A Scavenger’s Guide to SHTF Part 1

Vigilance and preparation are key to surviving in any SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario. Taking the time now to ensure that you have the best possible chance of survival is absolutely critical. But what if the survival situation you find yourself in outlasts your supply rations? What if you find yourself with more teammates than you originally planned for, having taken in good people or those who helped you fight off a raiding party? What if you have to scavenge? Do you have an idea of where you would go? What you would prioritize? What foods or supplies are more worthwhile than others? We’ve put together a comprehensive list of things you should key in on should you ever be put in a position where you had to rummage through the rubble in order to fend for yourself.


Frankly, as a matter of survival in a SHTF scenario, you are going to need to be on the look out for ammunition first and foremost. A world without the rule of law and a true survival situation that has caused you to scavenge means one thing, things aren’t pretty. It also means that you can’t just mosey on down to the gun shop and grab a box of 9mm. Be on the lookout for ammo, everywhere from dilapidated storefronts to abandoned cars.


A key staple, rich in starch, is an excellent energy source. It doesn’t weigh much and requires very little in terms of cooking and preparation. If you find yourself in a SHTF situation, scavenging for supplies, rice should be up there on your list of things to look out for.


This is something that you definitely should have stored a great deal of in advance, however you can also never have too much of it. This is particularly the case if you are in a bug-in situation. Salt can be used for any number of things, from removing rust to creating a paste for brushing teeth. Keep your eyes open for this valuable resource in a survival situation.


Similar to rice, beans (particularly pinto beans or red beans) are an excellent survival food. They can last up to 30 years and have the highest protein content of any seed crop. Mixed with rice, beans are capable of sustaining you for quite a long period of time.

Bottled Water

This is a no-brainer, water is a precious resource. But bottled water is perhaps even more precious as the bottles themselves can be used for things such as fish traps, water filters, improvised fishing bobbers, and more.

Powdered Drink Mix

This is something to keep on your radar should you find yourself in a STHF situation. Powdered drink mixes like Tang, Kool-Aid, or Gatorade are incredibly valuable in a world where much needed nutrients and sugars are scarce. It is lightweight, and a little can go a long way. This is particularly useful if you have those in your party with glucose deficiencies.


Any quick scavenging done on the fly should be done with an attention to batteries. Being able to power the very flashlights that enable you to scavenge in dark places and at night, batteries are one of the things that will be in high demand should SHTF.

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