WELCOME ALL SUBSCRIBERS to Volume 9 of The Dying Time Newsletter.
Asking you for a favor.
Sales of my books have dropped off dramatically in the past two months--ever since a two star review became the "most useful" review and therefore became the first review anyone reading them sees on Amazon.
The favor I'd like to ask is that you visit my book's webpage on Amazon and cast your vote for the second review (the one under the two star review) to make it the "most helpful." Just vote "yes" it was helpful for that review please. Maybe even leave a comment if you feel like it. Getting a good five star review up there should really help.
The name Book 3 contest is still plugging along. Remember, the winner gets a character named after them in Book 3. You can choose if you want your character to be a good guy or bad guy.
I am also open to suggestion regarding plot development and in particular the best and most just way to get rid of Joseph Scarlatti.
Feel free to email me direct or use the contact link on my website.
New subscribers who have missed previous editions of my Newsletter can find the past volumes on my website www.RaymondDeanWhite.com by clicking the Newsletter link.
After The Dying Time (Book Two in The Dying Time Trilogy) is now available.
The Dying Time: Impact is still available for only $1.99 and thanks to many of you it's getting some great five star reviews.
I am still finding CreateSpace table of contents templates rather user unfriendly if you have a book with 50 chapters, but I am determined to persevere.
I. Will. Get. This. Done.
And now for more of that Prepper content I've been delivering to you. This is an excerpt from a non-fiction book I'm working on titled:
BUGGING IN: WHAT TO DO WHEN TSHTF and YOU LIVE IN SUBURBIA by Raymond Dean White
Skills and Bartering
All trade began with need. I need something and you have it. You need something and I have it. We swap, both needs are satisfied. Peace is preserved.
Then we progressed to “I want something and you have it” and things got more complicated because sometimes you, you selfish jerk, didn’t want to part with what I wanted. The nerve.
Thank God we are now civilized enough we don’t kill each other over such misunderstandings, or at least not very often. But in a SHTF situation one never knows, do one.
Trust is the first casualty when civil strife hits. Trades will likely be conducted either at “neutral” locations or between well-armed parties. I’m not saying this to scare anyone but rather to point out that in the event of a misunderstanding things post-SHTF can go from friendly to tense to bullets rather quickly.
There will, of course, be those who come to trade, secretly thinking if they can’t come to acceptable terms with you they can always take your stuff by force--thus the well-armed groups concept. Contrary to popular belief, lots of guns in a relatively small space can keep things polite and safe.
Bartering is itself a skill that takes practice but there are a few basics everyone who engages in barter should know.
What Do You Have To Trade?
First of all, you need to think long and carefully about the items and skills you have to barter.
Are you a good carpenter? Plumber? Electrician? Gardener? Hunter? Nurse? Midwife? Doctor? Veterinarian? Mechanic? Herbalist? Gunsmith? Beekeeper? Welder?
Can you reload ammunition in a variety of calibers? Cast bullets? Manufacture gunpowder?
Are you good at canning or dehydrating food? Can you sew?
Are you physically fit for hard labor? Can you put in a well? Make soap or candles?
Do you have military combat experience?
Do you know how to butcher livestock or game?
Can you teach others needed skills (archery, how to set snares, how to make homemade insecticides, or homemade moccasins, first aid and CPR…)
Are you a musician or a good storyteller? Can you make jewelry? Suture a wound and keep it from getting infected while it heals?
Can you cut hair? Grind grain into flour? Vacuum seal products others bring you? Spin wool into cloth?
Are you a HAM radio operator who might be able to communicate with the outside for news of what’s happening or with a customer’s relatives?
Do you have reliable transportation so you can move heavy items from point A to B for them?
Do you live on a lake or river and have a boat you can use to ferry people across?
Think carefully about what you have to offer.
Are your chickens laying excess eggs? Have extra meat rabbits? Do you have extra fish from your aquaponics system? Have a functioning well with good, potable water? Can you filter bad water to make it potable? (This last could be a service you could offer).
Is your garden producing more vegetables than you can use or preserve?
Do you have an excess of non-GMO heirloom seeds? Soap? Toothpaste? Vitamins?
Do you have more firewood than you need? Extra gasoline, oil, butane, kerosene or propane?
What about personal items like sunglasses, skin lotions, tampons, toilet paper and the like?
Can your solar, wind or mini-hydro electrical system be used to recharge other people’s deep cycle batteries as well as your own?
Can you recharge other people's rechargeable AA, AAA, etc batteries?
And speaking of batteries, do you have batteries you can spare? Buckets? Light bulbs? Ammunition? (Yeah, I know, this last one isn’t very likely). Chain? Nuts and Bolts? Nails and Screws? Wire? Rope? Bleach? Clothing that no longer fits you?
How about medical supplies? Bandages, suture thread and needles, antibiotics and other medications (even aspirin), blood clotting agents, scalpels, hemostats and other medical materials just might give you purchasing power in a world after TSHTF. Besides, you cannot have too many bandages, neosporin and the tape to apply them with.
This next item is an absolute necessity for long-term survival and yet it’s so cheap and plentiful most folks don’t give it a thought, much less lay in a plentiful supply. It may not happen all at once but eventually salt is going to become a highly valued trade item. So, being a forward looking type you laid in a few hundred pounds of salt before TSHTF and so you have extra salt or you know where salt can be mined or evaporated?
Do you have actual physical books, especially how to’s? People may not have much time to read when they are scratching for a living but books that can teach them how to do something they need to know will be invaluable. In fact, they'll probably be so valuable you won't swap them merely lend them for a set period of time in exchange for something you need.
I’m just scratching the surface here. Think long and hard about any goods you have before you trade them away.
What Do You Need?
Next you need to carefully consider what you need in exchange for what your have.
Maybe you need chicken wire because you’re expanding your coop or need to fence out rabbits from a garden.
Maybe you are short on rifle primers for reloading, or lead for casting bullets.
Maybe your wife is pregnant and you need a midwife or doctor. Or she’s given birth but for some reason can’t nurse so you desperately need a milk goat.
Or maybe you are out of peanut butter or honey, or your axe handle broke and you need a replacement.
It could be you need help digging a root cellar or a well.
Only you will know what your need so discuss this with others of your group.
Before you decide to swap your services or goods for another persons you need to decide how much you can afford to give for what you want and how much you need to get for what they are offering.
When I was a kid my family loved pecans. One of our neighbors had pecan trees. When they came in season my parents worked out a deal with the neighbor. We’d gather the pecans (our labor) and keep half of them, giving the neighbor, who wasn’t up to doing the gathering the other half. Then we’d spread blankets and sheets our around the tree and my brother and I would climb up into the branches where we’d jostle and bounce on them to knock the pecans down. It was a fun time for the whole family.
This was known as going halves and it applied to most fruits and produce swapped for labor back then. But that was when you could go to a store and buy stuff you needed.
After TSHTF the only stores, if you’re lucky, will be farmer’s markets. Labor will be cheaper and goods much more expensive so using the example above the people gathering pecans would probably only be entitled to one quarter of them and the owner of the tree would get three quarters.
Another way to arrive at an idea of how much you want or need is to try to put a dollar value on the deal.
Say I used to sell my fresh eggs for $3 per dozen provided the customer agreed to bring back the egg carton so I could reused it.
Now suppose that customer just came into a supply of venison and they value it at $9 per pound. Suppose further that you love venison and you’ve known the customer long enough to know they knew how to process fresh killed meat so it wouldn’t spoil or taste gamy.
Three dozen of your eggs for one pound of their venison would be a trade it’s likely both of you would be satisfied with.
Barter With Who?
You always want to know the folks you’re trading with, the longer the better. This is a very important consideration, especially in an apocalyptic scenario. I’m not saying don’t trade with strangers, just be extremely wary if you do.
The best plan will be to form bartering networks with others in your community. Such networks have always sprung up when disaster struck. In Argentina, where poor central planning and corruption have led to one major and then a series of ongoing economic collapses in the past seventeen years, bartering networks are how people survive.
That brings me to another point. Silver and gold. I sneer at those who say because you can’t eat them they won’t be worth anything if TSHTF. Again, one look at Argentina tells us differently. There, when people were shooting each other over food, gold and silver rose to a prominence they have retained to this day. The barter networks in that country are more than willing to trade virtually anything for items made from gold and silver. They are the only reliable currency in that nation.
Bartering networks are the way to go if you want reliable trading partners.
Oh, and while we’re at it you must be very clear about exactly what it is you are trading and for what. Otherwise…
“What do you mean you’re done? The job isn’t finished.”
“You gave me that hoe in exchange for three hours work and I’ve worked three hours.”
Get the point? Good communication is essential or those bullets I mentioned earlier could start to fly--and that isn’t the preferred method for swapping them unless you like holes in your hide.
That’s it for this month. Next month--Transportation. And Please, remember to vote up that five star review.
I AM NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OF THESE BUSINESSES IN ANY CAPACITY OTHER THAN THAT OF CUSTOMER. I OFFER THESE RECOMMENDATIONS BASED EITHER ON MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRODUCTS OR MY HAVING RESEARCHED THEM EXHAUSTIVELY. USE MY RECOMMENDATIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK.