(Natural News) Many people look down on the homeless due to the misconception that they’re all simply lazy. Though true for some, there are many homeless people who ended up as such because they’ve had a string of bad luck and nobody to help them out. Ironically, a homeless person would fare better than the average person when SHTF.
If you find yourself in an urban survival situation, you would want to ask homeless people for advice, especially if you want to keep from sticking out like a sore thumb. After all, some homeless people, most notably those with carts and makeshift shacks, must have learned a thing or two about survival.
But don’t wait until you’re out on the streets to learn from homeless people. Start today. Here are 10 survival lessons you can learn from them. (h/t to SurvivalSullivan.com)
1. Your attitude matters.
Emotions can motivate you to take action, but giving in to feelings of fear, anxiety and panic will likely impact your chance of survival when SHTF. You could have a well-stocked emergency food stockpile and gallons of water in an underground tank, but if you can’t properly use those resources because you’re busy panicking, you’d likely compromise your own efforts to survive.
Meanwhile, you’ll notice that many homeless people don’t wander around crazed and panicking. Most wander calmly, almost as if looking for the next place to set up camp is something purely mechanical. They seem neither happy nor sad about their situation. They’re just focused on the day-to-day task of living. In that state, they’re able to think clearly and act calmly.
2. Be resourceful.
Homeless people don’t have the liberty of simply walking up to restaurants and grocery stores to get what they need when they need it. Therefore, they have to be resourceful. That means knowing where to go for help, be it a church, a soup kitchen or a charity drive.
In a survival situation, you also have to be resourceful. You can’t just sit and wait for food to arrive.
3. Shelter is essential.
Food and access to clean water are, in fact, essential. But even with these two resources, chances are you’ll find yourself in real trouble after just a day or two without a roof — even a makeshift one — over your head. Lack of shelter is a bigger potential killer in an outdoor survival situation than the lack of food and clean water.
Without adequate shelter, you’ll lose body heat fast, especially at night. In severe cases, you could die after just hours of exposure to the elements. Therefore, it’s important to take shelter into consideration when bugging out or if you find yourself in a wilderness survival scenario. Here’s a guide on how to choose the best bugout shelters.
4. Always be ready to evacuate immediately.
Homeless people are rarely welcomed anywhere. Sometimes, residents even call the police to shoo them away. As such, they are always ready to pack up and move at a moment’s notice.
Knowing how and when to evacuate is part and parcel of being a prepper. Even though it’s important to have a stockpile of food and water, you can’t always cling to those when extreme disasters strike, such as powerful earthquakes or strong hurricanes that cause flooding. Therefore, you should always be ready to evacuate.
Prepare an evacuation kit filled with essentials so you don’t end up helpless after evacuating. (Related: 10 Essential, must-have items to have before the next natural disaster strikes.)
5. Know the area you’re in.
Homeless people know which parts of the town are safe. They also know which places give out free food, such as soup kitchens, and which ones frequently have charity drives. Additionally, they know which parts of town to avoid, such as those with unfriendly neighborhoods or the crime-infested ones.
Knowing the area you’re in inside and out can help you stay out of trouble and get help easily when you need it.
6. Keep a low profile.
Homeless people don’t just have to deal with a lack of food, water and permanent shelter. They also have to be mindful about keeping a low profile when hanging about in towns or neighborhoods. Doing so helps them stay out of trouble, which is far too easy to run into when you’re living on the streets and are not careful.
As a prepper, you wouldn’t want to draw attention to yourself. You want to look clean and healthy. The best prepper is one that doesn’t look like the type of prepper portrayed in mainstream media.
Like the homeless, you should also learn to mind your own business. Sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong is a good way to make enemies and attract trouble.
7. Dogs are the original survival “multitool.”
Many homeless people have dogs for a reason. Apart from the companionship dogs offer, they also protect you by alerting you to something you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed or taking a bite out of a bigger threat. Dogs are also furry and warm, meaning you can sleep next to them to retain body heat when it’s cold out.
Here’s a guide on some of the best dog breeds for survival scenarios.
8. There is safety in numbers.
Many homeless people seem to move around in little groups because of something you likely learned as a child: There is safety in numbers. With someone watching your back, you can rest more easily at night. If you don’t have a family, consider friends or neighbors as part of your own little survival group.
You can also look around your area for prepper groups and collectives you can join.
9. Hygiene is important.
The easiest way to get sick is to neglect personal hygiene. It’s hard enough to survive on your own when you’re healthy; you can bet it’s even harder when you’re not in your best shape.
Unfortunately, homeless people tend to neglect hygiene in pursuit of more basic human needs, such as food, water and shelter. As such, many homeless people have filthy clothes, dirty hair and broken skin. But what looks like a small problem, such as a toothache or a small wound, can become serious if left unchecked.
Knowing this, you shouldn’t neglect to pack hygiene supplies in your bugout bag (BOB). Things like rubbing alcohol, soap and hand sanitizer will go a long way when SHTF.
10. Avoid conflict.
Homeless people try to avoid conflict as best they can because nothing good comes of it. When SHTF, fighting can only lead to injury or loss of precious gear and resources. You’re better off walking or running away to safety than engaging in a potentially hostile scenario.
Survival.news has more articles with critical survival lessons.