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Message Subject Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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Currency post-SHTF

This has been written about numerous times. Gold is priced so high now, and silver is getting higher all the time. Huge amounts have been bought up by governments as they are historic ways to preserve wealth.

You cannot eat gold or silver. It's always good to have some. If the goal is to become wealthy, then maybe in the long run it will be worth something. Personally deflationary periods happen post-Depression, so I don't think that dumping all of your money into them is a great idea.

What will become valuable? Bullets. Standard issue common ammunition will be extremely valuable. While of course some people have stockpiles of reloading materials, it's not like making gunpowder is a typical survival skill.

Bullets are practical, small, and portable. Ammunition for hunting rifles is extremely important for sustenance. I've discussed carrying capacity and the dearth of small game after a major event. I've touched on security too, but in the most oblique terms. Bullets are vital for both.

Most of the game you take will be small. Most of the successful meat that you harvest will come from trapping. You walk, find runs where animals are moving, look for where they feed or get access to water, and then make a route to look for the trap locations that are most successful. Naturally you move the traps around when they don't play out, or after the amounts that you get start to drop off.

Still despite this, larger game will still need to be hunted. Small caliber ammunition is not adequate to take them down. Pistols are not accurate over long distances. The rifling spins the bullet, can be sighted easier, and is more accurate for longer distances. I think hunting rifle ammunition and regular pistol ammunition will be a very good barter item. It will be needed by all, and makes for a trade item that you can use as an interim means to convert into whatever you need.

When things get dire, and/or people get worried, people buy guns and ammunition. In a SHTF scenario, when things are being bought up, and supply is limited, prices could dramatically rise.

People watch tv shows and think they have some faint concept of a gun battle. A lot of ammunition is used, and most often very wastefully and unsuccessfully. Don't have any illusions that you're going to use a magazine of bullets to take down an intruder.

For hunting, you don't get many chances with something so loud as a gun. Miss the killing zone, and the animal might very well wander off, not to be found for a long time, and may simply spoil. Miss altogether, and you might just spook off any other animals in the area. Hunting is an advanced skill that takes practice, not thrashing through the woods and coming back with tons of game. It doesn't work that way.

In the end, expect the animals to drop down to almost nothing in your area. Too many people will harvest them.

Medical skills will be a very good barter item. You're not going to have a lot of equipment or pharmaceutical items to help you practice your trade though.

People who can successfully raise vegetables and animals will naturally have valuable skills. While theft will always be an issue, as a community comes back together, it will become everyone's responsibility to protect the crops and animals. I foresee that people will band together for this. I hope so.

It takes a long time from planting to harvest. Most of our seeds are hybrids. It's not like the old days where you could save back the seeds from harvest. Unless people plant heirloom crops, most likely seed availability will be extremely limited.

Some crops can be produced over the seasons in successive ways. There are waves of plenty, and then nothing for a period. Succession planting helps, but the change in temperature often results in bolting when plants suddenly get too hot and seed. Leafy vegetables grow and can be harvested in a short time, and they do provide important vitamins, but very low calories. Starchy vegetables give great calories, and store well, but mice are always a problem. Root cellars will allow you to extend your usage since they are kept at a lower temperature. Cold frames will allow you to extend your seasons too.

The biggest concern I have is that we'll strip out what few animals that the farmers have. Panicking people do not act thinking long term. A lot of the animals might be killed foolishly or needlessly. What do you possess that a farmer might need so much that they would willing trade off their animals? Especially consider that they have to feed their families, and so those animals are their lifeline.

Other abilities fit in progressively lower tiers of importance. People who can build things, understand carpentry, and are creative, will thrive.

People who understand power generation and water purification will do well. Electronics people and communication experts will have marketable skills.

People who are popular, are good at organizing, and motivating people will be needed, but in very low amounts. We have too many bosses now already.
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