Survival Scavenging For WROL/SHTF: 2 Rules

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

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

Survival Scavenging For WROL/SHTF
Jake Sepulveda
Jake Sepulveda

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.

What Is Your Go-To Strategy For Scavenging For Survival?

Share Your Tips With Us Now…

The 5 WORST “D.I.Y. Survival Weapons”. . .

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this…

I was looking through survival tips in my social media groups, looking for things to add to my knowledge bank.

I’m not going to name names, but… I ran across this list of “The Best Do-It-Yourself Survival Weapons” that I’ve got to share with you.

NOT because I think these are great options…

But rather to spare you from suffering the same fate as other “fantasy preppers” who actually think these ARE the best survival weapons to grab in a pinch if you can’t, don’t, or won’t have a gun.

(You know me… I’m always ready to put the “doomsday” in Doomsday Prepper, even if it means ruining some people’s misconceptions.)

Ok, here we go…

Here Are The Top 5 Most-Common (Worst) Do-It-Yourself Survival Weapons

The Worst “DIY” Survival Weapons

Now first, let me tell you WHY you even need to consider building up your own survival weapons arsenal…

I mean, if you own a gun, you’re all set, right?

Not exactly…

Firearms have a way of being the worst option for protecting yourself during extreme circumstances like an extended grid-down scenario (it could literally take a YEAR to bring an electrical grid back online… and a former CIA Director said that the unrest from this type of scenario would literally wipe out 90% of our population!)

Should this type of a scenario take place, firearms can be stolen… break down… run out of ammo… or even be confiscated during martial law.

So yes… having a “back-up” is definitely a good thing… but this list of the “best survival weapons” mostly makes my “worst” list!

Ok, here we go…

1. Spiked Baseball Bat

spiked baseball bat
Spiked Baseball Bat

I can tell when someone’s been watching WAAAAAY too much TV.

Whether it’s Stranger Things or The Walking Dead, this prop pops up to slay the living and the undead quite regularly

Pretty simple concept: a bunch of nails driven through a baseball bat.

And I’ve got to admit, it looks pretty badass.

But in a crisis situation, you have threats both near and far, and I’ll wager you have about two good swings before someone takes it from you and uses it as a human popsicle stick.

Plus, you don’t carry a weapon all the time.

How in the HELL are you going to put this thing down, or carry it, without sticking yourself or leaving it an inch deep into the floorboards of your truck?

2. Flamethrower


Since ancient times, we have wanted to throw fire.

And since ancient times, we have been getting burned.

Even in military situations, the guy throwing the fire is running around with flammable liquid strapped to him.

Not a great place to be.

Since these are DIY weapons, mind you, this one is merely an aerosol can and a lighter.

A lot of us have played with these as kids, and we learned fast…

…It’s way more dangerous to YOU than to the other guy.

A faulty can… misplaced finger on the tiny knob… or even a slight puff of wind that blows out your lighter disqualifies this one.

Plus, there’s always that slight percentage chance it will just BLOW UP in your hand.

No thanks!

3. PVC Bow and Arrow

PVC survival bow
PVC Survival Bow

Actually, this one isn’t a “bad” idea.

You can make some pretty strong bows from PVC.

It’s a skill I’d encourage you to learn, in fact.

This one simply isn’t a good option for people who haven’t practiced it and aren’t already experienced bow hunters.

Hunting game can take years of practice, especially with a bow.

And if you are already a bow hunter, you already have gear that outdoes PVC.

Besides the fact that – unless you’re behind some barrier (like a castle wall?), you’re not likely to get more than 1 or 2 shots before you’re overwhelmed by the “enemy”.

Even if you had more shots, you’d quickly run out of ammo, as arrows are relatively large and you can carry only so many.

4. Spiked Booby Traps

Viet Cong Punji Sticks Booby Trap
Viet Cong Punji Sticks Booby Trap

For as long as I’ve been writing about prepping and survival, I’ve been seeing photocopied images from those military manuals about making booby traps.

The Viet Cong used these spiked traps extensively in the Vietnam War because they’re cheap, easy to make, and deadly.

The fact that they are so deadly is exactly why this “weapon” is a bad idea.

You could have these all over your property, and the first time you forget where one is, you’re gone.

Worse, a curious neighbor’s child could be the victim of one of these things.

Just no.

5. Homemade “Zip Gun”

homemade "zip gun"
Homemade “Zip Gun”

It’s true… guns ARE the ultimate equalizer.

If you can’t or don’t have a firearm, you might still have access to ammo.

That means you could put something together to fire that ammo.

Guns simply aren’t that complicated compared to the cartridges they fire.

I’ll tell you, though… in a crisis situation, I don’t want to be the guy relying on a single-shot pile of toilet parts that’s THIS close to becoming a handheld pipe bomb.

That makes this one a non-starter, too.

I can hear what you’re asking, now: “Okay, Jeff, that’s all fine… but if I don’t have access to a firearm in an emergency, what DO you think I should use?”

That’s a great question.

I believe in stocking up on the right kinds of weapons and accessories that are specifically tailored for survival scenarios.

You see, each kind of crisis situation is different — from looting mobs, to home invasions, to martial law.

Each of these circumstances requires a different type of weapon – a different tool for the job.

This is real life, too, which means you can’t afford to be misled by silly “fantasy prepper” lists.

And while there really is no one-size-fits-all weapon, there is ONE that stands out as the ultimate survival weapon.

Rather than making pipe bombs and zip guns and booby traps, you should instead make sure you have in your survival gear a badass SURVIVAL MACHETE.

There are TONS of machetes on the market, but here’s the thing:

There are certain features that a good survival machete HAS to have if it’s going to keep you alive when the bad stuff hits the rotating machine-thing.

If you’d like to know what those features are — and whether the machete you own already is up to the task — then all you would normally have to do is check out the “torture test” video for our Guardian machete.

The thing is, the Guardian is no longer available you have to do is on this page

…Because we’re releasing a NEW, next-generation Guardian machete in 2020!

Keep your eyes on that page, because when it’s here, you’re going to be absolutely blown away.

Just remember, we’re in the realm of REAL weapons now… and not those gimmicky fantasy tools.