Scrounge in these three overlooked places for your survival supplies

Picture this: Society just completely collapsed three days ago after some kind of nationwide crisis. You, like most others, rush to the local department store to see how many survival supplies you can scrounge, only to find that nearly all of the shelves have already been stripped clean. What do you do? Do you just return to your bugout location empty-handed and make the best of what you’ve got, or do you keep searching in hopes of finding supplies that have yet to be taken? Believe it or not, there are several places that you can go to scrounge for survival supplies that the majority of preppers would never think of in the days and weeks that follow a SHTF event. Jeremiah Johnson recently outlined three of those places in an article published on


In most junkyards, you’ll be able to find old, rundown vehicles that people got rid of either because they stopped working or because they got a new car to replace it with. Regardless, these vehicles can be valuable to survivalists in SHTF scenarios for a number of different reasons. Seatbelts can be cut out and used as straps. The fabric from the seats can be fashioned into makeshift shoes or clothing. Glass from the mirrors can be used as either a makeshift dagger or as a means of channeling light, which can help you signal a helicopter or plane flying above your head or even help to start a fire.

In addition to vehicles, you can find almost anything inside of a junkyard if you look hard enough, and with the right mindset and a bit of creativity, they can be used to help you survive the collapse. (Related: Sometimes prepping for SHTF means scavenging, but not looting.)

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Construction Sites

Just like junkyards, construction sites are really gold mines to survivalists in SHTF situations. First and foremost, there are a number of tools that you can find and use as weapons for self-defense, including nail guns, hammers, screwdrivers, metal beams and poles, and much more. Construction sites also have an abundant amount of insulation, which you can put into bags and then use to keep the warmth inside of your shelter and keep the cold out. notes that sawdust – yet another material that all construction sites will have in excess – can be used to make a makeshift candle that burns longer than most other candles that you could find inside of stores. Furthermore, some construction sites are even tapped into a water supply, which you could take advantage of for drinking, cooking and hygienic purposes.

Dumpsters and Trash Sites

Dumpster diving may be a bit taboo, but if you ever find yourself in a survival situation, it’s definitely a smart place to look for supplies. Two of the main things that you’re going to find inside of dumpsters are plastic and cardboard, both of which can be used for a number of different things. For instance, cardboard burns relatively easily and makes good fuel for fires (given that you have kindling and a way to start the fire in the first place). In addition, the cardboard can be “sheathed” in the plastic and then stacked to make a ground cover inside of your shelter to prevent the conduction of heat.

If you happen to find some newspapers or even magazines inside of the dumpster, don’t be so quick to look past them. While it may not be as effective as a warm winter jacket, paper can be crumpled tight and used to stuff your clothes with, which will help to insulate your body on cold days and through chilly nights.

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