If you're a prepper, you've got a lot of stuff stocked away for an emergency – some of which you've probably had to rely on during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But your stockpiles could get looted, confiscated, or just run out when you need things most.
Even if you’re socked away in some bunker somewhere, at some point after a wide-scale collapse, you’re going to need to go do some scavenging.
So what critical things should you keep in mind when you're hunting and gathering for survival?
I spoke with survival expert Jake Sepulveda about this issue, and here is a summary of what he told me.
The 2 Most Important Things To Consider When Survival Scavenging
Scavenging is all about identifying those things that are worth taking home and keeping.
But you can't carry everything you find.
So how do you evaluate what you should and should not take?
How do you decide what's worth carrying with you or hauling back to your survival retreat?
There are two things to consider:
Rule #1: Is It Usable?
Is the item usable at all right now?
If it's broken, is it repairable?
If it’s repairable or you can reuse it for another purpose right away, then it's worth keeping or taking.
If you can use it for something once repaired, it's worth the effort to fix it.
Just look at it for a second and think, “These are all the components of it.”
Do you have a use for any of the component parts?
Have that active mindset all the time when you’re out in the world of, “Oh, here’s this thing and the parts from it could be for this.”
It’s a good mindset to have for locations too of, “Oh, here’s this tattoo parlor.”
“This is a place I could go if I needed some bandages in an emergency.”
So just having that active mindset can help you scavenge.
Be mentally prepared, and practice that awareness.
Rule #2: In What FORM Is It Still Usable?
Putting together a tool kit right now would be a great idea.
Even if it’s just setting aside a two foot hex crowbar with a pair of really sturdy gloves, even if that’s all you have, just so you know that’s the purpose for it and you know exactly where it’s at.
Having tools to take something apart, reshape or repurpose something, makes a huge difference.
You can also make a game of scavenging.
Think of it in terms of assignments.
Say to yourself,
- “Saturdays, I look for things I can use or repurpose to fortify the home.”
- “Mondays, I look for things I can use for medical care.”
- “Tuesdays, I look for food sources.”
That kind of thing.
Then you can go, maybe, to a junkyard.
You can go garage saling, flea markets, things like that, where people are throwing stuff away.
See what you can come up with, creatively, to repurpose for your needs, rather than just looking for specific items.
Base your search on actual needs that you have.
Think of three random things, and what you can make out of them.
It becomes a game, a challenge for you to think, “Okay, somebody gives me a ukulele, a ceramic mug, and a roll of duct tape because they’re nice… so what can I do with that?”
Think of what you have, what you can get, and how you can address your needs from these.