41 Dirt-Cheap Items That Will Be Priceless After The SHTF

40 Dirt-Cheap Items That Will Be Priceless After The SHTF
Here is a great list of items that you will no doubt find invaluable after the SHTF.
Obviously stores will be picked clean in a hurry during an economic collapse or EMP or any unforeseen mega-disasters.  Once people catch on and realize what has happened, they will then rush out to the store in search of food and other supplies.
Best be fixing to stock up on supplies now, because the time to do so appears to be running out quickly and the window of opportunity is narrowing?! There are just way to many warnings of economic collapse on the way for anyone’s liking.
Here are 41 awesome dirt cheap items, that you’ll thank your lucky stars you stocked up on.
Number 41 I wanted to add myself, and it’s the icing on the cake.
What fun will the collapse be, ‘sarcasm’ without a good hot cup of java to keep us all going, when we’re batten down the hatches on the home front, and shifting into full on survival mode.
#41 Coffee!! and plenty of it.
From Urbansurvivalsite.com – Although some survival supplies can be pretty expensive, most of the things people will need after the SHTF are dirt cheap. For example, right now toilet paper only costs about 50 cents a roll. But once the store shelves are bare, most people will trade a lot for a single roll of toilet paper. And that’s just the beginning.

When you think about disaster preparedness, keep in mind that a lot of cheap stuff we take for granted in today’s world will be extremely valuable and desirable after SHTF. This is the stuff you want to stock up on now. Not only will you need it for yourself and your family, you could also use it for bartering.

Here are just 40 examples of cheap items you’ll want to stock up on while they’re still available. I’m sure there are plenty more, so if you think of any, be sure to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page. Now on to the list…

1. Toilet Paper is pretty self-explanatory, unless you are fond of leaves and what-not.

2. Hand Sanitizer will be very useful when water is in short supply and you need to keep your hands clean.

3. Soap is so cheap today that we tend to take it for granted. But when it’s gone, people will miss it badly. It is crucial to maintain cleanliness after the SHTF to keep diseases from spreading.

4. Lighters will be useful as well as an excellent barter item. Buy them in bulk and keep them on hand.

5. Duct Tape has all sorts of uses. Buy several rolls because you’ll need more than you might think.

6. Glow Sticks can serve as night lights, trail markers, or signals. They are very cheap, but very useful. (Bonus tip: These are really cheap right after Halloween.)

7. Kleenex or some tissues. You’ll continue to get colds or have allergy problems after the SHTF, and you don’t want snot everywhere or a raw nose.

8. Vitamins will help keep your immune system strong. Remember, most survival food isn’t very high in vitamins, and your body desperately needs vitamins to stay healthy. Especially Vitamin C.

9. Aluminum Foil has dozens of usess. Buy lots so you can use it for gardening, cooking, cleaning, etc.

10. Cigarettes may not be healthy, but after SHTF they are going to be in high demand. A single pack could be worth a great deal of supplies, and they actually have some survival uses.

11. Cheap Wine is easy to come by and will store forever. After fighting all day, a nice glass of wine will go a long way toward calming the nerves.

12. Bandages are only a few bucks for dozens of them. Buy lot so you can treat minor wounds without being stingy.

13. Ammunition is fairly inexpensive right now for certain kinds, so buy it while you still can. Folks who are looking for .22 will tell you the benefit of buying when it is plentiful and cheap.

14. Condiments like ketchup and mustard can sit on the shelves for a while and make an ordinary meal taste a lot better.

15. Spices like oregano, garlic powder, and the like will turn that bland soup or stew into a delicious meal.

16. Candy will be an excellent way to keep the kids happy and reward them for helping out during hard times. It’s fun for adults, too.

17. Lotion can help prevent cracked and chafed skin, which can become a serious problem if left untreated.

18. Chap Stick is more important than many people realize. When you are outside working in cold or windy weather, your lips will become chapped and it can be very painful. Plus, there are many otheruses for chap stick.

19. Ziploc Bags will be helpful to store leftover breads and other treats you make, or for keeping socks, tinder, small electronics, etc. dry.

20. OTC Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen do expire eventually, but the first few years of a post-apocalyptic world will be a little easier if you have them.

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Cash After the Collapse: How To Make Moonshine

Collapse currency is a necessary shtf insurance policy we need to invest in for our long-term longevity. With this idea in mind, when we look at the concept of investing and wealth preservation for uncertain times, we want to employ a strategy that will provide as much coverage as possible so that if we are hit out of the blue with something totally unexpected, we’ll at least have the basic necessities to survive.

One of the most popular shtf currencies many have invested in is gold and silver. While these are the currencies of kings, many believe it may not be the only form of currency in a shtf scenario to prepare for. In this type of scenario, you must take into account to our everyday lives will have changed. We will longer have access to our modern conveniences: medicine, clean drinking water, food and, in desperate times, we will do what we can to trade or barter for it.

If we are facing an event where there is a capacity of millions of lives killed and take decades to recover from like a nuclear war or an EMP strike, then things like gold and silver may go on the back burner for a while. It’ll still have some value, but when survival consumes your every thought, your priorities tend to change. Valuable commodities like medicine, sugar and salt, seeds, knives and tobacco are a few of the six kinds of currency that will be tradable in a long-term emergency. Another important item to stock up on is alcohol.

SHTF Uses for Alcohol

  • Alcohol has long been used in place of antiseptic and can clean wounds, sterilize needles, knives and other instruments.
  • This barter items can also be used as fuel for engines (use as fuel on small equipment, generators, etc).
  • Alcohol can also be added to medicinal herbs to make tinctures and elixirs.
  • Use alcohol as a solvent to use to clean guns, razors and other tools.
  • In a dire situation, alcohol can also be given to an injured person as a numbing agent so medical or dental procedures can be performed.

When all else fails, knowing how to make your own distilled spirits could save your life or provide you with a handsome barter item. Knowing how to make your own alcohol will ensure you have a tradeable item for future currency exchanges.

Alcohol is made with two simple ingredients: sugar and yeast. Yeast, should be stored in a cool, dry place. If kept in its original packaging it can last for two years. If stored in the freezer, it can last up to five years. Learn how to make your own yeast for long-term sustainability. Sugar is an forever food item and can last indefinitely.

Steps to Make Your Own Moonshine

  1. Boil water and add cornmeal. Don’t go beyond boiling point or you’ll kill the yeast. It should just be warm enough to touch.
  2. Now that you’ve made the mash, add sugar and yeast. If there are 2 ingredients you need to appreciate, it’s these. These are the very two things in charge of providing that special kick.
  3. Ferment it for 5 days or until the bubbles stop forming. Now, you have the sour mash. Don’t let the name fool you because this mix is designed to make life sweet!
    Heat the sour mash in your pressure cooker and set it at 173 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes the alcohol rise to the surface.
  4. Attach one end of the copper pipe into the pressure cooker vent and dip the other end into a container filled with cold water. Make sure the pipe doesn’t touch your precious mash.
  5. As the vapors course through the cold copper tubing, the alcohol formed is now what we call the moonshine.
  6. Filter the drink through charcoal and remove gunk.

See graphic below for detailed reference:


Keep your alcohol in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Keep the bottles upright and do not open them. Once opened, the liquid will evaporate and lose its flavor after six to eight months.

Read more on distilling your spirits here


Related Article:

45 Survival Uses for Alcohol

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 19th, 2015

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5 Criteria for Barter Goods

BY : http://www.stillgettingready.com/2015/03/5-criteria-for-barter-goods/

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.

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Bartering After SHTF

BY : http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/02/10/bartering-shtf/

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If the world all went to hell in a hand basket today, you would probably be stuck with what you have now in your possession and what you know or the skills you have learned already. Assuming your city or home didn’t get destroyed and along with it all of your prepper supplies, you could either be pretty well off for some time or in a serious world of hurt almost immediately. Most of us reading this have made some attempts at becoming prepared. Even if you are new to prepping, you may have taken steps already to ensure you have stocked up some water and food for an emergency. Others have years’ worth of survival items stored up just in case.

For all of us, whether we have a ton of preps already stored or are just starting out; the concept of Barter eventually enters the conversation. Bartering is what people routinely used to do before there was the nearly universal concept of money that we have now. Bartering was a way of trading something you had for something you wanted and was widely used as the main form of commerce.

If you had been raising livestock, you could trade a chicken or some eggs to your neighbor for helping you put up some fence. If you were traveling through an area, you might trade a day’s work for room and board for the night. The details of the trade  was up to you and the person who had the good or service you wanted.

Many prepping blogs offer information about bartering after SHTF as the replacement potential for commerce if we ever find ourselves on the other end of some crisis that destroys the financial system. The concept sounds valid as in a SHTF world, you could expect to not have any money or a job and your entire existence would be simply trying to get by as best you could. To this end, many preppers recommend stocking up on supplies for barter after SHTF so that you would have a built-in supply of items to trade. These stored items would be one form of new currency in a grid-down world.

What are bad bartering items?

Like many of you, I read these articles and look at the comments on prepping and survival blogs to learn as much as I can, but in some cases, I think that the people stocking up extras are deluding themselves. It comes down to a couple of things, but you have to look at what you are planning to trade and what value those items are going to have to someone else.

Frequently, I hear people suggesting to stock up on toiletry items, toothbrushes, combs, notebooks, chap stick, scissors, buttons, coloring books and small knick-knacks like that. I don’t believe that too many people would ever trade for anything like that in the type of end of the world I am imagining that would destroy all modern forms of commerce. Could you find a use for them? Of course, but what would their real value be in contrast to the world you are envisioning?

Take this example: the world has turned so bad that you have no money, no home possibly, no food or shoes. Do you really think you would trade anything you had for a toothbrush? If you are so destitute and the world has devolved so completely that no stores are open anymore, do you really think anyone is going to find value with a pair of scissors?

OK, I can make the case that maybe well after the expected die off from this hypothetical disaster has ended – years down the road you might find someone who is willing to trade you a few eggs for those scissors. Maybe they want to start a new career as the town barber? But after the initial disaster, would those really be the most important items you can think of to trade? What would you give if the shoe was on the other foot in trade for those buttons or coloring books? Would you trade eggs that could feed your family? Would you work all day to give your kids a coloring book? Would you give away a clean shirt you have? Maybe, but I think that is a long shot.

I think that relying on anything that can be viewed as a “nice to have” would make a bad bartering item. Buttons would be lying all over the place on the bodies of dead people or in homes that are vacant. Scissors and paper would too for that matter most likely. Your bartering items are not going to replace the dollar store. You have to remember the viewpoint of anyone in a TEOTWAWKI scenario and think of what they are going to be looking for potentially.

What are good bartering items?

The flip side of this topic, would be obviously what are some good items for barter? This is easier to answer, but the problem with coming up with lists like this would be one of resources. If you have something that is valuable enough to trade, would you really want to part with it? It would depend on what the trade was in the end. I can see situations in dire cases where some women and possibly men will trade their bodies because they have nothing else of value. Food, ammo, weapons, tools, fuel. All of these make great bartering items, but would you want to part with them? What would be worth more than your food?

Anything you have after the grid goes down that will make survival possible will be a good barter item. If you have canned food, that will be valuable if there are no stores open any longer. If you have a surplus of .22 ammo or several other calibers, that would be valuable. Liquor and cigarettes would find a home I am sure as these are vices, not necessities. I can easily see people wanting to trade you for a small bottle of whiskey either because they simply want a drink or are having a small celebration. How about small bags of rice and beans?

Other bartering items to consider:

Water filtration kits – You can get Sawyer Mini water filtration in packs of 4 for about $75. Can you imagine the value of having clean, disease free water would be in a post-collapse world? Even if you didn’t trade for it, you could give these to family and save a life.

A good knife – Many people won’t have their own rugged survival knife on hand so if you have several extra you could trade, these would seem to make great bartering items. Morakniv makes a very reasonably priced fixed-blade knife that comes with it’s own sheath for under $15. I gave one of these to each of my family last Christmas. The would never carry something like this now, but if the grid goes down I have something that will cut and slice for each of them.

Coffee and Tea – This is from the same type of list as whiskey. It isn’t necessary, but it sure makes life better for someone coming out of caffeine withdrawals. I can’t see someone trading food for coffee, but you never know. Maybe they have a year worth of freeze dried foods stocked up but neglected to remember the coffee or their favorite camomile tea.

Spare batteries – We have moved to rechargeable eneloop batteries now, with a backup solar charger, but for people who didn’t have anything, small 4-packs of batteries would be very valuable.

Reading glasses – You have to be able to see and if the local optometrist is out of commission, just having a few pairs of cheap reading glasses could come in handy. Replacing broken glasses could be very important to some people. You can buy 6 packs of regular reading glasses for less than $20. It might not be the perfect prescription, but I could see value in these.

Condoms – Need I say anything more?

Seeds – Stocking up on seeds now is a smart plan for the future. I think you should already have a working garden, but having extra heirloom seeds for the people who haven’t thought as far ahead of you could be a relatively cheap barter item that would be very valuable in a post-collapse scenario.

What are risks of bartering?

I wrote about some of the risks of bartering in another post entitled the Pros and Cons of Bartering, but I think they primarily come down to getting ripped off or injured in the process of conducting the transaction. Bartering in my mind will be first done among your neighbors unlike some who envision a town market where people show up with everything they want to trade. I just can’t see that happening for a very long time and I can’t envision something like Bartertown out of the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome movie happening for a very long time. Maybe the bartering expo is a local event and you just have to walk one street over and set up a table or blanket in Mary’s front yard. That I can see, but you would be trading with people you knew or who lived very near you.

After SHTF, you may have to be more careful when you are conducting business.

Trading with people you don’t know is where the danger comes in and this is even truer in a post disaster world. If we are looking at a world without rule of law (WROL), I can see double-cross being used by many unscrupulous people who care nothing for right and wrong, only what they can get.  You wouldn’t want to be conducting a transaction with a stranger without taking a few precautions. First, I would never trade unless I had someone watching my back. I think this will hold true for almost any situation where you are out in the open. Second I wouldn’t trade for anything sight unseen. The old excuse, “It’s just around this corner over here” would be a huge red flag. Do not go around that corner!!! I would be yelling at the TV right now.

The risks are that you could have what you are trading for stolen right from you or that, knowing you have items of value, the strangers – maybe even your neighbors would follow you back home in search of other items. All of these possible scenarios make me think that bartering would not see the light of day in an organized fashion without many hard lessons being learned first.

How to negotiate a trade

OK, assuming everything else is alright. You are in a safe situation and you are sure you won’t be taken advantage of criminally at least you next have to negotiate the deal in a way that doesn’t leave you on the short end of the stick.

1 – Figure out what you want and what you are willing to trade – Have this firmly in your mind before you ever speak to the person. Knowing an amount you would be willing to part with will help you know how much to initially offer and more importantly, what to walk away from. Don’t offer something you aren’t willing to give.

2- Remember, you do not have to agree to the trade if you don’t like it – Thinking back to point number one. If you don’t think the trade is worth it, walk away. This may actually work to your favor if the person trading really wants to deal. Being able to walk away puts you in control of the trade.

3- Spell out the details – If you have ever read any children’s stories, they are full of situations where the young hero agrees to something without getting all the facts. Yes, I will let you marry my daughter, but I didn’t say which one. And poof you are stuck with the ugly step daughter for a wife… If you are trading one good for another, be specific. If it is a good or service write down the details and have both parties sign. Of course this is only as good as the person’s word you are agreeing with, but it could clarify the deal in a way that saves your bacon. Oh, and it assumes you have paper, which I said was basically worthless as barter….

4-Trust your gut – If something doesn’t seem right, walk away. Trust your intuition and if the person or the details of the trade make your spidey senses start tingling, it is better to hold off.

Barter can be done right now without having any devastation. If you believe that bartering is in our future, you can go practice right now while there is so much less risk. Go out to flea markets or try yard sales. You won’t necessarily be bartering for goods you have, but practice negotiating. Find something you want and go through the process of the transaction to see how it feels. It may help you learn some things about yourself that could help you down the road.

So, now it’s your turn. Are you stocking supplies to barter? What do you have to trade?

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20 Skills You Can Trade After TEOTWAWKI

 BY : http://urbansurvivalsite.com/20-skills-you-can-trade-after-teotwawki/

20 Skills You Can Trade After TEOTWAWKI

People sometimes forget that the smallest and most convenient storage space is in their own heads. If you find yourself in the midst of a disaster and you need to either build or fix something, having the necessary knowledge and experience in your mind instead of in a book will hugely benefit your ability to survive. And if there’s something you need from your neighbors but you’re not willing to trade any of your supplies, you could do some work for them in exchange.

But what sort of skills will be the most useful after TEOTWAWKI? Knowing Microsoft Office won’t do you much good, but knowing how to make soap could mean the difference between health and sickness. Or maybe you could trade your soap for more food. The point is, you need to learn a few skills that will be useful in a post-disaster world. I suggest you take up one as a hobby while you still have time.

Here, then, are 20 skills you can trade after TEOTWAWKI, listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Animal Husbandry. The ability to raise animals such as chicken for eggs, rabbits for meat, goats for milk, etc. There is a limit to how much meat and dairy people will be able to store, and there will be a huge demand for for fresh food.
  2. Cleaning. Not just washing your hands, but the ability to wash clothes without a washing machine, make cleaning products to use around the house, and keep your home germ free.
  3. Clothing. If times are tough, people won’t be able to go out and buy new clothes and shoes any time they need them. They’ll have to fix shoes, patch torn pants, and mend shirts. This is an important skill that has become very rare in modern society.
  4. Communication. If the infrastructure breaks down, common means of communication like cell phones and the Internet will be unreliable, if not gone completely. In that case, people who know how to use all kinds of radios, especially HAM radios, will be in high demand.
  5. Construction. Especially without power tools. It’s worth knowing how to properly fix roofs, board up windows or build outhouses using only basic hand tools.
  6. Cooking. People are going to get sick and tired of eating canned soup and freeze-dried food. If you can cook a tasty meal and dessert without power, people in the neighborhood will thank you with favors or with supplies they don’t need.
  7. Dental. Most people live their entire lives without realizing how much misery they would experience if not for the dentist. A perfect example of this is in the movie Cast Away where the main character has to knock out one of his own teeth. Someone who knows how to clean and remove teeth could be a great help.
  8. Fire Making. Most people won’t know how to start a fire once they’re lighters run out of fluid. People in your area will be safer and healthier if you can help them get a fire going so they can boil water and cook food.
  9. First Aid/Medical. People tend to take doctors for granted, but it will quickly become apparent how important they are. Without doctors, people will need help sewing up wounds, setting bones, performing CPR, and determining which herbs and medications help with which ailments.
  10. Food Storage. Canning, dehydrating, sealing, smoking, etc. Most people don’t know how to store food without a refrigerator. Offer to preserve someone’s leftovers in exchange for help or supplies.
  11. Gardening. Yet another skill that has become more and more rare. Learn to grow fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, preferably indoors unless you have a secure backyard.
  12. Gathering. The main thing here is knowing which naturally-occurring plants in your area have nutritional and/or medicinal value and which ones are useless or poisonous. But you’ll also need a MacGyver-like ability to find and use trash and items that might otherwise be ignored.
  13. Gunsmithing. If you’re facing a long-term disaster, people are going to need guns for hunting and self protection. It will help if you know how to repair guns and reload shells. But only help people you completely trust.
  14. Hunting and Fishing. When food supplies get low and gardens fall short, people are going to have to hunt and fish. If you can provide meat for your friends and family, they’ll have time to take care of other necessities.
  15. Mechanic. Even if we have a depression worse than the one in the 1930’s, most people are still going to have jobs (remember, unemployment only got up to 25% in the 1930’s), which means they’ll need a way to get to work. The problem for many people is that they won’t be able to afford to get their cars fixed. If you learn how to work on cars, or any machine for that matter (lawnmowers, generators, etc.), you’ll have a particularly valuable skill.
  16. Plumbing. People will still need their sinks and toilets, even more so if they’re washing clothes in the sink. Learn to remove clogs, fix toilets and replace leaky pipes.
  17. Security. You can make your home more secure, but after TEOTWAWKI you’re still going to need someone to stand guard when others are busy or sleeping. This person will need to know how to use weapons and be practiced in hand-to-hand combat.
  18. Soap and Candle Making. If the disaster goes on for long, soap and candles will be in high demand and a valuable trade item.
  19. Teacher. If the schools are closed, it’s still important that children spend time reading and learning. Remember, these are the children that will grow up and rebuild the world.
  20. Water Purification. One of the most important skills of all! In the weeks after a major catastrophe, many people will die from dehydration or from drinking unsafe water. It will help a lot if you learn all you can about cleaning and filtering water.

There are several other skills I thought about including in this list such as bee keeping, brewing, and electrical work, but I think the 20 listed above will probably be the most in-demand skills. Thoughts or comments? Share them below.

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One Year Urban Survival Plan

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How to Make Mead ( Great SHTF Prep )

Here is a Instructable Link to another version



First, loosen up the honey.

First, loosen up the honey.
To make 5 gallons of mead, I use about 15 pounds of pure honey. This will make a semi-sweet mead. Use two pounds less for a dryer mead. Use a pound more for a very sweet mead.

Pour the honey into one gallon of water.

Pour the honey into one gallon of water.
Here I am using a carboy. These can be purchased for about $10 at any brew store. Carboys, and the air lock on top ($3) are used to house the mead while it ferments. The air lock will let gases escape and keep oxygen out. For the water, I like to use store bough water (gallon jugs) but any soft water will work.

Pouring the honey in…

Pouring the honey in...
The honey pours much easier when it is heated it. Also, if you have crystallized honey, the heat will break it down.

Honey and Water

Honey and Water
14 Pounds of honey and one gallon of water.

Time to mix it up.

Time to mix it up.
Make sure and mix it well. Put the airlock on top so you can really get the honey and water mixed up.

Add the remaining water

Add the remaining water
to total five gallons of liquid volume. Mix it up again.

Here is what we have so far.

Here is what we have so far.
Here is the must after it has been mixed. Notice the color is fluid throughout.

Time to take a hydrometer reading

Time to take a hydrometer reading
Using a sterilized baster, take some of the must.

It puts the must into the flask

It puts the must into the flask
Place the must into the hydrometer flask. Fill it about 3/4 of the way up so the hydrometer can float freely.

Place the hydrometer into the flask.

Place the hydrometer into the flask.
Let it settle. What we are testing is the specific gravity of the must. As the must ferments and eventually turns into mead, we will take specific gravity readings to tell us A) the alcoholic content of the mead and B) How much sugar is left in the must. This is an important step in knowing when fermentation is complete.

Close up.

Close up.
A close up of the hydrometer reading.

Yeast Energizer

Yeast Energizer
Next, I will add yeast energizer to the must. This is like steroids for the yeast. Mix up 1.5 teaspoons with 5 oz (or so) of room temperature water. Again, I like to use bottled water but at least make sure the water is not hard. Shake it up and then add it to the must. Shake the must.

Time for a yeast cocktail

Time for a yeast cocktail
Ok, now that the must is prepared its time to get the yeast ready. I use champagne yeast. I would not recommend skimping on your yeast. I brewers yeast or a bakers yeast would likely provide sub par results. In a small sports blender (or anything you can mix well in) add 10 oz of water. I heat mine up to about 108 degrees. Then add 2 packets of yeast – again, do not skimp on the yeast.

Add a wine nutrient blend.

Add a wine nutrient blend.
After you add the yeast, add a teaspoon of wine nutrient blend. This will, as the name dictates, provide essential nutrients to keep your yeast alive and kicking throughout the fermentation process. It is important to keep the yeast alive throughout the whole process or you will get a funky tasting mead.

Mix it up

Mix it up
Time to mix it up boys. With the sports blender I do not need to mix it for more than a few seconds.

Add some must.

Add some must.
At this point, the yeast is pretty pissed off. This is good. After about 15 minutes, add about 5 ounces of must to the blender. Shake (or blend for a second) and then wait.

Add more must.

Add more must.
If the blender is nearly full, fill it up to about 95% of its capacity. Blend (or shake) again. Wait another 5 minutes.

Prepare the apples!

Prepare the apples!
While we let the yeast cocktail settle for five minutes, clean and cut up about 10 apples. Whatever your favorite type of apple is would work just fine. Cut them so they just fit into the opening of the carboy. If this is your first brew, stick with apples as they are easy. Fruits with a higher concentration of sugar could alter the taste of the final product more than you might expect. Experimentation is key, but first get the groundwork layed.

Add yeast cocktail and apples to the must.

Add yeast cocktail and apples to the must.
I also like to add some raisins – but that’s completely up to you. I add about three handfuls.

Shake, Shake, Shake!

Shake, Shake, Shake!
Shake the container to oxygenate the must. Do this till your arms get tired. Then do it more. Seriously, five minutes minimum. Apply the airtight lock. Spoon in liquor to the fill line on the airlock. I prefer to use American Honey because, you know, honey. Place the must in a dark room between 55 and 75 degrees. Stir the must for about a minute every day. Check hydrometer readings every week or so. When 1/3 of sugar has been used up add: – 1.5 teaspoons yeast energizer – Leveled off tablespoon of nutrient blend. This will provide a boost to the yeast at the perfect time. 1/3 of the way through is perfect because the yeast will use it up by the time the fermentation is complete and you will have no after taste. When the hydrometer readings have not changed for 2 – 3 days, filter and bottle. If this post takes off, I will post another one when its time to filter and bottle.

Posted in Bartering, DIY / MIY (make it yourself), Recipes / Survival by with no comments yet.

101 Low Cost Items to Barter if the SHTF

I would be preaching the choir if I told you that it is wise to gather extra supplies that you can use for bartering in a post-collapse world.  The issue for many, however, is that their budget allows no room for extras.  Finding funds for long term personal preps, let alone daily needs can be an ongoing challenge.

Let’s face it. We all know that the middle class is disappearing.  Food and health care costs are up and even those with comfortable nest eggs are finding that their funds are rotting, earning virtually no interest and suffering the ravages of inflation. So what are we to do?

101 Low Cost Items to Barter if the SHTF | Backdoor Survival

The first rule of thumb is to acquire skills that can be bartered for goods.  That is the smart thing to do regardless of your financial situation.  Beyond that, there are a number of low cost items that you can accumulate over time, even if you are poor.

Backdoor Survival reader Elaine K. sent me her list of “poor man’s barter items”.  It gave me so many ideas that I expanded the list to include even more items.  Here it is: 101 low cost items to barter if the stuff hits the fan.

Poor Man’s Barter Items

  1. Candles
  2. Garden tools
  3. Fly swatters
  4. Insect spray
  5. Rat & mouse point
  6. Rodent traps
  7. Scissors
  8. Needles
  9. Straight pins
  10. Safety pins
  11. Buttons
  12. Thread
  13. Elastic-material
  14. Dry beans
  15. Rice
  16. Noodles
  17. Flour
  18. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, sage, parsley etc.
  19. Coffee
  20. Cooking Oil
  21. Coffee filters
  22. Pepper
  23. Sugar
  24. Salt
  25. Hand crank or manual can openers
  26. Canned food – any type
  27. Wooden, strike anywhere matches
  28. Old newspapers
  29. Wax
  30. Large cotton balls with soaked in petroleum jelly for starting fires
  31. Bleach (or freshly made pool shock)
  32. Baby wipes (Note:  these can be used to clean face, hands, arm pits, groin in case there is no water. If dried out, pour in a cup of water into container)
  33. Cocoa
  34. Baking Soda
  35. Spirits:  wine, whisky, been, vodka, brandy
  36. Coloring books & crayons
  37. Scrap paper
  38. Pencils
  39. Ballpoint pens
  40. Copy paper
  41. Lined notebook paper
  42. Tooth paste
  43. Toothbrushes
  44. Dental floss
  45. Combs
  46. Hair brushes
  47. Disposable razors
  48. Nail clippers and files
  49. Feminine products
  50. Bars of soap
  51. Toilet paper
  52. Hair pins
  53. Batteries
  54. Cigarettes
  55. Tobacco
  56. Cigarette lighters
  57. Tobacco seeds
  58. Aluminum foil
  59. Plastic sheeting
  60. Socks – all sizes & colors
  61. Shoe laces
  62. Reading glasses
  63. Garbage bags (can’t have too many)
  64. Brooms
  65. Dust pans
  66. Clothes pins
  67. Clothes lines
  68. Garbage cans
  69. Shoelaces
  70. Rope of any type
  71. Honey
  72. Hard candy
  73. Popcorn
  74. Kool-aid
  75. Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and aspirin
  76. Essential oils
  77. Cough syrup
  78. Eye drops
  79. Band aids
  80. Laxatives
  81. Lip balm or chapstick
  82. Axes
  83. Nails, nuts, bolts, & screws
  84. Heirloom garden seeds
  85. Fresh garden produce and herbs
  86. Herb plants
  87. Hand garden tools
  88. Two cycle oil
  89. Automotive oil and air filters
  90. Paperback books
  91. Plastic tarps
  92. Duct tape
  93. Fels naphtha bar soap
  94. Washing/laundry soda
  95. Borax
  96. Oxyclean
  97. Home made laundry detergent
  98. Garden compost
  99. Garden fertilizer
  100. Plastic tubs & containers
  101. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)

The Final Word

Elaine K. is sixty-six years old and has been a widow since 1985.  Like many of us, old and young, times have been tough and she has had to teach herself survival by embracing plain old common sense.  Sound familiar?

When she first wrote to me, she indicated that she wanted to do something to help others.  I am sure you will agree that her list is an inspiration to get started gathering low cost items that will be invaluable in a barter-society if and when the SHTF.

Now tell me, can you thing of more inexpensive if not downright cheap items to accumulate for barter purposes?

Posted in Bartering by with no comments yet.

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