carefully.  Scavenging will be dangerous at best, and deadly at worst.  Be sure the risk is worth the reward before you set out.

Well, that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Until next time my friend, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared.  God Bless America!


6 thoughts on “Scavenging for supplies in a post SHTF world will be more dangerous than you think.”

  1. Immediately after Katrina, certain gas stations were reserved for medical, police, and firemen. No one else. Electricity was simply shut off. The gas station could not pump gas with no electicity even if they had it. Business ground to a halt very quickly as no one had gas to go places. It was very dark on my cul-de-sac so i read by candle light. Bank withdrawes were limited to a couple hundred dollars for many days after things mostly got back to normal. the lesson is: Have cash at home,credit cards do;t work in many cases. have gas containers to fill, have a light source independent of electricity.Have a way to boil water like a gas grill with several tanks of propane If you can boil water you can make coffee, moughtain home meals etc.
    These were the major things i remember . We drove 90 miles north one way to get gas and there were people that had driven further. All we cared about was can we get gas out of that pump, didn’t care how costs.

  2. One HUGE problem with your scavenging scenario – there won’t be anything left in the stores – if there’s even a store still there ….

    Unless a serious SHTF comes on like “BAM it’s here” – there’ll be a run up to the SHTF event that could be weeks in tenure – and the population may be sheeple but they aren’t totally stupid & naive – they’ll be using their resources $$$$$ to buy up everything that’s even half plausible – emptying out the stores in hours – not weeks – eventually emptying out the regional supply warehouses …. after the event hits come the unlawful looters – taking anything that’s left and eventually burning out the store like they always do ….

    Whatever that was available will be dispersed to thousands of individual homes – gas in their car tanks – Beenie Weenie in the cupboard – and a 12 guage guarding everything while it lasts ….

    If you’re a real prepper – you already know the realistic consequences of a serious SHTF – your stored supplies might not last long enough – it should be only a back up until your self sufficiency plan kicks in ….

  3. If we’re talking about a period of time passing before scavenging I suggest focusing on empty homes where the former residents either already died or vacated the place for a safer location. Those who bugged out couldn’t take everything and the pickings would be better. The danger of this plan is the survivor-type homeowners who want their house to appear empty so as not to attract attention and who will meet you with the muzzle of a gun when you attempt entry.

  4. depends on one’s location and the “die off”, mind you if you are going to base your survival on the premise of what you can find laying about, which a lot of people seem to do, you probably wont survive for long.

  5. There are a couple of points that were not addressed. The mayor/town council in rural communities are likely to declare a local state of emergency and lock down gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, etc. This would secure existing inventories for the local residents for at least the short term.

    Second, our entire economy operates on the principal of “just in time” delivery for food and materials. Your local grocery store doesn’t have more than a couple days of food stock, and it can be depleted in a matter of hours under emergency conditions.

    Third, the most probable enactment of scavenging will be directed by the local township. In other words, the collection of food and other essential supplies will be at the direction of local government with the objective of securing longer term survival of its residents.

    What I am saying is that scavenging is likely to become an authorized and supported activity by local townships.


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