I know that items are supposed to respawn and there are a few high-loot areas but none of these areas have more than a brown beanie. I think this is an error because it's not a very populated server. There were 4 people in it.
- Legacy ID
Items spawn on server restart. If the server hadn't restarted for 3+ hours when you joined, it's very possible that most of the places you visited were already looted bare of any items.