Post-SHTF Scavenging Part 1: Vehicles

SHTF Vehicle ScavengingWhether you’re bugging out and passing by that old junkyard, or planning a supply run from your urban survivors’ compound – chances are you’ll run into an abandoned car or two after SHTF.

Abandoned vehicles can be a great source of survival supplies an shouldn’t be overlooked if you have the tools and time to scavenge a some items. No, this isn’t a “what happens when you leave your car in a dark alley in Queens” type of post – this is survival uses for things found in most vehicles.

What to scavenge from an abandoned vehicle when SHTF

Wiring

Modern vehicles contain hundreds, if not thousands of feet of copper wiring that can be used many different ways. Beyond just basic cordage, you can use various gauges of wiring on your scavenged battery power system, or clamp to batteries to start fire. It is strongly advised to be knowledgeable in the use of electricity before attempting to do anything with batteries and wire.

Seats

You can strip them and use the seat cover for a blanket or basic shelter. You can use the cushioning for insulation, make a comfortable bed, or to start a fire (do NOT burn large amounts and breathe in the fumes).

Rubber Hoses

Hoses can be used as cordage, fashioned into a makeshift bow or slingshot, or to move non-potable liquid between containers. It is not advised to use as a straw for drinking water.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid properly combined with powdered chlorine (think swimming pool supplies) will create an exothermic reaction that can light a fire. Caution: this has the potential to be explosive and very deadly if done incorrectly. That said, explosive power DOES have it’s uses…

Motor Oil

Aside from the standard lubricating properties for combustion engines, oil can be used to lubricate screws and bolts, protect metal hand tools from rust, or as a drip feed heater:

Glass Windows

If you can find an older car window that isn’t shatter proof, you can use glass in a variety of ways (be sure to always wear proper hand and eye protection!). With some proper flint knapping techniques, you can fashion glass into a number of potential cutting tools if you don’t have a proper survival knife. You can also flint knap glass shards into usable arrow heads for use in the makeshift bow made from hoses.

Trunks and Hoods

If you manage to get the trunk or engine hood off without drawing attention, they make fantastic sleds for dragging heavier objects. This works better in the snow when you can do so in relative silence. You could also strap them together to make a crude A-frame style shelter.

Tires

In an environment where soil is less than adequate (or in an urban survival situation where there is no soil), creating a raised bed garden will allow you to grow fruits and vegetables when the underlying soil just won’t do. Just pack soil into a tire and you’ve got a no-work instant raised bed for growing tomatoes and other veggies. In a pinch, they can also be placed into a well lit fire as a signaling device.

Alternators

If you’ve got the tools and mechanical know how, you can charge batteries with wind or water if you build an electrical charging system using an old alternator. It’s used to charge the battery in your car while the engine is running – so why not grab a few to make your own power system?

Headlights

Can be immediately hooked up to a powered battery to use as emergency lighting. Some older bulbs (non-LED) may be able to be broken with the diodes intact and could be used to start fire by placing tinder bundle when hooked up to a power source.

 

While we don’t condone looting – when survival is on the line, one does what they must to keep themselves and their family alive. Got any other ideas for usable parts when scavenging a vehicle when SHTF? Tell us on our Facebook Page.

TheSurvivalDad
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TheSurvivalDad

TheSurvivalDad is a prepper, head gear tester, primitive skills enthusiast, and lead writer at SurvivalSupplyHQ. He lives with SurvivalWife and SurvivalBaby at their bug out location and homestead in Northern Maryland.
TheSurvivalDad
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About TheSurvivalDad (49 Articles)
TheSurvivalDad is a prepper, head gear tester, primitive skills enthusiast, and lead writer at SurvivalSupplyHQ. He lives with SurvivalWife and SurvivalBaby at their bug out location and homestead in Northern Maryland.

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