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    Trades for Surviving After the Collapse

    A.W.
    May 19th, 2014
    Survival Blog
    Comments (207)
    Read by 18,804 people

    This article was originally published at James Rawles’ Survival BlogJames Rawles is the author of numerous books on the subject of preparedness and survival including the highly informative How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It and his widely popular Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.

    trade-skillsYou have been preparing for the unknown– economic collapse, social unrest, nuclear war, or even just a downsize at work– for quite awhile now. Perhaps you are feeling confident in your ability to survive a catastrophic event by putting to use your survival know-how and stores of food. You even learned valuable gardening skills that will ensure your long-term survival. Now, imagine what life will be like after the collapse for which you have diligently prepared. You will be surviving, but will you be thriving? You will be eating, but will you be contributing to the rebuilding of your region by way of trade, commerce, and productivity? You will be alive and relatively well, but will you be cementing a positive future after a collapse?

    There is a divergence of opinion as to what the world will look like after a disaster or collapse. Some survival experts see the population reverting back to a 19th century agrarian-based existence with blacksmithing, cobblers, and tanners making the biggest economic comeback. Others look to the examples of more recent collapses in Russia and Zimbabwe to see that the affected societies did not descend into a near-medieval subsistence but rather adapted their personal trades and subsistence to the heightened government oppression. No one knows exactly the situation society will be facing after a collapse, because that will depend entirely upon the impetus for the collapse itself. A slow and gradual economic decline will present its fair share of hardships but will look nothing like the aftermath of an EMP or nuclear detonation. The focal point for your own preparations will guide your vision of the post-collapse world.

    In truth, the two seemingly disparate views can be reconciled if you have a mind geared toward adaptability and diversification. Many lucrative and useful trades can transcend the divide and be profitable to you in the aftermath of any collapse. You might find that you have a knack for one, or hopefully more, of the post-collapse trades in the following list:

    • Gunsmithing and Ammunition Production. Experts from both schools of thought agree that in any post-collapse emerging market, those who are equipped with the knowledge and tools to repair firearms and manufacture ammunition will be the most sought after for barter. This trade is also useful in light of the increasing restrictions put on firearms trade due to government control. This means the guns already out there are not likely to be replaced by purchase, rather people will be looking to repair theirs. You can begin learning these necessary skills by taking a class at your local community college. Classes on industrial design, machining, and woodworking are readily available and would be invaluable in getting you started on your new trade. There are also online resources available if you live prohibitively far from someone who can teach you the trade. The National Rifle Association can be contacted for a list of accredited programs for machining and tooling, if you are very serious about delving into gunsmithing.
    • Carpentry. As with gunsmithing, carpentry will be a valuable trade in any of the predicted post-collapse scenarios. While today’s society relies mainly on furniture and cabinetry from big-box home improvement or retail stores, such large-scale manufacturing may be non-existent in a fallen economy. Local carpenters will then be called upon to fill that void. The reliability of electricity in a post-collapse world may be suspect, so when learning carpentry it is wise to also learn to use traditional tools and techniques. Finding and purchasing the older tools, such as hand planers, a mitre box, a treadle lathe, and other traditional tools, would be worth your while, rather than relying solely on modern tools that may become obsolete, if only for awhile. There are a number of ways to learn the skill of carpentry. As was mentioned above with gunsmithing, you can take a community college’s series of classes or join a local carpentry guild. Members are usually very willing to take an aspiring woodworker under their wings for the small cost of yearly dues. Specialty woodworking shops offer classes, and many rent you hourly use of their tools for your projects and practice.
    • Household Product Manufacturing. In light of the necessity of the security and manufacturing skills noted above, it may seem a small thing to talk about home products such as soap, detergents, and hygiene. However, you should not discount their importance. In a post-collapse market, people will have to adjust to a different status quo with regards to their personal and home hygiene. Yet, the fact remains that we will still need to wash our homes, our clothes, and ourselves. Homemade soap making has seen a resurgence in popularity recently, mostly being sold in boutiques for upwards of six dollars per four ounce bar. Its value will most likely increase if we are hit with hyperinflation or a total collapse. Learning to make soap and other cleaners is not difficult. It is probably the easiest when compared with the other trades suggested, but it takes practice. You can learn easily now through books at your library, coupled with watching reliable videos available online. Consider deepening your skills by learning to make your own lye with rainwater and wood ash. Something else to think about if soaping is in your future is your long-term source of fats and oils, essential in soapmaking. Expand your production capabilities by storing the necessary items to make other necessities like toothpaste or salves.
    • Electronics Repair. As was mentioned before, the reliability of electricity after a collapse may be dubious, but people’s reliance on electronics will continue. Small radios, televisions, and even food dehydrators will continue to be used and will need repair eventually. If this is your chosen trade, consider widening your field of opportunity by obtaining and learning to use solar-powered chargers to recharge people’s batteries and other electronics. To learn to repair small electronics, you may follow a similar path to gunsmithing and carpentry. There are multiple ways to go about it, but it might be simplest to enroll in a local class. You will begin by learning the basics, what a resistor is, what a capacitor is, how to calculate wattage, and many other things. From there, consider the many reputable online courses available to build on that basic foundation. Take apart some of your obsolete electronics (old video game consoles, telephones, et cetera), and be careful to note the design and function of each component. Your own personal observations will be useful to you as you use this “self-taught” aspect in your trade approach.
    • Fruit, Vegetable, Seed Production. As a survivalist or prepper, you probably already know the dire importance of keeping a garden now and learning the skills necessary to be successful at growing food for you and your family. You probably have a stash of heirloom seeds, a garden plot outside, and the know-how to obtain a good yield from your labor and resources. Consider expanding your plot and resources so that in a post-collapse market you will be equipped to trade profitably with your fresh produce. Imagine the trading capability you will have with the folks who have stored dry goods or who have relied only on their hunting skills to put food on their tables. They will be needing fresh nutrients and fiber to keep them healthy and strong, and they will want to trade with you. Widen your own market by learning how to collect and store seeds from your produce so that you can sell and trade those precious commodities as well. Expand your possibilities. Even if you do not prefer eggplant, growing and trading those purple veggies with those who do will yield you more than if you had foregone storing those seeds. While gardening is a skill best learned through practice, your skills can be honed and augmented by attending classes given by your County Extension Office or by joining a gardening club. If this is your intended trading skill, consider well your means of transporting your produce to a market or trading post.

    Aside from these are many other viable trades one could consider. When you are choosing, think carefully about what you think a post-collapse environment will look like. Though we all share a similar environment now, after a collapse your region and sub-region may look vastly different from someone else’s depending on several factors. Urban versus agrarian regions of the country, for example, will deal with a collapse differently. Areas of the country with populations used to growing or killing their own food will have less call for a produce stand but may have a higher demand for a gunsmith. The point is that each area is different, and you and your trade must be prepared for the specific results after society’s downturn.

    First and foremost, take the time now to use your new knowledge in practical ways in your own home and life on a regular basis. Be constantly thinking about how you could adapt your trade to a post-collapse world. Many of the questions you may ask yourself regarding your trade can be applied to a trade in today’s economy: How prevalent is this trade? Is there enough of a market to support this trade? Are there many others out there who can provide this skill or would you have the corner on that particular market? Other questions you should examine would obviously be situation-specific and therefore a bit more difficult to answer: Can you obtain the tools you would need to perform this trade without electricity? In a fuel shortage, how could you maneuver to perform your skill or deliver your goods to others?

    Preparing for surviving the collapse is a necessity. There is no doubt whatsoever about this. Still, preparing for surviving after the collapse should be on everyone’s mind as well. Take the time, right now while resources and time are available, to learn a profitable, productive trade that will see you and your family through the hard times after the collapse.

    Visit SurvivalBlog.com for more preparedness information, commentary and daily news updates. James Rawles is the author of numerous books on the subject of preparedness and survival including the highly informative How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It and his widely popular Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.

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    Author: A.W.
    Views: Read by 18,804 people
    Date: May 19th, 2014
    Website: http://survivalblog.com/

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

     

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    1. Some related reading on this subject:

      Top Post-Collapse Barter Items and Trade Skills: http://alt-market.com/articles/146-top-post-collapse-barter-items-and-trade-skills

      10 Essential Skills Necessary for Survival: http://readynutrition.com/resources/10-essential-skills-necessary-for-survival_06092013/

      TSHTF Inflation – TSHTF Inflation: “What YOU Will Pay for What You Need to Survive”: http://johngaltfla.com/wordpress/2014/03/21/tshtf-inflation/

      The Pantry Primer – Expanding Beyond “Groceries” : http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-pantry-primer-expanding-beyond-groceries-08222013

      • KY Mom says:

        16 Skills Useful for Bartering in a Crisis Situation

        1. Water purification
        2. Alternative cooking methods
        3. Fire starting
        4. Making bio-fuel
        5. Gardening
        6. Animal husbandry
        7. Home defense
        8. Medical services
        9. Midwife
        10. Psychology or counseling
        11. Home repair
        12. Mechanics
        13. Small engine repair
        14. Appliance repair
        15. Gunsmithing
        16. Clergy

        I would add ferrier and blacksmith

        http://www.offthegridnews.com/2014/01/13/16-skills-useful-for-bartering-in-a-crisis-situation/

        • A huge faq will be published tonight on

          “How to Grow Painted Corn”,

          responding to requests from across the United States and around the world.

          Look in “How To” at http://rockymountaincorn.com/

          • Be informed says:

            I can’t believe how so few people writing survival anything seem to always leave out those that can bring proper sanitization to a village or town. those that are experts in putting in proper cess pool and safe disposal of sewage are the ones that will SAVE LIVES by the hoardes. I cannot describe enough human and animal waste diseases that are borned because of lack of getting rid of dangerous bacteria ridden toxins. You just have to look at hellholes like India and Bangladesh where raw sewage is allowed to fester.

            It is not just about burning trash, it is about getting rid of the liquidfied waste. Water wells can be contaminated. Rodents and other vermin live well in filth. What is so sad is that people that are well schooled in controlling waste and disease are often not recognized and appreciated for their ability to keep people, pets, and livestock from becoming very ill and dying.

            Also another skills that people will be in high demand is water mitigation. This includes of course wells, irrigation ditches for crop production, and flood water prevention to where people live. Many people don’t understand where you can set up shop without the dangers of being washed away one night. A hydrologist is also one of very high value.

            Another person of value will be someone that can produce natural pesticides and prevent bugs and other parasites from destroying crops. The way bugs and worms can annihilate your field of food is devastasting to anyone. The person that knows how to stop crops from being eaten alive, even using chemicals that they can brew up from what is still laying around is someone worth their weight in gold.

            The way people can think of this, whom is valuable, is life not as usual after mega SHTF, but after a catastrophe. How can someone save time, resources, and lives is a prized individual indeed.

            • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

              I would give you a hundred upvotes if I could. The mundane and invisible will be ignored until it bites us in the ass. Those who can save manpower for more productive and necessary tasks will be worth their weight in gold and will not go hungry.

              • Unreconstructed Southron says:

                Yeah, like Zombie identification and eradication…

                • SEED PRODUCTION & ZOMBIES

                  The Planter’s Guide FAQ is up and growing.

                  Learn how to grow the amazing Painted Mountain Seed Corn.

                  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
                  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”
                  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
                  KJV

              • HOT MONEY MAKING TIP!
                For Growers of Painted Mountain Corn.

                There is a large market for Ornamental Indian Corn.

                Sell direct to buyers at Farmer’s Markets during the autumn harvest season. Buyers will typically pay several dollars per ear of corn.

                Quickly recover your seed investment and more.

            • Anonymous says:

              BI! Absolutely correct ! Sanitation will be the demise throughout the country. That should be a priority right there with having potable water.

            • buttcrackofdoom says:

              but what are we to do with carpenters? seems to ME, a LOT of people are going to be DIEING in the collapse, so we will have a boatload too many houses….like we don’t ALREADY have a glut of them. and who’s going to have resources to spend on furniture?….i just don’t see this one happening.

              • sixpack says:

                Don’t see the need for carpenters, post-SHTF?

                What if you can’t or don’t want to live in a formerly populated area?

                What if someone made your front door a drive-thru during a home invasion battle?

                Do you already have an outhouse?

                Need a shed or an added room to your house?

                Want some OPSEC “modifications”?

                How about just an old wood fence repaired?

                What if your roof starts leaking?

                Could you use a bigger, stronger greenhouse?

                Carpenters can work with a variety of other materials too:

                Steel stud framing. Sheet metal.
                Concrete. Rebar.
                Drywall. 3-tab shingles.
                Plastics. Veneers.
                Glass. Plexiglass.
                Carpeting. Ceramic tile.
                Vinyl and linoleum.
                Insulation. Brick (for chimneys).
                Waterproofing and mastic.

                Most of all — Carpenters all know how to use a wide variety of HAND TOOLS.

                Who wouldn’t need a carpenter?

            • islander says:

              you are so right . I have built and installed many septic systems in the bush here in Alaska as well as repaired and maintained sewage systems at remote sites . when the crappers are out of order things get bad fast . poop kills

            • lonelonemum says:

              Interesting BI.

              Our summer holiday this year is a week at a woo woo family eco camp. One of the topics we’ll be learning about is humanure. I’ve read books on it, but to see it in use on a permanent basis will be really useful.

              I’m one of those people who has to be hands on rather than able to utilise info straight from the pages of a book. It’s a gross subject is human waste but I feel could be life saving in an event. Those climate change hippies do have some uses ; )

              I’ll also get to see permanent solar showers in action. The prospect of having to wash in cold water after shtf really does not appeal to me. It’ll be the factor that does me in mentally I think – so addicted to the instant hot tap am I. I have severe doubts as to how a solar shower can be effective in the UK so need to see it for myself.

              Vermin control is going to be a big one. Luckily my son & I are both good at dog training. A couple of good ratting dogs will be worth their weight in gold after shtf.

              I advise everyone to start growing the humble mint plant NOW. When I lived in a home that had a city river 25 yards from my back door some years back I was very impressed at how this plant deterred midges & flies from coming into my kitchen. Insect populations will quickly rise out of control after shtf and creepy crawlies will never be welcome in my kitchen.

              I am storing lots of dichotomous earth as it’s good for all sorts of parasitic control in both humans and livestock. If you choose to do the same make sure you purchase human food grade DE – this is safe to give children in a glass of water for worm infestations & is inert so will not go out of date like many commercial products. In WW1 soldiers almost to a man complained of human body lice and we’ve all heard the stories about how the flea infected people with the plague in medieval Europe.

              Hatch some guinea fowl for bug and tick control and a few ducks if you live in a slug prone area to help protect your garden and livestock like our grandparents did.

              Soap making is something I can do, and am starting to get good at. It’s become a habit over two decades to make home made toiletries every Xmas for family and friends. It’s a fairly simple process but if you haven’t already mastered the art of making lye from your hardwood ash, and rendering animal fats then it’ll be too late when modern chemicals & exotic imported vegetable fats are no longer around.

              I also advise everyone to spend one week without modern electricity or chemicals including bicarb and see how clean they can keep their home. You’ll be shocked at the work involved just doing the laundry, and at how much longer floor cleaning takes without a hoover! Gather together now the tools needed for keeping your home clean post shtf as and when you can afford it. If you come across an old fashioned mangle then grab it while you can as again it’ll be worth it’s weight in gold for washing sheets and towels after shtf. Wringing clothes properly so they could be hung on the line was really irritating when we conducted this experiment.

              Cobbler, sock producer and shoe makers will all be in demand at some point after shtf. We forget how hard it was for our grandparents to procure shoes for growing children and just how hard many jobs are to do without well fitting shoes or boots. We also forget how many miles they walked on a daily basis before cars. Aligned to that will be the tanner for leather production.

        • Paranoid says:

          17 Marshmellow roasting
          18 Brandy sniffing
          19 Commenting to people: “I told you this stuff would be worth a fortune some day”

        • Sierra Dave says:

          How about Librarian/Archivist? Knowledge is power. Maybe add Teacher to that.

          If you have tons of information. And have saved many instructional videos. Maybe a small grid and a few extra DVD players. They could last for years if treated well.

          You could also have movies and sell entertainment.

          • “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

            - Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein

            Face it, we’ll all need to become Jacks of all trades. Sure, you’ll need to be a master of a few, but better to know a little about a lot of useful things than to be really masterful at something really useless.

          • MadMarkie says:

            Yo SD –

            I’ve put aside a few reasonable quality combination chess/checkers travel sets with box and folding board, too many decks of cards to count, domino sets, dice, poker chips and a couple of board games that lend themselves to a ‘game-of-chance’ scenario. I still need to pick up a couple of cribbage boards. Folks will need to ‘make’ their own fun in the future.

            You can still find some of the older treadle-powered Sears & Singer sewing machines for still reasonable prices. I think it is the Koreans who are still making them for the developing world. Mending, patching, altering and making clothes will be a serious business in the future.

            The ability to sharpen and set saws, dress up a carbide tipped saw blades with a diamond hone, sharpen drill bits, chisels, knives, etc. If you can correctly re-sharpen a chain saw blade you could just find yourself in high demand.

            The advice to somehow acquire a whole bunch of old hand tools for woodworking, sheet metal fabrication, etc. doesn’t really do very much for you if you don’t have the skill and ability to use the tools.

            Get creative, think way outside the box and get your ‘gig’ set up and get yourself trained up way before things head South. Make yourself “indispensable” to those around you for the service that you provide.

            The unprepared amongst us are in for a really ‘rude’ awakening. God Bless & good luck to all who post here.

            • Mamma D says:

              I got a heck of a deal on a fully working tredal singer machine, 50$! Love it! Also yard sales are great for finding the old hand tools for the garage, but don’t forget the kitchen, good old fashioned crank hand mixer can’t be overlooked :) Sitting the kids in a big circle with a gallon container rolling around to each other, with cream inside is a fun way to make butter:) Cards, yatzee, coloring books and crayons is a must :) Just my opinion, I suppose we all have different things to have handy in a shtf situation.

          • buttcrackofdoom says:

            how-to books will be PRICELESS!, maybe even MORE expensive! collect them at yardsales for a buck, or even a small FRACTION of a buck….medical, drugs, gardening, cooking, survival…the list is endless….libraries sell their old stuff too.

        • WhoWuddaThunkIt says:

          Personal Skills will be a winner for you. Plus lots of Hand Tools will be in high demand that helps procure food, like hand garden tools, wheel barrels, hoes, rakes, shovels, watering hoses and water barrel catch systems. Lots of Heirloom seeds. Animal traps, snares, Guns Guns Guns and Ammo Ammo Ammo and lots of extra magazines in all calibers. Make sure you have plenty of spare parts for your shotguns like the magazine springs, ejectors, carriages. Food and seeds, and containers like 5 Gal buckets with Gamma-Seal tops to store food and water. A backup port-a-potty. All sorts of Water filtration systems. Lots of fire wood, and multiple stoves for cooking and heating. Lots of fishing gear, nets, poles and bait buckets, row-boats, kayaks to get you into deeper water. Chicken and Rabbit cages for eggs and meat. Hand tools for woodworking, building shelters.Buy up lots of nails in all sizes. Pick these up at estates sales and yard sales or moving sales. Go to each sale now to stock up on all sorts of prepping items like tents and camping gear, sleeping bags, water container, etc.. Get fully stocked up and prepped now so you will not have to barter. Exposure to barter also exposes you to theft, and harm of your safety. Lots of desperate people will use trickery to see all of your preps. Then rob you blind. Do NOT let them into your home Period!!

          • buttcrackofdoom says:

            ejectors….why do we never see in the apocalypse movies, like revolution, for example, the guns jamming…ejectors not working, firing pins broken…just saw revolution the other day, and weren’t those ar-15′s pumping out brass by the bucketfulls?…it’s supposed to be 15 years since the lights went out….shouldn’t those guns all be wore out by now?….and ammo gone ten years ago?…who’s makin’ that stuff….there’s a tip for you. watch the show and see what THEY are doing to make a livin’.(not that the show is even REMOTELY realistic)….just sayin’.

            • buttcrackofdoom says:

              veterinarian…for the dogs we MUST have for security….and a bonus, they can fix people too.! even my son the paramedic will be in demand.

            • SCTV says:

              Once Upon a time I used to own a Lee Enfield that could clover leaf at 75 yards with iron sights and it was made for the first world war. How many guys have Garands that still function perfectly?
              It’s nice to have or afford cool toys but GrandFather’s gun was passed down for a reason, not that it was cool but it worked and lasted.

            • Marcus says:

              yeah I watched half of the first episode of “revolution”. after I laughed my butt off over the nice clothes and houses in decent repair, I turned the tv off and went back outside.

            • MadMarkie says:

              Yo BCoD -

              If you know how, you can anneal a piece of steel, fabricate a small replacement part by hand, then heat treat it to return to somewhere close to it’s original tensile strength ….. and now the broken firearm isn’t broken any longer.

              If you know how ……..?

              A wide variety of springs, an assortment of O-rings and small machine screws will go a long way in the future.

              I am an old time tinker and widget maker. I wonder if ‘society’ will have a place for me in the future???

        • fishandmud says:

          It does not matter how big of a man you are or how tough you are, if you get a tooth ache, you are worthless. You can go on ebay and buy a set of tooth extraction tools for a couple hundred dollars.
          Have you ever watched an old western on TV ? When the cow hands and drifters came into town they always wanted a shave, hair cut, their clothes washed, and a hot bath.
          Just a couple of fairly easy businesses to get into.

          • fishandmud says:

            PS, You need to buy two books, when their is no dentist, and when their is no doctor.

          • Old Guy says:

            Yes a tooth ache will bring down the toughest among us. No matter what producers of pain killing drugs will have a demand for their products. Just reciently I had a bad infected tooth. The dentist wouldn’t pull it. Gave me a prescription for antibiotics and pain killer. I took a triple dose of the pain killer and using a modified set of vice grips I pulled the tooth myself. However the tooth broke leaving part of it and a root attached. I finally got it out with needle nose pliers. The prescription pain killer was a great help. But I would have gladly paid big money for some morphine.

        • Nobama says:

          17. Oral services

        • Anonymous says:

          Lots of people dismiss medical services. Glad to see you included it. I am a nursing student and have also studied chinese medicine like acupuncture. Most people never think about what they will do when the get hurt or sick.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would add… “Teacher” for the children…..

      • Defiant says:

        Sheperd — for when the sheeple lose their way

        • Rodster says:

          Automobile repair

          • Undertaker. Ill be rich.

          • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

            Making pure alcohol to run those automobiles when all the gasoline is gone. Or chainsaws, logsplitters, etc.

            One man and a boy with a chainsaw, a logsplitter, a flatbed truck, alcohol to run all them, and a refracting still to make the alcohol would never have to turn a shovelful of dirt for farming; there would be plenty who would pay gladly with food for someone who did the hard backbreaking work of cutting a winter’s supply of firewood.

            • There wont be enough grain to eat let alone make alcohol out of.
              Not only that it requires serious equipment to make decent alcohol fuel. Not really something you can do in your back yard.

              • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

                When TSHTF, power generation for electricity and liquid fuel production for labor saving devices will become essential to the survival of a community. There are multiple ways to do these things and while not easy are not impossible for the mechanically minded.

                Stationary generators can be run off of woodgas. Gasification, or destructive pyrolysis, can convert almost any feedstock with varying levels of efficiency into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas. The process generates a lot of nitrogen gas as well, which robs power output by displacing fuel in an internal combustion engine, so engines run at a much reduced output. Raising compression ratios improves power output, and using charcoal in the gasifier instead of raw wood eliminates much of the destructive tars that eventually require the engine to be torn down and cleaned. A wood gas reactor is accessible technology for someone with simple metal fab skills and equipment; if you can build a fractional distilling column you could probably build a wood gasifier.

                When it comes to grain for alcohol, you are right in that it is a use of a resource that could be used for food. However, alcohol fuel used judiciously, is an extremely powerful way to leverage the energy in the grain. With a chainsaw and a few gallons of alcohol (which does not have to be 100% pure to work), one man could cut more wood in a day than a team of men could do in a week. You are in essence compressing the labor of many men into a gallon of fuel, or you could not make the fuel and use the grain to feed a team of men for a week – if you had a team of men. I think manpower will be a really big problem post SHTF.

                As for making alcohol in a backyard by the gallon, many hillbillies and rednecks mastered the art and have succesfully made it by the hundreds of gallons with pretty crude equipment (I made it during deployment using nothing more complex than a steam distiller), and a pot still can reach 65 percent alcohol after several passes. A column still using marbles for packing and nothing fancier than gravity fed water coil for cooling can easily reach 95% purity after several passes. This can be dried to almost full purity by the addition of zeolite to the distilled alcohol and allowing it to sit for several days before filtering. The zeolite can be reused by heating to 600 fahrenheit to drive the water back out.

                My point is, a lot of things which we take for granted now and are not economical either in money or labor at present, will become so when there is no other alternative.

                • buttcrackofdoom says:

                  better git tuh collectin’ books on it, i spose!

                • Im a Chemical engineer, I own a machine shop, I have all the facilities to synthesize the Zeolite and the experience to make the proper catalysts. If SHTF I couldn’t make fuel grade alcohol.

                  Hillbillies made moonshine. Moonshine might at the most be 70% alcohol. You need way in excess of 97% alcohol to use as a reliable fuel. Any moisture whatsoever will freeze.

                  Alcohol is a really lousy fuel to begin with. It absorbs a lot of heat. Almost 5 times that of gasoline when it vaporizes. It is very hydroscopic. You could set a gallon out in a gas can in a humid environment and it will over flow by the next day because of all the water it will absorb. Even if you made 98% alcohol it would probably be at best 90% by the time you use it and you will get less than 1/3rd of the power from it than you would get with gasoline.
                  That is if the engine is set up right to begin with with 18-1 or so compression ratios(diesel engine range) much larger jetting in carbs (not possible in fuel injection)
                  And the fuel system constructed of materials that will not be damaged by the alcohol.
                  And did I mention that alcohol at that strength is highly poisonous and will kill you if you are not very careful?

                • Dreu says:

                  Not to mention it takes about 50lb of corn to make one gallon of alcohol. 50lb of corn will feed a lot of people.

                • fifth_disciple says:

                  Then how are all the drag racers able to use it to make 6-7 thousand horse power?

                • Drag racers don’t use ethanol. They use Methanol. Methanol is made from natural gas these days.
                  It is not that you cant use ethanol for fuel. It is just that it is inefficient and very wasteful of resources. The materials used to make ethanol are much more valuable as a food source than as a fuel. Then there are many modifications necessary to the engine to get it to run on ethanol. One of the hardest parts it to get the engine to start. That is why most versions of ethanol fuel contain gasoline to some extent. E(100) requires a entirely different powertrain from the fuel system to the end of the tailpipe.

              • Hard Justice says:

                Wood gassifier, research it.

            • Vicky says:

              A big “YES!” to this one. Ohio had one of the most severe winters in decades last winter, and cutting/selling wood was a booming business here. A group of kids (17-21) in our area got together and formed a successful business by cutting/splitting and delivering cords of wood to a largely elderly population. They had ten trees left over and are now shredding them for mulch. Gives me a little more faith in our latest crop of “youth”. It will be interesting to see what will be used for “money” after a collapse, and how the wood will be delivered. By sleigh, perhaps? My husband’s hobby is blacksmithing and he’s very good. Mine is soap making,canning and gardening. As mentioned above, I don’t where to look for a large supply of fat. No bears, but maybe a hog? I have about 100 pounds of lard on hand, but that won’t last long commercially. Thought-provoking questions and hope to have at least a little time to think it over.

            • Moon…

              Here is a pathway to obtain oxygen and hydrogen for fuel use and for your cutting torch:

              Electrolysis of water using direct current from photovoltaics/small wind turbine/small hydro.

              There are existing technologies using this process.
              One small-scale process is used for a jeweler’s torch and another larger process was developed by Yul Brown of “Brown’s Gas” fame. Brown developed a nascent O2/H2 generator that would fuel an automobile and fuel a standard size torch with many unusual properties to say the least.

            • Old Guy says:

              Better yet a gassifier that runs on firewood or dried horse manure. It can run a internal combustion engine and power vehicles tractors ect. After the shtf there wont be any stockpiling of a dozen cords of fire wood for heating. The fires will be for cooking. To stay warm folks will have to dress properly and stay in caves or dugouts that stay above freezing naturally. The first settlers out on the treeless prarrie. Those pioneers built a small home out of sod and dug into the hillside. no wood for heat. buffalo chips or grass twisted tightly. After they made their first corn crop the corn cobs where used as fuel.

        • wrong says:

          cinnamon twist baker

        • Actually shepherd, goat herder, etc. Is something I can definitely picture. Animals grazing along roadway ditches. Also using a sythe to cut tall grass along roadways to dry for winter feed.

      • laeagle says:

        Mac,
        There is an old African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.” Ultimately, we will need to build thriving communities and rebuild society. Everyone at this site has a position, a trade, a gift, that can contribute to the survival of the family, the community, the society. The building block of society is a healthy and functional family made up of family members that know their place, duties, role, skills-set, etc., and contribute to the survival of the family. If we want to go far (survive), we must find a way to go together. United we stand, divided we fall.

        • islander says:

          It seems the strong family you speak of is just what the globalists have been trying to destroy for so long . I might add they have done a pretty good job of it .

      • WhoWuddaThunkIt says:

        JUST IN: Sorry off Topic: Foreign Invasion Practice for Martial Law: TAMPA FLORIDA This Wed:
        SUBJ: International Special Operations Exercise to Take Place Wednesday, May 21

        An international special operations exercise will take place south of the Tampa Convention Center in the Seddon Channel basin on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 1:30 p.m, with a practice exercise occurring on Tuesday May 20, at 2:00 p.m.

        The exercise will include representatives from 16 nations training in special operations tactics in land, sea, and air scenarios. The public is encouraged to watch on May 21 at 1:30 p.m. Suggested vantage points include the northwestern area on Harbour Island, the Tampa Riverwalk by the Tampa Convention Center, Bayshore Boulevard near Platt St. Bridge, as well as Harbour Island Bridge.

        Please be advised that Harbour Island Bridge will be closed to through traffic between the Westin Hotel and Channelside Drive on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 between noon and 3 p.m. and again on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 between noon and 2:30 p.m. Beneficial Bridge will remain open throughout the event. Residents should also expect some noise associated with the exercise.

      • prism says:

        I am going to specialize in prostitution.

      • toktomi says:

        Well, it strikes me that there are still precious few who have any grasp on the notions of the complete collapse of industrial human society and the subsequent human dieoff.

        All that will be necessary will be the ability to eke out a survival in a severely degraded biosphere virtually without any of the skills to do so. It’s no problem, really, if you just don’t think about it.

        carpentering, manufacturing, gun smithing, and repairing electronics – geez, Louise. Did we forget brain surgery and interstellar space travel?

    2. Confederate says:

      I think being able to stay alive would be the ultimate trade, everything else is icing on the cake.

      • KY Mom says:

        The 10 Useful Classes For Self-Sufficiency Training

        There are a number of on-site and online self-reliance training classes.

        1. Disaster Preparedness.

        2. Medical Preparedness. CPR, First Aide

        3. Emergency Communications. – Amateur or HAM radio training

        4. Gun Training. The NRA also teaches gunsmithing.

        5. Canning Classes. The Mormon church and some cooperative extension services offer these.

        6. Soap and candle making classes

        7. Industrial Arts. Woodworking, automotive, electrical and welding skills.

        8. Veterinary Assistant or Technician Courses. “Keeping livestock healthy is integral to the survival of our family. If financially feasible, embark on some farrier training, as well.”

        9. Wilderness Skills and Orienteering Classes. “Both state and federal natural resources officers routinely schedule backpacking, map reading, and basic wilderness survival skills classes each spring and summer.”

        10. Gardening. “Even experienced gardeners and farmers could benefit from a refresher course or forum designed to keep growers aware of potential environmental threats and insect infestations which could ruin a harvest. Beekeeping courses should also be considered.”

        http://www.offthegridnews.com/2014/03/10/get-smart-the-10-best-classes-for-self-sufficiency-training/

        • beerwhisperer says:

          I am not being mean, but CPR? In any of the above mentioned scenarios, it is worthless. Even in a hospital, the outcomes are dismal. With a portable defibrillator, on a witnessed arrest, resuscitation is possible, but how many of us have one of those?

          • sixpack says:

            CPR works better for drowning victims, electrocutions, suffocations and such. You can restart a heart with CPR even without a defib.

            CPR is not “worthless”.

        • WhoWuddaThunkIt says:

          To KYMOM RE: CPR- By having years of Paramedic experience, I will tell you that unless you can have immediate Hospital access, CPR is basically worthless. All CPR does is keep minimal blood pumping to the brain, and without 100% oxygen tank for intubation it is a useless fruitless skill. You will get tired and they will die anyway, unless they are young, like in a semi drowning situation, where there is an opportunity for recovery. There wil be lots of people dying. You do not want to put your mouth on anyone else to catch their diseases. Just saying. I have done CPR 100′s of times in real situations, with a full crew and all the tools in an ER Box including all drugs, Saline IV, Epi, Bicarb, atropine, calcium, isoprel, Oxygen and a heart monitor, and in a full blown code, most die anyway. Just know your ABC’s Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Choking and Heindlick maneuver. Know how to stop bleeding, and pick up a suture kit for shot gun wounds or cuts. Stock up on Fish Antibiotics and lots of basic medical bandages, alcohol, etc.

      • Farmers in Germany became the richest class during the hyperinflation and collapse of the Weirmar Republic.

        Farming and gardening are best learned by experience.
        Start now. Don’t delay.

        12 tips for growing Painted Mountain Corn:
        http://rockymountaincorn.com/blogs/how-to/12209709-12-tips-for-planting

        • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

          If you are going to farm, consider sugar beets and potatoes. Both crops grow underground so they are less vulnerable to being burned by rampaging armies or out of control wildfires. Sugar beets can be easily turned into sugar by boiling down, and that sugar can be turned into alcohol and the waste from the process can be made into high quality animal feed. Potatoes can be eaten (duh), cut and dried for later in the winter, or turned into alcohol for trade or running equipment. Potatoes spontaneously bud into new potatoes and you don’t need any industrial machinery to plant and harvest them.

          • It would be good to store distillation columns or an old fashioned pot still, only for post-shtf use of course.

            Many crops and crop residues can be turned into alcohol,
            even Painted Mountain Corn. Wonder how that would turn out?

            • Sugar beets, sugar cane, fruits and other sources of sugar are more efficient feed-stocks for alcohol production.

              No-need to convert starches into sugar as is required with grains, potatoes, etc.

              Look at all the fruit that falls to the ground and gets wasted.

              I am reminded of my grandmother’s story of the 18th century barter economy when farmers took corn to the miller located on a creek with a water wheel. The miller would grind the corn into meal and keep a measure for the milling.

              I once did a study for a similar project involving alcohol. The concept involved farmers taking excess crops and crop residues to the distiller. The distiller returns alcohol to the farmers while keeping a proportion.

              Alternatively, the still could be mounted on wheels and transported to the crops. As Moon… pointed out the by-product of the process can be fed to livestock.

              • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

                Yes, the byproduct from the distillation could be dried and traded to those with animals in exchange for meat.

                Distillation was very big in the early colonies. George Washington was one of the largest distillers of whiskey in the colonies. The Whiskey Rebellion had at its roots the attempt to tax the livelihoods of backwoods farmers who turned their crops into alcohol because it was the most compact and energy dense way to get them to market.

                I am sure your corn would make fine whiskey, and even finer 200 proof liquid fuel. Modest distilleries in the hundreds of gallons a day range would become focal points for communities who would be dependent on them for liquid fuel for all manner of equipment, just as they would be dependent on the local community to provide feedstock for the distillery.

        • PO'd Patriot says:

          NO, I liked that vid you posted the other day about Pakistan’s underground arms trade and manufacturing. I was impressed with the youngsters reloading with wood mallets seating the bullets. That will be us, though we will have more precision. Don’t forget distilled spirits either folks.

          • PO’d

            “…that vid you posted the other day about Pakistan’s underground arms trade and manufacturing. I was impressed with the youngsters reloading with …”

            Here is the link again for those who missed it:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpURk1E3Q9c#t=447

            It’s really important that vital skills be passed down to the next generations lest they be lost.

            • sixpack says:

              I found nothing in that video but a few seconds of two men with their hands in the air…the video SAYS overt 7 1/2 minutes, but is only a few seconds long at most.

              Got another link?

              Apparently TPTB don’t want anyone seeing the video.

          • Kulafarmer says:

            Im figuring it will eventually devolve to where we are making primitive bows and arrows from whatever, unless you are lucky enough to have put away tons of ammo and components and not really had to use them, can only hope!

            • Sierra Dave says:

              Have to disagree with you on this one Kulafarmer. There will be plenty of machine shop tools and ways to generate electricity. Most big power plants will be offline or out of fuel though.

              I’m sure that those who are scraping by will resort to the cost free form of bow and arrow. But with a huge population drop. There will be resources all over for decades.

              • Kevin2 says:

                Why would natural gas fired power plants be out of fuel?

                • Sierra Dave says:

                  Hey. There will be Nuke plants going for a few years too. Until the rods are spent. And some major dams.

                  Last I read though, 40% of our electricity is Coal. Those plants will cease to operate when the coal shipments stop.

                  In most collapse scenarios, most electricity generation will wind down.

                • Kevin2 says:

                  The US is loaded with coal. Regardless a power plant being converted from coal to natural gas is relatively easy. The reverse is very difficult.

                • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

                  Kevin2,

                  The problem has to do with efficiencies of scale. A natural gas power plant, or any power plant for that matter, is designed to provide a certain amount of power, and cannot be turned down past a minimum level without ceasing to run altogether. For example, a power plant that can run a city of 100,000 being asked to supply a population of maybe 1000. That amount of people cannot do all the activities that are required to support a large power plant such as maintenance, providing the fuel which involves extraction and transportation, production of all the lubricants and chemicals needed to for maintenance, maintenance of the electrical transmission grid for those people receiving power from that plant, etc,. The power plant is just too big and complex to be supported by a drastically reduced customer base. A small power plant sized to the customer base would be far more practical.

                  Whether or not the fuel is available is not really the biggest problem when it comes to non-scaleable facilities.

            • Hard Justice says:

              ” World war 4 will be fought with sticks and stones” ~ Albert Einstein

        • SCTV says:

          During reconstruction in Europe after the war, farmers were better off than the city people.
          My Dad’s father met his bride because her family sent her out of the city to live where there was food.
          Neighbors had many things stolen in the night.
          One had a dairy cow killed and butchered in between evening and morning chores.

          • sixpack says:

            One might have to consider housing their milk cow (or other livestock) in their garage, out of sight and access by thieves…I know I would if I had to. Anything to keep it out of their hands.

            In post SHTF, I’d keep my cow in my basement under my control, and walk it like a dog, if that is what I had to do to keep some jackbat from slaughtering her.

            You can’t watch the barn or pasture all the time.

    3. California Resident says:

      They left out ‘assassin of formerly employed politicians’.

      On second thought, those will probably be a dime a dozen. Nevermind.

    4. Sgt. Dale says:

      This is why my group has a little bit of everything. From Farms to Teachers to Soap makers to Gunsmiths to Doctors.
      You can’t make it by your self.
      Get as many book as you can to try and cover all the bases.
      A.S.M.S.
      Sgt.

      • Prepared Pastor says:

        I’m a fair carpenter and electrician and put myself through college making and selling lye soap, but history shows I’ll be too busy providing counseling and other pastoral services to those who are looking for guidance. The Catholic church did very well during the Dark Ages.

        • PO'd Patriot says:

          Yes we’ll need a “sky pilot” to lead us in the hymn singing and to chastise us when we wander or veer from the path. I hope you’re strong in voice.

      • SEED PRODUCTION

        Painted Mountain Corn Seed is spreading throughout the Redoubts of the U.S. and around the world.

        The Rocky Mountain Corn Project is catching fire.

        It’s still not too late to plant in the Northern hemisphere for the growing season of 2014.

        Learn how to grow this amazing non-GMO seed corn and more:

        rockymountaincorn.com

      • guerrilla says:

        Everybody should cross train in medical IMHO.

        • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

          Everyone should cross train period.

          “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

          -Robert A. Heinlein

      • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

        A good place to start is the Foxfire series of traditional knowledge. I learned a lot from Volume 5; there is a great section on charcoal making, blackpowder and gunsmithing, and iron making from ore through running a simple backwoods foundry. Most tools that run on electricity can be converted to run by belt drive from a line shaft that derives its power from a water wheel or steam engine. Gasoline or diesel would be too valuable for transport uses to use for a stationary generator when you could generate tremendous torque from running water or scrap wood. I own an old 1890′s metal shaper that was the prelude to the milling machine and it was converted to run off of an electric motor turning a pulley that turned the original crowned pulley that was for a leather belt and line drive. WTSHTF I will just remove the motor and convert it back.

        There is always a low-tech way to do just about anything that is done with high-tech now; you just have to search for the knowledge because the men who knew how to are long dead and books on that kind of stuff are few and far between.

        • Foxfire is an excellent resource of the old-time ways and skills that were almost lost – reminds me of when I was just a tadpole on my grandmother’s knee.

        • Vicky says:

          Great idea! My husband got the entire set of Foxfire for my birthday and it has a vast amount of arcane information unavailable today. The books, “When there is no doctor” and “When there is no dentist” are also potentially very useful. All of these are available at Amazon, quickly,and at other venues, I imagine, if you look for them.

      • the renegade braveheart says:

        Howdy, Sarge. My family in north GA are “jacks of all trades.” People would be shocked at the variety of skills they have. When I get over there, I have my own skills to add to the mix. Great article, but I have to question the section on electronics. Your electronics should be OK provided that, 1. you have them shielded in a faraday cage and, 2. you have an alternative source energy [solar and/or wind]. Otherwise, you can scrap electronics. the rest of the article is spot on.

    5. Jim in Va. says:

      keep a lot of goods people use everydayfor trade(lighters,ammo,beer and spirits,caned goods…)

      • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

        Keep the goods and equipment for making more and you will never go hungry. The surplus we put away now will eventually be gone and knowledge will be at premium.

    6. Kevin2 says:

      I suspect the following trades will substantially increase.

      Prostitute
      Burglar
      Automobile Thief
      Hostage Taker
      Robber
      Private Security

      You trade tariff free with the third world you become the third world.

    7. I know a fair to middle’n about a lot, but in the end I’m a knuckle dragging savage American patriot.

      Time will tell how far that gets me but I’m willing to take the chance.

    8. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

      I cannot grow food but I can fix and fabricate anything for those who can. I can rebuild engines and transmissions and make the parts from scratch such as aluminum pistons starting with casting all the way through machining and then assembly. I can weld with multiple processes but getting consumables will be a problem for quite a while. I suppose one could build a waterwheel to run a generator for a welder, calcium carbide can be made for a gas generator for gas welding but I still have not solved the problem of where to get pure oxygen. I can cast bullets and make blackpowder; sure there will be a use for that. I figured a while back that anything having to do with metalwork or with things that kill would be a valuable commodity post SHTF, assuming that we do not face biological weapons. I am too lazy to mess around with farming.

      Oh, and I can make spirits of all kinds (did it in Afghanistan during a deployment) and the equipment to distill them. Being able to make high proof alcohol should keep someone well employed post SHTF. I actually look forward to a reset of our way of life; in a lot of aspects, reverting to a simpler, community based, economy will be far more satisfying than being a cog in a global machine.

      • Moon

        Just set up people to grow food for ya. You have many valuable skills and will do all right. People should go where their natural talents lie. It’s called the “specialization of labor”.
        We will figure out how to get you some oxygen and bring you wheel weights for your casting endeavors.

        • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

          Well if we don’t go full-on pandemic then I will be up here in Nort’ Dakohta with the Nodaks. Too cold here for the Golden Horde, and not enough of interest to draw the attention of the feds. I have a railroad job so that will probably be one of the last things to go away WTSHTF (think Atlas Shrugged).

          Liquified oxygen is an industrial process that was created sometime in the 1900s, so it is doable in a pre-electric world but I have yet to figure out how. Problem is, there are so many things one can learn but some of these tasks are beyond one person or even a group of peoples ability to do. For example, I know the process of making smokeless powder and even how to make some of the precursor chemicals, yet one would need to use a large amount of time and resources for trying to recreate low tech methods for this task. I don’t have access to the equipment I would need for extrusion and cutting of gelatinised guncotton, and no way to test my product anyway. It would be much easier to just use my kinetic bullet puller to separate components of captured ammunition to get the powder and primers to reload other calibers.

          After a generation, most of our technological progress will be just as lost and mysterious to our descendents as the lost skills and knowledge of our great-grandparents generation is to us.

    9. Satori says:

      great SHTF Plan post from 2012

      Education After the Collapse – School When There Is No Classroom

      http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/education-after-the-collapse-school-when-there-is-no-classroom_09232012

      be sure and check out the links
      esp if you have kids

      life isn’t gonna stop
      but it may be radically different

      • sixpack says:

        I think for the most part, things will be easier and more satisfying, if we could just get out from under all of the laws, rules and regulations on everything we do. All of these stupid laws just keep us from making any kind of a profit or living off of our labor or knowledge.

        But that was the plan.

    10. Satori says:

      Outrage of the Day

      Federal court: police can warrantlessly break down door and seize guns without charges

      http://www.blacklistednews.com/Federal_court%3A_police_can_warrantlessly_break_down_door_and_seize_guns_without_charges/35303/0/38/38/Y/M.html

      and don’t ya just love this line ???

      “Even if the officers did exceed constitutional boundaries, they are protected by qualified immunity.”

      translation

      the Constitution don’t count for shit

      • FuckingPissed says:

        That ruling doesn’t mean shit after I kill all the intruders.

      • Kevin2 says:

        Words defined in dictionaries accepted throughout society have meanings that are clear. However even with this guide Judges apparently either don’t know the meaning of or just choose not to accept the meaning of words even if they’re known. We therefore have, ” A failure to communicate”.

        The words below are not all inclusive of the above failure.

        Abridging
        Right
        People
        Infringed
        Unreasonable
        Probable
        Cause
        Held
        Twice
        Deprived
        Liberty
        Property
        Due
        Process
        Speedy
        Witness
        Deny
        Reserved

      • the renegade braveheart says:

        Satori, they’re not protected from “lead nutrients”.

    11. Agent Provocatour says:

      I don’t know….if an asteroid strikes the Earth then I guess all bets are off .

    12. Yea, I doubt many will be trading their skills for food or gold or use of the neighbor’s daughter. Life will be serf and local warlord for most. Your skills for your life. If you’re lucky and prepared with location, etc. you may not have to deal with that for a while.

      Better get crackin’. One year to get ready…maybe.

      Run…rabbit run
      Dig that hole…

      • Kevin2 says:

        JRS

        Heck the “Rule Of Law” is often obsolete now often just a memory from the past. Post collapse Jungle Rule would most likely replace civilized behavior for some time. As someone said, “Desperate people do desperate things”.

    13. Satori says:

      just a little something to make you say “oh crap ”

      How contagious pathogens could lead to nuke-level casualties

      http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-contagious-pathogens-nuke-level-casualties.html

      “(Medical Xpress)—What if nuclear bombs could reproduce? Get your hands on one today, and in a week’s time you’ve got a few dozen. Of course, nukes don’t double on their own. But contagious, one-celled pathogens do. Properly packaged as a bioweapon, they could kill as many people as a hydrogen bomb would, or more.”

    14. slingshot says:

      Nuts, bolts, washers, screws, nails, mill stock. wood, plastic, copper wire, springs, clamps, spot ties, fuses wire connectors, “O” ring seals and gaskets.
      Besides tools you need materials.

      • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

        If the collapse happens suddenly from a grid down situation or a pandemic, then materials will be available for the taking as well as tools. I see a situation where more than 9/10ths of the population dies off and manpower will be at a premium. Pre-industrial society was extremely manpower intensive. Knowledge will be even more valuable than manpower, and there will always be opportunity for those willing to brave the urban wastelands for materials and tools of all kinds.

        • RICH99 says:

          STILL buying the KOOLAIDE huh ?? When will you guys learn ….maybe after 20 years or 30 or never

          • PO'd Patriot says:

            You know its coming you old codger…..though it might be awhile.

          • the renegade braveheart says:

            Rich99, you know better. You know just as well as we do what’s coming, even if it takes a while longer to happen. No “koolaid” at this site, EVER!

          • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

            Yes, cause’ exponential population growth on a planet of finite resources is clearly sustainable.

            All them brain-dead Kardashian following couch-monkeys are going to survive just fine when the grid goes down for good or the pandemic strikes, or the dollar collapses when China and Russia yank the rug out from under our reserve currency status? They are just going to calmly start growing gardens and singing kumbaya instead of dying from dysentery and typhus because they are too dumb to build an outhouse to shit in, or shooting each other when they start ransacking the neighborhood for food?

            Anyway, you are old so maybe you will die peacefully in you bed and never have to worry about how you and your family are going to survive what is coming. Go ahead, get back to your shuffleboard and mobility scooter; as for me, I will see the future without the rose-colored glasses and plan accordingly.

          • 123456789 says:

            Have to ask, is this the REAL Rich99? Who back in August of last year said they were quitting the site? If so, what brought you back? No snark, just curious.

          • Kulafarmer says:

            Im sure the people of the roaring 20s never thought there would be the depression either,
            Rather have a backup plan than be ignorant and SOL
            Things can change in an instant,
            But hey, good for you if you have lead a charmed life.

    15. Satori says:

      oh dear God

      not AGAIN

      Dog Illnesses and Deaths Linked to Imported Pet Treats From China

      http://www.alternet.org/environment/dog-illnesses-and-deaths-linked-imported-pet-treats-china?akid=11823.103554._URDpS&rd=1&src=newsletter994144&t=15

      ANOTHER example of poison frm China
      and ANOTHER example of the governments FAILURE to act

      • Sierra Dave says:

        Have you seen and read how polluted it is in China. When government and industry are one. You have zero environmental protections.

        Along those lines. If it gets imported. It should be produced at the same environmentally safe levels as well as under the similar working conditions.

        Why should American business be undercut by cheap labor with no environmental standards. Plus, their pollution is already coming over here.

      • sixpack says:

        The govt CAN’T act in any useful manner—they own the Chinese too much money. What this means is, the U.S. govt is trying to pander some more under-the-table cash from China. These little “disasters” are profitable to everyone but the victims.

    16. Satori says:

      Rogue Government Prepares For Heated Conflict, Historical Cycles Point to Coming Clash

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/rogue-government-prepares-heated-conflict-historical-cycles-point-coming-clash.html

      “What exactly is the establishment preparing for? ”

      ““Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”

      it isn’t like people haven’t been warned a million times

    17. This Texan Has Had Enough says:

      So many people think “cooking” is putting a frozen dinner in the microwave instead of going to a restaurant. Cooking what you have with what you have got might be a barterable skill. I can cook anything from scratch and make a meal out of whatever is available. Been doing it since I had to stand on a box to reach the stove.

    18. john1028 says:

      Sewing. Anyone can mend a sock but when you can make blankets, jeans, shirts, coats…that’s a trade.

      • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

        We will see a revival of water-driven textile mills in the Northeast, and jobs for someone who can fashion sails for the sail-powered cargo ships that will ply the international waters after the end of the Age of Oil. And crews for those vessels.

        After all, where are you going to get your pepper for meat preservation, cinnamon, tea, and coffee? Those willing to risk the voyage will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts.

      • This Texan Has Had Enough says:

        john1028-not everyone can mend a sock! My daughter in law did not even have a needle and thread in the house when I needed one, much less know how to use them. She gets repairs done at the dry cleaners!
        I sent her a sewing kit, but I doubt she will use it.

      • Kulafarmer says:

        I picked up a simple upholstery grade sewing machine from sailrite a few years ago, can do anything from mending levis to sewing bags and scabbards or light leather, dont think ill be on project runway any time soon but been slowly expanding what i can do with it, got the hardware to convert it to a treadle drive for after SHTF

    19. the renegade braveheart says:

      i ain’t tradin’ nothing, come to my door a knockin’ and it’s BAM,BAM,BAM,BAM,BAM enough said!

    20. RICH99 says:

      Unless you can still do your trade while in a nursing home you won’t have to worry about that !!!

      • PO'd Patriot says:

        LMAO! That could be so. Even if it came to pass, I bet I could still field a long gun. Might take me a little longer than others to get up to the front but hell, I’ll throw some rounds down range. What could happen?…that I get killed? LOL!

    21. Anonymous says:

      I’ll provide free advise to those interested to find out the who the SOB’s are causing the collapse and suffering. They can make their own decision as how to deal with them. No bartering just FREE advise to cleanse my soul.

    22. cabinfever says:

      After the collapse comes the NWO – there will be no trading unless you take a microchip and there will be no travel without that either. There would only be a short window of time with trade – then the hammer comes down. And keep an eye on the MERS thing…the culling could happen at any time – before or after the collapse.

    23. Grafique says:

      At SHTF School, Selco stresses that many people in the Bosnian war theater – to survive – allied themselves with a gang and robbed/killed for a living.

      Would you do the same if the choice was death for you & your family or be someone’s hitman?

      Maybe studying urban guerilla tactics now will allow you to avoid such a despicable choice. An organized, trained group might be able to fend off the gangs.

      • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

        IMHO, the best way to deal with the gangs is just to not live in the urban centers in the first place. MOUT (military operations urban terrain) is not something that is easy to do even for well trained soldiers. Best to let starvation and disease take care of the urban gangsters.

        Logistics comes into play when you are contemplating operations in rural environments. You have to have vehicles to move your loot and your fighters so that means fuel, and travel on roads where you are vulnerable to ambush. Most of the farmland will probably go fallow anyway because the acreage is too vast to be farmed by hand methods and it would be years before there were sufficient animals to use for pulling plows and wagons, etc. So communities might organize around a common water supply with acreage cultivated by hand and within walking distance of support facilities; the Soviet collective farm system is a good model.

        Gangs looking for loot will have a harder time attacking these targets because consolidation of resources in a central location and consolidation of manpower will mean defenders will be able to post night watchmen as well as field a substantial response to any attack. Until this type of system becomes commonplace and gangs are whittled down from attrition, the more isolated one is, the more precarious their position will be. It would be wise to consider working together; strength in numbers will increase the odds of survival.

      • sixpack says:

        “allied themselves with a gang” doesn’t necessarily mean becoming their “hitman.” The gangs can do their own killing, it’s the other things they need, that they might want from you…use your imagination.

    24. Barn Cat says:

      I see no point in trying to barter with anyone because I store food. I don’t have a farm or a garden. Farming isn’t practical where I live and the neighbors would all see what I’m growing.

      If you have a big enough farm, and the collapse happened at the right time, you might have ten times more food than you need. Then sure, hire people in exchange for food. If it’s fall and the harvest is already in, they can provide security for the farm. Or they could chop firewood or hunt small game or fish or do other productive things.

    25. oUCH says:

      Remember that first trade ? You show me yours and I’ll show you mine… Hey, I was only curious !

    26. KY Mom says:

      Unbelievable…

      The Labor Department is SUPPOSED to represent the needs of U.S. WORKERS …

      but says the USA NEEDS MORE FOREIGN WORKERS.

      The Blaze

    27. slingshot says:

      Keeping our little worlds together. As they are now I do not think that is going to happen. For me Family has moved far away. I spend most of my thoughts in making or buying force multipliers. All the other hardware I have had for years. Firepower will be more important than trade. Even with an resurrection of our country there will be those that pillage and harm.

      Something to think about is how many years do you have left in life. How many years will you be able to do the things needed to be done. Then calculate the supplies needed to the end and spend the rest living life.

    28. slingshot says:

      Kevin 2

      I was awake 36 hours one time. Was a mess for a month afterwards.

      • Old Guy says:

        I drove truck for 40 years. Back in the day Many times I drove 40 hours without sleeping. I would drive from Arkansas to Calif without sleeping. Carried three log books and two drivers licences and a radiar detector hidden inside a CB radio. That don’t happen in todays compueter controlled world. Ive worked several railroad train derailments. Nobody sleeps until the mess is removed and the rails fixed and trains are moving.

    29. Socrates says:

      My life fades, the vision dims.
      All that remains are memories.

      I remember a time of chaos
      ruined dreams, this wasted land.

      But most of all, I remember the Road Warrior
      the man we called Max.

      To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time when the world was powered by the black fuel
      and the deserts sprouted great cities of pipe and steel.

      Gone now, swept away.
      For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all.

      Without fuel they were nothing.
      They’d built a house of straw.
      The thundering machines sputtered and stopped.

      Their leaders talked and talked and talked
      but nothing could stem the avalanche.

      Their world crumbled- the cities exploded.
      A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear.
      Men began to feed on men.

      On the roads it was a white-line nightmare.
      Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive.

      The gangs took over the highways
      ready to wage war for a tank of juice.

      And in this maelstrom of decay ordinary men were battered and smashed.

      Men like Max, the warrior Max.

      In the roar of an engine, he lost everything
      and became a shell of a man, a burnt out, desolate man
      a man haunted by the demons of his past.

      A man who wandered out into the wasteland.
      And it was here in this blighted place,
      that he learned to live again.

      • slingshot says:

        We Don’t Need Another Hero ( Thunderdome )

        Out of the ruins
        Out from the wreckage
        Can’t make the same mistake this time
        We are the children
        the last generation
        We are the ones they left behind
        And I wonder when we are ever gonna change
        Living under the fear till nothing else remains

        We don’t need another hero
        We don’t need to know the way home
        All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

        Looking for something we can rely on
        There’s got to be something better out there
        Love and compassion, their day is coming
        All else are castles built in the air
        And I wonder when we are ever gonna change
        Living under the fear till nothing else remains
        All the children say

        We don’t need another hero
        We don’t need to know the way home
        All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

        So, what do we do with our lives
        We leave only a mark
        Will our story shine like a light
        Or end in the dark
        Give it all or nothing

    30. WA. state says:

      i PLAN on taking,taking and MORE TAKING. SO KEEP PREPPING FOLKS

    31. PA farmer says:

      OUTHOUSE;
      I’ve thought about this for people who live in town. Dig a hole about three feet deep in your back yard, buy one of those Metal building that you would put your mower in, or build one out of wood, make one corner of it a outhouse Inside, buy about three bags of lime too throw down in the hole from time to time to keep the Smell down and keeps it more sanitary.. Good Luck..

      • slingshot says:

        Going to need a 50 gallon drum and put holes in the bottom. Don’t want to contaminate your well if you have one.

        • PA farmer says:

          Slingshot, I would have to say 98% of people in town are on city water, I think it is mandatory. Either or I am talking total collapse with no Electric, no Electric=no well water, or city water, which=no inside facilities. You say put a Barrel in ground with holes in the bottom, I cant see were you are gaining anything by telling people that, it is still leaching. Think about it..

          • buttcrackofdoom says:

            i think maybe he meant to put the barrel/outhouse far away from the well?

            • slingshot says:

              The barrel is to keep the hole from collapsing. Also I did mean to put the privy far (at least 75 ft.) from a water source like a well.

            • In alaska we had to keep outhouse at least 100 feet from well.

              • Old Guy says:

                Store your human waste in a wooden container and when that is full lit it dry. after its dry simply burn it. When I was young we had no running water. And we had a out house. I the bitter cold we pissed in thunder pots and dumped them once a day. shit in the outhouse would freeze any you soon had a stalagmite poking you in the butt. we shit on newspaper and burnt it in the wood stove. They make a electric incenerating toilet that burns the poop and vaporizes the urine. They are factory installed in some motor homes.

          • Old Guy says:

            If you dig a hole where I live it doesn’t leach. We have a thin layer of topsoil. under that is red clay and under the clay is limestone. that red clay will hold water like a plastic jug. we take a bulldozer and build a red clay dam across any catchment area. and it holds water. There are worms & bacteria that eat & thrive on human waste if its not mixed with gray water laced with detergents ect. in SHTF the smart folks wont drink water. Beer is what will keep you alive. There was a family that lived on the 11 point river had a nice home on a couple of acres. they had a approved septic system & a drilled well. Now the mother & children all got sick has kidney & liver problems. I told them its because you septic and every septic from a hundred thousand acres of watershed flows into the river and your well water is river water. They countered that the father was never sick. A asked them when does he ever drink water. Ive never seen him drink anything but beer? They moved away and their health improved. another famly moved in and their kids became sickly. I wouldn’t even swim much less eat fish or drink water from that river or any free flowing stream.

    32. RickInOregon says:

      I have a weak mind and a strong back so my skill set is of the blue collar kind and I think they will have some value after the fall or in retirement. I can play the guitar, run a manual machine shop and all the machine tools, do some black smithing, welding, basic electrical, some carpentry, plumbing, gardening, food preservation, cheese making, sausage making, smoking, hunting with primitive weapons, make fire without matches, fish, trap, brew beer, make cider, make sandals from old tires, harvest a few wild plants, mushroom, piss off a mountain top and a few other things.

      Off topic: I came across an internet music site, it’s called “Folk Alley”, what a breath of fresh air. After a lifetime of classic rock which I’m sick of, this Americana music is great for the newness to me.

      • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress says:

        You would not believe how many people are not able to do anything except swipe a card. Being able to use your hands automatically puts you above nine-tenths of the population.
        Provided that you make it past the Great Die-Off, if all you know is manual machining then you will not go hungry.

    33. eppe says:

      Maybe street fighting will be in vogue… kidding aside, it all ready is, check this out….

      http://www.guns.com/2014/05/19/five-teachable-moments-from-arizona-street-fight-video/

    34. Kevin2 says:

      You need people, family, friends, community. Alone regardless of the best of intentions your toast unless of course your hid in a cave cut off from the world.

      Former multiple decade rotating shift worker here. Been up for 36 hrs. Being up for 24 – 28 hrs was common. Coffee and cigarettes is what kept you going. I’m paying for it now.

      Regardless read the book about surviving the economic collapse in Argentina. It dispels the myth and focuses on the reality. Its eye opening.

    35. Gun smithing is one thing , being able to make the ammo completely is another
      Without the ability to know how to make the ammo , the gun is just an ornate hammer

    36. Burt Gummer says:

      Musicians can bring joy to many and can be a viable profession. People have a need to get together, and live music and dancing does the mind and body good.

    37. Frank Thoughts says:

      The biggest problem with preppers’ plans is their complete lack of understanding of how complex states go into crisis. By painting two extreme outcomes – an apocalyptic hell-hole like the film The Road, or a regression to the 19th century like an Amish farm – they deceive themselves into thinking you need to be a hybrid of a Boy Scout and SEAL Team member.

      Trust me: it won’t go that way as we have many current examples to show us what happens to complex societies (Russia etc.) in a crisis. If you wish to prepare/and/or invest for that future, then follow the tips below:

      1) The sex trade: this always flourishes in crisis societies so the more you understand how it works the more money you can make.

      2) Contraband: drugs, alcohol, weapons etc. All this stuff will be in high demand and somebody needs to run the gangs that run the contraband.

      3) Hi-Tech thievery: hackers and crime gangs will flourish as the state will not be able to keep on top of all the criminals.

      4) Resource companies: people will still need gas, water, electricity so learn to grab market access to these rent-seeking utilities and become an oligarch.

      5) Butt-kissing: not tough enough or smart enough to do the above? Then learn how to kiss butt like a connoisseur: supplicants, toadies, flatterers, bribe takers, middle men, etc. will always be needed so learn how to become a good one.

      In a crisis state, the police and military will be just focused on protecting the leader and falling back to the critical infrastructure of state power. They will struggle to exercise influence outside that realm and mostly will be indifferent to it. Once in a while an oligarch or crim gang leader will get too big for their boots, and then the state will target them with brute force. But then things will go back to what they were.

      • Kevin2 says:

        Frank Thoughts

        I agree 100%.

        I read Surviving The Economic Collapse in Argentina and discussed at length what happened post USSR collapse in Belarus with my friends wife who lived under communism and post collapse. I think the Argentina model is closer to what Americans are likely to face in its event.

        • Frank Thoughts says:

          I agree: I have been in many of these places when the shtf happened while on business and I see all the first stage stuff happening in the US (the gradual decent into third world status in urban areas, bullying state operatives, crooked banking and all statistics completely cooked and untrustworthy, etc.).

          I think it will be like Argentina: violent unrest at first in the cities, especially when the middle classes finally get pumped and dumped in the next down wave, then there will be the sad move into resignation at their fate, and finally, acceptance at being poorer than the average Chinese person. The US will just fester and decay with ‘honcho’ cops wandering around hitting people up for ‘fines’ and extorting sexual favors from women.

          Stock market tip? Buy into the company that makes cheroots cigarillos and cheap aftershave: the cops will be needing that.

    38. sixpack says:

      OFF TOPIC:

      It appears that yet another western puppet has been installed in Afghanistan…

      http://news.yahoo.com/frontrunner-afghan-elections-promises-heal-rift-west-111032765–sector.html

      I think this is what is planned for Ukraine.

    39. Kevin2 says:

      I suspect if the inflationary spiral occurs with the present administration in office the classic price controls will be adopted. The ignorant masses will buy into it hook line and sinker just like the stimulus checks of “Obama Money”. The result will be a failure but it will buy time while the Administration appears to be doing something and shift the blame to anyone and anything other than those responsible. The so called Republicans by and large seeing the fear in the body politic will go along with this exercise in futility. The market will tank but more QE supplied money from the banks into Wall Street will very temporarily create some spikes with rejoice of, “Better Days Are Here Again” only to be followed by drops that will go increasingly downward. Labor long ago having abandoned organization will strike violently in a replay of the 1930s.

      The youth today absorbed in themselves and the hand held devices that have become an extension of their very being have no idea what is coming their way. They are far less prepared both socially and physically then their great grandparents were in weathering this economic storm. This is a recipe for a mad man to rise to power.

      • Frank Thoughts says:

        Agree: today’s youth are utterly not up to the challenges of our times. Just even the slightest hint of a reduction in their techno-bliss and they get tantrums like babies. Imagine if they had to face real crisis and real resource scarcity?

        Personally, I think we will see the rise of a techno-fascist regime under a charismatic leader akin to the late Steve Jobs. An arrogant person but one with real techno chops who the kids will worship. This person will auger in the New World Order and begin the social culls to re-order society on a Facebook-like popularity contest. Beautiful women will thrive in this society; ugly people, obese people, old people, dumb people, will suffer and die off. Narcissism will reach new heights.

        • Libertarianmajority says:

          They’ll starve and be annihilated by the realists who’ll survive by ancient industry. When SHTF, the modern world will be DEAD along with anyone who tries to hang onto it.

    40. Logicrazy says:

      I know about 1/2 of everything mentioned, I can learn the rest in due time. It would not hurt any of us to know all of the above. Hmm…

    41. Cornbread says:

      You’re gonna need fertilizer of some type. If you don’t have animals, stock up on some 10-10-10 and some nitrogen.

    42. Old Guy says:

      In the end the making producers with Know how will be far better off than the taking parasites.

    43. Libertarianmajority says:

      Realistically, guns and the necessarily esoteric and rare materials needed for sophisticated smokeless gunpowders that are vital for modern guns will be mostly obsolete when SHTF. Likewise, the attempt at salvaging the electronic culture will be about as zany as someone suggesting it in ancient times. When S does HTF, we’ll be in the Middle Ages, pretty much overnight. Yes, carpentry will be the single most important industry, and other medieval and Native American crafts such as food drying, spinning, weaving and working with hides will be vital for survival in winters. Trying to preserve the current industrial age will be a pathetic waste of valuable time, energy and resources at the expense of failing to revert to ancient technologies that are still the “gold standard” of sustainable livelihood.

    44. Hello sir,
      Thank you for your nice posting.today’s youth are utterly not up to the challenges of our times. Just even the slightest hint of a reduction in their techno-bliss.
      Thanks…..

     
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