Equipping for disaster

A quick guide to scavenging

By Jake Sepulveda

Scavenging isn’t about grabbing everything you can, it’s about taking what you need and making the best possible use of it. Many items can be used as they are, or dismantled for parts. For instance, while a mattress can provide bedding, it can also become a resource for, fabric, cotton, wood, staples and springs. If you explore the many uses of materials and supplies you just might stumble upon a golden opportunity.

What You’ll Need: Scavenging can take place as a planned outing or a moment of opportunity, either way, you’ll need a keen set of eyes and a few hand tools to help you get the job done.

Basic scavenging kit: Work gloves (leather or other cut resistant fabric), multi-tool (w/ both flat and Phillips head drivers, knife, and pliers), pry-bar (useful as both a pry-bar and a hammer).

Advanced scavenging kit: Work gloves (leather or other cut resistant fabric), flat-head screwdriver, phillips-head screwdriver, hammer, hand saw, needle-nose pliers, blunt-tip pliers, wire cutter, tin snips, adjustable wrench set.

Safety: Finding materials is one thing, but doing it safely is another. Following these rules will help you scavenge safely, but the ultimate responsibility still lies in your hands. Be careful, take only what you need, and always practice safety first.

  • Wear protection: sturdy gloves, eye wear, and sometimes a dust mask.
  • Watch out for other survivors, zombies, snakes, dogs, venomous or biting insects, and other living or living dead creatures.
  • Don’t overexert yourself, and make sure to rest.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Pay attention to warning signs, especially on, in, or around factories.
  • Use caution when dealing with electrical panels/cables, water systems, and hydraulics; they might still be active.
  • Take backup with you. A second set of eyes can act as a lookout, and help spot supplies. A secondary person can also assist if you are injured or become trapped.

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