Survival Tactics – the step-by-step process to scavenging food and water in the apocalypse.
Nothing is more important to your survival than food and water.
You can survive without security, friends, family, money, guns, education, happiness, and so much more—but you can’t survive without food and water.
We now live in a time of comfortable indulgence. Your pantry and fridge are likely crammed full of food. Some of that food will expire before you even open it!
If for some reason you run low on food, you just drive 5-10 minutes to the magical grocery store and instantly replenish your supply.
Your tap constantly flows with drinkable water. You probably never have experienced a time when water wasn’t readily available.
But when calamity strikes and life as you know it falls apart, where will you turn for food and water? When the grocery stores are abandoned and pillaged and you’ve eaten everything in your home, how will you survive?
“God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into its nest.” – J. G. Holland
This Complete Guide to Apocalyptic Food & Water Scavenging will explain the survival tactics necessary for you to sustain your life!
Don’t procrastinate learning these essential tactics!
Every hour you waste incorrectly scavenging for food will be another opportunity spent, another pound of muscle lost, another step towards starvation, and another step away from survival.
But you can survive…
You WILL survive.
This guide will teach you the survival tactics you’ll need to efficiently scavenge food and water in a world very different than the one you enjoy right now.
Survival Tactic #1: Finding Drinkable Water
Although you need both food and water to survive, water should be your number one priority!
You can survive up to 3 weeks without food , but you can barely survive more than 3 days without water.
Water will become your most valuable asset…
Pre-Apocalypse Water Storage
When catastrophe strikes, your local population will panic. Citizens will rush the grocery stores and supermarkets. Within hours, the consumables will disappear.
To avoid the chaos, begin preparing your water supply now.
Preparation doesn’t require a huge investment.
Every trip you take to the grocery store, buy a gallon or two of water.
Store at least a 3-day supply of water for you and your family. If you can, build up a 2-week supply of water.
Also, store a bottle of unscented liquid bleach to disinfect your water if necessary.
Store Water When Disaster Begins
As soon as you see signs of long-lasting danger, begin immediate water prepping:
- Fill up your bathtubs , sinks, pots & pans, bowls, and clean garbage cans with drinkable water.
- Let liquid bleach sit in your toilets for a short amount of time before giving them a final flush—this water can be used later.
- Fill up any empty cans, bottles, or Tupperware with water.
Post-Apocalyptic Water Scavenging
Once you deplete your initial safe water supply, you’ll need to use other methods to purify water.
When tap water is no longer available, consider purifying these sources:
- Natural Springs
- Rivers and Streams
The following purification methods are intended to remove most bacteria and parasites from the water. These methods don’t treat poisonous substances, chemicals, oils, sewage, or other harmful substances.
Boiling water will help kill any bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
If your water looks cloudy, filter it through a clean piece of cloth first.
Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for at least 3 minutes to be safe.
Let the water cool before storing in containers.
Disinfect with Bleach
This method of purification is not as effective at killing parasites as boiling.
Filter out cloudy water with a cloth.
Add an appropriate amount of bleach to the water (see the instruction on your bleach label or refer to the CDC’s instructions ).
Let the water stand for at least 30 minutes before storing or consumption.
When using rainwater for bathing in West Africa , I would pour a couple drops of bleach in the bucket. This method definitely isn’t foolproof! Once I discovered a couple worms in my bathwater, so I added some bleach to kill them before washing. The next morning, the buggers were still swimming around! Keep in mind this method of purifying is most effective against bacteria and viruses.
Disinfect with Chlorine or Iodine Tablets
Follow the instructions on the package for using these tablets to purify drinking water.
Most bug-out-bags come with these tablets.
Purify with Water Filter
Use a triple-water filter in your home.
If you’re on the go, use a portable filtered water bottle. Make sure you read the specifics of each filter to discover its filtering capabilities.
While living in Sierra Leone, I would purify my water with the triple filter and portable water bottle. These filters were strong! One of my buddies even filtered his own urine (I wouldn’t recommend this!).
Finding Drinkable Water Sources
If you don’t have access to filters, disinfectant, or fire, you’re not completely helpless.
You can find some great water sources that are relatively clean:
- Natural Springs
When using rainwater, make sure the container is as clean as possible before filling it with water. Use purification methods when available.
When looking for natural springs in the mountains, the higher you go the cleaner the water will be. The cleanest water will be from the source of the spring. Follow the river or stream until you find the emergence spot.
You won’t find many wells in urban or suburban areas. Many rural homes and communities rely on well water, so look for wells in these locations first.
Now that you know how to find and purify drinking water, it’s time to move on to your next priority: food.
Survival Tactic #2: Finding Food
Although water is your first priority, you still can’t live without food—the two go together!
There’s a variety of food scavenging tactics to help you survive, and all of them can’t be covered here.
The food preparation and scavenging tactics here do not include homestead prepping or farming . Although these are wonderful survival tactics, this post focuses mainly on prepping and scavenging.
Pre-Apocalypse Food Storage
Build an adequate food storage while you still have time.
You don’t need to invest hundreds of dollars in a year supply of high-quality foods, but you can begin taking cheap, simple steps to be more prepared .
- You can buy just one or two canned items to add to your food storage each time you visit the grocery store.
- Buy in bulk. It’s much cheaper to buy a whole case than to buy individual cans or bags.
- Store your own food. If you have a small garden or fruit trees, begin to dehydrate and preserve your surplus foods.
- Find foods with high nutrition quality and longer expiration dates
- Label all of your foods. Put the name and date of canning/expiration on all your food to prevent confusion and possible sickness later.
Post-Apocalyptic Food Scavenging
When calamity strikes, make sure you eat all of your fresh food first.
Don’t open up any cans or packages until you’ve finished the foods that will expire soonest. This will help you extend the life of your food storage.
No matter how much you’ve prepared, if disaster lingers for months (or years) you’ll eventually run out of food.
And if cannibalism isn’t your go-to alternative, you’ll need to start using these survival tactics to find food:
Use any weapons you have to hunt for local animals . If you have access to a rifle or bow, look for deer or other large animals. Learn to use traps to catch smaller prey: rats, squirrels, rabbits, etc.
Learn to identify what’s edible in nature and what’s not . Some fruits, berries, nuts, and plants you can eat without preparation, but some require steaming, cooking, or leaching. Once you learn about the wildlife in your local environment, you can find plenty of food out in the wild.
If the wildlife is gone and you can’t find fresh food to eat, you’ll need to look for canned and preserved foods. Search in pantries, basements, and cupboards of abandoned homes. You’ll have better luck in some places, like Utah, where practically everyone has a substantial food storage. | See this post for determining if a canned food is safe to eat. |
If you’ve identified local populations or groups as friendly, consider trading non-essential items for food. Never trade your water for food unless you have an abundance and access to the source! Consider trading clothes, tools, and ammunition if necessary.
Surviving in the apocalypse won’t be easy—but it is possible!
Don’t lose hope.
Remember: if you have food and water, you’ll keep surviving.
This guide for scavenging food and water serves to point you towards survival tactics you can use when the necessity arises.
But you’ll still need to do your part:
- Begin building your water and food storage
- Identify edible wildlife foods in your area
- Find fresh water sources in advance
- Acquire hunting weapons and tools and learn proper technique
- Research cost-effective filters and buy within your means
- Learn how to identify safe packaged foods
Survival of the fittest.
Do you have more food and water scavenging survival tactics to share? Let us know in the comments below!