Homeless Survival – 14 Survival Techniques Learned From The Homeless

Homeless Survival – Survival Techniques Learned From The Homeless

Very few people actually want to become homeless. Usually, it’s a lifestyle that people live out of necessity rather than out of choice.

Surviving on the streets is a difficult life that has a steep learning curve. techniques are something that can transfer very easily to many other survival situations that may strike during a SHTF.

Urban survival skills are easy to take from the homeless as most people living on the streets are doing it in urban areas.

These 14 homeless survival tips translate well into many other survival areas.

Know Where You Can Find a Place to Sleep

Homeless Survival - Finding a Place to Sleep

One of the greatest challenges faced by the homeless is finding a safe place to sleep. The homeless are always at risk of getting mugged or assaulted making a secure place to sleep high on the list of priorities.

Shelters are often high in crime which makes them pretty low on the list of places to stay for the homeless.

Try to find a place where you can clearly see some approaching you from a distance. Sleeping in the open also makes you visible to others so there will be a higher chance of someone seeing you in case you’re attacked or getting robbed.

Sleeping in these places does have drawbacks. You’ll be more exposed to the elements so you’ll need to weight the pros and cons of sleeping in the open.

Don’t sleep in contact with the ground if you can. It will pull heat away from your body and make you more likely to suffer cold-related injuries.

An old mattress or several layers of blankets will make sleeping more comfortable if you can find them.

Old Newspapers Have Many Uses

Newspapers are pretty easy to acquire in many areas and they have many different survival uses.

Don’t overlook the benefit of simply having something to read. It can help to pass the time and keep you up to date on local news.

Several layers of newspaper can be used as a blanket or can be set up to keep the wind off of you while you sleep. When it’s cold outside, you can also stuff crumbled up newspaper into your clothing to provide insulation that will keep you much warmer.

If your shoes get wet you can use newspaper to help dry them out. Crumble the newspaper up and loosely pack your shoes with it. As the newspaper gets wet, replace it more dry newspaper until your shoes are completely dry.

Make Sure You Have Refillable Bottles

One of the most important parts of survival is having access to clean water. Refillable bottles will allow you to take advantage of things like water fountains or public restrooms to collect clean drinking water.

Stay hydrated and keep these bottles full whenever you can! As with any survival situation, you don’t want to wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking.

These bottles don’t need to be fancy. Any clean bottle will do.

Stay in Areas That You’re Familiar With

Homeless Survival - Learn where to shower and get water to drink.

Being familiar with your surroundings is going to make survival much easier.

It will make finding sleeping areas, public restrooms, food and more much easier to find. It will also ensure that you’ll be able to find a place to run to if you’re ever forced to seek help during a robbery or assault.

Wear Practical Clothes

Clothing in a survival situation has nothing to do with fashion. You should dress in layers whenever possible.

Try to find several layers of clothing to wear. This allows you to regulate your temperature the best and will keep you the warmest during cold weather.

Get Access to a First Aid Kit as Soon as You Can

Get a simple first aid kit as soon as possible.

Band-aids, antibiotic ointment and some alcohol are probably all you need. This will allow you to keep small cuts and wounds clean and prevent infection.

Keep Yourself Warm When You Can

Homeless Survival

While staying warm may not be easy, it’s important that you try to stay warm in the winter.

It’s easy to succumb to cold-related injuries if you aren’t careful. Simple things like a small fire are a great way to keep yourself warm in colder environments.

Choose Your Food as Wisely as Possible

Money will most likely not be all that easy to come by so you need to make good decisions when you do have enough to buy food. Candy and snacks aren’t the best options.

You’re going to want to choose items that will fill you up and provide a high amount of calories.

If you’re scrounging for food, try to stay away from items that could make you sick.

Maintain a Clean Appearance

Staying clean has multiple advantages.

If you are able to stay as clean looking as possible, you’re less likely to be kicked out of public areas like restrooms and stores.

If you have a clean appearance, you’re also more likely to be treated better by strangers on the street. This also goes for any interactions that you may have with the local police.

Good personal hygiene also helps to keep diseases at bay. Getting sick can be one of the most life-threatening situations in a survival situation.

Recycle Your Stuff When Possible

Being creative in the way that you utilize your stuff is key to success when you’re in a survival situation, and live on the street is no different.

Re-use and repurpose as much as you can in order to limit what you need to carry and fill in the gaps in what you own.

Get A Homeless Survival Companion

Homeless Survival Companion

Companions for the homeless usually fall into one of two categories. Usually, they are either another homeless person or a stray dog.

A companion of some kind can help fight off depression and having someone to talk to is great to keep your spirits up.

Choosing another homeless person to partner up with can help by allowing you to divide the workload that comes with being in a survival situation. Things, like finding food, water and providing security, are all easier when you do it with someone else.

You’ll probably notice that many homeless people choose to travel with a dog. Adopting a dog helps to fight off depression, and they can make your life seem a lot less hopeless than if you were all alone.

They also provide security and can keep you warm by adding body heat when it’s cold outside.

Keep Your Things Close

Homeless Survival

There is a reason that many homeless people travel with shopping carts. Keeping your few possessions with you at all times is very important.

Don’t get too comfortable in an area that you’re staying. You want to be able to get all of your belongings ready to go at a moments notice. You never know when your situation is going to take a turn for the worse.

Keeping the things that are helping you survive close at hand also prevents them from getting stolen.

Avoid Fighting

This is perhaps one of the best takeaways for someone in a survival situation. This goes beyond just not getting into fights, it also covers avoiding any situation where you could get injured.

Staying away from dangerous situations unless it’s absolutely necessary is important.

If you get into a fight, chances are you’re going to be injured. Even if you win the fight you’re probably going to walk away in worse shape than before the fight.

Minor injuries can lead easily lead to infection if you’re in a survival situation. This is especially true if you’re in a situation where your hygiene may be compromised and staying clean may be difficult.

Store Food When You Can

When you’re on the street, you don’t know when your next meal may come in. This makes storing what food you can extremely important.

If you can get your hands on canned food or other types of food that won’t spoil, you should keep them for later use if possible. Carrying them on you or even caching them in a safe place are both good options.

If you happen to get your hands on some cash, stock up on what you can to give yourself a little bit of security!

Homeless Survival Conclusion

A lot of the tips for homeless survival will seem similar to many other survival tips. That’s because the key survival skills rarely change.

Were you able to take away any ideas that you could use in a situation like this? Let us know in the comments below!

About Joe Ready 104 Articles
Joe “Ready” is an active duty Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician with more than 20 years of service and multiple ground combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has a bachelors degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and has been interested in prepping and preparedness for close to two decades.

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