Being homeless isn’t something that a lot of people like to talk about, but it’s something that deserves a certain amount of conversation. Looking at homeless by choice statistics, only around 6% or so of people actually choose to be homeless. This is something that no one really desires, but if you ever find yourself in a situation where there’s no longer a roof over your head, it’s important to have some solid homeless camping tips under your belt.
Knowing what you should and shouldn’t do while being homeless can be the determining factor between life and death, and while it may seem silly to research tips on how to survive homeless and jobless while you have a home and/or job, being prepared for future, unknown events is what being a prepper is all about.
There are a lot of key things that you should be aware of if you ever find yourself wandering this world without a place to call home, and these are the 4 most important ones to keep in mind for a rainy day.
1. Newspapers are useful for just about everything
With the rise of the Internet, smartphones, and more, everyone seems to be under the impression that the almighty newspaper is dead. While it certainly isn’t quite as useful as it used once to be for catching up the latest news and happenings in the world, it’s still invaluable when it comes to surviving as a homeless person.
Newspapers, especially national and popular ones, are usually thick with layers upon layers of information. The paper itself is an awesome tool that can be used for bedding, insulation, and even as kindling if you need to quickly make a fire to warm up or cook a meal.
If you have some spare change, newspapers are typically pretty cheap to get your hands on. Better yet, finding newspapers lying around that no one is using is usually quite easy in larger, urban areas.
And, along with these more innovative uses, actually reading a newspaper to keep yourself informed about what’s happening in the world around you will help keep you aware of what’s taking place in the nation and your surrounding area.
2. Layer up on your clothes
One of the first things that people often think they should do if they become homeless is to find a big, heavy coat to wear for warmth. This may seem like a good idea at first, but this is actually something you should try to avoid. While a heavy coat may keep you warm during cold spells, it’ll cause you to overheat when the weather warms up.
As such, you should look more into layering clothes as opposed to one or two big items of clothing. Wearing multiple light jackets is one of the best ways to go, as you can add or remove different layers as you see fit. This is much more efficient than wearing one single layer, and it also gives you a lot more control over how warm or cool you want to be.
Along with this, wearing cargo pants that you can zip-off into shorts is also great to have your hands on if at all possible. This gives you added control over your pants just like the layered jackets do, and this is something that’s absolutely invaluable when you don’t have a home with controlled air conditioning.
3. Figure out how to sleep on the streets
Sleeping on the streets is one of the least desirable aspects of being homeless, but it’s extremely important to know how to do it if you want to be as safe and comfortable as possible when trying to catch some shuteye without your own bed.
There are multiple ways to go about this, and while the exact way you tackle it will vary based on where you live, there are some key pointers that should apply to anyone no matter where in the world you find yourself.
First off, seek out some sort of mattress that you can sleep on. Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to find a legitimate mattress to rest on, you can make your own out of multiple blankets, newspapers (as mentioned above), cardboard, etc. All you need is some sort of area that you can lay on that will insulate heat and keep you safe from the ground below you, and with enough wits and time spent looking around, this shouldn’t prove to be too difficult.
Along with this, you should also try your luck with homeless shelters. Shelters only take in a certain number of people depending on how much room they have, and how many people show up, but trying your luck here is definitely something you should consider.
There’s always a chance of your limited belongings getting stolen at a homeless shelter, but if you’re in a safe area and have some sort of familiarity with the people around you, seeking shelter here is not a bad idea at all.
4. Befriend a stray dog
The last tip that we recommend is trying to find and befriend a stray dog. You’ll obviously want to steer clear of any pooches that look feral or mean, but becoming acquainted with a lonesome hound that is also looking for companionship can create a match made in Heaven.
While you’ll need to help your dog find food and water along with yourself, having a dog that you can trust is great for protecting your belongings from thieves, decreasing any anxiety you may be feeling, and simply having another being that you can trust and rely on. That's something that you’ll find incredibly scarce as a homeless person, and any companionship that you can come across will make a world of difference in your daily travels.
With all of that said, those are the 4 homeless camping tips that we suggest tucking away in your brain in case you ever find yourself needing to call upon them. As we said in the beginning of this article, no one likes to be homeless. It’s a dark, scary, and often hopeless situation to find yourself in. However, with a little know-how and optimism, it’s possible to make the best out of it and live out a relatively meaningful life until you can get back on your feet.