Regardless how well-prepared you are and how you assume a SHTF scenario will unfold, food will still become a problem as things develop. If the crisis is not a short-term one, you will have to learn how to obtain food one way or another. Both Mother Nature and the remaining traces of civilization will have something to offer if you know where to look for.
Once you consume all your stockpiled food, you will need to find ways to become truly sustainable. You need to learn how to feed your family full-time by hunting, fishing gardening and so on. While the following methods are not easy to follow, you still have the time to practice them now, when things go in your favor. You will discover the challenges you will have to face if you need to obtain food after the brown stuff hits the fan.
Six Methods To Obtain Food After SHTF:
I have to admit I got tired how many times I’ve heard people say “I’ll hunt for my own meat when it hits the fan”. All I have to respond to that is “Good luck!”. Besides the fact that there would be a lot of competition in the first months after SHTF, hunting is no walk in the park. It requires time and patience, but most importantly, it requires a lot of experience on the field.
Some people have a wrong approach when it comes to obtaining food through hunting. They go for large game such as deer and bear, without knowing the amount of work required to bring home such kill. Large game requires much more work compared to small game. You need to know how to field dress the animal and how to make the most out of it. There’s no point in hunting large game if you can’t use the entire animal.
Suggested reading: Ten Survival Hunting Essentials
Your best chance would be to try and bag some waterfowl and other small game like rabbits, raccoons and even squirrels. It might not seem much at first, but if you manage to harvest enough ducks and geese and other small animals, you will be able to sustain yourself for a good amount of time.
Another thing most people forget is that winters are often long and cold in some parts of this country. If you live in such area or if you are forced to bug out in such regions, you have to think about long-term survival. Chances are you will get snowed in and it will be difficult to obtain food without consuming a good amount of fuel and other valuable resources. Think ahead and try to fill your pantry or freezer before winter comes. One deer alone or bear can feed an entire family through winter. Elk or moose are great targets because they will produce hundreds of pounds of meat.
No matter how you look at it, learn about what game is available in your region. Learn of the ways it behaves (when it feeds, sleeps, breeds, etc.) and how to preserve the meat once you caught said animal. If you want to obtain food through hunting, you need to practice as much as possible and learn from the experts.
Since hunting is not for everyone, fishing might be the best next thing to obtain food after SHTF. The good thing about this method is that you don’t need any expensive gear to bring something home. Even more, compared to hunting, you will have the luxury to learn from your mistakes much faster and you have a much better chance of re-adapting your methods to outsmart your prey. Fishing for food is not as complicated as some may want you to believe. Although most people tend to overspend on fishing gear, I often found that a simple setup like a basic rod and bait is all it takes to put fish on the table.
Suggested reading: Improvised Fishing Techniques For Tough Times
To obtain food by fishing you have to remember the golden rule, keep things simple and use what works. The goal here is to put food in the freezer and not to win a prize for the biggest catch. If you lack spoons or in-line spinners, or any other type of fishing gear, learn to set fish traps. These will never fail you as long as you follow the right approach. It may require some time to get some fish, but I guarantee you will catch something eventually. This article will show you how to use various “out of the ordinary” baits for a successful catch. The best part about fishing is that you can do it all year round, and it doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer.
Although ice fishing requires different gear and following various safety measures, it can still be used as a good method to obtain food after SHTF during the cold season.
In all my hiking trips, rarely I leave the woods and fields without bringing something back to camp. Like my ancestors, I like to try what Mother Nature has to provide and I seize every opportunity to obtain food. Since the dawn of time, human communities were divided into hunters and gatherers. It is one of the behaviors that helped humans survive when harsh time were upon them. That being said, if you’re not a good hunter, maybe you’re a good gatherer. Nature could offer us a lot of food if we could only stop for a second and look around us.
Everything from wild berries to wild apples and grapes are yours for the taking if you know where to look for them. Learn to harvest, acorns, walnuts and beechnuts, just like your ancestors did. Obtaining food through foraging is not complicated and you can just stick with easily identifiable plants at first. Just like any other skill, this takes time to master. I recommend stealing some knowledge from the more experienced foragers.
As an added bonus, besides foraging for edible plants, there are a multitude of medicinal plants you could gather as well. Make sure you bring a field guide with you, to avoid making mistakes. As I always say, when in doubt, leave it be!
While most people think that a bartering system is a thing of the past, there are still many communities that are trading goods and services for the items they need. When it hits the fan, bartering could once again become a common thing. To handle it, you need to have the proper barter items stockpiled and learn about their value. You could trade some of your items to obtain food and other goods you need.
If you lack the above skills that would help you obtain food when our civilization collapses, your best option would be to stockpile as many barter items as you can. Once you manage to store all the items that will help you survive during an emergency situation, it would be smart to stockpile something extra that you can use for bartering.
Related reading: Barter Items You Should Have For SHTF
After all, bartering is the oldest form of commerce. We’ve all done it one way or the other. Bartering was always part of our life. When we were children, we used to swap lunch with our school buddies. We used to trade baseball cards with our friends and so on. By doing all of that, somehow we learned about supply and demand, value and negotiation and some of us even ended up being successful salesmen.
In a long-term survival scenario, bartering will not be dependent on luck as it would be today. People will need various items to survive and you don’t have to wait for that one person that has what you need. Bartering is already making a comeback in various communities, especially in the green-communities from around the world. It will become a reality for Americans when the economy crashes. When that happens you’d better be ready to trade!
This is another subject that is somehow misunderstood when it comes to emergency preparedness. Not because it isn’t a good method to obtain food, but because people think there’s not much to it. Like my good old friend Rhonda keeps saying “after years of gardening, I still feel that I have no idea what I’m doing”. And I couldn’t agree more, gardening is hard and it takes experience and a grain of luck to succeed. If you think that you could wake up tomorrow and start gardening to obtain food and become self-sufficient, you are delusional.
Gardening takes time, preparation and experience if you want to fill a pantry to last over the winter. Sure, you will learn for your mistakes, but that won’t do you any good if your pantry is empty and your stomach is growling. A garden can be as large or small as you like it. However, the bigger it is, the more time and work it requires. The reward will all be worth it you may say and you are right. However, you have no guarantee that you will obtain a crop every season. Even more, you have to always think one step ahead, to prevent rather than repair or reduce the damage. When your garden is decimated by pests or wild animals, it will do you no good searching online for solutions if there’s nothing left to save.
Suggested article: Pioneer Gardening – How To Start A Backyard Garden
The key to successful gardening is to grow crops that thrive in your area, have large yields and store well. Even urban communities have began to develop large gardens to grow their own food. The examples in Venezuela are unbeatable proof that even the roofs of building can be turn into large gardens to obtain food. Some preppers are also relying on modern methods to produce their foods, such as aquaponics or old ones such as permaculture. It all depends on what works best for you and your family. You should try your luck with one of those methods now, before it’s too late.
This is a topic that I’ve been discussed with my friends and shared it with my readers more than once. I truly believe that scavenging would become a great method to procure food after SHTF. People believe that most cities will be cannibalized of resources long before they manage to get their hands on something of value. While this may or may not be true for big cities, things will be quite different for the smaller communities. Let me put it this way; it all depends on the nature of the SHTF event and the number of people that would survive the first hit.
For an entire city to be stripped of resources, it would be required for a good percentage of people to survive. And in a world without laws, that’s highly improbable if not impossible. Most people won’t make it back home. Sickness and fear (stupidity) will claim a lot of lives long before the human factor comes into play. After the looting and killing stops, those who survive will be put to the test. They will have a hard time surviving more than a few months. Most of them are not preppers and they lack the skills to survive. They have no clue how to handle emergencies that would become a threat for their physical integrity. People will die eventually, but resources will still be available for the taking.
That being said, the remaining ones will still become a threat for you and your family. You would have to know how to handle every scavenging trip and put your safety first. You will need to learn how to move undetected, learn the behavior patterns of the remaining people and do a lot of recon before you go for the grabbing. Never go alone and have someone watch your back if possible.
My 2 cents
Being able to obtain food after SHTF is certainly no easy task. It will probably become your main occupation during most disaster scenarios. You will have to face a lot of competition if you live in a densely populated area. Mastering all the above skills is only possible for certain type of people. Few “city folks “will be able to obtain food after it hits the fan. Long-term survival depends on how well you manage to become self-sufficient in the shortest amount of time. Being able to obtain food without grocery shopping makes you a provider. This lifestyle requires time and hard work, and it isn’t for everyone.