Surviving Off-grid When the Stockpile Is Gone

In the aftermath of a major crisis, just about anything can happen to your food supply.  This may include unexpected spoilage, theft, or other factors that cause your food supply to go dangerously low or run out.

You will need to be successful at hunting and foraging at least two weeks before supplies run out.

Basic Nutrients and What Happens When you Miss Them

There are 6 main nutrient areas required for good health: proteins (used for building and maintaining the body), carbohydrates (used for energy), fats (used for storage), fiber (no nutritional value, but keeps bowels healthy), and vitamins and minerals (used in just about every bodily process for signaling, beginning, and ending processes).


When you don’t have enough food, and those basic nutrients disappear from your diet, your body will react, as soon as the first signs of starvation appear.

Week 1: You become very hungry, angry, grumpy, irritable. You will begin to lose water weight, which triggers the body to start using fat reserves. Fat will burn immediately if you do not get enough carbohydrates to fuel the body.

This can set up a dangerous situation early on that causes kidney damage. Even if you are catching animals or consuming fish, it is extremely important to find a reliable source of fruit, greens, grain, or other plant based foods that will provide adequate carbohydrates since meat and fish tend to have little, if any usable carbohydrates.

Week 2: You start to get very depressed and begin to feel useless. There is an obvious loss of weight and a noticeable decline in muscle mass because the body is using muscles for protein to keep major organs functioning. Kidneys and liver will begin shutting down, eating will produce stomach pain and nausea.

Week 3: People start acting very crazy and would consider doing things that they normally would not do. Some may have starvation euphoria or other hallucinations at this stage, and perhaps even sooner depending on body weight at the beginning of the starvation period.

The body begins to swell from fluid under the skin. Victim may have bad diarrhea, and the stomach becomes unable to digest food due to decrease in stomach acid production.

Week 4: You have no energy. All that is left is to hang on and hope that you will make it. Most victims have hallucinations, go into convulsions, have horrible muscle pain, and unbelievable cramps through-out the body.

How to Survive for Two Weeks if Your Food Supply Is Gone

Once you enter the first day with reduced food, there will be less time to hunt or preserve food, and more time will be spent recovering from exhaustion and other problems.

Then what is to be done for the survival of the group?

Send out hunting, fishing, and foraging parties

These parties must be sent out as soon as possible before the first week of no food begins. These groups may have to travel long distances into new hunting, fishing, and foraging areas where they may encounter other survivors that will be hostile to them.

When assigning food, you will have to balance the needs of those left behind with those who will go out and forage. Be aware that if they are not successful within the ration limits, they too will suffer from starvation and lose their ability to bring back food.

Search for edible plants, edible insects, and edible reptiles

When people are very hungry they will eat almost anything that they would never think of eating  under normal conditions.

Plants, insects, and reptiles when eaten can keep you alive and in good condition. However, don’t forget to test any new food if you are not absolutely sure that it is edible.

What to Hunt  and Fish 

When you go hunting, always use appropriate caliber bullets or pellets. Ammo that is too large will destroy the meat while ammo that is too small will not kill effectively and make it possible for prey to escape.

Also, being successful hunting certain types of game depends on your experience and the available equipment.

what to hunt

what to fish

Hunting and foraging parties should be out searching for food long before the stockpile is over, than you should be able to preserve food so that it will last without spoiling.

But we will talk about preserving food for your off-grid survival in another article, so keep an eye on our website to read it.

Be prepared for any food crisis and find out how to become food independent in Pocket Farm.

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Written by

Fred Tyrrell is an Eagle Scout and retired police officer that loves to hunt, fish, hike, and camp with good friends and family. He is also a champion marksman (rifle, pistol, shotgun) and has direct experience with all of the major gun brands and their clones. Fred refers to himself as a "Southern gentleman" - the last of a dying way. He believes a man's word is his bond, and looks forward to teaching others what he has learned over the years. You can send Fred a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • You neglected one very important segment. Traps! Having different types of traps for birds, animals and fish require less time and effort than using weapons.

    • Great point, Dennis but this is a passive hunt and should be combined with an active hunt to assure success.

  • Deer CAN be hunted with a spear if done right. You must drop down on them from a point higher than your prey and use your body weight to penetrate the heart/lung area without landing on the animal. It is a very effective method with a strong, sharp spear. Note: Not recommended for deer with antlers or spikes and definitely not bear or boar.

  • To avoid conflict the quieter that you are the better. Bows, crossbows, and air rifles. are good and suppressors where legal(??). Power down , .22 shorts are much quieter than .22 LRs. As Dennis pointed out traps are good, so are snares. They are force multipliers. Look into the Yo Yo automatic fishing reel, also a force multiplier. If you are reduced to starvation, it is doubtful the local “bunny cops” will be in much better shape.

    • I agree 100%. I have used the yo-yo fishing technique and they are fantastic and highly recommend them. I had two of them and ordered another 12 on EBAY to add to my emergency supplies. I have never used a snare because they are illegal but I do know how to make them and also added that equipment to my supplies.

  • First, I withhold agreement to the idea that oils should be limited. The body can convert oils to energy (e.g., the stated function of carbs), though it may take time for the American body to adjust and work through symptoms that the article describes.
    Second, there are not enough animals around to feed everyone, so instead of hunting/trapping them to extinction, try raising some. Learn about rabbits (they are not noisy, they can be bred in city back yards and small spaces. Buy some breeders, or find some toddler rabbits and complete their raising. Breed them (turn many of them into breeders, and the rest into edibles). I’ve read that two breeders can produce 175 lbs of rabbit meat a year, and the cost of their feed (at weed prices) is about .75 cents per rabbit from birth to eating. The more breeders, the more you eat and the more you have to share with relatives and friends; and if you had to BO, take several rabbits with you (but not the cat). Simplistic? Yes. Possible? Very much. Expensive? Not on the cheap (finding where mother rabbit has her litter of babies (about every 6 weeks). If you can hunt in the woods, you can find rabbit sign and hunt for the litter. If you are a breeder, you may continue the species that hunters could nearly eliminate in SHTF situation.

    • Glucose is made by the body from carbohydrates. A small amount of glucose can be made by the breakdown of fats (from glycerol in triglycerides) and proteins but it is not sufficient. The brain and red blood cells only use glucose for energy. Glucose levels decrease when you haven’t eaten. That is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

  • How do I keep getting this article? I followed the link in an email promising to tell me how to build an off-grid refrigerator for $16 or less. Where is that? Thanks.