Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Scavenger Skill Set
Seems to me one of the most valuable talents/skill sets one can have in a post collapse situation maybe the scavenger. Perhaps not right at first and then of course the value of that skill set may diminish over time as resources that can be scavenged become more scarce, but for a certain period scavengers may perhaps be more important to the overall survival of a group than food producers or defensive personnel. Yet overall the scavenger is probably the least mentioned of the survivor skills sets.
My thoughts on this bend towards the fact that for a while at least it may not be possible for scavengers to operate without truly knowing if they are stealing or simply scavenging. Many a moral issue could develop as the ability to truly determine ownership of property enters a gray area. Simple security would dictate that one cannot just leave their calling card whenever they scavenge something just in case it happens to be owned but if no one is around who knows if it is owned or not?
In my mind the scavenger would also overlap strongly into the hunter, warrior and defensive skill sets as well as specializing in whatever form of scavenging predominates the area your group inhabits. Any group small or large would do well to have the services of a scavenger or two (Or more) at their disposal.
One of my neighbors happens to be tearing down an old fence very much like the one I have been working on the last few days. It had been patched in some areas with a panel here and there new boards had been added to replace older ones and many small vines and trees had been allowed to grow into it. In one afternoon my neighbor was finished clearing his fence line out while after three days I am less than halfway done with mine even though they are about the same length.
Well my neighbor got out his big John Deere and yanked the entire fence row out and then had a bobcat push it all together into a big pile of boards, panels, wire and posts and set it alight. Once it had burned down he gathered up the remaining wire and loaded it up to take to the dump.
Myself I am cutting each section of wire, woven and strands of barbed wire, and folding them carefully up and stacked out of the way to be recycled next time I take some scrap metal in. Cattle panels that are maybe destroyed on one side get cut in half to use the undamaged section elsewhere. In fact I used half a panel just the other day when I repaired a barn division and needed to close up the lower part so lambs wouldn't slip through. Each top board and post is evaluated and inspected. If one half is rotted or cracked I cut that part off and save the good section for something else. Even boards most would call useless I use to put down under my stacked firewood.
You get the idea. I am practicing scavenging even if it is my own property I am doing it on.
Is my way the best way right now? Maybe not if I could make more money with the extra time than I am saving by recycling the stuff. Depends on your outlook and the ideals you hold plus the value you place on things. But I can tell you this: in a grid down collapse situation being able to make these assessments and willing to take the extra time to save scavenged material will be invaluable when you can't just replace it down at the farm supply store using money from the federal ag subsidy you got.
Running a Small-Hold requires many more materials and items than any family can reasonably even think about stocking and storing. As long as the stores and the economy are functioning you can get what you need but it never hurts to practice a little scavenging and recycling techniques either.
How long you wait after the stores are closed or looted and the sub-division down the road is empty before you scavenge what ya need from those empty houses. Well that's a question for another post I reckin.....
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!