Survival Tips From the Homeless

A lot of our modern survival wisdom for SHTF these days actually comes from people who are or have been homeless. The men and women who brave life on the streets or along the highways of America have gained some valuable knowledge for modern survival. We won’t all have 20 acres of private wilderness to bug in on when SHTF so take note from some of these crucial pointers:


A vehicle is the most ideal. It can provide you with shelter from the elements and security for your belongings. Otherwise, when choosing a place to camp or sleep, you’ll want to consider a few key factors: protection from moisture or sun, visual exposure to either authorities or predators (human or otherwise), presence of pests or vermin, etc. Highway overpasses, abandoned buildings, nondescript doorways, under staircases, all can be ideal IF these factors are taken into consideration.


In some areas, the cold is the biggest factor of survival for the homeless. Cans make great DIY heaters and camp stoves. Using petroleum jelly, butane lighters and newspaper, you can make yourself a nice little fire. Covering oneself with cardboard can protect from some moisture and help retain heat, also stuffing your clothes with newspaper. You don’t ever want to sleep directly on the ground, always put cardboard or branches down first. Obviously warm clothes are very important, opt for lightweight, waterproof, clothes made of natural fiber. Wool is best as it will retain heat but also breathe and is slightly waterproof due to the lanolin content of sheep wool.


The more lightweight, compact and discreet, the better. When you carry your house on your back, quality over quantity is definitely better. You’ll want options for sleeping and camping that are quick and easy to get out and put away. Pop-up tents or roll-up sleeping backs are best. Lightweight, neutral-colored tarps are very valuable. Neutral-colored everything, really, is best, for discretion while camping and even walking. The more attention you call to yourself, the more likely you are to get bothered.

When SHTF, our nation’s homeless might, in some cases be the most prepared. Navigating the treacherous urban jungle can be the best survival course you might get. So instead of judging, maybe we should respect what these people go through every day just providing themselves with the basic necessities of life, and consider what we might be able to learn from them.


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