5 Reasons Why Pure Silver Will be the Currency of the Collapse

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Commodities such as gold and silver have a world market that transcends national borders, politics, religions, and race. A person may not like someone else’s religion, but he’ll accept his gold. Robert Kiyosaki There is something that just feels right about silver. Its coded in our DNA. It has to do with the weight and […]

The post 5 Reasons Why Pure Silver Will be the Currency of the Collapse appeared first on American Preppers Network.

10 Inexpensive SHTF Barter Items To Get Right Now

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Many preppers like to hoard cash and precious metals in case of an economic collapse. The cash is in case of a deflationary collapse where banks run out of money and cash is hard to find. And precious metals are in case of a hyperinflationary collapse where banks print too much money and cash becomes […]

The post 10 Inexpensive SHTF Barter Items To Get Right Now appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Value of precious metals in SHTF Venezuela?

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I was reading a thread today in a discussion board about the value of precious metals when SHTF.

There was the typical discussion, people quoting actual events in which precious metals were of great value, others pointing out how precious metals have been considered either a currency or form of wealth for thousands of years. There were also people claiming that it’s better to stock up food or ammo (why not store all? Food, ammo AND precious metals?)

At one point someone asked about Venezuela. What’s happening there, is gold and silver of use?

Well, that’s actually a good question. In my opinion the best lessons are the ones you get from actual events, empiric evidence.
So, what’s happening in Venezuela and what role does gold and silver play?

Well, there’s people in Venezuela called Garimpeiros. These are prospectors, people that scavenge the sewers looking for anything of value. What are they looking for? Metal, mostly aluminium or copper. If lucky a bit of silver jewellery that washed away in the shower, maybe even some gold.  These people claim that scavenging this way they make around the monthly minimum wage (about 33USd) in a week. Given the terrible conditions people in Venezuela have to live with, this isnt much, but it is enough to get some food to survive.

1oz of silver goes for about 700.000 VEF (Venezuelan currency) , and a pack of 1kg of rice costs 50.000VEF, which is about 1USD.  Its safe to assume that these people won’t get spot price for the scrap silver or gold they find, but even at half spot price a bit of silver let alone gold will be enough to buy some food.

So yes, in Venezuela today, gold and silver are both very valuable, can be exchanged for the local currency (and you spend it fast because it devaluates by the minute!) and then you can buy food or whatever else you need. Would it have been nice to have a bit of savings in precious metals? You bet! Would it have been nice to have 6-12 months stored worth of food? Of course. Then again, the problems in Venezuela have been going on for decades now and the food would have been gone already, maybe even the savings you had for a rainy day. Maybe the best thing would have been to use that gold or silver you had for a rainy day to get the hell out of there and not end up trapped in that place.

But yes, as expected, gold and silver are very much valuable in Venezuela and no one is changing entire ounces of gold (or silver) for a loaf of bread.

My advice? Cover all your bases. Have guns, have plenty of ammo, have a lot of food (you need to eat anyway) and have precious metal. And stay informed so as to make the right decisions.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Con Artists and Scams When SHTF

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Con Artists and Scams When SHTF Not everyone will be out looking to help when SHTF. There are plenty of people who will stoop to new lows when confronted with adversity. Besides the higher risk of despicable acts such as burglary, assault, and homicide, there is also a higher risk of scams. These con artists …

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What You Need To Know About Meals Ready To Eat (MREs)

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Meals Ready to eat, or simply MREs, are very popular among preppers and survivalists. Although MREs are primary intended for use in the field by the military, they are now being stockpiled by average Americans. Before you fill your pantry with Meals ready to Eat, there are a few things you should know about these … Read more…

The post What You Need To Know About Meals Ready To Eat (MREs) was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Barter will become the new economy after the global financial collapse, so make sure you have plenty of these items

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Following the global collapse of the world’s financial system, which no one knows when will happen but many believe is inevitable given the massive debt held by the world’s biggest economies, the concept of “money” will change virtually overnight.

Like post-World War I Germany, when hyperinflation made the currency – the mark – so devalued and worthless that German waiters in restaurants had to climb on tables to announce new menu prices every 30 minutes, the world’s currencies will similarly collapse, since they are all based on the U.S. dollar.

Five years ago an MIT study noted that an earlier analysis predicting a “global economic collapse” by 2030 had not changed and was “still on track” to occur. But the key is the dollar.

And more recently Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, predicted that should President Donald J. Trump fail to convert to the Church of Globalism, like the Deep State and the global elite want him to, they are more likely to crash the economy on purpose and blame him for it, in order to retain their own power and prevent him from draining the swamp.

While that reasoning is certainly sound – and most Americans probably would blame him – in many ways it won’t matter who is responsible, only that the economy as we knew it no longer exists. Which means what we typically used to obtain goods and services – money – is no longer valuable.

But our needs won’t change. We’ll still need food, water, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene items, ammunition, firearms, and other things in order to carry on with our lives as best we can. And though money might be obsolete, the things we need to live will still retain value.

How will we obtain them? Through a barter system.

Barter is a system of exchange where goods or services are exchanged for other goods and services. If you have something of value – even a skill – you can use it to trade for something you need that someone else has.

Here are some of the most popular items that you’ll need to obtain to use as currency in a post-collapse world so you can still get what you need:

— Precious metals like gold and silver

— Alcohol – believe it or not, this will be in high demand; buy small quantities though, like half-pints and single bottles

— Tobacco – even stale, someone will want a smoke

— Ammunition – all popular calibers like .22LR, 9 mm, .45 ACP, .223, .40 cal (Read : Top 5 Ammo Types for Your Survival Guns )

— Over-the-counter meds like Tylenol/ibuprofen, aspirin, allergy medications and antibiotic ointment (Read : 17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills)

— Bandages/band aids

— Bar soap

— Individual sanitary wipes

Water (in individual bottles); having your own water supply will become invaluable – and something you’ll have to guard day and night

— Hygiene supplies, especially for women

— Gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene

— Cooking oil

— Fishing gear and tackle

— Batteries (9V, AA, AAA, C)

— Food – individually packed like military meals ready to eat (MREs)

— Nails, screws, bolts, nuts, lumber

— Paper

— Books and magazines – yes, it will get boring during the apocalypse without electronic games, Facebook and Netflix

— Plastic sheeting and trash bags – for shelters and waterproofing

— Board games and playing cards will come in handy

— Tooth brushes

— Any prepper items like fire starters

— Disposable lighters, flints and steel

— Plastic storage containers (think Tupperware ®)

— Ziplock bags

— Zip ties


These skills will also come in handy to use as barter:

Medical skills – like EMT/Paramedic, nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors

— Construction skills – builders, carpenters, masons, electricians

— Military and former military professionals and veterans

— Farmer and expert gardener

— Automobile mechanic

Homesteader – someone who knows how to make soap, candles, and other consumables that you will need and use over and over again

— Gunsmiths and ammunition reloaders

There are others but these suggestions give you an idea of what will come in very handy in a post-collapse world, when things we take for granted now because we can drive a few miles to a store and get them with ease become very scarce – yet just as necessary for our comfort and survival.

One more tip: You should learn one of the valuable skills mentioned above or perhaps even a combination of them, to give yourself more barter value.

Source : naturalnews.com


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What are your super skills?

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How do you get what you need and want if you have little or no money to buy? I assume you have some sort of skills, something you know how to do and can do it pretty well… there must be something you can do, maybe it’s a job you do or have done in the past (or present), maybe it’s a hobby you enjoy, maybe it’s a talent you have, whatever it is, you can offer that skill in trade for something you need or want.

This is called “Bartering”, it’s an age old method of trade rather than using money, it just cuts out the middleman, you simply trade your skills with someone who needs what you can do for something they have, whether it’s a skill they posses, or an item, or even cold hard cash.

For me, I am able to do things that not everyone knows how to do or wants to do. I used to be a licensed cosmetologist, which is a fancy way of saying I know how to cut hair. I actually don’t enjoy cutting hair, which is why I don’t do it professionally anymore, I did it for 10 years, I paid off the student loan I got to go to school to do hair, the only reason I stayed in it the last few years is I was offered a management position in a department store salon and thought it would be interesting. It was interesting, until I developed another interest, computers.

But that skill is something that not everyone knows how to do, honestly I kept it a secret for quite a few years after moving to our off grid home. Little by little though, the news got out, I still keep it on the downlow, but people still ask me to cut their hair and I usually agree. I don’t do the ultra modern cuts, mostly just men’s haircuts and traditional haircuts for women, and no chemical processes, no color, no perms… just haircuts.

One of my neighbors (and good friends) get haircuts about once a month, they have chickens, lots of chickens, which means they have eggs, lots of eggs, so I get eggs from them and they get haircuts from me. We do other things for each other as well, he sharpened my work knife for me a few days ago, yes that is something I could do, but I asked him to do it for me while I was cutting his wife’s hair.

A few days ago, while cutting another friend’s hair, yet another neighbor and friend stopped by, I ended up giving him a haircut in return for some metal sheets to use for the roof on a carport that PB is building for me. That wasn’t planned, it just happened. In this process, I am very careful about sanitation, I keep a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol in my kit, everything gets sprayed and sanitized between “customers”, it doesn’t matter if I’m working in a salon, or in my front yard, I must use common sense, I must protect myself and my friends by keeping things sanitary.

Another “skill” I posses is I am pretty good at fixing computers. I am no computer expert, but I know enough and have the patience to be able fix problems, be it hardware or software, I’ve been able to fix what has been put in front of me to date. Again, I’m trading out services for either things I can’t do or for things I don’t have.

Did you know that there is even an IRS section for bartering? I know that because I used to “work” at a country store in the center of our neighborhood, I didn’t earn a paycheck, but rather I was paid in barter, I earned an hourly “wage” that was traded for goods at the store, food, snacks, medicine, fuel… I had worked consistently before that and knew I would probably work a regular job after that, I didn’t want the IRS to wonder why I had dropped out of the system, so when I found the section for bartering, I put in my “wages” there, I never had to pay tax on any of it, there just wasn’t that much financially involved, but it kept me in the system and off their radar.

If you are just trading on a small scale, then obviously you don’t need to let the government know about it.

Another way we barter is for our water. We get our water from our next door neighbor’s well, in exchange we look after his house while he’s out of town. We also do upkeep and cleaning on his house, small maintenance, the normal things that need looking after on a regular basis. It works out well for both of us.

Think about what your skills are, even something you don’t think of as significant, it can be a lifesaver if you find yourself in need of something and don’t have the means to pay for it. It’s best to have your network in place first though, you don’t want to have to go out and find someone in need of your skills right when you are needing something yourself. Word of mouth works wonders here, having your skills out there ahead of time means it will be easier and quicker to get what you need when the time comes.

So, what are your skills? Do you barter now? Let me know in the comments below!


The post What are your super skills? appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Should You Plan to Barter in a Collapsed Economy?

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prepper barteringIf our economy ever does collapse and the dollars we’ve saved become worthless, one thing is for sure, a system of bartering will emerge, along with a black market. As you stock up on food and other goods, you may have had the thought, “This would be good for bartering.” Prepper bartering is a very popular topic on most prepper forums and blogs. But is it something worth planning and prepping for?

The weaknesses of barter

Most people think barter is merely “I’ll trade you this for that.” In a pure, simple sense that is so. However, where the rubber meets the road, where theory smacks hard into the face of reality, it isn’t nearly that simple and easy. There are definite drawbacks.

Let’s use the realistic example of a parent in search of an antiobiotic for his child. If he’s lucky enough, he’ll come upon an acquaintance who happens to have a stash of antibiotics, maybe even fish antibiotics that are available in livestock stores or on Amazon. The parent explains his need and requests a week’s worth of amoxicillin.

The owner of that antibiotic now has to make a tough decision. His own loved ones may be in need of those pills somewhere down the road. It may be impossible to purchase any more in the near future, but perhaps this desperate parent has something of value to trade.

Here is where bartering gets interesting because now the parent has to think of things he’s willing to give up in order to acquire amoxillin. Food? A Berkey water purifier? Gold or silver? A firearm? Ammunition? What?

He can offer any number of items in trade but until the owner of the Amoxicillin decides he wants something that is offered, the trade isn’t going to happen. In my situation, I’d be thinking:

  • Food? We already have a year’s worth, and I don’t need any more.
  • A Berkey? Got that, plus a few other water purifiers.
  • Gold or silver? Maybe, but how much am I willing to lose?
  • A firearm? I could always use another but look at what I’m giving up: a drug that could save my own life or my child’s life someday. Not sure it’s worth it.
  • Ammo? Same reasoning as above.

The trade for amoxicillin in this case may be dead in the water and the parent in search of the drug may have to move on and find someone else with that drug stashed away somewhere.

So is prepper bartering something you can count on as a survival strategy? Obviously not. There’s no substitute for being very well prepared yourself and thinking ahead to what you might need.

By the way, if the proposed barter runs into a dead end, guess who is vulnerable to robbery or worse? Yep. The guy who let it be known that he has a supply of life saving drugs. Not smart and may very well become a major reason why many people simply won’t turn to barter. It reveals what they have during a time in which scarcity is the rule.

If you DO want to prep for barter…

First, make sure you are stocked up with the basics for yourself and your family before worrying about adding items for barter. Consider these points:

  • Do you have extra funds to purchase barter goods?
  • What percentage of your prep budget will go into buying barter goods?
  • Do you have room to stock up on items specific for barter?

The next steps are:

  • Review lists of barter goods and consider costs. What items can you most afford and do you have room to store them?
  • Think about which potential barter goods can double as useful items for you if you need to raid that stash. Example: if you never, ever drink alcohol, then maybe you shouldn’t stock up on dozens of bottles of liquor.
  • Consider stocking only items whose uses you know very well. The more you know about them, and thus their usefulness and value, the better a deal you can haggle.
  • Prioritize your shopping list, but be prepared to deviate if a great deal pops up.
  • Look for your chosen items on sale, clearance, or have coupons. Over the counter drugs, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics often show up in clearance aisles.

What to buy for your barter stash

Most barter items fall into two main categories: comfort/luxuries and survival essentials.

Imagine living for weeks or months without a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo. After weeks without electricity, imagine the incredible value a pack of matches might have. Other suggestions in the comfort/luxuries category are:

  • Nail polish
  • Lipstick
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Cigarettes
  • Alcohol
  • Paperback books
  • Hygiene supplies: soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo
  • Candy, chocolate, chewing gum
  • Anything that will help make life more pleasant
  • Coffee
  • Baby wipes
  • Spices
  • Candy, chocolate

Among essentials that would be welcome in a barter exchange:

  • Ammunition
  • Long-term food
  • Water filter/purification
  • Seeds (Read this article about mini seed banks specific for bartering.)
  • Batteries
  • First Aid supplies, many are on this list
  • Tools
  • Vitamins
  • Over the counter medications and medical supplies
  • Baby supplies: diapers, formula, baby clothes
  • Camping gear
  • Insect repellant
  • Matches, fire starters

You can read long lists of barter-able items here. Remember that skills and knowledge are great for bartering and won’t impact what you have stored away.

The bottom line is to give this some thought, don’t over-spend, and keep your eyes open for bargains.

The post Should You Plan to Barter in a Collapsed Economy? appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

5 Essentials for an Emergency Financial Plan

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Have you ever wondered what skills you might want or need in an economic crisis?  Do you have a financial plan for your family if the united states were ever to have a second great depression?  There are several methods to procure goods and provide for the needs […]

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Here’s the Key to Urban Prepping That Most People Don’t Consider

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new york city wikimediaIf you live in a rural or suburban area, you have a very distinct advantage over your fellow preppers who are living in densely populated cities. It’s not that you don’t have to worry about hordes of desperate, hungry violent people. It’s not that you’re more likely to live near a wilderness with fresh game, or that you have friendlier neighbors who you can rely on.

Although certainly those are all advantages, your biggest advantage is that you have more space. You have more room to grow your own food if you want. You have enough space to stock up on a wide variety of supplies. That allows you to hunker down, and wait for the chaos to pass.

That’s a bit more difficult for urban preppers. A family living in a tiny apartment can’t stock up on enough food to last for three months or more, much less any other essential supplies. Or they can, but only if they don’t mind losing their entire living room.

While it’s a good idea for every prepper to stock up on as many essential supplies as they can, that’s just not enough for most urban preppers. They require a slightly different strategy. Rather than trying to figure out how they can stock up and isolate themselves from everyone else, what will give the urban prepper the greatest chance at survival is figuring out how they can trade with everyone else.

If you stop and think about what makes cities and rural areas different, it makes sense. In rural areas, regardless of whether or not there’s a disaster at play, self-sufficiency is one of the most important virtues. In densely populated cities, cooperation is more important. That’s because your neighbors aren’t a mile down the road. They’re right up against you, all the time.

So if you’re a prepper in a city, you have to think more about what you can trade with your neighbors for. Rather than just focusing on filling your apartment with bins full of freeze-dried food, you need to also think about stocking up on stuff that you can trade away down the road when your limited supplies run out.

Preferably, these trade items should be small. And to give you the most bang for your buck, they should be items that are cheap now, but will be worth their weight in gold after a disaster. Consider the following:

  • Water filtration and disinfection supplies are usually very compact and affordable. Take for instance, the crystallized iodine that is found in Polar Pure. That tiny jar is capable of disinfecting 2000 quarts of water, and only costs $20 (but don’t stock up on it too quickly. Crystallized iodine is used to make meth so that might look suspicious). Alternatively you can stock up on pumps and especially filters. None of these items are particularly expensive now, but in a crisis, most people will give their right arm for them.
  • Reloading supplies. Specifically, you should buy up a wide variety of primers. Brass casings can be reused, lead can be scavenged, and gunpowder can be made just about anywhere. Primers are incredibly cheap and compact, but this is an item that you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find during a prolonged collapse.
  • Over the counter drugs would also be a great idea. They’re cheap, small, and have a shelf life that’s a lot longer than what you see on the label. Same with most prescription drugs. Though you can’t stockpile them for obvious legal reasons, if you’re ever prescribed pain killers or antibiotics and have some pills left over after you recover, you should hold onto them.
  • Sewing kits are another really cheap and portable item. We live in a throwaway culture, and you’d be surprised by how many people don’t have this sort of thing lying around. But if society collapses, everyone will have to squeeze as much life out of their clothes as they possibly can.
  • And finally, consider building up a supply of supplements, especially multivitamins. There isn’t going to be as much food to go around, and the kind of food that’s available probably isn’t going to be nutritionally balanced. There will be a lot of diseases showing up in the population that are caused by poor nutrition. Unfortunately, you can’t stock up on too much of this because supplements have a limited shelf life. But boy, imagine what someone with scurvy will give you for a handful of vitamin C pills.

Do you have any more ideas for small, affordable items that urban preppers should stock up on? Let us know in the comments.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Bartering Basics: What To Do When Money Has No Value

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Bartering Basics: What To Do When Money Has No Value

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Money can quickly lose its value in the event of a catastrophic event. In 1998 in Quebec and Ottawa, an ice storm crippled the power grid in those two provinces, forcing people to learn to live without electricity for several weeks. Credit cards and other forms of electronic commerce simply ceased to function.

In such a situation, bartering can replace cash and credit cards. Bartering is the simple act of exchanging one thing for something else. But it’s rarely simple.

Bartering begins when you need something you don’t have. The key is to find someone who has it and who is willing to trade for something you have and that they want. It could be goods, or it could be services or a unique skill.

Stockpile items that will have value if the manufacturing infrastructure breaks down. Items to think about include:

As you can see from the above list, these are items that are difficult to produce or create on your own. All can be bought in stores or online.

Discover The Secrets Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

But there’s a certain skill set you can learn that will allow you to produce items of value for barter. They include:

  • Eggs.
  • Vinegar
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Smoked fish and game.
  • Fresh fish and game.
  • Baked bread and other baked goods.
  • Knitted items.
  • Firewood.
  • Honey, maple syrup and molasses.
  • Herbs and herbal remedies.
  • Rustic furniture.
  • Basic tools, from brooms to rope.

You also can barter your own skills. Someone who has the tools and the expertise to perform timber-frame construction easily could barter their labor for goods and services. The same is true for someone who is an expert at herbal remedies or who can construct and build cabins or furniture from rustic resources. You even could barter your help and assistance with simple labor for fundamental tasks. The critical thing is to have the ability to anticipate what others may need when times are tough.

Crazy Gadget Makes Every Window A Cell Phone Solar Charger

Bartering Basics: What To Do When Money Has No Value

Image source: Pixabay.com

To a large degree any barter transaction is a negotiation, much like at a flea market. That gets to a fundamental rule of barter. Only bring a small portion of what you have of any item, and don’t advertise the fact that you have more of anything. In a barter economy, you might encounter desperate people who will take desperate measures to get what they need.

Let’s look at the basics of bartering …

The 5 Steps of Bartering

1. What you want versus what you have. Try to assess the current value of what you need from a barter standpoint and assess what you can offer in exchange.

2. Identify potential trading partners. This might be neighbors or individuals at a barter market. Sometimes networking can help by simply getting the word out to your friends and neighbors that you are looking for a certain item or set of items. There’s also the remote possibility that the Internet may still be functioning, to some degree. After all, it was fundamentally designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to survive total thermo-nuclear war.

3. Negotiate. Sometimes a barter exchange is a mixed bag of items. If someone has something of particular value like an ax, and you don’t have a comparable tool to exchange, you could combine items for trade such as nails, seeds, a gallon of vinegar and an assortment of first-aid supplies you can spare. You also could offer services in exchange for the item.

4. Agree on a time and place to make the exchange. If you’re at a barter market, you may have these items with you. Otherwise, you need to determine a place to meet and complete the transaction. Make sure you inspect the item or items before agreeing to the final exchange. Refunds are rare and failing to live up to the bargain is not a good idea on either side of the transaction.

5. Build your barter network. If you are satisfied with the transaction, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with this trading partner. Chances are you will be able to continue to make exchanges in the future and it’s always best to do it with someone you trust and have come to know.

There are online websites and various locations already established for the barter of goods and services. You may not need to barter for something right now, but it’s good practice. It’s particularly valuable at some of the barter markets that have popped up. This recreates the environment that you will encounter in a pure, barter economy. It also will give you a chance to see what people offer or create so you have new ideas as you expand your barter inventory and hone your barter experience.

What advice would you add about bartering? Share your thoughts in the section below:           

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Top 10 Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have

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Top 10 Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have Along with those items that you store for your own personal use there should always be a little bit stowed away for the purposes of bartering. You know the average American doesn’t have much cash stored in their home. Once that cash runs out, if the ATMs …

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How To Make Whiskey Step by Step

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How To Make Whiskey Step by Step Who doesn’t like a shot of whiskey on a cold night? I love it. My granddad has been taking a shot of whiskey every night before bed for over 50 years and he swears it keep him healthy. I did a post on how to make watermelon moonshine …

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14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales

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14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales Garage sale season is here! This is the time of year when people do their spring cleaning, clear out their basements and attics, have garage sales, and sell valuable items for next to nothing. If you haven’t been to any garage sales yet this year, you …

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Why You May Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF

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Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …

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List of Great Books on Bartering

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Just by going to websites like this, you are way ahead of the general populace. If you go ahead and actually prepare you are light-years ahead of most. If we have a large scale disaster, you may be in a position to trade some of your goods (and services) for items you may need. Here are some books to get you started in bartering.

The post List of Great Books on Bartering appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink

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Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink Easy DIY project we all could at least try and get some sort of blacksmithing skills before SHTF. I love the simplicity of this forge set up.I think having a little knowledge of this old skill could come in very handy if SHTF. Not only is this …

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Updated Top Barter List You May Want To Consider Stockpiling

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Updated Top Barter List You May Want To Consider Stockpiling Having extra supplies for bartering should be on every prepper’s plan. This enables you to barter for goods or services that you otherwise would be without! You don’t have to have a set list per-say, but think about what you would need if SHTF and …

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How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch

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How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch Making your own vanilla extract from scratch is so easy. This is Perfect to keep stockpiled for when SHTF. Yummy vanilla… It’s easy to imagine that a lot of the kitchen items we now take for granted will be scarce if SHTF and since I like …

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How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket

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How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket Have you ever heard anyone say invest in wool? Well I would, It’s getting more and more expensive and it has so much potential when SHTF. Wool is just fantastic… There are several kinds of blends of wool you need to watch out for! There …

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF Knowing how to grow rice could mean the difference of surviving or dying … Rice is full of carbohydrates and Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown …

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Top 10 Stress Relieving Teas

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Top 10 Stress Relieving Teas Stress can be a killer. It’s been proven over and over again. Imagine if SHTF, stress will be a big factor in our lives whether we like it or not. Even if you had all the food and ammo to protect you stockpile, you WILL be stressed about when the …

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How To Make My Grandma’s Laundry Detergent

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How To Make Grandma’s Laundry Detergent Who could argue with Grandma? They have such great knowledge and this article is great! It shows you how to make an age old recipe that is great for your clothes and great for your wallet! It is important to remember that buying laundry soap from the store can …

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How To Make Vodka

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How To Make Vodka Vodka, one of my all time favorite alcoholic beverages. I like vodka because of its ability to be mixed with pretty much any other drink to create a wonderful adult beverage. I must have had my head in the sand all my life because I never knew you could make your own …

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Cash? Gold? Silver? Bitcoins?

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Cash? Gold? Silver? Bitcoins? Everything we do in life involves money, being in the preparedness community, the question now is what kind of money. That probably makes no sense but im sorry to say my friends… the world is changing whether we like it or not. You have to adapt in order to survive and …

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How To Grow And Make Your Own Tobacco

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How To Grow And Make Your Own Tobacco To get started, you need seeds or transplants. If you live in tobacco country, you might be able to buy some transplants locally; otherwise, you need to seed your own. Unfortunately, starting tobacco from seed isn’t the easiest thing in the world – yet it’s not as …

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How To Make a Survival Beer Mug with no Power Tools

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How To Make a Survival Beer Mug with no Power Tools You know those rustic beer mugs in the movies; the wooden ones that Vikings swilled beer and mead from?  If you’ve always wanted one of those, there’s some good news that will have you swilling in no time.  There’s a tutorial on Instructables that …

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7 Unusual Multi-Purpose Items for Survival

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7 Unusual Multi-Purpose Items for Survival I personally think that this article in the link below is a perfect example for why having multi-purpose items in your house or bug out bag is always the best option. What I mean by that is, say you are a woman or you have women in your group …

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10 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF

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10 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF When it really hits the fan the world as we know it will be one hostile and different place. Gone are the times you can just go to a grocery store and hand over a few bucks for a loaf of bread. Instead, you …

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How to Make a Forge and Start Hammering Metal

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How to Make a Forge and Start Hammering Metal If SHTF and the world went to pot, having skills will definitely help you out in the world of barter and survival. Blacksmithing is one of the oldest still used skill s there is and it’s sad to say that not many of us actually know …

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What Are The Best Barter Items For SHTF | episode 125

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Barter Items For SHTF
Barter Items For SHTF



Barter Items For SHTF

Today Mike and I talk about What are the best barter items for SHTF. We change up the format and dig deep into the main topic. No news this episode. 


Also, there won’t be an All geared up with Couch Potato Mike this week. Since he was salty all episode long. 


We disagree on the storage of Precious Metals. Mike says that it is a stand-in for money. I.e you are not bartering with gold and silver you are buying. 


I stand behind using precious metals being a barter item. Bartering is between two people without a government needing to be involved. 


We talk about many of the well-known barter items. The things that pop to mind easily. We also cover a few less talked about items. 


Barter items basically come down to two categories. Needs and wants. 


Early on in an SHTF scenario needs will be most important.  People will need food, gas, and medical supplies. 


Once Things calm down, even a little, the wants will rule. During the great depression movie, theatres were filled. They had little to no money and still spent it on entertainment over needs. This is a valuable lesson. 


Yes, you should stock up on needed items for barter. You should also store wants, vices, and addictions to barter with. 


Alcohol, tobacco and titty mags will all have high barter value. The porn industry is not as big as it is without a reason. 

  • Alcohol 
  • Tabaco
  • Ammo. main calibers
  • Coffee
  • Batteries
  • Gas
  • Tools
  • Clothes blankets
  • Seeds
  • Food
  • Medical supplies
    Precious Metals 




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How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term

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How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term Everyone knows that having food and water storage is crucial for your SHTF plan, but gas storage is of almost equal importance. Until SHTF happens we will have no idea how much we rely on gas. Seriously, you may say to your self now, nah, I’ll …

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Bartering After SHTF: A Beginner’s Guide

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I love bartering. I’ve been bartering since lunch period in elementary school where I would often trade a chocolate milk for a Lunchable pizza. I’ve bartered everything from CDs to subwoofers to paintball guns to high-end letterpress business cards from Lithuania. Sure, bartering has its downfalls. Situations like… Louis needs a cow and has chickens

List of Prices during the Aztec Empire

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I was discussing in a forum recently about the value of precious metals during precolonial times.

As you probably know, Aztecs used cocoa beans as currency. By today’s definition of currency, it wasn’t so much an actual currency as it was a valued consumable good. Still, it is true that it was used to trade for goods and services. The list of prices in cocoa beans makes it clear that even then, gold was still pretty valuable and expensive within its economy, with half a kilo of gold only being beaten by selling ones own children.

A 1545 list of commodity prices in Tlaxcala gives an idea of the purchasing value of cacao:

1 good turkey hen=100 cacao beans

1 turkey egg=3 cacao beans

1 fully ripe avocado=1 cacao bean

large strip of pine bark for kindling = 5 cacao beans

1 large tomato=1 cacao bean

pumpkin = 4 beans

5 long narrow green chiles = 1 cacao bean

small rabbit = 30 cacao beans

0.62kg gold statue = 250 beans

ones own child sells for about 600 cacao beans.

“ordinary” person’s yearly standard of living=4800 cacao beans

Quachtli (large white cotton cloaks)=60-240 cacao beans depending on quality/size.

Quachtli (cotton cloaks) where used as currency as well, used to pay for more expensive items along with copper axe-blades, or quills full of gold dust while cocoa beans were ‘the every day small change’.

1 x dugout canoe = 1 x quachtli

100 sheets of paper = 1 x quachtli

1 x gold lip plug = 25 x quachtli

1 x warrior’s costume and shield = about 64 x quachtli

1 x feather cloak = 100 x quachtli

1 x string of jade beads = 600 x quachtli

Cocoa beans where even counterfeited, like todays currency, making fake cocoa beans with wax, dirt and other beans.




There’s just no way around it. If anyone wants to own gold and silver, you either pay dearly for it or go find it, mine it and smelt it. All of this requires considerable labour, thus the status of scarce and precious.

2016 American Silver Eagle (1 oz) Five Coins Brilliant Uncirculated

2016 American Silver Eagle (1 oz) Five Coins Brilliant Uncirculated
If you’re just getting started gold and silver should be the least of your concerns. The basic gear and supplies mentioned here often. A Glock, a good rifle, emergency supplies and a respectable stockpile of food and water should be your main concern. In terms of wealth a stash of cash comes before precious metals too. But once that’s covered, if you want insurance against inflation or you just want a proven form a wealth storage, PM is worth considering.

Take care folks,


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

14 Off-Grid Ways To Use (And Reuse) Aluminum Foil

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14 Off-Grid Ways To Use (And Reuse) Aluminum Foil If you find yourself in an emergency situation chances are what you have stockpiled and around the house is all you will have for a while until the situation sorts itself out. This article is why I always say it is important to have aluminum foil …

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Making Homemade Wine – Who’s Got the Hooch?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Jamie Page. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

It’s been a heck of a day on the ‘ol neighborhood homestead… I woke up this morning hearing a ruckus out back where the chicken coops are located, just past the root cellar. I ran outside just in time to see the tail end of a fox carrying off one of my best egg laying hens. SOB dug under the fence… That’s not the way I like to start off my mornings. Sometime around 3pm we had an unknown, heavily armored dump truck come down the road and do a slow drive by scoping out the neighborhood.

Fortunately, the few neighbors I have left joined me as we gave them a few warning shots into the side of the truck. We felt it was necessary to let them know it would be wise to keep on moving. We are not a neighborhood who takes kindly to strangers poking around since all heck broke loose.

Things have been tough since the grid went down. I spend most of my days tending the garden, caring for the animals I still have left, hunting what few deer are still around and there is always that ever-present danger of outsiders looking to take what my family and I have been able to scrape together to survive in this tough new America. I sure do wish somebody around here knew how to brew up some homemade wine…It’s been a long day.

How to Make Homemade Wine

One of several valuable trading commodities after the collapse will be alcohol. It will be helpful to be able to manufacture and trade homemade wine in a world where the local grocery store no longer exists. Everybody talks about having a supply of lighters, canned goods, ammunition, water, etc. and that’s all good. However, after a long day of SHTF living, I pretty much figure we could all use a little fermented relaxation and liquid currency.

Brew. Share. Enjoy. Homebrew Beer Brewing Starter Kit with Block Party Amber Ale Beer Recipe Kit and Brew Kettle

Brew. Share. Enjoy. Homebrew Beer Brewing Starter Kit with Block Party Amber Ale Beer Recipe Kit and Brew Kettle

Whether your taste is for beer, homemade wine or straight up hard liquor, knowing how to make homemade wine is probably one of the most important skills to know and master in a post-apocalyptic world if you intend to barter for survival or just escape reality for a couple of hours. ‘Liquid gold’ could get you and your family the supplies desperately needed to survive and with a little planning, practice and forethought, you can have the necessary knowledge to make that happen.

Obviously, there are dozens of recipes and even more tried and true ‘secret’ methods from Uncle Jimbo and Grandpa Joe on how to home brew alcohol. Your drinking preference will dictate which type of drink you want to brew, ferment or distill. I am going to give you a short run down on a basic way to make homemade wine, which I think is the easiest way to get started with minimal investments and time. Anybody with thumbs should be able to make this standard grape juice wine. Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than this when it comes to making hooch and ease is a good thing when resources are limited.

First… go buy or squeeze a gallon jug of 100% grape juice from the store or the grape vines out back, find a heavy duty (thick walled) rubber party balloon, a packet of red wine yeast (bread yeast will work in a pinch) and a cup of sugar. Fruit juice concentrates works well also if you are able to stock up your freezer with them. Eventually though, it will be whatever local fruit you can get your hands on. Don’t forget to mash up your fresh picked fruit.

Step One: Pour 1 ½ cups of juice out of the gallon jug and have yourself a refreshing beverage to enjoy while you move on to…

Step Two: Pour one cup of sugar into the juice jug, put the cap back on and shake the bottle until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Adding more sugar creates higher alcohol concentrations.)

Step Three: Add one small packet of wine yeast to the juice jug and swirl it around lightly. (Use red wine yeast for purple grape juice and white wine yeast for white grape juice if you want to get fancy. A packet of bread yeast will work also.)


Those extra exam gloves you have lying around can also work for this purpose.

Step Four: Take a needle and poke one hole in the top of the balloon.

Step Five: Stretch the inflating end of balloon over the uncapped juice jug. (Make sure it’s on pretty good, the balloon is going to fill with CO2 gas and slowly leak out of the pinhole.)

Step Six: Place the juice jug in a warm, dry place and leave it alone for thirty days. The wine will be ready when the balloon has collapsed and is no longer filled with gas or it is obvious no more CO2 gas is being produced. (If you wanted to, you could purchase a wine specific airlock and cork to plug into the jug. Done this way, your wine would be ready when the bubbling stops.)

Step Seven: Filter your wine through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a new container using a clean funnel and put a cork or screw cap on it. This is to remove any dead yeast, sediments and fruit bits that settled to the bottom. It’s ready to drink! A lot of folks prefer to use a glass carboy, which is just a fancy word for a jug.

Congratulations! You just made cheap hooch. Maybe you could trade a gallon or two for some boxes of ammo or a couple of venison steaks and potatoes?


Just about any fruit will yield a fermented beverage with the right ingredients and conditions.

Using fresh picked fruit or honey will be your most likely scenario once all the stores have been picked clean of food and bottled juice. Sadly, most fruit varieties we are accustomed to will not be available. If you live in the south, muscadine grapes are well known and often made into wine as well as wild blackberries. Apples would be another obvious choice and of course honey, either wild or cultivated.

The Home Winemaker’s Companion: Secrets, Recipes, and Know-How for Making 115 Great-Tasting Wines

The cool thing is fruit wines of all kinds are essentially made the same way as our recipe above. Just remember to clean and sterilize your jugs and equipment as best you can because dirty equipment can ruin your batch. Bacteria can harm the yeast and not allow it to do its job eating up the sugar and producing CO2 and alcohol. More sugar generally means higher alcohol content. Be sure to plan ahead and stockpile lots of sugar and yeast packets if you choose to be the local winemaker everybody turns to.

Keep in mind, this was just a basic article on homemade wine making. There are many nuances and variations to flavor and quality. There is a plethora of useful information just a few clicks away on the internet. Knowledge and practice are essential if you want to produce a respectable product people would want to trade for. Even though society has collapsed, return customers are vital to building symbiotic relationships for rebuilding and staying alive.

Bonus information…. Honey wine is usually called mead. Mead can be traced back in history over 5000 years BC in Northern China and has been found in Europe around 2000 BC. During the Golden age of Ancient Greece, mead was said to be the preferred drink of choice. So, if the ancients can make it, so can you. And if it tastes terrible… at least it will get you drunk.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

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How To Make A Knife From A Car’s Leaf Spring

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How To Make A Knife From A Car’s Leaf Spring Let’s be honest! In a SHTF situation, there will be a lot of cars and trucks just sitting there. Take advantage of that and make fantastic knives with the spring’s Even if you wanted to try your hand at knife making, going to the scrap …

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How To Make Your Own Wine With Fruits, Flowers & Veggies

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How To Make Your Own Wine With Fruits, Flowers & Veggies If you are sick of buying wines that taste just OK, then consider making your own. Making wine is fun, easy and cheap! Not many of us realize you can make wine from pretty much any fruit, flowers and vegetables. My wife and I …

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Don’t Forget About Coffee!

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A while back I was in a novelty store, looking at humorous refrigerator magnets. One of them read: “I haven’t had my morning coffee yet. Don’t make me kill you.” Another read: “Coffee… because crack is not allowed in the workplace.” Yet another read: “Give me coffee or give me death.”

Movie scriptwriters have also taken advantage of Americans’ obsession with this caffeinated beverage in a variety of comedy films, including Airplane II: The Sequel. Peter Graves plays a flight captain who takes in stride the news that two of his crew members have died after being sucked out of an airlock. But when a flight attendant informs him that they’ve run out of Joe, he goes ballistic, loudly reminding everyone how many times he’s asked for extra coffee to be stored on board.

We laugh at these refrigerator-worthy phrases and comedic movie moments, but they bring up a valid point. Who wants to live in a world without coffee? When a disaster strikes it will be one of the items many people will wish they had stockpiled. And not just for the enjoyment of the taste or because of the headaches they will experience without their daily “fix.” They will also crave it for it’s ability to help them stay alert in night watch situations and for its use as a bartering tool.

When a crisis causes supermarkets to run out of food and other items quickly, coffee will be a coveted commodity because it is seldom included in personal stockpiles of food and water. It might be considered a luxury item by some, but others are convinced they need it to survive the day. Regardless, making it a part of your food stockpile is a great idea that will pay dividends.

(Editor’s Note: APN’s editor enjoys the Folgers Single Cup Bags. They allow you to make one cup at a time which cuts back on the smell of brewed coffee as you can cover your cup. It also makes it much easier to keep track of exactly how many cups you have. Let’s say you drink 2 cups a day; there is 365 days a year x 2 = 730 singles packets. On amazon (Follow the link above.) you can get 113 bags for around $28.oo


Here are five reasons for including coffee in a survival stash:


  1. Coffee will disappear quickly from store shelves in an emergency. Those who stockpile food and water for emergencies are in the minority, and even many of them do not include coffee in their stashes, so it’s likely to be swept up right away by people who thought of stockpiling everything else except a good cup of joe.


  1. Stay alert in night watch situations. A disaster that causes power outages will also cause people to behave in ways they would not otherwise. Some families and groups may be forced to have one person stay awake at all times. Coffee not only keeps you awake, but also more alert and able to concentrate.


  1. Use as a bartering tool. During the Civil War, Southern soldiers had plenty of tobacco but little coffee, while soldiers in the North had a lot of coffee but little tobacco, making for a perfect bartering situation. When stores run out of the necessities, there will be plenty of trading going on. Coffee will once again be a valuable bartering item following a disaster.


  1. It’s good for you. Once considered harmful, coffee is now known to be rich in flavonoids, a group of antioxidant compounds. Some studies show that coffee can actually protect the heart, lower the risk of several forms of cancer and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. And it puts most people in a better mood, which can be helpful in a stressful situation.


  1. Enjoyment. Smiles and laughs in a post-disaster society will be few and far between, so people will want to occasionally savor something simply for its taste. Coffee lovers will argue that their beverage choice is delicious. And if coffee is as addictive as they jokingly say it is, they’re going to need it as much as want it.


Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.




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The Truth About Precious Metals in a SHTF Scenario

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The Truth About Precious Metals in a SHTF Scenario There are a few common misconceptions associated with precious metals and how they may not be helpful to a preparedness plan for either a SHTF scenario or potential economic collapse. If I can’t eat it, drink it, or use it to defend myself, I don’t need it. […]

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The Secret to Making Amazing Soap in a Slow Cooker

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The Secret to Making Amazing Soap in a Slow Cooker I have been making soap for years now, The past few years I have been making it in a slow cooker. It is so much easier and I am no expert but I think the low, constant heat makes the soap better. You could make …

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3 Survival Skills You Will Need If Society Collapses

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Obviously the more survival skills you have, the better. But there are three in particular that will especially useful if society collapses. In a total societal collapse, you would find yourself right back in the 19th century. And if it gets that bad, then even the best preppers will eventually need something from someone else. […]

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My thoughts on Dave Ramsey

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Good Afternoon what are your thoughts on Dave Ramsey’s plan for

getting out of debt as a preparation for Economic problems? Are you

familiar with it? I’ve never heard you mention him, albeit you

certainly talk about having cash saved up. I think if everyone had

their debt paid off the extra income would certainly help absorb some

inflation. Give options anyway.



I very much like Dave Ramsey and recommend his book “The Total Money Makeover”. I like how he recommends staying out of debt, having a tight budget and living below your means. His advice regarding not buying new cars or taking leases is spot on. Buy your car cash. If you can’t, you certainly shouldn’t go into debt for it.

The only point I don’t agree with him is gold.

Dave calls gold a “lousy” investment and mentions the poor returns compared to other investments. That much is true, gold is a lousy investment but that’s because gold isn’t an investment at all. Gold is a commodity. Investments generate money for you, think interests or a property you put up for rent. Buying and selling gold won’t make you much money. You’re more likely to lose some given premiums and shipping. But for an economic collapse? Oh yes, that’s different. When something terrible happens and the dollar, Euro or whatever fiat currency starts devaluating at double digit rate per week, gold will hold its own and then some. In reality it’s just keeping its true value, plus the higher than normal premium due to market interest as an economic shelter.

At one point Dave says that a pair of blue jeans or a tank of gas are “very valuable”, but not gold coins and that canned soup “would have been a better hedged against a failed economy”. As someone that actually went through an economic collapse and has studied failed economies elsewhere around the world for years, I can tell you this just isn’t true. I’ve haggled and bought two pairs of very nice jeans at a black market in Buenos Aires for a fraction of the cost of a similar quality pair in USA or Europe. After the collapse, the business of buying and selling gold went up 500% in Argentina. Gold became so valuable it became a premium target for pickpockets and burglars, so much that its still just impossible to go around town with any visible gold jewellery.

Gold is not an investment. It is a commodity considered valuable throughout history, which goes up and down in price but overall remains a globally recognized form of wealth.

Besides, as someone that dealt with an economic collapse first hand I can assure you is that you can’t grab any other asset or investment, throw it in your pocket and make a run for the airport while the country falls apart around you.

Then again, this is why you take advice regarding economic collapse from me rather than Dave Ramsey! 😉


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

The Most Affordable Survival Superfoods To Stockpile

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The Most Affordable Survival Superfoods To Stockpile See what affordable survival superfoods you should be storing. Some you may be surprised to see on the list! I am a big fan of stockpiling healthy and nutritious foods, I still can the usual, common foods like meats and veg but there is so many more foods that …

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How much food does the average family have in Venezuela?

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As you probably know already Venezuela is collapsing in a pretty dramatic way. The situation has been critical for years now but people are now running out of food.

This Business Insider article illustrates the situation well, ‘We want out of this agony’: What it’s like to eat in a country that’s on the verge of collapse”.

One of the more telling materials in it is the series of photos showing how much food typical families in Venezuela have left.

"Now eating is a luxury, before we could earn some money and buy clothes or something, now everything goes on food," Yaneidy Guzman said.

"We eat today, but we do not know what we will eat tomorrow," Francisca Landaeta said. "We are bad — I never thought it would come to this."

"We have about 15 days eating bread with cheese or arepa with cheese," Lender Perez said. "We are eating worse than before, because we can't find food and those we can find we can't afford."

"I have to leave the house at 5 a.m., facing the risk of being killed, to stand in line all day and only buy two or three products," Jhonny Mendez said.

Lesson of the day folks: you can never store enough water and food. Also, know when to bug out of the country entirely.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

9 Reasons Why Every Prepper Should Have a Stash of Alcohol (Even if you don’t drink)

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prepper stash alcoholBottles of wine, beer, vodka and rum aren’t exactly what first comes to mind when preparing for emergencies, but there are several reasons preppers should consider having a stash of alcohol on hand, even if you don’t drink.

For those who do drink, that purpose is obvious. Yet, alcohol also has value and uses that go beyond personal enjoyment. Here are nine reasons why every Survival Mom should consider having a stash of alcohol.

1. Disinfectants in your stash of alcohol

Alcohol that is higher than 35 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), or 70 proof, can disinfect, but not sterilize, wounds and tools. Disinfecting an item eliminates many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores. Sterilization eliminates all forms of microbial life. To disinfect, you’ll have to look at having vodka, brandy, rum, gin or pure vanilla extract on hand. However, if a wound is disinfected with alcohol, it can also kill the good tissue around the wound, so it should be used as a last resort. You could also use this kind of alcohol to wash your hands to disinfect them, and in the absence of other cleaners, you could use them to clean surfaces, cooking tools and dishes. Surgery and childbirth are two scenarios in which medical tools need to be as disinfected as the situation will allow. In a pinch, alcohol could be the best way to minimize the possibility of infections.

2. Medicinal uses

In addition to the medical uses mentioned above, tinctures are created using an alcohol base. Tinctures are herbal remedies where herbs are concentrated in an alcohol and water mixture. For example, a cough suppressant can be made using whiskey, honey and lemon.

Alcohol does not help with hypothermia. You often see in movies and on TV a person who has come in from the cold get offered a stiff drink to help warm them up. They may feel warmer afterward, but ultimately, that drink will serve to lower the person’s core temperature because alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate.

Alcohol can also help calm an upset stomach, temporarily help with tooth pain, and help calm an anxious person. A little bit can help a person fall asleep faster. Poison ivy and bug bites can also be relieved by rubbing some alcohol on the affected area. Alcohol can be a muscle relaxant, too.

3. Barter 

Some people value alcohol more than others and it will fly off the shelves in several emergency scenarios (riots, power outages, impending snowstorms or hurricanes). Having some on hand might give you the upper hand when trading for food or household supplies. Consider stocking up on both large bottles as well as the tiny “airplane” sizes.

INTERESTED IN BARTERING? Barter may not be the simple transaction many preppers envision. Here’s what you need to know about bartering before planning on it becoming your survival solution.

Bottles of highly prized brands of alcohol have also come in handy as bribes. Not recommending this. Just making note of it!

4. Celebrations

Despite the situation or emergency, life will continue – babies will be born, people will marry and funerals will take place. Many of these occasions bring people together to celebrate or remember. Wine or champagne can add to the celebration and help give people a sense of “normalcy,” which can be a powerful element in who thrives during difficult circumstances and who doesn’t.

5. Religious

Some religions use alcohol as part of a religious ceremony or rite. Continuing these traditions can mean a lot to people of those faiths. During Prohibition, one of the only ways for a winery to stay in business was to make wine for religious reasons.

6. Fire and defense

As with wound care, alcohol is not the first choice in sustaining a fire, but it does work if needed. Much care should be used if using alcohol around any kind of fire. Do not pour alcohol on an active fire, but soak something and put it in the kindling/coals before setting the fire.

If you find yourself in a situation where your home or family needs to be defended, you could create a fire bomb using alcohol. Extreme care needs to be taken if alcohol is used in this manner and in no way are we recommending this!

LEARN MORE WITH THIS DIY PROJECT: Make a mini-stove with Altoids in alcohol.

7. Cooking/preservation

There are plenty of recipes that call for wine and other forms of alcohol, but one of the best reasons to have alcohol around is to preserve items from the garden. Soaking herbs or plants in vodka makes extracts, like vanilla, peppermint, and lemon. Fruit can be preserved in alcohol for long-term storage. Ginger and turmeric can be preserved in alcohol, too.

8. Stress relief

Alcohol can help a person relax a bit or “take the edge off.” There will be a lot of stress in most survival situations and having a small vice is one way humans deal with stress. The social aspect of having a drink at the end of a long day is often what helps people deal with stress the most.

9. Everyday emergencies (cooking/gifts)

Sometimes the emergency isn’t dire but is still stressful. Having a few bottles of wine on hand for recipes or for a hostess gift when you’re invited to a dinner party is a good idea. Even if the hosts are non-drinkers, they can still put the bottle to good use.

Tips for storage

Alcohol needs to be stored in a cool, dark place. As a liquid, it can evaporate if the bottle has been opened. The shelf life varies depending on the type of alcohol. Beer and wine will generally last about six months to two years depending on the way it was made. Liquors vary widely, but also tend to break down by the two-year mark. Spirits and moonshines do not expire due to their high alcohol content.

Learn To Make  Your Own Prepper Stash of Alcohol

Another option to having alcohol on hand is learning to make your own. Home beer brewing and winemaking are becoming the new fad hobbies with supply stores showing up in many cities, as well as online. Many of these stores offer classes and will help you on your brewing journey. You can also use a still to make distilled water, spirits and alcohol that can be used for fuel. State laws vary on home brewing and distilling so make sure to check what is allowed where you live.

MAKING HOMEMADE WINE: This is a handy skill and not as difficult as you might think. Your final product may not win the blue ribbon in a wine competition but can still be enjoyed for what it is — a DIY project you can drink!

Preppers with a stash of alcohol can only benefit in the long run. If you’re not sure about how much and exactly what you want to have on hand, start with a variety of small bottles. Make sure to keep them out of the reach of children or possibly hidden or locked up if you have teenagers. It’s an item that can have a multitude of uses and doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.

STOCKING UP TIP: You’ll often see grocery carts filled with bottles of alcohol in the liquor department of your grocery store. Browse through those and, if you aren’t sure where to start, pick up vodka, rum, gin, or whisky, as they have many multiple uses and longer shelf lives.

Want to learn more about prepping?

prepper stash alcohol


20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World

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20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World Too many preppers have a romantic view of life after the end of the world. They see themselves as the hero of a post-apocalyptic movie, but the most likely scenario is far more depressing. Fernando Aguirre is a prepper who lived through the hyperinflationary …

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40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World

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40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World Having food, ammo, first aid supplies, flashlights etc, handy and the most important thing here is that they are extra, and they are not your preps you will be relying on when SHTF or things get worse. Items will become less available and having items stockpiles could …

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21 Things You Should Be Stockpiling RIGHT NOW!

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21 Things You Should Be Stocking RIGHT NOW! As a prepper I am always looking for items to stockpile and give my family the best chance of survival not just in an economical or global disaster but a personal disaster too. A personal disaster could be you or a partner losing a job, a flood,fire …

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Gold, Rolex and Cash after SHTF

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File:Gold Bars.jpg


I read the portion of your site devoted to the Rolex watch and the supposed value of the watch.

For the last so many decades I have been dealing in vintage watches.

Couple of points. It’s a ladies watch and ladies watches are much less in demand on the resale market than men’s watches are.

Also, there is no set price for vintage watches. It’s kind of what you can get. It’s not the stock market where the prices are posted for anyone to see.

Also, Rolex are a mass produced watch. Replicas are very good and not many people can spot the difference unless they have some experience in the field.

Best thing to have for emergency is gold. Bullion gold. Such as Maple Leaf coins or some other 999+ gold coin. Also, one should buy bullion gold coins in a minimum of 1/4 ounce size. Smaller than that there is a premium that the buyer never never gets back when they sell to a dealer.

Gold, as you well know is a publicly traded commodity with published, both print and on the net, prices for buying and selling.

Preppers are a funny bunch. Lot of silly ideas and full of conspiracies and fantasies about how they will cope/live in a difficult environment that they foresee coming our way.

They may be right about the future but I suspect few of them are prepared.

Btw, I have purchased your book and read it at least twice.

Be smart and lucky amigo.

All the best.



Thanks James, you bring up some excellent points.

As I said before it all comes down to how much you’re paying for it. There’s always a price. A buying price. A selling price (which usually offends those on the other side of the counter when they are the ones doing the selling) and there’s a price just too good to walk away from.

I would be very cautious about buying anything I don’t know well, for example in my case watches. I have a pretty good idea of what guns cost. I know a Colt Single Action Army has a certain value that no gunstore will refuse to pay for given the possible resale value, so I have a pretty good idea of what the “too good” price is. As you say though, it is better if you have a fixed, unbiased price for the specific item so that’s why gold and silver are so appealing. There’s no debate regarding their given price each day. Then again, there’s even less of a debate when it comes to a wad of cash. A couple thousand dollars in 100 USd bills is still pretty compact, and you don’t need to sell it fist to use it as you would with gold or silver. This is why the first savings you put aside for a rainy day, those should be hard cash.

“But cash is useless during an economic collapse”. No, no its not. Especially during the first few days and weeks, it may lose its value but it does so slowly. At the same time the shortage of cash, in spite of the economic collapse, creates an environment where cash is king. During this first period of time, cash gives you leverage even if it loses value. In the case of a strong currency like the USD, its even less likely that it will become worthless or lose significant value overnight.

Then yes, if you want to put aside something “economic collapse proof”, that’s when you go into precious metals.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Should You Barter When The SHTF?

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Barter has been existence for millennia. It is the oldest form of commerce and the development of the concept of barter represented the birth of division of labor which makes society so productive.

But like most version 1 concepts, it has its flaws.

Barter works really good when two people have complimentary goods. For instance, […]

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Survival… Rolex?

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Hi Fernando,

Whats your experience with rolex watch?  Will it hold value in SHTF?  Decrease, increase?
If I remember correctly, you mention in your first book, but I am traveling and do not have it with me to look up what you said about it.
I have some savings which I am using to purchase precious metal coins. However, in one of the shops, I came across a (genuine) 18k gold ladies oyster perpetual president made in the early 80’s for US $3,800 and it got me to thinking.
1) It is my understanding is that I could walk into any major city in the world and be able to convert it easily into cash.
In your experience, would that be accurate?
I am always on the go—traveling somewhere—both around the US and international.  I like the concept of a rolex because its subtle.  It is seen as a personal item and would never get counted towards the $10K cash limit.
Since it is an older model, if anyone ever asks about it, I will say it belonged to my grandmother and was passed down to me.
We have problems now in the US with police officers confiscating (stealing) your cash and monetary instruments claiming its suspicious for “drugs” even if you have committed no crime and have never touched a single drug in your life.
As opposed to bullion, it is highly unlikely that a rolex worn on your wrist would ever be confiscated by police or customs.
Other questions/concerns:
2) The scrap value of the gold in the watch is only about US $1200 compared to its asking price of $3,800.  In terms of holding its value, is it better to stick to bullion coins? Or would it be reasonable to expect that a genuine gold Rolex would hold/increase its value in bad times?  
3)  I am a single female and usually solo.  How much danger am I putting myself in by having and wearing a gold rolex? 
I am automatically on “yellow” alert whenever in public, and practice situational awareness at a level much higher than most.
For the time being, I’m sticking to “1st world” countries, although who knows? That could change.
I have done a lot of internet research about this model of watch and the price. Retail price for the same or similar watch in the US right now is between $7,000-$12,000.  This caused me to be suspicious of the seller, so I went back and examined the watch closely with gem magnifier, and it is definitely authentic.
I asked the shop owner why this piece is priced so low.  He said that most of the merchandise are things he purchased and re-sells.  But that this particular piece he is doing on consignment for a friend and she needs the $$.
He confirmed everything I had researched online about how, in the USA, this watch would sell for $7,000 +;
He said that here in Canada (quebec), there just aren’t many buyers for rolex because Canadians don’t have money like Americans do.  And that most of his rolex customers are actually Americans who come over the border to make purchases.
Thank you so much for everything you do!  Love your stuff, and Im just bummed that I didnt bring your book with me!

Hello Angela,

In most countries that I’ve been to form USA to Argentina and here in Europe, the advertising seems to be the same: “We buy your gold, silver, diamonds and Rolex”.

You have to keep it mind though that the selling price is nothing like the buying price. In general you are lucky to get half of what a potential customer is willing to pay once the dealer flips the watch. Now if you can get it yourself for such a low price then you could probably sell it elsewhere without losing money or maybe even making some on top.

In general yes, Rolex do hold their value pretty well, same as quality jewellery. The trick is knowing your trade, knowing how to avoid counterfeit items, and of course avoiding the ridiculously low offers you come across sometimes and sticking to serious people.

I was talking with a jeweller today and he was showing me how to grade diamonds, which imperfections are acceptable and which are not. Its all very interesting stuff. Again, the selling price is often not as good as the buying one so you do lose some, but Rolex watches hold on nicely. The nice thing about bullion is that market price is fixed so there’s less room for excuses. Try talking with the shop owner. Ask him, honestly, how much would be pay for a similar item if he was buying so as to get a reasonable profit margin himself. That will give you somewhat of an idea of how much you can get for it.

So, answering your questions.

1)Yes, in most city centers around the world you will be able to sell your Rolex for good money. Some dealers may haggle worse than others but you will walk out with a wad of cash. The trick is buying a quality item, paying as little for it as possible and then asking around to get a good deal when it’s time to sell.

2)For protecting money, I think precious metals is the way to go because as I said before, it has a given market price and there isn’t much to debate about. Pure gold is just that. Watches, antiques and even numismatic coins have a certain value as well and they may well be good investments and ways of moving around a lot of cash. I doubt the average TSA agent knows what a Mercury Dime 1916 D is, but the thing is worth $135,000 in  MS67 condition. Having said that, its not as reliable in terms of knowing the specific price as checking the daily given value of gold and silver. The same coin can be worth $100, or $100.000 depending on its grade, and the difference between Fine condition or Very Fine condition can be hard to tell. Even experts may have a difference of opinion. This kind of problem doesn’t exist with precious metals.

3)I would say the risk is pretty high. In a place like Argentina its downright suicidal. I’m not exactly a “soft target”, yet for some time I stopped wearing my gold wedding ring, replaced it for a silver one like lots of other people did back in the day. Now in first world countries this may not be that much of a problem. In most European capitals and large cities you see women with very expensive jewellery. Still, I would say a gold Rolex is pretty noticeable and pretty tempting. In moderate to high crime areas I would keep it out of sight. If you just want to keep it with you then it would just be a matter of being careful and when you know you are in more troubled areas just put it in your purse.

Stay safe!


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Bartering 101 For When It Hits The Fan

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Bartering 101 For When It Hits The Fan Fiat Money For most of us, money acts as our primary or sole medium of exchange.  While the value of the American dollar is not fixed, in the short term, its purchasing power is stable, with real value loss (or gain) occurring in the long-term. When making preparations for …

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Basic Soap-Making Tutorial That Anyone Can Follow

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Basic Soap-Making Tutorial That Anyone Can Follow Soap making is one of many skills that used to be widely known but today is only practiced by preppers and homesteaders. And even a lot of preppers don’t bother learning how to make soap because they think they can just stock up on it instead. While this …

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Monday Mania – 3.21.2016

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In this weeks edition of Monday Mania: It’s Time To Stock Up On Ammunition, Survival Hacks: With These 17 Tricks, You Can Improvise Through Any Crisis, “The 2nd Amendment Will Be Under Siege Before The Election” – New Supreme Court Nominee Supports Whatever Big Government Wants, The Fallacy of Hunting as a Survival Technique & 9 … Continue reading Monday Mania – 3.21.2016

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10 Great Bartering Items for When the SHTF

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

The only difference will be how they will be doing it once today’s money looses its value. So, below we’ve put together a list of 10 items that will be worthy of trading for those days ahead, on the other side of that moment we call when the SHTF

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The Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You

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The Best Survival Foods: Non-Perishables That Can Outlive You Sick of stockpiling food that expires on you? Wish there were foods that could last a decade or two, or even go so far as to outlive you? Well I’m happy to say, these kinds of foods do exist. While they’re few in number, foods that …

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Surviving in a Refugee Camp: How to earn a living when you have nothing.

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Refugiados caminan entre las vías del tren en Idomeni, Grecia
It is always nice when you come across accounts of people actually getting through disasters and learning what they did to survive and stay afloat. In the case of the refugees in Europe from Middle East, life in a refugee camp sure is challenging and there’s lots of lessons to be learned.
I found this article in La Nacion about refugees in Idomeni, Greece. Los refugiados apelan a una imaginación inagotable. The article is in Spanish but these are the most interesting accounts:
Rachid, a 36 year old mechanic from Iraq, makes a living in the camp by working as a barber. “Each day it rains is a day I don’t get to work” he complains about the Greek weather ruining his “business” which consists of a couple chairs set among the tents, a couple scissors and combs.
Rachid and his brother rented a generator “ I prefer to work even at night”. he states proudly. His brother Faisal is in charge of the “communications” business, charging the cell phones of other refugees for a fee.
Syrian Malik set up a General Store in the camp: Peppers, lemons, tomatoes and canned greens. He buys most of the produce he sells from the nearby farms. His cousin Ali sells fruits, four boxes of oranges and applies which he refills twice a day.
“With just 3 Euros our women can do miracles, prepare meals from back home” says Abdulá Kamir, a Syrian IT that grew tired of the bombings back home.
But the business that really booms in the refugee camp is the sale of prepaid phone cards. These are useful not only for calling family back home and those already in the countries of destination, but also to keep up to date regarding the situation in the different frontiers and the changing regulations in each country. Samir (20), Omar (20) and Mustafá (23) make a living providing these, which they consider their trade secret. “The day we reveal how we get our intel is the day we are left without a business”. Edith Duncan, a British nurse volunteers, says they are the three most popular people in the camp “wherever you see a crowd of people, there you will find one of them” she says.
Hazan, eight years old, sets a few packs of cigarettes on top of a box “¡Marlboro! ¡Marlboro!” he shouts, selling cigarettes to help his older brother, age twelve, who also works. Hazan claims he will own a grocery store chain in Munich when he grows up.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Critical Items Needed for Survival Shelters And Home

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Critical Items Needed for Survival Shelters And Home We often miss or over look critical items needed when prepping. Get a great head start today! There are so many lists going around right now on the internet and over Facebook I think I should make a statement. Lists are always down to you, your needs, …

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Bartering: The Old-Fashioned, Time-Tested, Stress-Free Way To Get What You Need

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Bartering: The Old-Fashioned, Time-Tested, Stress-Free Way To Get What You Need

In ages past, bartering was not only an acceptable way to conduct business in the community, but the only way to conduct the business necessary to sustain a household.

The modern culture shuns bartering for goods or services. Credit is king in a world filled with unnecessary goods and a culture that pushes the use of services that are purely for convenience, not because of necessity. Those who propose to barter are often mislabeled as a miser, a cheapskate or a penny pincher.

But for those who are looking to escape the consumer-driven culture and focus on living a more self-sufficient lifestyle, the art of bartering can help lessen the financial burden. Bartering is, by definition, the process of exchanging a good or service for a different good or service. Relying less on cash, or on credit, to maintain any portion of a homestead is possible with careful and considerate bartering. With practice, successfully bartering to provide for the needs of the homestead may become an integral part of a well-devised financial plan.

Historic Overview of Bartering and Currency

The concept of bartering is evident in many ancient cultures. Trading goods in exchange for different goods within the local area and across borders was routine in ancient times. It was not until roughly 600 B.C. that the first currency was minted for use.

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Currency hastened the consumer process, allowing a greater number of goods to trade hands quickly. As currencies were developed around the globe, the demand for a currency-based financial system overpowered the natural social practice of bartering within and around the community.

Modern Day Bartering

Bartering: The Old-Fashioned, Time-Tested, Stress-Free Way To Get What You NeedMany modern day homesteaders are using their bartering skills to meet a wide variety of needs. From building materials, livestock and seeds, to skilled labor, any task or any good can be used as part of a successful bartering agreement. Though their stories are not in the headlines, many people have pulled back from the consumer culture and fully funded a portion of their annual budget by instead bartering.

If no currency is exchanged, how does a person determine if it is helping his or her bottom line? The value of bartering can be measured in time, as it relates to imparting knowledge, or measured by the exertion necessary in physical labor. Or, it can be measured by the amount of currency saved by bartering instead of paying outright for the good or service.

The most common item used for bartering is foodstuffs, both livestock and produce. In a world where naturally raised meat and poultry, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables are in increasingly high demand, the potential for bartering is greater. Even unexpected needs can be met through bartering. For example, I’m aware of a local holistic practitioner who has been known to accept organically raised poultry in exchange for medical care from careful and conscientious households.

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In another case, a family was able to add an outbuilding and repair an additional building by being willing to exchange labor for receiving reclaimed building materials. In addition to this, meeting the wants of those in the community can also be easily accomplished through skillful bartering.

Getting Started

So, what do you do first? Perhaps there is a local general store, a diner or a pub where locals gather and agreements can be struck, but in most areas, this is no longer the case. Farmers markets, health food stores and the like are good places to start looking for potential connections. Come prepared with an idea of the goods or services that you could offer, but keep an open mind. Part of the art of bartering is learning the strengths and weaknesses of the community. Being prepared to fill a need in the community will provide ample opportunities to strike beneficial agreements.

Many members of the online community are also turning to bartering to fill the wants and needs in their lives; however, most are not utilizing the barter system as a way to promote financial independence. Caution is, of course, very necessary in negotiating any agreement online; nevertheless, there are avenues for securing legitimate agreements that benefit both parties. Practice good security measures to ensure everyone feels comfortable throughout the entire process.

Another aspect of the art of bartering is the building of relationships. Whether in person, or online, a relationship built with trust earned from satisfactorily fulfilled agreements promotes the overall wellbeing of society, as well as promoting financial stability for the individuals involved.

Add value to the community while lessening the financial burden of the homestead by practicing the art of bartering.

Do you barter? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Every Spring, Gardeners Make This Avoidable Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

How to Make Watermelon Moonshine

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How to Make Watermelon Moonshine (Step By Step With Pictures) I have never made moonshine before but after seeing this watermelon recipe I thought it would be good to share for a SHTF type of situation. In the old days of America people used to make moonshine because alcohol was prohibitively taxed by the government. …

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How To Dehydrate Milk For Long Term Food Storage

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How To Dehydrate Milk For Long Term Food Storage Save a lot of money and dehydrate your own milk. It’s very easy to do and actually quite satisfying. This is a great project if you want to store milk long term. Liquid milk goes off very quickly and without refrigeration your milk would be off …

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Bartering for Survival in a Post-Collapse Society

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Bartering for Survival in a Post-Collapse Society

By Frank Bates

Bartering-ShoesIt’s easy for people to think they don’t need to worry about preparing for a disaster because they have the financial resources to carry them through tough times. They’ve become accustomed to relying on money to take care of their problems, assuming their finances will help them weather any storm. What about bartering?

The truth is, no amount of money will protect you if the U.S. suffers a total financial collapse, something many experts believe could happen in the near future. Peak oil, currency collapse, an EMP attack—any number of events could easily bring the country to its knees, decimating our savings or keeping them locked up in banks for months or even years. There’s also the very real possibility of inflation making our currency virtually worthless.

No matter how fat (or slim) your bank account may be, it’s critical to recognize there may come a day when currency is unavailable and/or completely useless. If our economic system collapses, it’s likely that the goods we’ve stockpiled and the skills we possess will be the only things that hold any real value. In this situation, many of us will have to barter these goods and skills to survive.

To see this in action, you don’t have to look farther than Greece, where many now rely on bartering after the country’s economy came crashing down in 2015.

“In Greece there’s a major liquidity problem,” butcher Thodoris Roussos said in a recent New York Times article. Roussos trades his meat for items like tires, part of an online bartering system that’s helped him stay afloat during the crisis. “People are finding it more convenient to trade because money is not readily available,” he adds.

Of course, there’s no guarantee we’ll have the Internet or even electricity in a post-collapse society, so protecting yourself in such an event means two things. First, you need to make sure you have the necessary supplies for your family’s survival. Then you’ll want to stockpile additional supplies for bartering.

For your personal stockpile, start by storing enough food and water for your family for 72 hours. Once you have that, you can graduate to storing enough for one month, three months, six months, one year and even longer. You’ll also want to collect as many non-food items as possible, such as clothing, blankets, flashlights and batteries. It’s important to stockpile these items in at least two locations, in case you’re forced to flee your home.

When you’ve covered your own family’s needs, you can start stockpiling items and acquiring skills likely to help in a post-collapse society where bartering is the only form of commerce.

Which items should you hoard for bartering? The list is limitless, but you’ll do better to focus on those items that will give you the biggest return on your investment. That is, choose items with a long shelf life that are likely to be very valuable later compared to their current cost.

The most valuable items in a post-collapse society will likely be food and water. However, trading any extra essentials from your stockpile is risky, given that we won’t know how long it will be before we can buy those items in stores again (if ever). Instead, you’ll be better off stockpiling things that others haven’t but will be in high demand, like coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and candy.

Some other items that could be valuable include:

  • Gasoline and oil
  • Soap
  • Candles
  • Tools, nails and other hardware
  • Reading glasses
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Toilet paper and paper products
  • Medicines
  • Lighters, matches and other fire starters
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Paracord
  • Clothing
  • A wide variety of non-GMO seeds.


In addition to supplies, you’ll want to consider which skills you currently have or would like to develop that would be useful in a post-collapse society. These may include:

  • Medical services
  • Hunting
  • Farming
  • Construction and carpentry
  • Welding
  • Blacksmithing
  • Sewing
  • Gun repair
  • Small engine repair
  • Appliance repair.


Finally, it’s critical that you take steps to protect what you’ve stockpiled. That means making sure you’ve stored up enough weapons to protect your store, and never revealing the extent of your supplies to those you barter with. If you do, you run the risk of getting robbed.

We need only look at what people endured during the 20th century’s world wars to see that when supplies get tight, people have little regard for the law or human life. In this kind of situation, you simply can’t rely on money. You’ll only have your wits, your skills and whatever you had the forethought to store ahead of time.


Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.


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Barter With Your Skills To Fill Your Cupboard

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Barter With Your Skills To Fill Your Cupboard With the cost of food continuously going up, people are looking for ways to help cut the bill while still keeping their family fed. If you barter your skills, you may be amazed at the different things people will pay you with, including food! Bartering is an …

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Learn about UK Junk Silver Coins

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Some interesting info worth remembering. When it comes to British coins, Pre 1920 coins are sterling silver, meaning 92.5% silver content. From 1920 to 1946, these are known as Pre-1947, these are 50% silver.
For more information, examples and a couple other things a junk silver buyer should know, check the video below!


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.




Post-SHTF Business: Renting Generators

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En la puerta de un pequeño negocio. Recomiendan evaluar el costo-beneficio. (Emiliana Miguelez)


Argentina always had problems with power outages. Back when I was a little kid it was something that happened pretty often, especially in summer when power demand increased. Back then we had a drawer in the kitchen that was stacked with candles. Now, its not that I’m THAT old, it’s just that LED technology is still pretty new. It just wasn’t practical to use incandescent lightbulb flashlights for illumination. They went through batteries in a matter of minutes and it wasn’t really that bright anyway. Instead you would get a candle or two, get one of the old candle holders kept around the house, or if you couldn’t find one just lit a candle, drop a couple drops of wax on a small plate, place the candle on top and be careful not to drop it and burn down the house. So you did that, waited a few minutes, sometimes a couple hours until power was restored.

Honda EU2000I 2000 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator $999

The thing is that as I’ve said many times, Argentina post 2001 is the same story, only worse. You still have power outages, but after 14 years of structural neglect from the government and power companies outages tend to last days, not just hours. This may be expected in more isolated locations, but in a large city like Buenos Aires where millions live it can be challenging.
It used to be that with power outages that lasted a few hours a generator was a “nice to have” item, but with those lasting days not having a generator means some people can’t leave their homes any more. You can’t ask someone with a disability or +80 years to walk back and forth to their 6th floor apartment. Water needs to be pumped up, so no power means no water for many as well. For many stores, no power means their merchandise goes bad and they can’t stay in business without working refrigerators.
Buying a new generator in Argentina right now isn’t cheap, expect to pay between two or five times more than the price for that same unit in USA. Then you have to worry about repairing the generator, maintenance, making sure it doesn’t get stolen, storing it, etc. Because of this, renting generators has become a popular choice, especially for business, stores and buildings who need larger units. The prices are all over the place, from 50 dollars a day (for a genny that costs 400 USD in America) to 600 USD a day for some of the bigger 200kva units such as the ones large stores and buildings need to operate pumps and elevators, fuel not included.

Champion 4750 Watt DUAL FUEL Generator w/Electric Start (CARB Compliant) $516,57

Just something to keep in mind. In certain climates and certain locations, having a generator is pretty much mandatory, one of those facts of life. But also keep in mind that it may be a significant asset in certain scenarios, everywhere from powering your neighbours in exchange of other goods and services or simply renting it out for cash. In this case getting bigger, reliable generator makes sense.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Bartering After TEOTWAWKI, Is It a Good Idea?

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barteringPersonally, I intend to do some bartering, if things fall apart.  Now what you trade and how you go about it is a bit complicated.  First there is two things that I would be very careful about who I bartered with, ammunition and alcohol.  Now I know that many people have stored extra ammo with the idea that it will be good trading stock.  I believe that there will be a demand for many different types of rounds, particularly 22 and 12 gauge birdshot for hunting.


Don’t be this guy

When you trade ammo, you want to be sure that it is not going to be used on you.  You may be arming the person who intends to rob you.  I have talked with people who have schemes to set up snipers and other ideas to protect themselves while bartering.   If you trade with anybody that comes along, you will end up in a nasty situation eventually.  I don’t want to end up in a shooting situation.

I have also talked to people who think that they can survive by setting up a still and bartering alcohol.  Now this is not a totally bad idea, some alcohol is needed for medicinally purposes.  But if you are selling it for drinking, word will get around and there are lowlife alcohols that will do anything for a drink, including kill you and your family.

barteringNow don’t think that I am against bartering, because I am not.  I think that bartering will revolve around what we grow, produce or the skills we possess.  Simple skills and having the tools to perform them will become valuable.  Things like sharpening a handsaw, soap making, candle making, tanning hides, blacksmithing and other types of repair work.  It seems like everytime I grow a garden, I have an abundance of something.  This can be preserved or traded for something else.

I think that the single most valuable items other than maybe food will be medical supplies. Many people who have chronic medical conditions will run out of medications rapidly.  These types of medications or there herbal substitutes will be extremely valuable.  Knowing and being able to produce herbal medications will be a good skill to have.

One thing that our family has a lot of is miscellaneous hardware.  My father taught us to go to garage sales and buy the odd boxes of nails, screws, bolts and fitting.  There always seems to be one in every garage sale.  Normally you can buy them very cheaply.  When people have to start repairing and building things for themselves these items will become quite valuable. Don’t forget that some of the people who made the most money on the California gold rush were the ones who sold picks and shovels.

A local economy based on bartering can function, just be sure you are careful whom you deal with and don’t deal so tight that you make enemies.



101 Low Cost Items to Barter When the SHTF

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 101 Low Cost Items to Barter When the SHTF When the supply chains break, when the wheels of trucks that our nation relies on to get us our food, clothing, and medical items, the use of money will come to a screeching halt. Sure, people will still use it for a few days or weeks, …

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Which Booze is Best for a Prepper Stockpile?

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Which Booze is Best for a Prepper Stockpile? Do you stockpile alcohol in case of a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation? If you do, which kinds of booze are you stockpiling? It’s safe to say that not every kind of alcohol is ideal for a long-term stockpile. While this is true, it’s also very true that many alcohols …

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How To Make Insulin

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How To Make Insulin In An Emergency Before you read this please note that this medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have diabetes or are likely to get it or are concerned about …

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15 Skills That Will Be PRICELESS in a Post SHTF Barter World

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The main reason preppers learn survival skills is so they won’t be helpless if they lose all their supplies. For example, if you don’t have a fire starter, you’ll need to know how to start a fire without one. But there’s another good reason to learn survival skills: […]

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People in Venezuela Bartering for Survival

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Patrons line up on a supermarket parking lot in San Cristobal, Venezuela, in January.
Argentina went through some very tough times but politically it never fell completely into a communist backwards socio-political situation such as the one seen in Venezuela.
Venezuela has been the land of amazing stupidity these last few years thanks to characters such as Hugo Chaves and Nicolas Maduro. How else can you explain a country that runs out of toilet paper and tampons, or where cooking oil, flour and sugar, produced locally are hardly found in supermarkets and only after waiting in line all day?

Chicken for diapers: Bartering abounds in scarcity-stricken Venezuela

Some of the more interesting quotes:

“Like many 16-year-olds, Yannilay Liendo spends the better part of her day glued to Facebook. However, unlike her peers, she’s not using the social media site to connect with friends or catch up on gossip — she’s trying to find diapers and formula for her baby.”

“Venezuela’s grinding economic crisis has generated a plethora of problems including triple-digit inflation, shortages of basic goods and massive lines at markets. But it’s also inspiring boot-strap solutions, including a growing number of bartering websites for desperate shoppers.”

“In a sense, the economy has turned everyone into a hoarder. On a recent weekday, when a shipment of tampons came into a local pharmacy in an upscale part of Caracas, business men on their lunch break were scooping them up by the handful. While some said they were taking them to their spouses, others said they hoped they might be able to trade them with friends for other toiletries.

“Maria, 24, a reseller who asked for anonymity because re-selling is illegal, said stores in her neighborhood of central Caracas are adapting to the new buying habits by offering baskets of random bundled goods at a fixed price designed to be swapped on the secondary market.”

“José Goméz, a 57-year-old public accountant, said it had been five days since he could find sugar or coffee.

“In my house we don’t even know what a bean looks like anymore,” he said. “It’s been eight months since I’ve been able to buy deodorant.”

Medical Supplies As Survival Barter Items

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Rourke: This article was originally published HERE at the DoomandBloom.net website.


I recently received a communication from a paramedic who asked what I keep in terms of silver and gold for barter purposes in a collapse. In a true collapse, having some of this on hand would be very useful, but only in the early stages when people don’t yet realize that “money” may be worthless in terms of your chances for long-term survival. Food, items for defense, and medical supplies will, over time, become the most valuable surplus items you can have for successful trading.


Food will be in short supply, especially in urban environments once grocery stores are empty. Few have the knowledge of how to grow their own through gardening. Gardening has a learning curve and is subject to the whims of the weather such as the amount of rainfall, storms, and extremes in temperature. Soil conditions and pests will also be a factor, dependent on where you live. Although I’ve been through Master Gardener training in my state, I still sometimes have failures in my attempts to grow certain crops.


Once people know you have surplus food to trade, items for defense will be important for protection. It’s hard to believe that the desperate or unscrupulous would not make you a target in times of trouble. Whatever materials you have for home defense, make sure that you know how to use them safely, and practice with them regularly. A gun, for example, in the hands of the inexperienced may be a danger to themselves as well as to those who wish them harm.


So why medical supplies? Medical supplies and the knowledge of how to use them will eventually, in my opinion, become some of the most valuable items to accumulate in quantity for barter purposes. You can make a wound with a weapon, but few will have the things necessary to heal a wound. Having bandages, antibiotics, blood clotting agents, and other medical materials will give you purchasing power in a world without ATMs, effective water treatment or rule of law.


Nurse Amy’s Family Medical Bag


This is why you can never have too many medical supplies in your survival storage. You’d be surprised how many dressings one significant wound will consume. Don’t forget that you’ll be in charge of caring for that wound from beginning to end in a true survival scenario. Barter only what you can spare.


Don’t forget the value of your medical knowledge as a trade item. Not everyone knows how to stop bleeding, deal with orthopedic injuries, perform long-term wound care, or treat infection. If you are the medic, your services have a value. What do you think that value would be in circumstances where a family has a child that is sick or a loved one that is injured? To me, this is a compelling argument for taking the time and effort needed to learn these skills, even in normal times.


This doesn’t mean that you should expect something in return every time you help someone in medical need. The value of good will in a survival community is not to be underestimated. However, grateful parents, if they’re able, will often want to reward you in some way for saving a child’s life, and this may increase the chances for your own family’s survival. Indeed, your services may become so valuable that you will become an asset that your community will make a priority to protect.


Food, water, and shelter are the most important things to have if things go south, but medical supplies and the knowledge of how to use them is a strong second. An understanding of what plants in your area may have medicinal value will also help, as pharmaceuticals will run out in a long-term survival setting.


I strongly encourage you to become a medical resource by learning skills that might save a life in dark times or even today. You’ll benefit your family, your community, and greatly increase the chance that you’ll succeed, even if everything else fails.

Joe Alton, MD
















Should You Prep For Bartering?

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Should You Prep For Bartering?

I guess you could say my wife and I have been “preppers” for several years. We have always believed in a debt-free lifestyle, and except for a couple of home mortgages decades ago, that philosophy has served us well.  My wife and I both have had steady jobs through the years and never fell victim to the conspicuous consumption routine of “keeping up with the Joneses”.  (That alone keeps a lot of stress out of family life.)  Without going into details, I can say that my spouse and I are fairly comfortable with our preparations for most things old man Murphy could throw at us, short of something like a nuke or serious asteroid strike close to our home.  Water?  Got it.  Food?  Got it!  Defense?  Got it!  PM’s?  Got some!  BOV and camper?  Got it!  Remote bunker?  Working on it!  We even have a friendly and supportive MD and have managed to get important medications (thankfully we don’t need many) stocked up. 

During the course of reading up on prepping, talking to others, listening to “experts”, etc., the issue often comes up about acquiring goods for “barter” in the wake of some wide-spread calamity. This got me thinking.  Should anyone deliberately acquire goods they know, or at least are pretty sure, they themselves won’t use but are just acquired for trading purposes? 

This begs a couple of questions.

First, how do you KNOW you won’t need something? After all, circumstances change, and what is prepping all about anyway but preparing for the unexpected?  Like it or not – we don’t know what we don’t know. 

Second, should you spend your limited resources acquiring things you believe will be important to others but which you presume you will have little or no use for yourself? And, which “others”?  If the time comes, the line of “others” is apt to be quite long, diverse and needy.


Let’s play pretend for a minute.  Here are four possible scenarios which, I hope, will help illustrate the point.




  • You are a tea-totaler! You have no use for alcoholic spirits. Since you have stocked up on disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, soap, topical antibiotics and other medical supplies, alcoholic spirits are irrelevant to you.  But one of the most common barter items mentioned by preppers far and wide is booze. In normal society, alcohol is widely available, relatively cheap, has a long list of uses other than just for drinking, and has a tremendously long shelf life.  After any significant catastrophe alcohol will likely disappear within hours.  Demand is certain to outrun supply many times over.  Should you purchase a supply of booze as a trade good?
  • As a prepper you have a comfortable (at least to you) supply of firearms and ammunition. At a garage sale you find several hundred rounds of XYZ ammunition, and for an unbeatable price. You do not have a firearm that uses XYZ ammo, you don’t know anyone who does, and you have no intention of getting one.  XYZ is not one of the top popular calibers, but it is somewhat common.  Do you purchase the ammo, knowing that, for you, it’s only a trade good?
  • Here’s a tougher one. You are allergic to penicillin. Do you stock up on Fish Mox,  (Amoxicillin)?
  • In several recent inner-city riots, news reports usually focused on liquor stores as targets of looters. Since we considered alcohol in the first scenario let’s move on to another item pretty high on the list of looter targets. (Guns, cash, and jewelry are of course top targets of looters, but these things are more easily removed from view, already protected with infrastructure or receive extra protection from security forces.) Believe it or not – disposable diapers. OK!  You do not have diaper dependent toddlers in your group.  Do you buy some anyway?

No doubt you can think of dozens of other scenarios and items based on your unique view of the world. And there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to acquiring goods solely for barter. Google “preppers and trading” and you will get hundreds of suggestions about what to stock up on now to trade after TEOTWAWKI.  Some lists are well over one hundred items long.   As none of us has unlimited resources, it’s a fool’s errand to try to acquire some of “everything”.  So what should you do?

In the minds of some, I’m going to touch a third rail here. My advice is no.  Don’t do it.  Do not deliberately acquire preps just for barter.

The typical prepper (is there a “typical” prepper?) has a limited horizon of people and assets to protect.   As altruistic as you may be, you cannot save the world. Your first and highest priority is to those you choose to throw your security blanket over.  Thought, effort and expense devoted to trade goods diverts resources from your primary goal of protecting loved ones.  Anything you envision trading for after the fact should already be on your ‘A’ list.

And what about storage space? A place to put all those trade goods may be of no real concern for a suburban homeowner with rooms to spare, but for some, storage space is limited.  If you are an apartment dweller do you really want to use some of what little space you have to store things you might, someday, somehow, be able to trade for something, maybe, you are not sure what?  All those trade goods will have to be put someplace; protected from weather, deterioration, theft, etc.

Consider also that in the event of widespread calamity; most of the needy will likely have little to barter with. You could well find that most of your trade goods will acquire next to nothing in return, thus making them nearly worthless in their ability to improve your situation.  Even worse, your barter goods could make you and your family an even greater target of violence.  If someone or group wants what you don’t need you may decide to give it away to avoid confrontation.  Paradoxically, giving away goods, even things you don’t want, can make you an even greater target than before.  Reference the many suggestions that for your own safety you should distribute welfare through front organizations such as churches – not through your front door.

I have nothing against bartering. It is a time honored tradition and a textbook example of a free market.  When two people freely exchange goods, both gain. But bartering should not be a strategy depended on in the early/middle stages of a catastrophe.  Successful bartering needs a relatively stable economic and social environment; something unlikely in the early/middle stages of the kind of event most preppers envision.  

In defense of barter as a tool, it is likely that many preppers will make mistakes in their acquisitions. I know I have.  Most of us will over-prepare in some areas and under-prepare in others.  Still other items or categories may be completely overlooked.  Nobody has a crystal ball that says you will only need this much X, and that much Y.    Who among us can foresee every need?  Careful bartering after some calamity may have a place but it should be practiced the way porcupines mate – very carefully!

My guess is that most people who talk about bartering after TEOTWAWKI envision something like a friendly get together at a flea market type environment where everyone has a good time and goes home with goodies they didn’t have before. If that is how you see post-apocalyptic trading taking place, I strongly suggest you take off the rose colored glasses and start thinking realistically.  It may take months or even years for that kind of order to be restored.   Bartering in a disorderly lawless world is apt to be a very dangerous activity.  Tempers will flare and you may not be able to safely ‘back away’.  Someone who envisions themselves or their family desperately in need of something you have is probably going to be pretty insistent.  Wouldn’t you?  When order and some semblance of civilized society return, barter will probably flourish, but for now, the longer you can stay away from it  – the better.

 Realize also that historically, bartering goods and services is cumbersome, inefficient and a tremendous drag on individual and societal economic improvement.  Even under ideal circumstances bartering is a slow hit and miss proposition.  That’s why money was invented.  Money speeds up a society’s improvement in lifestyle and security.  Consequently, in any post-apocalyptic environment, some type of “money” will eventually emerge.  Some will be tempted to think they know what that form of money will be.  I have no idea what it will be, but I do know most who guess will guess wrong.  And that thought leads to my concluding advice.

By all means – prepare. But do your homework.  Spend your resources on things you are sure or reasonably sure, you and your group will need.  To do less is to waste precious time, money and energy on a “hope”.  Hope is not a strategy.  Remember, anything you envision trading for after the fact should already be on your ‘A’ list.  If the time comes and you find yourself “over prepared” with some items, you may find a way to carefully barter some away for things you do not have.  But be extremely careful when doing so. 

Your list of necessities will not match mine, your neighbor’s, or some armchair expert’s list.  Don’t let that weigh you down with doubt.  Learn from others.  Listen to their ideas.  If invited, and you are so inclined, share your ideas with them.  Adopt good ideas from others and discard bad or irrelevant ones. Learning what others are thinking will pay off in ways you would never think of on your own. 

Be a positive force!


The Retired Professor


The “Retired Professor” signature is correct.  I was a college Professor for many years, teaching Finance, Economics, and Management.  During that time I also spent 15 years as a LE firearms instructor. Now happily retired in Utah pursuing several hobbies, including prepping.



This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.


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Essential Survival Secrets Beyond The Obvious

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Essential Survival Secrets Beyond The Obvious

Image source: triphobo

Just buying and stockpiling food and gear is not enough to ensure that you’ll survive during a natural or man-made disaster.

In fact, the greatest threat for the regular Joe Survivalist is not represented by economic collapse of predator drones, but his own hutzpah, i.e. an overblown ego.

Too much confidence can kill you faster than a smart bomb, and this article is aimed at showing you there’s more to learn and there’s room for improvement, so you won’t be defeated before your journey has begun.

Let’s look at a short list of what we’ll call forgotten survival secrets.

Things You May Have Forgotten

I’ve heard a lot of so-called survivalists acting and talking tough, claiming they’d rather drop dead than leave their property. That’s plain stupid and there’s no harm in having a Plan B if you’re a true survivalist. I admit, sometimes you must stand your ground and defend your property and your family if necessary, but an exacerbated sense of pride and lack of tactical thinking will definitely put an end to your life prematurely. Therefore, always have a bug-out/secondary retreat location.

New Solar Backup Generators Deliver 4 Times More Power Than Other Models!

In such a scenario, your health and physical fitness will make all the difference between life and death. I mean, if you can’t run 200 yards without having a heart attack, you may be in trouble. Even if you’re an old homesteader/survivalist, there’s no excuse for not taking care of your body. The solution is very simple and obvious: Eat healthy, eat less and exercise, even moderately, on a daily basis.

Another open-secret which is actually an acute and obvious inadequacy in the survivalist movement is community building and organization.  There’s no point in playing lone-wolf ad nauseam. After all, there’s a lesson to be learned from history: United we stand, divided we fall. Basically, it’s almost impossible for any single person, prepper or not, to cover the wide spectrum of supplies and skill sets required to endure a long-term economic collapse or a natural disaster.

The most common logical fallacy is the argument that bigger communities are bigger targets. But, in a disaster scenario, everyone is a potential target; when it comes to societal chaos, having friends and neighbors you can count on in case of an emergency will definitely increase your chances of survival.

Essential Survival Secrets Beyond The ObviousSome of the biggest “guns” in any respectable survivalist’s paraphernalia are barter markets and trade skills. In a society collapse scenario, the private trade networks (the barter markets) will become the new normal; just look at what happened in Greece in times of huge financial instabilities. You must learn how to trade for acquiring essential supplies in dire times; if you fail to learn these things, you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt.

Get The Essential Survival Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

Let’s close by looking at a few items, in addition to food and water, that you should consider purchasing:

1. High-quality and durable survival clothing. Even if this may put a dent in your wallet, just bite the bullet and try to buy the best survival clothes you can find, and in multiples. These clothes will have to last (and protect you from the elements) for long periods of time in a crisis scenario, so choose wisely.

2. Solar panels/solar generator. It’s shocking how many survivalists overlook this aspect, i.e., owning a readily available and free source of energy. Being capable of powering your vital appliances during a disaster scenario will dramatically increase your chances of survival.

3. Geiger counters and chemical warfare strips. These are to prepare yourself and your community for potential radiological/biological disasters.

4. A greenhouse. You can use it almost anywhere and in any climate, and it will help you grow food year-round.

5. Raw materials for the home. For example, nails, lumber, steel, iron, sealants and bags of concrete; you never know when you’ll have to maintain your homestead.

The ultimate secret for becoming an accomplished survivalist is to act as an independent thinker, a free man on the land, making your own decisions and not expecting a helping hand from the government.

What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are Your Prepared For A Grid-Down Scenario? Read More Here.

Goats, Axes & Fire!

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Goats, Axes & Fire Ohhh My!

GoatsThis week on the 7 P’s Of Survival Show we will have Chris Gustafson on the show and will be talking all about the life of a Michigan Outdoorsman. We plan to talk about using goats for all things self reliance, collecting fire tinder material and what works best, his two businesses, some axe junkie recommendations for the everyday woodsman and we will talk a little bit about what in my opinion is the best barter/trading page on Social Media “Bushcraft Outdoors/BUY SELL TRADE!!!!!.” Chris runs the Gustafson Hobby Farm HERE, Michigan Wild Fire HERE and is one of the few remaining practicing packgoating in Michigan.

GoatsA lot of people look at goats as annoying animals that are not worth their trouble on the homestead. Chris turns that notion on its head and uses those same goats to clean several trails in Northern Michigan that so many couldn’t get out and enjoy without their help.

His goats are used for trail cleanup as pack goats that pack out all the garbage those who don’t know what leave no trace truly means. Aside from this great use goats can provide entertainment (they are quite funny to watch and listen to at times), milk, cheese, leather, soap, landscaping assistance, security, companionship and wool fiber. We will explore several of the benefits of having a goat on the homestead during the show and hopefully hear a few of your stories.

10-13-15 11745381_1Once we tackle the age old question of to add goats or not to add goat we will move on to fire craft and the Michigan Wildfire Kit. Chris puts out one of the most well rounded tinder kits with some beautifully hand crafted ferro rods. We will talk tinder, fire starting mediums and the best place to procure those items in the wild. We may even venture into the wild world of Chaga and a few other wild medicinal that can be easily procured and used while out in the woods. Speaking of procurement we will talk about axes in this segment and what we both recommend for taking into the woods for the beginner woodsman.
Rounding out the show we will talk buying/selling/trading and bartering for gear. Over the last two years or so I have been part of the Facebook group Bushcraft Outdoors/BUY SELL TRADE!!!!! HERE and have had countless great dealings and trades for excellent kit items. We will talk about safe trading practices, what is often available and how working on this trading skill now could be one of the best skills you could acquire for a society of olden days.
This should be a fun show and we hope to her from you during the show!
7P’s Survival Blog: HERE

Listen to this broadcast “Goats, Axes & Fire” in player below!

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Medical Bartering, Part 2 – OTC Medications

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Scenario #2

The grid is down, so you and a few friends have organized a neighborhood church for worship. One Sunday morning a stranger in a business suit struggles in, barely able to walk  After the service you sit with him at the potluck dinner.

“It’s the gout,” he grimaces, sitting down. “It only hits me a few times a year, but when it does I can barely move. What I wouldn’t give for some Indocin! You don’t happen to have any, do you?”

In fact you don’t have that prescription medication on hand, but you have stocked up on generic Advil, Aleve, and aspirin. And, having read Armageddon Medicine, you realize that these may work just as well.

Having sufficient on hand to share, what do you do?
1.  As a fellow church attender, give him 5 days worth, free of charge.
2.  Offer to sell him 20 pills at your cost.
3.  Decide that a fourfold markup is fair, similar to the difference between manufacturing and retail prices.
4.  Calculate what it would be worth to you if you were in his situation, and ask if he would like to exchange his business suit for a supply of anti-inflammatory medicine.
5.  Knowing that you may never be able to replenish your supply, and that gout is not life-threatening, you apologize and answer no.

The above options raise issues that may be useful in establishing a bartering policy.
1.   How will you set the value of an item?
2.  Will you treat strangers differently than family or friends?
3.  To whom should you offer charity?
4.  Under what circumstances would you barter?

Regarding over-the-counter products, should the value be higher for an OTC medication that could legitimately replace a prescription drug? Should the amount you have on hand figure into the calculation? Should the price increase as your supply decreases?

Below are my recommendations for OTC medications that would be valuable in a barter economy.

1.  Pain medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen)
2.  Nausea medication (Bonine, Dramamine, or other version of meclizine)
3.  Diarrhea medication (Imodium or loperamide)
4.  Allergy medications (diphenhydramine, loratadine, cetirizine)
5.  Skin preparations (hydrocortisone cream, bacitracin, antifungal cream)
6.  Anti-acid preparations (antacids, H2-blockers such as ranitidine, proton pump inhibitors  such as Prilosec or Prevacid)
7.  Bladder pain relief (Azo)
8.  Sleep medications (Tylenol PM, Advil PM, NyQuil)
9.  Anxiety medications (although these are not specifically for anxiety, meclizine or diphenhydramine maybe useful)

In addition to the above, you may want to invest in Asthmanefrin, which may be life-saving in the event of an acute asthma attack or allergic reaction.  Fish antibiotics, which are intended for aquarium use, may also come in useful in an emergency situation when no medical help is available.

I also suggest you set a budget and buy what you can within your means. For $50 you could get a decent assortment of useful OTC drugs.

Additionally, make sure you check the expiration date on everything, especially any liquid preparations.  Although medications do not “go bad” immediately after the “Best if used by” date on the bottle, still it would be desirable to acquire medications that are not short-dated.  On the other hand, you may be able to get some great two-for-one deals on products that are set to expire soon.

One last note: unless you are a professional, you should never present yourself as one.  Although practicing medicine without a license in a crisis situation may never cause a legal problem, you should always be honest about your credentials.  Bartering with adolescents or children is also a potential problem; even in a crisis situation I suggest you deal with parents if at all possible, despite the fact that these drugs can be purchased without a prescription.

Medical Bartering Part 1

Medical Bartering, Part 1 of 5 – Introduction

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Scenario #1

You’re in a grid down situation. As a registered nurse, you’ve gathered medical supplies for your family that you believe might be life-saving in the event of a calamity.

Cautiously answering a knock at your door, you find a young couple with their infant daughter. Even at first glance you know she is dehydrated. “Can you help her?” the weeping mother cries. “She hasn’t had anything to eat or drink in three days!”

Having the skills and supplies to save her life, how do you respond?

1.  ”No,” you say while closing the door, “but you can try the clinic in town.”
2.  ”Maybe,” you answer, opening the door a crack, “if you’ll trade for that diamond ring.”
3.  ”No, it would be against the law to start an IV without a doctor’s order,” you reply truthfully.
4.  ”Possibly,” you say guardedly, “If you can pay $50, the cost of my supplies.”
5.  ”Of course,” you respond, believing it is the only moral choice.

What would you trade for the life of your child?

Many questions are raised by the above scenario:
1.  Are you morally obligated to help someone who hasn’t prepared wisely?
2.  Is it right to put your own children at risk by helping another?
3.  Is it ethical to ask for payment or barter in an emergency situation?
4.  Are professionals required to be Good Samaritans?
5.  Would the child’s death be on your conscience?
6.  If you barter, how do you determine the value of something?
7.  Are your skills a barter item?
8.  If someone offers all they have to save their child, is it ethical to take all their worldly goods?
9.  Whom will you help outside your family?
10.  Will you treat strangers differently than friends?
11.  When is the proper time to decide barter arrangements?
12.  Does helping someone make you responsible for the outcome?
13.  Will you share prescription medications?
14.  Is it even legal to share prescription medications and does that matter?
15.  Is demanding a large fee for saving a life ethical?

All these questions and more should be addressed before disaster strikes. You may not come up with an answer for every possible situation, but at least you’ll have a tentative plan.  For a survival group, a written plan is generally better than an informal intention.

In the following series of articles I will be addressing potential barter for medical items and skills, including:
1.  Over-the-counter medications
2.  Prescription medications
3.  Over-the-counter products other than medications
4.  Medical skills

For each topic the relative value of barter items will be addressed, along with real life situations you may well encounter.   If you have a family or larger preparedness group, these would be valuable topics for discussion, which would likely raise further concerns relevant to your own situation.

In Part 2 I will begin by discussing over-the-counter medications possibly suitable for bartering in an emergency situation.

Medical Bartering Part 2

5 Criteria for Barter Goods

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Occasionally while reading survival forums or prepper blogs I run across the following 5 criteria for barter goods, typically accompanied by a list of over 40 goods that match the criteria. Although the posts or articles tend not to provide attribution for the criteria, based on those that do I believe they come from Joel Skousen’s pamphlet, 10 Packs for Survival. I think these 5 criteria for barter goods really nail it:

  1. High consumer demand
  2. Not easily home manufactured
  3. Durable in storage
  4. Divisible in small quantities
  5. Authenticity easily recognizable


Let’s consider why these criteria are so useful:

High Consumer Demand

iPads and HD televisions may be in high demand right now, but if our currency fails the economy has failed and chances are the power grid is failing as well. Look for items that will see soaring demand in the face of likely disaster scenarios–bicycles, for example, or solar panels or wood-burning stoves or water filters.

Not Easily Home Manufactured

It’s not hard to imagine the sorts of things people will start making at home when times are hard: more people will be sewing their own clothes, for example, or growing their own food, or brewing their own cider. But how likely are they to be making their own batteries, pliers, or aspirin? Items that are not easily made will be worth more simply because of that difficulty in manufacturing.

Durable in Storage

Several groups of items, including food and fuel, have relatively short shelf-lives. It makes little sense to stockpile goods for barter that could easily go bad before they are needed. Sometimes an item can last over a decade if packaged one way, but less than a year if packed another way; guess which items will be useful in barter? Sugar and salt will last forever, properly stored; but powdered milk and beef jerky will only last a few years. Knives and binoculars will last; dynamite and cardboard will degrade. Freeze-dried food in unopened #10 cans will outlast the same food by the same manufacturer packed in Mylar envelopes.

Divisible into Small Quantities

Many people would love having a horse for transportation and to help with work around the homestead. However, a horse is the smallest useful unit of horse, unless one just wants the meat for food. Few people willing to trade will be able to offer something as valuable as a horse in exchange. Compare this with something of similar value, say 1,000 pounds of wheat: one could easily dip into the store of wheat and come out with enough to trade for a needle, a roll of toilet paper, or a bic lighter. The wheat is divisible into sacks, pounds, or cups, and so in this regard it fits this barter criteria where a horse does not.

Authenticity Easily Recognizable

I often hear people recommending silver or gold for purchasing goods after the collapse of a currency. But while precious metals can help one retain wealth through a crisis, they may not be the best for barter, even if they meet the other criteria. The problem is that most people won’t know the value of an ounce of gold or silver, or how to know if what you’re offering even is gold or silver. You could try to educate them, but you know how people are–they won’t see you as the most objective source of information in this scenario. You’ll probably have to accept less than you think your metals are worth, rather than much more than you paid. Even when bits of gold or silver are hallmarked or stamped or coined to attest to their purity and value, people will feel more comfortable knowing the value of a candy bar or an axe.

In a similar vein, chemical compounds or common liquids can be hard to assess. Is that codeine or aspirin powder? Is that gasoline still potent? Is that whiskey watered down? Is that water pure or contaminated? Unless you want your barter goods assessed at the lowest possible rate, it’s best to stick with things that almost all people can easily assess.

Personally, I plan to start my barter goods with items I’ll want extras of for myself: medicines, ammunition, firearms, canning jars and lids, and the like, with the thought that if there’s something I forgot to stockpile, I’ll have an abundance of such things to trade. But eventually I see myself stashing small portable items such as needles, tools, salt, and others that fit these criteria for no other reason than to barter.