Survival Wealth Building Tip: Mass Inflation Ahead – Save Your Nickels!

by | Jan 18, 2012 | Forecasting, Precious Metals | 148 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Editor’s note: The following article comes to us via Lew Rockwell and has been graciously  contributed by James Rawles, author of Patriots and Survivors, and editor of one of the most resourceful preparedness web sites on the internet – Survival Blog, a daily web journal for prepared individuals living in uncertain times. 

    As the economic crisis deepens and the US dollar progressively depreciates until its eventual demise, enterprising minds that act ahead of the masses can come out ahead – sometimes at little or no up front cost. If, for example, you had been aware that US coins like half dollars, quarters and dimes minted before 1965 contained 90% silver, and you had acquired those coins from local banks and business prior to silver’s meteoric rise post-meltdown, you’d have earned nearly 2000% on your investment (Example: 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar acquired for $0.50 for your local bank in 2008 is worth over $11 today!). As the information about these coins spread across the web, it became harder and harder to find pre-’65 coins at local banks. Case in point: Our banker recently told us that in addition to us, there were three other regular “collectors” who come by every week looking for half dollar rolls. With respect to silver coinage, the well seems to be drying up amid lots of new competition. 

    But what if there was a similar strategy that was available today that could yield massive gains and effectively no cost to you? Would you take the opportunity, invest the time and do the legwork? If so, James Rawles has a suggestion for you.

    Save your nickels! 

    It will cost you nothing, except maybe a little bit of space in your basement or closet, but you can come out a winner if things continue to deteriorate economically. In fact, by trying James Rawles’ strategy today, you would INSTANTLY see growth in your base metal portfolio in excess of 10% – literally the second you take possession of this asset. And if trends continue the way they’ve been going for the last ten years, when the U.S. dollar does finally tank, and prices of base metals like copper and nickel rise against the US dollar, you could see significant increases in the value of your holdings. 

    Mass Inflation Ahead — Save Your Nickels!
    By James Rawles

    I’ve often mused about how fun it would be to have a time machine and travel back to the early 1960s, and go on a pre-inflation shopping spree. In that era, most used cars were less than $800, and a new-in-the box Colt .45 Automatic sold for $60. In particular, it would be great to go back and get a huge pile of rolls of then-circulating US silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars at face value. (With silver presently around $30 per ounce, the US 90% silver (1964 and earlier) coinage is selling wholesale at 22 times face value–that is $22,000 for a $1,000 face value bag.)

    The disappearance of 90% silver coins from circulation in the US in the mid-1960s beautifully illustrated Gresham’s Law: “Bad Money Drives Out Good.” People quickly realized that the debased copper sandwich coins were bogus, so anyone with half a brain saved every pre-’65 (90% silver) coin that they could find. (This resulted in a coin shortage from 1965 to 1967, while the mint frantically played catch up, producing millions of cupronickel “clad” coins. This production was so hurried that they even skipped putting mint marks on coins from 1965 to 1967.)

    Alas, there are no time machines. But what if I were to tell you that there is a similar, albeit smaller-scale opportunity? Consider the lowly US five cent piece–the “nickel.”

    Unlike US dimes and quarters, which stopped being made of 90% silver after 1964, the composition of a nickel has essentially been unchanged since the end of World War II. It is still a 5 gram coin that is an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. (An aside: Some 1942 to 1945 five cent coins were made with 35% silver, because nickel was badly-needed for wartime industrial use. Those “War Nickels” have long since been culled from circulation, by collectors.)

    According to, the 1946-2011 Nickel (with a 5 cent face value) had a base metal value of $0.0733 in February, 2011. That was 146.7% of its face value. Because of the global recession and the fact that both nickel and copper are primarily industrial metals, the melt value of a nickel declined to just $0.0516 in October, 2011. I predict that as inflation resumes–most likely beginning in 2012–the base metal value of nickels will rise substantially, regardless of the weakness in the industrial economy.

    The Root of the Problem

    It is inevitable that any country that issues a continually-inflated fiat paper currency will run into the problem of their coinage eventually having its base metal value exceed its face value. When this happens, it is one of those embarrassing “emperor’s new clothes” moments. Unless a government takes the drastic step of lopping off a zero or two from their currency, this coinage problem is inevitable. In essence, we were robbed by our own government when silver coins were replaced with copper sandwich coins in the 1960s. I predict that essentially the same thing will soon to happen with nickels.

    Helicopter Ben Bernanke will inflate his way out of the current liquidity crisis. through artificial lowering of interest rates, massive injections of liquidity, and monetization of the Federal debt. That can only spell one thing: inflation, and plenty of it. Mass inflation will mean much higher commodities prices (at least from the perspective of the US currency.)

    Starting in 2009, I began warning my readers that a nickel debasement was coming. But since then, I’ve pleasantly surprised to see that the government moved at a snail’s pace, in implementing the change. In February, 2010 it was announced that the Obama administration had endorsed a change in the metal composition of pennies and nickels. And then, in November 2010, President Obama signed “The Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010“. Then, in late 2011 came news of the introduction of H.R. 3694 (the Saving Taxpayer Expenditures by Employing Less Imported Nickel ACT — aka the “STEEL Nickel Act”. It now appears likely that the STEEL Nickel Act the will be signed into law in 2012 and the U.S. mint will begin producing debased steel nickels in 2013.

    In January, 2012 this was reported: Mint begins trial strikes in composition tests. The good news is that the trials strikes are part of a two year study. (The contract runs through June 30, 2013.) So we may have some extra time to stockpile nickels before the debasement. Once this change is implemented, you will then have to manually sort the “old” from the “new” debased nickels! But for now, there is still an open window of opportunity, during which time SurvivalBlog readers can salt away countless rolls, bags, and boxes of nickels. I am grateful for the delay in the niclel debasement, but this window of opportunity is likely to close in 2013. Act accordingly.

    Within just a few years, the base metal value of a nickel is likely to exceed two times (“2X”) its face value. (10 cents each.) The nickel will then begin to disappear from circulation. (Gresham’s Law is unavoidable.) Unlike the mid-1960s experience, the missing nickels will not cause a crisis, since pennies will suffice for making small change, and most vending machines now use dimes as their smallest purchase increment. Meanwhile, most bridge tolls and toll roads have inflated so that tolls are in 10 or 25 cent increments. The demise of the nickel will hardly cause a ripple in the news.

    Unless the Treasury decides to drop the issuance of nickels entirely, the US Mint will within the next three years be forced to introduce a “new” nickel with a debased composition. It will possibly be stainless steel, zinc (flashed with silver) or possibly even aluminum.

    Why Not Pennies?

    You may ask, why not accumulate 95% copper (pre-1982 mint date) pennies? They already seen a spike in their base metal value to 2.2 cents each. But unfortunately, pennies have two problems: confusion and bulk. They are confusing, because 95% copper pennies are now circulating side-by-side with 97.5% zinc pennies. They are also about four times as bulky (per dollar of face value) as nickels.

    With nickels you won’t have to spend time sorting out pre-1982 varieties. At present, visually date sorting pennies simply isn’t worth your time. Although Ryedale Coin makes an automated density-measuring penny sorting machine, it is still very time consuming, and unless you have a lot of pennies to sort, it would take a long time for the machine to pay for itself. As background: The pre-1982 pennies recently had a base metal value of about $0.0295 each.) Starting in mid-1982, the mint switched to 97.5% zinc pennies that are just flashed with copper. Those presently have a base metal value of only about $0.0067 each.

    Pennies are absurdly bulky and heavy to store. Nickels are also quite bulky, but are at least more manageable than pennies for a small investor’s storage. (Storing pennies would take a tremendous amount of space and constitute a huge weight per dollar invested.)

    The biggest advantage of nickels over pennies is that there is no date/composition confusion. At least for now, a nickel is a nickel. Even the newly-minted “large portrait” nickels have the same 75/25 cupronickel composition. But that is likely to change within just a couple of years. The US Mint cannot go on minting nickels at a loss much longer. My advice: start filling military surplus ammo cans with $2 (40 coin) rolls of nickels.

    The standard U.S. military surplus .30 caliber size can is the perfect size for rolls of nickels. They will hold $188 of rolled nickels per can. Any larger containers would be difficult to move easily. (Avoid back strain!) Cardboard boxes are fragile, and lack a carry handle. But ammo cans are very sturdy, have an integral handle, and they are relatively cheap and plentiful. They are available at military surplus stores and gun shows. The current difference between a nickel’s base metal value and its face value is fairly small, but trust me, it will grow! Someday, when nickels are worth 4X to 8X their face value, your children will thank you for it. Consider it an investment in your children’s future.

    In December of 2006, the US congress passed a law making it illegal to bulk export or melt down pennies and nickels. But once the old composition pennies and nickels have been driven out of circulation, that is likely to change. In fact, a bill now before congress would remove pre-1982 pennies from the melting ban. In any case, once the base metal value exceeds face value by about 3X, an investor’s market will develop, regardless of whether or not melting is re-legalized. Count on it.

    What if Uncle Sam Decides to Drop a Zero?

    As previously noted in SurvivalBlog, inflation of the US dollar has been chronic, cumulative, and insidious. So much so that turns of phrase from old movies like “penny candy” and “its your nickel” (to describe the cost of a call on a pay phone) now seem quaint and outdated. When inflation goes on long enough, the number of digits required to express a price grows too large. (As has been seen with the Italian lira, theZimbabwean dollar, and countless other currencies. One whitewash solution to chronic inflation that several other nations have chosen is dropping one, two, or even three zeros from their currency, in an overnight revaluation, with a mandatory paper currency exchange. The history of the past century has shown that when doing so, most governments re-issue only new paper currency, but leave the old coinage in circulation,at the same face value. This is because the sheer logistics of a coinage swap would be daunting. Typically, this leaves the holders of coinage as the unexpected beneficiaries of a 10X, 100X.or even 1,000X gain of the purchasing power of their coins. Governments just assume that most citizens just have a couple of pocketfuls of coins at any given time. So if a currency swap were to happen while you are sitting on a big pile of nickels, then you would make a handsome profit. To “cash in”, you could merely spend your saved nickels in the new currency regime.

    How To Build Your Pile of Nickels

    How can you amass a big pile-o-nickels? Obviously just saving the few that you normally receive as pocket change is insufficient. Here are some possibilities:

    1.) If you live in a state with nickel slot machine gambling (such as Nevada or New Jersey), or near an Indian tribal casino with nickel slots, go to a casino frequently and buy $50 in nickels at a time. Do your best to look like a gambler when doing so, by carrying a plastic change bucket with a few nickels in the bottom.

    2.) Obtain nickels in rolls from your friendly local bank teller. Most “retail” banks are already accustomed to handing over rolls of coins to private depositors because of collector demand for statehood commemorative quarters and the new presidential dollar coins. Ask for $20 or $30 of nickels in rolls each time that you visit to do your normal banking deposits or withdrawals. It is best to ask for new “wrapped” (fresh Federal Reserve Bank issue) rolls. This way, you might have the chance of getting rolls with valuable minting errors–such as “double die” strikes. These are usually noticed and publicized a few months after the fact, and can be quite valuable. You will also be assured that you are getting full 40 coin rolls. (Getting shorted with 38 or 39 coin rolls is possible with hand-rolled coins.) If the tellers ask why you want so many, you can honestly tell them: “I’m working on a collection for my children.” (You need not tell them how large a collection it is!)

    3.) If you live in or near an urban area and you operate a business, you can effectively “buy” rolled coinage at face value from your commercial bank. (They generally will not do any business with anyone unless they have an account.) It might be worth your while to on paper start a side business with “Vending Service” in its name, and have business cards and stationary printed up in that name. Have that “DBA” business entity name added to your commercial bank account. At a high-volume commercial bank you could conceivably buy hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of nickels on the pretense of stocking change for a vending business. Depending on your relationship with the bank, they may waive any fees if you ask for a few rolls of coins. Be advised, however, that if you ask for any significant quantity at one time, they will probably charge you a premium. (Down in the small print of your account contract, there is probably wording something like this: “Coin Issued – Per Roll: .03 Currency Issued – Per $ 100: .08” Before you cry “foul”, be aware that the Federal Reserve actually charges your bank a small premium when they obtain wrapped rolls of coins. (Most folks have held to the convenient fiction that a paper dollar was the same as a dollar in change. Obviously, it isn’t.) In effect, your commercial banker will just be passing along this cost to you. Unless they charge you a heavy fee, then don’t worry about it. Ten years from now, when a $2 roll of nickel is worth $16, you’ll be laughing about how you obtained $4,000 face value in nickels at just a small fraction over their face value.

    4.) If you know someone that has a machine vending business, offer to buy all of their excess nickels once every month or two, by offering a small premium.

    5.) If you operate a “mom and pop” retail business with a walk-in clientele, put up a small sign next to your cash register that reads: “WANTED: Rolls of nickels for my collection. I pay $2.25 per 40 coin ($2) roll, regardless of year!” Once the nickel shortage develops (as it inevitably will), you should raise you premium gradually, to keep a steady stream of coin rolls coming in.

    An Aside: Nickel Logistics

    Nickels are heavy! Storing and transporting them can be a challenge.

    In October, 2011, it was reported that Texas hedge fund manager Kyle Bass had invested $1 million to buy 20 million nickels. It was not reported where and how he had them stored. That is a lot of weight!

    Some SurvivalBlog readers and I have done some tests:

    $300 face value (150 rolls @$2 face value per roll) fits easily fit in a standard U.S. Postal Service Medium Flat Rate Box (This is the USPS “FRB1″, with dimensions 11″ x 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2”). Full of Nickels, it weighs about 68 pounds. They can be mailed from coast to coast for less than $25. Doing so will take a bit of reinforcement. Given enough wraps of strapping tape, a corrugated box will securely transport $300 worth of Nickels. At ULINE you can get a corrugated to fit inside the corrugated Medium Flat Rate Box, to reinforce it. It is item #S-4517. It measures 10″x8″x5″. These boxes presently cost 54 cents each in lots of 25.

    The standard US .30 caliber ammo can works perfectly for storing rolls of Nickels at home. Each can will hold $188 of nickels in rolls. You can stack the nickel rolls vertically (on end, standing up) four to a row across the width of the ammo can.  (Think of like stacking one shotgun shell on top of another.) Each of the two layers takes 11 rows of 4, plus one odd row of 3.  That makes 47 rolls per layer equaling 94 rolls total.  This makes for $188 of coins per can.  The larger .50 caliber cans also work, but when full of coins they are too heavy to carry easily.

    If you buy more than a few hundred dollars worth of nickels, do not over-stress your house. Do not store them upstairs or in an attic. Storing the boxes or ammo cans on a concrete slab floor is ideal.


    I’ve already had some ridicule, with e-mails accusing me of “hoarding.” So be it. Let me preemptively state that I realize that money tied up in coins will not benefit from the interest that a bank deposit would earn. But foregoing interest is not a major concern. Why? Because I think that it is a fairly safe bet that commodity price inflation will outstrip the prevailing interest rates for at least the next five years. In five years, the circulating nickel as we now know it, will be history, and it will be treated with nearly the same reverence that we now give to pre-’65 silver coinage.

    We saw what happened when clad copper dimes, quarters and half dollars were introduced in 1965. We should learn from history. Something comparable will very likely soon to happen with nickels. You, as a reader, are now armed with that knowledge. You can and should benefit from it, before Uncle Sugar performs his next sleight of hand trick and starts passing off silver-plated steel tokens as “nickels”.

    – James Wesley, Rawles — Editor of


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      1. Great article and idea!!!!!!!! I’ve been trying to save pre 1965 quarters and have not met with alot of success. The nickel idea is a great alternative. I intend to implement this idea beginning tomorrow. Thanks!

        • Don’t forget about the lowly pre-82 copper penny. I remember reading a story of a mailman in yugoslavia. Besides having to pick up the mail, another one of his duties was to pick up utility payments from the people, anyhow, one day when the hyperinflation was ragging, he did not feel like going around doing his rounds of picking up the payments, so he took a an old american penny he had in a jar, and paid EVERYONES bills for the month.

        • Forgot one thing. Word on the street is that brinks is sorting out(with the super sorter) the copper pre-82’s for a client that wants as many as possible. I believe the pre-82 pennies be out of circulation first(there is also alot of people out there with penny sorting machines) FYI, I also hear people are ordering $1 dollar president coins in th $10,000 lots preparing for the sinario James talks about above, about coins staying in circulation.

      2. I am a reader of Survivalblog and go back and forth on the whole nickel issue. First, I am not going to do anything without the expectation of making at least $5,000 so if they double in value as you predict I have to collect and store 2500 rolls of nickels. If bought $20 at a time at my local bank as this article suggests that means 250 trips to a bank that I rarely go to in person now because of electronic banking. It also means that I have to store, and maybe someday move, over a half ton of coins.

        Unlike gold and silver, nickel is not historically considered money. It is purely an industrial metal so when I buy nickels, I am betting that when the economy collapses, industrial demand for nickel will remain constant and the price will not drop.

        If the paper currency is devalued, but coins are permitted to retain their prior value then all coins would receive that treatment. It would be much easier to buy, store, and move quarters, half-dollars, or dollar coins.

        I am not saying that I am not interested, but something I need to consider whether the effort is worth the potential benefits.

        • I am like you and go back and forth on the issue. I save my nickels but only spare change ones, and not even sure why I don’t just use them like I do my quarters, dimes, and pennies, convert them to silver.
          But I keep saving them.

        • +1 Pastor. Time is money.


        • Hey if the SHTF and we get hyperinflation my metal of choice will be bullets. Think about it bullets are generally speaking brass, copper and lead. All industrial metals and you would be able to use them as currency, security and to feed yourself.

      3. PP: I agree, nickel is an industrial metal. And if the economy were to collapse (and I do not see it collapsing) industrial production would drop, the demand for nickel would drop, and the value of nickel would drop.

        Buy lead. They won’t be making anymore of it after the Changes.

        • durango kidd,

          Damn, I thought nickels were PMs – just kidding!!!

          I agree with you, buy lead. I believe lead will make a higher a return for an “investor” than nickels will. Besides, lead may save your life one day. What can you do with rolls of nickels but throw them at the attacker or attackers!

          • darn typos – one too many “a” – one before the word “higher” and one after – you all know which one to ignore. Thanks.

        • DK – I am curious to what you do see happening. It seems most on here lean toward economic collapse.


          • Economic collapse in the US is irrational because it doesn’t serve the GB’s whose wealth is primarily in paper (S&B).

            The stock market must decline significantly because it is not supported by earnings. That is always the case. It is not a “meltdown”. It could decline 3,000 to 4,000 points from 13k.

            WE already had the collapse and the American GB’s were made whole. WE know, and they know, that they won’t get away with it again. The banks would be nationalized and the FED would be indicted.

            Heads would roll. Literally.

            The lock that the GB’s have on the American economy would disappear. It is in the GB best interest, now, to get the American economy going again and that IS what they are trying to do, even talking up jobs and manufacturing coming back to America.

            That should happen after the election which will again serve their interests if the Republicans can sweep the WH and both Houses of Congress. (Which they may well do and then solidify fascist corporatism.)

            That is the political economic scenario that is playing out here.

            Europe is a different situation because the EU does not have the same financial system that the US has, mechanically.

            Whereas the FED has the power to deploy QE3, 4,& 5; the ECB does not have that authority. The European Central Bank GB’s want that authority.

            In essence that is what the fight in Europe is all about: who is going to run the finances of Europe the Sovereigns or the Rothchild GB’s?

            The GB’s want an American style financial system with themselves in control of the money. The Sovereigns have that power to give or keep.

            The European Sovereigns seem intent on keeping that authority unless all nations follow Germany’s example and codify that in a new Treaty under German control.

            The GB’s want to be made whole on their Sovereign debt. Greece wants them to take a haircut of 50-60% if they are to remain in the EU monetary union.

            Whether the EU Monetary Union dissolves or not (and the jury is still out. It could go either way) dissolution is not “collapse”.

            After WWII Europe was a motley crew of crushed economies and that only benefited the US. Europe is okay with the means of production in place.

            Adjustments will have to be made. Look at Ireland. Most of the fear of “collapse” is generated by LSM owned and controlled by the GB’s and “others” who have a newsletter to sell you. Fear, like sex, sells.

            If the Sovereigns say no to the GB’s the GBs will collapse, the individual countries will nationalize the GB in their countries and exert control over their individual currencies again.

            Greece will be ok if it defaults and nationalizes the failed banks, who failed because they owned Greek Debt. Ironic huh? Greece will recover and in two years it will be the next “China”.

            The GB’s seeking global domination will have suffered a serious defeat, because Spain and Portugal will take their cue from Greece and Ireland.

            At this point, US Banks are not very exposed to Europe but some funds are being channeled to Europe by the FED. The major banks will survive.

            The smaller banks in Europe will be destroyed, not unlike the S&L debacle in the US in 1987 which was designed to eliminate the competition and consolidate deposits for the GB commercial banks. The American economy didn’t “collapse’ when all of the S&L’s were shuttered, did it? No just another recession.

            The GB don’t want to be destroyed or lose the opportunity of eventually controlling all finance in Europe through the ECB. In the end they will capitulate and take the haircut and live to fight another day; or they will take the haircut for the authority to control the admin of the ECB for all European nations. But they will take a haircut.

            War changes everything.

            War is imminant with Iran and will occur this year. Look for an attack on Iran by Israel after Assad has been pushed out of the capital and back into his mountain stronghold with a million supporters.

            If Obummer waits 120 days to activate the oil embargo on Iran, (that is an act of war) war may not start until he does so. This gives the Syrian Opposition time to corral Assad.

            Israel would prefer Obummer do it. If they think he will not do it before Iran is nuclear capable, they will initiate a first strike.

            Iran is now nuclear capable but only enough for 4 or 5 warheads. They need more time. They need 20-50 warheads for a first stike against Israel. The more time they have the better positioned they bare for “success”.

            Israel will not give them that time. Israel may not wait for Obummer. There is a “window” in March that makes Iran a likely target then.
            We will see.

            War is good for business, not so good for those involved directly or in harms way. Good business is a benefit to the economy. That has always been the case.

            After the war, Bretton Woods III would congress and a new monetary system devised.

            • DK,

              Guess I’m confused one day you tell us that it won’t collapses and it will be a death by 1000 cuts. So in your opinion which is it?????? I believe you also told us about 90% efficient solar panels and then 2 hrs later you said that they would be 90% efficient within 2 yrs???? Bud I don’t know what to think now…LOL


            • DPS: No I do not believe in “collapse”. See my posts here. It only matters what YOU believe anyway. 🙂

              Its not death by a thousand cuts, its inflation by a thousand cuts. Double digit inflation is not hyperinflation. Inflation is nothing new. Inflation can be mitigated with the right assets and strategies.

              College students in particular should take advantage of inflation by going to school. Homeowners can take advantage of it by growing their own food; even on a small lot. (square foot gardening)

              Yes, solar is now 90% efficient using nano technology.

              It does take time to move discoveries from the lab to mass manufacturing. How long that takes is not within my power to determine, but my guess, based upon my real estate development experience, is that it takes a couple years for a plant to be designed and constructed.

              So WE should recognize this opportunity and prepare for it, if necessary by saving for it so that when it becomes available WE can buy it.

              WE should also MOBILIZE as a nation of consumers and demand subsidies for this new technology at the retail level for HOMEOWNERS.

            • DK,
              I agree with our children staying in school, thats why my daughter is still in and headed for her PHD.
              Solar ? w
              Well where you live thats great due to the fact if somebody farts in AZ they put out a high wind warning..LOL. Here we have a steady 15 to 25 mph winds so wind is the way to go in the panhandle. I also see your point on inflation, but here is my deal buddy I have been prepping for the last 14 months it has caused me alot of heart aches. So I have decided to stop living a life of worrying and enjoy each and everyday as a gift.I know that when I meet my maker I don’t want to explain the days I wasted worrying about all this s–t.
              I contunie to prepp but I will also take the time and enjoy my LIFE….


          • DPS: I agree. It can be a grind. Life can be a grind. Those who grind it out everyday have the advantage in a SHTF scenario. They are mentally tough.

            Just recently a long time (30 yr) AZ radio personality and his wife committed suicide after running into financial difficulty, losing their home, and becoming despondent.

            These were people who had a really good income for a very long time. He was still marketable and well connected. If he wanted a job he could have gotten a good one that paid well.

            Although I liked the guy, it was difficult to have much sympathy for him, when I met a guy in Prescott a couple summers ago who has been unemployed, homeless, and living in the woods for the past 12 years, including winters.

            In a true SHTF scenario mental toughness will be priceless.

            Actually, AZ can be quite windy above the Rim. And that 15 mph + wind that you get in the Panhandle originated in St John’s AZ at 55 mph and is starting to die down when it hits Midland. Not everything is bigger in Texas!

            The point about solar in AZ is that with the new technology a grid 25 miles wide by 25 miles long could supply ALL of the power for the entire USA.

            Personally I think that would best be allocated to individual houses where every home (anywhere)could become a power plant (of solar and wind) to fuel OUR hybrid electric cars with any excess power sold to the power companies.

            Put a sail on your panhandle pickup!

        • Durango Kidd: Bullets are the best forms of metal and should be your first metal purchase; most for defense and a little for trade. But why buy any if you don’t believe the economy isn’t going to collapse? Perhaps you don’t see it because it’s happening so slowly. I’m 58 y/o and have seen my country go from an oil exporter to a major importer, where more than 80% of all cars were made in America and where we supplied the rest of the world with our industrial and agricultural output. Now we are a pathetic “service” economy that imports 2/3 of its oil, nearly 1/2 of its auto, a large percentage of our food, and most of our clothes and other manufactured goods from 3rd world counties. Rome didn’t collapse in a decade, it took a couple of centuries. Ours will be a little faster, but it’s happening and all we can do is get ready because most of the American people don’t want to take the harsh steps that are necessary to turn this around-so we’re screwed. But I could be wrong.

          • Gregory8: No “collapse” Greg. There’s no profit in “collapse”. Inflation yes, deflation yes, but no profit from economic “collapse”; except for those who sell fear and a monthly newsletter.

            The lesson WE learned from Watergate was “follow the money”. That applies today.

            I disagree that all WE can do is wait to get screwed. WE have the power. WE have the numbers. We can choose OUR destiny. If not US, who? If not now, when?

            Nevertheless, changes ARE coming and in your lifetime.

            There is time to prepare physically, materially, and spiritually; develop new skills, and adapt for these Changes in advance so that when they do occur, you can be a “source” for yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community.


      4. The author is sure spending a lot of time trying to convince people to not sort pre 82 pennies. I have some nickels but i’ll still go for the copper pennies. A brick of pennies don’t take up any more rm than nickels and there’s more use for copper.I sort by hand and it dosen’t take me long to knock off a brick.

        • True that a brick of nickels and a brick of pennies take up the same amount of room, but won’t be the same amount of $$.

          $500 in nickels is FAR more compact than $500 in pennies.

          Besides, Nickels are mostly copper.

      5. New crisp roll of nickels @ ammo cans.

        I think I got it!!! 😉

        It is also a good idea to have as much change on hand at home, just in case the system fails and your local business’s are unable to make change. So, rolls of nickels would be a good thing.., and two good reasons to have them around.

      6. I bought a couple hundred dollars worth a year or so ago. I agree with the kidd. Spend the nickel on lead.

      7. I don’t think the idea of constantly purchasing goods like food, silver and gold will save you and your family in the future. Of course you have to have an emergency reserve let me say for half to whole year. That’s it. No more.

        The better way is to invest in your knowledge and your kids. So, you (your kids) will be pleased by society for your knowledge and labour. This is the key for long survival.

        • So, how much can ya get for an eighteen year old that sleeps til noon ?

          • about 85 pounds of meat and around 50 pounds of FAT! render the fat into soap.

        • +1 to that. PMs can’t be eaten, but they can be stolen, thus they require expenditure to protect them from other fools who think they’re valuable, which consumes valuable energy, time, and resources. The most portable and secure forms of wealth are knowledge and skills, especially those which produce essential goods: food, clothing, shelter, and tools.

          • But I do keep a few nickels around. Properly shaped, they make a great front sight for a rifle.

            • I agree!
              I just happened to have an old Sharp carbine with a frontsight that turned out to be a 5 cents nickel coin from 1869.

        • This is an area where I really struggle. How much is enough? Yes I have firefighter, HAZMAT, wilderness survival, firearms instructor, first-aid, CPR, beekeeping, and other certifications. I’m also an expert at building relationships, but having been at this thirty years, lately I think I’ve gone too far with provisions.

          I always thought as long as it does not affect my daily life, I would just keep steadily plodding along, but just because I can easily rotate a three year food supply out in seven years doesn’t mean that I should. I already have the solar powered home in the woods, but do I really need to liquidate my retirement plan to pickup a rural foreclosure with tillable acres? It is hard not to considering either the economy will get better and housing prices will rise or the economy will get worse and I’ll need the space for a community garden.

          • Stay in the woods. Moveing is costly and you know your area and neighbors where you are and that can be money in the bank. Get some of those woods cleared. The trees will be good heat and fence posts and the cleared land can be your garden. Plan on clearing enough land to provide a 1/4-1/2 acre of space that is sunny for at least 8 hours daily. If your area has short summers look for crops that match your climate and/or build a small hoop house that is 7-10′ tall, 15-18’wide and as long as you like. Look up Eliot Coleman and Binda Colebrook for info on all season growing and using hoophouses to grow what you never thought possible without heat.

        • How about a circle of investments. First a dwelling, then food,
          , a pistol, then .megs, then solar? No use having 100K an no meds.
          Or every pistol an no shovel?

      8. I have a bunch of different “contingencies” stored.

        Don’t bet it all on nickels.
        Don’t bet it all on guns.
        Don’t bet it all on ammo.
        Don’t bet it all on silver bullion.
        Don’t bet it all on pre-65 coinage.
        Don’t bet it all on land.
        Don’t bet it all on gold.
        Don’t bet it all on food.

        Don’t bet it all on anything. Do bet it all on EVERYTHING.

        Get a couple hundred dollars worth of nickels, a few guns, a few thousand rounds of ammo, 50oz of silver bullion, $50 of pre-65 coinage, at least 10 acres of land, an ounce of gold and a few hundred pounds of rice, beans, corn, wheat, canned food, flour, sugar, a few fifths of vodka.

        Rotate the food, defend the rest with the guns and ammo. Sit tight. We’re heading into the vortex soon, I feel.

        • NetRanger, I like your comment – one question:

          Only a few fifths of vodka? As for me, I’m going to buy a few gallons of whiskey. When SHTF, what I don’t drink, I’ll barter with.

          What do you think the timeline for the vortex is, five years out or a lot less time?

          • Think I’ll buy a still,,,,grow lots of corn and potato,,,trade for women and medical,,,yeah!!!!!

          • just buy a still from Terry Reed and you can make all the alcohol/ethynol/distilled water that you want.

        • Damn, finally a comment that makes five cents. Thanks NR. Other people that say food and lead only must not have much. Maroons… Little thinkers…

        • diversify. Amen brother

        • Homerun with bases loaded(covered)

      9. IMHO, Mac, this one is a non-starter. If you are hedge fund billionaire Kyle Bass, it’s fine (he bought $20mm worth. Of course, he has the money to make it worthwhile, and a place to store them!!) I tried it. Went out and bought $1,000 worth of nickels over a few months. Problems:

        – First, even $1,000 of nickels needs a good amount of storage space.

        – Those nickel bricks are heavy! Need to leave town in an emergency? Good luck lugging those suckers! Silver will be bad enough@

        – OK, after all that effort (and my bank tracked me down, thinking I was a vending machine person) now what? Let’s say my nickels go up 500%. Now what? I turned $1,000 into $5,000. Better to just go out and get a
        j-o-b and be more efficient with your time.

        – Yes, I get the deflation thing – if we have deflation, a nickel can’t go below a nickel. Again, great if you are Kyle Bass and put $20 mm in.

        – IMHO, if you are going to do this, buy junk silver or gold bullion. Yes, you miss the deflation hedge, but it’s not worth the time.

        • Jr, you certainly make some good points here, especially the weight issue.

          • 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar acquired for $0.50 for your local bank in 2008 is still worth…one 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar. It had not appreciated in real value, it remains constant.

            • Larry,

              Can I have all of your 1964 Kennedy half dollars at an exchange rate of one dollar for two of your 1964 Kennedy half dollars?

            • And nominal value? I purchase a box of nickels every week at the bank ($100). I enjoy watching cutie bend over picking them up and put them in the slide at the drive by. She still hasn’t figured it out yet.

              Tell me where in 2008 that 1964’s were spitting out from a bank. I just buy the 90% silver proof Kennedy’s every year from the mint.

              A 50 cal can holds $300 of rolled nickels. Kinda makes it hard for who to carry off? Ensure you are getting the clear tubes, no paper tubes unless you’re talking 2005 buffalo nickel U.S. mint tubes uncirculated.

              Then again, if you are poor and glad of it, so you don’t have a life style change.

            • I paid $4 for a 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar in 2008. Today it sells for $11.

          • Mac; It is stated that “.0733 metal value is 146.7% of face value, as of Feb 2011”. This should be stated as a 46.7% increase in value. An even better way is to state a person’s investment return is at 46.7% of investment, better than keeping it in the bank/bonds/market. 100% metal value vs face value is still 5 cents for 5 cents.
            When dealing with many people over the years, I’ve had to explain interest and investment returns and most don’t understand that 100% of what you invest is just what one has invested.

        • It makes no difference what people save,hoard,collect or what ever you call it, if the government needs it or wants it, they’ll take it.

      10. Gold is set to take off by most accounts. Silver as well. Great article about silver on Max Keisers site today. I know you can’t eat metals but the idea is when they scrub the shit off the fan and everything else that got splattered, PMs will be invaluable. I consider PMs to be only part of my preps. We all know what we should have. I don’t want my hard earned cash to go down the toilet so I have PMs to preserve wealth. The change is in the air. We are getting closer to a collapse, whether it be financial or societal I don’t know yet. The tension is in the air. Defend those you love.

      11. I agree NetRanger, you need to be well rounded in your preps. As far as how soon…I don’t know, but I can’t see how they are going to sustain the floatation of our economy, currency, and the peoples discontent with politics as usual. Precious metals can’t be artificially held down much longer with the mass inflation of the dollar and euro. It will come to a head…that you can be sure.

      12. I later thought of something I may have missed in my reading and posting here, but I have not read of many people talking about materials or objects to protect your homestead from the Mutant Zombie Biker types and the likes that will surely come for what you have. Some prep will be required if you stay in place in stead of bugging out. Some with young children and families will only leave unless they are forced to.

        • Cooperation in groups would be the key to riding that scenario out. Anything less would be futile.

      13. Hey, Mr. Slavo? I don’t know if you want to make a correction to this article, but Kyle Bass is storing his nickels “in a Brinks vault in downtown Dallas”.

        See the article you wrote here:

        …for the link to the referenced article here:

        Thanks for the great site, I read here all the time. It’s a sad day for me when I click my bookmark and you have no new articles up. 🙂

        • Thanks for the correction on that. I sincerely appreciate the kind words. Sometimes my day job gets the better of me and keeps me from getting updated news and information up here. I am hoping to remedy this with a user forum where everyone, not just me, can drive the discussions.

          Thanks, all, for visiting and contributing your thoughts and ideas.


      14. Another thing I would store if you lived in a fairly rural area or just a big lot is firewood. Of course, it may seem to only make sense if you have a wood stove or fireplace but if the power goes out you could always have a campfire in the yard or firepit to cook with or boil water. Why? If SHTF happens, gasoline supplies would be tight and that would be one less thing to use gasoline on. Besides having so many uses, the majority of people are not going to break into your house and say, “wow, look at that firewood, lets steal it”. Anything else that requires alot of fuel to aquire or do I would go ahead and do it. Fuel, while currently abundant, is not getting cheaper. Need a road cut into your property in the woods or property cleared for a garden or cabin, do it now. The more you can do now is less you have to worry about later.

        • EastTenn,

          Thanks for the very useful info – I hadn’t thought of the “firewood” angle. And, who in the hell would give you a “thumbs-down” on your honest comment that you shared with us!!! Must be some crazy impudent mad-hatter that gets his jollies off by checking the “thumbs-down” box on every person that says something useful.

          • Must’ve been a tree hugger!

          • Maybe the thumbs down was for the thought that one could store firewood in the house??
            I used it in the country house—that stack covered the entire length of that little house–to think of storing that in the house???–and yes, how does one stop thieves from stealing wood from your yard?? One must sleep.
            It will be a world we’ve never imagined.

        • EastTenn,
          I’m gathering the lint from my dryer…it makes a good “fire starter”! And it’s easy to store, put it in a Walmart bag, tie it up,and throw in a large box in the garage. BTW, I’m in East Tenn also 🙂 God’s Country!

        • I just bought a truck bed full of coal. Adding this to the firewood stock pile. Yes I know, coal is not available to most but if you can get some, why not! Burns long and hot. Great for the rocket stove.

        • I agree. One reason I bought an antique wood fired kitchen stove about 12 years ago. If nothing happens, I sell it as an antique and recoup more fiat money… if SHTF, my wife and I can heat the house as we cook. It sits in a shed awaiting a “change” Obeyme is going to give us. Most “preps” are a backward step towards freedom. (if you look at it that way– we don’t). I’ll also get the thumbs down for saying THE smartest “prep” is knowledge. Without knowledge, most will perish.

        • E Tn – absolutely right. Adding a wood burner this week and have been accumulating fw consistently since a freak winter storm last Oct.

        • Remember that movie dances with wolves? “only a whiteman would build a fire for all to see” sioux warrior. In a shtf situation the smoke and the smell of a fire would be a dinner bell for scum. Just saying.

      15. Just like silver and gold, nickel is only good if you can trade it for something of equal value. An ounce of gold for a can of beans seems to me to be a pretty fair future trade. But when supplies start to run low, food will be far more valuable than precious metals.

        A .22 LR costs less than a nickel now and seems to me would be easier to trade with a greater potential for a huge increase in value.

        Coffee, chocolate, cigarettes, liquor and other “vice” items are well worth stock piling. Nickels? Not my idea of the wisest prep resource.

        • Mirbach: I know where there is a BIG stash of chocolate in Canada, and I will be able to confiscate it with my American guns ….

          For the benefit of the People of course. 🙂

          • Poor Daisy, watch out for DK!!!LOL

          • Noooooooooooooooooo…..back away from the chocolate and no one gets hurt!

            • Daisy,

              WOW guess you know they will be coming for the chocolate.
              Thats just some mean s–t.


      16. If (or when) inflation takes off the operative phrase will be “ABP” (Anything But Paper).

        • Yeah, maybe you can save up some firewood for the white men and trade it for some chocolate. lol

      17. Andrew Jackson’s Skeletal Remains For President 2012

        “He killed the central banks once, he can do it again.”

        • I agree with the statement. Andrew Jackson would have killed the Central Bank again if he had the chance.

          His name came up in the debate here the other day. Do you know in what context? It was from that fat numbskull from neighboring Georgia, kissing up to us, reminding us that Andrew Jackson was from here, and all he would say about our enemies was, “Kill them.”

          This was during the Revolutionary War, and has nothing to do with the entangling alliances about which George Washington warned us.

          This from the guy who took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac, the same institution that has caused this disaster. Someone needs to contemplate who are the real enemies.

          I wish Ron Paul had reminded that morbidly obese, flamboyant showboater what Andrew Jackson would have done to the Federal Reserve. For the crowd of drooling sheeple, though, the fear mongering and war mongering seems to work. How’s that for democracy?

      18. Yes I agree with Mirbach! Think Of the Mad Max movies. There was not any money there. Gas was a huge item though! Everybody says ” save up gold” or whatever. Now nickels…really? When there is nothing left I wanna trade a lighter for a can of beans. Or a log of wood for a hand full of shotgun shells. Money, metals of any kind won’t be worth anything. Just skills and goods!

        • shane i agree with you. PMs could have a use when trying to restart a society but in a survival situation gold is just a shiny rock with no real value.
          if you hven’t ate in a few days how many ounces of gold is my can of dinty moore beef stew worth?
          personally i have alot of everything in my preps thinking that i’ll be able to barter for PMs later if needed

      19. Id say its a part of prudence to get some nickels stashed away,I have some…I also have assorted metal that Ive been saving up for years…piles of copper wire and brass..iron and aluminum,steel and old lead car batteries.
        I figure they are an investment,as well as stockpiling heavier steel pieces for repairing or creating,aways a use for steel scrap on the farm,I tend to build my own things when ever possible and thats usually! 🙂
        Got alot of old tractor and truck parts like alternators and trannys…things that will come in handy now before a collapse and will certainly increase in value after one!
        Lumber and nails/screws/bolts and tools to make lumber are all cheaper to get now then they will be,and they always have a use/value!…just a thought or two!

        • +1 Reb…I too save angle iron,pipe and lumber of all types. I tend to do all my own repairs on most everything but electronics.I would suggest going to auctions or sales. You can often pick up random collections of screws,nails and bolts for cheap. I buy many prepper type things there cheap as no one else seems to be interested in them.

          • You are right there brother….thats where alot of my stuff came from over the last 40 years….living off the scraps at the edge of society,gotta love it… 🙂

      20. Very nice article…Thanks Mac…

      21. I bought nickels about a year ago. They are just too heavy for $100 worth – basically imagine a shoebox of metal vs 3 oz of silver coins worth the same amount. You will never be able to travel easily with them. Your money is probably better spent on ammo, which can be used or traded, and costs more and more over time so stored ammo will be a decent store of value in the same way that nickels are. And the ammo itself consists of industrial metals which will be revalued in a hyperinflationary environment, and the ammo can be used for defense or to hunt while the nickels cannot.

      22. I know this is not about nickels however, it is amazing that a man basically tells us what is about to happen.

        Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America.

        Proof that the NEW WORLD ORDER has been planned by the elite. Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society, predicted today’s problems with uncanny accuracy back in 1958 and prescribed solutions in 1974 that are very similar to Ron Paul’s positions today.

        This is proof that there are plans in place by the elite to systemically disassemble US sovereignty.

        Y’all Beware! History does repeat itself.

      23. This is another article that just proves what is good for one is not always good for another. I can see both sides, pro and con. That is why I love this site. There is no hard and fast rule saying you have to follow or even believe the advice given. The information is offered and the choice is left to the reader. Thanks Mac for a great website.


        • Thanks Fightngear! What this arricle/insight from james rawles demonstrates is that there are a variety of different ways that one can diversify their assets (food and other preps included) and prepare as you see fit. For some, large weight nickel storage is impractical, others may find it to be just what they were looking for.

          • MAC, I thought about this article last night after I went to bed. I think the point to the article is that before the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI there may be a currency exchange with paper currency loosing 1 or more zero’s from it value. During past currency exchanges coins were left in place, Therefore a $1000.00 worth of nickles will still be worth $1000.00. Your paper currency will loose much of it’s value. It’s just a way to protect your cash savings that you should keep out of the bank (Bank holiday or closure) if you have any savings at this point. Precious metals will be revalued at the new currency rates minus a few zeros, so you loose any gains from your PM’s. There is a time and place for everything and I think nickles or coinage may have it’s time also.

      24. Hypothetical conversation after an economic collapse:

        Prepper: I have nickel coin to trade with
        Regular dumbass: but it is only worth 5 cents

        Prepper: It has value because what it is made from
        Regular dumbass: but it is only worth 5 cents

        Prepper: This metal has an important industrial use and is not easy to produce
        Regular dumbass: but it is only worth 5 cents

        Prepper: People will want this, it is a store of wealth and not as common as zinc/iron
        Regular dumbass: but it is only worth 5 cents

        • Prepper Dumbass: About 6 months after the SHTF.: I sure wish I had some milk and sugar to go on this bowl of nickels. And gosh darn it they sure are hard on the teeth.

      25. seeds will go a long way and meds that is my take, people will barer, it will be old school, coins will be meaningless, toilettepaper will be worth what gold is now, seeds worth more just my opinion

        • at a 1000 sheets per roll/ 4 rolls to the pack @ 1.99 (still)..

          I’ll stick(no pun intended) to TP as my main currency investment..pick up at least 1 pack every day on the way home from work..

          When SHTF..I’ll trade my paper currency for all those who hoarded PM’S..

          Have a great day..


          • This morning I experimented using a mint tube from ASE’s like a corn cob after my morning dump, It worked pretty good. You won’t be getting anything from me. P.S. try it tomorrow morning!

      26. I understand the US Mint is sitting on a quad-zillion dollar coins that nobody wants. Why don’t we go to our banks and demand THOSE? They are not Federal Reserve notes, so they are not debt.

        • Exactly!

          Last year I made arrangements with my credit union whereby – if I give them advance notice of a specific upcoming visit – they gather up all the loose dollar and half dollar coins from the teller tills for me to pick up. I use them as openers to discuss our fiat monetary system. It’s amazing how many people have never previously seen a half dollar. One checkout clerk even called the manager over to confirm that the two Kennedys I had given here were real money.

        • They are minted by the mint, the treasury takes them and SELLS them to the federal reserve member banks at face value. The fed OWNS the coins. See how the banks STOLE our silver in 64.

      27. Greeting Everyone!
        As my German Grandfather was told by his Grandfather,so I repeat to all:”A small bag of gold if everything goes FUBAR
        Or something to that effect to start over.2(TWO) bags of silver coins to get by till you either need the Gold or things improve”.Things MIGHT improve in about ten years(IT could happen!).Not before some truly SHTF,and truly fearful events no doubt!
        My personal PMs are several cans of different kinds of beans and a good supply of water and a GOOD water purifier.And last but not least,LOTS and LOTS of TP.No telling how much(or what ;-)! ) someone might trade for some good ‘ole SCOTTS in a double layer roll or two……

        • Charmin Ultra Strong is my preferred paper currency. 32 rolls = 64 !

          • It’s the Scotts to Charmin Ultra conversion rate. Don’t forget to add in the multiplier effect for two ply, and again for the double roll. So that’s Scotts = X. Charmin Ultra = 4X. Minus the fiduciary responsibility of the supplier for packaging and transportation costs(Y). So that’s Scotts = X – Y. Charmin Ultra = 4X – Y. Oh, and don’t forget inflation(Z) and sales tax(Q). So the final tally is Scotts = X+Y+Z+Q. Charmin Ultra = 4X-Y+Z+Q. Do the math, it’s a no brainer!

            • You forgot to carry the 1.

            • Darn! Chinese batteries in the calculator…

            • Not only the ply to consider; also the # of sheets on that roll.(smiley face inserted here)

            • This may sound stupid but I buy my tp by the poundage. Take a walk in the grocery store, instead of comparing prices and number of sheets, look at how much each package weighs. I usually buy the heaviest, and most of the time it is cheaper, especially at dollar general. Heavier has got to be better.

          • ain’t it soooooo the truth !!!!!!! LOL

            • meant for Mac’s “Charmin” comment

      28. I’m at least going to throw some in the kitty just in case.

        • BUT, if you have a kitty, ….. you don’t NEED TP!!! use the cat!

      29. Store water = You’ll need it sooner than you think.

        Buy dehydrated food = It will last longer.

        Buy vegetable Seeds = Your food store will run out. You need to learn how to replenish your own food stock.

        Buy Herbal Seeds = Learn how treat your own illness.

        Buy a proper first aid kit = Learn how to dress your wounds.

        Buy a plot of land = Grow your veggies and herbs.

        Get a gun = Learn how to be proficient with it, protect what’s yours.

        Buy ammo = Will be worth more than gold.

        Buy cigs and liquour = Good for trading.

        Learn a skill/trade = Great for confidence and barter when SHTF.

        Know your neighbors = Strength in numbers.

        Be vigilante = Complacency will get you hurt.

        VOA = Violence Of Action. Those most violent in a confrontation are usually the victors. Stay mentally prepared.

        Semper Fi

      30. It costs the government over ten cents to make a nickel today. Congress will change the composition soon. You do not have to pay for shipping to “purchase” them for fiat at the bank. If you could have your choice of $500 of nickels; $500 of fiat; or $500 of war nickels and you couldn’t spend it for five years, which would you rather have? How much does $500 of war nickels cost in Ag melt value “only” today? ANSWER: $17,160 as per on 18 Jan 2012.

        Why are thieves stealing copper and other metals? U.S. coin money cannot be legally melted. It will soon be called JUNK nickels for another reason in the future.

        RICH99 is very smart & I want to know what mushroom thinks.

      31. Storing water is a challenge .I am open for suggestions.
        I do have three 55 gallon rain barrels hooked up in tandom off my garage downspout.BEST THING I EVER DID.But here is the question; how long is that water safe to drink ,or be made safe to drink ??

        • How old is the water on earth? Put a few table spoons of bleach in it and store a great home made water filter.

        • just have a way to boil it and filter it

        • Learn to make and operate a slow sand filter. Requires no high technology at all. Just clean sand.

          • Excellent tip and can be built with things around the house/farm…. My son watched some episodes of the Colony one weekend and urged us to help him build one…good times… We used 4″ PVC pipe for ours…honestly not sure how effective that is in comparison to the cement models they build in third world countries, but it seems like it worked decently… We didn’t test the water though… I ran it through a hand pump filter just in case since it was more of a science experiment. Still, a very cool concept.

            • The filters are – ceramic pot filters. I am a potter by necessity and am in the process of making a CHEAP model of a berkey to satisfy myself and as many as I can before SHTF. these filters remove 99.8% of bio contaminants. Use lake water or heck- even toilet water to drink. The molds are still drying and the means to make them are close to fruition. stay tuned.

            • i used an old toilet to make mine. I filled the tank with sand and activated charcoal. When it rains i let the runoff from the roof trickle down into the toilet tank. It gets filtered and comes out pristine and clear right in the bowl. Then i dip up just the amount i need with a dipper i made from a bull scrotum and clothes hanger.

          • My neighbor converted a Hayward pool sand filter.We are all on gravity flow water so there was very little to change.He uses it to filter the sediment from his water.When the flow slows he switches it to backflush and it cleans itself out.I should get one too but I figure I need my “peck of dirt a year” like my pappy used to say.

        • get a Big Berky. Google it.

      32. Some of the water has been in there fore a year or more untreated with clorine,will it still be alright with the clorine bleach treatment

        • Big Berky.

        • Clean and disinfect your barrels properly when empty before anticipated rain or after watering garden.

          Perry is out of there.

        • Clark,
          I’m not sure if I would personally chance water that’s a year old in rain barrels,BUT if I had to drink it I would run it through a Berkley first. If you don’t have any filtering system I think I would sterilize it with iodine instead of bleach. I keep both in stock for that purpose but I’ve heard so many bad things about chlorine that I’m leaning toward the iodine. Get a book like “When all hell breaks loose” and it’ll give you all the specifics of how & how much.
          I’m also setting up a rain catcher (275 gallon) with intentions of using the water for laundering & flushing toilets but if the drinking well runs dry we’ll be praying for rain!

        • Clark, if the Berkey sports bottle was used to purify sludge from the runoff in Haiti after the floods/earthquakes, I think you’re good to go on that stored water with 5/10 drops of bleach per gallon.
          Clark, be sure to store lots of Tang(best price at Sam’s); for vitamin C and to cover that bleach taste in your water–I also included Country Time, fruit punch drink mix, instant tea, instant coffee, and koolaid–variety.
          Peace …JayJay

        • Clark: You should treat the water before consuming it. After all, how much pigeon shit did it wash off your roof into the drain, and then into your barrel?

          Then it has been standing still for a year allowing anything in it to reproduce.

          I read an article the other day about people who have been using tap water in a device to clean their sinuses. Unfortunately that tap water contained microbes that used their nasal passage as a freeway to their brain, and then used their brain as a food source.

          Needless to say, these people died.

      33. It won’t be five years…stand-by for this year!

      34. The U.S. wartime silver nickels may have been “culled from circulation,” but they are still quite available from eBay sellers for a few percent under spot. Aside: If you manually count out a few rolls of these coins and then smell your fingers, you’ll quickly understand why this is truly *industrial strength* coinage!

      35. Great. New Obsession. Acquisition of nickels… Thanks Mac. =)

      36. If you buy $5000 worth and keeping 2500 rolls of nickels around, and if, and I say IF, you get the maximum 8x your investment….thats only $40k…Silver will still outperform this investment

        • Capital gains, 1099’s and Congress telling the public to turn in their PM’s for the good of the country during WWIII? This is the last days of the ground floor prices on nickels. Banks will post signs saying purchase limit on nickels someday. You have just crossed over into Mac’s World.

        • What if they do a currency exchange and lop off a few zero’s? Then you loose your gains based on the new dollars.

        • To be fare I should say that PM’s will have their place after SHTF and TEOTWAWKI. I would have some in my preps.

      37. It looks like a busy news day, so let’s get started with the Headline Stories for today…

        Iran claims that Obama sent a secret letter to one of their high muckety-mucks, offering direct negotiations on a matter of supreme importance. The administration denies there is any letter. Mainstream news says it’s something about the Strait of Hormuz. My own investigative journalist-type digging has found a copy, and it looks like BO’s signature on it. The letter says nothing about sanctions or Hormuz or anything political. I can reveal only a portion here, but it states “Dear Achmed, meet me at the usual time behind the camel barn. Bring whiskey and condoms. Sincerely, Barry.”

        Mitt Romney is catching flack for giving millions in stock to the Mormon church when he worked at Bain Capital. What’s the big deal? It was his money to give. Seems like a perfectly innocent contribution to me. After all, Herman Cain once donated 3 large cheese pizzas to the Baptist Mens prayer luncheon and nobody made a fuss.

        After three years and two lawsuits, Indiana has finally begun to issue specialty license plates for people who support gay rights. Now the gay youth support group has filed another suit. Seems the state insists the license plates all end with OIC-U812.

        The ‘First Lady’ celebrated her birthday Tuesday night at a steakhouse in DC. She and the president, in keeping with her healthy eating initiative, and cutting back to share our sacrifices, each had the $81 steak. They skipped the $8 french fries, but in typical Marie Antoinette fashion, they did have cake. A special order red velvet cake. It looks kinda chocolate on the outside but is really RED all the way through. That reminds me of somebody, but I can’t think who it is just now…

        (next is blatantly stolen material from comments section at The Smoking Gun website, lifted without permission of course)
        A man and woman in Pennsylvania have been arrested for trying to burn (or blow up) a car using Flaming Tampons. That’s correct. No way could I make up stuff this good! The pair first trashed a car, then tried to stuff flaming tampons in the gas tank. This isn’t the first time, either. Police said they do this for a few days every month. Fortunately there was a Vagisil hydrant nearby and the burning, itching car was quickly extinguished. The car suffered only minor damage, mostly from toxic shock syndrome. The pair were captured as they tried to speed away on a menstrual cycle. Local officials say they may begin requiring tampon buyers to have a concealed/carry permit in the future.

        • ROFLMAO !

      38. The other day, I returned a tool to the hardware store. The clerk did not account for the 10% discount I had when I bought the tool. She said, never mind, my gain.

        With that $200 return and discount my hardware store out-did my bank’s return on savings by a long shot.

        Banking ain’t what it’s supposed to be anymore!

      39. Here is my take on collecting things for future value and being prepared:

        First of all, the above means I’m conservative, I tend to Conserve things…

        Food, yes, MREs, but better than that, home canned everything, from meatballs to spaghetti sauce, chili, gumbo, vegetables, new potatos, pickle as many different items, jerk meat, vacuum pack as many dry goods as possible as well as the jerked meat, you can jerk almost any kind of meat as well as can it.

        Water, secure a water supply, we have a hand dug well dating to 100 years, a modern drilled well we will put a handpump on, and I still have to dam up a dry wash out back where there is a “seep”.

        Firearms and ammo, I have more firearms than fingers and toes, I handload and reload for all, pistol, rifle and shotgun, it is an easy skill to learn, get books, that is the way I learned rifle and pistol, I learned shotgun reloading as a kid of 8 years old. I figure for every caliber and guage, I should have at least 500 rounds if not 1000. In the instance of 22LR, I have a couple cases.
        Our family has a blast when we decide to have a “shooting/target practice” day. And it doesn’t cost much. Besides, with 1 22LR cartridge, I can harvest one grey squirrel….or defend my life or family, and here is my take on my own shooting and caliber preference, I have none, because it is all about placement. Notice I said “my own”. Some people may need to spray lead or use a shotgun to hit a squirrel.

        Tobacco, A good item to put up, I would not put up a crap load as I’m trying to quit smoking, been almost a month now. But I will still have some put up as it will be a scarce item and people will trade for it if shtf.

        Alcohol, For me this is something I can make for myself, to beverage grade (but that would be illegal) to antiseptic grade (about 62% – 65%) and to fuel grade (94%-95%) and am working on a personal mole sieve to refine it to 99%. ALCOHOL WILL BE AN ABSOLUTE MUST IF SHTF. Especially for antiseptic and for trade.

        Medical needs, I’m putting up everything I can, from immediate extreme trauma to field/ditch surgery. OF course I’m limited on what we are allowed to purchase but the web has made it easier to buy things like sutures and bulk medical needs such as wound care etc…tylenol, aspirin, the basics, antihistamines, acid reflux, syrup of ipecac, merthiolate, list goes on and on.

        Silver and Gold AND other METALS, I would say, put up whatever you can safely store and in whatever way you can afford, if it a little and only nickels, do it, if you can do more, do it. I’ve been a numismatics person all my life so to me it always has been about collecting. Now I tend to stockpile almost any metal I can get my hands on. precious or otherwise, but also within reason as I do not want to be on the “hoarder” show….LOL.


        Special skills, or to me regular skills, gardening, marksmanship, woodcraft (that does not mean woodworking) but woodworking is a good skill as well.

        Tools, do you have all the tools you may need, prefferably hand tools, ax, shovel, pitchfork, tiller, hoe, spade and of all sizes and if a big family multiple items as many hands make short work. Do you have the means to sharpen and repair tools? By hand?

        To me, that is all I can think of right now, that is most of what I believe I’ll need. Others may have special needs not listed, especially on the medical side, but much can be done with mother nature as our ancestors lived. Get hard copy books on as many subjects relating to ALL the above.

        God Bless you-all and God Bless America!
        And to those that asked before, I’m in the Woodville area of East Texas, potato planting coming up soon, month or so…

        Terry W. Reed

        • Terry, congrats on quitting smoking. It was the hardest thing I ever did, 10 years now & I still get cravings.
          Think of the money you’ll save! Twice a month I’ll buy a lotto ticket as a treat to myself for quitting and I don’t feel guilty. You can do it!

        • TR…Hope your distilled water business is doing well.I keep some vodka on store.Used to drink it quite a bit.Now, not so much. I just finished a gallon of grape wine,now I’m brewing a gallon of apple wine to make into apple jack.After it’s done you put it into a bucket and freeze it(deep freeze or outside if cold enough). Every day you skim off the ice until you work it down. Some potent stuff!

      40. When the inevitable happens..
        no one knows what will play out.

        so stocking the essentials you can’t survive without would be the most prudent investments at this point..

        many of us have no investments nor we prep on the bare essentials..

        canned goods .
        paper goods.
        loads of condiments and spices..
        potable water.
        dry goods.
        source of heat/cooking..
        and plenty of lead..22lr bricks @ 525 rnds still at 19.00 here in Massachusetts.

        have over a year and 1/2 of bare essentials to survive.


      41. Morning all,

        I have read this with much interest as most of our coins also have a 75%copper content, the 20p piece however has 84%copper.

        The thing is there is little point saving them as our government actually withdraws coins periodically giving you a date by which to exchange them for the “new” ones.

        Only someone with a good knowledge of base metal coinage values would have any idea that my stash was worth trading with.

        Now, if on the other hand I spend all my coinage on, let’s say, salt, honey, matches, something that cost little and lasts long I think I wold be more likely able to trade for an item I needed.

        I am far newer to prepping than most of you and am more than willing to stand corrected if I have missed something.

        Advice please.

        Take care

        • Apples & oranges Burt. No exchanges (yet) for discontinued fiat/coins here unless your talking confederate or greenback note ($). A double eagle is still legal tender here just like a Morgan dollar or penny, but most sheeple wouldn’t know what it is or how much it’s really worth.

      42. I have several jars of loose change, but the 3 deer my kids got this weekend (11 year old daughter got her first, headshot with 243, happy daddy) will feed us for 3 months.
        Skills and knowledge will get you a better return than a dozen rolls of nickels. Its a good feeling to know that your family will be ok if you aren’t there. Between my wife and kids they have hunting, sewing, nursing, gardening, canning, meat curing, and I’m teaching the oldest boy blacksmithing for a school medieval history project, sallet helmet with no power tools to make it. Life is good.

        • MM…I like the blacksmithing idea.That could be a handy skill to have. I suppose you would set it up the primitive way with bellows,etc? 30 years ago around here there was a blacksmith(mostly a farrier)who would travel around to take care of the local horses, but he’s long since gone.

          • I cheated on the air supply, I made a hand crank blower from a salvaged dryer fan and used some pulleys to get a 20 to 1 ratio, a heavy duty truck rim for the firebox and some pipe for a stand. The whole thing is portable and uses wood charcoal, bag stuff, coal and I built a propane burner that bolts in if I AM doing small work or melting lead.
            Lots of good books on, if you want to get started. Family history got me started in it years ago. Its a fun hobby that can pay off well if shtf, I made wagon wheels for a reenactment group for a cannon caisson and made 2k for a weeks work.

      43. Rather than a $2 roll of nickels,I’ve been buying $2 cans of coffee from walmart for trading later.Yeah,it’s the low end stuff in the blue can,but in survival situation a cup of coffee goes a long way to calm the mind and nerves.Buy 5 cans every trip–they will quickly add up.Lot lighter than nickels.

        • And you can store stuff in them when the coffee’s gone.
          Also got tea bags stored up for my caffeine back-up.

      44. Haven’t heard anyone bring this up but does anyone know what happens to the price of popular illegal drugs (coke, meth, X) or marginally legal drugs (MMJ, hash etc) when SHTF? Dont bother making assumptions about me for bringing this topic up as I’m sure I’m not the only person who has thought about it.

        • Id guess the availability would drop? But would that nessesarily translate into a price increase as with most other things? I imagine some poor souls will still want/need the stuff and therell be someone somewhere willing to barter,hard to figure that one.

      45. Note: If you have at least $11-12K you’d like to convert to silver, you can buy a bag of “junk” pre-1965, 90% silver coins (dimes, quarters, halves) from a reputable bullion dealer online, at spot price plus a constant premium. Hardly any time spent and no shipping charge. (Due to fraud prevention, though, you have to wait a few weeks to get delivery.) The cost I mentioned above will get you a bag of coins at $500 face value (for example, 5000 dimes).

      46. Save all you want…… He with most lead will win !

      47. Just a thought directed at no one and anyone…(most know I think)saving nickels isnt intended to replace anything else…like food/ammo/supplies its just another “tool” in your shed so to speak…not likely any of us are gonna buy and store a million nickels….but its still another way to preserve some value in a time when value is eroding faster than barrys popularity.
        The point made often in these pages is to be well rounded in your preps,to have a bit of everything and anything…better to have a bit of something of value then nothing…itd take time after a collapse for folks to work out what has value and how much value it has…one person you deal with may be thrilled to trade you X for Y but the next person may not want any Y but be thrilled to find you have A or B.
        Personally I have been saving some nickels for years…if nothing happens where I use them my kid/grandkids will find use Im sure…same goes for all the accumulation I have put together over the last few decades.
        I guess what Im saying is be careful to consider all angles even the ones that seem odd to you personally…dont outright reject an idea,or go hog wild either….true some things will have more value and make more sense to you than me or vis versa…whos right?whos wrong?…only God knows and only time will tell,do what you know to do…pray about the rest and then improvise…the only failure I know of is the loser who wont even try…thanks!

      48. I think if you’ve read Survivalblog for awhile you understand that JWR is not recommending hoarding nickels before you have other basic prep items on hand. Buy your food, medical supplies, guns, ammo, silver, gold, etc. Then take a look at the five cent and maybe the one cent coins. Nickels have a metal value above face value, along with most ’82 and all pre ’82 cents, they are obtainable at face value for now and they may be a good investment. Got your stuff? A few nickels and pennies can’t hurt. You have to determine what a few is.

      49. I guess I should have been more specific about storing firewood. I did not mean to store it in your house but stealing firewood would be the last thing on one’s mind compared to food, guns, etc. Now granted, the smoke from one’s fire would let everybody know in the general vicinity that you have heat and maybe food so be carefull. You may be able to build a Jacob’s Fire Hole that would limit the smoke. I hope I called that the right thing. At the very least, I would rather have it and not need it than vice-versa. Another thought, if you have any dead cedar, black locust, osage orange, or some other rot resistant tree, go ahead and make some post 8ft to 10ft long. Make sure you have a good pair of post-hole diggers and a tapping rod and whatever else needed such as a saw to properly fit. If something happens to your house, you either have support beams\post for a new structure or a beam\post to repair your house such as to hold your floor up for example.
        Let’s be honest, in a true SHTF scenario, if we are going to survive for any length of time, it will be becuase groups of people come together for a common goal. Prepare all you want, if it is you verses your neighborhood, I can probaly guess who will eventually win. Now is the time to get to know your neighbors. Now is the time to plan what to do. Your neighbors should not be your enemies but your closest ally but if WE fail to do that now, they will be our greatest and closest enemy.
        One other thought and I will shut-up. I am currently bottle feeding a calf. We had to put its momma down, poor thing. Anyway, the calf-starter mix is way cheaper than compared to powdered milk and it has all kinds of nutrients added to it compared to powdered milk. No where on the bottle does it say that a person could not drink it. I am not saying to but it is a thought. When everybody is raiding the grocery store, this might be something to go after and avoid the crowds as an emergency ration. Most people would avoid places like tractor supply but there is alot of good stuff in there one could use.

      50. …ummmm silly question… whats happens too ALL THOSE nickels and pennies when the “GOLDEN amerikan idiot walmart HORDE” shows up at yur’ front door stoop… plan for the worst case shtf scenario… light and fast… will keep you alive… never own more than you can carry fast… if you own more than a rug you own too much.

      51. Nina,
        You pack the pennies into a 4″ pipe with wadding and 2# of 4f with a remote igniter. Good use for pennies.

      52. Knowledge of seed growing etc will be very important. But also will math. One must know how much to trade when the price fluctuates either up or down. The old Dollar (Value) cost averaging won’t cut it anymore.

        Also, has anyone thought about what traditional vice materials such as cigarrettes (not the elctronics ones), nudy magazines (not internet or CDs) [internet will probably crash for too many users or the expense of power} will bring when the SHTF. For that matter, maybe Bibles and other religous materials will be worth something. Plus don’t forget clothes and dirt (remember waterworld?)!

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