Letter Re: Barter, Post-TEOTWAWKI: The Micro Store

I read your blog daily.  Thank you for all the great info.  After reading the article on a little store for bartering I wanted to add some items for consideration.  Flip style lighters (Zippo style) are excellent items.  I have recently bought four at thrift stores and flea markets.  I bought the smaller size and full sized lighters.  I stocked up on lighter fluid.  The cheapest fluid I found was at Wal-Mart and I bought lots of flints too. At Wal-Mart the flints were 40 cents for five.  At a local flea market I found flints at 20 cents for nine.  I bought all of them.  While searching on the Amazon web site for pistol holsters/protectors I came across Zippo lighters that ranged from $8 to $45.  Quite pricey.  The lighters I bought at the flea markets were all less than $3.  But, I read that if you have old Zippo brand lighters (just Zippos) that you can send them to the Zippo factory and they will refurbish the lighters to “new” condition for free.  They will not refurbish the outside, or case, just the innards.  That works for me as I don’t really care what the lighter looks like as long as it performs. Extra wicks for your lighters should be a great barter item also.  As for the fluid, I have Ronson and Zippo fluid. 

I use both in my fluid style hand warmers.  They seem to warm up better than the charcoal style hand warmers and don’t have such a strong odor. I believe Paper book matches and any size of wooden stick matches will be great barter items.  I have Thousands of each.  I have a good number of glass containers with calcium hypochlorite in each that will disinfect 1,000 gallons of water each.  You must know how to use this disinfectant and how to safely store it. 

I do not smoke or consume alcohol but I will have tobacco and alcohol for barter and medicinal purposes.  I already have the little 1oz. and 2 oz. containers to divvy up the alcohol out of large containers.  Buying the little individual serving bottles of alcohol is cost prohibitive for me.  Finally, I have bulk purchased feminine napkins and disposable latex gloves.   All styles, All sizes, All brands.  The napkins are also great for 1st aid use as they are super absorbent.  I keep them in all my first aid and doctoring kits.  That’s enough for now.  Thank you and keep filling us up with info.  Peace, – Shadowfaxhound

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