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So I see a lot that tobacco and alcohol will be great barter items. I was thinking about purchasing some of these items soon, but not sure where to even start. As an occassional smoker myself, I've got my supply. I was leaning towards maybe picking up some of the canisters of tobacco for trade. Their cheap here, I think about 10 bucks a canister. So I thought maybe 6 cans of different flavors. Most already come with papers and rollers, which would help in any trade. I also thought about getting a couple pounds of pipe tobacco, but keeping it fresh without the fancy boxes could be difficult. How much do you keep in supply?

As far as alcohol goes, I picked up a case of 12 cheap Boone's Farm flavored wine. On spirits: Besides drinking, alcohol has many uses already. What I'm not sure about is how to buy it. Maybe by the gallons (which is cheaper), or something a bit more compact by pints.

What are yalls views on stocking these? I'm shooting for a year supply.
Regarding pipe tobacco. I'm a dedicated pipe tobacco smoker, and this is a proved way to preserve pipe tobacco for years and years.

Clean mason jar, microwave with water for about a minute, to heat the jar itself up. Dump the water out, put the tobacco in, and put a clean (simmered in hot water) lid on. Secure the ring. The cooling air should create a vacuum in the jar, pulling the pop-top of the lid down.

I have 30 pounds of pipe tobacco stored this way, and this tobacco will stay fresh for many years. In fact, most get better with age, except the "flavored" type. Half and Half, Carter Hall, will stay good for 25 years, no problem.
 

· The only one responsible for yourself, is you!
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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
WWhermit said:
Regarding pipe tobacco. I'm a dedicated pipe tobacco smoker, and this is a proved way to preserve pipe tobacco for years and years.

Clean mason jar, microwave with water for about a minute, to heat the jar itself up. Dump the water out, put the tobacco in, and put a clean (simmered in hot water) lid on. Secure the ring. The cooling air should create a vacuum in the jar, pulling the pop-top of the lid down.

I have 30 pounds of pipe tobacco stored this way, and this tobacco will stay fresh for many years. In fact, most get better with age, except the "flavored" type. Half and Half, Carter Hall, will stay good for 25 years, no problem.
Would just vacuum sealing it in the jar work, or do I need the moisture in it?
 

· Woodchuck
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For me, it's none of the above.

I've got my supply to the point where I am always using at least 1 year old tobacco. It's stored in the basement in plastic totes still in the original 1lb packaging. Still as fresh and moist as if it were new.
I'm the same (minus the plastic totes) only have a two year rotation in store bought 1# packages. No issues and the slice of apple trick works like a charm.

Tubes come 50 cartons to a case and tobacco is 24 pounds to a case, just as an FYI. Makes storage easier for me and when one case gets opened I order a replacement and it fits right back on the shelf in the empty spot.
 

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Would just vacuum sealing it in the jar work, or do I need the moisture in it?
The hot water is actually for 2 purposes. 1, to make sure the jar is sterile. If it is not, you'll find the tobacco infested with mold within a few months. The second purpose is to heat up the glass, so that the vacuum will be created when the glass, and air inside cools. It is not for moisture.

What I do is microwave the jar with water, dump and shake the water out (a few drops left inside is fine), stuff the tobacco in, leave about 1/2 inch from the top, because the tobacco needs some air, and then I use the mason jar attachment on my foodsaver to seal.

Like I said, the tobacco will last for years and years. I've seen 30 year old tobacco go for $400 on a tobacco auction site, and people were happy to pay it. Natural tobacco gets better with age, much like good wine. Just get natural pipe tobacco...Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Middleton's Walnut, etc. The cherry and whiskey stuff will go rancid due to the added flavoring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
This is great info guys! Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to buying next week without hesitation. I got out my ol pipe and tobacco this evening and the tobacco was all dried up, but its been about 2 years since I even smoked out of my pipe. Pretty much used it til it was well seasoned and put it away. Lol!

Coffee was one of the first things I picked up when I started bulk prepping. However, I do need to jar some up into smaller portions. I do believe that coffee will be a much needed barter if not available so easily. Since I'm the only coffee drinker in e house, it's pretty easy to keep it in stock with little rotation. :)
 

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Would just vacuum sealing it in the jar work, or do I need the moisture in it?
I vacuum packed a pound a few years ago to conserve space. I opened it about 6 months later and it was terribly dry. I did the apple thing and it did work but I don't do it anymore. It seems to keep very well in the original bag.

Tubes come 50 cartons to a case and tobacco is 24 pounds to a case, just as an FYI. Makes storage easier for me and when one case gets opened I order a replacement and it fits right back on the shelf in the empty spot.
Yep. That's the way I do it. Right now I have 2 cases of tubes and 1.5 cases of tobacco. When it drops to 1 full case, I'll order another.
 

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I vacuum packed a pound a few years ago to conserve space. I opened it about 6 months later and it was terribly dry. I did the apple thing and it did work but I don't do it anymore. It seems to keep very well in the original bag.
Unclejoe, what did you vacuum pack your tobacco in? If it was an airtight container, no moisture should have gotten out. I've had tobacco that's been sealed up for 15 years, and when it was opened up, it was still the perfect 28-30% humidity level that pipe tobacco should be.
 

· BillM
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Yep turtle

The problem with that is that if it is not in an original, sealed container, you have no idea what you are getting. I personally wouldn't trade for any booze that wasn't in it's original sealed container, because you will have unscrupulous types cutting their vodka with water, or worse, rubbing alcohol or turpentine. There are a lot of dangers that go along with bootlegging; it's the origin of the "pimp walk" that you see kids emulating without even knowing the origin. Poor blacks in the south often drank moonshine that had been cut with other chemicals to make it stronger and cheaper; this would cause nerve damage and make them limp.

Unless I was trading with someone whom I well knew, I would not take the chance of drinking unknown liquor.
That was ginger Jake that they cut moon shine with that gave the resulting limp the name "The Jake Leg.

While we are on the subject, is it now a chargable offence to conspire to sell untaxed alcohol without a license.

The ATF or the State could conciveably use evidence obtained on open forums such as this to obtain search warrants and raid conficate and arrest preppers for conspiring to sell alcohol.

I know this is all for future senerios wherein the goverment no longer exists or is too busy to care but what about right now?

I have a LE background and I know you do also. I am retired now and I do not care but there are a lot of guys who are still OTJ that do!

I would advise that this be kept on the down low if you are planning to do this !

:beercheer:
 

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Unclejoe, what did you vacuum pack your tobacco in? If it was an airtight container, no moisture should have gotten out. I've had tobacco that's been sealed up for 15 years, and when it was opened up, it was still the perfect 28-30% humidity level that pipe tobacco should be.
I used our Food Saver and the heavy duty bags that come with it. I don't believe they leaked. I just figured that the moisture was drawn out with the air. :dunno:
 

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I have not given much thought to barter items other than food. I like the tobacco idea. Easy to keep and store. I don't think I would bother with alcohol. It might not be so bad to barter alcohol with people that are far away but I sure don't want to encourage any drunks close to home.
 

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I used our Food Saver and the heavy duty bags that come with it. I don't believe they leaked. I just figured that the moisture was drawn out with the air. :dunno:
I've had bags, even the heavy duty foodsaver bags, fail with tobacco myself. I cringe when I hear people investing hundreds of dollars on that "hard to get must have vintage tobacco", then stick it in a bag. I used to do the same thing, until I opened one and it was nothing but dust.

The bags are the problem. For some reason, over time, and we're talking it takes a year or more, those bags will inevitably fail. Especially if your tobacco, or whatever it is, has a semi-sharp edge that will wear a nice little hole. I'll only use mason jars for this purpose now. Nice, strong glass, non-permeable membrane, and I also check my mason jars full of tobacco every few months by pushing on the little button. Only had one lose it's seal, and it was by my carelessness and leaving a bit of tobacco on the top of the jar before sealing.
 

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My wife is from Europe. They have an alcohol there called "Spiritus." It's 190 proof alcohol. They use 1 bottle to make 3 bottles of vodka. We have the same thing here, but it's called Everclear. This is what I'll be storing. Everclear is also used in food labs, because it's a great food-grade sterile cleaner. My thinking is that it'd be great as a sterilizer, anti-septic, wound cleaner, and for a barter item, you can make 3 bottles of hard alcohol to trade. Plus 190 proof alcohol will take the edge and stress off of just about anything!

Incidentally, there are 2 types of everclear. 151 proof, and 190 proof. Some states can't sell the higher proof stuff, so take that into account when shopping.
 

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I don't think I'd stockup on the gallon sized bottles. I'd go for the little travel sized that they have in hotel fridges. That way, you can trade for something and the person won't get wasted on one shot of booze.

I'm also thinking of stocking some margarita mix. Nothing hits the spot for me like a margarita baby! :D
 

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They'll make stills. Btw, I've heard a pressure canner can be used, somehow, for a whiskey still, but I don't know how that works.
Whiskey is just vodka aged in charred-oak barrels.

The pressure canners that work best are the ones that have the pressure gauge screwed into the center of the lid. You unscrew the gauge and thread a "close nipple" into the hole with a reducer bushing that takes the threads up a couple sizes larger. Even better (and FAR safer) is to drill the hole larger and tap with larger threads.

Add a threaded pipe "T" turned sideways, the gauge goes into the side of the "T" and the copper tubing attaches to the top. Bigger is better on the fittings.... any restriction here means the risk of blowing the still, but you are a complete idiot if you leave this thing unattended and are asking to have your head taken off. 1/2" copper tubing is the bare minimum.
 
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