How to Prepare for a Resource Run

How to Prepare in case you run out of supplies! 

No matter how much you prepare, no matter how much you stockpile, you have to be aware that you cannot prepare for all things. In most cases there will come a time when you need something. This could be medication, food, water or something unforeseen. What happens if you have a medical emergency during a collapse? What happens if the group you planned for suddenly grows – neighbors, extended family? Suddenly, your prepping circumstance change drastically. You need a backup plan!

You ran out of supplies, now what?

There are some options that come to mind when you run out of items that you need or if other issues. One of the most popular is bartering (check out items to consider stashing to barter). Unfortunately bartering can be risky - unless you know who you are barter with, it could be a very dangerous situation.

Depending on where you live or where you come to survive, bartering may not be an option. You might look at asking for help or approaching a community. This puts you in a very bad position and you could easily get taken advantage of but it might be your only option.

In a fallen world, there will be resources to be had. If a disaster has collapsed your city or state and help is not coming, you have options. You can root around the abandoned structures and find quality resources.  You might be surprised at what you can find if you really sit down and think about it.

I call this the resource run. It’s the process of scavenging - but preparing for it ahead of time so you have a clear mission from start to finish. During a crisis, you won’t have time to do guess work.

Preparing Maps and Considering Locations

While most people will panic in a collapse and start rifling through the most obvious locations, they will find that many other people are doing the same and, there is a lot of risk when you walk into an empty store to fight over the last can of beans.

If we are talking about a world without police or law of any kind, what will people do for that last can of beans?

Instead, you want to take action well in advance to assure that you know exactly where you are going, how to get there and what to do when you arrive.

For starters, you are never going to a supermarket, department, or mega store. These locations are too big and too obvious, they will be picked over fast and will attract the most people - and be the most dangerous. The better option is to consider locations that most other people will overlook. Here are some great examples.

  • Office Buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Distribution Centers

These types of places will be long abandoned (more tips here). You may find squatters there, but we will touch on that later.

Mark these locations on a map with a rough estimate of mileage and time to each location. This will give you an idea of what you are working with and how effective you can be.

Your Resource Run Bag 

There is no shortage of bags in the survival and prepping world. Be it bugout bag, G.O.O.D bag, INCH bag, Get Home Bag or any other bag, the difference here is size. A resource bag is something small. You are going to use this bag to carry a few resources for your run and a big empty bag that is stuffed inside to carry home your haul.

Rather than give you a brand lets talk about design. Sling bags are great resource bags because of their size and storage. What you need to consider most is that you are returning with a bigger and heavier bag. You might even look at something that fits around the waist.  A collection of pouches on the belt could also hold all of the gear you need to execute properly. This would allow you to carry a big empty bag on your back.

Resource Run Bag List

Here is a list of items that you should consider taking with you during a resource run. These items will address things like self-defense, surveillance, survival, food, water and fire as well as access to these locations.

  • Concealed firearm
  • Sturdy, full tang, survival knife
  • Trauma kit
  • Water bladder
  • LifeStraw style filter
  • Simple tarp and cordage for shelter (you may overnight somewhere against your will)
  • Map of local area with multiple routes home scouted
  • Ready to eat foods (at least 1000 calories)
  • Binoculars / Optics
  • Lighter
  • Powerful Flashlight
  • Pry Bar
  • Bolt Cutters

Add Ons if you want to take it to the next level

  • Body armor
  • Surveillance drone
  • Urban access tools (water key, elevator key, lock pick set)

Execution and Timing of Resource Run

The last piece of the puzzle is how you enact your plans. All of the planning that you have done is going to assure you know where your going and that you have the items that you need to be successful. The only thing we haven’t touched on is the WHEN.

One of your biggest goals in a resource run is to see as few people as possible, both on your way there and back. If society has reached such a point that you are raiding abandoned buildings then you will not want to see people outside of your community. It’s a harsh reality but it’s a real one.

If you know the route well, you should look to leave a couple hours before sunrise. If you are unfamiliar with the route or the terrain just know you will move much slower in the dark. However, arriving at your location as the sun is coming up has some tremendous benefits.

Once you arrive you should spend some time observing the location. Look for signs of movement and be sure that the building is not occupied before you get inside and get yourself cornered. Take your time and use your optics for this so you can keep your distance. If the building is occupied, you need to decide whether you will abandon it or create a diversion to get those inside to leave. Obviously, the latter comes with much more risk.

If all goes well, you should be returning with a bag full of items that you need in the earliest parts of the morning. This means you will meet the least amount of resistance upon your return.

Be Prepared With a Backup Plan!

If you need something post collapse you better have a plan to get your hands on it. It is of the utmost importance that you be prepared to head out on a resource run. Just be sure its not a shot in the dark. Use maps, a quality bag or pack, the proper set of supplies and efficient timing to increase your odds of success.