7 Survival Tips From The Homeless

Look around your city. What do you see? If you open your eyes a lot of the people around are homeless. Some of them chose the lifestyle while others have been forced into the situation. Either way, they have a lot to teach us about surviving harsh conditions. They have tricks and strategies up their sleeve to survive. Here are 7 tips from the homeless you can use to survive any survival situation.

Your backpack is your most prized possession

Look at the homeless. One thing you’ll notice is they all have backpacks, or something to hold all of their gear. Many of them actually have nice backpacks. A lot of them are using the military style tactical backpacks easily found at military surplus stores. Others have spent the money on nice backpackers packs. They are weathered but durable. The homeless know that it isn’t a good idea to cheap out on a backpack. It’s only a matter of time before zippers bust and seams come apart. Invest in a good backpack for all of your gear.

Essential reading: Best tactical backpacks for your survival gear

Trash bags are your friend

Garbage bags – More useful than you think


Trash bags are versatile pieces of gear. The homeless use trash bags as make shift parkas or as a way to waterproof their gear. You will often see them wearing trash bags in the rain or wrapping up their backpacks. Industrial sized black trash bags can even be used to create a make shift shelter in a snap. Pack a few of them in your backpack. They are extremely light and very useful!

Cardboard is a close ally

Have you ever slept on the raw ground outside in the middle of winter? It’s not a fun experience. Even in the summer time the ground will sap you of all your warmth. The best way to keep yourself warm is to create an insulation layer between you and the ground. There’s a reason why the homeless can always be seen sleeping on cardboard. The cardboard creates a layer to keep you warm at night. You can easily find cardboard in the recycling dumpsters behind retail stores and restaurants.

Dog is a mans best friend

You can always see the homeless person with their dog. A dog will alert you to anybody approaching your camp. Especially while you are sleeping, it’s important to know when somebody is coming up on you. A dog can protect you and let you know when trouble is abound. Beyond protection, a dog will keep you company during those lonely apocalyptic days and nights. Many homeless people do not have friends or people they can trust. A dog keeps them company and is their closest companion. Scientific studies prove time and time again that dogs contribute to the mental health of the lonely.

Avoid populated shelters

You will often see homeless in remote areas if you do a little exploring around your city. Even though there are shelters, the smart ones never go there. They are a breeding ground for mental illness and deranged folks who have no problems stealing your stuff and causing you problems. When it comes time to find a camp, try to find a spot that is out of the way. This will serve you well and give you peace of mind knowing you are safe at night. A remote camp with your dog is one of the best survival combos out there.

Good boots are essential

You will often see homeless people wearing rags and cheap clothes. If you look at their feet, however, you will see many of them wearing top quality waterproof boots. They know their feet are a very valuable asset. If they get wet or injured they will have a hard time surviving. I have worn a pair of these for well over a year now. They have held up nicely and are still waterproof to this day. I always opt for a Goretex lining but they make other waterproof material just as effective. Whatever you do, always make sure you have a good pair of boots!

Survival mindset

Look into the eyes of the homeless. There you will see the eyes of a survivor. Perhaps they weren’t confident in their abilities at first. But overtime they learned what it took to survive. They learned what they needed to do to survive in this environment. They have the mindset of the survivor. It is most crucial to extract any kind of victim mentality from your psyche. If you think like a victim you will become a victim.

At the root of anybody who has survived anything is the survivor mindset. Cultivate this mindset and you will be able to pass through any tribulation – any survival scenario. And here’s the thing. If you don’t think you have what it takes to survive you’re wrong. You are here because your ancestors at one point in time were able to survive. You are here because you come from a long line of survivors.

Don’t forget that.

~until next time~





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