Menu Close

Food For Thought

Most “prepping” revolves around the Big Two: food and guns/ammo. It makes sense. You won’t survive very long if you starve to death or are so weak you can’t protect yourself, and likewise when SHTF the strong and armed will prey on the weak and unarmed. Hopefully most of my readers aren’t in that camp but there are definitely people who have as Plan A, B and C to steal or murder then steal needed supplies from anyone that can’t fight back. They call themselves “Werewolf Preppers”. See my post Who Is Afraid Of The Big Bad (Were)Wolf? for more about these POSs. Most of us understand that we will likely have to commit acts of violence to survive, but some people plan on acts of violence as sport.

But there is more to surviving than having freeze dried lasagna and a dozen AR-15s and chances are you don’t have everything you might need and better chance you run out of stuff, especially if we slow burn into something rather than a full on TEOTWAWKI. As is always the rule, you don’t know what you don’t know and that means you might need to barter/trade for stuff.

This was a very good post over on Gab….

Some good comments as well.

As I have mentioned a time or two, there is a wide spectrum of scenarios that the future might bring, from a full on collapse to a slow decline that sees basics services failing and people adapting to life without a functioning government. At the latter end of the spectrum having the ability to barter, especially skills, will be important.

I am a big fan of booze, not to drink as I rarely do and then only a beer maybe once every 4-6 months, but as a trade good for barter. It will be in demand and it keeps well if stored properly. I like the idea of having soap stocked up, that might be another cheap trade good. On the other hand, there is no way I would be trading weapons or ammo except to those who are already in my “circle”. Soap, booze, chewing tobaccy? Sure. But the means to shoot me? Hell naw.

Some food for thought.


  1. Some Guy

    “Get a bike.”

    It’s not enough to have a bike.

    You have to be able to use it, and riding one as a kid doesn’t mean you can use one in a grid disabled/down scenario.

    But, hey, we’re all a bunch of fags, right you ball-shaped motherfuckers?

    Lifting isn’t enough. You have to move yourself somewhere, and most gymrats i’ve ever met heft themselves from home-car-work-car-gym-car-home-table-sleep. No hikes+packs, no bikes+packs; gasoline + diesel will ALWAYS be there, fuck you commie if you say otherwise.

  2. Jeffrey Zoar

    “Gold, silver, and other precious metals become worthless in a survival situation”

    Some folks don’t wanna hear that

    • James Douglas

      Gold and silver will be worthless in the dark ages, but once things recover in a few years/generations/centuries it will recover. It’s only a store of wealth, still better than holding paper money or electronic money which will be just at worthless. Can’t eat it but for those with extra wealth just lying around it’s a great way to prep, but for average salary people it’s a waste of resources.

  3. anonymous

    I’d say the first thing is to secure your water supply. Dehydration kills w/in 3 days. Bad water can kill from a week to a month, depending upon the disease. No water, no hygiene. Bad water will also kill all the idiots who have not thought about it either. Therefore, if you hunker down for about a month, a huge amount of people will have died off.

    The second thing I’d suggest is prepping for a civil war era lifestyle. Not for the civil war, but for the technology of the time. I suspect that when things go this time, they may not come back for years. Our infrastructure is both overly complex and worn out. Our current stock of goods is manufactured to fail, not to last, largely no even to be repaired. A majority of inputs to our economy (spare parts, materials, precursors, etc.) are manufactured overseas and are no longer available locally. When an overly complex system fails, it just can’t be put back together again. And from reading the headlines, it seems that someone is actively trying to crash the system.

    Third, I think most preppers seem to be prepping to maintain their 21st century middle class lifestyle, just with an added touch of adventure-romance. There is no way to do so, that is just simply fantasy. If things go pop, most people around you will die; old folks, young people, people dependent upon medication, people in poor shape, people without skills, crazy people, violent people, stupid people, reckless people, and many innocent, good people. If you are to survive, you will have to do so with hard work, suffering, and doing without, and you will have to do it all by yourself. There will be no one to help.

    Other than that, everything will be fine.

    • Anonymous

      Look at “Pool Shock” and information on how to use it as a water disinfectant. From what I have read, a teaspoonful makes up a gallon of treatment and you need a few ounces of the diluted pool shock to treat a gallon of water.

      In short a 2 pound can will disinfect a LOT of water.

      • Gryphon

        Be Very Careful using “Pool Shock” Chlorine, especially the Powdered kind – it is Hazmat without Mercy, getting the Dust in your Eyes can cause Blindness, Inhaling any of it results in Death, not in a Nice Way- That’s why Chlorine Gas is a Military Standard Poison going back more than a Century. If you are going to use this stuff for any reason, you need a Full-Face Respirator with the Cartridges specifically for Chlorine, and Rubber Gloves halfway up your Arms.

  4. Some Guy

    If you don’t have a well with a hand-pump, how’re you going to haul that water to filter? You’re Expedition? You’re Express Van?

  5. George True

    Assuming you already have adequate quantities of the three “B’s”, the three additional items on your short list above are undoubtedly among the most important to have extra quantities of for barter.
    According to Selco, the well known prepper who blogs about his experiences during the Bosnian civil war, as time goes on in a SHTF dystopian world, perhaps the most important barter item (as you also mentioned above) is alcohol.

    The airline size bottles have gotten expensive lately, $1.50-$2.00 each, even for the low end stuff. From a cost perspective, it is far better to roll your own. Clear plastic screw cap bottles in sizes ranging from 1-4 ounces (or larger) can be bought pretty cheaply online, and then just fill from the economy size bottles of booze (1.75 liters in most cases).

    • jrg

      I’m wondering if prescription medication bottles could be re-purposed as units for re-sale. Some of the tests I’ve run with liquid filled seem to have minimal leakage issues.

  6. 3g4me

    Some people do seem to find it ‘romantic’ to live as people did back in the 1800s. I’m not one of them. I don’t use or need tv or a dishwasher, but some source of power/electricity would be nice to have. Just a few solar panels and solar generators (portable batteries) and a good supply of propane. I am fine with hanging laundry to dry, but why on earth would I want to use a bucket and plunger and mangle to do the wash? A top-loading washing machine with a mechanical motor does not use much power – just manage your power usage and do a load a week.

    I have put aside a fair amount of those items Selco suggests, but primarily for my family’s use and/or an emergency. I can see bartering becoming a thing with trusted neighbors, but doing so in some sort of open marketplace opens up all sorts of risks.

    • anonymous

      I don’t think it’d very romantic at all to live with a bath every week or so, wood-ash-and-bacon-fat soap, no razors, no dentistry, etc. I just suspect that a lot of preppers think they’ll be the road warrior with a skin-clad raquel welch as their side kick.

      But as far as mid-1800’s tech goes, if you have a steam engine, you can always run it with wood, and then hook up any car alternator and have voltage on demand. Steam engines do not need gas, propane, or diesel. Again, if you had a treadle set up like for the old singer sewing machines, you could rig a mix, meat grinder, saw, or a variety of other simple machines and not need some forms of electricity. A weighted fly-wheel would give it the oomph to really move stuff as well.

      • MICoyote

        Steam engines are dangerous as hell.

        No one makes one because they are so dangerous.

        Plus, you need to watch it like a hawk, they tend to explode.

        I have never, not once, seen anyone other then a hobbyist have one.

        And they’re not something you just throw together on a whim. If you don’t have one now, and using it, you never build one when SHTF. They are damn labor intensive.

        Oh, yes, you do need fuel, coal. Wood is a poor fuel for this.

  7. Last V-8 Interceptor

    Packs of those Dollar 25 Tree lighters, Bics, light your fireplace with pistol grip style with safety, in bolt out kit.
    Fanny pack of salves and ointments, sunscreen, Vaseline, Retin-A, and others.
    Boxes of soap bars, hand cleaners, wet wipes, cleaning supplies in closets.
    Cipro, basic aspirin, Ibuprofen, and other meds.
    Filling up water containers lately and stocking up on bottled six packs.

  8. saoirse

    Remember: Location, location, location!
    Having all the necessities means little if you’re in the flight path of vultures. Get away from the cities and form support networks. You ain’t surviving this on your own.
    Partisans can start stirring in the forests after the mud and criminal hoards have grown weak.
    Finally: Playing for keeps with the enemy requires that you abandon your sense of fair play!

    • anonymous

      I’m guessing “fair play” will have dissolved in short order.

      I’m also guessing that the “flight path” becomes sort of a harvest path for those with local knowledge….

  9. DeplorableGranny

    Reading glasses. I am lost without mine. I have about 30 pair ranging from 200 up to 300. Work gloves and every kind of screw, nut, bolt or nail. Huge tarps. If you spring a leak in your roof and can’t get it fixed your screwed in the PNW. I also have several Israeli bandages. Years worth of firewood, rain capture system and a hand pump.

  10. anonymous

    A wheelbarrow or other conraption to aid in moving heavy crap from here to there would be a wise idea. No flat tire, steel yoke for longevity. Installing attachments to carry a spade or other handled tool would be handy too.

    The above insights from Bosnian survivors are especially valuable. Thanks for including them in this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *