top trade goods

Posted by: mattnum

top trade goods - 02/28/08 09:57 PM

In a long-term SHTF scenario what would your top trade goods be? Things that are reasonably easily stored. My thoughts are, in no particular order-

1. Salt
2. Alcohol
3. Ammunition
4. Cigarettes
5. toilet paper
6. water purification tablets
7. MRE's
8. diesel?

What do you think?
Posted by: MoBOB

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 10:06 PM

In a scenario where a natural disaster has struck there is a long list of things that have been put forth as items good for barter in one of the previous threads. Things like tools, nails, tarps and so on. Search for it and see what else you can find. Remember, the SHTF needs to relate to natural disasters or accidents.
Posted by: fordwillman

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 10:42 PM

moBOB,
Why must it only relate to "Remember, the SHTF needs to relate to natural disasters or accidents."???
We are not so afraid of our own shadows that we cant envision, talk, plan for other scenarios??? Maybe I am missing something, but if it is a true SHTF, I dont care if it is terrorists, political, natural, war, weather or what! Any civil and adult discussion that would help me prepare is valuable. My 2 cents.

Back to the post...one I see as very useful for trade is tools and knives. I think edged instruments in particular will be needed and useful.
Posted by: mattnum

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:00 PM

I agree that edged tools would be useful. I think they would be more easily found over the long run. Let's say, for argument sake, five years has passed (I do not spend my life envisioning this). I think it would be easier to find metal edged tools vs. soft goods or consumer items. A bottle of Jack Daniels will be worth more than a hammer or knife. Although, the hammer, knife, nails will not be worth less, they can be scavenged.

I am not a doomsdayer and only really speak of these things rhetorically.

thanks
Posted by: massacre

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:03 PM

Hmm... I read that differently. I thought moBOB meant that one needs to include natural disaster and accidents in the SHTF scenarios.
Posted by: Dan_McI

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:13 PM

Whatever the cause, in a long term scenario, the things that will be good to trade are the rare things and those rare things that really have either use or are considered real luxuries. Of course, in order to have value, someone must want to buy the luxury.

I think 1, 2 and 3 on your list have both, value and use, and to some extent can be luxuries. But, they may not be rare. If people in your area can readily get salt, for instance by letting salt water evaporate or by mining, then it is worth less. If you can always find shell casings and sulfur, then the ammunition may be worth less in your area. It's going to be diffierent for every area.
Posted by: Jeff_M

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:16 PM

My experience suggests the following items are likely to be popular(based on typical disasters, rather than long-term TEOTWAWKI scenarios):

1 Tobacco/lighters
2 alcohol
3 Toilet paper and disposable diapers
4 Feminine hygiene products
5 Plastic trash bags
6 paper goods-paper towels, plates, plastic utensils, cups, etc.
7 Bleach and general cleaning supplies, like brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning agents, especially Lysol brand spray
8 Batteries in common sizes
9 gasoline, rather than diesel
10 Plastic tarps, duct tape, and temporary repair/salvage supplies
11 Propane, Coleman fuel, charcoal briquettes
12 Borrowed use of satellite phones and internet access

Jeff
Posted by: bigmothertrucker

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:34 PM

soap.


and maybe x rated magazines..............just kidding
Posted by: mattnum

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:56 PM

maybe the mags then the soap.....
Posted by: mattnum

Re: top trade goods - 02/28/08 11:56 PM

Thanks for the realistic take on it.
Posted by: LED

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 12:08 AM

(for the warmer months) Because most places in north america are fairly humid and have plenty of bugs from March thru September, or even all year. Mosquitoes in particular can become a major health concern.

Generator (to run window AC and/or fans)
Gasoline
Insect repellent
Mosquito netting
Insect Coils (permethrin)
Posted by: Dan_McI

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 12:17 AM

I think Jeff's probbaly got a good short term list. As far as long term, I think by the time it is longer term, many of the things listed people will have by necessity learned to live without. Bleach is an awesome thing for trade, but you might do better storing calcium hypochlorite, i.e. pool chlorine with which you can make your own bleach or trade the cal-hypo. Read up on cal-hypo as a chemical if you store it.

A search on the net of "D.G. Harmony" might give you an idea of what can happen. It was a ship that had 150-200 tons on board, and the cal-hypo went into runaway decomposition, blew up and soon had flames shooting 100 feet into the air.

It has a shelf life too, as it is always decomposing. But so does bleach, I think.
Posted by: Arney

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 12:47 AM

I agree with Jeff's line of thinking and that's a good list. A few other things that came to mind:

* Baby formula
* Cheap flashlights (that $2 flashlight is far more valuable than just $2 when you're stuck in the dark)
* Bottled water
* Blankets/bedding
* Dust masks
* Sand bags
Posted by: Arney

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 12:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Dan_McI
It has a shelf life too, as it is always decomposing. But so does bleach, I think.

Bleach has a shelf life, too.
Posted by: BobS

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 01:08 AM

Ammo, I have lots of it.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 03:25 AM

I'd worry about number one and not count on my neighbors to have anything worth bartering for.

You'd look pretty funny sitting on a ton of cigarettes and TP if everybody around you didn't have anything but junk to trade.
Posted by: BobS

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 03:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Hacksaw
I'd worry about number one and not count on my neighbors to have anything worth bartering for.

You'd look pretty funny sitting on a ton of cigarettes and TP if everybody around you didn't have anything but junk to trade.


Thatís true, but at the same time if space and money allow you could speculate on trade items to store.


I would never buy items you donít feel you personally could use. Like Halloween candy to pass out, only buy candy you like to eatÖ
Posted by: Comanche7

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 03:48 AM

mattnum,

Several bottles of aspirin would likely make a good candidate for the use you describe. It takes relatively little space, does not cost much in the generic brands, stores fairly well, addresses muscleaches, headaches, toothaches, may help out in certain heart related issues (see disclaimer below).

Having it in a variety of standard manufacturer package sizes would likely provide additional flexibility as it can be left factory sealed in the different sizes for bartering of different value items.

Disclaimer: NOTE: I'm not a doctor, nor do I profess to be, or even pretend to play one on TV. Always be sure to discuss your health and medical issues / concerns with your doctor or medical professional before using any medicine.

Regards,
Comanche7
Posted by: NorCalDennis

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 04:59 AM

I would be curious to know if anyone has a fair idea of the shelf life of most over-the-counter medicines beyond their posted expiration dates.

Most of the time I can't find basics, like asprin, Tylenol, Motrin, Cold/Allergy medications with an expriration date beyond 12 to 15 months. And, usually I don't finish the bottle I purchase before is has expired. I know these are comfort dates that the FDA and/or manufacturer knows that the item will be at full strength, but how far beyond these dates will a common OTC pill be effective?

It won't due much good to have a jumbo case of Costco/Sam's Club asprin if you'ld be lucky to use one bottle yourself and barter a few away - again assuming that you purchased this case the day before the tsunami flushed the west coast into the Pacific.

No disclaimer needed. Unless you insist that you do know it all, I will assume that you are speaking from personal experience and will value your good judgement grin

Thanks in advance for your imput.

Posted by: TheSock

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 09:27 AM

In the civil war the south found the lack of salt a crippling deficiency. With no way to feed their animals in the winter and no way to keep the meat till then. And it's something that is cheap now, but might be expensive in a long term crisis. Depending of course. as someone has already said, if you are in an area that will have a shortage. The good citizens of Jericho for instance had a salt mine. And it was their main trade goods.
The Sock
Posted by: Arney

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 05:17 PM

Originally Posted By: NorCalDennis
I would be curious to know if anyone has a fair idea of the shelf life of most over-the-counter medicines beyond their posted expiration dates.

I'm sure that there are folks who have used really old meds that seemed to work OK, but as far as scientific evidence goes, there is little. The Department of Defense's Shelf Life Extension Program demonstrated that most (but not all) samples they tested were still usefully potent several years past expiration. However, one major caveat is that I believe that they only evaluate unopened meds, which have been stored properly.

With an old, opened bottle of acetominophen that you keep in the medicine cabinet--I don't think anyone can say with much confidence without actually testing it since there is so much variation in temperature and humidity from one person's situation to the next.

So...not really a definitive answer, but that's pretty much about the extent of the scientific research. The rest will be personal accounts, which can be useful, but maybe only apply to their own situation.
Posted by: BobS

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 05:33 PM

I have used pain killers that were 5-years old and had them work. But I donít know really know the answer as to how long meds really keep. I would guess that they are made to expire in a short time as they would not want lots of old meds floating around for years. And itís more profitable to have people always buying more. I can understand this in a way. But I donít think you will get a good answer as to how long they will last beyond the expiration date.
Posted by: Brangdon

Re: top trade goods - 02/29/08 07:11 PM

In practice I buy the cheap versions of medicine rather than the advertised brands. This makes them cheap enough that I don't care about the cost of throwing them away unused after a year or two.

I'd expect them to retain some potency, albeit reduced, more or less indefinitely. One problem is that although you know their potency is reduced, you don't know by how much. You might find your usual dosage doesn't fix your headache, and then be tempted to try a double dose, when in fact the potency hasn't yet halved, leading to an overdose.

I'm not a gambling man. In a survival situation I wouldn't throw expired medication away, but I would only use it at the standard dosage. If that turns out to be not strong enough any more, tough; it's better than nothing. And if it's something esoteric that I don't think I understand, I would throw it, in case it decomposed over time into something dangerous.
Posted by: sotto

Re: top trade goods - 03/01/08 01:50 PM

I have only one word to add: candles.

Well, OK, three more words: lots of candles.
Posted by: Susan

Re: top trade goods - 03/01/08 05:42 PM

I am having heart palpatations from the extreme short-sightedness of the gentlemen above...

CHOCOLATE!

I would be extremely careful about trading ammo. Opinions change, and I would certainly hate to be offed with my own ammunition.

I read an article a couple of years ago where they said MANY medications have passed the test of time for up to 30 years. Again, that was unopened medications. But some really are time-sensitive, and will break down. Neomycin and tetracycline, and I think aspirin is another. When you have specific medications, ask your pharmacist and explain you're asking 'in case of emergency'.

Sue
Posted by: BillLiptak

Re: top trade goods - 03/01/08 08:34 PM

To the list I would rice, sugar, flour, barley and oatmeal. Oh, and dried beans and peas.

-Bill Liptak
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: top trade goods - 03/02/08 02:12 AM

There have been times in my life I would have paid a lot for a bar of soap. I know that you can make a so-so substitute, but I would prefer the real stuff...
Posted by: Comanche7

Re: top trade goods - 03/02/08 03:24 AM

Hi NorCalDennis,

Your thoughts prompted me to Google "Aspirin shelf life".

As expected, there was much to peruse...below is one link that I looked over, it seems pretty straight forward and on the level. YMMV

http://www.endtimesreport.com/Prescription_longevity.html seemed to have some interesting information.

This was just one link of many, and there may be other conflicting data / opinions etc. so before making any long term plans, I would certainly advocate doing more due diligence research as your particular situation and needs may dictate.

Without rehashing the entire article, it indicated that the FDA had been involved in testing quite a few medicines that the military had in stock (which were at the end of their marked shelf life).

The results were rather comforting to learn of, the US military has saved several hundred million dollars due to this testing, among which included aspirin, cipro, antibiotics, and many others.

Regards,
Comanche7


Posted by: KG2V

Re: top trade goods - 03/02/08 04:21 AM

Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
There have been times in my life I would have paid a lot for a bar of soap. I know that you can make a so-so substitute, but I would prefer the real stuff...


Thing is, for "LONG term" (aka years) type stuff, soap is fairly easy to make. All you need (for all intents) is fat and lye (or other saponification agent). Lye is fairly easly gotten (run water through wood ash). As for fat, I assume in the situation I'm talking about (multi year) you're killing something for meat, so you have fat

You have to do a lot of thinking like "the old days". Harvest time was a BUSY, both in bring in the goods, but also preserving them. Heck, it's a busy time today if you do your own canning - everything is ready in the same few weeks, so you work - NOW, and party later (think 'Thanksgiving" and all the other harvest festivals)

You bring in those deer in the fall for a reason - you have some extra days of cold to work on preserving (salting and drying etc) the meat, and while your at it, using your fires to boil up all the stuff you are preserving, you're making lye from the ash, and boiling the fat and lye to make soap

Harvest time was/is an "All hands on deck" situation
Posted by: NorCalDennis

Re: top trade goods - 03/02/08 04:55 AM

Thanks Comanche7 - that link is a great article. I will follow up with a Google search too. That is quite an eye-opener, yet not suprising, to learn that expiration dates are more closely tied to profits than safety.

Thanks,
Dennis
Posted by: ponder

Re: top trade goods - 03/02/08 12:56 PM

IMHO - Until we get back to the stone ages, one of the best trade items is still -

CASH!
Posted by: Arney

Drug expiration dates - 03/02/08 04:54 PM

Originally Posted By: NorCalDennis
That is quite an eye-opener, yet not suprising, to learn that expiration dates are more closely tied to profits than safety.


Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread with such a long post, but I tend to be long-winded...

Actually, the law behind expiration dates is all about safety. Don't forget that putting expiration dates on drugs wasn't the drug industry's idea, it was a requirement of federal law to protect the public by ensuring that the meds they are taking have the potency that they think they are taking. The law is coming from the side of "Is this medication as potent as it says it is?" rather than your question of "How long is it 'good enough' for?". It's sort of like asking if your car is totally unroadworthy after the 3 years/30,000 mile warranty period. In most cases, of course it's still roadworthy, but the manufacturer can't/won't take responsibility for the car beyond a certain point because of conditions beyond its control like climate or road conditions.

This law ensures that the drug companies have done enough testing to stand by the potency and purity (safety) of their products up to the expiration date. The goal is that every single bottle Extra Strength Tylenol at the drug store really is "extra strength" until the expiration. Beyond the expiration date, however, is "proceed at your own risk". The drug companies haven't claimed that their drugs suddenly turn into inert substances or poison beyond the expiration, although some sources do give you that impression. And if that promotes drug sales, well, the drug companies aren't going to complain.

If someone found that their bottle of pills had degraded to 85% potency within the expiration period, the drug company would be in violation of the law because the drug doesn't have the potency on the label, and believe me, mis-labelling is a major no-no to the FDA and can get your product recalled if the problem seems widespread, therefore, they tend to be conservative with the expiration dating (the drug company sets the date, not the gov't or the law). Of course, I'm not denying that a shorter expiration date would tend to promote faster turnover of supplies, but if drug companies set it too short, consumers would either complain (if only one company makes it) or buy brands or alternative meds that have a longer expiration date so there's a balancing act going on there.

Anyway, so for you as a consumer, it's really "proceed at your own risk" beyond the expiration date, not "It's totally useless" beyond the date. It's important to understand what that expiration date legally represents. But how long something is "good enough" is different for every person's bottle of medicine. You can't put a date on it. And unlike the DoD and its Shelf Life Extension Program, consumers don't have the luxury of FDA scientists to test the potency of actual samples from their aging stockpile of meds.
Posted by: Brangdon

Re: Drug expiration dates - 03/05/08 07:25 PM

I wouldn't give my neighbour candles as trade goods in case he burnt his house down and the fire spread to mine.

If you are a good capitalist, you could try LED torches, Eneloop batteries and a solar-cell charger. (You keep the charger for yourself, of course, and offer a battery-charging service.)


I expect there would a lot of trading of food. Whatever you have a surplus of, you will quickly get fed up of eating so it has a low value for you. Someone else's surplus - if it's different to yours - will have high value to you because of its novelty.
Posted by: el_diabl0

Re: Drug expiration dates - 03/06/08 02:56 AM

Here's a great website
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Drug expiration dates - 03/11/08 02:42 AM

Just an aside, but I've used Chloraseptic (the spray for your mouth) that expired in the 80's. It worked great. And for the curious, it was accidental. After I used it, I realized it'd been in the house for a while and turned it over out of curiousity. IIRC, 1983 is when it "went bad." Ha!
Posted by: LED

Re: Drug expiration dates - 03/11/08 09:22 AM

Chloraseptic, good stuff. I think whatever they put in there has a half-life of around 500 years or so. I hear it also makes a good car battery contact cleaner. Well, maybe not, but I wouldn't be surprised.