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Old 11-08-2016, 07:03 AM
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I have an question that I would like information on. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what we could "invest in" and also fulfill our prepping desire. For example I purchase 100 mini bic lighters that I could barter in times of trouble. Please share..., have a great day!
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wattda View Post
I have an question that I would like information on. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what we could "invest in" and also fulfill our prepping desire. For example I purchase 100 mini bic lighters that I could barter in times of trouble. Please share..., have a great day!

Ammunition is a great investment, not only for your own security, but also for bartering

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Old 11-08-2016, 04:55 PM
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A few different schools of thought on this subject.

1. A person must have everything on hand before a disaster and the PAW, as there will be absolutely nothing available afterwards.

2. A person must have everything on hand before a disaster and the PAW, as everyone else will be out to destroy you and take everything you have if you try to obtain anything from anybody for anything afterwards.

3. A person must have everything on hand before a disaster and the PAW, as nobody else will have anything that you could possibly want that they would be willing to take anything you possibly have for it.

4. A person must have everything on hand before a disaster and the PAW, for if you have anything at all that anyone could possibly want, you will need it yourself and would be an idiot if you traded it away for anything they might possibly have.

5. No one can have everything they might need, because no one knows exactly what will happen, nor can a person have every skill that might ever be needed, and no one can 'store up' services, so having something that people trying to survive might need or want in the PAW is not a bad idea.

I pretty much go with #5. So, as long as you have the preps you want/need, for the situation you believe you can survive, having a few more of those preps would probably get you things and services you did not think about ahead of time. Especially potable water in some instances. Food, of course. And many services, such as medical.

Now, with that rant pretty much out of the way, here are my real thoughts on barter and trade:

My thoughts and opinions on barter and trade

Barter will happen. Just like any other transaction, whether barter or trade of specific goods, payment by paper money, hard money, or some other form of currency is involved, some people will accept the terms of the exchange and some will not. If the price is too high or too low, depending on which end of the deal you are on, no transaction will take place.

When it comes to money, it is a matter of trust. Do you trust the individual to have the real thing, and do you trust that someone else will take it in future trade. Because some will, I will have some gold and silver. Because some will not, I plan to have trade goods, also.

I am not too concerned about there being a lot of counterfeit gold and silver out there in the aftermath of a disaster. If the economy becomes standardized on hard money again, then yes, there will undoubtedly be counterfeiting going on. Always has been, always will be. I have received counterfeit bills before, so I know the risk is there. I just consider it a small risk, then and in the future.

I will judge each exchange on an individual basis and decide which form of payment I am willing to make or accept. The other party will have to make the same determination.

Some people, on the other hand, think the common currency will be ammunition. Then there are about as many other opinions as there are other people. I believe, that since people recognize the fact that gold and silver coins circulated in the past as relatively stable money, that when (maybe if, but more likely when) paper money loses value, they will go back to recognizable gold and silver coinage.

I do think people will trust the pre-1965 silver coins and the newly minted Gold Eagles of various denominations. The Gold Eagles have a dollar value and gold content on them, so it will make it easy to do transactions. I think people will go the easy route and use them. One or two compact coin references that show the coins, their precious metals content, and the years they were minted will go a long way to convincing people that have no common knowledge about PM coins just what it is you have. Or, in many cases what they have, or do not have.

Again, this is just one person’s opinion. I value other points of view. Makes me think. I actually sometimes change my opinion. Rarely, though. I am from Missouri originally and you definitely have to “Show Me”.

The Big Five trade goods in my opinion are liquor, tobacco, coffee, sugar, and gasoline. Other high ticket items are meat, pain medications, feminine hygiene items, milk, baby things, toilet paper, lighters & matches, chocolate, salt, seeds, canning lids, cooking oils, gloves, socks, needles & thread, and other fuels.

Other items to stock are ammunition; various condiments, herbs, and spices; flour (or wheat and a grinder), and other OTC medicines beside pain meds.

All of your trade goods should be purchased in case lots of the smallest practical sealed individual packages available. While you could save money by buying cases of the larger packages you might have trouble getting an equitable trade for the packages when things are tight. By buying the smaller packages in case lots, you do recoup some of the difference. So go for the liquor in pints, coffee in one-pound cans, etc.

All of the human consumable items possible should be vacuum packed or canned to provide the longest possible shelf life.

Sugar, salt, and wheat will last indefinitely if kept dry, cool, and rodent proof, so store sugar and salt in one-pound paper packages in larger cans or pails with tight, waterproof lids, or get the professionally packed #10 cans or Super Pails. Keep wheat and a grinder, rather than flour. Grind as you need for trading.

Factory assembled ammunition will keep for twenty years or more if reasonable care is taken. Both cocoa and bar chocolate should be kept. I have kept cocoa for over a year in the original can with little deterioration. And while it tends to separate, milk chocolate stays edible if kept cool in a tight container. Stored candy and nuts should be the canned type. Pepper keeps well in the all-metal can type container.

Follow the same temperature and humidity provisions for the soup, canned meat, and powdered milk. I include canned meat in the trade goods list, but not vegetables, because I believe that meat products will disappear faster and be harder to obtain after a disaster than vegetables and fruits. Americans consume huge amounts of meat and are accustomed to it. Fruits and vegetables can be grown fairly easily. Meat cannot.

Keep tea in its original cellophane sealed package, and place it in airtight cans. Consult with your doctor on medicines to keep for trade, but you must stay away from prescription items and just stock Over The Counter medications and supplies.

Lay in the matches. They disappear rapidly when you must light fires, candles, and lamps, every time you want to cook or have light. Get only wooden strike anywhere kitchen matches, not book matches or safety matches that must be struck on the box.

Soaps will also disappear quickly, I feel, so stock Lava soap at least, and perhaps bleach, laundry soap such as Fels-Naptha, dish detergent, and bath soap. I particularly like Ivory since it floats and is very mild.

Never show more than necessary for a given trade. Never let on like you have more.

Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later.

Try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods. They don’t run out.

Try to barter the information in books. Don’t let the books leave your control.

Try to barter the use of tools and equipment rather than trading them away.

Try to make trades in neutral areas or at a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren’t followed back home.

Some other things I have learned while practicing my barter/trade skills:

1. If both parties are happy with the trade, it is a good trade.

2. What is a good barter/trade between two people is not always a good trade for two other people. Everyone has different value systems, needs, wants, and resources.

3. While getting value for value is nearly an absolute, being extremely ‘stingy’ will get a person the reputation of being too difficult to deal with, and reduce that person’s ability to trade.

4. In the same vein, taking extreme advantage of someone that is essentially clueless, will usually come back to haunt one when that person learns they could/should/might have received rather more than they did for a given item. That will turn a ‘both parties happy with the trade’ good trade into a grudge by the person that got taken advantage of against the person that took advantage. In addition it will get the undue advantage taker the reputation of one that cannot be trusted to do an honest trade.

5. Sometimes a direct trade simply is not possible when one of the traders simply does not have anything the other trader wants. Pushing for a trade by the one that does want what the other has is usually both useless, and counterproductive.

6. Sometimes three-way (or more way) trades are required if two people do not have what each other wants, but a third party has one of the items and is willing to participate in the trade, with each getting something they want. Again, trying to force someone to trade is almost always counterproductive.

7. When using PMs (precious metals), having an agreement for any given barter/trade day on what specific PM coins are worth and posting it might be advantageous. Of course any two people making a barter/trade that includes PMs will apply their own value to the coins, having a standard value as a reference point for those not familiar with PMs might make it much easier for them.

8. While being ‘wealthy’ in trade goods is certainly not a bad thing, making excessive value barters/trades to get all the ‘good stuff’, will get one plenty of items, but will also get one the reputation of being a ‘rich person taking undue advantage of that wealth’. Just as it does now when someone tries to buy up everything they can of limited supply items in a crisis situation.

9. In the same vein, someone that constantly interferes in barters/trades between two other people and offers a bit more than what the one person can give, to get a given item without having to trade for it with the person that is trying to get it, gets the same reputation of abusing their wealth.

10. Once a person gets a bad reputation as a barterer/trader, that reputation will stay with them for a very long time, no matter how much they might try to reverse it.

11. The reputation of being a good, honest barter/trader is worth its weight in gold.

12. Cheap junk is still cheap junk in a barter/trade situation, just as it is in a regular money based economy.

13. The old adage that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure is an old adage for a reason. It can certainly be true. But it sure is not all the time. People can have very different value systems for different types of items.

14. Sometimes a ‘kicker’ is worth a lot more in good will than its actual value. And while it might not ‘make the deal’, that good will can often make a deal in the future possible that might not be otherwise. Especially if it is given after the deal is made.

One thing that should be noted, is that in current times, barters/trades are considered taxable transactions. Regular, on-going barter/trade, or barters/trades of significant value, should probably be recorded with the Fair Market Value, priced in US FRNs (Federal Reserve Notes [Dollars in other words]) and the record kept available in case of inquiry by the government, be it State or Federal.

If a tax must be paid, it is much better to have a reasonable value recorded than risk having the government assign any value they wish to the transaction, and pay the tax on that.

Not all the items/skills listed will be of much value early into the event. It could be three to five years or more for some of the items to become valuable.
Many of the items are only appropriate if one already has the items or skills involved. They aren’t something you would acquire just for barter. Listed simply as a reminder that many things might be in demand in the PAW, and various hobbies or existing businesses and skills can be the basis of trade goods or services.

Try to have most of your equipment and several months of consumables before you stockpile trade goods, including Precious Metals.

When it comes to PMs, unless you are wealthy, start slow. A few silver dimes & quarters at a time. When you feel it is time to get gold coins, stay with the small denominations. And remember that there will be some people that won’t trust or want them.

If you are trading bulk items, try to have the customers bring their own containers for the items. But it will be a good idea to have some of your own so you can trade just the amount you or they want without having to try and get full value for the full container of the goods. For many of them you can collect a deposit, to encourage the people to bring back the same container for repeat sales to conserve your stock of the containers.

Personally, I do not stock goods to trade for other goods very much at all. What I stock, and the reason I stock, is to trade for services, skills, and knowledge. No matter how skilled and knowledgeable one is, no matter how good a library one has, no one knows everything or can do everything. People will need the services, skills, and knowledge that someone else has, and will need some way to pay for it. And in many cases, mine especially, additional labor is likely to be required at times. That is why I stock a few things. Because those people with what I need are quite likely to not have the things they need in the PAW and will be desperate to get whatever it is they need in return for their special skill, knowledge, or service. Or labor.

I do not suggest you stock up trade goods with the intention of getting items you know you will be needing in the future. Stock those items first. Now, if your plan is to have a PAW store, that is one thing, but an individual that just wants a few things to get something he either failed to think of, or wasn't available to the person before the event, is another. Better to have several of a few key items than one each of many. But those key items could be very different in different areas of the country.

A special note on water. I only recently added bottled water to the list of items to have for barter. I did not list pre-packaged water by itself before, for a couple of reasons. Water is a critical element for life.

In the initial phases of a disaster, I simply cannot bring myself to withhold water from someone that needs it in circumstances like that. I either give it away, or I just keep it and do not admit to having any. (Out of sight.)

Trading water just is not something I could do under those circumstances. I have water as part of my humanitarian supplies, to give away. And I have more for strictly my own use. That is a personal quirk, and I am not saying people should not trade water. I do intend to charge for purification services and transport of water in the PAW. Just not the water itself. Semantics, I know. But it soothes my conscious. A little.

Another thought was that it just would not go very far. Water is a high volume item. A little does not go a long way. People need a lot of water. Just think about how much you have to store for yourself. Becoming known as a water source could turn dangerous very quickly. Food is one thing, later on. People are going to try and get it by any means. But water, they are going to want right now. And water is FREE everywhere now. That concept is not going to change very quickly. People are not going to be happy about being charged for water in an emergency. They might have been paying for bottled water by choice, but they knew they could get water for free. Charging for it in a disaster is going to make a lot of enemies.

And bottled water is expensive. I do not think it is a very good use of limited barter funds. I prefer to have the purification means. $150 can get me a purifier (Go Berkery) that will purify 3,000+ gallons of water. $150 will only get me about ~100 – 300 gallons or so of bottled water.

Of course, if there is no water to purify, and the only water available is what is stored, which is the case out where I am in some places, then it does make sense to have water to trade. But I look at that on a different level. That the lack of water is already a given. Where people have to buy water on a regular basis anyway, that changes the dynamics. Bartering water then does make sense.

If I was going to barter bottled water in a 'normal situation' event, it would only be for, 'Here you go. No charge. But I might need a hand in the future. You know with a garden or something.' type return.

I did add bottled water to the list, just because it does make sense as an option, and a reminder to people about just how important it is.

The following is a list of possibilities, not a plan for a PAW store. Decide what will work for your area and situation, and then concentrate on a few of the items. Much better to have more preps than tie up too much in trade goods. Some is good, but unless you do plan to have a PAW store, stick with a limited amount.

In a related vein, one thing comes up regularly (along with several others, of course) and that is the opinion to not stock anything you do not have a need for yourself. In a similar vein, the opinion that one should not have to barter in the future at all, if they are prepared properly. I agree to the first to a degree, but disagree with the second. I just do not believe every need can be anticipated, plus the facts that things can change, even for the most well equipped prepper, and situations arrive that have not been prepared for adequately, if at all, are almost a certainty.

And while a person or group can have an extremely wide variety of skills, and a library of training information, it is always possible a situation will come up that will be beyond the kin of everyone available. So specialized skills, services, and equipment could be required by someone very well prepared. There is also the distinct possibility for the need for extra labor than what an individual or group can provide. Again due to unforeseen circumstances, including injury to one or more people. You cannot store up labor, and you cannot store up services. You will probably need someone at some point to provide you with one or more.

It is for this reason, along with the others, that I have trade goods, including things that I will not likely use myself. Other people will have different needs, and certainly wants, than I do. Of course the basics are always needed. But there are doctors that are well prepared, and will not need a dozen eggs or pound of bacon. And they might not want PMs, if there are people around that do have things the doctor wants but will not take the PMs. So the doctor might very well want something you do not need or want, but that someone else does, that has what the doctor wants. So, in order to pay for the doctor’s treatment, you might just need something you have no use for in your trade goods stocks to be able to make the necessary trade to get what you want.

Yes, it can get a bit complicated. And I do not suggest buying up bunches of stuff that just might be useful in the future without putting a great deal of thought into it. What I am saying, is do not limit your choices to just things that you will eventually use. A few carefully selected items that are likely to be needed/wanted by others could be the difference between getting what you desperately need and not getting it.

An additional disclaimer: I have found in reaction to my lists and to my fiction, where quite a few items are listed, or the protagonist has quite a bit of money, they get anything from slightly annoyed to totally incensed. Thus this disclaimer. It is much easier for me to include things in lists to give options, and have some (and only some) of my characters have money, than not.
What I have found with one-on-one communication with many of the people that read the lists and the fiction inform me that they came up with a much cheaper way, or way to do something with less, because of their background, than what I have listed or the 'rich' guy simply bought top of the line. The majority of my readers have proven themselves quite capable of taking the information I provide and adapting it to their needs, and to their budgets. With some really creative thinking that, without their experiences, I have no way of having.
So for those that think the list is too long, too involved, or too expensive, or too 'trade post-ty, then that is the way it is. I will let the others glean what they can from it, and be happy if I have made it easier for someone.
The full list of some items that I am acquiring and think might be useful for barter or trade during and after a major disaster: (No, I don’t have all of these items. Yet.)

Commercial scales to get agreed upon weights of items
Troy weight scale; up to 16 ounce scale; and 1#+, 10#+, 100#+, & 500#+ scales

Blank barter slips to record transactions, especially those with future delivery dates
(pre-printed slips with the who, what, when, how much, etc.)

US Mint Gold Eagle coins in 1.0 oz, 0.5 oz, 0.25 oz, and 1/10 oz denominations
US Mint Silver Eagle coins in 1.0 oz denomination.
Circulated pre-1965 US 90% silver quarters
Circulated pre-1965 90% silver dimes

1. A large library of useful books (trade the information, not the book)
2. 8-oz bottles of water
3. 1-liter bottles of water

4. 200ml bottles 190 proof Everclear
5. smokeless tobacco
6. 2 oz boxes tobacco
7. booklets cigarette papers
8. smoking pipes
9. small boxes matches
10. butane lighter fuel
11. Zippo lighter fuel
12. lighter flints
13. lighter wicks
14. disposable lighters

15. straight razors w/strop, soap, & cup
16. shaving soap
17. Q-tips

18. playing cards
19. dice

20. candle/oil lamp wick
21. Coleman lantern mantles
22. Crank flashlights

23. Canned green coffee beans (with a roaster and grinder to use, not trade away)
24. 2 oz jars instant coffee
25. 16 count boxes teabags
26. 2 oz jars bouillon cubes
27. tubs add-water-only drink mix

28. 1 pound boxes sugar
29. various spices
30. small containers of cooking oil
31. 2 oz boxes salt
32. 2 oz cans pepper

33. 5 oz cans evaporated milk
34. 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
35. 4 oz cans cocoa
36. 2 oz bars chocolate candy
37. 8 oz bags hard candy (individually wrapped)

38. 4 oz cans Vienna sausage/potted meat
39. 12 oz cans roast beef
40. 7 oz cans Spam (or 12oz)(or Treet)
41. 6 oz cans tuna
42. 10 oz cans soup (meaty types)
43. 16 oz bags rice
44. 16 oz bags beans/lentils
45. #10 cans Pilot Bread
46. aspirin pain killer
47. acetaminophen pain killer
48. multi-vitamins
49. water purification tablets

50. OTC reading glasses
51. OTC UVA/UVB resistant sunglasses
52. Cheap wide-brimmed straw hats

53. small boxes tampons/sanitary napkins
54. reusable sanitary napkins
55. Diva cups or similar

56. reusable cotton diapers
57. diaper pins
58. leak proof diaper cover pants
59. clothes pins

60. wooden pencils/ink pens
61. small note books
62. legal pads

63. 6”-12” candles
64. boxes strike anywhere kitchen matches
65. rolls toilet paper
66. bars soap (Ivory, Lava, Fels Naptha, Dial)
67. hair combs/brushes
68. disposable razors
69. toothbrushes
70. boxes baking soda

71. shoe and boot laces
72. packets safety pins
73. packets of sewing needles
74. spools of thread
75. bachelor buttons/jeans buttons
76. clothing snaps and rivets
77. scissors

78. mousetraps
79. rat traps
80. fly swatters
81. mosquito netting
82. window screening

83. jersey gloves
84. cotton/leather work gloves
85. insulated gloves
86. socks

87. tubes silicone sealant
88. tubes Shoe Goo/Goop
89. tubes JB Weld
90. duct tape
91. mechanic’s wire
92. electrical tape
93. friction tape
94. rubber tape
95. sheet plastic
96. divided buckets with a variety of nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, staples, zip ties, brads, Velcro
97. divided buckets with a variety of grommets, HD snaps, hammer rivets, and pop rivets with setting tools
98. sealed cans of welding rods (6011 and/or 7018 1/8”)
99. variety of brazing rods
100. cans of brazing flux
101. shovels (round & square, straight & curved)

102. regular canning lids
103. wide mouth canning lids
104. Tattler/4-Ever Recap reusable canning lids
105. Tattler/4-Ever reusable canning lid rubber rings/seals
106. P-38/P-51 can openers

107. 6-hour cans ECOFuelXB
108. 1-lb propane cylinders
109. 10-lb bags charcoal briquettes
110. solar 12-volt battery chargers
111. solar AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt battery charger
112. rechargeable batteries AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt, CR123A

113. Aluminum foil (HD)
114. Wax paper
115. Freezer paper
116. Freezer tape

1. #10 cans heirloom seeds
2. Coffee plant seed
3. Tobacco plant seed
4. Tea plant seed
5. Poppy plant seed
6. Biodiesel production chemicals
7. Soap making chemicals
8. 50-round boxes of .22 LR RF cartridges

In addition to the individual size and standard size prepackaged goods here are the things I think would be good trade goods bought in bulk and traded away in small quantities when things settle down, plus some items to make it easier.

Blank barter slips to record transactions, especially those with future delivery dates
Diamant #525 grain grinder to grind grains for customers, with spare grinding plates
Katadyn Expedition water filter to make clean water for customers, with spare elements
Crown Berkey water purification system to supplement the Katadyn, with spare elements

Commercial scales to get agreed upon weights of items:
Troy weight scale; 16 ounce scale; and 1#+, 10#+, 100#+, & 500#+ scales

1. small containers for measured out items (spices, meds, etc.)(really small zip-locks and envelopes)
2. set various scoops, funnels, etc. for measuring & transferring goods
3. 5/6/7-gallon dispensing containers (to hold filtered water)
4. 5/6/7 gallon buckets w/lids for water (deposit)
5. 1-gal zip-lock bags/cloth bags (deposit)
6. 1-quart zip-lock bags/cloth bags (deposit)
7. medium paper sacks/cloth bags (deposit)
8. small paper sacks/cloth bags (deposit)
9. pint cans w/screw lids (deposit)

Bulk trade goods

1. Chicken wire
2. Stock/game salt/mineral blocks
3. Game feed/bait
4. 20# propane cylinders for refilling from large home tank with wet leg
5. 1-lb propane cylinders
6. 10-lb bags charcoal briquettes
7. 1- & 5-gallon containers kerosene
8. 1-quart bottles of lamp oil
9. 5-gallon buckets of Sodium hypochlorite (pool shock) to make bleach
10. Printer paper
11. Printer inks
12. 3D Printer feed materials

Cases of

1. #2½ cans baking powder
2. #2½ cans baking soda
3. #2½ cans corn starch
4. #2½ cans or vacuum packed spices (cream of tartar, allspice, season salt, pepper, mild chili powder, cinnamon, ginger, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, nutmeg, spaghetti sauce spice, taco mix, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, clove, BBQ mix, basil, cumin, oregano, Paprika, anise, cayenne, garlic, curry mix, mustard, celery seed, turmeric, chives, Tabasco, caraway seed, cardamom, dill, fennel, tarragon, coriander, Worcestershire sauce, spearmint, peppermint, savory, mace)

1. 2 ounce bottles of extracts (Vanilla, mint, peppermint, butterscotch, maple, almond, anise, etc.)
2. 1-lb packages yeast

Buckets of:
1. wheat
2. rolled oats
3. rice
4. small red beans
5. pinto beans
6. great northern beans
7. cornmeal
8. sugar
9. olive oil
10. coconut oil
11. shortening powder
12. iodized salt
13. kosher salt
14. powdered milk
15. vegetable stew mix
16. dried eggs
17. nutty granola
18. butter powder
19. cheese blend
20. tomato powder
21. macaroni
22. noodles
23. spaghetti noodles
24. peanut butter powder
25. honey
26. beef bouillon
27. chicken bouillon
28. hard candy

1. rolls of toilet paper
2. bundles of red shop rags as reusable TP substitute
3. 100# bags fertilizer
4. 100# bags non-iodized canning salt

5. Large containers of simple homemade cleaner ingredients (Baking soda, Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, washing soda, Borax, mild dish detergent [castile soap], cream of tartar, hydrogen peroxide, Lemon juice, sodium percarbonate, salt, corn starch, olive oil, calcium hypochlorite)

Here are some examples of Tradesman’s Tools that could be stockpiled and either used and the product/service bartered, or their USE bartered out. One wouldn’t barter away the tools that bring in the food. (Again, I don’t have all the items or skills.)

1. Tailor/Seamstress tools
sewing machine
Sewing basket (needles, thimbles, thread, measuring tape, seam ripper, scissors, shears, marking chalk, straight edge, pins, neck magnifying glass, etc.)
bolts of cloth, patterns, spare needles, pins, chalk, thread, buttons, zippers, snaps, etc)
Treadle type sewing machine (Janome 712T)
weaving looms
>1,000 watt generator

2. Food processing tools
Grain grinders, solar dehydrators, butchering tools, manual meat slicer, manual meat grinder, sausage stuffer, stuffing tubes, jerky shooter, meat smoker, water purifier

3. Barbers tools
scissors, combs, hair brushes, dusting brush, broom, dust pan, chair, neck apron, razor, shaving cup, shaving soap, towels

4. Ammunition re-loader’s tools
Corbin Bullet swaging equipment
RCBS Bullet casting equipment
Ten-X TX-50 progress press for up to .50 BMG w/conversion sets
Dillion Super 1050 progressive press w/Caliber kits for Super 1050
Spolar Gold Premier hydraulic progressive press w/gauge conversions
Progressive reloading press dies
black powder making tools & screens

5. Laundry tools
water tank
water heater (kettle w/tripod)
12v pump & battery & hoses
drain lines
laundry soap
bleach/sodium hypochlorite
Staber washing machine
>1,000 watt generator
James washer w/wringer
2+ washtubs
RapidWasher plunger type washers
5/6 gallon buckets
clothes lines/poles, stakes & clothes pins

6. Entertainment tools
band instruments
projection TV
TV projector
Lap-top computer
CD/DVD/VHS/Blu-ray players
Karaoke machine w/cd-g’s
Lighting system
Sound system
>1,500 watt generator
Battery bank, solar panels, and inverter
protective bullet resistant face for TV’s if used
Classic books for storyteller to read

7. Ice making tools
High capacity water purification system
Water tank
Water pump
Small commercial block ice maker
Small commercial ice cube maker
Insulated storage containers
Reusable transfer containers (deposit)
>1,500 watt generator
Ice house (for large scale storage) Rubber block ice molds (for winter use)

8. Librarian tools (never let the media out of your control)
reference/do-it-yourself library (books/magazines/CD-ROMs/DVDs)
Laptop Computer with electronic library
Portable Color printer/copier/scanner
Printer paper
Printer ink
Manual typewriter
Writing pads
Pencil sharpeners
Magnifying glasses
Reading glasses

9. Information broker/interpreter
NOAA Weather Radio receiver
WWV/WWVH time standard receiver
Trunking multi-band scanner
Multi-band receiver
Amateur Radio HF transceiver
Amateur Radio VHF/UHF transceiver
AM/SSB CB radio
Semi-pro weather station
Laptop computer w/translation software
Portable printer/copier/scanner
Printer paper
Printer ink
Bulletin board
Markers & eraser
Chalk & eraser

10. Small scale propane supplier
Large home propane tank with wet leg
Tank scale
20# propane tank on inverting stand
1-pound propane bottle refill fitting
Small freezer
<1,000 watt generator

11. Printed parts manufacturer
3D Printers (plastic & metal)
Computer & 3D drafting software
Replacement print heads
Spare parts
Large quantities of feed materials
Large sets of digital designs

12. home canning equipment & supplies
13. firewood cutting tools
14. edged tools & saw sharpening tools
15. chainsaw chain sharpening/repair tools
16. printer’s/newspaper publisher’s tools
17. butcher/meat cutter’s tools
18. meat processors tools (sausage, etc.)
19. tanner’s tools
20. milk processors tools (cheese, etc.)
21. baker’s tools & supplies
22. bath house/shower room tools
23. candle maker’s tools & supplies
24. gardener’s tools
25. mechanic’s tools
26. machinist’s tools - Smithy Granite 1340 Industrial Max metalworking all-in-one machine
27. woodworker’s tools – Smithy Supershop 220 woodworking all-in-one machine
28. blacksmith’s tools - Oxygen accumulator, acetylene generator
29. plumber’s tools
30. lumber making tools - portable sawmill
31. electrician’s tools
32. carpenter’s tools
33. roofer’s tools
34. stonemason’s tools
35. primitive building tools
36. cobbler/shoe maker’s tools
37. soap maker’s tools
38. brewer/wine maker’s tools
39. distillery tools
40. miller’s tools
41. spinner & weaver’s tools (looms)
42. teaching tools and supplies K-12
43. smelter/foundry/metal worker’s tools
44. sheep sheering tools
45. papermaking tools
46. rope, cordage, and net making tools
47. millwright’s tools
48. farm tools (prepare, sow, cultivate, harvest)
49. biodiesel equipment & supplies
50. wood gas generator equipment & supplies
51. charcoal making tools
52. black powder making tools

Skill sets most likely to be needed.

1. Accountant
2. Active military
3. Administrator
4. Alternative energy specialist
5. Alternative HVAC specialist
6. Ammunition re-loader
7. Appliance repairman
8. Assayer
9. Baker
10. Banker
11. Barber
12. Barterer/flea market operator
13. Basket maker
14. Bathhouse/shower room operator
15. Beekeeper
16. Bicycle Repairman
17. Biodiesel maker
18. Black powder maker
19. Blacksmith
20. Botanist
21. Brew master
22. Brick maker
23. Bullet caster
24. Butcher/meat processor
25. Candle maker
26. Carpenter
27. Cartridge maker
28. Cartwright
29. Chainsaw chain sharpener
30. Chandler
31. Charcoal burner
32. Cheese maker
33. Chemist
34. Chimney sweep
35. Cobbler/shoe maker
36. Coffin maker
37. Contractor
38. Cook
39. Cooper (barrel maker)
40. Coppersmith
41. Dentist
42. Distiller, drinking alcohol
43. Distiller, fuel alcohol
44. Distiller, essential oils
45. Distiller, water
46. Doctor
47. Dog trainer
48. Edged tool & saw sharpener
49. Electrician
50. Electronics tech
51. EMT/Paramedic
52. Executive
53. Factory worker
54. Farmer
55. Farm hand
56. Farmer
57. Farrier
58. Firefighter
59. Firewood purveyor
60. Fisherman
61. Food canner/processor
62. Furniture maker
63. Gardener
64. Gatherer of wild plants/useful minerals
65. Glass maker
66. Goatherd
67. Goldsmith/silversmith
68. Gravedigger
69. Gun dealer
70. Gunpowder maker
71. Gunsmith/gun maker
72. Handyman
73. Harvester/picker
74. Heavy equipment operator
75. Herbalist/mineralist/apothecary
76. Horse trainer/wrangler
77. Hunter/trapper
78. Ice purveyor/harvester/maker
79. Inventor
80. Janitor
81. Knife maker
82. Knife sharpener
83. Knitter/crocheter
84. Laundress/laundry room operator
85. Leather worker
86. Librarian
87. Locksmith
88. Logger/forester/sawyer
89. Lumber maker
90. Machinist
91. Mechanic
92. Metal worker
93. Metallurgist
94. Midwife
95. Milk maid
96. Milk processor
97. Miller
98. Millwright
99. Miner
100. Mulcher/composter/manure collector
101. Net maker
102. Nurse
103. Nurse's aid
104. Optician (eyeglass maker)
105. Orchardman/arborist
106. Orderly
107. Paper maker
108. Police/Law enforcement officer - Sheriff/Marshal/Deputies
109. Pedi-cab driver
110. Pest control specialist
111. Pharmacist
112. Plumber
113. Postman
114. Pottery maker
115. Pressure canner food storage specialist
116. Primitive building specialist
117. Printer/newspaperman
118. Psychologist/Psychiatrist
119. Quilter/Quilt maker
120. Radio Operator
121. Radio/tv repairman
122. Rancher
123. Ranch hand
124. Repairman
125. Roofer
126. Rope/cordage maker
127. Sail maker
128. Sailor (Boatswain)
129. Salesman
130. Salt maker
131. Salvage specialist
132. Sanitation worker
133. Secretary
134. Security guard
135. Shake/shingle maker
136. Sheep sheerer
137. Shepherd
138. Shipwright/boat builder
139. Shoemaker
140. Skill At Arms instructor
141. Small engine mechanic
142. Smelter/foundry-man
143. Soap maker
144. Soldier
145. Spice purveyor
146. Spinner/Weaver
147. Stonemason/brick layer
148. Student
149. Sugar maker
150. Surveyor
151. Tailor/seamstress
152. Tanner
153. Teacher
154. Thatcher
155. Tinker
156. Tire repairman
157. Tool & die maker
158. Trade maker
159. Trader/Wagoner
160. Trapper
161. Truck driver
162. Undertaker
163. Veterinarian
164. Watch/clock repairman/maker
165. Weaver
166. Welder
167. Well driller
168. Wheelwright
169. Winemaker
170. Wood gas equipment maker
171. Woodworker

A few skills that won’t be in high demand, but would be a good secondary skill

1. Artist
2. Author
3. Beautician
4. Bookbinder
5. Book keeper
6. Candy maker
7. Clerk
8. Comedian
9. Dye maker
10. Entertainer
11. Entrepreneur
12. Government official
13. Historian
14. Industrialist
15. Ink maker
16. Judge/arbitrator
17. Karaoke operator
18. Lawyer
19. Maid
20. Massage therapist
21. Musician
22. Physicist
23. Scribe
24. Secretary
25. Storyteller
26. Teller/cashier
27. Toy & game maker

Some things I probably won’t get for barter for this reason: If there is a large die off the items will be available to pick up all sorts of places. If there isn’t one, they will still be available through normal channels. But do have a very good stock of your own.

Knives, especially ‘Cheap’ knives (almost every household has several, plus there are large numbers in stores)
Clothing (almost every household has a large selection, plus there are plenty in stores)
Tools (Yes, have a really good set for yourself, and possibly one to barter the use of, but keep the tools)
Cooking equipment (same as knives)
Fishing gear (there is a lot of it in people’s homes, plus tons of it in the outdoor stores)

Just my opinion.
Jerry D Young
Old 11-09-2016, 02:41 PM
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Adding to JDY's tome:

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Old 11-09-2016, 11:25 PM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is offline
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Originally Posted by wattda View Post
I have an question that I would like information on. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what we could "invest in" and also fulfill our prepping desire. For example I purchase 100 mini bic lighters that I could barter in times of trouble. Please share..., have a great day!
Just to add to JDY's great post.

Some of the best 'preps' to invest in are those that pay you back NOW when times are good.

For instance, learning how to buy food when it's on sale is a great activity/skill to acquire. When it's on sale, stock up. This will save you lots of money on your food purchases, and it doesn't take up much, if any, extra time compared to your normal shopping.

Growing your own food is another great 'prep' skill that pays off now.

Honestly, depending on your level of resources, I think that investing in real estate is still hard to beat once your 'home' preps are taken care of. Over the long haul, those who own valuable and productive property always seem to come out ahead.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:27 AM
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When you can afford it, buying BULK on sale is a great help.

It’s dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong. The price of freedom can be seen at your local VA hospital.
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:19 PM
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Buying in bulk is an excellent way to save money:
1. You can use the product up before it goes bad, once opened
2. You can store the product effectively in large quantities
3. You are prepared to repackage the product in smaller quantities for long term storage
4. You are prepared to trade/barter it in small quantities, AND have the means to measure/weigh it and a container in which it can be carried by the buyer
5. You have the means to have several of the bulk containers in various places so everything is not vulnerable in one place
6. You have the money at one time to get the bulk quantity
7. You can risk the loss of large quantities at one time if things must be abandoned

Because of some of these IF's, I prefer to get many items in smaller containers, though often in box quantities of the smaller package.

Just my opinion.
Jerry D Young
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:59 PM
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Lots of great posts..., and then there is Jerry if he preps like he post I want to live near him ( lol ). Thanks everyone. In all seriousness this subject is very troubling to me..., because as I mature I find my certainty of the future waning.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:20 PM
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I think books on various survival subjects would be wanted plus the items they would need to use (just make sure you keep extra extras on hand for your family) - books on gardening, canning, sewing (needles, pins, etc.), snaring/trapping/fishing/hunting (snaring wire, traps, fish hooks, line, plastic bottles/jugs for trot lines, etc.), feminine pads/diapers and/or materials and patterns to make your own, to name a few.
Old 12-11-2016, 07:23 PM
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That's an awesome and accurate list. If you are the author of many Kindle books - I've enjoyed reading quite a few of them. Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:03 PM
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Terrific post, Jerry! You out-did yourself on this one!

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Old 12-19-2016, 08:02 AM
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Or you could just buy Vanguard total stock market index fund...
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:56 PM
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SO far I have two things of value to barter.

I have ammo. Lots of rounds for 40 and 223
I have wine and liquor.

But, I also have an AR-15 and my side arm, so unless you can get passed the ammo part, it is not likely you will get the booze.
Old 02-11-2017, 08:41 AM
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A local liquor store had packs of the mini/airline bottles of various premium liquors on sale a while ago for $1/bottle, I stocked up for barter.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:01 AM
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If you barter ammo, it can come back at ya.
If you display too much material wealth when times are really bad, you tend to stand out as a target.

Just adding my "voice of doom" to the discussion..
Old 03-08-2017, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wattda View Post
I have an question that I would like information on. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what we could "invest in" and also fulfill our prepping desire. For example I purchase 100 mini bic lighters that I could barter in times of trouble. Please share..., have a great day!
This is what really gets me about preppers in general, and Americans in general.

Preppers stand out though, a lot of us study bushcraft, frontier life, ect... self reliance.

Picture this for a sec

Frontiers men, farmers, mountain men, fur traders, even early industrial workers and miners lived without electricity, plumbing modern medicine ect...
We study the ****ing **** out of that!!! So that we can be self reliant.

An area we lack in big time is finance, these people didn't have social security, they didn't have 401k plans ect... they had very few safety nets outside their churches.
We barely study the reality of these people who lived like this for thousands of years before the industrial //computer booms.
The reality is they still needed health care, they still needed to retire at some point. Their knowledge about money and finance was extremely greater then ours as a group. Just like their coveted knowledge of primitive living was also much greater, and infact to the same degree of difference.
These people knew how to invest. They could retire on their own, they did for themselves what most people today pay someone to do (and thus lose money)
I would think investment should come before most other skills we learn, general knowledge of money and business laws and accounting language which is an absolute must in order to be savy.
Learn as if you don't have anything coming to you from your structured retirement, or social security. Those things actually may not survive even if we don't have doomsday to deal with.
Act as if you will have nothing from anything collective and you will start to learn to invest for real
Supply and demand isn't something you wait for its something you identify with and attack. For instance, are bic lighters in enough demand right now that you can profit by buying bulk and selling individually? does that meet your profit expectations? Your ROI (return on investment) is somewhat your choice. Are you content with making 5%? chances are good bic lighters even 100 of them aren't going to get you very far. What if you could make a lighter though? then you'd have very little principal and if demand ever went up on lighters then you'd get a much greater ROI, because your principal would be very low. So given the present demand, speculation or not, you would almost gain the principal for free.
I can tell you in a disaster the very first thing that becomes a commodity is somewhere to go. A lot of people can't stay in their homes/rentals when the SHTF. A great commodity is safe space. A rental property with natural gas close by to your primary residence also equipped with a wood stove for example (if cold) would be a gold mine.
Remember you want maximum ROI, so the less what ever it is you invest in costs, often or not ROI is very high % as a result when the investment sees fruition.
Now remember, to sell actual items people that do it right now must advertise. So... in a disaster if you do have 100 bic lighters and people want them they have to know you have lighters! Is that something you want to advertise?
Same thing with ammunition, you don't go door to door looking to buy/sell ammo now, so when the power is out do you suddenly start? people seeking a market for their ammo will have to advertise it for sale. Alcohol falls into this same category, by now you should be able to determine if your plan requires advertising.
Water is actually pretty hot in a disaster, and you'd be surprised how hard it is to get. People will desperately want water, and they will go door to door looking for it. People who can't find a water source will migrate. Just like they will right now, think about how backpackers behave.
Medicine is something most people will try to suffer without, they will call upon trusted people that they know for this. Kind of just like now.
That brings me to a key disaster investing rule! There are RULES. Just like in investing right now while there is no disaster, Bernie Madoff goes to jail.

Almost always after every disaster you can read about people getting in huge trouble for price gouging. Do not be that guy. You got something, like a gallon of water- don't try to clean house with it! Be extra fair. Never over charge, you could ignite a mob of furious people. Just like now, think epi-pens.
If you decide to trade an item or charge cash for it, don't try to get more for it than what it was worth before the SHTF event! That concludes why I have said investments that will work right now are the best. You can get a lighter right now for $1, if for some reason Armageddon starts and you try to get more than that, you'll make a **** load of enemies. The last thing you want.
Advertising the lighters might get you robbed, just like advertisement makes you apt to get robbed right now, it will probably escalate given the severity of the emergency event. Business is Business even if its raining fire. The rules don't go away, consequences can be much more severe. Look at Bernie Madoff, if his ponzie scheme was discovered during a stock market boom, he probably wouldn't have done much time. But he got busted at the bottom of a global crash! so his punishment was very severe, (what he did was awful and I personally think he should have been punished even worse)

Do you really want to be the guy who sells ammo? or Booze- look at the hostilities these businesses deal with now. They will be magnified by a disaster.

That's because of the consumer. The consumer will be just as apt to consume as they do right now, but they will be desperate. That desperation will magnify all aspects of the market and the market controls (laws).

In a bug in situation, having safe livable space for others will be a good commodity, don't ask to much and you will have people who owe you one as friends perhaps family. Obviously just as you'd screen tenants right now, you would screen them even better in SHTF mode.
Water- a great item, easy to get for those with the skill to get it. Impossible sometimes for those without skill.
Transportation- people will want rides. Be fair. Compassion is key during tuff times.
These commodities allow you to deal with specific people, for durations. This decreases your chances of being robbed, and builds up your defenses as well.

Another thing to be very cautious of and another reason why you don't want to rely on advertising, this can be almost an instant problem with transportation, confiscation.
You don't want authorities confiscating your wheels. They most certainly will if your out cruising while they aren't.
The same goes for dwelling space, although this is less likely they may try to force you to board people.
So basically in a disaster, what it takes to make a profit right now, it takes a whole lot more of during the disaster.
Just like you field test a tent, you can thus field test your lighters. try selling them right now. You will have to engage in some kind of advertising champagne, then you will sell a few. That's how it will go in a disaster except everything will be much harder without means like Ebay.

This is for a bug in situation, typically in a bug in people who cant stay around will seek a place to go for about 1 day, and then they will bug out.

For bug outs, people will want transportation, and provisions. They will often be headed to shelters
If you are bugging out as well, your skills are going to be your most valuable attribute. Your transport method will also be valuable.
Again the goal is a safe place to go. If you bug out your purty much screwed and cant stay where your at, off to the shelter with you, your temporary home. Or perhaps you have a location you can sustain yourself at.

Disasters larger than that go this way initially, survivors are evacuated, those intact and safe stay behind if possible (bug ins) longer term bug outs usually get humanitarian aid and end up working on the cleanup, or in some rare cases get relocated to start life somewhere else.
In the case of aftermath cleanup, that's where the big money can be made. That's when top dollar for the hero's comes into play. It is then when you can get a medal for charging the government or an insurance company big time. Think about tree services. Powerline workers, the Dept of PW's these guys make big money because of clean up restoration process.

Fair transactions made with big companies (banks) are a great way to profit from longer term disasters. Banks end up with a lot of property after the **** fairy visits a locality, you can buy property ranging from lawn mowers to houses very cheap in the aftermath. People have gotten rich like this.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:54 AM
kevinch kevinch is offline
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To be honest ,It's so difficult to answer this question, If you were a rich man , you could fulfill prepping desire except for healthy; while for the poor can't do this ;
I deem that nothing is better than keep fit .

from my opinions
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