Foraging 2 That Grey Line

Want to learn foraging?
You can go on foraging courses that will teach you the safe food stuff to collect.
Which is kinda nice and an easy way to learn the basics, but my foraging is all-encompassing and covers the whole spectrum of survival items. As such, there will be times when the rule of law will get crossed and some will see that as looting.

So let’s talk about the differences between foraging and looting even though when the rule of law has been disrupted and martial law will become the norm, you’ll probably be shot out of hand for simply surviving.

Foraging

  • Foraging is searching for and exploiting natural food resources i.e. berries, nuts, and “wild” meat.

Scavenging (the gray line in foraging)

  • Scavenging implies taking of essential items such as food, water, shelter, or other material needed for survival. Only to locate such items needs you to go searching for them in places that use them or have them ‘in stock’.

And Looting

  • Looting is different from scavenging and foraging as it implies taking items of luxury or not necessary for survival goods such as , precious metals, or other valuables.

Like the fools who are basing their survival on stores of gold, looting is pretty much useless for survival purposes. Only some stressed out LEO or National Guard weenie won’t see the difference between you carrying a few cans or an armful of vegetables or a colour TV.

Just keep that in mind as you carry on reading.

Thus we start off with a list of basic or key items.
Water, fuel, food, medicines, items for personal hygiene (imagine being shot for scavenging a few bars of soap), clothing and blankets as the seasons change or something wears out. Medicines and first aid kit are going to worth more than solid gold in an austere time. Why say that? Because a simple scratch could kill you without the proper care.

One other item, really for our American colleagues, ammunition.
After all you can’t fight a war without making noise can you?

When the rule of law has collapsed, it’s not going to be ‘nicey-nicey’ time anymore.
You’ve got to be thinking 101% tactical as basically everyone is either after what you need, after you to take what you have, or simply to prevent you from getting what you need.

Add to that there will always be vestiges of “authority”, probably working to old directives or on their own volition. Aw let’s just cut out the nonsense, everyone will be after you. Now this could be seen as a massive disadvantage to survival or an indication that the world is about to get easier.

As for tactical thinking?
I can just see all you budding Rambo’s tooling up with your AK or AR whatever and taking by force what you need. Only how stupid is that.
Know how to be successful when foraging, or scavenging?
Don’t get caught and leave no mark of your passing.
That falls into a number of simple tasks.

  • Carry out covert surveillance
    Don’t blunder into a situation you can’t get out of
  • Don’t work alone
    Set up an over watch as once you are inside, they watch the outside and ultimately control your actions.
    To the end you need good communications
  • Use covert movement during the operation
    Having one way in but many covert ways out
  • Non destructive entry and exit is best
    Locking doors behind you to stop unexpected intrusions.
    Never leave by the same route you entered.
  • Leave no mark of your passing
    If no one knows you’ve been there, how you got in, or even what you took, it all adds to the time you have to exfiltrate the area.
  • Shop to a list and on a timetable.
    If you are on your own, what you gather you will have to carry, possibly at speed over a long distance.
    Your surveillance will have given you some idea of how long you can safely enter the building. It may also have exposed any dangers from security systems (which may still be operating) and reaction times of any protective force (if you care to go that way).
    NEVER push your luck. This is a key role of the over watch.
    Your time on target rigidly controlled by them.
  • Finally understand that what you gather, or are attempting to gather, is probably available somewhere else. So if things are too complicated, well protected, or just too hard a prospect (bearing in mind the survival rule of everything has a cost benefit and should be gauged against “gain over effort” or even “potential loss”), don’t try it.

All very complicated? Not really but answer me this.
You are approaching a seemingly intact house foraging for whatever.
What sensible basic actions would you take to avoid being SHOT!
Or are you truly confident no one is home and they aren’t armed?
All I’ve done above is ‘formalise’ the basic procedure.

Foraging 3 will explore access methods and tooling.
As always I will be using the KISS philosophy in everything I do.
KISS? Keep it stupidly simple.

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4 Responses to Foraging 2 That Grey Line

  1. equippedcat says:

    I disagree with your definitions of “scavenging” and “looting”; they have been “manipulated” to a point where they can lead you astray.

    Scavenging (the gray line in foraging)

    Scavenging implies taking of essential items such as food, water, shelter, or other material needed for survival. Only to locate such items needs you to go searching for them in places that use them or have them ‘in stock’. – There are two problems here. First of all, the “essential” limitation is excessive. You can scavenge “non-essential” items which may become “essential” later or can be made into or traded for something essential. Secondly, in order to be merely “gray line”, there must be the concept of “abandonment”. If it is not “abandoned”, then “scavenging” it is indistinguishable from looting.

    And Looting

    Looting is different from scavenging and foraging as it implies taking items of luxury or not necessary for survival goods such as , precious metals, or other valuables. – The problem here is that claiming it is just “luxury” items ignores that if you take ANYTHING which is not “abandoned”, then it is theft, pure and simple.

    If you “scavenge” something which is necessary for the rightful owner’s survival and is essentially in his possession, then are you not guilty of “attempted” or even actual murder?

    • Right until you are summarily judged and executed. Written law is useless in an emergency, and martial law usually makes things worse.

      Consider the Philipines disaster of 2013. Their government called in all manner of law enforcement including marines to stop the ‘looting’.

      Only later the looting was ‘rejudged’ as people simply taking what they needed to survive. They looting as the slow recovery efforts forced residents to seek any means necessary to survive.

      Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim stating, “The looting is not criminality. It is self-preservation.”

      A fine point to make but may be lost in the confusion of the event.

      It should also be noted that the West’s more rabid press were beside themselves in joy that the word ‘looting’ was used by officials.

      • equippedcat says:

        Whether it is legal is a question for whatever passes for the “justice” system. Whether it is moral is a question each person needs to decide for themselves; preferably before the stress of the moment. And whether it was justified is based on the eventual results.

        Just don’t lie to yourself, or try to “trick” yourself with words. If you avail yourself of abandoned goods, then it may or may not be legal, there is a good chance it is moral, and it is probably justified. If you steal goods which are not abandoned, then it is definitely illegal, probably not moral, and may or may not be justified.

        Always consider the consequences, including your opinion of yourself and your loved ones’ opinions of you and eventual legal proceedings,

      • Interesting prospective.

        Me and my own may have been dispossessed, are hungry, cold, thirsty, and without medical supplies in a time when the rule of law may not be functioning..

        And you think I should be worried about the future?

        Good luck with that.

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