HOWTO: Be wealthy after the collapse

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posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 03:58 AM
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 biodiesel. 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).

Meat Market:
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 section below.

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]

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 03:59 AM
Knowledge is power, especially if there wasn't such a nice Internet handy for use. Therefore archiving data from the Internet is key. There are endless webpages that go into great detail in all of the things that would set one ahead, and handy GNU programs can copy entire websites for easy offline use. There are many ways to get PDF file e-books at all levels of advancement. Google Books allows you to download PDF's of old public domain texts from the 1800's that tell you how they used to do everything. For instance, search for "Yeast" and set the criteria to 'free'. If you want to be the purveyor of knowledge you'll need to be able to print, therefore you'll want a good printer with large external linked in inkwells that are a smart investment anyways if you print often. SHTF, and you add printer paper to your list of desired barter items and they'll bring the paper to you. Printers would even be 'worthless' to most should there not be power anymore.

To ensure your best operational capabilities you'll need to be able to weld (and cut steel). Like most of the rest herein, Craigslist is your ticket to finding a good deal on a suitable welder unit. I suggest getting one over 200 amps as 90 amp units can't weld very thick steel. The problem is in powering it. This feature (welding) will add significantly to your project estimate having nothing going in. If you already have a good diesel generator then you're set, but otherwise you could go the woodgas route that has other advantages. One setup has a 10kW twin engine generator, but such a nice all in one combined system like that could be pricey.

Every town needs a good blacksmith, and its possible to cheaply get a forge setup going that burns old automotive oil to power the forge (needs a blower fan). With no more gas stations there wont be much of a shortage of old spent oil for a good while.

Fresnel Lenses:
Using the screen from an old rear projection TV you can literally vaporize aluminum cans or melt glass! The usefulness of such a device are profound when energy and ability is an issue. If I managed to get about 90 screens for free in 2 months using Craigslist then anyone can get some of these (especially since I stopped chasing the free TV's a year ago). Imagine if if they were worth their weight in silver or better. I weighed a big lens from the middle of my stack and it clocked in at 6 lbs. 6 lbs. x $18 per ounce is $1728. And there are other useful things you get when you scrap out a whole TV, especially if you know anything about working with electronics.

[edit on 11-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

[edit on 11-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 04:26 AM
hey iib, very nice thread

i think people are doing so with precious metals since they may become the standard if collapse occurs in society.

[edit on 11-4-2010 by togetherwestand]

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 05:00 AM
Very interesting and informative
im gunna see if its possible to make yuor own bio fuel a car can run on!
However, my understanding through research is, methanol is nasty toxic stuff, which is why it was removed as an additive rom octane feuls in the mid 90's. Ethanol KILLS your mileage and it is very corrisive.

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 05:15 AM
reply to post by togetherwestand

If it gets bad enough skils and items of actual use will be more valuable than metals.

reply to post by ziggy1706

Ethanol isn't bad for an engine, it just has less energy per volume, as does biodiesel. Vodka is ethanol (but not pure).

Methanol is different. It's more like a solvent in the acetone kind of sense although not as extreme. It does however wear out rubber hoses and gaskets, therefore polymers need to be used. As long as the engine is built with the proper components then the biodiesel is better for an engine than petrodiesel. The solvent properties of the methanol clean the deposits left from petrodiesel, and the organic based oil has better lubricating properties.

Petro fuels do have more energy per volume than biofuels. You wouldn't want to go out for a night of zippy car racing on biofuels.

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 09:07 AM
Thank you and great post IIB. I don't know squat about fuel production but he is wrong about traps, you don;t build them with wire mesh (well, you could but they would be large, bulky live catch traps). I have plenty of traps; pan traps, conibears, etc. They are small and I can carry 20 to set up a trap line whereas with live catch you can carry 2, 3 if you put one on your back.
Whatever it is you have in surplus after the SHTF you had better be able to protect or it will be worthless. Those with the guns and the numbers will be taking whatever they can. Extra ammunition will be the new gold.

edited for spelling

[edit on 11-4-2010 by Asktheanimals]

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 02:05 PM
Hey by the look of this thread there wont be much competition out there in zombieland!

reply to post by Asktheanimals

What do you mean by 'pan traps'?

Those conibears look like a wicked rat trap. I wonder how hard it'd be to build those things?

While I was writing it I had in mind traps for crabs, fish / minnow traps, crayfish, etc. Iif you had a surplus of cable and / or thick wire you could build hog traps, etc with timbers you could gather. But it'd be hard to build a marketable hog trap with such methods.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 01:17 AM
In the barter Economy, where supply chains may be cut off via marauders, bugs will be the scourge of existence. When you cant buy "Off" at the store you will run out eventually. Therefore you need renewable sources of insect repellents, to help people overcome this menace.

There are not too hard to find lists of seeds for such plants to be found online, and many herbs that have repellent properties of varying degrees, but one easy thing you can do is visit Asian markets to purchase live stalks of Lemon Grass.

Lemon Grass contains Citronella, and you can even cook with it like many Asians do. You can stick the stalk into dirt, or water to get them to start regrowing. I did this with root hormone and without, using both potted dirt and jars of water. There was a slight edge of root and plant growth with root hormone in water. In the potted soil tests there seemed to be a slight edge for the stalks that didn't have hormone. But honestly the edge of difference was marginal regardless of how I did it, except that the potted specimens were slightly slower overall than the jar subjects. In any case, eventually you'll end up with seeds.

So that is one clear example of such a useful resource, and there are many others for combating different pests. The real issue is that seeking out seeds (or trees) of this nature is key to providing the best possible service to your area.

[edit on 12-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I think anywhere near or on bodies of water would be dangerous places to be. Perhaps I'm wrong but that's just my theory.
There are many natural plants that are insect repellant. Red cedar (that;s why people used to make wardrobes out of it), Pawpaw leaves, mints, plantain just to name a few. These can be gathered for zip and used to keep bugs out of your food, bed and shelter.
Mouse and rat traps will also be valuable as they'll be as bad or worse than the insects. Since mice carry deadly hantavirus we may see a new wave of the plague in the aftermath of SHTF.

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 11:40 AM
Sugar Daddy:

The ability to 'grow' sugar is a crucial role in the BE. Sugar is needed not only for food but for the production of ethanol for fuel or drink.

What many might not know is that Sugar Beet is how the non-tropical world generates sugar, and molasses.

Therefore having a stock of sugar beet seeds will help ensure your MMM future.

[edit on 14-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 05:56 PM
You forgot

Guns and Ammo

I estimate those will be about equivalent to cash money in this kind of situation, especially in rural areas.

Also if you're educated with electronics and electrical systems, I'm sure you'd be able to find work for someone doing something.

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 06:05 PM
Star & Flagged

Thankfully, if something does happen, I'm already out in the boonies so I already have half the stuff mentioned in this little guide.

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 09:23 PM
reply to post by bsbray11


Weaponry in the BE will be crucial for hunting and defense, therefore a local gunsmith will serve a special role. While you clearly will need plenty of firepower to defend your position as the epicenter, the focus in this context is usefulness to others. Therefore skills, tools, documentation and other related equipment to the role of gunsmithing (and bladesmithing) is needed.

Ammo in general will be an excellent item of barter, but while trying to outfit yourself as the epicenter trying to stockpile more than you intend for yourself could be self-defeating. For your own ammo stockpiles, seek out as much brass casing ammo as possible. You might even score a huge stockpile of empty brass casings of all different sorts on your next trip to an outdoor gun range, especially if you find one on state park property that isn't attended.

In the BE, being able to reload ammo will be the only real long term solution to the ammo crisis. So basic reloading equipment is a good idea in general, but in particular there will be a need for gunpower, primer caps and bullets (slugs). Its not hard to find info on making gunpower from things like manure, or re-prime caps using even strike tip matches, but having little casts for making your own slugs is the real tool to have in advance.

From there the weapons themselves are the issue. It might be hard to budget a kit of spare parts for your weapons, just for yourself. So trying to have such for other weapons types borders on ludicrous. However, with the right tools and knowledge you can function as a gunsmith even without. The main things are any special tools that various weapons need, and a good array of tools in general. Shotgun News is a good marketplace publication where you can browse most of the usually inexpensive weapon specific tools you might want. You'll also want a good array of cleansing devices, cloths, and large amounts of gun worthy oil.

For knowledge the Internet in general, the torrent networks and even Google Books have plently of resources on gunsmithing and bladesmithing.

QUESTION: Whats the best *cheap* alternative solution for gun oil that can be bought by the gallon?

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 09:41 PM
Tactical Landscaping, Inc.:
With all you'll be doing in your new job, the last thing you'll want to be doing is visiting others locations to try and install Mad Max 'security systems' for them, but you might be able to provide them the right equipment.

Black Berries: Black berries are the ultimate perimeter defense barrier, that also provide a nice source of food. Once they get established, its like having nets of barbed wire as your fortress walls. You can get a good several hundred seeds from a little basket of berries. To do this crush the berries up into a sludge, add the sludgeand a little water into a deep jar, and allow it to sit for several days until the slime will wash off with water while clean seeds drop to the bottom. Next dry them out and (very important) freeze them for a month or more so that they'll germinate. Next plant as many in pots as you can maintain, and / or visit your assumed exit property and plant them around the entire perimeter of the property. [The next big category in thise guide will tell you where to get pots should you intend to be a major supplier.]

True Mad Max: Then theres the more extreme true to the sense of Mad Max style 'landscaping'. Barbed (or razor) wire is surely something of desire in perimiter defense, but why stop there when you can build massive walls using cheap and plentiful used automotive tires? The logistics of being in advance able to have enough tires to build your walls while also being a supplier of such resources could be a challenge, but one solution could be to buy the local auto junk yard in your desired exit region. Besides, this is Mad Max era we're talking about afterall... Imagine all those spare parts.

[edit on 14-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 09:41 PM
Garden Supply:

Gardening will be the new way of life in the BE, so having supplies to trade is another important area of concern. Attempting to invest currency into this facet, in advance, could be fiscally daunting, but there are some things you can do.

Pots: If you know a landscaper, you might just have your ticket to thousands of free planting containers of all sizes. Any landscaper with a decent operation goes thru a thousand or more of these per year. There exists no deposits on containers, therefore you might be doing them a favor taking these endless leftovers.

Locals: If you're lucky, you can work out some potentially sweet deals with locals to dump truckloads of woodchips and even manure out at your exit location to have it all there in advance.

[edit on 14-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 10:14 PM
Center for Disease Control:

Should there be a pandemic, people will need somewhere to turn. Just stockpiling gas masks and filter cartridges wont be good enough, and trying to budget more than you'll need isn't wise unless you're today wealthy, but there are natural solutions.

Elder Berries.

Elder Berries, garlic, onions (grow both Yellow Onions & Shallots), oregano, allspice, echinacea, capsicum (peppers), cinnamon, ginger, tumeric and others are all natural defenses to flu viruses. Elder berry, allspice and cinnamon come from trees. Elder berries are the most effective defense for flus, and luckily its the tree people from most climates will actually be able to grow. If you find seeds you'll need to freeze them for them to germinate, and like most perennial trees they take years to reach high production so this in one thing you dont want to wait around to do. The rest you can grow yourself.

Beyond what you would grow, other things of importance are ethanol & vinegar for cleansing. [search Google Books for "vinegar"] The best method of administering 'sambucol' (elder berry extract) is via alcohol tincture made from vodka grade ethanol.

[edit on 14-4-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 04:52 AM
In hindsight, I should have titled this thread "Mad Max Economics". I was hoping to see more ideas beyond my own...

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:08 AM
Great thread! Alcohol, coffee, and tobacco will be in big demand also just sayin.

One flaw in your OP

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).

This is not correct. Methanol is not wood gas. Methanol is a highly toxic form of alcohol. and is not cost effective to make on a small scale and is the stuff that eats motor parts if they are not the right kind.

Wood gas is the hydrogen gas contained in wood and organic matter. It extracted and burned in a gasifier which is like a stove.

Methanol is used to make biodesiel. Ethanol can be used instead but is a little more tricky but not a big deal once you get it down. Ethanol would be your best bet and can be made for about 40 cents to $1.20 per gallon and you can run your gasoline engines on it too, is not harmful to engine parts and most cars can run 80% ethanol with no modifications.

[edit on 2-5-2010 by hawkiye]

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 11:49 AM

Originally posted by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

QUESTION: Whats the best *cheap* alternative solution for gun oil that can be bought by the gallon?

Mobil one motor oil is used by many shooters as a gun oil.
Most any motor oil will work in a pinch, just stay away from any oil/solvent mixtures such as wd-40.

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 11:55 AM
An overlooked barter item

Shoes boots and socks. Running around the PAW will eat up a lot of footwear.
I know my kids go thru sneakers every few months and socks by the dozen.
I think a good pair of boots will be worth their weight in gold.

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