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

James,
I thought Barter, Post-TEOTWAWKI: The Micro Store by A.A.A.[posted on December 22, 2011 that was recently awarded First Place in the blog’s writing contest] was a great article. I loved it and I was very appreciative.

I’ve spent a little time thinking of the same thing and have a couple of notes to add:
 
Regarding coffee, it might be a good idea to buy a supply of black tea which is cheaper, still has caffeine-like effect, and can be sold by the packet.
 
On tobacco, instead of cigarette cases, I think it could be more economical to buy cans of pipe tobacco and bags of “roll ’em yourself” cigarette tobacco, which is much cheaper, and buy lots of packets of rolling papers.  While you’re at it, chewing tobacco will also store nicely and surely will sell by the can or the pinch.
 
The ammunition recommendation is good, but add .22 Magnum to that list, and don’t forget some shotgun shells: 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and . 410.  These will all be good for hunting. And I know a lot of folks who have those but don’t have much of an ammo supply.
 
However, don’t forget: snares will be great to have, so a roll or two of strong, flexible wire and string will allow folks to trap squirrels, rats and other small animals.  Rat traps, when combined with peanut butter, make great squirrel traps.   So keep some extra peanut butter stored for the traps. 

Fishing line, hooks and lures will also be great barter items.  Don’t forget that if you can trap food, that food itself becomes an item for barter.  Aluminum foil can be re-used and is helpful for cooking fish, squirrels, rabbits, etc over a fire.
 
Speaking of fire: A stove like the Zoom Versa would allow you to boil water and cook food for people using any kind of fuel. Kelly Kettles also allow water to be boiled quickly with minimal fuel.
 
Tampons/sanitary napkins will be highly valued by any ladies who didn’t store them.
 
Include nails of various sizes, some tarps

I’d also recommend in addition to the Lantern Mantles, having two or three extra lanterns and a supply of kerosene.  I don’t know many folks who actually have lanterns around the house, most use battery powered lanterns, so the inexpensive Wal-Mart kerosene lanterns would be great barter items.  And while you are thinking of lighting: Candles!
 
When the toothpaste and shampoo run out, Boxes baking soda make a great toothpaste, and is a fantastic shampoo when diluted in water.  Rinse hair with vinegar, and it does a washing job that is better than shampoo and conditioner!  Try it.
The disposable lighters is a good idea.  But I think a few lighters that can be refilled with lighter fluid could be awesome–especially if you stock up on some lighter fluid bottles to refill them.  Think: return customers!
 
Now, regarding the rechargeable batteries, and the DVDs: A portable Solar Recharger would allow you to recharge batteries and appliances, and I know no one in my neighborhood who has one.  So you could barter for customers to be able to recharge the batteries for their portable radios, DVD players, and other items.
 
While bike tire repair kits is a great idea, I also think acquiring a few pair of used mountain bike tires would be useful.   

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