Skip to comments.16 SHTF Barter Items to Stockpile
Posted on 09/11/2012 9:38:08 AM PDT by Kartographer
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I have often wondered what to do if medicine could not be available for a long time, does anyone know of alternative sources of medicines such as traditional medicines that can be used in place of modern pharmeceuticals?
Check your local liquor store for any special buys on miniature bottles. Small 50mL bottles will make excellent trade for smaller items, while larger bottles would be best saved for big-ticket trades.
I would think vinegar would be important as well. Necessary for canning, useful for cleaning and sanitizing.
They could be barter items in the future, especially when I have the canning pots necessary to use them too.
I've also been collecting the tools necessary for maintaining a garden...more barter items.
Also, bleach loses about 50% strength in one year.
And while it is possible to produce sugar in a variety of forms, there is no way to grow salt.
There was a FReeper a year or so ago who was complaining that their well water was too salty to drink. That would be one of the few ways to get it.
My cat could earn her keep. She brings me rabbits that she kills without breaking the skin, and she eats any mice that dare threaten my pantry!
Also, bleach loses about 50% strength in one year.
Bleach/water solution for disinfecting is only good for 24 hours.
Metals, outside of lead and brass, will not be of any use after SHTF. If I have food and you need food and you have gold, how much will one can of food will cost you? Answer: it will cost you all your gold. (The fate of Baron Danglars is proof of that.) This is because trading with money (and precious metals are money) requires an open market where one group of traders can exchange food for gold and another group of traders can exchange gold for medical supplies. If you have food and you need aspirin you need to find out how much the group #2 sells aspirin for - only then you can ask for a comparable amount of gold for your canned tuna; the buyer of the tuna will also look at the market and will realize that the price is fair.
After SHTF the market will be nonexistent. Trades will be executed in privacy, within small groups of people, between people who absolutely distrust each other. Precious metals have no inherent value; silver has some use for purification of water, or against the undead. A good that cannot be utilized directly will not be of much use. Besides, few people can tell if the coins are genuine. But you don't need a lab to tell that a box of tuna cans is good - you open a random can, or you read the labels.
I can tell you one thing, I couldn’t be more grateful that I had a rather large supply of “Handiwipes”.
I recently had shoulder surgery and couldn’t take a shower for two weeks. In my private moments I pull out my supply and could at least take a PTA or whores bath.
I will take a shower today but I’ll be using the wipes again tomorrow as taking a shower is very laborious at this time.
i make my own snuff (nasal tobacco), i sell it to friends to pay for my hobby, properly sealed dry snuff will outlast a couple generations. when one pinch gives you the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette and much more portable, I think it will be a terrific barter in the future.
I think an emergency preparations plan is an excellent life choice, but most of this prepper stuff is just as much a fantasy as any 3D online video game with space aliens or wizards.
Bleach. If you’re planning on using it to disinfect water, get a cheap color wheel tester and reagents. Bleach is the same as Pool Shock, just weaker. Bleach is 6.25%, Pool Shock is 12.5%. Both are Sodium Hypochlorite. We use Shcl at the water plant to disinfect the water. Shcl starts to deteriorate the instant it is created. Tests have shown that, by the time a consumer buys bleach at the store, it’s concentration is already down to about 3%. So it doesn’t last. Pool Shock is a better bet, as it starts out with twice the concentration of bleach. We go through 3 gallons a day for about 50,000 gallons of water. Store it in a cool, dry, dark place, as heat and specially sunlight, cause it to lose strength much more quickly. So,,, you can’t count on the “so many drops per gallon” method. Get a tester.
ive never tried smoke cured tobacco for my snuffs, i wonder how well it would work
the ammonia effect is what i am generally going for, it alkalizes and creates a better “flavor” for the nose, but too much it burns, and not in the good way!
To add to my bleach comment. Pool Shock in granular form, or in pressed block form might be even better to get, as it hasn’t had water added to it, so it should last a long, long time.
I think that people who think that will be either among the first to die or the first to turn on those who do prepare.
Check, Check, Check,.......For everything except cigarettes...
What’s the best way to buy silver coins and possibly silver bars? thanks
If Aspirin is unopened and sealed it will maintain near 100% efficacy long after you pass from this life to the next.
What do you think of Big Berky filters?
What about well after SHTF? I agree that right after the balloon goes up that anything that is not a tool or cannot be comsumed will be worthless but at some point society will begin to rebuild. When that happens some type of trading device will be necessary.
I have a case of each.
Also of Worchestir sauce,
Salt...I’ll never use that much salt in my lifetime.
Crystal Light. Cases and cases. I use them anyway as I can’t stand the taste of sugar in it’s various forms most people enjoy.
Alcohol. About the only simple sugar I get.
Boxed milk and condensed.
Boxed Potatoes. I hate them but in SHTF I can make them tasty. Also great for thickening sauces and gravy.
Cases of Rubbing alcohol and the one that smells wintergreen. I use both throughout the week for various things. The wintergreen one is in a soap dispener and I use it as a quick hand disinfectant.
Sting Eze, Benadryl(Off brand), Cortisone 10 1%. Good thing I have tons of this stuff. A friend was stung by two bees last week(weird) and I put the Sting eze on, waited 15 minutes, applied Cortizone 10 and had him pop two Off Brand Benadryls.
He did this every 4 hours for two days and had almost no swelling around the sting and zero itching.
Great idea. I’m going to stop at the feed store and grab four. Two for me and two for my brother. He doesn’t have bag balm, I’m sure, so I’ll grab a large can and a pack of the small portable cans for him.
In SHTF you’ll more time to sit on the porch and enjoy while ponder life.
I probably have at least 50 of them. I also have 20 or so fire steels, boxes and boxes of waterproof and windproof matches.
Which reminds me. I am going to pick up a Mag trowel. My brother thought this one up. The thinking is they are made of magnesium and we are wondering if can’t get a chunk of Magnesium for cheaper than those little mag blocks that cost 8 bucks. right now I have about 20 of them.
We also made a bunch of charcloth last year and drop a hefty supply into all of our BOB’s and the regular backpacks.
Even have two quart bags full of them in the kitchen, by the BBQ and another one in my stores.
We have a bunch of other stuff including Ronson’s and Butane and tinder. We started saving the lint out of the dryer a couple years ago. When the supply gets to a certain size we pop them in a bag and shrink the foot print in our Food Saver.
No way we are ever going to be without fire.
I need to get me a “Wilson!” though...
Many Medicines Are Potent Years Past Expiration Dates Prescription Longevity
Do drugs really stop working after the date stamped on the bottle?
Fifteen years ago, the U. S. military decided to find out. Sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every two to three years, the military began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory.
The testing, conducted by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results, never before reported, show that about 90% of them were safe and effective far past their original expiration date, at least one for 15 years past it.
In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, says he has concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer.
Mr. Flaherty notes that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set. The expiration date doesn’t mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful.
“Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” says Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement last year. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.”
The FDA cautions that there isn’t enough evidence from the program, which is weighted toward drugs needed during combat and which tests only individual manufacturing batches, to conclude that most drugs in people’s medicine cabinets are potent beyond the expiration date. Still, Joel Davis, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, says that with a handful of exceptions — notably nitroglycerin, insulin and some liquid antibiotics — most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. “Most drugs degrade very slowly,” he says. “In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years, especially if it’s in the refrigerator.”
Drug-industry officials don’t dispute the results of the FDA’s testing, within what is called the Shelf Life Extension Program. And they acknowledge that expiration dates have a commercial dimension. But they say relatively short shelf lives make sense from a public-safety standpoint, as well.
New, more-beneficial drugs can be brought on the market more easily if the old ones are discarded within a couple of years, they say. Label redesigns work better when consumers don’t have earlier versions on hand to create confusion. From the companies’ perspective, any liability or safety risk is diminished by limiting the period during which a consumer might misuse or improperly store a drug.
“Two to three years is a very comfortable point of commercial convenience,” says Mark van Arandonk, senior director for pharmaceutical development at Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. “It gives us enough time to put the inventory in warehouses, ship it and ensure it will stay on shelves long enough to get used.” But companies uniformly deny any effort to spur sales through planned obsolescence.
Why Not Longer?
Now that the FDA has found that many drugs are still good long after they have supposedly expired, why doesn’t it advocate later expiration dates for consumer drugs? One reason is that the consumer market lacks the military’s logistical reasons to keep drugs around longer.
Frank Holcombe, associate director of the FDA’s office of generic drugs, says that in many cases a manufacturer could extend expiration periods again and again, but to support those extensions, it would have to keep doing stability studies, and keep more in storage than it would like.
Mr. Davis adds: “It’s not the job of the FDA to be concerned about a consumer’s economic interest.” It would be up to Congress to impose changes, he says.
As things stand now, expiration dates get a lot of emphasis. For instance, there is a campaign, co-sponsored by some drug retailers, that urges people to discard pills when they reach the date on the label.
And that date often is even earlier than the one the maker set. That’s because when pharmacists dispense a drug in any container other than what it came to them in, they routinely cut the expiration date to just one year after dispensing. Some states even require pharmacists to do this.
Meanwhile, poor countries — under urging from the World Health Organization — often reject drug-company donations of much-needed medicines if they are within a year of their expiration dates.
It isn’t known how much of the $120 billion-plus spent annually in the U. S. on prescription and over-the-counter medicines goes to replace expired ones. But in a poll done for The Wall Street Journal by NPD Group Inc. of Port Washington, N. Y., 70% of 1,000 respondents said they probably wouldn’t take a prescription drug after its expiration date; 72% said the same of an over-the-counter remedy.
“People think that, upon expiration, drugs suddenly turn toxic or lose all their potency,” says Philip Alper, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco. In his own practice, Dr. Alper says, “I frequently hear — from patients who can’t afford medicine — that they have thrown away expired drugs.” He says companies should be required to test drugs for longer periods and set later expiration dates when results warrant.
Some manufacturers first began putting expiration dates on drugs in the 1960s, although they didn’t have to. When the FDA began requiring such dating in 1979, the main effect was to set uniform testing and reporting guidelines. As now required by the FDA, so-called stability testing analyzes the capacity of a drug to maintain its identity, strength, quality and purity for whatever period the manufacturer picks. If the company picks a two-year expiration date, it needn’t test beyond that.
Testing for a two-year expiration doesn’t initially entail holding a drug for two years. Rather, the drug is tested by subjecting it to extreme heat and humidity for several months, then chemically analyzing each ingredient’s identity and strength. (After the date is set and the drug is marketed, testing continues for the full two years.)
The FDA also uses chemical analysis in testing for possible shelf-life extension; it doesn’t test on human subjects. Testing conditions are such that any medicine that meets, say, the standards for a two-year expiration date probably lasts longer, the FDA and drug companies agree.
Consider aspirin. Bayer AG puts two-year or three-year dates on aspirin and says that it should be discarded after that. Chris Allen, a vice president at the Bayer unit that makes aspirin, says the dating is “pretty conservative”; when Bayer has tested four-year-old aspirin, it remained 100% effective, he says.
So why doesn’t Bayer set a four-year expiration date? Because the company often changes packaging, and it undertakes “continuous improvement programs,” Mr. Allen says. Each change triggers a need for more expiration-date testing, he says, and testing each time for a four-year life would be impractical.
Bayer has never tested aspirin beyond four years, Mr. Allen says. But Jens Carstensen has. Dr. Carstensen, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin’s pharmacy school, who wrote what is considered the main text on drug stability, says, “I did a study of different aspirins, and after five years, Bayer was still excellent. Aspirin, if made correctly, is very stable.”
Only one report known to the medical community linked an old drug to human toxicity. A 1963 Journal of the American Medical Association article said degraded tetracycline caused kidney damage. Even this study, though, has been challenged by other scientists. Mr. Flaherty says the Shelf Life program encountered no toxicity with tetracycline and typically found batches effective for more than two years beyond their expiration dates.
Plea From the Air Force
The program dates to a U. S. effort begun in 1981 to increase military readiness by buying large quantities of drugs and medical devices for the armed forces. Four years later, more than $1 billion of supplies had been stockpiled. The General Accounting Office audited Air Force troop hospitals in Europe and found many supplies at or near expiration. It warned that by the 1990s, more than $100 million would have to be spent yearly on replacements.
The Air Force Surgeon General’s office asked the FDA if it could possibly extend the shelf life of these drugs. The FDA had the equipment for stability testing. And because it had approved the drugs’ sale in the first place, it also had manufacturers’ data on the testing protocols.
Testing for the Air Force began in late 1985. In the first year, 58 medicines from 137 different manufacturing lots were shipped to the FDA from overseas storage, among them penicillin, lidocaine and Lactated Ringers, an intravenous solution for dehydration. After testing, the FDA extended more than 80% of the expired lots, by an average of 33 months.
In 1992, according to the FDA, more than half of the expired drugs that had been retested in 1985 were still fine. Even now, at least one still is.
Such results came as a revelation for Army Col. George Crawford when he took over military oversight of the program in 1997. He is a pharmacist, but “nobody tells you in pharmacy school that shelf life is about marketing, turnover and profits,” he says. (The drug makers don’t agree that it is, however.)
How It Works
The military’s base for the program is a dingy barracks room in Fort Detrick, Md. There, a group headed by Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Russie, who recently took over from Col. Crawford, tracks drugs that are near expiration at defense facilities all over the world, selecting many for retesting. They are shipped to the FDA, which sends them to its laboratories.
The FDA’s lab in Philadelphia recently tested five automatic injectors containing an antidote to chemical poisoning, which were purposely held for three months in conditions even hotter and more humid than the FDA requires in consumer testing of drugs. The FDA tested the drug contained in the injectors, pralidoxime chloride, by separating its ingredients and measuring the strength and quality of each, then applying a computer model to determine whether a shelf-life extension was warranted.
The injectors’ original expiration date was November 1985. The FDA had retested them periodically ever since, each time approving their continued use. The batch, made by Ayerst Laboratories, now part of American Home Products Corp.’s Wyeth-Ayerst unit, is 18 years old. It is 15 years beyond the expiration date applied by Ayerst. The FDA found it is still good.
A spokesman for Wyeth-Ayerst says it “uses scientific data to establish expiration dates” and “tries to have the longest possible dating on products that scientific data supports.” The company is aware of the FDA retesting program. It says it can’t comment specifically on the injectors tested by the FDA...........
Saw that the other day and thought it woukd be a wate as I have 20 or so bottles with staggared exp dates which I marked so I know to toss them exactly three years from purchase.
How does that work for bathing?
Thank you. I was unaware of the fish antibiotic option, but the info about expiration of OTC alagesics and hue of EPI pen liquid I was aware of. Thank you!
Big Berky filters
They look pretty good. I suppose what one needs depends on one’s water source. Dirtier water as compared to well, or clear spring water. Or even stored water.
My rule about ammo is, I would only give bullets to someone helping me defend the fort right then. Would not barter ammo as it could come back to kill me.
Won't barter cigarettes as those are for me.
I think it depends on what happens. I don't expect a complete disintegration of civilization worldwide, but it could happen - see the European Dark Ages and imagine that trigger in our interconnected world today. I do expect the sort of thing that happened in the Weimar Republic, or in Yugoslavia, or in several other areas in the past century, where there is a partial and unpredictable breakdown of the social or economic order.
Will there be no police (where it's pure chaos and you can shoot anyone who is a threat), limited law enforcement (where your decisions might be questioned by something representing lawful authority after the fact, but there is no help when you are threatened), or a police state (where the police are the threat or enablers for their preferred threat groups)? Different preppers have different assumptions on that question. I don't know the answer. I do expect taht in any SHTF situation, for that word to apply, there will be chaos on the roads at least. The old custom of "highwaymen" robbing travelers and traders on the roads will almost certainly return, or tolls will be set up by self-appointed law enforcement who ensure traveler security but charge for that service.
Will there be no technology (EMP wipes out everything more modern than 1850, and possibly our capability to even live at that level - as Iran might experience soon . . . or use against us if Israel doesn't save the world), some technology (no EMP but the social breakdown makes manufacturing and even the power grid and other modern fuels unreliable), or mixed technology (some areas have technology but due to riots or other disorder, other areas are back to using mules and draft horses to replace modern "horsepower")? Again, I don't know, but all are plausible.
There are many possible triggers for a SHTF situation, and I am convinced that we are living MUCH closer to the edge than previously, but I have no clue on which of the possible triggers might lead to any of the outcomes on the spectrum of the social and economic breakdowns broadly referred to as SHTF.
Good list, but I’d say have a still on hand instead of just alcohol, then you can crank out your own and have a nearly unlimited supply. Also, replace sugar with honey, because honey has an unlimited shelf life. Add cocoa or some type of chocolate that has a good shelf life also, since that will be a handy barter item in a world where people have a sweet tooth but no sweets.
How about rechargeable batteries? Those could be a hot item too.
douginthearmy, There are a number of people on this thread that I would like to have living near me - you are not one of them.
Dont forget Dental Floss.
I am going to grow me a WHOLE BUNCH of dental floss if the SHTF
Dont forget Dental Floss.
I am going to grow me a WHOLE BUNCH of dental floss if the SHTF
You’re moving to Montana, eh?
“Do I need to send you some tobacco seeds? ;)”
Yes. Have a small garden area in back of my townhouse. Should be big enough to grow tobacco. Would need instruction about the planting and drying. I’m not kidding.
I buy bleach and detergent like a gifted idiot. I also have 12 pounds of iodized salt. Some things just need to be.
A better choice would be a Zippo and a LOT of flints and wicks. Zippos will burn almost anything so fuel isn't really a big problem.
Not to mention those pesky herpes outbreaks
Salt is a great preservative.
I don't use iodized salt for preservation.
As you say, zippos run on almost anything. Lord knows I've used enough JP-4 in my old one.