Considering the US is facing something like a Quadrillion dollar bubble, why not prepare for tomorrows Barter Economy? But why merely prepare to have
some extra food in the looming collapse when you can position yourself to become a 'Mad Max Millionaire'.
U.S. Total Collapse: Unavoidable...
Hardly anyone is preparing for anything. Many can't, but many can yet they don't... SHTF. Hyperinflation makes the paper money useless. You flee the
stomped ant hill population center you live in to your off the grid exit...
With the right preparations you'll be the epicenter of your surrounding community, therefore planning into your MMM future should include what you
would want to best serve such a role.
So here is a comprehensive outline of your steps to becoming the pillar of the community in the Barter Economy (BE).
Who runs Barter Town?
Biodiesel (The Key):
Biodiesel is the smartest thing now, and for the BE. Just about any diesel engine made since 1992 can run straight biodiesel that you can make in your
garage right now for about $1 per gallon. You can literally make the 3 chemical components needed for biodiesel from scratch.
As the epicenter
of trade, people can bring you the raw materials for barter, reducing your potential labor load. Tractors can do to a field in a couple hours what it
would take a human weeks to do. Therefore, they with biodiesel will be the epicenter of the area. Imagine that today you can literally get 40 miles to
the gallon at $1 per gallon with biodiesel, and then consider how useful such a commodity would be under Mad Max. With the right catch, and
ingenuity, you can get into biodiesel for even lower than $1000. If you're not lazy in the hands-on sense, there could hardly be anything smarter to
do even if we weren't on the verge of collapse. Let me repeat that: you can literally get 40 miles to the gallon at $1 per gallon with
. Lastly, the raw materials used for making biodiesel keep almost indefinitely unlike refined petrofuel.
A key ingredient for biodiesel, that can even be used for its own fuel purposes. Via a "Wood Gasifier", you can make your own methanol. There are
cars in the world that actually run on straight "Wood Gas" (methanol), with all of the equipment built right into the vehicle. You need this stuff
to make biodiesel and for other purposes, but remember you can't clean wounds with it (better suited for cleaning engines).
Has many uses. Obviously it can be made for consumption (so long as there is no longer an ATF to worry about), but its also important if you intend to
be able to supply all energy needs. Biodiesel can't power everything. You can also have it as an available medical supply, as without isopropal and
iodine, ethanol is where most will turn for cleaning wounds etc. So obviously you'll want at least one good DIY still for ethanol production
(seperate from a still for water).
Solar / Wind:
For comfort, obviously, having surplus solar panels and wind turbines hooked up would be ideal, but here we're talking about usefulness not comfort.
So the bare minimum should be ensuring you have the power needed to run your epicenter activities. One thing that would be good for a number of
reasons is a solar / turbine system specifically tuned to maintain a decent sized deep freezer chest. In short, you'll want to ensure that there is
more than enough power in each sub-system to ensure availability of your key epicenter equipment.
You can spend $100 on a good Berkey filter, but this would be for personal scale. If you want to be the prime source of choice water then spend that
$100 instead on my DIY design that will provide large amounts of clean water. You're obviously going to need a good water supply to run it, so
you're going to want to be able to pump water from a well when theres no rain to catch. If you look around there are some DIY methods for digging
wells, but the depth potential using these methods wont always work everywhere. You can pump water by hand with a cheap hand up to about 20', and
there are windmill options. Don't forget for $100 you can build a nice solar hot water heater.
DIY inexpensive high volume crystal clear Drinking Water Filtration
In terms of epicenter, you'll want the equipment to be able to make large batches of food. If you have the facilities to make things like breads or
maybe cheeses then the morale of your camp and community would be much higher. Trying to store enough rice or related in advance for such a role would
require owning a grocery store now, so instead plan in ways of things you could produce then. Have lots of grain seeds on hand, and the ability to
process the grain is key. You can always find locals to grow the grain crops for you, but you'll need manual food processing equipment of all types
(browse thrift stores).
This could be a deep issue, but small scale easy animals for this role that you could pursue now (assuming you dont want large animals) are quail and
rabbits. These are ideal survivalist types of creature anyways. Quail mature faster and eat less per pound of meat harvest than chickens, and rabbits
out reproduce and out mature just about anything, and can eat just about anything if it comes down to it. The key is preparedness, so having any
creature types in inventory is the key, but you could also save money now while preventing animal torture on your behalf by slaughtering your own meat
(you do eat meat dont you?).
Being able to trap food is better than spending the time and ammo hunting / fishing it. But as the epicenter you'll want more to be able to make
traps to trade. Trying to stockpile masses of mesh wire in advance would be counter-productive to other efforts, but the tools and methods are key to
have now. You can get mesh on the way out (hopefully), but you'll really want to already have ideas in mind of how to make traps without a good
source of mesh wire. This is just an outline, but the info is all out there if you look.
The more chemistry you're able to do the more services you can provide. Therefore knowledge, skills and equipment are all key. Look up a UK show
called "Rough Science" to see some cool chemistry examples using rough materials and equipment.
This is important for food, water, chemistry and so on. Not only would you ideally have mason jars, but think of how useful tons of plastic or glass
containers of all shapes and sizes would be. You likely currently throw out 'choice' containers daily. If you have a garage you could start tossing
the cleaned out containers in an empty refridgerator box, instead of whatever bin you put out by the street. Imagine how many sturdy containers you
discard per year.
In the old days, wars were actually
fought and entire regions were hegemonically dominated over spices
. As we now know, not only do
spices make food taste better, but most have other notable great values. Many have antioxidents and / or other healthful compounds. A great many have
anti-microbial effects, meaning food cooked with lots of the spices will keep longer.
In the BE, people will be growing their own vegetables. Many will have a decent enough set of seed types after not too long, so the key to your
preparations on this front will be in having a vast variety of seed types so that you'll have plenty more to offer while the others have averagred
out their seeds with each other. I know for a fact that you can end up with 300 or more types of seeds with a limited budget over the course of a
year. See here for more info.
If you want to be the local doctor this can be trickier. Having a supply of ethanol is key, but bandages is another problem. Having a doctor or EMT
type in your crew is an obvious plus. Regardless there are some basic tools you'd need that can be done on the cheap. If you get lucky on Craiglist
you could end up with some impressive equipment and maybe even the stuff needed for person to person blood transfusions. Beyond that just a get
routine of trying to spot medical supplies on clearance and you could have a major health kit by the time the BE occurs. See also the Knowledge
With a reasonable investment not only can you offer an invaluable service to those who come to trade, you can have better dental health now (which
you'll want in the BE reality). For about $150 you can get an ultrasonic "scaler"
, which is the ultimate invention in dentistry. This
device blasts off plaque and even nicotine stains without even scraping (scraping in unrecomended!). "Drill" type heads can even be attached to some
of them, but to go the normal drill route you can get the whole setup with scaler and other items included for something like $500 on ebay.
[edit on 11-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]