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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am from Cuba, a place where TSHTF has lasted for over 50 years...sinse Castro took over I have been there on vacation about 5 times and I noticed that what was needed the most was EVERYTHING.

To find a straight nail on the street would be like finding a dollar bill here in the US and where to have a bottle of aspirin would make you a doctor....I am sorry to imform you that here in the states is going to be a LOT worse, it was easy for the Cuban people to adapt themselves to the situation for two reasons......one, they never had much to start with.....two, they had from four to five years to MENTALLY get ready.......................here in the US (the land of plenty) almost no one is ready for what is to come and that in itself will make the situation a lot worse.

What to hold to trade with?......I for one will be dealing in clothing, as you know most of it is coming from overseas and even the material to make it in the US (about 5%) comes from overseas.

For the past five years I have been going to the "Senior Thrieft Store" in my tiny town and buying a bagfull of clothing (your choice) for and average of two dollars...........the clothing are in "like new" conditions and ready to put out right away, winters jackets that cost $125.00 new I can buy them here for $2.00........Haggard pants (the best) that cost $60.00 I can get them 10 for $2.00.......shirts 12 for $2.00........T shirts 20 for $2.00 ......and so on....not long ago I bought a "London Fog", with a linner, for $2.00........a Laurenty coat, vest and two pairs of pants for $2.00 (store price? $750.00) this one is for myself.

I have around 90 bags full of clothing and I will feel safe in dealing with them, in Cuba I went to a swap meet and there was always a lot of people around the stalls of those selling clothes.

Buy and keep stuff that people will be willing to deal with instead of stealing from you by hitting you over the head......or worse :wave:
 

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Aesops Ant (not Aunt)
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Interesting insight! The problem with clothes is that everyone in the US has a walk-in closet full of more clothes than they could ever wear. It will be decades before folks will really have to buy clothes again. Probably could go digging in the dump and find plenty of good clothes still. Just a thought.

I think food will be what is in demand since so few folks actually stock it and far fewer can produce it. Invest in items that allow you to grow more than you can eat and you could be very much in demand!
 

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Here is my barter list:

blank barter slips (pre-printed slips to record barter transaction - who, what, when, how much, etc.)

Tobacco/Alcohol
smokeless tobacco
2 oz boxes tobacco
booklets cigarette papers
smoking pipes
50ml sample bottles alcohol
750ml of various alcohol

Seeds/Plants
#10 cans heirloom seeds
Coffee plant seed
Tobacco plant seed
Tea plant seed
Poppy plant seed

Light/Matches
small boxes matches (strike anywhere and water proof)
butane lighter fuel
Zippo lighter fuel
lighter flints
lighter wicks
disposable lighters
oil lamp/wicks
Coleman lantern mantles
Crank flashlights
6"-12" candles

Energy
solar 12-volt battery chargers
solar AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt battery charger
rechargeable batteries AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt
>1,000 watt generator

Water
Emergency water pouches
Bottled water
water purification tablets
Water filters
water heater (kettle w/tripod)
water tank

Warmth/shelter
Wool blankets
Hand/feet warmers
Emergency blankets
Sleeping bags
Tents

Food
Canned green coffee beans (with a roaster and grinder to use, not trade away)
2 oz jars instant coffee
16 count boxes teabags
2 oz jars bouillon cubes
tubs add-water-only drink mix
pound boxes of sugar or individual packs
various spices
small containers of cooking oil
2 oz boxes salt
2 oz cans pepper
5 oz cans milk
cans cocoa
chocolate bars/hard candy
bags hard candy (individually wrapped)
cans Vienna sausage/potted meat
cans roast beef
cans Spam (or 12oz)(or Treet)
cans tuna
cans soup (heavy on the meat types)
bags rice
bags beans/lentils
MRE's
Emergency food rations (SOS Bars)
Ramen Noodles
Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugars
Livestock-Cows, Chickens, Goats, Pigs, Sheep. Anything that can be used for food or to make clothing.

Food processing tools
Grain grinders, solar dehydrators, butchering tools, manual meat slicer, manual meat grinder, sausage stuffer, stuffing tubes, jerky shooter, water purifier
home canning equipment & supplies

Hygiene
200ml bottles 190 proof Everclear
straight razors w/strop, soap, & cup
Soap making chemicals
Q-tips
small boxes tampons/sanitary napkins
reusable sanitary napkins
rolls toilet paper
bars soap (Ivory, Lava, Fels Naptha laundry soap)
hair combs/brushes
disposable razors
toothbrushes
boxes baking soda
scissors
nail/toe clippers
famine hygiene items

Medicine
aspirin pain killer
acetaminophen pain killer
multi-vitamins
band-aids
hydrogen peroxide
small first aid kits
nitrile gloves
anti-depressants
insect bits/snake bite kits
blood clotting
burn kits

ANYTHING medical related is useful. Watch expiration dates.

Washing
laundry tools
hand washing machine/washboard
laundry soap
bleach
clothes lines w/poles, stakes & clothes pins
washtubs

Clothes
shoe and boot laces
cotton/leather work gloves
insulated winter gloves
socks
Various size cotton shirts
Shorts
Various size shoes/sandals
Cheap wide-brimmed straw hats
Winter jackets
Patches (Sewing needles and spools of thread)

Eyewear
OTC reading glasses
OTC UVA/UVB resistant sunglasses
Eye drops

Child care
reusable cotton diapers
diaper pins
plastic/poly/nylon/rubber diaper cover pants
Baby formula

Mental Health/Distraction/Entertainment
Books of any kind
games
Playing cards
Coloring books/crayons
Crossword/word find puzzles
Comic books
Bibles
Childs toys

Cooking
6-hour cans ECOFuelXB
1-lb propane cylinders
10-lb bags charcoal briquettes
regular canning lids
wide mouth canning lids
Tattler reusable canning lids
Tattler reusable canning lid rubber rings
P-38/P-51 can openers
camp cooking equipment
camp stove
sterno stove/sterno
Pots/pans/silverware/plastic ware
Firewood

Guns/Ammunition
ammunition reloader's tools
Dillion progressive tool w/primary caliber dies
RCBS press with common caliber dies
Bullet casting equipment
lead
black powder making tools & screens
500-round bricks .22 LR RF cartridges
5-round boxes .410/20 GA shells
single units M6 Scout/Savage 24F/Remington SPR-94 O/U .22 RF/.410 or 20 gauge combos
20 round boxes .45/.40/.38/45lc/.357

WARNING!! IF YOU SELL A GUN AND AMMO, THAT PERSON NOW HAS THE ABILITY TO KILL YOU!

Books (remember, trade the information, not the book)
First aid
Gunsmithing
canning
self defense
car repair
home repair
Gardening/farming
Medical/veterinary medicine
Law books
wooden pencils/ink pens
small note books
legal pads

Building supplies
2x4's
Nails
Screws
Hammers
Screwdrivers
Sockets
Crow bars
Levels
T-Square
Saw horses
4'x8' plywood sheets
concrete mix
bricks
blocks

How to books
Sewing
Faming
Making steel
Live of the land
Plant identifying
Insect/animal identification
Make bio-diesel

Money
1.0 oz gold coins
0.1 oz gold coins
40 count rolls pre-1965 silver quarters
50 count rolls pre-1965 silver dimes
Copper pennies

In any STHF scenario, food, water, ammo and other items will be WAY more important then gold.
 

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The problem with clothes is that everyone in the US has a walk-in closet full of more clothes than they could ever wear. It will be decades before folks will really have to buy clothes again.
I don't know about that, Ant. I've never had a walk-in closet, and I don't have more clothes than I can wear. Clothing is very much a struggle around our house. And I can't imagine that we're the only ones. ;)

Ponce, always appreciate your personal perspective.
 

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I need to agree with The Ant to a degree; even if the survivors do not personally have a lot of clothes, there will be ample opportunities for salvage.

However... Ponce, I think you made a great point without even meaning to do so: Nails. How is anyone going to build things without nails, screws, bolts, etcetera. I think construction nails could wind up being worth their weight in .... well, not gold, but maybe silver!

Hammers, chisels, hoes.... if you have the storage (barn or some such) this would be something to stash aside.
 

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great perspective from the original poster.
I would go for socks and underwear as a stocked item, but I think Food and supplies will be king for barter in most areas.
 

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I'll have to agree that maybe socks and underwear might be worth something, but t shirts and pants, no. I would think that most people have tons of excess clothing.
Unless its teotakwi, emp, etc, then production would start back up relatively quickly. If we do get teotawi, then everything thats useful at all will be worth storing up.
 

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Ponce, I think you made a great point without even meaning to do so: Nails. How is anyone going to build things without nails, screws, bolts, etcetera. I think construction nails could wind up being worth their weight in .... well, not gold, but maybe silver!

Hammers, chisels, hoes.... if you have the storage (barn or some such) this would be something to stash aside.
This is indeed a good point and you can usually get large quantities of nails and other fasteners at estate sales for next to nothing. I've picked up several wooden kegs of nails for about a dollar each. One thing to keep in mind. Those kegs are HEAVY. I'm thinking that's why no one bid on them. :rolleyes:
 

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As long as the SHTF is not nuclear, our area is teeming with lakes and streams and rivers... Fish hooks will be worth their weight in gold! Plus I had a little brainstorm the other day-I got 8 things of kite string for .25¢ each... each one is on this two handled contraption that is used to reel the string in.. it is very strong and 250 yards long each..
I got them for helping to train my tomato plants to the fencing but hubby and I were joking that with a good strong hook and some spoiled bait they would be great for hooking big bull heads out of the local lake over night or fishing for salmon out of the river off the bridges here. The "reeling" action would make bringing the fish in really easy... I might have to see if they have any more at Save a lot.
Plus good heavy string like this could be handy for many things... and if the S never HTF I have enuf string to last for quite awhile!;):D

Okay didn't find the exact thing online but this is what the line and reel look like... kite reel
 

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Okay also on the matter of undies and socks.. elastic will rot whether they are used or not. keeping them air free -possibly vac packed with the oxygen thingys will keep the longer. Also hand washing and air drying keep elastic from rotting much better than tossing in the dryer... heat kills the elastic/rubber. I always try to line dry the delicate's and the swimwear.
as the years go by I can see the leg wear starting to look more "Viking" like... the wool held to the leg with leather lacing. or lots of high top leather moccasins.
 

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I think clothes are easy to take for granted. Yes food is king, but I agree with the OP too.
Here in New Mexico, once a year the state has a tax free weekend, ( on select items). It was last weekend, just in time for the back to schoolers. I spent $300 on boxers, t-shirts, but mostly cotton socks. Put a dent in WalMarts sock supply that day.

At the reseller shop here, last year I bought 15 or 16 nice blankets for an average of $1.50 ea.. Couple were 75 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys? my original post was only about trading with and not what I have for my self.........shorts 50 pairs, sox 75 pair and so on.

I assure you that anything that you have I have ten times over, if it sounds like I am bragging it is then ok with me.

I was lucky in that I had the money to do all this with....do you have paint?, roofing material?......in wood, how about 4X4X10 that you can cut down as needed? or 2X4? and so on.

All that stuff that you have for trading? will it last for at least 20 years?.....what is to come will last for AT LEAST four generations so that you must always have a plan behind the plan behind the plan.

"To be ready is not"... Ponce............that's because there is always something else to buy or do.

By the way.......for the ladies I do have 500 Tampex, Kotex and so on in stock and "junk" like lipstic, eye shadow, face powder and a lot more......this are things that the ladies will really like and "reward" me in many ways, at 71 years of age anything will help............heyyyyyyyyy I am old, not dead :congrat:
 

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Okay also on the matter of undies and socks.. elastic will rot whether they are used or not. keeping them air free -possibly vac packed with the oxygen thingys will keep the longer. Also hand washing and air drying keep elastic from rotting much better than tossing in the dryer... heat kills the elastic/rubber. I always try to line dry the delicate's and the swimwear.
as the years go by I can see the leg wear starting to look more "Viking" like... the wool held to the leg with leather lacing. or lots of high top leather moccasins.
I think there is a lot of sense in what you say... there is a reason that the tunic and leggings survived for so long (roughly from two millenia B.C. until the 14th century A.D.) in most of Europe and a large part of the middle east. Your basic Viking outfit is very simple to make (it is usually a starter project for new members of the SCA, as it is so easy to make and look period correct) and rather versatile. There are patterns to make Viking tunics, pants/leggings, and shoes in the SCA's book, "The Compleat Anachronist" (if I recall the title correctly).

With this in mind, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to store some bolts of cloth away in some cedar chests. I know I have several yards of cotton and wool sitting in my closets for projects that I never started.
 

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Okay also on the matter of undies and socks.. elastic will rot whether they are used or not. keeping them air free -possibly vac packed with the oxygen thingys will keep the longer. Also hand washing and air drying keep elastic from rotting much better than tossing in the dryer... heat kills the elastic/rubber. I always try to line dry the delicate's and the swimwear.
as the years go by I can see the leg wear starting to look more "Viking" like... the wool held to the leg with leather lacing. or lots of high top leather moccasins.
Thanks for the suggestion of vac sealing elastic items. I've stocked up on some underwear/socks for the family, but didn't want to stock up too much due to the elastic issue.

With regard to bolts of fabric, I know of women who've stocked up on bolts of cotton quilt batting - in the fall the stuff goes on sale online.

As for having clothes to barter with, hmmmm... maybe I'll tuck away some of the items my youngest has outgrown. They're well-worn, as they were hand-me-downs before my son got them, but in a pinch...
 

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Aesops Ant (not Aunt)
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By the way.......for the ladies I do have 500 Tampex, Kotex and so on in stock and "junk" like lipstic, eye shadow, face powder and a lot more......this are things that the ladies will really like and "reward" me in many ways, at 71 years of age anything will help............heyyyyyyyyy I am old, not dead :congrat:
Ponce! You made my morning! You are an inspiration! :beercheer:
 

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Aesops Ant (not Aunt)
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I don't know about that, Ant. I've never had a walk-in closet, and I don't have more clothes than I can wear. Clothing is very much a struggle around our house. And I can't imagine that we're the only ones. ;)

Ponce, always appreciate your personal perspective.
Hehe, I am sure you are not the only ones. I dont either... I just meant in general there are TONS of clothes in the US that nobody has ever worn.

I agree with you, Ponce has some very valuable insight for all of us! Thanks Ponce!
 

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One way to look at it is you want to buy things that are cheap now that will be valuable later: Cans of condensed soup, boxes of Mac & Cheese, fish hooks, fishing line. You could buy large bottles of Ibuprofen and put 10 or 20 at a time in tiny ziplock bags. I'm in my 50s and I have a hard time walking if I don't take that every day. The same goes for glucosamine chondroitin.

I think pre-1965 silver coins will be valuable based on their silver content alone. A 90% silver dime is worth about $2.80 with silver about $40 an ounce. I believe junk silver coins will become an alternative currency during hyperinflation. Gold is so much more valuable that it would be difficult to get change for it unless you're using a 1/10 ounce coin. Right now a 1/10 ounce gold coin is worth about 64 silver dimes. Gold coins would be good for large asset purchases like horses, cattle, and maybe even land.

One other thing that will be extremely valuable after a crash is viagra. Those pills might be worth their weight in gold someday.
 

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I think clothes are easy to take for granted. Yes food is king, but I agree with the OP too.
Here in New Mexico, once a year the state has a tax free weekend, ( on select items). It was last weekend, just in time for the back to schoolers. I spent $300 on boxers, t-shirts, but mostly cotton socks. Put a dent in WalMarts sock supply that day.

dahur..I do a lot of circular sale reading...and chinamart had THE best deal on socks and underwear--and yes, I agree with the consensus here--socks and undies will be the greatest need--not clothes persay..

I have a huge box of t-shirts, socks, undies, sports bras, even shoelaces, etc. all bought on sale last year mostly for just when the crap happens. Kmart had a great sale with broken packages for me and dh.:)

Any prepper with children knows to get to chinamart and buy next size up for next year.:gaah: They grow fast.:gaah:...Don't forget, when they grow up and not out, out grown pants become cute capris with a little cutting and hemming...!!!!
 

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I have to ask on the underwear and socks. Tell me about you encountering elastic failures.
My regularly used socks and underwear easily last me 5-10 years before I get a noticeable elastic failure. By that time, the cotton has gotten pretty thin so it's time to toss them anyway. I can also get 10+ years from work T-shirts that take regular beatings. Again, the collar wears out about the same time the cotton is so thin you can almost see through it. Not sure if it makes a difference but we use quality soap and have relatively soft water.
 

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bc, for me the elastic failure is rotting. I've learned that there's no point in putting shorts with elastic in the waistband into storage boxes, because whenever I pull them out, the elastic will be smelly and rotten. This happened when I was saving outgrown clothes from DS#1 for DS#2 - the longest they'd be in storage was only two years.

JayJay, I don't think my boys would go for those capris. :D

dahur, I would LOVE to have a tax-free shopping day here! It would be like shopping in Montana. :) (they have no sales tax)
 
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