Preppers can Learn From the Homeless


If you really want to learn about free or cheap gear talk to a homeless person.  They are the real experts on how to get by with very little.  Now I am not talking about many of the beggars that you see on the street corner, far too many of them have their housing paid for by some government agency.  I am talking about the hard-core homeless who are living in a homeless camp.

There are a few things that I have noticed that are common in every camp that I see.  Keep in mind I am not in an area that gets heavy snowfall.  One, regardless of the quality or type of tent they have they always cover it with something else.  This may consist of a second tent or a tarp or both.  When the weather is bad, they want as many layers as they can get.  This is probably for two reasons, rain and cold.

Now if you live in an area with heavy snow you may see that they need to build a shelter over the tents to help carry the snow load.  In the Sierras where snowfall is quite heavy they use scrap lumber, downed trees or whatever else they can get.  Probably the best camp that I have seen was a tepee.  They seemed to get along quite well in this regardless of the weather.

But remember they all had as much extra gear as they could get their hands on.  This is a good example of why you need good gear and lots of backup.  Regardless of how fancy your gear is, it will deteriorate with age and tents do fail.

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A while back, we were camping on the coast and had three tents with us.  A cheap one I bought wholesale for $4.50, a Walmart tent and a fancy REI tent that cost $400.00.  During the night, it rained hard.  One tent leaked, you guessed it, the expensive one.  It was new and had a bad seam.  This is why you need to be sure and use your equipment and become familiar with it.

Another thing about the homeless, you will notice that even though they do not have top of the line clothing, by dressing in layers they are able to survive in bad weather.  They get most of their gear at the thrifty shops or from hand me downs.

Now the one place that I have noticed that they fall down on is food.  Because of all the shelters, charities and food stamps around here, most of them have become dependent on the system for food like most people.

Next time you see a homeless person take a look at what they are carrying.  If they are receptive spent a few minutes talking to them you may be surprised at what you learn.



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6 thoughts on “Preppers can Learn From the Homeless”

  1. Hay Howard, you moron. The Homeless don’t know anything, they are stupid and retarded. That’s why their homeless you stupid idiot.

    1. This comment was obviously done by a troll and really should be struck from the board. If you have a way to block his email address from posting that might be a good idea also.

  2. Thats a great idea, just be careful of the homeless people you approach! Homeless people are in 4 groups: They are as follows, 1. Everyday homeless but not jobless. This could be a coworker or an employee at a store! 2. Crazies, you’ll see them walking down the road yellin at eveything. 3. Drunks or addicts, nuff said: Self explanitory. & 4. Misplaced or Domestic disputes.
    The 1st and 4th are easy to talk to and get reliable info from, just be very carefull how you word thing, it could turn into a nightmare.
    I know very well how the homeless are, since i have been homeless in the past and now have recently fallen back into it again due to my fiancee telling me to leave so she could have more money in her pocket by seeing an older guy who has no family and plenty of money.
    Anyways: Heres some basic info.
    1. Preforated cardboard can be used to make a shelter as well as a ground insulator.
    2. Paper maché made with cornstarch, water (any type) and paper (whatever crosses your path) can make a good structure that could be placed in plain sight. The use of plastic grocery bags applied with the paper maché will act as a water resister, NOT waterproofer. And the dirt in the enviorment could be dusted on the structure while still wet to get the appearance of its surroundings.
    3. Insulated clothing for cold weather is easy. Put on a long sleeved shirt then a sweater, now crumble newspapers and place between the 2 layers of clothing.
    4. Food is plentiful every where. Just get a book from youre local library and find out what plants are edible in the enviornment which you live in.
    5. The use of a tarp with your tent or shelter is used to break the flow of air which is pushing towards the shelter.

  3. When I was in public works in Northern Virginia near Washington, DC I had frequent contact with homeless persons who squatted on vacant properties, utility right of ways etc. Unsheltered provides good practical info, but his cautions regarding those less fortunate than him, must also be heeded. The most dangerous critters on the city fringes are the insane weirdos and criminals trying to stay below the radar.

    The issue of the homeless in America has been swept under the carpet for years and is a sad commentary on a supposedly Christian nation. From the beginning of civilization all nations seem to have had this problem in one degree or another. There, but for the grace of God, go any of us… Most unfortunate among the homeless were entire families with children down on their luck. Women and children in particular were often preyed upon by the junkies, mentally ill and criminals. Many chose to live outdoors because a life of perpetual evasion was more free and safer than living in a public shelter. Some people would accept help, while others shunned any contact at all with authority, a few of these being down right scary.

    Another eye opening link is:

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