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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this is another we have just been hit by a nationwide or at least very widespread set of attacks of a cataclysmic nature. Millions are dead, and many more are dying and wounded. There is out and out panic.

The aftermath of such an attack could be that we regain our feet and smash the attackers;, or it could be that we are defeated and the invaders take over; or it could be that the invaders do not take over but our so called allies see an opportunity and move in to occupy and "protect us". Life is a friggin shambles. You have made it to your hideaway if you have one, or you have stayed home, it does not matter. It is now 6 months later. Whatever happened has happened and you have survived. Control has been regained by either of the three methods above, and regardless of who is in control, you are alive and well, and THEY ARE IN CONTROL and I do mean CONTROL.

Then you realize you need to resupply because you only have a month of whatever it is you need to go. You cannot produce enough of whatever it is, in enough time, and it is an essential. There are no practical places to obtain supplies that have not fallen under the 'protection or control' of the authorities be they the previous authorities or the 'new' guys in power. There will be no sneaking up in the dark of night, with a canned rifle with its 22LR conversion kit, as all of the areas have seismic and infra red sensors and are heavily guarded to prevent looting by people like us! They will be no chance at a group assault on the depot because it is just to heavily fortified and to heavily guarded. All sources of supply in what had been the USA are now like this, everything that was left out has been collected by those in power. Yet they are not total tyrants and they have allowed the people to remain fairly unmolested, so you are ok except you need badly whatever it is you need.

Of course you can approach the authorities and offer to trade. They are fairly reasonable in that regard, and so long as you are not a wanted person they will allow trade, but the value they put to their goods may be more than you can accept to lose of items you possess. Of course they will also except 'monetary' payment, but it too will be high. Faced with this would you trade or buy?

Now before someone gets all blathered up and starts whining that: "Ooooooh, oooooooh, hmmmmmmmmmm, I told you but you did not listen, I told you your money would be no good"; let me say I beg to differ. Yes even in my scenario money, that is Greenbacks (or whatever color they currently are), US dollars, cash money of most pre-attack North American countries all would be no good; but I of course have an alternative - do you? Of course I am taslking precious metals and gemstones.

I think if it came to this, and there was no readily available or trustworthy black market nearby, and no one else who was willing to trade, and the powers that be were considered honest albeit very high priced in their trading, I would buy from the authorities rather than trade unless I had a huge surplus of whatever it was that they would accept in trade. I am betting that my currency would still be good, as it always has been in the past. I would probably buy a minimum of what they had, enough to last me another month or so so as to not tip my hand as to how much I had, but that is likely what I would do.

What say you, under the same circumstances as I have described would precious metals and gemstones be of value as a universal currency?
 

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gemstones wont be worth more than glass beads, because so few have any CLUE as to their worth, they wont' accept them in trade. Ditto bullion metal. Only recognizable , silver or gold coins probably only US, canadaian, maybe Chiness pandas or Krugerrands, will find any acceptance. The 'authorities" wont have jack crap. Nobodys likely to be trading for coins, even, for a lot longer than 6 months, tho. You have to know how to get value. for instance, don't trade a 1 oz gold coin for a loaf of bread. Trade 1/2 of a 1/10th oz gold coin, for a bushel of grain, and make PORRIDGE with it. Baking bread is a huge waste of precious resources. Porridge is a far more efficient way to get the nutrition out of the grain. Try to trade them REPLACABLE goods, for what you want. as in bark, tubers, coal, firewood, charcoal, dried fruit, acorns, etc, of course. Best send your needs on a message arrow, during the night, and arrange for dead drops. beware betrayal, poison, etc, start small, dont ever get too trustful.
 

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A large number of historical precedents aeem to say that gold coins remain valuable under almost any of the types of scenarios you describe Glenn, bith for buying things on the black makjet or for bribing public officals.
 

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REAL shtf will be like NOTHING that's ever existed. 99% of people dont have a CLUE how to live without electricity, gasoline, etc, and they have no supplies, tools, or usefull skills whatsoever. Most of them will panic, early and completely, and dangerously. You can't eat coins, nor stay warm or dry with them, so only after things settle down are they again going to have any value at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 'authorities" wont have jack crap.
I think this is going to be one of your biggest problems regarding your survival if the it winds up at TEOLAWKI for real. You assume everything will be your way, and you won't give an answer or solve a problem unless it is your way. The thing is life does not work out your way if for no other reason than Murphy's Law!

Andy said:
Most of them will panic, early and completely, and dangerously. You can't eat coins, nor stay warm or dry with them, so only after things settle down are they again going to have any value at all.
Did you read my scenario? Things have calmed down.I just gave a scenario and asked a question as to how you would respond to the scenario given, I did not ask how you think things will be in your fantasy, but in mine. Rather, I asked how you would respond under a set of conditions if those conditions were actually already at hand. You see if the situation exists, you cannot say, to any good effect: 'Ham and Eggs' or 'Do Over' or 'No Fair'. It has already happened and that is the way it is. You can not say I am the all powerful whoever, and it ain't supposed to be this way so make it my way. You will have to adapt to the situation not the situation adapt to you since it has already taken place and it will be whatever it will be at any given moment. You of course can make things better in the aftermath, but if things were as I laid them out - how would you survive under those exact conditions?

You answered it somewhat as applicable to my scenario, and were even pretty wise about how to deal frugally; although a message arrow and drops would likely get no reply or get you locked up.

Your answer about bullion vs. coin is pretty good, but not necessarily correct as many pieces of bullion are marked as well as any coin and carry with them certificates of authentification, and gold is easily tested - ask any pawn broker. Coinage would be my preferred medium though, US gold coins, although a small reserve of two other nations' coins is a good idea. As far as no one trading in coins until after 6 months, I think that is likely way off of the mark. if there is an authority in charge, gold will be valuable as usual to those in power.

For gem stones, well there certainly would be a market for them as I see it. During WWII many Jews bought their way to freedom by trading gem stones (among other things) for transport, or for safe haven. People not being sure of their value may actually be something that works to your advantage if you are a shrewd businessman, and if you get decent quality but less expensive stones now. Diamonds may wind up being a survivalist's best friend. Remember to that if the authorities are set up as I described, they will have someone who is capable to grading anything that may be bartered.

As far as trust goes, you can never be too trustful that is impossible. If you trust someone, then you trust them - that is if you truly understand the concept of trust. Then again your trust can be taken advantage by someone who wound up being not trustworthy - so yes you have to be careful. Just because you give someone your trust does not mean that you should be blind to evil, or that you should completely let down your vigilance. Maybe you should just not trust them in the first place, but rather than totally slough them off, you should be cautious in your dealings with them because you are uncertain of their trustworthiness. Of this you need to be careful, but if the situation is as I described, you are ok on this one.

Please bear in mind the question I asked is based upon the exact situation I gave, not anyone else's depiction of how it would be. Yes I realize it may or may not be like the way I described, but if it was, then what would you do?
 

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jews gave away $100,000 stones, JUST to be allowed to LEAVE Germany. NOt the same thing as needing food, etc, ya know. U "think" that the starving will give a crap about gemstones? Nearly everyone is going to be nearly starving, for a LONG time after things "settle down". I wouldn't put a dime into gemstones, and don't know anyone who would. even TODAY, you can't get any two appraisers to come closer than 10% of each other's valuation of such stones.
 

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yeah, right, there'll BE pawn shops, right? Not a chance. NObody is taking anybody's word for such valuation, bet on it. I dont DEAL in fantasies, yours or anybody else's. Nobody is going to trust a lame assed, simple stamp on a pc of metal the like of which they've never seen before. They've at least seen PICS of various coins, but might not accept them, either. At least the coin has a raised or serrated edge, to keep people from shaving off the metal.

Did you know Jews used to sit around, jingling precious metal coins, constantly, in a leather bag? After the coins were gone, a small amount of gold could be extacted from the leather. :) There were MANY reasons why the Jews were easy scapegoats in Germany, during the Depression era.
 

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I fully intend to stay completely away from everyone, since they will likely be carrying some disease or other, for as long as possible. There will be almost no negotiations whatsoever. If I HAVE to have something, I MIGHT try bartering for it, but if I have to have it, I'm gonna GET it, one way or another. If I don't absolutely have to have it, why risk having anything to do with anybody?
 

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Glenn is right. A latge nimber of scenarios are possible. Flexible planning and equipment is the key to survival.
 

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In fact Glenn's is fairly likely. Unlike what some people HOPE will happen so they can continue their criminal activities without the cops making them surrender over the phone, society will not collapse to the stone age. I've explained why before and am not going to repeat it again. The government WILL move in and provide "disaster relief". It's likely that they may disperse coupons which will be the "currency". People will work for these and the government people will work for the government because in return their families will be taken care of, house and fed. Maybe in government apartments and such and not nice houses, but the security of the situation will make it acceptable to continue government employ.

Having said that, I doubt gold/silver coins will be worth a lot. You most certainly would not get what you paid for them out of them. Buy a $40 gold dollar. Know what it'll be worth SHTF? Face value, one dollar. You'd have to go to a pawn broker or jewler and sell it by weight for whatever currency is being used at the time.

So, stocks of precious metals and/or gems may be worth something, just not what they are now, most likely. But there are two other options.

Distasteful as it may be, women have something that can always be use to obtain what they need.

The other way is good old fashioned work. Offer to do work for what you need, or the currency to get it. Might have to do more work than you want for a measly return, but skills don't weigh anything, nor do they take up room in your pack.

Under Glenn's absolute control situation, best thing to do would be to blend in, and either work, or trade discreetly, and don't draw attention to yourself.
 

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once any kind of order or control has been established, then the acceptable currency or barter items will be defined.

Gold may or may not acceptable. You may not be the one to set the exchange rate. If the exchange is one gold coin for grain or bread, or whatever, then you will either pay the rate or go without.

People who start taking by force (deadly or otherwise) won't get away with it for long.

Magnum's right, skills and hardwork may end up being the best currency available.

I'll avoid the whole discussion on messages attached to arrows - though it was amusing.

Avoiding contact with people - depends on a large number of factors, like what was the SHTF, do they appear to be healthy, and do I feel like talking to someone.

At some point, the only way to determine the status of civilization is going to be to ask...

unless you plan on dying a crazy hermit in the woods, that doesn't know the war is over, while we live comfortably, enjoying nice meals, health care, and good homes.

Boy, wouldn't that be funny - do the lone wolf thing, survive, but not know it was time to stop hiding...

:devil:
 

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Heck, I think the things that we take for granted now and are consumables will be the most valued trade items. Things like toilet paper, salt, spices, soap, etc.

Certainly ammunition will be valuable, but is it really something you would want to trade to someone with intentions unknown?
 

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Rich Z said:
Heck, I think the things that we take for granted now and are consumables will be the most valued trade items. Things like toilet paper, salt, spices, soap, etc.

Certainly ammunition will be valuable, but is it really something you would want to trade to someone with intentions unknown?

My thoughts exactly. Our retreat area is VERY rural; literally miles down a gravel road, which is off an unpainted 1-1/2 lane blacktop road, which then eventually leads to the two-lane "highway". (Gotta love Arkansas.)

The land is over 1,100 acres of family-owned land. Cattle, horses, and chickens, four houses, half a dozen wells, two underground root cellars, barns, gardens, tilled fields, several ponds and creeks, and even one small waterfall. Granny finally gave in a couple years ago and "traded up" her woodstove for a propane gas stove; her only heat in her house.

While it's very true (IMO) that the vast majority of modern Americans can't live without modern conveniences, there are still some who can. Maybe not in NYC or LA, but that's their problem, not mine.

I'd rather avoid outside contact if at all possible, but that's not allowed in this scenario. That said, our approach would be barter. Jerked meat, canned vegetables & fruit, even grains & fresh meat, would be welcome with trading-minded individuals (including individual soldiers), if not the govt itself. I know there were times in the service that I'd literally have given a week's pay for a good steak; I suspect it's pretty close to universal among soldiers in the field or standing post.

I'd consider trading ammo, but not my first choice. Not likely that big brother (or individual soldiers) would be much of a buying market for ammo anyway.

I'm reminded of a lot of "Y2K" reading I did, about what became important in harsh times, particularly WW2 Europe. Things that make sense, like castor oil, cooking oil, dry grains, boots, socks, livestock that was either small and/or provided a repeated food source (chickens for eggs, cows and goats for milk, etc), and so on. But there were also things that make no rational sense, yet were valuable beyond their logical use. Perfume, nylons, chocolate, cigarettes, hard candy, sugar, etc. Things with zero (and sometimes negative) value to the survival of the organism, yet would command just outrageous prices; just because they let the user feel like they were "scraping off" the war for a while.

Even today, money isn't valuable in itself; there's no inherent value in colored slips of paper with pictures of famous dead people on them. It's valuable because of what people accept it as being valuable. Again, I suspect that's pretty much universal, especially once you get past the basic "food & shelter" level of survival. What will have value? Whatever people want and don't have.
 

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I agree with Rich and Hard Ball, if you have a secure location, consumables could end up being worth their weight in gold. People are creatures of habit, someone deprived of their "Maxwell House" and they might agree to some lop sided trading if his habit is bad enough. Above all flexibility will do you in good stead. Trading ammunition, for me is NOT a consideration.
 

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I'd store green coffee beans and tobacco seeds.

Opium poppy seeds, and some high quality marijuana seeds might also be an option. The US FedGov keeps a grain elevator in Colorado full of opium poppy seeds for use in a prolonged national emergency.

Green coffee stores indefinitely so long as it's kept cool and dry. Be careful of where you store it as it can absorb oders from it's surroundings.

Aside from the cash crop benefits and the hemp fiber, deer love pot fields and you'll have plenty of meat (provided that you can keep focused long enough to aim the rifle).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Beer here, get your ice cold beer here..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just got every thing I needed, from cooking oil to ammo, from gasoline to a red hot babe........
 

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Glenn Bartley said:
.... a red hot babe........
Only one..... and you consider yourself prepared?
 

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A long time ago I read a science fiction novel, Lucifer's Hammer, I believe, that had a line it in that has always stuck in my mind. From what I remember of the circumstances, two guys were sitting up on a mountainside watching TEOLAWKI take place as a comet impacts the earth. One of the guys turns to the other, with an interesting piece of insight, and says "Can you really believe that you will never taste a banana again?"
 
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