Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

by | Jun 10, 2011 | Emergency Preparedness | 310 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars or without the inclusion of corporate chains seems almost outlandish to many people.However, the fact remains that up until very recently (perhaps the last three to four decades) barter and independent trade was commonplace in this country. Without it, many families could not have survived.

    Whether we like it or not, such economic methods will be making a return very soon, especially in the face of a plunging dollar, inflating wholesale prices, erratic investment markets, and unsustainable national debts. It is inevitable; financial collapse of the mainstream system ALWAYS leads to secondary markets and individual barter. We can wait until we are already in the midst of collapse and weighted with desperation before we take action to better our circumstances, or, we can prepare now for what we already know is coming.

    In today’s “modern” globalist economy, we have relied upon centralized and highly manipulated trade, forced interdependency, senseless and undisciplined consumption, endless debt creation, welfare addiction, and the erosion of quality, as a means to sustain a system that ultimately is DESIGNED to erode our freedoms not to mention our ability to effectively take care of ourselves. We have been infantized by our financial environment. In the near future, those who wish to live beyond a meager staple of government handouts (if any are even given) will be required to make a 180 degree reversal from their current lifestyle of dependency and immediate gratification towards one of self sufficiency, personal entrepreneurship, quality trade, and a mindset of necessity, rather than unfounded excess.

    This means that each and every one of us will not only be driven to form barter networks outside the designated confines of the mainstream, we will have to become active producers within those networks. Each and every one of us will need to discover practical goods and skills that will be in high demand regardless of economic conditions. Being that our society has all but forgotten how this kind of trade works, let’s examine a short list of items as well as proficiencies that are sure to be highly sought after as the collapse progresses…

    Top Priority Goods

    To be sure, this list is a summary of items that will have high value during and after a breakdown scenario. I welcome readers to post their own ideas for trade goods below this article. The following is merely a framework which you can use to get started, and was compiled using actual accounts of post collapse trade from the Great Depression, to Bosnia, to Argentina, to Greece, etc. These are items and skills that people were literally begging for after financial catastrophe occurred in numerous separate events.

    Water Filtration: Stock up on water filters. Learn how water filtration works. Even make your own water filters using cloth, activated charcoal, and colloidal silver. Everyone will want to trade with you if you have extra filtration on hand. During economic breakdowns, especially in countries like Argentina, and Bosnia, which had more modern, city based populations, the first thing to disappear was clean water. Always. In some cases, the tap water still runs, but is filled with impurities, and needs to be boiled. Boiling does not remove bad tastes or smells, however, and clean filtered water will be in demand.

    Seeds: Non-GMO seeds are a currency unto themselves. They can last for years if stored properly, and everyone will want them, even if they don’t have land to plant them. Get enough for yourself, and then purchase twice as much for trade.

    Fresh Produce: Ever heard of scurvy? Probably. Ever had scurvy? Probably not. Believe me, you don’t want to have it. Your body essentially begins to fall apart slowly, and the result is an ugly boil and sore filled complexion, the loss of teeth and hair, and the eventual failure of internal organs. Don’t think you can live on beef jerky and canned beans for months on end. You need fresh vegetables and fruits, and the vitamins they supply. Anyone with a well managed garden and a few fruit trees is going to do very well in barter. Vitamin supplements would also be a practical investment.

    Long Shelf Life Foods: This one should be obvious, but you may be surprised how many preppers, even though aware of the danger in the economy, do not have ample stored foods.The rationalizations abound, but usually, you are dealing with a person who has a heavy hunting background, and believes he will be able to procure whatever food he wants whenever he wants with his trusty bolt action rifle and a few hours in the woods. Don’t fall into this foolish trap. Thousands if not millions of other hungry, destitute people will likely have the same idea, combing the forest for deer, only running into (and perhaps shooting at) each other. In every single account of modern economic collapse I have read, the people involved kick themselves brutally for not stocking more food that didn’t require refrigeration. Even those that were moderately prepared stated that they wished they had stored twice as much as they did.

    Sealed food kits would be highly valued trade items, as long as they contained necessities like grains (wheat or rice store well), salt (the human body will not function without salt), honey or maple syrup (the body needs sugars), and powdered milk, peanut butter, or any other foods with fat content (the body needs fats). Prepackaged freeze-dried foods are more expensive to stock, but they are, of course, easy to trade.

    Food Producing Animals: Chickens are great for eating, but they also produce eggs. Cows and Goats can be slaughtered, but they also produce milk. Sheep can be easily herded towards your dinner plate, but they also produce wool. Rabbits make a good stew, but they also produce lots of other rabbits. In terms of barter, these animals will be life savers, as well as a solid source of trade income. Dual purpose livestock are really where it’s at for those who have even an acre of land, and many of them (except cattle) tend to feed themselves easily if left to wander your property. You can trade eggs, milk, wool, etc, that they produce. Not to mention, fetch serious value for trading the animal itself.

    Solar Power: Solar power is so overlooked by most barter organizations and survivalists in general that it’s astonishing. If every home in America had at least two large solar panels on the roof, I would not be half as worried about collapse as I am today. My suspicion is that many preppers believe that after a breakdown, we will all return to some kind of Agrarian pre-electric age where everything is lit with oil lamps. This is silly. If I have my LED lamp with rechargeable batteries, I’m certainly not going to rely on less effective burning lamps that depend on a finite fuel supply. And, I’m certainly not going to give up the advantages of nightvision, radio communications, or refrigeration if I can help it. The key is to ensure that you have a continuous means of diverting electricity to these goods. This already exists in the form of solar power.

    Depending on your budget, you can purchase solar panels that can be folded and carried with you for charging batteries, or, you can purchase entire arrays and battery banks that run your whole house. Those without electricity WILL want electricity, and solar is an excellent barter item. Wind generators, as well as water driven generators (as used often in Bosnia) are also a consideration. People that have the knowledge to set up these systems for others will not have trouble finding trading partners.

    Firewood: Even with solar power, home heating will become a major concern for every household during and after a breakdown. If you can avoid running your battery bank out on inefficient space heaters, you will. The best way to do this is with a wood stove, or a fireplace.Those without any electricity will scour their immediate areas for loose wood, then move on to chopping down random trees for fuel. This is one of the few instances, ironically, that those in urban environments would have an advantage, being that dry wood for burning is literally everywhere in the city. During the Great Depression, families would often sneak into abandoned homes and apartment buildings to dismantle sticks of furniture, or even the walls, to use as firewood.

    A small, well insulated home can be heated with as little as two cords of wood every winter.Larger drafty homes require as much as twenty cords per winter. A “cord’ of wood is a stack of split timber around four feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. This wood is “aged”, or dried for at least a year after being cut, so that it burns cleaner, and creates much more heat than freshly felled timber. When the general public begins to rediscover the need for aged cord wood, those with timberland will have a prized commodity on their hands for barter.

    A disciplined cutting routine would be essential. Only cutting enough timber (of the right maturity) to create a decent supply while not erasing the whole forest for a single year of profit.Those traders with the correct knowledge will do very well in a barter economy.

    Gasoline And Oil: This is a tough one, because its hard to predict how much petroleum the U.S. will be able to import or produce on its own during a collapse, and its very difficult to store for long periods of time. If you hear news that the wars in the Middle East have expanded even further, or that OPEC is decoupling from the dollar, you might want to run to the nearest station and fill as many storage cans as possible, along with a little bit of added ‘gas saver’ which helps keep it stable longer. Initially, people will be dueling to the death for gas and oil. I have little doubt. After the price hits $15, $30, $60 a gallon due to hyperinflation, and a little time passes, I think people will begin finding ways to live without it, or they will reduce its use to emergency tasks.

    Desire for gas will always be there, especially in agricultural areas where one tractor could help sow the seeds that feed an entire town. But beyond storage, I would suggest learning ways to distill your own corn ethanol and alcohol based fuels. This is where the real barter potential is.

    Silver And Gold: I placed precious metals in the middle of this list for a reason. Concerns in a collapse situation will be varied, and the manner in which a derailment progresses will also determine the order of needs in a barter community. In a Mad Max scenario where there is little to no community, or the construction of any semblance of economy is impossible; sure, gold and silver will not be very high on most people’s lists. Has this ever happened in recorded history? No. Gold and silver have remained common currencies for thousands of years despite any catastrophe. This is why I have to laugh at those people who undercut precious metals or claim that because you “can’t eat them” they will not be important. In Argentina, in the midst of complete meltdown and monetary chaos, when people were shooting each other in the streets for food on a daily basis, gold and silver became king, and still are.

    Barter networks that have formed in Argentina love to trade for anything made out of gold or silver, because precious metals are the only tangible form of currency in existence there. Being able to trade goods is fantastic, but sometimes, you may not have what another person wants.Do you go out to find someone who does, trade with them, then, try to find the guy who turned you down? No. If you have any meaningful localized commerce in place, then you should also have a common medium of exchange, and precious metals are the only thing that safely fits the mold, because they cannot be artificially reproduced or fabricated. Their rarity and their longevity make them the perfect method of common trade. Even if the worst of the worst occurs, rebuilding will result in the immediate resurgence of trade, and the immediate need of a new currency. Gold and silver will come back, as it always has, and always will. Every potential barter network should be including gold, silver, and maybe copper, on its list of accepted alternative currencies, and the values of said metals should be weighed by the inherent supply and demand of the community. The “official” market value ( which is very manipulated) should only be used as a loose guide.

    Firearms And Ammo: Another obvious one. The problem is, the selection of calibers is so varied within the U.S. that stocking anything that will be needed by everyone is very difficult. The only recourse is to stick with common military calibers, such as 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, .223, 7.62 by 39, 7.62 by 51 (.308), 12 gauge, .410, and 20 gauge shotgun shells, and the ever pervasive .22. Stocking these calibers will result in a much greater chance of trade.

    I can think of no instance of societal disintegration that did not lead to horrible violence. In places where firearms are outlawed, the carnage is always much worse. Criminals easily get their hands on weapons, while law abiding citizens are left defenseless. Governments take liberties with the people, while the populace cowers. Accounts of torture, rape, murder, and genocide, are abundant in the face of hard economic times. EVERYONE should be armed, and as reality sets in, even those who clamored to outlaw guns will be clamoring to get one.

    Of course, laws today very strictly regulate our ability to barter firearms, but post collapse, no one will care much.

    Ammo reloading will be a useful skill in light of the fact that homemade manufacture of ammo is very difficult. The nationwide ammo supply will dwindle very quickly, except for those pockets of people who smartly stockpile for trade.

    Body Armor: That’s right. Any kind of body armor is as good as gold in a collapse environment.People in countries across the world wish they had it, and would trade almost anything for it.When you live in a place where a random gun shot (a minute by minute occurrence in many countries), from a criminal’s weapon, or more likely a police or military weapon, could bounce off the curb or through your car windshield, and into your chest, you begin to respect the necessity of Kevlar. The fact that body armor is relatively cheap and is easily obtained in the U.S. should be taken advantage of by barter networks. This advantage may not exist in a couple of years.

    Tazers And Pepper Spray: Easy to purchase and stockpile here in America. Better than nothing when facing armed attackers. Disables without death (in most cases), and easier on the conscience. Trades well.

    Various Tools: A garden hoe may be a novelty item to most suburbanites and city dwellers now, but soon, it will be a mainstay tool. If you have extra, they will come to you for barter. I’m not going to list every tool in existence here, but I suggest using common sense. What tools do you see being required for daily use? What would YOU need post collapse?

    Pesticides: I’m big on organic food and healthy eating, but if my life is on the line, I’m spraying my crops down with whatever poison I can find. Unless you have years of experience with natural pest deterrence methods, then I suggest you do the same, especially in that first year of calamity. A hoard of locusts could annihilate your crop within a day given the chance, and should be dealt with using the most powerful means available.

    Cockroach and rat poisons will also be huge sellers, guaranteed. Vermin thrive in unkempt human environments, whether in the country or the city, and with them comes disease.Diseases you thought had disappeared off the face of the Earth, like bubonic plague or small pox, will make a comeback in cities, where streets of death and sewage act like enormous Petri dishes (remember New Orleans after Katrina? Imagine if that had never been cleaned up).

    Stock pesticides, even if they offend your environmental sensibilities. You’ll use them, trust me.And, people will trade whatever they can for them.

    Warm Clothing: The world is awash in textiles and clothing. Using clothes as your primary means of trade is not necessarily the best plan. However, most of the clothes made around the world are very poor quality, and are not designed for harsh environments. Clothes made specifically for harsh cold or rough wear are harder to some by, and are often very expensive.This is where you would want to focus your investments.

    Gortex, for instance, could give you incredible bartering potential. Wool socks are a rarity (how many people do you know with more than two pairs of wool socks?). Water resistant and water proof jackets and overcoats, boots, well made hiking shoes, and waterproofing chemicals and sprays will be needed within trade networks. The ability to make these items, or repair them, will also be valued.

    Medicines: This is another difficult item to procure, mainly because doing so often gets you flagged as a possible drug dealer. Certain items aren’t too hard to come by and store, though, and could be life saving barter material in the future. Antibiotics are handed out like candy by doctors today, so storing any extra you have away for trade may be a good strategy. Painkillers are another medical miracle that doctors seem to sprinkle out of helicopters without a second thought. With the risk of injury increasing one hundred fold after a financial tsunami, I suspect even mere aspirin would put a smile on the face of any barter networker.

    Eventually, natural medicines and herbs are going to have to move to the forefront, as industry medicines begin to disappear, or become so expensive they are unobtainable. Stocking such herbs and vitamins would be smart, for protecting oneself, not to mention, its savvy business sense.

    Toiletries: Yes, yes, we all hear about how great toilet paper will be as a barter item, and how preppers plan to demand cows, trucks, and beach-front property, in return for packages of the silken quilty-soft huggable rolls of goodness. I don’t disagree that it will be highly desired at first. People don’t change their habits that quickly. But let’s face it; toilet paper is a luxury item in a post collapse environment, not a necessity. People are going to eventually go back to older methods of hygiene, like using strips of washable cloth. It might sound gross to us now, but hey, did you think we were going to start using poison ivy and pinecones?

    Stock toilet paper, but don’t treat it as a priority. Focus more on cleaning items like soap, toothpaste, and bleach, as well as chemicals that cause human waste to quickly biodegrade.Staying clean is VERY important, because the alternative is catching a nasty bacterial infection that may kill you, when in more peaceful and comfortable times, it may have just given you slightly irritating intestinal distress. The rest of the country will come around to this way of thinking in short order, and many people will come to you for the cleaning goods you stockpiled.

    Specialty Items: There are many circumstances that are hard to predict, circumstances that could severely affect barter markets and what items come into demand. For example; a nuclear event, as is in progress in Japan, could just as easily strike the U.S. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S., not to mention the threat of a small nuclear attack (or false flag). The market for goods such as potassium iodide pills and Geiger counters would explode (potassium iodide suppliers were inundated with orders from around the world after Fukushima). How many people do you know with a Geiger counter? I’m one of the few I know with one, and I know preppers across the country! In the wake of a fallout situation, knowing what is contaminated with radiation and what isn’t, knowing if it’s even safe to go outside, is imperative. Having an extra Geiger counter could help you barter your way into any number of goods.

    A biological event might bring medical grade particulate masks to the top of people’s lists, as well as disinfectants and even hazmat suits. It’s an ugly thing to imagine, but for those who plan to engage in independent trade, it’s a likelihood that must be considered.

    Top Priority Skills

    Provided below is a brief list of skills which have served people well in various economic downturns, and will do the same for you in this country. Keep in mind that almost any skill that other people cannot do well has potential for trade, but some skills are more sought after than others. In my research, it is those people who are able to produce their own goods as well as effectively repair existing goods that have the greatest potential for survival in a barter market.Next, are those people who have specific abilities that are difficult to learn and who have the knack for teaching those abilities to others. If you do not have any of these skills, or perhaps only one, then it would be wise to begin learning at least one more now. Keep in mind that competition will very much exist in a barter economy, so knowing as many skills as possible increases your chances of success.

    Mechanic, Engine Repair



    Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading


    Architect, Home Reinforcement

    Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care

    Bee Keeping

    Doctor, Medical Assistant


    Well Construction, Water Table Expertise

    Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical

    Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning

    Martial Arts Training

    Wild Foods Expert



    Sewing, Textiles

    Soap Making, Candle Making, Hygiene Products

    Small Appliance Repair

    Electronics Repair

    HAM Radio Expert

    Homeschooling, Tutoring

    Again, there are definitely many more trades of value that could be learned. This list is only to help you on your way to self sufficiency and entrepreneurship in an Alternative Market.Unfortunately, too many Americans have absolutely no skills worth bartering in a post collapse world.

    Bringing Back The American Tradesman

    Barter networking is a powerful tool for countering the affects of depression, hyperinflation, stagflation, globalization, and beyond. But, networks require that participants actually have necessary goods and services to trade. In only half a century or less, American culture has been sterilized of nearly all its private trade skills. We have lost our desire to produce, and have been relegated to the dregs of a retail nightmare society dependent entirely on consumption and debt. This is going to change, one way, or another.

    We can change on our own, or we can wait until fear and desperation force us to make hard choices. I would rather forgo the desperation and the painful fall into the gutter. It makes little sense.

    The bottom line is, if you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large.Without strong, independent, and self sufficient people, this country will cease to be.

    This article has been generously contributed for your reading pleasure by Brandon Smith of

    You can contact Brandon Smith at[email protected]

    Join Alt-Market today, find a barter network in your area, or start your own. Insulate yourself and your family from economic collapse before it is too late.


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      1. One bit…

        “Ammo reloading will be a useful skill in light of the fact that homemade manufacture of ammo is very difficult. The nationwide ammo supply will dwindle very quickly, except for those pockets of people who smartly stockpile for trade.”

        Having a proficiency in reloading (it was a cheap way to keep me in bullets back when I shot in IPSC events), I find this bit to be, well, highly incomplete.

        I say this because you’re going to need to stockpile like hell on at least two different gunpowders (fast-burning for pistols, long-burning for rifles), primers for each caliber and cartridge type you intend to reload, and spare presses, spare dies (for each caliber and type), measurement tools, extractors, micrometers, and etc. Oh, and you’d better have at least two very good reference manuals, as well as lots of pencils and notebooks.

        Did I mention that this stuff (both consumables and tools) is hella expensive?

        …and .22 LR rimfire, the most common cartridge out there? Forget it. You’re not going to be able to safely concoct your own primer paste, let alone recycle the brass and take that little dent off the back. No sane human being reloads those things now.

        Overall, you’re going to have a very tough time adequately prepping for a life of cartridge reloading.

        Long-term TEOTWAWKI? Not really all that viable. Unsealed gunpowders will soak up moisture like crazy, and normally use a nitrocellulose-based formula, instead of the ancient sulfur-charcoal-saltpeter recipe that muzzleloaders, or “black powder” guns use. Brass wears out – no sane person would re-use a brass cartridge more than three time (maybe four for certain calibers), so you’re going to need clean brass. Steel cartridges (think: common AK-47 stuff) are completely unusable after you use it once – you might be able to reload one in desperation, but you’re going to waste a lot of primers and even points in the process, with maybe a 25% success rate. Dangerous as Hell, though.

        That said, with enough goodies stockpiled you could, for awhile, make quite a tidy living in that gap between when the factory-made stuff runs out and when you yourself finally run out of (and can no longer find) either consumables (powder, primers, points, occasionally brass) or working tools. Call it about a year in quiet areas, less than three months in violent ones.

        Personally though, you’d have a more profitable time long-term by becoming a fletcher and a bow-maker.

        • Blow guns are cheap; less than $50 each, or you can make your own out of pvc pipe.

          Anyone have the receipe for the right neuro-toxin? OC?

          • LOL! I know it’s not meant to be funny, and actually it sounds pretty creative. 🙂

            • OQ: I found a PVC “blow gun” at a weekend fair for arts & crafts, today. Only 5 American dollars! It shoots “marshmellows”! 🙂

              I’ll see if I can adapt it to darts. I still need that neuro-toxin …… anyone with neuro-toxcin on hand?

            • Botox!
              Sounds like a good candidate. Aim for the neck…

            • The negrito people of the Philippines taught me how to make a good blow gun and a very effective neuro-toxin. tHEY TRAINED Air Force pilots in jungle survival.

              You can buy the blow guns through a novelty dealer in the Philippines.

              The poison dart frog is the best source. Found in Haiti and PR.

              A common Cotton Mouth snake has the venom that is the fastest acting and most deadly. Can be found in most southern states. Add tanin (boiled bark from poison ivy and pee to the venom and it will stop most humans within an hour. Make a paste from rat poison for bobby traps, etc.

          • See, This is where I completely disagree in your concepts.

            Now .22LR is not reloadable, thats fine, neither is .17Mach2, or .22WMR AND .17WMR.

            So I took the Node of stocking up on 50,000 rounds of wax covered .22LR, thanks to CCI and their stocking methods, and Not using Shit black-powder-spliced rounds, Like REMINGTON and FEDERAL (Dont believe me? Take it apart and look at it yourself, This also goes for 90% of their centerfire ammunition).

            You see, two years ago it snowed a fuckload, and I accidently dropped a box of CCI, and some random Federal and Remington .22 into the field where I go.. I finally found them this year.

            I wanted to experiment, so I stuck it in my pipe rifle and attempted to discharge them, even though they looked horridly unsafe. The only ones that properly discharged were the wax-covered CCI .22LR rounds. The remington and Federal ones didnt even crackle.

            Now as for shotgun shells, I make it a weekly practice to reload all my high brass shells, and even my tin-cased shells (Federal, and Winchester Red Box) with low power priming methods (IMR 700X and any 209 Primer, and you can load it to 8/10’s of the brim, works without a flaw every time with decent power).
            The plus is that I can Improvise on shot if I need to, such as slingshot balls, ball bearings, lead ball bearings, Pellet gun ammunition, BB gun (.177 is a decent 3.5 to size 4 on the scale for shot, and much much cheaper, better ballistics), And even Wax and Plastic which is disturbingly lethal.

            I have heard people say that .22’s and Birdshot wont do anything to an Animal, or a person.. Thats horse shit. When I am punching through a Steel 1970’s Volkswagon Hippivan at 120ft when using standard CCI Blazer .22LR, I am absolutely and most definately sure it will go into an Individual’s or animals skull at that range.
            Keep in mind your ‘Magical’ .223 (5.56x45mm) is roughly the same caliber as the .22LR (5.5mm), just with 1/6 less of the weight and 1/3rd the power/Range.

            As for the bird shot, you can easily incapacitate/mortally wounding someone at the 30ft mark with no doubt. at 30ft, the cup casing doesnt spread more than 10 inches through an Non-Choked Mossberg 500 Slug Barrel.

            Now onto your theory about steel cases not being reusable.
            I am not an individual of sane mind, so I get to educate you on how I complete these tasks without failure of supplies.

            On an M43 (7.62x39mm) casing of good quality, you have to inspect it for fracture or split lines, obviously.
            You take a 3/16 drill bit after punching the primer out (If you can), and drill the hole out so it is no longer Berden Primed. Now you have to take a 5/16 drill bit to reem out a bit of the Primer slot. Will it compromise the casing? No.
            In this method, you just converted a Berden Primed casing into a Boxer Primed Casing.

            Now for the Primers, Which you can just use a standard Winchester/Federal small rifle primer and IMR 4094 (Intermediate Powder) with the correct reloading data for a 120-125gr .311 Lead/copper round. Fuck paper patching the powder if you do not need to.. My rule for reloads is a 2 year shelf life. And remember to go 1-2 gr. Less of powder than the Sierra reloading manual says, or else it might be dangerous to operate in a bolt action, or even semi automatic.

            Now for making your own powders for the smokeless stuff, I created a mix instead of using Nitro glycerin, you can use Magnesium Sulfate.

            So 1 Part Magnesium Sulfate, 1 Part pure sulfer, and 2 parts charcoal works completely fine as a decent replacement home made powder in my 12ga shells when using a regular 209/209A primer
            I would never ever try it in a rifle. Shotgun is the safest for this concept.

            Now you say to me ‘What happens when I run out of bullets, and reloading supplies?’.
            Well that would be hard since I have over 200,000 rounds stocked up for the last 5 years. Cost me a pretty penny, but is completely worth it. And after those are gone, I did invest in a pair of Bows with two dozen arrows, and a Crossbow with a dozen arrows.

            Then when all fails, I have my knives and my Warhammer. If I use my Warhammer, It will be something personal.

            Would I ever try to reload .22LR or any rimfire cartridge? No, I dont think its worth the time, hence why I stocked up on it prematurely to this coming event so I dont have to worry about it. And to have a safe amount of caches and backups, I do not have to worry about it since I am incredibly conservative with my ammunition. This goes for the large majority of centerfire munitions I have in stock as well.

            Sure words are words here, I could be lying to all of you, But really I am not, I dont see a point in lying.
            I stock up for a reason, a really really good reason, and its worked quite well for me.

            • ……….My rule for reloads is a 2 year shelf life… I have some (about 50 left) 44 mag reloads from the early ’80’s that I shoot a few about 5 years or so and never had a misfire. They look like hell but seem still good.

          • Buy a BB/pellet gun. You can use a scop and it inder $50. Amo is cheep. Perfect for small game. $5 gets you 3000 bbs

        • Odd Questioner,

          Sorry to call you out on some things in your otherwise well written information about ammo reloading.

          “Unsealed gunpowders will soak up moisture like crazy…”

          Did you mean “unsealed” as in opened and used once? If that is what you meant, then I protest. That would be complete fallacy with no basis in fact.

          Nitrocellulose based powders DO NOT soak up moisture *AT* *ALL*. …unless you leave them out in the rain in an open container. Or maybe in an open container (like your powder measure) for 10 years in a damp basement. What does happen is the chemicals in them will, for lack of a better term, evaporate. BUT ONLY IN THE OPEN AIR!!! N based powders are nearly timeless. I have recently been using 30 year old Bullseye (a faster burning pistol powder), 40 year old Unique (a slower burning pistol powder / faster burning rifle powder), a 70 year old IMR4831 equivalent and 70 year old primers. I’ve use them all within the last couple months. Reloading consumables are nearly timeless as long as they are kept at reasonably stable temperatures and in their original containers with the supplied lids closed tightly.

          Old style black powder is the same way. I have some that is approximately 60 years old.

          “Brass wears out – no sane person would re-use a brass cartridge more than three time (maybe four for certain calibers), so you’re going to need clean brass.”

          This one got a guffaw from me. I have 223 brass that I have reloaded in excess of 20 times. I have 44 mag brass I’ve reloaded in excess of 5 times. You make it sound like its going to blow up if you keep reloading it. But, you have to know how to take care of your brass so that it won’t wear out. With proper care, trimming (it grows when resized) and annealing (it workhardens and you have to soften it back up) brass could last almost indefinately.

          Now, if you’re just a shell stuffer and not a technical reloader such as myself and you cram everything back down to factory specs instead of sizing it to fit your gun, yeah, 3 or 4 times and you’re probably done. But, not only does your brass suffer, so does accuracy.

          You meantion about reloading steel. You’re mostly right, however, I do have some Sellier & Bellot from the Chek Republic that is copper plated steel. I’ve successfully reloaded it multiple times (9mm stuff). If its boxer primed there is no reason you can’t reload it. Two things must be considered: crimped in primers and how much you want to wear out your sizing dies. Also, steel casings have much more “spring” to them. You have to resize them much smaller or you’ll find them sticking in the gun when you shoot them. I’ve personally had trouble with this. Don’t use a tight chambered gun with steel casing reloads. Its nothing but trouble.

          This is not the first time I’ve found people spreading myths about the longevity of shooting supplies. I have 40 years of personal experience that shows the complete opposite. I don’t know how you got your information, but, I really hate to see people start out with wrong information.

          Also, while you’re correct in saying that supplies are expensive:

          Powder: $30 lb (load 1000rnds of 9mm or 250rnds of 44mag or 140rnds of 30-06) …approximately depending on powder and load.

          Primers: 4c each

          Bullets: Wide variance. I can make them for less than 1c each but you can pay 50c to $2 a each for them.

          Loading equipment, though, can easily be had for WAY less money than you can imagine. A full setup with a single stage press could be less than $100, or, you could buy it all new and not be extravagant and spend $400. You should see what I find at yard sales!!!

          One thing people don’t realize is that when you’re shooting to actually do something you don’t use much ammo. In other words I don’t suppose I’ve use more than 2000 rounds in my entire life to kill all the deer, quail, squirrels and groundhogs that I have killed. But, my son and I can easily use up 200 rnds in the front yard practicing with 22lr, 9mm or 223

          • Much thanks for the additions. The only bits I’m wondering about are these…

            I can easily give you the powder one. I was guessing moisture, but volatility of the chemicals themselves is a far better explanation.

            As for the brass, understood that careful care will allow a brass rifle round (of certain calibers/shapes) to last well beyond 3-4 times. Question is, how many people are going to have the time, skills, patience, or even tools to make that happen 20x over?

            My own (and admittedly amateur) personal best is 7x for a .45 ACP round, which should ostensibly be easier than most to keep well-maintained (after all, no neck to worry about). Anything after that? It might shoot, but you stand a better chance of jamming the weapon before it even gets into the chamber (in spite of being scrupulous about length). The rims eventually get chewed up by the extractor, the brass thins (allowing for greater expansion, making extraction harder), and overall, it becomes harder – especially if you’re putting it in a semi-automatic weapon. Even bolt-action rifles will suffer from some of this over time.

            …and we haven’t even touched on what happens when folks start monkeying with how much powder goes into a given round (too much? blows the barrel, or if you’re lucky, wears out both gun and brass prematurely. Too little? You get a bullet stuck in the barrel… even worse).

            All said though, you’re right in that real combat (or especially hunting) usually means less rounds fired. OTOH, that usually only holds true for folks who are actually used to shooting under the given condition. Given that most folks aren’t (esp. for combat), I can fairly easily see a whole lot of (wasted) lead flying… any footage of a (real, not Hollywood) shootout between criminal and/or defender is ample evidence of that (even the cops tend to get crazy with the stuff on occasion…)

            • You bring up some excellent points.

              Lets just put it this way: its probably going to be a much better situation for everyone if only experienced people do the reloading. For someone to buy a press, dies, a couple powders, some primers, a powder measure, and a scales, have someone show them how to use them and then throw them in a box and wait for TEOTWAWKI to come and expect it to be used effectively is probably pretty much a recipe for disaster.

              While possibly overstated, your too much powder, gun blows up, too little and bullet sticks in the barrel statement is true. The two less extremes end up with either damaging the gun or damaging the accuracy of the round.

              I think we have come to consensus: reloading can be dangerous and may not be for everyone. For those less experienced it also will not be sustainable for very long. Imagine getting into a combat situation with my experimental steel reloads? It certainly wouldn’t instill confidence in anyone were those steel rounds to hit anything buy my blowback operated hi-points. One shot and you’ve got a FTE. You’re toast. But, they were “experimental”. I have a couple boxes to a friend with a Taurus PT111 and he had a devil of a time getting them to eject. Stupid me didn’t think about the “other guns” scenario. Were it a different situation when one sticks in the barrel, one could have a real blowup. …which I’ve seen happen with factory ammo more than reloads. SCARY SITUATIONS! Guns are not toys and they are not for people who “just want to shoot”.

              I’ll have to admit, I never considered your amateur combat scenario. I agree with your analysis, however, the situations will hopefully be rare but a high volume of rounds could be expended per incident. Myself, I tend to think of those situations avoided by either longer range precision shooting or simply using my marksman skills to head off the situation as it gets closer in. Simply said, experience saves ammo.

              Technically, though, considering brass recycling, you can use it almost indefinitely if you anneal it (heat it up to cherry red then let it cool normally) and trim it as it grows. Using standard handling techniques your 3x or 4x times is about correct. If you resize it down to factory specs and run full pressure loads, etc, 4x is a reasonable expectation. Size it to fit your gun, run 10% down loads and you can easily double that.

              My 30-30 squirrel gun load, however, with 2 grains of Bullseye and a .30 cal round ball can probably use the same 20 brass casings forever until the extractor wears the rim off the shell or the primer pockets become too loose to hold the primers. I don’t even have to neck size them. Just decap, reprime, charge and manually push a ball into the neck. Very accurate, very quiet, no resizing. But, those are the kinds of advantages you get when you reload: custom ammo for special purposes.

              When I was explaining before about the use of ammo, at the present time a lot of ammo us used just for plinking for muzzle flash. In other words, kind of wasted. Many things in our day to day modern world with our high standard of living is that way. We waste a lot of stuff. Food, gas, ammo, money… just to name a few. However, in a YOYO or TEOTWAWKI world, we’ll use a lot less. I would estimate that “less” would be “90% less”. You won’t go out and bump fire a 20 rnd mag full just to hear it. Those rounds will be precious and you’ll conserve them.

              Most people do not understand the practical use of firearms. Too many movies and dimestore novels, I suppose. In a practical world, you don’t use much ammo unless, as you said, you get into a combat situation.

              The adaptive ability and increased accuracy brought about by reloading will be a useful skill. In our present day environment, there is not a lot of use for firearms. They are relegated to the “nuts” like us that are willing to use them. But, after TEOTWAWKI, we could see a huge increase in demand for our expertise.

            • “I think we have come to consensus: reloading can be dangerous and may not be for everyone”

              Agreed, perfectly. I can attest to this on the amateur side of things. It may not even blow up on you, but simply wear out your gun in a hurry. Case in point…

              I used to have fun with taking .357 rounds and loading them a bit hot for hunting/protection rounds, back when I lived in Utah (e.g. to dispatch a downed elk, just in case I stumbled across a mountain lion, etc).

              Problem is? Those loads, while certified as safe by the manual (forgot which)? It quickly wore out the cylinder pin/axle, causing the revolver to jam. Probably took less than 100 rounds total before the symptoms showed up. Granted it was an inexpensive Dan Wesson Model 10 (changeable barrels, but I used the 6″ one w/ the hot loads for back-country use). OTOH, it proved that 1) I was an idiot, and 2) deviating from factory recommendations can make a gun useless in pretty short order.

              Now on the .45 ACP side? I was ultra-careful, and almost religious about loads, cases, etc. Also, those rounds were all for IPSC, so they all used round un-jacketed points (it was all about speed and short range. Your targets were either cardboard, hinged steel plinkers, or occasional plastic.) I only shot factory loads to remain proficient with them, and kept those in my home/personal defense magazines.*

              *sort of brings up another point – in Utah at least, an interesting point came up in my CCP class a long time ago: If you use anything other than factory loads in defending one’s person or home, apparently the dead/injured criminal’s attorney could sue on ‘vigilante’ grounds – that you somehow made ‘special’ bullets to inflict extra pain or suffering. Using factory loads pretty much obviated that argument. Now personally, I think that most states don’t allow a criminal to sue for injuries sustained while committing a felony (e.g. B&E, home invasion, etc). OTOH, one can’t be too careful, no?

              Overall though, yeah… reloading is something that requires skill, time, patience, and a lot of effort to do it right. I also suspect that post-TEOTWAWKI situations, I know that unless I know and trust the guy’s work personally, I’d only barter for reloads if I had no other choice. Most other folks may not be as picky about it.

          • I think reloading is a tad too much. You get yourself progressively 4,000 9mm bullets a good handgun and a good carbine in 9mm for longer range and you’re all set and about $ 4,000 poorer if you want good quality (without investment in training). You keep 2000 to trade and you can still kill 2000 bad guys which should carry you back to civilization and organized SWAT teams to protect you. Good quality ammunition, properly stored will last forever and is easy to store. 9 mm may not be sexy but it’s the cheapest cost/efficiency ratio. $ matter if you want to follow the survival plan exposed in this article; antibiotics, filters, tools, food all this cost a lot of money for a family of 4.

          • NetRanger – thanks for your input. Can you contact me. I have some,questions. Call me at 9188599293. Thanks

        • Hey all,
          First of all, I’m happier than hell to read something related to prepping for a change as opposed to the political cat fight I have been reading for the last couple of months; I recieve great entertainment from the comments I read here! On the reloading note, the theme was trade items. Does one expect to trade away ammo. and recieve back the brass? I think that valid points have been made for and against reloading. My opinion (for what it’s worth) is AGAINST ammo. manufacture in post-shtf. I am a retired Soldier (combat vet) who has been shooting for decades. I DO stockpile expendable goods for personal/family use AND trade. In the last two years my family has moved into a lifestyle leaning towards self- sufficiency, and I’ve got to tell you, there is not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that NEEDS to be done vs. what I would like to do (reloading would give me great personal satisfaction). But ammo. while you can, in grat quantities, store it properly, and you will have one of the top three most important resorces at hand post-collapse.

          • Weiner for president!

        • excellent advice… personally I choose a crossbow and bear compound bow for long term silent hunting and protection and carry my .45-70 as back up. All sturdy and long lasting repairable and the rifle cartridge is easily reloaded. and my policy in a shtf scenario personally is avoid all conflicts until night time and darkness – evens the odds some and makes for shorter engagements. During daytime I would be holed up safe from sun and poachers in a over watch dugout lp/op on a hilltop near a fresh water source! about 10 miles from the nearest road into the national forest near my place. It’s simply not gonna be safe near the towns in a SHTF scenario period!

        • Exactly! A large stockpile is the way to go. If you practice, you use ammo on a routine basis. Ammo if properly stored lasts a very long time. Ammo cans are cheap and ammo is getting more expensive by the year. Even if the SHTF senerio would not happen, you are saving money (fait) buy purchasing large bulk ammo. Besides, I think it is great that they still take the paper (fiat) and give me ammo for it.

        • your right Odd Questioner.

          Get a Flintlock rifle and a Flintlock smooth bore.

          For the short term reloading smokeless cartridges makes some sense but for the long term end of the world as we know it you will need black powder and flintlock firearm.

          the chemistry of black powder is simple and can be made by done as a cottage industry. Flintlocks will last 50 to 100 years and can be replaced with minimal metalworking skills compared to what it takes to make a high power weapon that is safe to fire.


        • Great list and I thought of one more thing. What is an alarm system that doesn’t run on electricity and also a very real weapon? A GOOD BIG GUARD DOG! Imho, I think that’s the REAL reason we are seeing bans on Pit bulls and Shepherds and other great intimidating family/guard dogs. Pits and Shep’s especially have been used for centuries and family pets/guard dogs and used by military and the wealthy for centuries, in fact, before this BS gang dog fighting propaganda the Pit Bull Terrier was one of the top family dogs in the US and in the UK the elite called them nanny dogs because nannies brought them with as package deal to protect the children!!! Don’t believe me? Research it for yourself.
          So ya, get yourself a good dog. Be good to it and it will do good by you!

          • Stockpile dog food? Let the big thing forage for itself? Comments on the logistics of caring for one?

            • Give them the heads and guts of all the critters you hunt.

            • A great home made dog food is 1/3 meat 1/3 barley or rice 1/3 veggies Green beans carrots peas good choices feed 4 cups a day for 60-75 lb dog.. Barley is easy to grow and keeps well once its dry. They need the carbs just like us and the vegs give the vit needed.

            • My Shep eats chicken and veggies from the garden. A dog can eat just about anything you do, and if you are growing food yourself organically, it is much better than most reasonably priced dog foods (as in $1 or less per lb). The key is ample protein as well as simple carbs. The “big” dog food manufacturers like Purina, Iams, and even Eukanuba have been having a lot of salmonella related re-calls lately, where people have had pets DIE!!! In addition, many manufacturers have added a lot of corn fillers (it’s likely to be GMO corn too!) and some manufacturers cook out a lot of the nutrients, so the dog is NOT getting good nutrition either.

              In order to get excellent dog foods these days it costs about $2.50/lb…I can feed the dog a more nutritious meal of table food for that price

        • I have plans for crossbows. These can be made and using replaceable arrows.

      2. >>>
        “I can think of no instance of societal disintegration that did not lead to horrible violence. In places where firearms are outlawed, the carnage is always much worse. Criminals easily get their hands on weapons, while law abiding citizens are left defenseless.”

        About four decades ago I was introduced and received training in a particular skill, among many others, that would be of immense value to those who find themselves without firearms for whatever reason. After 40 some years I still practice regularly.

        Two additional notes… This skill can also be used for hunting as well as self defense, and can also be applied, believe it or not, using a sharpened folding military trench shovel :-).

        Throwing a Tomahawk/Bowie

        A step by step tutorial teaching how to throw an axe in conjunction with a Bowie knife. Also teaches the bare basics of throwing a Bowie type knife.

        If there is one critical ability involved in becoming adept at this, I would say it is a precise judgement of distance.

        And after you become proficient…

        • Those Tomahawk missles are kinda hard to throw.

          • Not really – you just need a sufficiently large bow. 😛

      3. Good observations. I’m adding a muzzleloader to my arsenal this month and I hope to add a recurve bow very soon. It worth noting that the more ammo that you do stockpile the more cushion you’ll have to adapt and plan ahead later. Where I live, it’s as much for game as it is for protection. I would love to know a good ammo reloader though.

        • Agreed on the cushioning, in a big way.

          (Around a decade ago, reloading gear was dirt-cheap once you got a basic set of tools. Thanks to taxes and scarcity, that’s not so much the case anymore).

          For long-term, you’re perfectly right. I’d look into getting a couple of good, solid crossbows, and a lot of bolts (and the means to make more), but bows and arrows will never go out of style.

          Skills-wise, I actually do pretty good (though I could seriously use more tools). Would love to learn proper blacksmithing, though. That, I figure, will be a big way to become valuable in the long-term. Maybe go all steampunk and learn how to build a steam engine?

        • Twenty bucks @ Wal-Mart will get you a 500 round brick of .22 LR’s. I splurge on one every first of the month.

          • If you can find it. The WalMarts around here sell out of .22 bricks FAST. For a while they could not keep them in stock….

          • every time the news ticks me off I buy another box of ammo. I’m working on my 20 gauge pile for now. hahaha

      4. I would think that consumable alcohol in any form would be a good bartering item. Also, 190 proof brands could be used to make herbal tinctures for possible trading.

        • You can also use it to sterilize pretty much any small object that you’re able to submerge in it.

        • alcohol brings up my point, what goes great with home made white lightening,….tobacco!
          tobacco seeds are quite small and WTSHTF we will be allowed to smoke again
          unlike now, we can buy them everywhere but can’t actually smoke them anywhere
          I wonder if we’ll be allowed to smoke in the FEMA camps?

      5. I’m learning to build masonry heaters this summer. I predict big business for this specialty!

        • Is this also called the Russian stove and many other names? The stove / heater that uses very little wood and creates a lot of heat, in which it loses very little heat or none through the chimney.

          • Where can you get these Russian stoves? I read about them overseas- you can heat an entire house for a day with a small bundle of wood.

            • I recomend a book by ken matesz called masonry heaters….lists mqnufactures in index. Google masonry heaters will bring up the mha . masonry heaters association.

              The matesz book is the best ive ever read on the subject.

            • I think you pretty much ahve to build them.

              the idea is that you have a huge pile of masonry (rock will work too), with a zig-zag flue. You light (and keep) a hot fire going in it for about 8 hours. The heat gets absorbed by the masonry/rock, and radiates it out into the room for something like a day or three afterwards – longer if you keep a slow fire going in it after the initial hot one.

            • Well OQ, yes and no. The fire burns hot and fast and is usually gone in 4 hours, and will heat radiantly for 12-24 hours…36 if you have a massive stove…

              …on really cold days you may have to do two firings, or one every 12 hours.

              You could build one, but naturally there are rules. Matesz book is very specific on the forumulae and standards you need, everything from the properties of different rock, to how to adjust for your altitude. It’s comprehensive.

              That said, your best bet is to hire someone, buy a pre-formed, mass produced core and build around it, or even more expensive, buy a ready made heater such as a Tulikivi Soapstone. Their webpage is here:


              You wont buy one like you are buying a loaf of bread, nor will you slap one together after seeing a photograph of one. Check out the Masonry Heater Association webpage. Great gallery of finished heaters.

            • Thanks much for the info… I’m going on old memory here – came out of the ‘Back to Basics’ book from awhile ago.

              I assume the hot fire is to keep creosote from building up?

        • I am almost done with my rocket stove. When I am done I will take pics and make a video and shoiw you guys…I am liking it so far

          • Lets not forget about PROPANE. In many areas this is avalible. I don’t know how long a canister lasts but with proper storage this could get you but fo awhile. Large RV containers are not that much. I have 2 generators but then you have gasoline starage not to mention the noise can be heard for a distance. My brother built a very quite muffler for his generator using a spare harley davidson muffer he had after his recent upgrade.

        • check out the rocket stove… Youtube has lots of info. I use one for canning and only use sticks…

      6. The only power the bankers have is the delusion of the people that counterfeit money is worth something.

        stop using the Federal Reserve Notes or Euros or Yen or any other money created from nothing and start bartering with real goods and services.

        This is how to end the fed.


      7. Hmmmmmm I wonder if ball bouncing, ball kicking, ball hitting or what ever else can be done with balls will still be paying 10 mil a year, smirks

        • Well, you could hire hockey and football players as security. :/

          • I trust my kids more with a firearm than I would with some greedy football player.

        • Probably the best they’ll be able to do is to =play= with their balls.

      8. Mac,

        I say the DOW & Au are going to cross at 6K. That will wake them up.

      9. Max???? Not even mentioned??


        And for you preppers….Kmart has canning supplies 50% off…I don’t need any since I have acquired 18 dozen jars in the last 9 months, but a few lids to add to my 27 packages would be prudent.

        You can never have enough lids.

        • I’ll have to check and see if the Kmart here has the same 50% off deal and buy a few more cases if they do. Thanks!

          Also I have been buying the hell out of light bulbs!!!

          • Second the light bulbs….numerous rubbermaid containers full. No fluorescent bulbs in this house!!

          • Yes…103 bulbs here and the CFL are out of my house in yard sale stuff—reports came out about CFL bulbs exploding and several fires due to these bulbs per fire investigator …after I removed them from 16 rooms.

            People, you need to research these bulbs’ problems.

            • Ive personally witnessed several of the higher watt one catch fire and burn..I only use low watt ones outside on the barnlight poles!

          • hey guy you can just re-use the old light bulb no BS – all ya gotta do is replace the filliment.. you can easily make your own 12,000 nulbs from old light bulbs… buy a fish tank pump to suck out the air and your all set… you can run it off of battery solar power.

            check out fueless power

            • 12,000 hr bulbs…

        • Thanks for the heads up on the Kmart items. Just what I needed.

        • He also forgot to mention salting/curing/drying/smoking meats. Meat won’t last a week unless you preserve it somehow.

          Personally, unless you live in, oh, Salt Lake City? You may want to stock up like a madman on salt, or at least know of a good, solid, easily-extracted source of it in your neighborhood. You’ll go through a lot of it.

          • Whats the name of that meat….it’s not jerky, I can’t remember, it is something new to me I have never heard of before here recently and it is supposed to last a long time and be really good for you. It is something you do with meat…….errrrr I can’t remember to think of it???

            • Maybe your thinking of pemmican. It’s high energy, with some vitamins from fruit, and lasts.

            • Aging/Dry-curing it?

            • Pemican?

            • biltong, fun to say, fun to eat!

          • go to your local farm store and buy 100#s of plain salt for 16. store it in a mylar bag inside of a plastic pail, 200 pounds should last anyone a life time plus have a little for trading.

            • Yes, that’s it….Pemmican. I don’t know how you make it, but I heard it is real good for you and last a long time

        • Keep your metal lids for barter and buy the Tattler reusable lids. The rubber seal can be used up to 10 times it starts to stretch out. They have replacement rubber seals too. I use them and love them. Also if your remove the metal lids careful you can put a thin coat of silicone on it and reuse it. The silcone is a special kind not sure right now. Bing will know.

      10. Water filtration: A good idea, but why trade the means of production? Provide a service, or sell water.

        Scurvy from a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables? OTE, how do the Inuit survive in your neck of the woods without FF&V?

        • They eat the guts witch contain the vitamins the they need.

        • Fresh game and eating all of the animal, that’s how they did it and how I would prefer not to do it. You can not avoid scurvey if you don’t have supplements or fresh foods. For the short term I stock supplements and itmes such as Tang which is very high in vitamin C.

          • I have to clarify. “Fresh” doesn’t mean it can’t be dried. You can preserve foods and use them, this of course depends on what you grow or what is available. Rose hips I know have saved individuals from scurvey. In the winter they are often visible and retain some vitamin C. I know in a Post SHTF scenario I want to be at my best.

          • We drink it when we can get it!

          • Hi, country girl…also the Tang is advised to remove the bad taste from pool shock (or other)filtered water…any koolaid, crystal light, instant tea, etc.
            I have lots in my storage.. Hope this helps…with Tang, you disguise the bad tasting water and get V-C!!

          • Vitamin C pills are cheap as hell also, and each one usually contains something like 10x the necessary daily intake. You could easily buy a ton of the stuff, grind it all into powder, then eat like a 1/4tsp of it a day mixed with water.


            There are also certain varieties of lime trees that grow pretty well outside of tropical climates, even as far north as my neck of the woods here in Oregon:

            A couple of dwarf lime trees would satisfy your Vitamin C needs for quite a long time if you take care of them. Just make sure you get a variety that tolerates your region and climate.

            (Neat historical trivia: The reason that British folk, esp. sailors, were often referred to as “Limeys” by the early US Navy? It came from the Royal Navy’s habit of using limes to successfully fend off scurvy on long journeys).

            • Why grind it, why not just take the pill??

            • I was thinking storage volume. You can get more into a 5-gallon bucket when powdered than you could by dumping pills into one.

              Also, the pills are (each) often more than you actually need each day, and busting up a pill each day to take just what you need (to let the supply stretch out) sounds like a bit much to bother with during SHTF.

              OTOH, powdering may accelerate decay as well, so sealing it with an oxygen absorber or three would be a *very* good idea.

              Dunno – it’s a very good question either way.

            • Cabbage is also high in Vitamin C and if you make kraut you get probiotics which support the immune system as well.

        • Vitamin C pills are easy to store, small, stable, and effective. Also canned pickles, pineapple, etc.

          Regarding water, Forest Lumber Company in Sooke, BC makes a variety of cedar barrel cisterns for collecting rain water, spring water, etc. Combine that with hydro rams and gravity for pressure, and reverse osmosis for purification, and you’ve got mo bettah watah.

        • re: scurvy make pine needle tea. That is what nativ americans drank it is rich in vitamin c

      11. Another fine write up by my good friend Brandon Smith.

        You saw the URL:

        Come on over and join the party.

        For more information on reloading, ammo longevity and general firearms information, contact me personally at ntrngr (at)


        • I am there have been for months….but cant find any other Michiganders, so I don’t go there much

          • Fellow Michigander here – living in southwest area. In my circles I’m also aware of few people networking on this rather vital concept.

            Great article, and one that I plan to re-read from time to time as I ponder my own situation.

        • Cool! Worth looking into.

      12. I second the vote on muzzule loaders and recurve bows, recurves have less mechanical parts and I foresee lasting longer then compounds or crossbows.

        Also trapping as a food and fur barter, or making snares as a barter item.

        Fishing gear, net making/mending, fly or lure making, etc.

        I’ll also add a vote to distilling spirits or alcohol of any sort. It’s sort of a form to preserve food and will be in demand the second that basic needs are met.

      13. Countrygirl: I’ll bet you have a still hidden in the hollow, right now! How much for a pint of “White Lighting” ? 🙂

        • She’s shining us on! A 110/12 volt egg incubator with a covey of quail/red rock chickens. Cast Iron grain grinder with “v” belt fly wheel and storage of wheat/yeast. Water filters, water filters and pressure cooker with condensation cooling Cu coils.

      14. I’m all for practical approaches. But we live in an advanced world and nation now. We don’t have to go backwards. We need a new vision for America. This isn’t the time to retreat

        Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

        We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”

        • PBS had a nice docu

          • Sorry typing on a Nook and made a mistake. I wanted to say PBS had a nice documentary on this.

            • Scott: read the book cause the PBS doc ain’t squat compared to the book! The Book is 10 fold better 🙂

      15. I remember a story about one of the early artic explorers who either fell ill from scurvy and was cared for by natives. When he ate the same thing the natives ate he got better. But as I remember that included the stomach contents of various game. But as he got better he was turned off by the native food (who wouldn’t be turned off by stomach contents) and got sick again. So the second time he recovered he continued to eat a native diet and avoided scurvy.
        If you are lucky enough to live in a more temperate climate then the arctic there are a lot of things you can eat to prevent scurvy. Even pine needles will provide vitamin C. Most edible wild plants are not adequate to provide all the calories, fats and protein we need but they are good sources of many vitamins.
        The delima a survivor has without farm raised or store bought food is getting all of their nutritional requirements. Being a hunter gatherer is hard work and requires knowledge and experience. It is a romantic notion to “live off the land” but for most people it will be the last thing they do on this earth.

        • GWTW: That’s right! I remember an episode of survival with that British Ranger. He made tea from pine needles. Right now I am surrounded by pine trees.

        • Of course, you can always just buy a good supply of multivitamins. They are, in reality, nothing more than food.

          And don;t forget the Protein Powder either. It has a two year shelf life (at least), 26 grams of high quality protein per scoop, and is about 15 bucks for 2 lbs at Walcorp.

          Those are two things you will not be able to have enough of in a hungry world.

      16. Agree about liquor–it lasts a really long time, can calm you and your family or be used for barter and medicinal purposes.

      17. How about ALL forms of camping supplies? Waterproof matches, flints, rope, tarps, hatchet…etc…try Also, I just bought about 100 mini bottles of liquor…all brands and varieties. They still range in cost from about $1-$2 each…good barter and a good drunk time if you want

      18. Do you think people with raw gold (22 carat=92% pure) would be able to trade it for goods or do you think they would have to find an exchanger. I can buy it by the kilogram at a good discount.

        • RGM: Dissolve the gold into mercury and run it through a retort. Gold comes out pure and is easier to measure against standard weights. The mercury is recaptured as the gas condenses.

          I got mine. 🙂 And I will be providing that service!

      19. @ zelmer & Odd Questioner –

        Check out:

        It has plans & directions to make two different world class moonshine (alcohol) stills. Both are based upon using either a 10 gallon stainless steel milk can or a 15 gallon stainless steel beer keg. I would go ahead and print hard copy and perhaps fabricate the actual still as a prep prior to needing it. If you don’t want to make the still right away; I would still secure the milk can/beer keg and the copper components and the led free solder prior to the SHTF.

        The book, The Alaskan Bootleggers Bible by Leon W. Kania, Mountain Publications, 2,000 is available on Amazon. It’s also available as a free PDF file at:
        www/ It has all the other information that you will require to make high quality ‘shine’ that won’t kill you or your customers.

        If you’re thinking of buying drinking alcohol to stock as a barter item, I would advise buying only the 750 ml ‘travelers’ from a local warehouse type liquor store. The bottles are made of a super heavy-duty plastic as opposed to glass; you would really have to work at it to break one of these ‘puppies’. You can usually get a ‘deal’ when buying three or more at a time; it doesn’t hurt to ask.

        As you can probably tell, this is a subject that I’ve looked into quite extensively. If tobacco didn’t degrade so quickly; I would also be looking into storing it for barter also. You might want to look into storing tobacco seeds. My father-in-law used to grow and cure his own tobacco and roll his own home made cigars. He was so poor that he didn’t have money to buy ‘tailor-made’ cigarettes. not with 14 kids on the farm down there in Colombia.

        And please folks; I really don’t need any moral criticism regarding stocking or making drinking alcohol for barter. The answer to this one is very simple. You don’t like it? Then please don’t patronize MadMarkie’s combination bar/grill, whorehouse & convenience store after TSHTF.

        Zelmer & Odd Questioner, hope this info helps out.

        • No problems “here” Eminem. I have to agree on the PV solar panels. Everybody should have at least a couple of “great panels”, buy American (Solar World). They are the best!

          • re. SolarWorld: They make them in the US (their biggest plant is nearby, just outside of the PDX metro area), but their corporate HQ is in Germany:

            That said, everything I’ve seen about them are pretty good: 25-year warranty, 255 Watts off a panel, and overall, pretty nice gear. It’ll cost you a pretty penny, but for a BOL, worth it.

        • Hey Madmarkie could you post the link for the free ebook page for The Alaskan Bootleggers Bible I have been searching for it and can not locate it..

        • Ah, moonshine. Gotta be damned careful with it though – it’s easy to screw up and make a batch that could harm someone if they drink it. My last actual attempt at it was courtesy of an old ARAMCO recipe we found while we were stationed in Saudi Arabia, during the first Gulf War. No copper or kettle, but clean hydraulic lines and a busted aircraft O2 tank does the job pretty well. You could strip paint with it if you wanted to, and it tasted like fresh lava, but it was safe and we mixed it with pretty much anything. 🙂

          Tobacco actually grows pretty well here in Oregon (my father-in-law did it for awhile), and the curing process does last awhile, but you’re right – good luck keeping it after a year or so.

      20. I almost forgot; forget the damn ‘bick’ type lighters! Those things have a nasty tendency to leak out all the gas over a period of time.

        You can get a brand new Zippo lighter and a belt holster for it for less than $25.00. Don’t forget the spare flints and wicks. They will light on most any flamable liquid; but be very cautious with anything other than lighter fluid. There are folks out there still using the same Zippo that they carried in Vietnam; 40+ years old and still working. If it doesen’t ….. send it back to the factory and they will fix or replace it for free no matter how old it is. That’s assuming that the factory is still operating after TSHTF.

      21. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. One of our friends has been storing food since the ’70s. One time his basement flooded, and you can guess what happened to his powdered milk. Have you ever smelled sour milk? I think I’ll wait a bit longer.

        • Betty, it is always a good idea to be prepared. You should be able to stay holed up in your house for at least 30 days supply wise.

          That’s all being prepped is. too many make more of it. You could use a lot of things, but if you don’t have food and water you need anything else.

      22. I shudder to think of all the golfclub-swinging preppie-raised chumps in my suburban Houston neighborhood who are going to come-to a day late when this “party” finally kicks-off.

        My hunch is that immediately after TSHTF the white-bred, R.I.N.O. soccer-mom, protestant-types will form neighborhood “committees” for the sole purpose of taking supplies from their few-and-far between prepared neighbors like me.

        I try to tell the neighbors that I do care about to stock up a little, to consider a less-than-optimal outcome for the economy, to think like another hurrcaine Ike will hit us etc. I forward posts and links, I invite them to Appleseed shoots and to the rifle range… Nobody has ever e-mailed or called me to discuss any of it.

        When it all goes down, I’ll be driving these newly-impoverished beggars off my doorstep so my wife and kids can eat.

        America has already drank the Kool-aid and now we’re on the second or third cup.

        • I’ll have a sign prepared–

          • @JJ:

            As gratifying as such a sign may be, it would also advertise 24/7 that you have things other people would really need.

            Remember – OPSEC. You want to appear to be just as bad-off as your neighbors, so they don’t get any ideas about raiding your pantry, eh?

      23. Car and pickup spare parts.

        Smugglers to get people safely out of the country.

      24. You write that gold and silver never lose their value. They do. William Davies, one time editor of Punch, was a German and lived through the collapse at the end of WWII. He has written that when the chips are really down, no one wants gold and silver, the currency becomes whisky and cigarettes.

      25. I would add hemp and cotton seeds, bleach and hydrogen peroxide as baterable goods. Twine, rope, good scissors, vinegars. Several sets of the “Back to Basics” books plus school books, the classics, all sorts of paperbacks. Weaving, plus looms and spinning wheels. Mud and clay (adobe) brick making, grass roof making. Giving hair cuts. Knife and scissor sharpening. Laundry services. Food preserving. (I heard if you put sliced foods on metal trays in an old car sitting in the sun on a hot day with the windows up, it will dry the foods as well as a dehydrator.)

      26. Other useful skills:

        ~ Midwifery
        ~ Herbalism and natural healing
        ~ Ability to make basics such as vinegar, soap and yeast
        ~ The ability to terminate pregnancies
        ~ The ability to make liquor, wine and mood altering drugs from aquirable ingredients
        ~ Prostitution

        Some of these things are clearly uglier than others but all of them will be in demand. TEOTWAWKI doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be a God-fearing Christian without vices. Those who can accomodate the vices will land on their feet.

        • Daisy-

          Actually, I’m hoping that with the end of so-called “civil” society, we will see an end to the abortion industry.

          If men of the caliber depicted in “Patriots” are those who will remake our country, hopefully they will make the procurement of abortion a capital offense.

          • “”make the procurement of abortion a capital offense””

            You anti-abortion nuts are crazy.

            Cant you see that there are currently many many people who SHOULD have been aborted? I wouldnt mind some of them having an 80th trimester abortion. Part of sociy’s problems right now is the wrong people are having too many kids.

            If a human does not want a child, why would you force them to have it. That is lunacy.

            • Hypothetically, if a woman needed an abortion performed because the pregnancy was going to kill her, and her partner said something like “No, it’s in God’s hands”, He plain and simple does not love her.

              First time I’ve put my foot down about something on this site.

            • Here’s the problem with being pro-abortion (and I’ll remove the politics/ethics from it just to prove a point here):

              * Facilities to safely do such a thing will be non-existent, so any abortion performed will present a higher risk to the mother than carrying to term would. What few medical supplies and expertise still exists will be concentrated on helping the wounded and the sick, not on elective procedures. In other words, you’re going to have a hard time finding a doctor willing to blow precious medical equipment and consumables on something that, in almost all cases, isn’t killing the patient.

              * In a world without 401ks, Social Security, Medicare, or any other form of “retirement” or old-age benefit, children are pretty much going to be your only means of care and feeding when you get too old to do it yourself.

              * In reference to the second point, children are going to be pretty much the only additional farming labor that you can fully trust.

              * In most TEOTWAWKI situations, I don’t think that population pressures are going to be much of a concern in the long-term, and most folks who think it is will likely be dead themselves.

              * recreational sex with random strangers is going to be a whole lot less common in a SHTF condition, which in turn will lead to less ‘unwanted’ pregnancies. You’re going to be way the hell too busy just trying to stay alive, and protecting what you do have.

              …long story short, abortion will most likely become a moot point by then, since you simply won’t have as many folks with the time and energy to spare opposing/advocating it. You also won’t have nearly as many instances where a woman would want one, or could even get one if she did.

            • John Q: I agree with you in part, some times there is a fine line between morality and necessity. In a (SHIF)world necessity will bypass morality. One only needs to look at history…or any third world or any war-torn country.

              “It’s easy to think about morality as long as your still eating three meals a day!”

            • I support abortion too… for liberals.

          • Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing…amen!

          • I think having access to someone with the ability to terminate pregnancies will keep a lot of women alive, who would not otherwise have been. In post SHTF we need as many women to survive childbirth as we can manage. I’m referring to termination of pregnancies where NOT doing so is going to kill her.

            Dead foetuses do not always come out on their own. They need to be removed, and the skills for removing them and hence saving the womans life, are the very same procedures used in terminating pregnancies. Not all midwives know how to do this.

            • I am of course referring to dead foetuses that died on their own. An all too common occurrence.

          • SSPXER ~ I sincerely hope that you are wrong that the “men” rebuilding our society will decide to poke their noses into a person’s health care and personal decisions. Try being a single woman feed 5 kids without the ability to prevent pregnancies. Try being subject to rape from every other man passing by, thus bringing MORE mouths to feed into the world.

            You and your “men of caliber” need to butt out. You talk about being into “less governemnt” but what you actually mean is “more government, as long as they agree with you.”

            As respectfully as possible, until you have a uterus, you really have no say in the matter.

            • @Daisy:

              I think it’ll all be a moot point by then, and honestly?

              I hate to say this, but if you’re a single woman post-SHTF or TEOTWAWKI, you’d better concentrate on either sharpening your firearms skills, or in finding a either man or a fellow group of women capable of helping to protect you.

            • Hey, if you waqnt to lop off one of your arms, and both of your legs, I will supply you with the chainsaw.

              But to pretend that the baby growing inside your womb is YOUR body, and therefore a simple matter of personal healthcare, is a bit difficult to defend.

              Single mothers of 5 are unable to prevent pregnancy?? Maybe you really are that stupid, but most people learn by 11-12 yrs old where babies come from, and if you are spreading your legs for a good time whenever occassion permits, you are a victim of your own looseness. Don’t want babies? Don’t spread your legs!

              And with regard to rape, perhaps you should kill yourself rather than the baby. After all, you have committed many sins in your life which make you deserving of punishment, whereas your baby is still innocent.

              How does adding murder to rape wipe you clean of the dreadful experience? You just ruin yourself further. The ranks of the pro-life movement are filled with women who did what you are suggesting, and are haunted by the fact that they have become murderers; they thought they could wash the rape away, and ruined themselves.

              Your opinions have been exploded by too many people to be taken seriously.

            • @ John Q:

              If you were in Nazi Germany you would be gassing Jews.

            • @SSPXER – You sir are a retard. Plain and simple. How many foster kids do you currently have in your home? 200,000 a year leave the system with NO family and most are messed up because of it. Thank you for continuing to contribute to the problem but forcing YOUR world views upon others. At best the issue of abortion should be a state-by-state issue, not Federal.

              You make an idiotic assumption that Daisy is “easy” or spreading her legs. It is her body, no matter how much your twisted book says otherwise. If males carried the fetus (an infection the body is constantly trying to kill, according to the entire medical profession btw) abortion would be completely legal. Of course you would argue otherwise but we’re sissies compared to women.

              Until it can survive outside the uterus on its own, I say its not a human. Until then, it is the mothers body. Then again I say until you’ve adopted 2 kids from the system you cannot have a vote on the issue, period.

              I personally would rather keep my wife and lose a baby who would likely die after birth (in tough times) so we can take a chance at another child. If things get bad I will need my wife to help raise the children and help grow food. I’m happy you’re willing to throw your wife away but not all of us are that heartless.

              But you owe Daisy an apology for your complete and total rudeness towards her. Trying to spin it that she is a sinner, you know nothing about her and automatically judged her which is NOT your place, that is Gods and Gods alone. You committed a sin by judging her yourself (I sin all the time, I don’t care, but if you’re as religious as you seem you are just as bad).

              I love how you even proved her point, and I quote: “…to pretend that the baby growing inside your womb is YOUR body, …” the first “your” gives her possession. And end of story thank you for helping out. The fetus inside HER womb is under her control and nourishment. She is stealing from her body to sustain it. If she is not consuming enough calories it dies. If she dies, it dies. It is completely and totally dependent upon her. Its like a parasite… Oh wait, it is by definition…

              Joys of modern society 🙂

          • SSPXER: Good to meet a fellow Catholic (and a conservative one at that 🙂 )

            I’m assuming correctly that your ‘nym refers to St. Paul X?

            • Folks,
              I just do not understand the anti-aborion thing. Do you really believe (think) people are having sex to make babies, and then they change their minds later?

              I can assure you that most people are having sex for enjoyment, NOT BABIES.

              They are having sex becasue sex feels soooooo gooood. People are NOT procreating, they are simple enjoying the physical act, it has NOTHING to do with babies. Babies are a side effect of the fun.

              I just dont understand you wanting (demanding) to tell people “NOPE NOPE NOPE, YOU HAD SEX, YOU GOT PREGGERS… NOW BY GOD YOU WILL HAVE THAT BABY, IT IS GODS WAY!!!…… that makes no sense….. they were only enjoying the joy of sex and orgasms.

            • “I can assure you that most people are having sex for enjoyment, NOT BABIES.”

              In our current state of civilization, sure. It’s easy to chase orgasms when you’re fed 3x a day, have a warm, dry place to sleep, and your basic needs are basically taken care of.

              Now let’s look at a post-SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation… where eating once a day is going to be an iffy proposition for most folks. Where satisfying your own basic needs (and defending the means to do it from others who want it worse than you do) will occupy most of your time.

              I really don’t know how else to say it, but if things really do get that bad, any spare time you find yourself with will be busily spent catching up on sleep, or patrolling, or repairing something, or… Getting some nookie will be pretty low on the list of things to do at that point, yanno?

              “…they were only enjoying the joy of sex and orgasms.”

              Well, that’s nice and all, but I’m not going to completely take the bait. Suffice it to say that once your decisions start affecting (and killing) other human beings, it fails to be a morally supportable choice. The “It’s my body” argument stops cold when you realize that there is another body involved.

            • Having sex was the first thing man did when he stepped on this planet and it will probably be the last thing he does on this planet. They dont call prostitution the worlds oldest profession for nothing…. I am betting having a matress back will be a very viable skill in postshtf, there will always be a demand, no matter how tired people are.

              Having sex and wanting babies are two seperate things, but unfortunatley, for everyone, moron after idiot after retard are having too many children. Less kids would be better.

              I doubt we will stop people from having sex, so what do you propose? Do you really want every moron capable of spreading her legs and/or idiot capable of doing the poking should have a kid? Come on man, that is part of the reason the world is so messed up.

              It is wrong to tell people who were just screwing, for fun, to be told they MUST have a child, even if they dont want it. Whne the the wrong people are having kids, we should be delighted if they decide to abort one or 4 of them, or as I said to start with, having some 80 trimester abortions might be ok too.

              I could easily post links to 20 examples of candiates for 80th trimnester abortions JUST in today news… but I am sure you can find them and more….

              How about this one..

              June 9, 2011 11:59 PM
              Dozens Brawl Outside Downtown San Jose McDonald’s; 2 Stabbed


              JUNE 9, 2011, 5:50 P.M. ET.
              Chicago Police Brace for ‘Flash Mob’ Attacks


              or…. etc etc etc

              Actually… do those stories point towrds SisHTF…. it is happening…

              how about the story out of Kansas City?

              Police employee clings to car’s hood as driver flees DUI checkpoint


              MAYBE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN (should be)ABORTED. I bet you support the death penalty, dont you? Why not nip it in the bud? esp if the parents dont wnat the kid, come on man.

            • Society of St. Pius X, correct.


            • “”SSPXER says:
              June 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm @ John Q:
              If you were in Nazi Germany you would be gassing Jews.””

              LOL, no I wouldnt, I am Jewish myself, are you insane?

              Nazis? Jews? Germany? wooooosh>>>that was quite a leap, wow.

              You overtly ranting religious fanatics are always good for a few laughs. I was merely stating an opinion, but if you wanna get personal, we can do that too.

              So funny how you use your catholic church as an excuse to try to dominate people, while ignoring the fact that it is fundamentally a pedophile protection racket, or have you just ignored the overwelming reports of child abuse and rape? Priest cant marry, that is nuts. How is that church still in busines?

              State your opinion and dont get personal and things can stay cival.

            • @SSPXER:

              Gotta call Godwin on that one:

              I understand the passion, but please temper it with compassion.

              You are however correct on one point brought up earlier. Abortion does do damage to the mother, and little of that is physical. I’ve personally seen and spoken with many women whose lives went south in a hurry post-abortion. I know of very few counseling facilities that can handle such things, but a good one is Rachael’s Vineyard: They don’t just help Catholic folks out, but any woman who asks. It’s a series of intensive therapy sessions that focus on forgiveness (both by God and of one’s self), renewal of purpose, and healing.

              Women who have abortions aren’t going to automatically and irrevocably burn in hell or any such. Give God a little more credit than that, eh?


              “You overtly ranting religious fanatics are always good for a few laughs.”

              …and here we have the other extreme. I especially got a chuckle out of something one shouldn’t: “pedophile protection racket”.

              Did you know that the vast majority of child molestations occur at the hands of a parent or relative? You’d be amazed at the number of those which go unpunished. I refuse to excuse any of it, but honestly, the over-publicized clergy acts in question are being dealt with, and anyone who spouts about it is usually spouting in ignorance of fact.

              ” Priest cant marry, that is nuts. How is that church still in busines? ”

              Nearly 2000 years of history shows that it not only does so, but does it well – 1.4 billion people tend to agree. Even if you’re not a member, consider this: It says something about a man who loves God and service of his fellow man enough, that he is willing to deny his own patrimony to do so. Have you yourself ever made a commitment that can equal that? I can tell you right now that I haven’t.

              Overall though? An anti-abortion stance does not require baptism into any particular faith. Anyone who looks at the question through a moral compass can see that it is fundamentally wrong. There are instances where it can save long-term health and even the mother’s life, but they are so few? Call it a single drop of water in an ocean of those who justify mere selfish convenience.

            • PS: in reference to:

              “I bet you support the death penalty, dont you?”

              Actually, no. I used to at one time, but then realized that, seriously, it has become more of a political tool than as a means of actual punishment.

              It may also become a convenient excuse if/when the powers that be begin sliding further into totalitarianism.

      27. What a bunch of weirdos on this site. Doomsday ain’t gonna happen. our technology is for to advanced for that to happen.

        • INCOMING!!!!!…ZOMBIE ALERT!!!!!!

          • Hey, I like weird but not Ken.

        • LOL.. then why are you reading things here ??

          Thank you for sharing your acute observation.

          we all may be a “little bit off” but hey, you will find we are all okay if you take a little time to get to know some people here 🙂

          In my area of the back woods they call me UCC 1-207
          it was a pleasure meeting you Ken or should I call you Troll 🙂

        • I guess the folks in Japan with all their technology should have stopped the large wave that hit them.

        • Ken: is it? I wouldn’t worry about a thing man. (SHIF)…that’s f%*ken nuts! No need for concern things couldn’t be better. You ever thought about getting into Real Estate? I hear its booming!

        • Ah, yes… but you forget: Technology requires infrastructure, to wit:

          * I doubt that you can fashion a CPU from twigs and moss (for awhile, I thought Intel was doing just that with their P4 “NetBurst” series chips, but that’s another story).

          * Most technology requires electricity nowadays. While doing so is fairly low-tech (or can be), providing consistent and clean voltage, current, and amperage is not.

          * All technology requires teamwork nowadays. That computer you’re typing on was built by multiple companies, consisting of geographically widespread teams of individuals – each person incapable of building a whole computer on their own. Lose one part, and the rest won’t work so well, if at all.

          Rome thought they were too advanced to fail, and to an extent they were indeed advanced: Concrete, surgical procedures, medicine, engineering, hygiene, and the like. It took over 1,000 years to rediscover concrete after Rome fell, and almost 1100 years to rediscover their recipe for hydraulic (underwater) concrete.

          Thing is, it wouldn’t take too many failures to bring down the works. If that happens, the world will be too panicked and busy trying to stay alive to worry so much about technology.

      28. Midwives will DEFINATELY be in HUGE demand, since the era of the hospital birth will be at an end.

        • The corp requires hospital births to keep up with the slaves and their offspring. The last thing it wants is a bunch of kids born free.

      29. Lots of great ideas and comments…

      30. Cigs and booze are a relativly easy thing to stockpile. people who have those addictions get frantic quick. I quit both many years ago but i keep a carton of smokes in the freezer Vaccum packed and have about 30 half pints of cheap vodka and wiskey. what i dont use for trade can be used in making herbal tinctures or as disinfectant if need be. they cost 2-3 bucks a bottle.

        • One E.M.P. attack and your technology is fried…pun intended!!

        • Dunno… I smoke (yeah, I know), but 3 days w/o them, and while the cravings are still around, they do subside to the point where it’s not that big of a deal, if at all.

          A couple of months on, and the worst that happens is that you dream about them.

          Booze? A smart idea is to start experimenting with making your own. It’s legal in small quantities (as long as you don’t sell any or make more than a couple gallons per year), and the experience will set you up with a skill that will come in *very* handy post-SHTF.

      31. I got a Sun Oven last month. It really works! All you need is sunshine and you’re good to go. It even works on cloudy days, just takes a bit longer. Hot enough to cook beef stew and biscuits! Got a great deal too at

      32. We here in the back try not to get too wrapped-up in what to do if the juice stops. Root cellar and canning for food preservation (working on a solar dehydrator now), food on the hoof for long term meat/milk production (nubian/boer hybrid goats and several varieties of chickens), woodstove for heat and cooking during cold months, outdoor wood fired oven for cooking (now!), and family and friends to keep the whole mess runnin’. We figured that now was the time to start practicing what we have all talked about for years. Barter is alive and well for our community; whether it be food, labor, skilled labor, loaning eachother tools and time, or just planning for the future. I can tell you all that it pays off to put your money where you mouth is and LEARN the right way to do things before it is necessary to merely “survive” on the stuff you have.

      33. Great article! Not just a few general sentiments, but a very well considered list that includes many items many people won’t think of. Thanks much to the author.

      34. my strategy is this; I`m buying mostly guns and ammo…lots of them…IF we get a “collapse” then I`ll be able to barter for other items with no problems. If we DONT get a collapse then my heirs will simply be able sell these items(which have unlimited shelf life)after my funeral! I like the idea of having something EVERYONE will want and that cant “go bad”.

        I have a small stash of dehydrated food, a water filter, hand pump, etc, etc…but 80% of my “preps” are guns & ammo


        • I suspect even aliens are vulnerable to .45ACP

      36. I have used considerable resources and have prepped extensively. My wife thinks I am crazy however I have a 90 acre farm with a cold water spring running all year, a trout stream, 60 acres of maples, oaks, hickory, walnut and poplar. One of the few remaining settlers cabin from the 1850’s, a newer house with wood burning stoves, 8000 watt solar array with large battery backup, Solar powered well that empties into an elevated cistern for water pressure. Hand pump water well next to the house as a backup, 5000 feet of fencing rolls, Barn and grainery and chicken coop, Hand tools, axes, sharpening stones, saws, planes, welder, 18 HP steam engine with watertube boiler with 10000 watt generator. (people that know this roll their eyes.), Wood fired water heater, Several tons of coal, a still, a sorghum crusher and syrup evaporator, 2 years of freeze dryed food for 4. Canning supplies and hundreds of jars with reuseable lids, Solar food dryer, a hand cranked butter churn, cream separator and pasteurizer for milk, open pollinated seeds stored in dry and cool area. Antibiotics, various medicines, multiple boxes of laundry detergent and lifetime supply of soap. Rifles – mostly .308 Shotguns and a few pistols, thousand of rounds of ammo. hand cranked grain mill and electric powered for animal feed grinding, corn sheller, kerosine lamps for backup, scythe and tredle powered thresher. And last but not least a bandsaw mill that I plan to alter to run on ethanol rather than gas.

        I am well off and did not cause myself a hardship doing this, however everyone thinks I am crazy, except my elderly dad who lived during the great depression and says this will be much worse. I agree

        • When the old timers tell you it will be worse, that’s when it pays to listen.

          That sawmill, scythe, and thresher will be worth more than any bars of gold.

        • Here’s a nice little 12/15KW 110/240 pto generator that hooks up to the 6.7 Ford super duty. Easy to install. Down load installation video for you DIY’s under products/12-15kw/applications/Click here for info/Ford. 1gal/hr, 1100 rpm, full load. Super Crew only if 4WD. Tucks up between frame on port side of live pto tranny. The 2011 diesel is VERY quiet.

        • Well done, Gasman – you are more than ready. Wish I had neighbors like you.

        • Hi Gasman–No do not think you are crazy at all. We have around 50 acres and I am in the early stages of trying to get ready. I have been thinking we should drop a well and I was wondering if you could still get the hand pumps for the well like I remember as a child. Would appreciate learning where you found yours and also info on solar-powered well. Also interested where and how you got the wood-fired water heater. Have a back up solar generator but no panels on house. Have a wood stove insert with blower that came with house but you can’t cook on it. Sounds like you have done a GREAT job! Kudos to you!!

      37. I have a great idea for a T-shirt…..wonder if you could make much money with something like that?

        • BJ: Not unless you can do it all yourself, at home. If a third party professional does it for you, like Cafe Press or Printfection, who do it for various Survival Sites, the real profit is absorbed by the vendor.

          The sites don’t make any money but it helps to advertise their website.

          • So basically there is no money to make off my T-shirt idea? Unless I can make the shirts and the decal or whatever you call it and then put it on the t-shirt…right?

            That sucks….I know my t-shirt would sell big time. It be like in Forest Gump with ‘shit happens’

            • BJ: If you have a vendor that can turn your idea into a decal cheaply and in bulk, buy the T shirts in bulk, and iron them on yourself, you maybe able to make a buck or two.

              Still have to market them and you could do that on Google with a free blog. Good luck! And good night!

      38. Don’t you think that long before we’re reduced to living like serfs the military would be directing the bread lines? It seems unlikely there will be a complete breakdown into anarchy. Certainly there is no harm in storing some essentials but living on vegetable gardens and goats may be a dreamy alternative for most people.

      39. This is all very nice and I intend to be at least partialy prepared with water filters and food stuffs, but short of buying a small farm and preparing for the apocalyse, I think I would prefer to have my passport in order and a foreign bank account. In most of these past situations there was always a safe haven somewhere to escape to, and considering the cost of living here, to live fairly inexpensively, and quite healthy and enjoyably.
        Coming from the east coast of the US, Boston area, my first choice would be the Caribean or West Indies, then further into South America, depending on the political climate and hospitality at the time. This sounds a lot more enjoyable than trying to fight it out up here, and I’m really only in this game for the fun. Besides farm land in certain parts of South America is very cheap.

      40. Ir seems that we have a few people with their head in the sand, poor guys they will come up for air when it’s to late.

        Stock up items for barder
        Coffee & tea
        over the counter medications such as pepto, maylox, bandaids, vaseline, iodine, adhesive tape, eye wash
        Birthing kit (first responders)babies have been born without a hospital for centuries but having at least the basics would be nice.
        matches, dryer lint, pinecones
        foil & plastic bags

        just a few thoughts.

      41. For a small food plot, a Garden Weasel breaks up untilled ground with some muscle power. Easier and with better results than using a shovel, plus it’s compact. At least, it takes up less room than a rototiller. I’ve found them on CL or at garage sales for 5 FRN’s, just to have for barter.

        The trick post-SHTF will be bartering safely. How many people try to screw thy neighbor now? Plenty. Yesterday I told a neighbor he had a flat tire. Not a thank-you or a nod. Just awkward silence. What goes through a person’s mind if they are not experiencing the impulse to say “Oh, hey, thanks!” Today I met a fellow who came to buy some goods. No introduction, no move to shake hands, the barest eye contact. I had to introduce myself to find out what he wanted. Scary stuff, and we ain’t to the really nasty part yet.

        It will be tough waiting out the first stages of grief, while the unprepared and the clueless find their own Darwinian solution. Then, when some of the smoke clears, and you can size up who has their wits about them, maybe then you can consider trade.

      42. Something like 70 comments so far and just about all envision a Mad Max scenario
        What if things just get worse slowly and the Feds become ever more intrusive, heavy handed & making the U.S. a complete 1984 style Police state? But no complete collapse/SHTF.
        Gasoline rationed or $50 a gallon, but readily available to the Feds and the TSA goons. Drones regularly fly over head spying on you, IP video cameras on every corner, the Internet thoroughly censored and your every click recorded — all this being fed back to the $800 million NSA data center now being built back the back in Virginia/DC area.
        You are serfs, cattle controlled by the the 1000-10,000 or so ultra wealthy families that control the largest corporations, the FED, The Federal gov.
        Money becomes completely electronic and the Feds automatically deduct their cut from your paycheck and every purchase. You pay a ‘carbon/global warming’ tax every time you shower & go to the toilet.

        That’s the likely future.
        Go play your Rambo make believe … the Feds are way ahead of the masses and they’ll herd you like sheep.

        • If that’s how it plays out, I wonder how many preppers will meet their end because a Nosy Neighbor turned them in for the reward of extra rations. It’s pretty hard to prep for THAT.

          • Let the Father’s Resistance come to life and rise

        • Interesting that you choose to tell us we are serf’s, what about yourself, what or who are you ?
          quote “”You are serfs, cattle controlled by the the 1000-10,000″”

          so where do you think they will Herd us to ??.. where ??

          Are you meaning like herd us to exterminations camps ??,

          if so, then that means they will herd you as well… Then after that they will herd the shepherds dogs that did the work for them… hmmm

          okay, I see, lol.. then they will by like evil greedy TROLL’s griping at each other… arguing words of, that’s mine, no, no, no, that’s mine…. but NO that is mine, mine mine, no that is mine and then slowly kill each other… LOL

          in my opinion, that is a fine ending to your entire story or possibility…

          if that is how it should start to play out, Then I will say, Spartans, Prepare For GLORY !

          UCC 1-207
          Have a great evening all !

        • Honestly, it doesn’t have to go all Thunderdome to get bad, as you’ve aptly pointed out.

          PS: $800 million doesn’t buy much datacenter nowadays. Microsoft and Apple each spend more than that just keeping their own DC’s current and running.

      43. I think you all will like a couple things I have special knowledge about. Brandon makes a good point about solar power, and a few years ago I developed small scale emergency/backup systems for home/cabin etc. that could be put together for as little as $500 ($1000 works better) using off the shelf components. Check out my site at

        Also, I built a strawbale house in Baja, Mexico for under $25,000. You may question my choice of locale but this part of Mexico is drug cartel free and all the locals are dependent on gringo cash and not so inclined to rob them (plus, guns are banned, officially). No freezing problems here, and water is purified/bottled at local reverse osmosis plants and widely available. (Plenty of fresh fish, too!)
        See my story at (no dot after www).

        I also wrote a book on how to live without mortgages BEFORE the housing crash–naturally it was ignored. Some of the ideas are semi-nomadic, but this should appeal to those who are afraid of being sitting ducks. I had a solar-powered camper for many years, as an example. See

        My main claim to fame was as the founder of the Greener Pastures Institute, and I wrote two books, Moving to Small Town America, and the Eden Seeker’s Guide, that are out of print but I’ll be bringing them back. See old site at

        I am in the process of consolidating these sites under one,, and will have them and others within a month or so. In the meantime check them out individually. I hope to do a blog.

        I hope society doesn’t implode but my recent efforts are being expanded presuming there will be a stock market crash, dollar devaluation, some anarchy in urban areas and continued high unemployment for the foreseeable future.

      44. I wonder how much longer we have before dirty little factions in our govt get the green light?

      45. the way that obama is using the power of exectuive order it wont be long before we are all hearded up like cattle. the ATF and TSA are already in place next is the state troopers. thats when the SHTF

      46. one would do well to have about a hundred pounds of salt to use as barter and to cure game that is killed

      47. Leviticus 26:8

      48. Gold I believe is seriously over rated. What are you going to trade an ounce for? It’d have to be something really significant and you should have it now. Guess if I lived in a Chicago hi rise gold would be good….use it for guns and ammo.

        Solar on every house great idea!

        • Jim, I don’t disagree that gold is down the list IF you don’t already have other survival preps, but some of us actually have saved our entire lives and have accumulated some wealth. I don’t think I need 6,000 guns and 197 years worth of food, so for those of us that have accumulated something, GOLD & Silver is the only place to be for “surplus” wealth.

          Don’t intend to be offensive, just pointing out that some of us have too much to just invest in guns and ammo.

          • For those of us still trapped in the suburb’s Gold and silver make a hell of alot more sense then adding more money into a 401k. Which eventually will be nationalized to back up the failing FRN. Its easily portable wealth maybe it won’t be that useful to buy dinner or a couple of hens. However if during the “emergency” you need to get through a check point to get to your retreat are you going to use 50 pds of wheat as a bribe.

            Maybe someone like Gasman in the above comments might spare a place at the table or in his barn for a small family for 10 oz and a doing a share of the work. Lets say theres a slow collapse and the FRN does the weimer thing and the jackboots are going to seize your farm if their taxes aren’t paid and give your land to their cronies some gold to pay them off might save you from having to fight half your states troopers or be forced onto bread lines. Anyone ever fleeing a insane situation has never gone wrong by having a little gold. I’m not saying its the end all be all but its certainly a base I want to have covered.

      49. Silver if the G/S ratio is above 80 (again). Try buying a PV panel without silver.

      50. The law abiding citizens in Chicago wish they could own a gun with ammo. Great idea! No solar panel is safe in Chicago.

      51. So in order to accumulate even the most basic necessities it would take hundreds of dollars. Even though I work, there is simply no money left after paying the monthly bills. I see the writing on the wall of what is going on, but stuck in my apartment with no resources to get out. Guess me and my family are doomed.

        • Hey, even an extra can of beans a week adds up eventually. Most people don’t have anything like the stockpiles often described here. Every day of food, box of matches or bottle of water you still have the day before payday, is your stockpile.

          • CC buying a few extra canned whatever is how I started out a few years ago look into extreme couponing survivalblog has a few good articles on it. Those buy one get one sales on things like Stew and chili work great when your also picking up a 10 pd or 20 pd long grain rice to cut it with.
            Look for partners I have a friend from Jr high who I prep with we buy the same item but if one breaks we can then still have one between us and some spare parts.
            Build up your skills for free by watching youtube and reading free books from the library, if yours doesn’t have something see about inter library loans. See if your job has free or assistance on vocational school training, in Russia post collapse welders were kings as everyone needed wood burning stoves.

            Money is nice ingenuity and creativity will take you just as far if not farther. Good luck!

      52. I know the feeling CC

        DK: From what I can tell, a regular iron isn’t good to use with decals? Looks like, from what I am seeing, which hasn’t been much, is that you need one of them big fancy, and I am sure very expensive press machines. Googling decal vendors, hasn’t proven to be very fruitful

        • BJ, Perhaps check into screen printing. I was a screen printer for quite a while. You can go on line and find good quality equipment very reasonably. Also, there are lots of places that have good instructional classes, some only one day long. With a minimal investment you could be off and running.

          • We must have different ideas as to what is affordable or I am mis understanding something you guys are saying?? This equipment is expensive form the little bit of research I did on screen printing.

            I did find a site called ink imprints where you design your own t shirts….but I had to go up to 100 t shirts before getting the price down to $12.40 each. One shirt alone was $27.00

            The shirt I designed was pretty cool….I’ll give you ahint it has to do with sheep and zombies

            • Find a small 2-bit screen printer, a sole proprietorship like my dad’s:
              If you’re talking 100 shirts, 12.40 is way too much

        • @ BJ –

          I don’t think that decals or iron on transfers are involved in most tshirt fabrication. It’s a process called screen process printing. Check out a book on the subject from your local library. You can easily make most of your own equipment right there at home at very little expense.

          Good Luck with your new enterprise.

        • BJ: Maybe you could make some “cash” money there in Michigan collecting and cutting firewood this summer, instead.

          Check with the Forest Service on cutting fallen trees.

          • That’s a good idea and I love to split wood. But I have neither a dry or secure place to store it

            • BJ: Do it on a “contract” basis. Find the people that want it and who will pay you to do it for them. They can worry about a secure place to store it (on their property) and a tarp to cover it before it rains.

      53. A very interesting article and discussion.

        Here’s a question that has been on my mind. I noticed that the problem was alluded to in a couple of previous posts but never directly discussed.


        How many families, couples have been fighting or have even split up because one person sees the writing on the wall, shall we say, and the other says “we are in a recovery, I saw it on the news” ?

        I mean I can walk into Bi Mart- see a guy with 20 boxes of ammo, a case of canned food and a couple of tarps in his cart and know he is aware. A quick eye contact and you do not need to speak. He knows. He knows you know. You know he knows and he knows that you know that he knows. Got it?

        Anyway, he is probably estranged from his wife and the kids believe mom when she says “dad went batshit nuts because a black man got elected as POTUS.” You, like me, have probably screamed at the friggin idiot box whenever Bill O’Bufoon makes some inane comment that the masses grab onto like a life bouy giving them hope for the future.

        So what do you do when TSHTF? Do you walk in with a gun and a hot meal to save them? Do you drive by and flip the old lady off as you throw a half eaten sandwich out the window knowing that it will be her only food for that day?

        We know the country is divided. How about the families?

        • I’m saved from the batshit crazy label by the fact that I don’t have the money to accumulate anything that would be obviously seen as such. As for family, I don’t say anything. I already know what they’d say when they stopped laughing or recommending their therapist: “Heck, well, I know where I’m going if anything ‘happens’.”

          Yeah. My house.

          • Suzy Q: The fact that your family knows any therapists was the first signal code. Throw three hail mary’s and call me on quest chat. Lock your door when your family leaves.

            • Bumper sticker on a Viking’s car–“It Takes a Pillage”

            • Hehe, most of them have never been here. They’re snobs, and have assumed that their crappy little shoebox apartment in the city must be better than anything I would have created in the suburbs (in another state). At least they can’t just pop by…

            • Didn’t the Vikings land in Ireland and work their way across the Northern route?

        • You’re right POA….I’ve been prepping for about 2 yrs now..came late to the “party” but I guess it’s better late than never, right? Anyway, my husband wasn’t into it at all…and it really caused some problems between us…I felt abandoned, trying to do this all on my own!! Thankfully, in January of this year, he FINALLY woke up! Since then it has been full steam ahead! He is even taking a BOB bag with him when he goes on trips away from home!! YEA!! He DOES get it! 🙂 We are a team now….working together to make sure our family will be OK once the SHTF and it has helped make our marriage even stronger…I really feel for those who are preparing and their spouses are not involved…I guess they can take comfort in the fact that one day they WILL get a great big THANK YOU from them…as they’re shoveling food into their mouths, lol!!!

          • God I envy those of you who have spouse’s who “get it”. My wife indulges me to a point and thankfully we have the income that in small steps I have accomplished alot since the financial crisis started but its not the same.

            Any of you ladies want to pay for all your preps start an intervention service to convince our wives. I’d pay big for that!

          • Took me awhile to get the wife on board, but she’s in agreement now. I don’t expound on the what if’s anymore to her as it caused her to get upset. I still go out and buy small food items without her knowledge to add to the pantry. If she see’s them she might ask but usually it’s cool. I just don’t talk about it to her like I use to but continue to do what I think is necessary. She wanted ceiling fans in all the bedrooms, I took care of it. That gave me some leeway to put up the chicken coop that I wanted. I try to keep her happy around the house and that gives me the opportunity to continue prepping.

        • My suggestion to your wife and kids is to explain to them that being prepared with food, guns, ammo, and essential supplies is exactly the same as buying insurance for your car or house. You don’t really expect to have a fire in your house, but every year you ante up tons of money to buy insurance. Year after year it’s a waste of money, UNTIL you need it.

          You might also research the Bible about it because there’s places in the Bible that talk about storing provisions for a rainy day. If she’s a Christian maybe that would help alleviate her reluctance to support you.

        • First off – Bi-Mart! (yeah, I go there too. Nope, that wasn’t me you saw with the tarps/ammo/etc…. I buy my stuff in smaller batches than that 🙂 ).

          My missus is not only okay with my plans and activities (to a point), but she’s already begun suggesting how many chickens she wants at the place, and etc.

      54. Daisy:

        What a disgusting post. You’re advocating being an abortionist is a good survival skill. How horrible

        • You’re right; It doesn’t sound like announcing one is an abortionist would lead to much ‘survival’ around someone like you.

          However, anyone who cares about the women in their life would want there to be professionals available, in a post-SHTF world, adept at EVERY therapeutic gynaecological and obstetric procedure. The procedures involved in terminating a pregnancy are essential for the removal of stillborn foetuses as well. Do you agree that there should be professionals who are capable of doing that?

          • Like I said earlier… unless the mother stands an obvious chance of dying, I doubt that any post-TEOTWAWKI doctor is going to waste resources or time on such a thing.

            Also, any doctor with any surgical capacity can remove a stillborn in-utero child. The procedure would be no different than a cesarean section. *shrug*

            • No, the procedure is nothing like a caesarean section and is exactly like a late term abortion. It is done with the same drugs used to induce labor, to begin with, but if they are not available (post-shtf) the whole thing is done mechanically, using exactly the same procedure as any other termination of pregnancy.

              SOmeone said the ability to terminate pregnancies would be a valuable skill. The response was a resounding NO, there should not be a person with those skills, purely because they do not believe in abortion.

              Miscarriage and stillbirth happen with monotonous regularity within any group of women. These skills will keep a good percentage of them alive. (The women, that is.)

            • “No, the procedure is nothing like a caesarean section and is exactly like a late term abortion.”

              So… why not? You open up the uterus with an incision, extract the dead baby, and done. Much simpler than what’s usually required, and has been rather successfully done for well over 100 years+ now.

              Sure, techniques have changed, I can certainly grant that. OTOH, sometimes (and esp. post-SHTF) you just don’t have the fancy equipment to pull it off successfully.

        • Read the post, Ken. The whole post. I said “Some of these skills are clearly uglier than others but all will be in demand.”

          And most of your posts are rather disgusting as well – I personally find ignorance rather horrible.

          • in regards to your “leave it in God’s hands” comment means the man doesn’t love her….WOW!!

            My wife loves God more than me…which is the good and right thing and like wise I love God more than her.

            She would want it left in God’s hands should she and I be placed in such a horrible spot.

            • Sorry, I just went and checked and it seems Suzy made the comment and not you…appologies

            • No offense taken, BJ. 🙂

            • I’m sorry, but I don’t love anything more than I love my family.

        • There are going to be a lot of horrible choices. Is it any less murderous to kill a man to take what he has in order to save yourself and your family if that situation develops?

          (I realize you might be prepared but it is also possible that a very disciplined team could relieve you of all of your posessions.)

          • Depends on a lot of factors.

            Personally, I’d want to avoid any sort of fight unless it is to defend self, family, or property.

            With the abundance of wild edibles and my own preps, I can think of few (if any) immediate situation that would require me to rob someone else, with no other option. Medicines, perhaps, but it would have to be life-or-death, immediate, and I doubt that I would know for certain that someone else in particular would have what I needed.

            You are right in that ugly situations will likely (but not always) arise, and that one should be prepared for them. OTOH, I certainly don’t ever want to be like this guy:

          • I for one contemplate having to shoot in a situation like that but i also realize it might be a person taking my childrens food or even trying to hurt or even kidnap them so we will have to deal with a lot of difficult choices.

      55. I hate to break this but it is apparent that Gold and Silver is just another bubble. Prices are way down now, silver looks like it won’t surpass $40 mark. Nobody is going to get up and move from there current location, especially the ones that have a family. No one is going to barter anything unless it’s those Federal Reserve notes. Most people would rather stock up on LED TV’s, iPads, iPhones and XBox 360’s.

        All i see are people driving around in expensive gas guzzling cars, eating out on daily basis and maxing out there credit cards at the mall as if nothing is wrong with the economy. I feel that the more we anticipate the collapse/SHTF, the more it won’t happen.

        It’s like that crazy driver you see on the highway, zipping in and out between cars behind the wheel of his BMW or Audi. Just as it looks like he’ll clip another car, he just missed by inches. Other drivers are watching this and anticipating either an accident to occur or that crazy driver to be pulled over by Police but that crazy driver in his BMW/Audi gets away scott-free as always.

        • Audi’s suck! Ask any German.

        • Bubble schmubble. It ain’t an investment or insurance for shtf. For the last time, we buy it just because it’s SHINY!
          And I agree that most people are oblivious and will stay that way til the lights have been out for awhile and the hunger sets in.
          And what is it about Audi and Beemer drivers? Do they make them take a ‘bad driving’ course before they can buy one? And if they’re REALLY horrible drivers they put ’em behind the wheel of a semi!…Look out!! (air horn sfx)

        • BMW drivers are the worst assholes on the road.

          • Thank you… I take that as a compliment…:)

            • My doctor wears gloves too!

            • What the hell does everybody want with my Gran Torino?

          • stay the hell off my lawn!:{

            • Toad!

        • Hint on investing: Buy low and sell high what is undervalued. You “might” be missing the investment of your lifetime, your father’s lifetime, your great grandfather’s lifetime. I think your starting to get the point. There’s two kind of people Tuco.

        • You’ll hate yourself when you’re broke.

      56. brass might be something to barter with, especially the type of brass thats already shaped for a purpose.
        Ive got bags and bags of all types of calibers.
        at some point the cases or the complete round could end up worth as much as gold, or more, especially if its for protection or obtaining food

      57. This is one of the best threads I have seen here.
        Without leaving anyone out about the great info left in the replies, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to add to this discussion !

        “No greater wrong can ever be done than to put a good man at the mercy of a bad, while telling him not to defend himself or his fellows; in no way can the success of evil be made surer or quicker.”

        Theodore Rooselvelt

      58. well, with the dollar collapsing and the oil nations wanting anything BUT the dollar is see a massive fuel shortage coming. We import 60% of the oil. It wold take 2 years for our own refiners to get up to speed and still we would be short.

        rationed fuel has to happen. Along with a banking holiday. With the oil nations wanting gold it’s possible there could be a very serious confiscation program placed into affect. Imiagine having to turn in every piece of gold you have including jewlrey with the exception of your wedding ring.

        silver coild be confiscated as well to back a new currency that would have to be issued. that or a massive false flag cycber attack to delete exess amounts of curency that would be coming back to US shores. If all the money we printed with circulating in the USA we would pay 27 dollars for a hot dog today.

        might want to stock up on base metals that can be used for barter as well and not risk confiscating. like copper and such. Also copper is also being made into trading rounds designed for small purchases by the AOCS.

        I’m now saving all copper pennies prior to 1982 that I find. Since copper pennies have already increased by 3 fold.

        i keep seeing the year 2014 in my head. not sure why but the way things have been going would not be surprised if that’s the year we see the official collapse.

      59. Are you telling me chanting “Yes we can” is a skill that WON’T be in demand?

        Oh no. What will I do? That’s all I know. That and taking free chicken from Obama’s men in their white coats

      60. I have been stokcing up and getting ready for years. I think supplies are covered pretty well on this thread and I am glad to see that electricity is being discussed. I put up several solar panels and use a pedal generator see to charge a batteyr bank. I know I’ll need water and I need electricity too.

        • Purchased a pedal/hand generator for my sailboat years ago. Hooks right into the autopilot outlet to put a few amps in the house batteries during the cooler evenings.

      61. The original article posted on this subject is a wealth of information – thanks to Brandon for providing it.

        Some of the comments posted to this article pertain to nutrients, vitamins, etc. to keep you going after SHTF, and good advice overall. As part of our prepping, storing, bartering, surviving, one point has been overlooked though – we need to have our bodies and minds in the best condition NOW, PRIOR to a SHTF event. We will be in better “shape” during and after the crisis to more effectively deal with it if we’re in good shape prior to the event. There’s no reason to saddle yourself with a disadvantage if you don’t have to.

      62. I wonder why the list has that it is a “Doctor, Medical Assistant” and not “Doctor, Nurse”? Medical Assistants are very superficially trained for 1 year vs Nurses that train for at least 3 years. In clinical field Medical Assistants (MA) are never allowed to assist in surgical sutures, almost never allowed to set IVs and they also aren’t allowed to handle any narcotics. Not to mention that they are not trained in ECG and trauma. So why would anyone need an MA? You’d need an LPN, RN, LNP to be next to a Doc, not MA.

      63. IP video cameras on every corner, the Internet thoroughly censored and your every click recorded —
        Now this I can fix…cover head with cloth or bag, or even a ski mask….there are reportedly 200 million guns in America…you get the picture????

        Arizona had the cameras for traffic violations and it didn’t work…noone paid the fines; warrants issued were ignored; not enough personell to tag em and bag em…cameras were removed.

      64. DigiRonin says:
        All i see are people driving around in expensive gas guzzling cars, eating out on daily basis and maxing out there credit cards at the mall as if nothing is wrong with the economy.

        Like today, as I sat in the truck–broken toes on foot– and dh bought 7 dozen canning jars and 15 boxes of lids for me at kmart–50% off__…I wanted to scream at passers-by, aren’t you interested in jars??? who knows what the price’ll be next year??
        And at Sam’s when he went in for the rice bag??? people not prepping??? what gives??
        And I know my neighbors watching as we unload the truck–usually I’m in the Tribute into the garage so noone knows–saying there are those weird JJ and G…, buying more survival stuff, rice and jars again…
        Well, I won’t starve–they will!!!

      65. Regarding the comments about people being “bat shit crazy” I must offer a small correction. The proper term is “guano-type insanity.” Please use this term so we don’t confuse any psychotherapists who may be reading. Thank you.
        And Daisy is right that the skill to perform abortions will be in demand. Not saying that I’m in favor of purely elective abortions (and I don’t think Daisy said that either) but the need/demand will be there. In fact, post-shtf, lots of medical treatment that we now take for granted will be in very short supply. It would be great if you had a trusted friend or relative with some medical training. I have a brother-in-law who’s an MD but he’s already batsh– I mean guano-type insane, and not in a prepper way, so he’s off the list.

        There’s at least one brand of reusable canning lids called Tattler. May be others available too.

        • SO, saw those tattlers, any good? My wife and I do alot of canning and will probably increase our numbers this year.

        • Well Kevorkian won’t be around to “help”

      66. Honey… EVERYONE should have a good stock of honey (not fake honey syrup) on hand for personal use & for barter. Not only is honey an excellent sweetner, it has so many varied nutitional, theraputic & medicinal uses.

        Here’s a few links on uses for honey…

        Make sure it is raw local honey. You can find raw local honey at farmer’s markets (that’s where I get mine), natural food stores and sometimes in the health food section of your grocery store.

      67. If in fact the time comes when supplies are limited, every single person you have told what you are doing will be showing up at your front door. If all of your neighbors now know you have “their” stockpile of food – or anything else they need – you are unnecessarily putting you and your family at risk.

        We actually moved from our old neighborhood ten years ago to a neighborhood where no one knows about any items that may or may not be at this location. Further, items are not all in one place, but in numerous places, just in case some unsavory group comes knocking with overwhelming odds. As in “the Secret of Santa Vittoria” we can give them a few bottles of wine, but not mention the locations of the rest of the wine cellars.
        And its not just in the ground: attic insulation covers a great deal, walls store canned goods easily between the studs and also provide insulation. Closets have false back walls that are easy to tear out in the future. Ditto the back of cupboards, and what appear to be soffits and a/c venting systems. Furniture has false bottoms, and the bottom of mattresses store things between the springs.

        Outside, we have a double fence between the neighbors and us. It appears from our side that the fence contains our property. Yet on the other side of our fence, under the trees, are other underground storages, that can only be found by digging.

        ALSO: What are you going to do about your pets? Dogs and cats are carnivores, requiring high protien diets. We now feeds birds in the backyard and have tons of seed, grasses and water features to keep them returning as long as possible, flying into the open cage doors to eat. We’re training them now, just in case they are needed later. We’re hoping not to need them for the family, and to be able to use them for the pets, mixed with the stored rice.

        Your thoughts?

      68. If in fact the time comes when supplies are limited, every single person you have told what you are doing will be showing up at your front door. If all of your neighbors now know you have “their” stockpile of food – or anything else they need – you are unnecessarily putting you and your family at risk.

        We actually moved from our old neighborhood ten years ago to a neighborhood where no one knows about any items that may or may not be at this location.
        Further, items are not all in one place, but in numerous places, just in case some unsavory group comes knocking with overwhelming odds. As in “the Secret of Santa Vittoria” we can give them “a few bottles of wine”, but not mention the locations of the rest of the wine cellars.

        And its not just in the ground: attic insulation covers a great deal, walls store canned goods easily between the studs and also provide insulation. Closets have false back walls that are easy to tear out in the future. Ditto the back of cupboards, and what appear to be soffits and a/c venting systems. Furniture has false bottoms, and the bottom of mattresses store things between the springs.

        Outside, we have a double fence between the neighbors and us. It appears from our side that the fence contains our property. Yet on the other side of our fence, under the trees, are other underground storages, that can only be found by digging.

        ALSO: What are you going to do about your pets? Dogs and cats are carnivores, requiring high protien diets. We now feeds birds in the backyard and have tons of seed, grasses and water features to keep them returning as long as possible, flying into the open cage doors to eat. We’re training them now, just in case they are needed later. We’re hoping not to need them for the family, and to be able to use them for the pets, mixed with the stored rice.

        Your thoughts?

      69. Fantastic article! You’re absolutely right!

        Another consideration in your Seeds category is the Non-Hybrid variety of seeds. Many seeds these days are cross-pollinated so the seeds from that planting can’t be kept with any level of predictability for future crops. Non-Hybrid seeds will allow the seeds from each year’s crop to be kept and planted again, as intended.



      70. Hey all it’s been a while! As always, great information here. Some random thoughts/comments I had…

        Suzy, I am friends with some therapists who are preppers and they’re a hell of a force to be reckoned with. Being able to suggest a therapist does not really disqualify a person -being so close minded they don’t even have a first-aid kit in their vehicle does!

        I was scratching my head about the abortionist issue. I personally believe that if any woman has a dead fetus in her womb, she has a right to have it medically removed if her body doesn’t expell it(aka naturally abort it).

        Actually Joe, unless it is lab created, all seeds are hybrids. In nature plants cross pollinate and not just with the exact variety they are. The offspring of this cross-pollination is a hybrid.I think you mean we shouldn’t get self-terminating/GMO seeds.

      71. I work in NYC from time to time as a freelance graphic designer/art director and I can assure that 90% of the cities residents are nowhere near prepped. Everyone is under the assumption that they can just walk out of there apartments and buy whatever they need to eat and drink just around the corner. However, food and commodities in the city cost more but don’t worry there is that magical credit card that many have at least several of.

      72. To those of you without much money I saw 50 lb bags of rice at Costco for $16, buckets of wheat at Walmart for $12 and Wlamart has other buckets and #10 cans of freeze dried food at a good price.

        If you think that because someone you know stored food for 40 years and nothing happened proves nothing will happen then you still don’t get it. I have auto insurance and haven’t had an accident since 1984 (the other drivers fault). Food storage is insurance to insure you will live through bad times.

        If you are not already gardening then you will be hard pressed to make gardening successful when TSHTF. At the least plant a small but diverse garden. The same thing is true for canning. Don’t plan on canning when TSHTF and never acquire the equipment or learn the process until then.

        Chickens and rabbits! Your city may not allow chickens but you can probably keep rabbits. They grow quickly, are incredibly easy to clean and taste good. If you do live where you are not allowed to raise rabbits then raise then in the garage, they don’t smell bad if you keep the cages clean and remove the waste. Chickens are great for meat and eggs but you either need space for them to search for food or you need feed for them. Will you be buying feed if conditions make it impossible to buy food?

        Water filters. Either the expensive type that filters almost everything or a more simple combination of dripping the water through a coffee filter to remove larger particles and then using bleach or boiling to kill pathogens. Consider where you can get water if your city water supply is shut off.

        Cooking. If your gas, propane, electric is shut off how will you cook your rice, beans and bread? If you don’t already know what makes you think you can do it after TSHTF? A dutch oven and wood is a great solution. Is there a good wood supply where you live? Charcoal is good and if you are careful you can use a handfull of briquits to cook a meal. Solar is good if you live in a sunny location. I’m betting a week after SHTF-day you won’t be able to find a cast iron dutch oven anywhere. Buy two: one with the legs so you can cook over coals on the ground and one with a flat bottom for your woodstove. Buy a couple more if you can, you can stack dutch ovens and maximize the coals that way.

        Containers. What will you put your filtered water in? I have picked up 5 gal jugs (like the ones for water coolers) at Goodwill and then trade those in ($6 redemption value) for a full bottle at my local Safeway. You don’t need a lot of these; 2-4. The intent is not to store a years supply of water but to have suitable containers for a day to a weeks worth of drinking and cooking water.
        canning jars and lids. Again Goodwill is a source for jars but in fact Walmart and other big box stores offer decent prices.
        strong stackable totes. After TSHTF you will want to seperate the necessities from the luxuries. If you had to leave your home today what would you take? what if it was winter or Summer in the Southwest? Put your food, utinsils, clothing, etc. in totes so you can grab and go if necessary.

        Caches. No joke! Cache a months worth of food. Bury 4 five gallon sealed buckets full of food someplace where you would go to if forced out of your home I go hunting on a ranchers property with his permission and where his property meets BLM property I have a cache of food, clothing, tent and a handfull of other necessities. If after TSHTF the rancher no longer wants me on his property I move over 20 feet and I’m on BLM land. But the prepositioned cache makes it possible to leave my home suddenly in the middle of the night and set up camp.

        • I was at Costco last week and they have a surprising amount of prep-worthy items at good prices. They even have buckets full of freeze-dried emergency food too, and if you look on the website, they have a LOT of emergency food and prep items. Prepping is becoming big business.

          To tell you the truth, there are so many disasters happening now, that only a fool wouldn’t be trying to prep. Three days three ways don’t cut it either.

      73. Nice article but many inaccuracies about nutrition. The body doesn’t need table salt. It does need salt but it gets that salt from food. It needs sugars but again not refined sugars or honey or maple syrup. It needs sugar it gets from food also. Like fruits and vegetables. Also you don’t need any meat or milk or any live animals around to survive for that reason.

      74. Gasoline: Auto fuel does not keep. One proprietor of a lawnmower shop told me (2010) that two or three months is tops; after that, it becomes unusable. He was being perhaps too pessimistic, for the the long haul, do not plan to store auto fuel.
        Aviation gasoline, on the other hand keeps for years. I use it in all my yard equipment, which sometimes sits around for weeks without use: lawnmower, edger, chainsaws, generator (especially!) Bear in mind that it contains lead, so you cannot use it in cars, unless, like my old 1972 Toyota, they were built in the era of leaded auto fuel.
        Call your local general-aviation (i.e., small) airport. At mine, one can walk onto the field with a gas can or two and fill ’em oneself. Many fields today have self-serv avgas. Of course, it’s currently running at $5 per gallon and up.
        Someone told me it’s the additives in auto fuel that limit its life. Avgas is pure stuff–no proprietary additives; it has to hew to FAA standards that rarely change, and there is no ethanol in it.

        • You are correct Lexicop. Are you talking 120 LL blue? Your small engines don’t need that high of octane but doesn’t hurt it. Buy marina fuel @ 89 octane w no corn and no road tax and no airport tax.

        • Actually this is not true. The biggest problem with gasoline is that almost all of it today contains Ethanol. Ethanol attracts water and if this cheap gas is allowed to be exposed to humid conditions for an extended period of time, it WILL degrade very quickly…normally in about 6mos.

          However there are a few things you can do about it. “STAR TRON” Ethanol gas stabilizer (in a blue bottle) works REALLY well (better than STA-BIL) and can be found at most big box stores including WalMart.

          I have stored gas for up to two years using Star Tron and never had a single problem.

          Another thing that you can do….. If you have a body of water near you (like a size-able lake, river, etc) where people go boating, there are generally marinas where a boater can buy gasoline for his boat.

          That said, the gas is ALWAYS more expensive at the Marina… but for TWO reasons….One is that the owners of the marina charge a premium for the convenience (We ALL know this part)….
          However the second reason is more justifiable…. I have found that almost ALL Marinas specify that the grade of gas they purchase is 100% Gasoline…It contains NO Ethanol.

          The reason is that the gas in a Marina would go bad VERY Quickly sitting around water all of the time, and the boats that stay in the water for extended periods of time (such as houseboats) would suffer a lot of mechanical problems.

          So in theory, you could buy gas from the marina to store, and treat it with Star Tron stabilizer, and I can assure you that if you have the right mixture as listed on the directions, the gas will last about two years MINIMUM without getting stale

      75. This place is in transition and getting better everyday! Maybe I’m peaking!!!!!!!!!!!! Bring it on….. Mac. I would miss every one of you. The other day when the site was down for the “mourning”, I was lost! Marry me Jane! I’m down on both knees Jane and I need another knee replacement but I like the view. On a good note, I picked my first strawberry & Japanese eggplant from the garden. Toot, toot (truck horn). Buy some Ag/Au for a rainy day after you get “some” preps.

        • Where is GC, havn’t heard a rant about this article yet? Hey, has anyone else made the parallel: [G]ods [C]reation and [G]ov[C]orp?…Just sayin

          • I miss mushroom.

            • I don’t

      76. Couldn’t agree more about the need for survival preparedness in the forthcoming economic collapse. One of the best books I’ve read on the topic – which concerns itself with fulling the basic needs for survival AND maintaining a control over a difficult period, as well as how to go about pereparing yourself for this inevitable decade long economic collapse is called A Common Sense To Family Survival. It is available at


      78. Some thoughts on this topic.

        If there is a rapid collapse of society, then millions of people will be completely unprepared. One of their first reactions might be extreme anger and hostility towards any of us who have prepared. After a few days, they will be very hungry, and they will be more than willing to kill you and take your stuff, especially if they have nothing of value to trade. These may be people who you know in your respective communities. It will not matter to them that you tried to warn them and wake them up. Those recollections will only make them more eager to bring an end to your existence. They will be “zombies”, and they should be treated like zombies. They may form up into groups of zombies, and they will likely come for you at night if they think you are sleeping.

        Trust no one who refused to listen to your warnings before the collapse. They will hate you intensely, and they will justify (in their own twisted logic) any violence against you, especially if they and their families are hungry. We can all take some lessons from the collapse of the economy in Argentina around 15 years ago. People were shooting each other in the streets during broad daylight for food and other valuables.

        My point would be that the idea behind bartering with others for your needs may not manifest itself immediately after a collapse. There will be much violence and death around us. Keep your heads low, and maintain constant vigilance. Dogs are useful in this endeavor, as they have much greater hearing and sense of smell than humans.

        Many of us have probably never taken another human life, and any hesitation in doing so may prove fatal to you and your family. You’d better get ready on a mental level to handle this kind of emotional stress, because it will likely be necessary.

      79. Hi all here are a few of my ideas of handy things..
        eyeglasses…yes have a bunch around. You can pick them up for next to nothing or for free at estate sales, yard sales and thrift shops. You may be able to collect old pairs from friends or family members. In a Long term situation, people with bad eyes will be willing to trade ANYTHING to be able to see again if their pair breaks… They will not give a crap if the style is right either.. you get a lot of trade boom for the buck with this..even reading glasses like you can pick up for $5 at the drugstore (especially the stronger lenses) will be quite valuable.
        Another trade item…vice…yup…alcohol and tobacco. Perhaps they are luxuries, but a cigarette during a negotiation or offering one could sure break the ice with a difficult trade partner… The Alcohol has too many fuel and medical uses to be wasted on drinking or trading to an alcoholic though.
        Another goldmine will be books… Yes in an energy limited or shut down situation, books will again be a source of knowledge.. especially if you are figuring general large scale SHTF..books are to escape for a little while to a better place..they are a store of too books about gardening, canning, hunting, building or fixing stuff..literally gold…
        A recommendation is to find a set of encyclopedias from around 1870 to 1920… They not only tell you what stuff is but explain how if works.. There were also lots of explanations how to make things..for example in an old set I recently found a great article about how to make gun-cotton believe it or not..Other things to be on the lookout for… old books on medicine, surgery or nursing.
        Another handy thing to have… spare parts, spare oil, spare tires and innertubes (think bicycles), nuts and bolts, nails, screws..rubber tube, hand tools such as hand drills, grinders, sharpening stones, saws, axes, hatchets, shovels, hoes.
        PS If you add extra mufflers to your motercycle, lawn tractor or ATV build an exhaust stack of 3 to 5 of them on your exhaust pipe. Each slightly larger than the one before it you can just about totally silence them.. People standing right next to my lawn tractor can have normal conversations and I had to add a car horn so the cats and dogs wake up and get out of the cannot hear my tractor engine from more than 10 feet..a quick way to travel fast and safe since noise does not give you away…you are gone before those who would hurt you even know you were there.. Of course in about 2 hours I can turn my innocent lawntractor into a 45MPH ATV by removing the cutting deck and swapping the pulleys and belt off of it. When that is done I can travel around 50 miles on a gallon of fuel with it..and it even has a cupholder!

        • Good point about the hardware. I try to stay ahead with lumber, extra wood screws, nails, nuts& bolts and such. Another thing I try to keep around is extra fence material (field fence) and a couple of rolls of barbed wire. The only problem I have is that I want to use this stuff whenever I look at it!

      80. My eye caught this article in my inbox and I was intrigued. So I read it and the comments. While I do see some over the top ideas and what I consider too much of an emphasis on weapons, I do see the point. Localilzed end of the world as we know it scenerios have been happening everywhere. Look a the freak killer tornadoe the hit Massachusetts just a couple of weeks ago. The weather is getting more severe, government assistance is getting less certain with monies going into maintaining three wars on foreign soil and escalating unemployment.
        I am a chemist by profession and am now considering reinforcing my knowledge of soponification; something we touched on in freshman chemistry (decadeas ago for me) but I have long since forgotten. I am also now considering going back to school to get my masters degree in medicinal chemistry. i have a coworker who is an amateur farmer and beekeeper who has advised me on several occassions to get a beehive and put in fruit trees in my back yard as well as a raised bed garden. I’ve been considering putting a wood burning stove in my basement where there is still an old opening for a coal chute. I knit, crochet, sew when I have the time. A sheep for wool and a spinning wheel sounds like a plan. Had been thinking about these things just in fleeting moments. No time like the present.

        Thanks for the push.

      81. Your end results are sound, but your reasoning for why any of this is relevant in the first place is highly flawed.

        You repeatedly blame interference from dat ole debbil da gubmint in pursuit of some absurd conspiratorial fantasy agenda to make us all dependent.

        The simple fact is that the basis for all economic value in a modern society – energy, ie, oil – is subject to the basic market forces of supply and demand. The supply has not grown since 2005 (and no new supplies are in the pipeline, each of which take up to a decade to bring online in the first place) , while demand continues to skyrocket globally.

        And you call yourself a capitalist? Tsk.

      82. Now would also be a good time to stock up on more rice. With the Mississippi delta being flooded, look for prices to rise.

      83. If the SHTF you will not be safe standing alone. I live in a small community, about 16,000 people. We are mostly ethnically similar and 60 to 70% retired. If this were to all fall apart I personally will stand with my neighbors to protect, share resourses,and provide for each others needs. Our police,sherrifs,retired and active military are exactly the people I want watching my back, NOT some paramilitary GANG of thugs looking to rape and pillage at the end of a gun. If it is food rationing and communal work teams, then that is fine with me. What I’m saying is that,WHO am I going to kill or steal from to survive? The weakest grandmother or mothers of children? How long can you live in your spider holes before you are found out? Stand up with your fellow Americans and do the hard work necessary to remain communal. I suspect that our military will be in charge (MARTIAL LAW). I’ll stand with my neighbors sons and daughters in the armed sevices,together,united,contributing as best I can for the common good. ONE IS A LONELY NUMBER!!

      84. What about Carpentry skills?

      85. The Inuit use to eat everything, stomach contents too. The entire non-winter season was food gathering and caching under rock piles. See “Hunters of the Northern Ice.” Unfortunately, the old skills are mostly lost and the Alaska natives are dependant upon imported foods and energy.

        Energy is the key. Most internal combustion engines can be converted to run on propane: almost lasts forever. Run your garden rototiller on propane. Look into gasogens aka wood-gas generators. Solar works if you have good deep-cycle batteries. My last set of L-16s lasted 13 years. For wood, get a old cross-cut saw and some cant files. You’ll die young trying to get enough with an axe. You can generate about 75 watts continuous with a alternator-battery combo hooked up to an exercise bike. I had one given to me due to folks give up on exercising. No serious conversions needed and enough power for commo needs. Looking into LED lights now. Have a bazillion green, red and ambers in my electronic junk box. Yah, I’m a home-brewing ham radio geek too.

        Others briefly mentioned it, but it bears repeating. Stock up on grease and lubricating oil. Bearings won’t be available. Few machines are designed for rebabbiting. Keep everything lubed.

        How-to books. See Lindsay Books and Edward R Hamilton Booksellers. Yes Dorthy, you can make toilet paper.

        Sin sells. I have tobacco growing in my greenhouse. Make a pipe. In areas that get freezing weather, you can freeze out most of the water in your wine/beer and increase the alcohol content to about 40-60%. Condoms. By mail order, you can get 1000 for about $100 delivered.

        Learn to cast metal. Fabrication skills will be in high demand.

        Communications. Get a CB radio at least. Ham radio is far better for longer distance commo. Get an older transistor shortwave radio for world news. News and entertainment will be in demand. So stock up on cards and board games too. Don’t forget that children will need some entertainment too. Balls are cheap, but you could use a pig bladder I suppose.

        Solar ovens are easy to make. Just a box and aluminum foil. Even concentrating collectors are easy to make. A catenary 4:1 is roughly the same as a parabolic the same width. Catenary: the curve of a rope hung by the ends. 4 wide to 1 deep.

        For water, a big tarp for catching rain (drain into buckets) and clear plastic for a solar still when the water is questionable.

        Every seed is GMO by breeding. All potatoes are clones. I would reccomend against F1 hybrids, but F3 hybrids breed almost true. Breeding true is monoculture and your crop is at greater risk of destruction by disease/fungal infections. Variety is the key to avoiding (just avoiding not total prevention) complete crop loss. Dry as much of your crops as possible.

        Put salt high on your list. Unprocessed food has minimal salt content. Add multi-vitamins to your list.

        Reloading: I also use old powder (WWII surplus 4831). Neck size only for longest case life. I wouldn’t reccomend flint-locks due to wet weather problems. Cap-locks are far better and the caps can be reloaded by those familiar with priming compounds. Cast your own bullets. You can make black powder from lant, wood and drywall (no, I won’t say how, but the info is out there). Even tallow has been used for bullet lube. Find a mentor while you can.

        Always remember, the only possessions you will always own is your integrity, labor and knowledge. Everything else can be taken. With these, you can find a home to welcome you. Barter is commerce and commerce reduces conflicts over scarce resources.

        Nuf for now.

        • overtheedge: Great piece man!

          There some things that I would love to post here but, do not for fear of being profiled to say the least – Big Brother is always watching.

          For those who know, lets just say… A time delay device for electrical firing circuits can be made using the principle of expansion of dried seeds. Avoid metal lids!!! The info is out there if you really want it…use caution!

        • Excellent! 🙂

      86. Something I see commonly, and the comments here follow the same line, is many people seem to assume some pre/post SHTF event. One day its, well, now, the next an event has occurred and suddenly the world is radically different and it’s time to put our elaborate plans into effect.

        This is entirely possible, as with a meteor strike, plague, etc… but much less likely than a long slow decline.

        As with the now clear effects of peak oil – prices spike, economy falters, demand drops, prices follow, economy reheats, so does demand, supplies continue to slowly dwindle, ceiling hit again. Rinse repeat.

        You can’t hide in a bunker or BOL from it, your food stocks will run out or expire before it’s over, and you’re probably no farmer if you’re like most people. You can’t scavenge to compensate, because there are still civil authorities who will arrest/shoot you for looting/squatting. And so forth.

        The only compensatory behaviors are, as mentioned in the article, shifting your economic model and skillset to goods and services that are still in demand and supported by the available technological infrastructure and energy model.

        What isn’t mentioned, however, is reducing consumption now.

        If we each stop using so much fuel (perhaps by shifting to bicycles or motorcycles or smaller cars instead of the F250 to commute 2hrs to work) there is more fuel to go around for longer at lower prices, as demand has dropped. If we insulate our homes, we use less *insert fuel type here*, with similar effect. And so forth. The lifestyle of the average American absolutely has tons of room to streamline without even being inconvenienced much less feel actual pain.

        And lower fuel demand = less money going to regimes that hate us, with a reduced effect from geopolitical pressures. Less oil, less blood. =/

      87. In the case of an extended SHTF situation, 30-40% of the population will expire within 4 months, another 20-30% will expire in the next 2 months. In the first 12 months, you should not cook or grow gardens outside as you will be an easy target by the smell, visibility or a garden, or by the smoke – you will be found and your worldly goods and possibly your life will be taken from you.

        For health’s sake, buy a store of seeds that will sprout (like alfalfa) as they are EXTREMELY nutritious (vitamin C included) and can be grown easily with plain water and a quart jar within a few days. Google for SPROUTS and SPROUT KITS. There are some good deals to be had that should store well for a number of years.

        Some money conscientious ideas:
        For efficient undercover stoves, google VOLCANO stoves. They will burn anything (pine cones, sticks, grass, scrap wood, cow paddys, etc.)and combine the benefits of a water boiler and a cooker simultaneously. These stoves create a venturi effect to heat quickly and use combustible materials efficiently. They also work in windy conditions and can be used as water canteens. These work in the field and also in urban areas due to their efficiency and ease of use.

        Make your own effective but inexpensive solar oven by using a couple of automobile insulated dashboard reflectors available from your local auto supply store and a cardboard box. Instructions are available online. You can make a cheap but effective solar oven for under $10.00 that will cook in bright or cloudy conditions on apartment patios and will not give off smoke which allows predators to zero in on your position.

        Staying warm in the winter: Many camping/hunting supply stores sell tents. Buy a expensive nylon or canvas tent that is large enough to hold you and your spouse & children and set it up in your front room. The tent will provide additional insulation from the temps inside your front room and you will be able to stand extreme cold by putting your mattresses and and covers inside the tent. Zip it up to stop drafts and you will stay toasty warm during long cold nights, even in extreme environments.

        Stock up on 1000’s of .22 LR ammo and go buy a Walmart .22 Marlin 60SS. It has a 14 shot ammo tube and is more accurate than 98% of the expensive rifles available, and is very durable to boot. Add a sling and you have an effective and reliable weapon you can carry with you that weighs 5.5 lbs. Add a scope if you can afford it, or use the standard sights which are good out to 75-100 yards with practice. Practice with this rifle to maximize this weapon. Don’t worry, you will never wear it out. Provided you occaisonaly clean and lubricate it, it will last for roughly 3 generations. 500 rounds of .22LR ammo is lighter than 25 rounds of 12 gauge or 40 rounds of .30-.30 ammo. More deer are killed every year by .22LR than any other round. Federal 36 grain or 40 grain ammo seems to be the best inexpensive but effective ammo available. Buy it whenever you see it available. If you learn to shoot properly, this will be a life-saver.

        If you have no other book, take a bible of you choice. There is more wisdom to be had there than any other book known to mankind.

      88. Dear Friends – you have been watching too many zombie / sci-fi movies. Things do not get that bad. Look at Cuba – that is and was a total basket case. The same thing would happen here.

        A great skill will be zapatero – learn how to make shoes!

        cool your jets, folks!

      89. Good article, imo we shouldn’t get to hung up on reloading because the article ID’s it as a “Top Priority Skill”.

        As far as “Body Armor” goes I’ve more or less dismissed that in the past but now am having 2nd thoughts.

      90. To all you who think that you will survive an incident that will knock out our power grids for 18 months to2 years. Good luck on that one. Go ahead and stock your stuff–buy your ammo, etc. You will not survive. The military will come through your towns and take everything you have and leave you with a bullet in your head if you are lucky. Think you are prepared to fend off the military. Think again–they will blow you and family off the face of the earth. THERE WILL BE NO SURVIVAL FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE.

      91. one option I want you all to consider and comment on…OK if SHTF as most of us suspect is nearly here, why stay where you are. I think that the USA, Japan, Europe and all the other really built up 1st and 2nd world countries could be in the soup so to speak…how much would life in South America, rural Australia or Africa be? none… so shy not go there. We do have skills that would be of value in these places to trade for basic foods ect. Most of these cultures are not particularly violent, and lets face it…300 million armed hungry and unprepared Americans all facing the deaths of their families/friends and lifestyles will not end well. What hunger does not kill, predators and scavengers will. why put yourself through it…heck, if you have the means, why not get a sailboat and get it ready to visit the islands of the central pacific? fish a little, run a aquatic taxi for people, haul a little cargo, make friends with some of the most carefree and happy people on earth and listen to your shortwave radio as the rest of the world goes through horrors to put WW2 and the dark ages to shame…What do you all think of that option? you have anything to add or other ideas?

      92. you guys got so off the article, which was how to stay alive, I just wanted to know the best ways to grow, eat, and things to barter, give me some websites on preparedness and I will be very grateful, all of these personal opinions are useless to the majority of us. How to stay warm and or cool,what seed to buy, what plants not to eat, how to skin an animal, what time of day is best for fishing, what things will keep my family safe from preditors and the like are the things I think most of us are in need of. Experts on the use of firearms and weapons for protection and survival are essential. But before they turn of the electricity, we should all pray

      93. Alarm Lady:

        (Gardening tip of the day) …use volcanic ash to really give your garden the minerals to really take off. Where to you find volcanic ash? you ask…
        Try contacting local cement manufacturers (not concrete manufacturers). Some times they may sell it to you fairly cheep.

      94. Don’t throw away old phone books! The pages make great fire starters. They can be soaked with lighter fluid and rolled and tied to make fire logs (ditto with newspapers) and in a pinch one big yellow pages can provide a lot of toilet paper!

      95. Make yourself some sour dough starter and keep it alive. Active Yeast will be hard to come by and the starter can not only last indefinitely but can be bartered off a pinch at a time and replaced. This is how our ancestors had fresh bread while trekking across the nation!

      96. I’m not worried about the military being sent in to seize goods and property from the people. I’m more concerned about them finding a ride home from overseas.

        Folks, commerce will continue. Locally it will be by barter provided you aren’t in metropolitan areas. The cities will die a painful death due to the complete dependancy on imports.

        Even critical goods will be available for those with the currency of the day. Gov’t will continue to exist albeit small and pretty ineffective. The PTB will do all it can to keep petroleum flowing. No fuel, no chance of survival and the PTB will do everything to maintain so measure of command and control.

        So just wth am I going with this? Those of you that live in gold country, SE and out west, can pick up a bit of gold by learning how to placer mine. A gold pan is cheap and sluices, etc can be made from wood. With a dib of raw gold, you can buy almost anything. Keep your coins and bullion for when things get better. Those few that still have employment will also have access to goods that will be in demand. More importantly, most will have transportation provided by gov’t or industry. These folks will trade for gold dust. Gold will buy you whatever you need if it is available.
        Folks you don’t need Volcano stoves or other techy crap. A 3# coffee can makes a great little stove. Add in some aluminum foil and a couple more coffee cans and you have ovens and stock pots. The stove will burn anything. Hell folks, I needed a wood gouge. Had a worn out chainsaw file, coffee cans and some 6″ stovepipe and turned it into a drafted forge with wood fuel. Made the gouge, no problemo except it did take some time to build up a good base of coals.

        The old adage about “Anything worth doing is worth doing right” is utter crap. The truth is anything worth doing is worth doing just good enough. None of us will have a surplus of time to play junior engineer. The ONLY thing worth doing right is safety. Each needs to balance the need against the safety issue. You can bet on no antibiotics which makes infections the big risk. The public has only had real access to antibiotics since 1947 or so.

        In all this follow the KISS methodology. Keep it simple stupid. Stupid will get you dead and probably take out your family too. Reduce every problem to its simplest form and deal with it there. Nothing fancy and avoid high tech that you lack the knowledge/parts to repair.

        Though I hate the study of psychology and sociology, the harsh reality is it generally holds up. So do a web-search for Maslow’s heirarchy of needs. Deal with those items on the base first. Completely forget his nonsense of self-actualization. We will (hopefully) live in a whole new environment where the old has to give way to our daily and long-term survival needs.

        Never underestimate the value of wheel-barrows and carts. Any simple device that can be easily repaired that reduces your labor is more valuable than you can imagine. You can only work so many hours a day, period.

        Buy some books on low-tech living. Even the Foxfire books have some value. I prefer a bit more of the 1800-1900 technological books, but read them and practice the methods used. Time is running out and trying to learn a new skill after the crash will be too late. Your newly learned skill will have barter value and most of all, it will prompt others to defend you as a community asset. As an example: In the early west once the blacksmith left, the town usually died.

        Forget all the crap we learned growing up, productivity is wealth. Greed is good. I’m not talking about the obsessive compulsive type of greed, but rather the greed that compells many of us to stock-up for winter. This type of greed is the real reason homo sapiens survived these many millenia.

        Several years ago, a Society of Friends acquaintance remarked to me that “all labor is honorable.” Be the best laborer you can be. It will keep you in demand and with demand comes higher personal profits.
        Sourdough? Jeez folks, just start some store-bought yeast and feed it regularly. That is how the companies do it. I still use beer yeast that I kept alive for the last 8 years.

        Nothing that existed in 1920 is that complicated. Learn it, practice it until it becomes instinctual. A soldier doesn’t get good at their craft from a 10 minute block of instruction, but rather by constant practice.
        One final thought. Never trust community organizers. All of them are naugies (those who ride the naugahide) and intent on gaining a managerial position. Ie. tax your productivity for their survival needs. Practice anti-communitarianism (anti LA21) as your only defense against serfdom. Or you can just accept the “Animal Farm” concept of all animals are equal, some are just more equal than others. In that case, you will join the horse going to the knackers.

        Think of your immediate family. Your failure will leave them in a position of no bargaining power. Desperate people do desperate things including indentured servitude aka slavery.

        I’m just a freakin ray of sunshine.

        • “I’m not worried about the military being sent in to seize goods and property from the people. I’m more concerned about them finding a ride home from overseas.”


      97. Oops, needed a post script.

        Sharing. First, last and always, sharing between unrelated person’s is unnatural and violates the law of survival. A pride of lions doesn’t share its kill with another pride. A troop of chimpansees never shares its turf with another troop. Sharing violates the natural order of things.

        Having spent weeks several times in native villages, what little tribalism that is left is based upon sharing as a mechanism of voluntary acceptance of obligations (obs) by the recieving party. Most natives I have met refuse the obs that come with the shared item. I will contend this is due to natives being sent to native schools run by the various religious groups.

        As we have witnessed here on this forum, many have contended that quiting payments on debts is not only acceptable, but preferred. An obligation is a debt. Refuse to pay it and you display no integrity. You entered into the debt willingly and now you complain about the unfairness? You thought it was worth more than it was. Don’t blame anyone but yourself.

        Back to tribalism. Over the last few decades, I had the opportunity to talk with many village elders who remembered the old ways. Every one of them lamented the loss and its replacement by entitlements. But the thing I remembered the best was “If a person refused to make good on their ob, they were driven out of the community.” Theft often resulted in the death of the thief. Too bad that most of these elders I spoke with are dead. They were old when we spoke and it seemed their reason for living had long since died. Few of the youngers ever listened to them and many escaped into substance abuse. Neither native or non-native. Just animals pursuing another fix. Uh, kinda like bankers.

        The most productive members of the tribe willingly traded their goods and services for obs. In return these producers were held in the highest esteem. The less productive happily took on obs and made good on them. Often paying back more than good measure. Think about it. Doesn’t everyone wanna be on the winning team? If those held in high esteem by the tribe hold you in high esteem due to your eagerness to repay, so goes the rest of the tribe.

        Or you can live in a fairy tale world. Your choice, choose wisely.

        To paraphrase an old saying, “Feed a man a fish and you have a dependant. Teach a man to fish and you gain an ob.” If the man that learns to fish has integrity, you will gain an eager client. It is all about commerce in the form of barter. And commerce reduces conflicts over scarce resources.

        As such, if you have no foreseeable use for something, make a sweetheart deal. It will bring substantial profits in the end if the person has integrity. You are effectively trading junk to someone who sees it as a treasure. Yes Dorthy, it is all about gaining obs. Greed is good. Or you can just donate your stuff to the grasshoppers.

      98. Nice article, my friend and I really enjoyed reading it.

      99. Good list, but I have a few things to add. In addition to food, think about spices and flavorings. Imagine spending a few weeks eating bland food. Not very appealing. USDA states we consume an average of 1400 lbs of food per person per year in the US. Trying to feed 5 or 10 people per year? Do the math and put a lot more food away.

        Another thing to think about is sanitation. As gross as it sounds, 1400 lbs of food is a big bucket of you know what. Now, imagine 5-10 persons an you have a problem. Go online or to “you tube” and check out composting toilets.

        It wont do much good to save seeds if you have never gardened. Its and art and skill you will need. And what to do with all of that food you just grew? Cook it? freeze it? Maybe a good supply of canning jars and lids is what you need?

      100. The concept of storing valuable commodities and bartering assumes property rights will be respected. If we get into Mad Max conditions, property rights will go by the board.

        The only things you will get to keep are those which either:
        1) You can keep concealed (which precludes bartering, planting fruits and vegetables and tending critters out in the open). Even concealment may not be enough because the very fact of your continued survival will invite unwelcome attention from bands of marauders.
        2) Those things which you can defend from marauders (which would require a well-trained, well-armed, well-provisioned militia you can trust housed in defensible quarters.) The size and firepower of such a militia would have to be greater than that likely to be assembled by marauders.

        A better solution is to get out of Dodge, and move to self-sufficient parts of the world not likely to be affected by the factors precipitating the calamity in the U.S. nor dependent on the U.S. for their continued survival. Most of South America, Australia and New Zealand fits that bill. However, Australia and New Zealand are pretty tight about allowing people in.

      101. Most trade items listed were geared for men. Now let’s look at the feminine side, fellas.
        Women have nursing skills and hopefully medical supplies,
        Hair cuts- everyone is going to need a good haircut every 4-6 weeks. Cooks will be in great demand- will have to be inventive with how to cook a meal with what they have got on hand. Gardeners, nursery people- also a boon for producing food.
        Dowsers will be needed to find water or other resources.
        Horse trainers-a horse and/or a buggy sure beats hoofing it down the road on your own two feet. Bicycle repair would be another craft women could get into. Using natural essential oils for healing is a feminine art that goes back thousands of years.

        • I would suggest any woman that ventures out better be up on her danger skills and handy with self defense. Women are brutilized and not safe alone.

      102. You can choose to live in Boracay Island or nearby island like in Malay caticlan. There you can enjoy life away from this cruel world. Only busy on beach walking and nature viewing. If you want to stay more you can have a business there to have a sustainable life income through selling the best american food in the market or in Boracay. Like the best sausage in America homemade in Boracay. We are planning to build condo units near Boracay for filipino and foreigners who have smaller budget. it can be bought installment or in cash for only $235.00 a month you can have an extended paradise in a quite place and quite life. Extend your life in a tropical paradise. engr. e. de leon [email protected]

      103. With the sincerest amount of respect to all of the posters here who wish to survive whatever scenarios result from the coming purge (and to help others do the same), I am afraid it might all be in vain. Those planning and executing the purge have no intention of allowing anyone to escape. Unless one plans to exist very very far away from the leviathan, there will be little hope of utilizing and offering-in-trade one’s skills or goods.

        As SHTF is a financial and political news website (among other tings), I can’t imagine any of the posters being ignorant of current and coming legislation and political initiatives (worldwide) to eliminate any chances to grow one’s own food / possess firearms and hunt for survival / provide for one’s own medicinal needs, etc. The starvation of the kulaks in Ukraine is proof enough that even the best of self-sufficient societies can and will be eliminated, and the same tribe of parasites responsible for that awful chapter in human history are again gearing up for a culling of the herd. Unless and until they are eliminated, nothing else has much longevity.

      104. Very interesting reading!

        Re Vitamin C foods. Now, of course I am not saying that we shouldn’t grow fruit and vegetables. They provide countless, probably not-yet-identified nutrients. However, in a serious panic, easily sproutable beans and seeds are a good substitute. Mung and “moth” beans (pronounced MOTE) sprout real fast and contain all the C you’ll need. So do sesame and sunflower seeds. Common items.

      105. Sure,we survive with foods.Make our life healthy and wonderful by nutritive things such as fruits,nuts,vegetables!Every one,every family,we all need!

      106. get to the dentist ect.if lights go out honey who is going to be your dr. then get dr ed now before its to late . need new glasses get them .get yourselfs fixed now .and if shtf youll be so glad you made your life a little easier .if your not that healthy now. start getting in shape now. if you have to cut wood it will be better now than later .a sore back will only make you feel bad .look just do what you can and hope you have nice people around you .dont forget to be one cause we will need to comfort each other.rather than fight.think about it if we kill each other isnt that what it wants to do.hold each and every together so its not a living hell on earth.its might be that way anyway but people are wonderful to be around if we reach out for one another. good luck to you all if shtf if your in my life at that time .i guarentee you , you will smill and laugh about something even if . i have an hour to live..i love ya.

      107. Where is the gas coming from for vehicles that they would need a mechanic? Appliance repair? Where is the electricity coming from? Reloading is good but where is the gun power and primers coming from? I think clean water and food, in the cities, will be gold!

      108. With havin so much cοntent do you еvеr run intο any problemѕ of ρlagοrism or сopyright
        vіolation? Μу website has a lot οf excluѕive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d definitely аppгeciate it.

      109. Alcohol – This will be a premier barter item.

        The majority of the world drinks when they can, especially when times are rough. The skills to make alcohol are easy to pick up, the equipment is not too expensive, and it has the benefit of being very sanitary when the water around you may not be.

        Overall I would say you should add booze as a barter item and brewer as a trade skill because society WILL find a place for them. Brewing has been around for 5000+ years now, I dont think its going anywhere.

      110. I know how to tend honey bees so if I ever want to take over my state after a the collapse I can get support from conutry folk.

      111. Bring on the chaos . . .

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