Posts Tagged With: Barter

What To Do If The Nightmare Becomes Reality?

by Todd Walker

I’ve waited all day trying to decide to post this or not. I don’t know what to think. So I’m putting it out there.

Last night I woke up in a panic. “It was only a dream,” I told myself.

The dream was real.  But could the terror in my dream materialize? I’m not a mystic or prophetic, but I do believe we should pay attention to dreams … and even nightmares.

It’s unusual for me to remember the details of a dream. In this one, I was horrified. Sweating. Agony. I don’t ever remember utilizing all 5 senses in a dream. Last night I could smell, feel, hear, taste, and see the detailed devastation.

It was a dark night of the soul experience.

photo

TEOTWAWKI happened and I was caught with my pants down. Literally. It was like the scene from Schindler’s List where the Nazis were making their captives run around naked in the yard of the concentration camp. The older, weak, and less “useful” were sent to the furnace. Horrible!

The worst part about it was that I felt responsible somehow. I didn’t do enough.

DRG was ripped from my arms. Terror gripped me because I had no control. I couldn’t fight back the overwhelming numbers and force. “What would happen to our children, grandchildren, and expectant daughter-in-law,” I remember thinking.

Why am I sharing this miserable night? I’m not looking for an interpretation. The meaning is crystal clear to me.

Here’s what I took away from my twilight zone.

A.) Prepare now! You can take it as a warning or write it off as a dream from a crazy mind. Each of us are free to choose. The catch is that we can’t choose the consequences. Redouble your efforts in these areas.

  • Self-sufficiency skills. Increase your ability to acquire the basics – water, food, shelter, and security.
  • After the basics, begin to build resilience into systems like alternative energy, sustainable gardening/permaculture, and self-employment.

B.) Never give up your ability to defend yourself. Owning modern weaponry keeps the State in check, some what. Giving up your natural right to defend yourself from Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, leads to genocide. History is full of examples of the wholesale mass murder of disarmed subjects. Beware of lethal laws. Are you sure you’re not an enemy of the State? Are you on any lists?

C.) Build a strong relationship with your family, group, community, and God.

  • Find ways to add value.
  • Exchange value for value within your group and community.
  • Establish beneficial bartering relationships locally.

D.) Wake up. Don’t fall for the it-could-never-happen-here doublespeak. Read some history. Our government has engaged in civilian round-ups before… in the name of national security. And we willing traded liberty for security.

  • In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense. Over 120,000 Americans of Japanese decent were forced to leave their homes, livelihoods, and families with the stroke of a pen. About half of these prisoners were children. Source
  • President Andrew Jackson signed the The Indian Removal Act of 1830 which forced Native Americans to relocate to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi. It was spun as voluntary, but always remember that government equals force. Over 100,000 people were forced to follow the Trail of Tears. 15,000 died on the journey. Source

We don’t have to have this kind of nightmare to jolt us into action. World events and the poly-ticks are evidence enough to shift your prepping into overdrive.

Was my dream just a nightmare or a premonition?

 

Categories: Preparedness, Resilience, Self-reliance, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Top 5 Resilience Resolutions with Homework Assignments for 2013

by Todd Walker

What a year!

Pic credit

January 12, 2012 is etched in our memory, hearts, family, and bodies. Fear in her voice was relayed as I held the phone. “They found a mass in my lung,” she said. Four days later it was official. Dirt Road Girl was diagnosed with cancer in her lung and brain. The past 12 months was like riding the Scream Machine for the first time – with no seat belt or safety bar to hold us in the roller coaster. The good news is that DRG has made amazing progress in her fight for life.

We prepare for the unknown unknowns as best we can. This is the time of the year people usually make resolutions as to what they are going to stop doing or start doing. Out with the bad habits and in with the new, good habits. I’m no longer a big fan of goal setting. I prefer a life theme. Goals have always been an act of implementation. Start – work – achieve – now what? Once the target is met, there is a great sense of accomplishment usually. However, in my experience, goal setting seems to be less effective than adopting a lifestyle theme. It’s an individual choice. YMMV.

With the approaching new year, I go into reflection mode and tweak my theme. What did I do right last year? How can I improve our life in the new year?

There’s so much doom and gloom in the main stream media: Fiscal cliff, school shootings, never-ending wars, unemployment, and talk of gun confiscation. DRG’s journey has taught me that we aren’t guaranteed today, tomorrow, or next year. We’ve always given lip service to that fact. But how do we start living it, practicing it, and owning it?

I hated homework in school. That’s why I don’t assign any to my students. “You’re a bad teacher, Mr. Walker!” Really? Homework is designed to take up valuable time that could be used by students to pursue something that really interests them. Following their interest is how they discover learning and not just studying to pass some silly state standardized test.

Here is my top 5 list of ways to prepare for the new year. I’m going to break my No-Homework rule and give each of you a simple assignment. By the way, it’s for a grade. Extra credit if you share it with someone else.

1.) Health

Diets are not sustainable. Most diets aren’t even healthy. Once the bathroom scale stops screaming for relief and the mirror smiles at your naked body, how do you maintain the new you?

This is a foundational theme for our family. I think it was Ben Franklin who was credited with saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is never more true than when it comes to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. More and more evidence shows the link between our eating and health. You are what you eat. The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) is recommended by the government food pyramid and most prepper experts. The strategy to store food for disasters and end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios is smart. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you already know my beef with SAD food storage.

The prepper community, like most Americans, bought the lie about high fat, low carb eating plans. I had a receipt for my purchase until three years ago. If simply surviving is you goal, spend your cash on all the SAD foods you can afford to cache. Just remember that pesky notion about being what we eat. Why not adopt a new theme – a natural, healthy, unconventional lifestyle – for the new year. 2013 may force us all to prepare like cavemen. Go ahead and get a jump on the herd.

Homework Assignment: Dust the chalk board erasers, forget everything you’ve been taught about “healthy diets,” and take a 30 day challenge (heck, just try it for 21 days) – and report back with your results.

  • Mark’s Daily Apple – Mark Sisson helps you follow the Primal Blueprint with help of “worker bees” and real community of primal lifestylers.
  • The Organic Prepper – Daisy Luther offers practical advice on healthy prepping and low-tech solutions. We’ve featured several of her articles here.
  • Bug Out Nutrition – A blog that applies the science of nutrition to survival.
  • Mercola.com – Dr. Joseph Mercola’s excellent natural health website.

2.) Learn Liberty. Free Your Mind. Take the red pill.

Homework Assignment: Your reading and viewing assignments are listed below:

  • Watch The Matrix. Rent it. Buy it. Watch it.
  • LewRockwell.com. Visit regularly.
  • Stop watching mainstream propaganda news for 30 days. I stopped 5 years ago. Ditched talk radio too. Here are a few of the alternative news sources I read regularly.
  1. LewRockwell.com
  2. Zero Hedge
  3. Eric Peters Auto
  4. Living Freedom
  5. Before It’s News – They publish my RSS feed under “Self-Sufficiency”

3.) Build Tribe. Even if the gun-grabbers don’t get their unconstitutional bill passed, I’ve made this a priority. I met a gentleman a week ago to buy a tool for DRG. We made the transaction and I noticed the welding machine on his truck. He builds safes and safe-rooms. He also builds some very cool steel targets for pistol and rifle practice. I’d like to buy the welding machine from him. But I’ll have to settle for a few targets. Once I try them out I’ll post a review. By meeting this stranger, we found we have a lot in common. We plan on eating lunch together soon.

Coming in contact with others that you’d like to build tribe with sometimes happens accidentally. Other times I initiate the contact. I’ve got a meeting with a fellow blogger next week to begin building tribe. I’ve followed his blog for a while now and like how he thinks. Don’t forget your neighbors.

Homework Assignment: Approach at least one person outside your immediate family about building mutual assistance, relationship, and tribe. Use common sense. Don’t ask the first stranger in line at the grocery store to be in your tribe.

4.) Build Resilience. Resilience is defined by Dictionary.com as:

1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
I get the feeling in my gut that we will all be bent, compressed, and stretched in 2013. Not really a gut feeling. Reality is staring us in the face. I’m no financial wizard or mystic. I’m just a simply country boy at heart. Even simple folk like me can see the handwriting on the wall – even without watching the propaganda robots on TV.

Our plan to build resilience doesn’t just include our family’s needs. We understand that a resilient community (physical location) opens many avenues to preparedness. See building Tribe above. Every step we take this year to become more self-reliant builds more resilience. Will it be enough? Probably not. But we’re one step closer – plus, we enjoy the journey.

Pic credit

Practical Steps To Becoming Resilient

  • Contact local farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and farmers. Here’s a unique approach to buying locally – Locally Grown. It started about 12 years ago as the first online farmers market. Unlike other co-ops, buying clubs, or CSAs where everyone gets the same box of stuff (and you don’t know what you’re getting until you get it), with Locally Grown you get to order what you want, in the quantities that you want, from the farms that you want. If you don’t see a market close to you and you know one or more growers ready to sell their products, you can create your own new market! Also, try Eat Wild, or Local Harvest. Also, do a little cowpooling to help keep cost down.
  • Hone your skills and build your kits in these key areas:
  1. Potable Water. Have as many methods of making and storing potable water as possible. I’m not going into how-to details here. There’s plenty of info on the net and books on how to do this stuff. Dependent on “city water” (as Daddy calls it) leaves many high and dry when grid-down disasters strike. Even if you have “country well water”, it won’t pump itself out of the ground. You may be ahead of the game and have an alternative pumping method (hand pump, solar, hydroelectric, etc.). We own a Berkey filter for our home and portable MRS filter for our G.O.O.D. bags. Options are plentiful.
  2. Food. Eating happens. Store stuff you already eat. Most of us can’t or don’t know how to grow all our fruits and vegetables. But even a few patio tomato plants is one step towards building resilience. It may seem difficult to store nutrient-dense, healthy food, but it’s really not. Click here for my plan.
  3. Band Aids. The medical aspect of preparedness is overwhelming to me. Beyond basic first aid, I defer to others with real skills.
  4. Protection. This isn’t all about bullets. Guns are tools in my kit that have redundant purposes. The recent run on battle rifles and full capacity magazines shows the psyche of Americans. They’re securing their liberty with each ammo and gun purchase. This can’t escape notice of TPTB. The protection category also includes investing in tangibles that will only go up in value as the dollar crashes. Purchasing items now that will help you become a producer is a wise hedge against the unknowns.
  • Be A Connector. This dovetails with building community. For the non-introverts, this comes easy. The digital age has opened so many opportunities to network. No matter what you’re interested in, its easy to find like-minded people willing to do the stuff with you.

Homework Assignment: Locate one source of locally produced meat and vegetables available to you. Extra credit if you raise your own meat/protein/veggie.

5.) Build Barter Networks. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. With the economy in a tailspin, bartering has become more common. Many forums and websites have established local barter networks. When bartering, trade value for value. A hair cut wouldn’t be of any value to me, since I shave my head. But there might be a service the local barber has to offer that I need.

In my latest hard-copy edition of Backwoods Home Magazine, John Silveira wrote an article called, “Bartering for bad times.” Click here for the online version. He covers physical barter items such as food, seeds, silver and gold, ammo, garden tools, tobacco, booze, medical marijuana, coffee, water, and solar power. You don’t have a stockpile of these items to trade? Try trading your skills.

What skills/services can you offer to improve the quality of life for others who have stuff you need? I’m not a plumber by trade, but the skills my daddy taught me growing up are in demand now and will continue into the next Great Depression. Mr. Silveira recommends the following useful skills for trading value:

  • Barber
  • Poker
  • Repairing stuff
  • Gardening
  • Tutoring
  • Fuel for heating
  • Clothes: Making and Mending
  • Caregiver: Babies and Elderly

I really like what Alt-Market promotes and purses. Their mission is “to facilitate networking, local community action, and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We promote decentralization, localism, and the de-globalization of human economic systems. We aim to work with and support local economies, markets, barter networks, and farmers cooperatives; and to promote alternative currencies and monetary systems.”

Homework Assignment: Transact one or more barter exchanges in the month of January.

This kind of free market trade is something that the Feds hate and want to control. Trading value for value voluntarily, between consenting parties is a skill we should all learn…sooner, than later.

What are you’re ideas for resilience in 2013?

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, Investing/Tangibles, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Death of the Nickel: A Hoarding Strategy

Source: LewRockwell.com

Storing Nickels

by David Hathaway

Are you doing due diligence with nickels? As many LRC readers know, nickels are the only real “money” being distributed by the U.S. Government at this point in time. The value of the metal in a nickel equals the fiat value assigned to it by the state. This cannot be said about the currently produced pennies, dimes, quarters, or half dollars and certainly cannot be said about the paper money or the even more insidious and plentiful computer digit money that we are forced to use. Nickels are uniformly marked, impractical to counterfeit, and easily recognizable for their metallic content (75% copper, 25% nickel).

So, is it really that easy to get real money in exchange for the worthless stuff floating around? Yes, it still is. You walk into a bank, hand the teller a 20-dollar bill, and walk out with 10 rolls of nickels. There is no dealer markup. There is no sales tax. There are no shipping fees. There is no capital gains tax or value added tax. It almost seems impossible in this day and age. It soon will be impossible. We are temporarily in an era with nickels that is analogous to the pre-1965 silver coinage period. Coin composition is slated to changeduring the 2013 fiscal year. So, what are the issues that would preclude a person from taking advantage of the inevitable increase in the value of nickels when compared to the fiat dollar? Well, there is one small issue and one slightly bigger issue. The small issue is obtaining the nickels and the bigger issue is storage. Both issues can be resolved fairly easily for most people. First, let’s look at the smaller issue.

You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot when obtaining nickels; not to mention your fellow hard-money brethren who are doing the same thing. Don’t go into a bank and make a grandiose gesture by asking to speak to the branch manager and discussing the bulk acquisition of $1000 or $10,000 worth of nickels. I have read articles where people proudly describe the incredulous looks they get from the bank employees and the follow-up questions administered by the bank staff from such an action. These articles usually include a description of how they schooled the bank employees about how the customer was hoarding nickels as a hedge against inflation. Don’t have this conversation with the bank. You don’t want to be the source of new bank policy restricting the acquisition of coinage. Some banks may charge a percentage for obtaining coins but, most still don’t. With nickels it is still so easy.

You need to have a systematic outlook. What you do is always lay down a 20 dollar bill and ask for 20 dollars in nickels. No more. That’s all. Make this fit into your lunch break at work, your commute, your exercise routine, or your shopping routine. You can go to one, two, or three banks fairly quickly. Don’t get the coins using your debit card or a check. Keep it to a simple hand-to-hand cash transaction. You don’t want multiple computer entries showing up on your bank account at different bank branches 10 minutes apart. It looks like you are doing something. Banks look for patterns and they will ask more questions. You aren’t doing anything wrong but, once again, you don’t want to make waves. You want to be able to continue getting your nickels. Giving out $20 in coins is no big deal to a major bank but, retailers that get coinage regularly usually do have to pay extra for the privilege. Small account holders and even non-account holders are usually given “small” amounts of pre-rolled coinage in exchange for paper currency as a courtesy at no charge. You want to be in the small customer “courtesy” realm on this issue. Being in a slightly bigger town is a plus but, not essential. If you happen to be on a lengthier shopping trip or road trip, you can get $20 worth of nickels ten times fairly quickly at ten different banks. Remember, you don’t want to be responsible for the issuance of new restrictive policies within your local banking world. Banks talk to each other. They go to conferences. If only a few guys in a town of a million people are trying to get large quantities of nickels on each transaction, the word will get out and policies will change.

You won’t believe how quickly you acquire nickels at this rate. You quickly get in and out of the bank since you are not doing account-related transactions. You get 400 nickels each time you hand over a 20-dollar bill. The transaction usually takes less than a minute. If you do this twice every day on your lunch break, you will have nickels coming out of your ears. Don’t try to do it at a quicker rate. You will end up causing problems.

The second issue, which is really the point of this article, is the storage of your nickels. One of the first rules for obtaining and storing metal as a hedge against inflation is to take possession of the metal yourself and to not trust someone else to store it for you. A warehouse receipt can be next to worthless in a hyperinflationary environment and is subject to the same type of mishandling that has been seen in metal futures, ETFs, and other paper forms of metal. Nickels do present a challenge for storage but, the challenge is not insurmountable.

Green military style ammo cans are a very tempting solution. They have one serious drawback. They look valuable. That wall of ammo cans in your basement really looks like a stash of something worth stealing. The larger size (generically called .50 caliber ammo cans) are too heavy when filled with nickels. The smaller size is easier to handle. They weigh about 35 pounds when filled. They hold about 88 rolls. Each roll contains $2 face value of nickels. So, you are preserving about $176 face value of nickels in one ammo can. To get up into multiple thousands of dollars, you will have quite a wall of ammo cans. They get harder and harder to conceal. They won’t fit in a floor safe or that hollow brick like your gold coins do.

So, what’s the answer? After years of experimenting, I have found the perfect solution. Home Depot sells pre-cut 24-inch sections of thick walled 4-inch black ABS pipe. They also sell the 4 inch ABS end caps and ABS cement. This combination makes a perfect long-term burial solution. The ABS cement causes a reaction to occur that is the chemical equivalent of welding the plastic end caps on by chemically softening, melting, and then permanently binding the adjoining surfaces of the two plastic pipe fittings together. PVC pipe also works. The nickels will last for decades in pristine condition underground when stored in these pipes.

I had an occasion to dig up 10 pipes recently containing a total of 560 pounds of nickels that had been buried for three years. The store bar-code stickers hadn’t even come off the pipes yet. The pipes with the caps glued on with the ABS cement still looked brand new. Each of these pipes holds 122 rolls of nickels on average. The pipes weigh about 56 pounds when finished. I have found that drilling a tiny hole with a small drill bit aids with pushing on the final cap since the glue makes the caps airtight and the air pressure makes it hard to push the second cap on. The air relief hole allows the cap to slide on easily before the cement binds the parts together permanently. The small hole can then be filled with ABS cement to make the pipe watertight. To get the nickels out, you will have to cut the pipe open with a saw.

After preparing multiple pipes, dig a trench. It will look like you are installing a water line or a sewage pipe. The 24″ X 4″ inch black pipes look like sections of sewer line. You can rent a trencher to make the process quicker and to reduce prying eyes. I have found that even sensitive metal detectors cannot detect the pipes when they are more than 12 inches deep. To be on the safe side, you can make your trench 18 to 24 inches deep. Even if they are buried less deep, they have the metal detector signature of a buried water pipe and won’t look like an attractive target to unearth.

I will address one more point since I hear this all the time. How do you cash in the nickels for the metal value? You don’t in the short run. This is not a buy and turn over proposition. You don’t have to worry about the legalities of melting coins. People don’t have to melt down pre-1965 silver coins to get the metal value. There will always be a market for the actual metal value in the coin. You don’t have to melt down gold coinage to get the metal value. Some day, when the effects of massive inflation are more evident, you will have your hedge against inflation and you will be able to sell your coins for their metallic value as you need to. In the case of nickels, they won’t have to be assayed. They are marked and it is obvious what they are. Their metallic content is common knowledge. There is no down side with nickels. If nothing else, you have gotten your money out of computer digits and you are holding it in tangible form for the coming banking crisis. It just so happens that you got full value for yours in incorruptible metal form with a picture of one of the less offensive presidents stamped on the side.

December 29, 2012

David Hathaway [send him mail] is a former supervisory DEA Agent who homeschools his nine children. He enjoys writing about the injustices of the state.

Categories: Barter, DIY Preparedness Projects, Economic Collapse, Investing/Tangibles, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Neighboring Matters: Preparing For Unknown Unknowns

by Todd Walker

Are you prepare for all the unknown unknowns?

No matter how meticulous you might be at creating your list of lists, how much stuff you’ve squirreled away, or how sharply you’ve honed your survival skills, you can’t fully prepare for the unknown unknowns. That’s why neighboring matters.

If you get 10 survivalists in a room, you’ll get eleven different opinions on how to build community. In this installment of my Individual Preparedness Plan series, we’ll discuss what should be on top of every person’s preparedness priority list: Neighboring.

In the wake of Sandy’s unwelcome and devastating visit, I’ve noticed a pungent smell of superiority online from some (thankfully not all) “preppers”: “When will sheeple learn” and “We don’t look so crazy now, do we.” The back-patting party was furious in some cases. This kind of attitude and behavior only reinforces the negative stereotypical view of preppers being lunatics with guns and a superiority complex.

This got me wondering what our motives are in the preparedness community. We’re all in it for ourselves to some degree. Rugged individualism, self-reliance, independence, preparedness, back-to-basics, and sustainability are all noble pursuits. But what about those closest to us – geographically, not on social media sites? That nameless neighbor I wave to when checking my mail. He’s only two doors down. The older couple that I politely say hello to as they walk past while I’m on a run. I don’t know their names or situations, just that they live in my neighborhood.

Know Thy Neighbor

I often wonder how these nameless faces would respond to a natural disaster or extended SHTF scenario. What makes my middle class neighborhood different from those affected by Hurricane Sandy? Not a thing. Human nature is the same in New Jersey as it is in Georgia. We all need food, water, shelter, and neighbors… unless you live in an isolated cabin or cave in the hinter-boonies with wild animals as companionship. Then disregard this. For everyone else, your neighbors may unknowingly be your most valuable asset.

Got milk? No. Borrow it from your neighbor across the street. Uh, folks just don’t do that anymore. How about when a tornado rips through your town? Or an ice storm cripples the grid power? In these events, you realize a name goes with that passing face you wave to who now revs a chainsaw to saw through your driveway of fallen trees. When things go sideways, it’s what most (not all) humans do. Failure to build real relationships with real people will hamstring even those ‘super‘ preppers.

Intentional Neighboring

Isolation is intentional. So is neighboring. Which means more than pressing the “Like”, “Follow”, or “Friend” button for virtual friends thousands of miles from your computer. They won’t be able to pull your broken body from the rubble. They know you as an avatar on their screen. Real neighbors talk to you over your fence or share a drink around the backyard fire pit.

Our best hope of surviving catastrophe on a personal, local level is friends and neighbors. Daniel Aldrich, a political scientist living in New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina hit, tells his story and study of response to natural disasters.

He had just moved to New Orleans. Late one August night, there was a knock on the door.

“It was a neighbor who knew that we had no idea of the realities of the Gulf Coast life,” said Aldrich, who is now a political scientist at Purdue University in Indiana. He “knocked on our door very late at night, around midnight on Saturday night, and said, ‘Look, you’ve got small kids — you should really leave.’ ”

The knock on the door was to prove prophetic. It changed the course of Aldrich’s research and, in turn, is changing the way many experts now think about disaster preparedness.

Officials in New Orleans that Saturday night had not yet ordered an evacuation, but Aldrich trusted the neighbor who knocked on his door. He bundled his family into a car and drove to Houston.

“Without that information we never would’ve left,” Aldrich said. I think we would’ve been trapped.”

“Really, at the end of the day, the people who will save you, and the people who will help you,” he added, “they’re usually neighbors.”

The Best First Responders

Family, friends, and neighbors help rebuild and restore order better than large organizations, government or otherwise. The more value-adding neighbors you have, (and not all wear the label “preppers”) the more hands, legs, minds, and overall resources become available. I sold my pickup truck this year to cover shortages in our family income when Dirt Road Girl could no longer work due to cancer. My across-the-street neighbor gave a standing offer to use his spare truck for any hauling duty that might come up. He and his wife have been so supportive to our family in our personal SHTF scenario. From meals, prayers, dog sitting, and just plain old neighborly stuff, they’re not just neighbors, they’re true friends now.

How Many?

Jesus maintained an intimate circle of twelve friends and only three in his inner circle. This number of face-to-face, close friends is about all mere humans can really manage. Any higher and we begin to spread ourselves thin. Keep in mind that this group is your real, trusted friends.

What about those outside this inner core? Dunbar’s Number sheds more info on manageable social group sizing. Dunbar theorizes that 150 is the mean group size for people. Of course, physical proximity to each other would either raise or lower that number. A lot of social grooming is required for this size group to stay intact. I can only count on one hand the number of intimate friendships I have. I think that’s healthy. From there my circle expands to close friends, friends, and acquaintances.

OpSec Concerns

What about OpSec (Operational Security)? I don’t divulge the full scope of our preparedness plans with every person on the street. That would be inviting trouble. DRG and I do have a small group of trusted friends that would run to our aid in the event of an extended event. They know we’d do the same for them. This type of friend is one  that knows you, likes you, and loves you – warts and all. They know our plans because they’re part of our plan.

Building relationships with physical neighbors is mutually beneficial. The neighborhood preparedness quotient and survivability increases. A lone wolf can’t prepare for all the unknown unknowns.

Practical Stuff

Here are a few not-so-pushy ways to do this stuff. I guess you could canvas door to door. But you don’t want to come across as annoying. If you have an agenda other than being a good neighbor, folks will see through you. Keep it simple neighbor.

  • Give: You’ve got carpentry, plumbing, electrical, or computer skills. Offer to help a neighbor. This opens a door for mutual and reciprocal giving.
  • Get involved: Local farmers markets, festivals, concerts, school meetings are all attended by neighbors and friends.
  • Yard sales: Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with people. As an added bonus, you’ll likely find useful stuff for your preps. Two weeks ago I scored a box of candles and mason jars from an older lady two streets down. I let her know where I live when I introduced myself. The transaction went very smoothly and I made a new friend.
  • Share your Stuff: DRG makes killer sausage balls. She prepares a few plates every Christmas and delivers trays to neighbors. I share smoked Boston butt with a few as well. One of my neighbors samples my home-brewed beer.
  • Ask for help – without being needy: That’s the only ice breaker needed to move from acquaintance to friend sometimes.
  • Be a connector: Refer people needing stuff to people with the right stuff or skills.
  • Trade stuff: One year I had a bumper crop of tomatoes while my next door neighbor produced more peppers than he could eat or cared to store. We traded throughout the summer.
  • Barter stuff: If there’s a local barter network already established in your town, get involved and add value.
  • Local clubs: Hunting, fishing, golf, knitting, or canning. Ask a neighbor to go learn a new skill together.

Hopefully these tips will motivate us to get out of the house, network, and meet your neighbors. Do you know your neighbors? They may be the missing link to the unknown unknowns.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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Categories: Barter, Doing the Stuff, IPP: Individual Preparedness Plan, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Rule Of Threes For Doing The Stuff

I use the phrase “Doing the stuff” in my salutation. I also started #DoingTheStuff hashtag on Twitter. I think I’m the only soul on the planet of 7 billion to use it. So much for trending. Who cares. This simple phrase has preparedness power. If you use it on Twitter, you’ll soon rule the world.

Ever tried relaxing on a stool with two legs? Not comfortable. Your body is constantly balancing and tense. A third leg would allow you to rest as much as possible on a stool. Your preparedness plan may only have one or two legs that are weak at best. As a hobbyist craftsman and one passionate about self-reliance and preparedness, I’m outlining my Rule of Threes for Doing the Stuff.

  • Acquiring the Stuff
  • Knowing the Stuff
  • Doing the Stuff

To avoid long hours of surfing the web and a headache from information overload, I’ll break down the Rule of Threes for you.

3 Seconds: If you find yourself in a deadly sleeper hold in a MMA match, tap out in two seconds. By a count of three, with no blood flow to the brain, you’ll blackout and be totally embarrassed in your flaming speedos with the word “Juicy” on the backside. Same goes for a heart attack or other serious blood restricting injury.

3 Minutes: Without O2, the typical humanoid’s lights turn off. Whatever the cause, air flow has to be jump started to live again.

3 Hours: You lose your ability to perform even gross motor skills when over exposed to extreme heat or cold. Death by hypothermia or hyperthermia is the number one cause of death in most wilderness survival scenarios. Find shelter and strip down to those “Juicy” trunks when it’s hot.

3 Days: You’ve only got three days (dependent upon temperature and exertion) to live without H2O. Factoid: Our cellular composition (not cell phones – you have to clarify these days) consists of up to 60% water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. There are exceptions to this rule. Club yourself in the head and hibernate like Mitsutaka Uchikoshi for 24 days.

3 Weeks: Most folks can only survive without food for 3 weeks. In our obese America, this Rule of Threes may be extended. What happens when you run out of Twinkies? Time to throw a Donner party. The family pets don’t look so unappetizing now do they?

The Rule of Threes helps us prioritize and build a sturdy preparedness platform.

Doing the Stuff in simplest form means:

A.) Acquiring the stuff. I know. Shiny objects are fun to collect. But remember, this is only one leg of Doing the Stuff. In today’s shrinking productive class, many find it quite challenging to just buy food for the week much less stock one to three months worth of beans under the bed. Think frugality. DRG’s last paycheck came at the beginning of this month. She hopes to return to work after Christmas when she’s done with the radition/chemo treatments. Lean times are waiting for our tribe. It’s not like we’ve never rode this bull named Scarcity. Fortunately, we stocked up when times were good. Think like the ant, not the grasshopper.

https://i1.wp.com/images.sodahead.com/polls/002403239/01842365_The_Ant_and_the_Grasshopper_answer_1_xlarge.jpeg

Photo credit: http://www.sodahead.com/

If you have plenty of fiat currency growing on that green back tree out back, pick a bushel and use it now to acquire more tangible stuff. I’m not into the Zombie Apocalypse – I’m not trying to scare anyone, but…Prepare now for the collapse that must come. Even if it never happens, the tangibles you stock now will be worth more next year than today. Especially after Helicopter Ben showers us with Quantitative Easing 3. Tangibles trump paper! Keynesian economics will fail. Brace for impact.

What stuff should I get? All kinds of stuff related to the Rule of Threes listed above. Each individual has their own unique set of needed stuff. Don’t be afraid to buy stuff that you have no clue how to use. Others will. Bartering stuff and skills is on the rise as our country suffers through our Keynesian economic depression. So get busy acquiring the stuff.

B.) Knowing the stuff. Personal preparedness requires knowing how to do things for yourself.

Remember watching Katrina refugees in YOYO (You’re On Your Own) mode? Uncle Sam can’t fix dependency. Why would our government undo what it has spent decades and billions of dollars to build (entitlement mentality). Knowledge is power. Anyone with an elementary observation should conclude that living below sea level is foolish.

There’s another angle to YOYO I’ve seen on survivalist forum discussions. The Hollywood vision of being a lone wolf living off the land. If that’s you, please reconsider your strategy. When it comes to knowing all the stuff needed to survive, we all have things to learn. Plus, with the exception of my sixth grade history teacher, humans are wired for companionship. Build your tribe with different knowledge bases.

While I pride myself in being a jack-of-all-trades, I’m far from expert in my piddling. Mediocrity will have to do in most cases. Expert status is not required to survive. That’s why it’s important to develop relationships with others that can add value to your tribe via voluntary association. I’m sure I could pull a tooth if called upon. How hard can it be, right. But my victim patient would get better results from my dentist friend two farms down the road. I’d much rather barter my skill for his.

There are certain strengths that deserve my focus. I shore up the weak legs as I can. There’s not enough daylight to be an expert at all three legs of preparedness. So, I chose to focus on the last leg, the most important to the stability of my preparedness platform.

C.) Doing the Stuff. This leg deserves our devotion and full attention. Whether it’s random acts of prepping or scheduled list following, physical action is required. The proverbial rubber meeting the road. Curb your appetite for stupid reality shows and get busy. Take up a new hobby. Read a book on preparedness. Take detailed notes. Knock out a few of the DIY projects on the honey-do list. Get healthy and fit. Rediscover play. Don’t forget to enjoy life on your journey to preparedness and self-reliance.

Don’t allow yourself or your family to be at risk because you never practiced skills that would satisfy the Rule of Threes. Some ‘experts’ give cookie cutter solutions on what’s most important. Water usually tops the list. It all depends on your emergency situation. What if… you’re stranded in a driving, 35 degree rain without proper clothing and gear. I’d say shelter and fire wins your immediate attention. Use your head and plan accordingly. Producers will out survive leeches. Do you have a plan, and more importantly, have you practiced the plan to provide water, shelter, food, and defense?

Knowing what to do with the stuff takes practice. Knowing and doing are not the same. Under stress, we do what we practice. When the unprepared, government sponsored looter population dies off, rebuilding will begin. Will you be able to survive to help rebuild? If so, will you be able to add original value to the effort?

I’m planning to. How about you?

 

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World

 

Source:

Backdoor Survival

 

40 Items to Barter in a Post Collapse World   Backdoor SurvivalDo you know how to barter?  In preparedness circles, the term barter is used lot when describing a post SHTF situation when goods and services may no longer be available through normal channels.  According to Wikipedia, ”barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money”.

A lot of people think of bartering as something to do when they are down an out, perhaps unemployed, or low on cash.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  Bartering has been around from eons and is simply a smart way to acquire goods and services under the radar screen.

40 Items to Barter in a Post Collapse World   Backdoor Survival

Today I would like to share some very simple tips for bartering as well as my own suggested list of items and skills that may be useful for barter in a post-collapse economy.

Categories: Barter, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Stop Bad-Brain-Think: Strategic Investment in Tangibles

by Todd Walker

Q: Why does stupid create bad results?

A: Evolution.

Now before you write me off as some nut case or evolutionist who believes we evolved from monkeys, let me explain. The effort here is to highlight our need to rethink bad ideas. When we continue to follow bad advise promoted by government, schools, churches, or any other person or entity, bad turns to worse. Darwin’s theory of evolution should wipe out bad ideas. However, bad brains that create bad ideas seem to be winning the battle.

Here are a few bright ideas spread by bad brains. Save and invest your money in the stock market (only if you are a well-connected insider like politicians and elites). Buy real estate (you never really own real estate, you just rent it from the government collective – don’t pay your property taxes and watch for the black boots to come knocking). Eat according to the USDA food pyramid (only if you want to be sick and die early). I know, we all want a little slice of the American dream. The dream is becoming a nightmare many. What to do?

My solution. Turn everything you’ve been told about investing on its head. Think for yourself. Train your mind to question everything. Look at what is not seen.

There’s not enough time here to delve into the cause of bad brained ideas. Since we can’t get rid of the bad brain collective, here’s a way to minimize the effects of their stupid ideas…until the evolutionary forces take over and they die along with their ideas.

There is a pronounced tendency when confronted with important questions to consider only what is seen and ignore that which is not seen. Frédéric Bastiat

In 1980, John A. Pugsley wrote Alpha Strategy. It’s a free download and worth printing a hard copy. We see prices of food, gas, and other basic commodities going up. I graduated from high school the year Mr. Pugsley penned his book. Oh to have known and practiced his Alpha Strategy then. It’s not too late. Start now.

Since the debasement of our money began with the creature from Jekyll Island (The Federal Reserve) and removing the gold standard, the age of inflation was born and is here to stay. Hiding paper money under the fireproof mattress is like building a pine box to cache food under the earth. The elements and environment will destroy the value. Inflation is our greatest enemy. A day of reckoning is coming. How do we prepare for the dollar collapse? Invest in tangibles.

James Wesley Rawles of SurvivalBlog gives sage advice below on how and what tangibles to acquire. Read the full article here.

Which tangibles? I recommend buying farm land, common caliber ammunition, guns, hand tools, good quality knives, silver bullion coins, and gold bullion coins.

To spell this out in greater detail, I recommend:

  • Productive farm land that is in a lightly-populated region with plentiful water and rich topsoil.
  • Factory made ammunition in common calibers (“ballistic wampum“) such as: 308, .30-06, .30-30, .223, .7.62×39, 12 Gauge, .22 Long Rifle (rimfire) .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm Parabellum (Luger). For your investment and barter stockpile, buy only name brands like Winchester, Remington, and Federal–and perhaps Hornady and CCI.
  • High quality guns from name makers, chambered in common calibers. Good choices include M4geries, AR-15s, Steyr AUG-A3s, HK91 clones, HK93 clones, Galil Golanis, Ruger Mini-14s, FN-FAL clones, M1As, .308 Winchester bolt actions, Glock double column magazine pistols, XD pistols, Colt and Kimber M1911 .45 pistols, and Saiga 12 gauge shotguns.
  • Well-made hand tools, with an emphasis on 19th Century technology tools, such as: shingle froes, scythes, adzes, draw knives, axes, crosscut saws, and so forth. BTW, many other old-fashioned tools are available from Lehman’s.
  • Well-made knives, such as: Swiss Army knives (of various models), CRKT knives, and Cold Steel knives. [Sherpa Note: ESEE Knives are great and made in the USA]
  • Silver bullion coins should probably be 1 ounce or less. Either buy 1-ounce bullion “rounds” from a name brand supplier like Northwest Territorial Mint or Tulving, or pre-1965 circulated US. silver quarters from a company like AMPEX.
  • Buy gold bullion coins only after you have secured at least 500 ounces of silver bullion coins. (Always prepare for a “disaster barter” situation first, and then move on to buying gold coins as a long term investment and inflation hedge.) In the U.S., I recommend buying only the most readily-recognizable gold bullion coins: American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs and Krugerrands.

It is difficult to predict when substantial inflation will emerge in the United States. There are too many variables that cannot be predicted. Some of them are essentially political, such as debt monetization, currency pegs, bailout programs, and changes in tax laws. Just be watchful for signs of resumed inflation, and be ready to act swiftly to get the balance of your investments out of dollars.

I’m thankful that my parents had the foresight to buy productive farm land 40 years ago. They bought over 200 acres at $200 an acre. It’s worth $5,000 an acre now. Of course, we’re not selling. It truly is a priceless family heirloom!

Develop a strategy that fits your individual needs. Get creative. And don’t forget to enjoy the process and journey.

 

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, equipment, Firearms, Gold, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Silver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bee Lining: Simply Math Could Save Your Life

Bees Like John (The Baptist), by Mike The Bee Shepherd

Source: Survival Blog

 In a true TEOTWAWKI situation, many people will naturally resort to hunting and fishing to procure food. The increased hunting pressure will make many animals nocturnal and quickly deplete the populations of wild game. There is, however, one overlooked source of food that flies completely under the radar by even the most seasoned survivalists.  It tastes delicious, lasts forever,  replenishes itself to be harvested again and again, is a phenomenal barter item,  and can be found in every state in America.  I am talking about wild honey! The Bible says that this is the food that sustained John the Baptist during his time in the wilderness and that’s all the endorsement I need.
Allow me to give you a quick primer on honey.  Honey has roughly 1,376 calories per pound. It is not uncommon for a healthy colony of bees to produce 60 to 80 pounds of surplus honey in a good season. That equates to 60-80 days of life sustainment for one person from one hive.  Honey has an indefinite shelf life. Honey found in the tombs of Egyptian kings was found to be perfectly edible. Honey also has multiple uses. Besides its obvious value as a food item, honey can be fermented to make mead (honey wine) which can be further distilled to make ethanol fuel.   Honey also has antibacterial qualities since it contains trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide and it was reportedly used by Roman Soldiers to pack sword wounds.  Honey can and will crystallize over time since it is a super saturated solution but you can easily restore it back to liquid form by gently heating it. Did I mention that Winnie the Pooh loves the stuff?

I think it’s safe to say that John the Baptist didn’t get his honey from the local food co-op or Piggly Wiggly. Our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of buying bees from the Internet and having them shipped in a tidy box via UPS, instead they used an ancient technique known as “bee lining”.  Locusts may not travel in a straight line but fortunately for us, the honey bee generally does.  It is this straight-line behavior that we can utilize to lead us back to the proverbial “honey-hole”.  There are numerous techniques for bee lining and although I doubt John the Baptist used trigonometry to locate his wild bees, we can.  Do you remember the days back in high school when you were plodding with contempt through trigonometry homework and thinking to yourself “I will never use this”?  Personally, I would rather have watched paint dry as I was never very adept at math. I don’t think I could count all my protruding body parts and get the same number twice. I am now man enough to admit that I was wrong.  A little simple math can reveal the bee’s secret location.

Bees predominantly forage when the weather is nice so do not waste your time trying to do this in the rain. It takes honey to make honey! You need to start with a sweet solution of sugar or honey and water (dissolved 1:1).  Put this solution on a small piece of sponge in the center of a bowl.  Set the bowl with sugar baited sponge in an open area and wait. The wind will carry the scent to foraging bees.  The first time a honey bee takes her fill, she will fly up in ever widening circles trying to remember the landmarks so she can lead her sisters back to the source.  It helps them if you wear brightly colored clothes as they will use you as a landmark. The exception to this is the color red as bees cannot see the color red. You can get a very rough estimate of the distance to the hive by timing the round trip time between the first bees departure to its return. 3-5 minutes is generally indicative of a quarter-mile, 5-10 minutes a half-mile, and 15 minutes or more indicates a distance of at least one mile. Once the bee communicates the source of food to the hive, the whole family will join in and you should see an ever increasing volume of bees visiting your bowl. Take out a compass and note the direction that the bees are flying in between the dish and the hive. Shoot an azimuth and note the azimuth (in degrees) on a map. Write a line from your current position out a few miles indicating the bee’s current flight path. (We will call this line SIDE “A”) The hive is obviously somewhere along this line. Once you have 15 or 20 bees in your bowl you can place a cover on the bowl thus capturing the bees. Take your captured bees and walk 50 yards in a line that is exactly perpendicular to the bee’s line of flight. (It is very important that you are exactly 50 yards as this will figure into our equation later)  Jotting this line down on the same map as the bee’s azimuth would now form an “L” with your new position now being at the bottom right edge of the “L”. (We will call this bottom line SIDE “B”).  Now do your best to release just a few bees at a time from your new position and again shoot an azimuth with your compass.  Writing this line down on the map should now give you a right triangle with the right angle being in the base of the “L”. This last line SIDE “C” is the hypotenuse of our right triangle. The angle that you need to figure out is in the bottom inside right corner of your triangle (where you are now standing). We will call this angle “a”.  You can use a protractor on the map to determine this angle (angle “a”).  Once we have the bottom right inside angle of our triangle, we need to do a little math to determine where our new line (SIDE “C”) intersects with our very first line (SIDE “A”). This intersection will be the exact location of the hive.  The formula to figure this is:
SIDE “C”= SIDE “B” / cosine (angle “a”)
So let’s say that we used our protractor on the map and determined that SIDE “C” made a 47 degree angle with SIDE “B”. This means that angle “a” is 47 degrees. We also know that SIDE “B” equals 50 yards.
SIDE “C” = 50 yards / cos (47)
SIDE “C” = 73 yards

Our wild bees are approximately 73 yards from our current position at the point where our last azimuth intersects with our first azimuth.  Now we can bring our bowl to that spot and use our ears and eyes to look for the entrance to the hive. Many old time bee liners claim to hear the hive before they see it.  Now finding the cosine of an angle usually requires a scientific calculator (solar powered scientific calculators are available for five or six dollars). To make life easier, I have created a lookup table that automatically converts the degrees of angle “a” into the exact distance to the hive so no cosine calculation is necessary. This table will only be accurate if you walk exactly 50 yards (150 feet) to form SIDE “B”. I have printed a small version of this table and laminated it to keep in my wallet. The table follows:

 

Once we find our bees we need to don our protective gear. It might be a good time to mention that this should not to be done by anyone with bee sting allergies and I always carry two Epi-Pens with me just in case. A simple Tyvek painter’s suit sold for a few dollars at Home Depot will provide protection that is comparable to most commercial bee suits. Be sure to get the suit with the built in hood. Purchase some nitrile gloves as they are more puncture resistant than either latex or vinyl and are the choice of medical professionals to prevent needle sticks. A simple mosquito head net worn over a ball cap completes the outfit. Many beekeepers remove hives with no protective gear whatsoever but this is not recommended for the novice.  Tie some dry grass together tightly and light it on fire. Extinguish the flames so that it makes smoke. Fan this smoke into the hive entrance. This will trick the bees into thinking their home is on fire and they will immediately gorge themselves with honey in preparation of seeking a new home. This causes the bees to become very docile. Would you want to get into a fistfight after eating Thanksgiving dinner?  At this point, you may need to enlarge the access hole to reach the comb. It is preferable to only remove a portion of the honey and to do it without destroying the colony so that we can come back for more later. Remember that the bees need honey to survive throughout the winter and without sufficient stocks, they will die. This is the equivalent to shooting your cash cow.

Take the honey comb back to process the honey. You can eat it right in the comb or you can employ the crush and strain method. Whichever you do, do it indoors otherwise you will create a swarm of bees all looking to rob your honey.  Crush the comb and strain it through a paint strainer or cheese cloth. Make sure that at least three quarters of your honeycomb is capped. The bees cap the comb once they have the moisture content down to 18% or less. The uncapped portion is still nectar but with a much higher moisture content. Uncapped nectar can be eaten if done right away but it does not store as it will ferment from the natural yeasts that are present. The wax can then be utilized to make everything from candles to lip balm (again, outside the scope of this article).

Some people see the face of God in the clouds.  I see Him in the bees.  They are an amazing gift to us and they have been sustaining man for thousands of years.  God’s Manna from heaven was reputed to have honey in it and the best land was referred to “the land of milk and honey”.  When you realize that one out of every three bites of food you eat is a byproduct of honey bee pollination, you get a picture for how important they are to our sustainment.  Mr. Rawles, please forgive the unabashed plug but if you are interested in learning more about honey bees or about purchasing wild honey you can visit my web site, The Bee Shepherds.

Categories: Barter, Food Storage, Homesteading, Preparedness, Primal Skills, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival Skills, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DIY Preparedness: Ed’s Red Bore Cleaner Recipe

Here’s an old article from Survival Blog with Ed’s Red Bore Cleaner recipe. After making a batch, print a hard copy for your files.

Source: SurvivalBlog.com

Author: Charles M.

Do It Yourself Gunsmithing, by Charles M.

Permalink | Print

Much has been written about what particular guns are best for home defense and SHTF, but I haven’t seen much about taking care of these weapons when gunsmiths are not around.  Let’s look at what typically causes firearms to fail.

As a gunsmith, the main cause of firing malfunctions I see is dirt.  This can be crud built up from dust collecting in oil forming a grease-like substance, or rust, or build-up from burned powder (carbon), or residue from the casings or shells.

The second most encountered problems stem from magazines, or broken or weak springs.  Lost pins or screws, and broken extractors or firing pins tend to be the next [most common] group of failures.

So how do you prepare for these problems?  First, if you don’t have an owner’s manual for your gun, go to the manufacturer’s web site and download one.  It will give you information on proper operation, how to field strip the gun for cleaning, and lubrication instructions.  If it is an older gun, you may be able to find a manual at StevesPages.com.  The next document you should have is an exploded parts list and instructions on disassembly and assembly of the firearm.  Many of these are also available at StevesPages.com.

The next thing you will need is a good cleaning kit.  Be sure you have lots of patches, and extra bore brushes for your particular caliber.  A chamber brush is also helpful.  There are all types of bore cleaner solvents.  Pick your flavor.  Here is a recipe for a great bore cleaner that you can make up yourself.  It was invented by C.E. ”Ed” Harris. You can always bottle some of it for barter later.  It is the widely-used “Ed’s Red” (ER).   This cleaner has an action very similar to standard military issue rifle bore cleaner, such as Mil-C-372B. Users report it is more effective than Hoppe’s for removing plastic fouling in shotgun bores, or caked carbon fouling in semi-automatic rifles or pistols, or in removing leading in revolvers. It is not as effective as Sweets 7.62, Hoppe’s Bench Rest Nine or Shooter’s Choice for fast removal of heavy copper fouling in rifle bores. However, because “ER” is more effective in removing caked carbon and abrasive primer residues than other cleaners, metal fouling is greatly reduced when “ER” is used on a continuing basis.  It is inexpensive, effective, provides good corrosion protection and adequate residual lubrication so that routine “oiling” after cleaning is rarely necessary, except for long-term storage of over 1 year, or harsh service environments, such as salt water exposure.

CONTENTS: Ed’s Red Bore Cleaner
1 part Dexron II, IIe or III Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF), GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
1 part Kerosene – deodorized, K1
1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS #64741-49-9, or may substitute “Stoddard Solvent”, CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka “Varsol”)
1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
(Optional up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon. It is okay to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)

MIXING INSTRUCTIONS FOR “ER” BORE CLEANER:

[JWR Adds This Warning: All of the usual precautions for handling caustic and flammable solvent fluids must be taken, such as wearing goggles and rubber gloves.]

Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal, chemical resistant, heavy gauge PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are also okay. Do NOT use a HDPE container, which is permeable, because the acetone will eventually evaporate. The acetone in ER will also attack HDPE, causing the container to collapse, making a big mess!

Add the ATF first. Use the empty ATF container to measure the other components, so that it is thoroughly mixed. If you incorporate the lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and stirring until it is all dissolved. Divert a small quantity, up to 4 ounces per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix for optional use as an “ER-compatible” gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix.

Label with necessary SAFETY WARNINGS: RIFLE BORE CLEANER, CAUTION: FLAMMABLE MIXTURE, HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.  Flammable mixture! Keep away from heat, sparks or flame. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.

The lanolin can be found at better pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens.  Ask the pharmacist, they usually have it in the back, not out on the shelves.

Ed’s Red will not dissolve copper fouling, so have some copper remover solution on hand.  Be aware that the ammonia in the copper remover can damage stock finishes, and will dissolve brass bore brushes.  Have some extra brushes on hand, or use a stainless steel brush.

The next item to have on hand is a quality gun oil.  They are all pretty good.  Note above that you can make your own from ATF/kerosene mix.  If you want to improve on this, add a little lanolin.  The lanolin provides longer term protection, since some of the other ingredients will eventually evaporate.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING “Ed’s Red (ER)” Bore Cleaner:
Open the firearm action and ensure the bore is clear. Cleaning is most effective when done while the barrel is still warm to the touch from firing. Saturate a cotton patch with bore cleaner, wrap or impale on jag and push it through the bore from breech to muzzle. The patch should be a snug fit. Let the first patch fall off and do not pull it back into the bore.
Wet a second patch, and similarly start it into the bore from the breech, this time scrubbing from the throat area forward in 4-5″ strokes and gradually advancing until the patch emerges out the muzzle. Waiting approximately 1 minute to let the bore cleaner soak will improve its action.

For pitted, heavily carbon-fouled guns, leaded revolvers or neglected bores a bronze brush wet with bore cleaner may be used to remove stubborn deposits. This is unnecessary for smooth, target-grade barrels in routine use.

Use a final wet patch pushed straight through the bore to flush out loosened residue dissolved by Ed’s Red. Let the patch fall off the jag without pulling it back into the bore. If you are finished firing, leaving the bore wet will protect it from rust for 1 year under average conditions.

If the lanolin is incorporated into the mixture, it will protect the firearm from rust for up to two years. For longer term use Lee Liquid Alox as a Cosmoline substitute. “ER” will readily remove hardened Alox or Cosmoline.
Wipe spilled Ed’s Red from exterior surfaces before storing the gun. While Ed’s Red is harmless to blue and nickel finishes, the acetone it contains is harmful to most wood finishes.
Before firing again, push two dry patches through the bore and dry the chamber, using a patch wrapped around a suitably sized brush or jag. First shot point of impact usually will not be disturbed by Ed’s Red if the bore is cleaned as described. It is always good practice to clean your guns twice, two days a apart whenever using corrosively-primed ammunition, just to make sure you get all the corrosive residue out. [JWR Adds: If in doubt about the priming used in any batch of military surplus ammunition or any ammunition of any description that is made in Eastern Europe or China, clean your guns repeatedly!]

Remember, after cleaning, you can apply a thin layer of oil to protect from rust.  Blued or parkerized finishes will still rust.  But notice, I say “thin”.  Excess oil will attract dirt, and can freeze an action in very cold weather.

Now, for spare parts.  Replacement spring sets are available for most guns, usually for about $10 to $20.  They are inexpensive, and can be purchased from www.Brownells.com  or www.Midway.com.   The other items I would recommend are replacement pin kits, a spare firing pin, and a spare extractor.  If you have an odd or old gun, you may be able to find parts from Numrich at www.GunPartsCorp.com.  Some guns like an AR-15 have critical spare parts kits available for around $35.  Even if you don’t feel comfortable replacing some of these parts, gunsmiths will be around, and if you have the parts, and diagrams, they can fix it for you.

Recommended tools would include a basic gunsmithing screwdriver set, some pin punches, a plastic faced or rawhide hammer, needle nose pliers, and some sort of vise, with padding for the jaws.  Specialty tools might be a broken shell extractor for your caliber rifle.

Battery powered optical sights are great, but be sure to have spare batteries, and some sort of iron back-up sights in the event they break.  Extra magazines are also essential.

I don’t want to get into specific guns to buy, but I would recommend a “reliable” one.  Cheap or worn-out guns should be replaced now.  You can keep old ones for barter, but don’t rely on them for yourself.  Also, some guns can cycle reliably on any ammo you feed it, while others are very sensitive to different loads and brands.  You may not be able to have the luxury of buying the exact brand that you like in a SHTF situation, so maybe it is time to trade for one that is happy with anything.  Most new guns need at least 500 rounds run through to properly break them in.  Another good reason to practice!

Another good source of information on particular firearms are the gun forums online.  For instance, GlockTalk.com, AK-Builder.com, FALFiles.com, or AR-15.com. You will learn pretty much all that you need to learn from them.  Just remember, as with this and any info you find on the internet, use common sense applying it.

Categories: DIY Preparedness, DIY Preparedness Projects, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Self Defense, Shooting/Marksmanship, SHTF, Survival Skills | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Week 44 of 52: Collapse Investing: Money and Wealth Preservation During Times of Uncertainty and Instability

Here’s week 44 of Tess Pennington’s excellent 52 Weeks to preparedness series over at Ready Nutrition. Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan.com is the contributing author this week.

Week 44 of 52: Collapse Investing: Money and Wealth Preservation During Times of Uncertainty and Instability

Contributing Author
Ready Nutrition
May 2012


Special thanks to Mac Slavo of www.SHTFPlan.com for contributing his time and efforts on this article.

 

We could spend a significant portion of our time outlining the various reasons for why the world’s economic, financial and political systems sit on the brink of an unprecedented paradigm shift that promises to change the landscape of the entire system as it exists today.

I could try to convince you that it’s a good idea to prepare for what’s coming, but the fact that you are reading this article via Tess’ Ready Nutrition newsletter means that you’re already in action planning and execution mode. If you’ve been following the 52 Weeks to Preparedness from the beginning, then you’ve spent the last 44 weeks establishing an emergency and disaster response plan that would probably make FEMA jealous.

Like Tess and I, you’ve probably done your research and spent months or years gathering as much information as you can about the many possibilities that could significantly impact your life and the lives of your family members and close friends, and you’ve actively involved yourself in making sure that you’re as insulated as possible from whatever may befall us.

My initial inclination when Tess asked me to contribute some thoughts on wealth preservation during times of uncertainty was to point out the fundamental economic problems and fraud facing the system. I realized after delving into this topic that, while the ramifications of an economic or currency collapse are life alteringly severe, my family’s personal preparedness plans have always been focused on ensuring we’re ready for anything that gets thrown our way – not just an economic crisis.

The strategy that we try to employ is well rounded and considers as many variables as possible.

  • Natural Disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, solar flare
  • Man-made calamities like currency hyperinflation, cyber attack, EMP detonation, nuclear fallout or global conflict
  • Personal emergencies like a job loss, injury or over-extension of credit

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.

While I’ll stop short of advising you to sell all of the stocks and bonds in your 401(k) account and investing all of your proceeds into ‘preps’, a little diversification could mean the difference between surviving a disaster, or succumbing to it.

Keep your 401(k), IRA or other investment accounts, but consider expanding your horizons with a new 401(Prep) strategy as well.

The Currency of Kings

Gold is the currency of kings, Silver the currency of noblemen, and Debt the currency of slaves. 

While disregarded by mainstream economists as a relic of civilizations past, gold still remains a highly sought after asset by central banks around the world including those of China, India, Venezuela, Iran and a host of other countries losing faith in the petro-dollar reserve currency system. We’ve seen it rise to record breaking nominal highs in the last ten years for a reason. Those in the know – including investors who understand that gold always rises during periods of uncertainty and crisis – have been acquiring gold and its cousin silver for over a decade and have seen it’s value increase multi-fold.

We need look only at recent history to see what happens when economies and currencies of nations collapse. When the monetary systems of the Weimar Republic, Argentina, and Zimbabwe collapsed their currencies literally became worthless over night. During Germany’s hyperinflation people were burning wheel barrows of paper money just to stay warm. When Zimbabwe’s currency hyper inflated over a period of about 10 years, a loaf of bread went from one $1 to $1 trillion dollars; today there are people panning for granules of gold in Zimbabwe’s rivers so that they can purchase bread to eat for a day.

While nothing is guaranteed, history has proven one thing about gold and silver. There is and always will be a buyer for these precious metals. And if there is a central bank or large investor buying, that demand will always trickle down into the rest of the economy – even if it is operating as a black market.

If you want to expand your portfolio to include precious metals, here are some considerations:

  • A single ounce of gold stores more value than silver. If you need portability for a large amount of wealth gold coins and bars will be your primary precious metals investment. Currently an ounce of gold is about $1550. With less than a pound of coins in your purse or backpack you can conveniently move $25,000 in value.
  • What gold offers in portability it lacks in divisibility. This is where silver comes in. You may not be able to move $25,000 of silver conveniently (weighing around 50 pounds!). But because of it’s lower value per ounce silver is an excellent mechanism of exchange for things like food, gas, clean water, or tools if the dollar hyper-inflates or crashes. You can purchase silver in bars (100 oz, 10 oz) or coins (1 ounce, or U.S. government issued pre-1965 halves, quarters and dimes). With the smaller denomination coins like US quarters you will have portability for a small amount of cash (40 quarters is about $150 dollars worth) and you’ll have coinage that should allow you the ability to purchase just about any item someone is willing to sell.
  • When buying gold or silver, buy from reputable sources like your local coin shop or an online dealer like Apmex or Kitco.
  • The only exception we can make to the above rule is for the purchase of pre-1965 U.S. government minted 90% silver coinage. While we would avoid purchasing any other coins on auction sites like ebay, there are often some great deals to be found on half dollars, quarters and dimes containing 90% silver (pre-1965 coins only!). You can also purchase Kennedy half dollars dated 1965-1969 containing 40% silver content. Since these coins are government issued and in such small denominations, the possibility that they are counterfeit decreases significantly.
  • Silver allows you to make modest, weekly investments of anywhere from $5 to $50 dollars and still build a store of wealth.
  • To get the current price of silver and gold, as well as the specific prices for dated U.S. coins, check out the calculators at coinflation.com.
  • If you are investing a large sum of money into precious metals, gather details about the types of coins you are buying, especially if you’re buying gold. Acquire a coin caliper and/or testing kit to ensure you’re getting what is being advertised.

While you may be able to easily utilize gold and silver as a mechanism of exchange at the onset of a crisis to buy much needed supplies during a currency meltdown and use it to exchange for land or equipment during a recovery period, you may be faced with a period of time when no one will be interested in your PM’s. Selco of SHTF School points out that gold is not the silver bullet the provides complete insulation from TEOTWAWKI. When all hell breaks loose, as it did in the Balkans in the 1990′s, and a war is being fought right outside of your front window, gold and silver may not get you very far, as people are more concerned with the immediate need of getting out of harm’s way than they are with anything else.

With that in mind, and for those who (correctly) argue that we can’t eat our gold, let’s continue diversifying our 401(prep) account.

Commodity Investing with Zero Counter-party Risk

In this type of environment where nobody can get a safe return on their money within the United States that beats the official rate of inflation, buying canned foods and such is actually a better investment than a Treasury bill. What I would look to do is have a backup supply of at least several months of the basic commodities you need to live with – canned food, toilet paper, as well as barter items…
-John Williams, Economist, Shadowstats.com

One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. As central banks continue to inflate their money and hundreds of millions of people in once under-developed nations join the ranks of the global working class, the demand for food once reserved for the middle class in America and Europe will rise in countries like China and India. The end result is a higher cost for corn, rice, wheat, meat and other staples.

Thus, as the experts suggest, investing in commodities may be an excellent way to grow, or at the very least preserve, your money. Where I disagree with the experts is how to invest in such assets. While you can purchase Exchange Traded Funds or contracts that follow specific commodities, the inherent problem with these investments is that, even though you have a paper receipt that says you own a particular commodity, if it’s not in your possession your are subject to counter-party risk. What I mean by this is that if the investment firm (or the numerous associated firms) has a problem and goes out of business, your paper receipt may become worthless. A recent example of this was the MF Global scandal, where the investment firm headed by a trusted former governor of New Jersey actually took the deposits and commodity investments of their depositors and transferred those assets to other investment banks days before completely collapsing. Their clients, who had receipts to prove ownership, were left with nothing.

If you’re investing into commodities because you expect prices to rise dramatically, then you must also assume that those dramatic price rises will result from either a currency crisis, or shortages caused by exceedingly high demand or adverse weather conditions (think Great Depression dust bowl). That being said, the only sound method of investing in these assets is for you to take physical delivery – just like you would with gold.

For food, your best bet would be to look at the 11 Emergency Foods That Last a Lifetime. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case paper markets crash because you’ll be in direct possession of your food. How much food should you add to your 401prep investment portfolio? It depends on the size of your family and your time horizon. Think about what could cause a massive price rise in food prices and you’ll realize that whatever the crisis is, it could be long-term. The following food storage calculator can help you to determine how much inventory you may need and allows you to break your purchases into weekly shopping trips so you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars up front.

In addition to food, there are a variety of other commodities that you won’t want to live without if the system comes crashing down around us – so consider adding these to your preps as well:

  • Toilet paper , various toiletries, hygiene products
  • Cooking oils
  • Off-grid lamps and fuel
  • Over the counter medicine like ointments, aspirin, anti-diarrheals, anti-constipation meds, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide
  • Hand sanitizer (you’ll want lots of this because clear water may be hard to come by and disease will be rampant)
  • Lighters (highly recommended barter item from the Balkan collapse)
  • Ammunition
  • Teas, coffee, cigarettes, drinking alcohol
  • Off-grid survival tools like hand saws, hand drills, etc. (this may also include low-power requirement tools that you can charge with solar power or other alt energy)
  • Antibiotics (Here’s one survival item that will be worth more than gold in a post-collapse world!)
  • Read the Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First for more ideas

Investing in these asset was a sound practice in January of 2010 when I first recommended it (you’d be up over 25% today!) and it’s a good strategy today, because as you well know things aren’t looking any better on the economic and monetary front.

When investing in commodities you’ll want to ensure that you are able to physically store your assets so that they are available when you need them post. Be sure to properly store all foods for the long-term.

Land and Real Estate

Agricultural commodities are the place to be in for investors. It will be farmers not bankers driving Ferraris.
-Jim Rogers, Contrarian Investor

You may be surprised to see real estate listed here as a 401(prep) related asset, especially considering that the average price collapse in housing since the crash has been about 30%, with some areas of the country seeing in excess of 50% shaved off of bubble-top prices.

With real estate prices still dropping, it’s certainly not a bad idea to wait for further price reductions before jumping into a new home, especially if you are planning on paying cash. One thing to consider however, is that if you aren’t paying cash for a home and are looking to take on a mortgage then you are in one of the best interest environments we’ll experience perhaps in our lifetimes. Money is cheap, and if you happen across the right property, taking advantage of those low interest loans may be the right thing to do. As the dollar continues its decline and confidence in our ability to repay our debt is lost, you will likely see interest rates rise significantly. During the inflation crisis of the late 70′s and early 80′s some mortgage rates were running as high as 18%, so getting in now may not be a bad idea, especially if you are not planning on flipping your house any time soon and you have an investment time horizon in excess of a decade.

But what is the right property?

Being prepper-minded, I immediately dismiss the possibility of buying a home in a urban or suburban setting. The fact is that these kinds of homes are, in my eyes, liabilities. They have absolutely no productive capacity whatsoever, thus I have hard time looking at them as assets. Moreover, if we’re planning on the S hitting the fan, we want to be in a low population area, something that our typical cookie cutter neighborhoods in big cities simply can’t provide.

When we talk about real estate and land investments during times of crisis we want to focus on a property that will give us the ability to produce something – anything of value. In the event you lose your current income flow, or if the system falls apart, you’ll want to be on a piece of property that allows you to produce some of the commodities we discussed above – either for personal use or to run as a business if employment becomes difficult or impossible to acquire.

Thus, when looking at land, look for land that will provide you and your family with productive capacity. If you can do this, you’ll have turned your home and land into an asset instead of the typical liability held by most Americans.

You’ll also be much closer to achieving self reliance by being as off the grid as is possible, so you are no longer dependent on services provided by the government or large business conglomerates.

Here are some thoughts on real estate investing based in part on Ten Things That Make a Survival Homestead:

  • Does your land have the space and soil to allow you to grow a vegetable, herb or fruit garden? Even limited space can be used to product a huge amount of food, so you can be flexible on land size if your financial situation requires it.
  • Are you able to produce your own energy – perhaps install solar panels, mini-wind turbines or some type of hydro power if you have a stream or river? Whether the world collapses around us or not, energy self reliance is a long-term benefit that will reduce or eliminate your utility bills, something that will insulate you from not only a collapse of our power grid, but keep the energy flowing to your home if you experience a personal financial catastrophe that makes it difficult to pay your bills.
  • Do you have enough land to raise livestock? The bottom line is that people will always need food, and if you can provide that food you’ll always have customers willing to buy it or trade for it. Space is an important consideration for livestock, but there are ways to raise poultry, goats and even micro Dexter cows without a huge pasture. Look into micro-livestocking for some ideas (it’s something you can even do in suburbia if your HOA allows it!).
  • You need a water source. This is self explanatory. You can’t grow food or keep animals if you don’t have water. Either make sure you have a well, or a river or stream with easy access so you can collect or divert water to irrigate your garden.
  • Another water solution that provides multiple benefits is a pond. Not only will it provide water, but you can expand your offerings by raising fish to boot!
  • Can you defend your property? In addition to the commodities listed above, other physical assets to look at acquiring are property and self defense supplies like barbed wire fencing to protect your inner perimeter, flood lights or another alarm system for the external perimeter, empty sang bags that you can quickly fill if needed.

Owning land is a dream held by most individuals. But, few people understand the difference between your home being a liability vs. an asset. If you’re going to be buying (or even renting) land I strongly suggest you look into how you can make your home work for you, instead of the other way around.

Get Some Skills!

I don’t even have any good skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills…
Napolean Dynamite

I have a friend who is a specialist in piping design and engineering. In his spare time he builds high quality copper water/alcohol distillation units. Sitting around testing his first unit, my friend and I began discussing the various applications for such an apparatus and how knowledge of manufacturing such units would be an essential skill in a post-collapse world. With his distillation units one can not only purify their water over an open fire, but can also produce drinking alcohol, antiseptics and fuel grade ethanol to run a generator. His project initially started as a hobby, and has since turned into a fledgling side business. If the system collapses, and my friend loses his job in the engineering sector, he will always have his skills of manufacturing to fall back on. In addition to producing distillation units, he is a lifetime prepper, so he is well versed in the manufacture of anything from traps and snares for animals, to making his own ammunition.

The point of this story is that every one of us, even though some of us may sit at a computer all day or work a retail counter, has something we know how to do. Get better at it and consider how you may be able to apply these skills in a post collapse world.

Also of note is that if you are skilled at something – machining, sewing, food preservation or some other skills – stock up on the necessary supplies to run your business now, because they won’t be available. My friend who manufactures distillation units is heavily invested in copper piping and related materials. While copper may not be a practical investment for you because of your skill set, perhaps yarn or canning jars are.

Every one of us is unique, and we each have different life experiences, skills and backgrounds. This is great news for post-collapse survivors, because you can be assured that American innovation will always return with a vengeance. Necessity will be the mother of invention in a post collapse world, and while knitting sweaters for the Holidays may be a hobby for you now, it could be the skill that sets you apart and keeps your family fed if traditional commerce breaks down.

The following list is based in part on The Barter Value of Skills and will give you some ideas on ways you will be able to exchange your time and energy for yield (money, trade, etc.) in a post-collapse world:

  • First Aid or Critical Aid (Whether you are an EMT or just have basic first aid training, your skills will be in high demand during a serious crisis)
  • Midwifery/delivering babies because there won’t be any hospitals
  • Animal Husbandry – Those who haven’t developed animal rearing skills will call on you to help them with their animals or ranching. If you have a large enough post-collapse survival property, you may even be able to lease space on your property for others.
  • Blacksmithing, Carpentry, Construction, Machining, and any host of other skills that will be required for jobs that we take for granted today because of home improvement mega stores.
  • Mechanics – Whether it’s for small engines like generators or understanding the inner workings of alternative energy, there will always be a need for skilled mechanics. After a collapse it will be difficult if not impossible to buy new items like we do in our current consumptive paradigm. Learning to fix what’s already out there will be a fantastic way to make a living.
  • Food preservation, sewing/mending, soap and candle making, production of alternative medicines (with herbs from your garden) will all be skills that are in demand.
  • Also see Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills for more ideas

Planning for the Unknown with 401(Prep) Investing

If there is one thing we can say about our current economic, financial, social and political climate it’s that we have entered an era in human history of total unpredictability. While we can theorize about what may or may not happen, we need to understand that we are operating on limited information. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said :

There are known knowns – there are things we know we know.

We also know there are known unknowns – that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

As humorous as Rumsfeld’s comments were to the press in the room, there is quite a bit of insight to be gleaned from them.

The key takeaway is that we really don’t know what we know or don’t know, so plan for the worst. Furthermore, ensure that your preparedness plans are flexible enough to be applied to situations that we haven’t even contemplated as even being possible.

While the ideas listed above may not work for everyone, I hope I’ve been able to present an informative enough primer on Collapse Investing to get your mind working on how you can apply your specific situation and skills to a complete action and execution plan.

Best wishes to you all.

Get Prepped, Stay Prepped.

Mac Slavo
www.SHTFplan.com 

Action Items:

  1. Research how other countries used alternative currencies in post-shtf emergencies. Some great online resources are FerFAL’s Surviving in Argentina, Selco’s SHTF School.
  2. Familiarize yourself with alternative currencies that could be deemed valuable during a post-SHTF scenario.
  3. Familiarize and become proficient in skill sets that would be seen as profitable during an extended emergency.

Author: Contributing Author
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/

Date: May 12th, 2012

Categories: Barter, DIY Preparedness, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliant, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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