Prepping 101: Guns & Guitars NOT Gold & Silver

This is a perfect example of buying what you know to store cash. B.B. King just passed away this week, and his signature guitar is worth significantly more than it was a month ago. By investing in what you know, you will escape both the paper assets trap and the gold and silver trap. Collapse or no collapse, investing in what you know is probably the safest bet.

This is a perfect example of buying what you know to store cash. B.B. King just passed away this week, and his signature on a guitar is worth significantly more than it was a month ago. By investing in what you know, you will escape both the paper assets trap and the gold and silver trap. Collapse or no collapse, investing in what you know is probably the safest bet.

These occasional “Prepping Theory” columns can be hard to write, but I feel that unless we periodically talk about why we do this and what the priorities are, it is hard to maintain any kind of enthusiasm. We are after all preparing for the end of life as we know it, and it’s hard to not feel like you are nuts sometimes, or all the time. This topic, investing, is perhaps the hardest thing to talk about, because I know that so many of the tens of thousands of the readers of this column (25,000 last month) are not preparing sufficiently for what I now know is a coming collapse. Many people are sitting on retirement savings and investments, hoping to weather whatever the storm is coming, and though they could put some of those assets into actual preparation, they think that a gun and a savings account will guarantee them survival. It won’t, but that isn’t the point of this article.

For now I’d like to talk about where to put investments, because the truther/prepper community is so inundated with gold bugs, mostly who sell gold. I don’t think that gold and silver are going to be your best investments, because we don’t know when the crash will actually occur, and those metals are heavily manipulated in their prices. My point of this article (so you don’t have to read all the way down if you don’t want), is that if you are going to invest, invest in what you know. The purpose of investments is to store money and hope it appreciates for the future. Invest in things of tangible value that you know well and that you can find good deals on. Gold and silver are great long term investments, but don’t think that you are smarter than the people who are setting us all up in this huge mess. You’re not, and I’m not. If gold and silver were windfalls waiting to happen, soon, do you think they would really let us buy any?

One thing you will have to accept, regardless, is that your paper investments aren’t going to weather the storm, period. I don’t care how safe you think your paper assets are, they aren’t even really paper. All of your wealth, be it stocks, bonds, savings accounts and other paper asset classes, are nothing more than the numbers on the screen proving that you own them, and the people who control those computers can take them away. Maybe I’m totally wrong, which I hope more than anything. But I’ve been digging now for years, and I believe we are getting very close to the final bell. That bell is going to ring, and when it does, be it by war, (engineered) disaster, or some kind of black swan event that none of us could possibly foresee, those screens are going dark. I wish there was a caveat that I could add about owning paper assets, but I can’t. Warren Buffet recently bought railroad stock. I guess he figures that no matter what, people will have to ship stuff around for any kind of commerce.

Talk about scarcity.... The price-tag on this Les Paul at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville reads $175,000.

Talk about scarcity…. The price-tag on this Les Paul at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville reads $175,000.

For him that might work because he bought the stock and he’ll get his paper stock certificates. For us that isn’t going to happen. If you remember back to Hurricane Sandy, when Manhattan was flooded, one of the things that the water got into was the DTCC, where all of the paper certificates for the ownership of all paper assets are stored. Then there was a fire. Now, if you had care of the paper records for the ownership of most of the nation’s assets, wouldn’t you silicone the door to the vault? Wouldn’t you have a pretty good sprinkler system too? Nuf said there. Research it yourself.

Then there is gold and silver. These two metals are in some ways the same and in some ways very different. Gold is the darling of the preppers, mostly because it stores a good deal of money in a very small space, and because gold has always been the currency of last resort throughout the ages. Think about it. If you found a 500 year old chest buried in your backyard, would you be hoping that it was full of 500 year old paper currency? No, you’d hope it was full of gold, because even if paper currency had survived 500 years, it would be worth no more than collector value. The “full faith and credit” of the country that printed that currency died when their reign died. Whereas 500 year old gold is still gold. It would most likely buy an equivalent ***value*** today of what it could buy back then. Gold has always backed the credit of paper money, and it backed the credit of our paper until Richard Nixon detached it from the dollar in 1971. Historically, that always happens. A currency starts off with gold backing, then as the government needs more money than it has gold, they dilute the gold then eventually abandon the security altogether, usually for fighting wars. Sound familiar?

Silver, on the other hand, has always been a “monetary metal,” meaning that it is used for currency itself, and it was also a monetary metal in the United States until 1964. These days most of the physical demand for silver is in electronics, solar panels, and other industrial uses, so when you think about the price of silver, you have to figure all of that into your calculations, both up and down. Unless suddenly silver is brought back into monetary use, the demand for silver is largely a factor of the world economy, which is currently headed into the bottom of the toilet.

This is a chart from this past Thursday when I am publishing the article. Since the price has been above $1,200, the same 10am squash down has been hitting the price of gold. Who knows where it will end up before the collapse and after the collapse. As George Carlin said, "it's a big club, and you ain't in it!"

This is a chart from this past Thursday when I am publishing the article. Since the price has been above $1,200, the same 10am squash down has been hitting the price of gold. Who knows where it will end up before the collapse and after the collapse. As George Carlin said, “it’s a big club, and you ain’t in it!”

The reason I would suggest caution with investment in both metals is that the prices are heavily manipulated. The gold bugs are all up in arms over the last couple weeks because gold broke is moving average and is now back up over $1,200 per ounce, but big deal. I have watched the daily ticker on gold and silver for about two years now and I can for sure say that those prices don’t reflect anything real. If they did, silver would go up and down as industrial contracts created demand. But silver usually tracks gold pretty close. And as for gold, watch it yourself for a couple weeks. Whenever there is a spike, due to world events or bad economic news, at 10am the trading computers kick in and push the price back down with what they call “naked shorts.” With Greece imploding, the Euro in trouble, wars all over the world escalating, and Russia and the US rattling nuclear sabers, gold should be skyrocketing, but at 10am EDT almost every day, the price gets hammered down.

Next day, the same thing happens. Maybe the computers broke in allowing gold to spike up over $1,200.

Next day, the same thing happens. Maybe the computers broke in allowing gold to spike up over $1,200.

So if gold is being artificially suppressed, it must be a great buy right? Well currently you can buy gold and silver at those paper prices with very little extra added by the dealers over the spot price. I’ve seen auctions on Ebay end at below spot. But I don’t think there is any guarantee that gold and silver are going to be the safe haven that many people think. A lot of people are dumping the gold and silver because they listened to the gold bugs a couple years ago, and the prices haven’t risen. Those gold bugs make a lot of noise about the price of the metals being below mining costs, but if you can buy the actual metal at that price and have it delivered to your door, that is the value of the price of that metal, today, manipulated or not. Thinking that it is a windfall waiting to happen is no different than any other gamble.

If they have been suppressing the price of gold and silver this long, who is to say that those prices won’t be manipulated after the crash? Who is to say that the gold and silver won’t be confiscated? FDR confiscated gold in 1933 for what was a much smaller financial crisis than what is coming now. Do you remember the first couple of years after 911? Do you remember how we agreed to everything that the government suggested, wars, Patriot Act, Homeland Security, TSA? There are still tens of millions of Americans who believe that 911 was done by Arab terrorists, even though the official story is impossible when you consider the laws of physics. You may even be one of the people who fell for the misinformation about 911 and other government hoaxes, and who think that Fox News is the Conservative Patriot channel. Would you believe Sean Hannity if he told you that you are not a patriot if you don’t sell the government your gold and silver? How many people do you know who would? Most of them.

What happens when the bankers lose the ability to control price? My guess is that when this happens, the dollar will be losing value quicker than you can keep up with how many dollars you would trade for your ounce of gold, and trading any dollars would be foolhardy. That means you would have to transact with the gold itself. Will you swap a gold coin for a 50 pound sack of beans when that happens? Even a 1/10th of an ounce bar for a sack of beans would be three times the current price, but that may be your best bet, I don’t know. What if the cabal has a rabbit under a hat and they are able to stretch this out for another generation? What if you put your retirement savings into gold, only to have the price suppressed into the $300 range where only the jewelry trade is interested in buying it? You’re screwed.

What is the “value” of a sack of beans when you are starving? Will someone be willing to even swap you this for that? Silver is even more of a gamble. Even the US mint silver coins look like play money. I don’t see a huge benefit in stacking gold gambling on a windfall, when most likely nobody would swap you food for gold anyway.

There is also an enormous amount of subversion and misinformation when it comes to gold, worldwide. The gold bugs (who mostly sell gold) these days are preaching that we are at “peak gold.” That means that we are now buying more gold than the world is producing, and the world can’t produce more. This is a complete fallacy, because those same people know absolutely that right here in the US the government has kept huge gold deposits hidden from the public, and there are clear records of enormous caches of gold throughout history that today are unaccounted for. If you go to the Grand Canyon there is a no access zone that is a gold mine, just sitting there that nobody has every dug up. Hundreds of tons of gold were stockpiled by world powers for millennia at this point, and none of that gold factors into the “peak gold” fallacy being preached today. The gold bugs can argue that China, Russia and many other countries have been collecting gold for many years, and they have, but everyone knows that, and our friendly local banker cabal I’m sure has factored that into play. Remember that it was China that took all the 911 rubble and “recycled” it, making sure that it would never be examined by the truthers who everyone knew would eventually figure out that 911 was impossible. China is totally in on whatever the cabal is planning. And Russia has been in the pocket of the Rothchilds since WWI time. All of the bankers are setting themselves up to win, and us to lose. There is nothing we can do.

So what do you do? That’s the problem right? I’m sure many of my readers have retirement savings in the 6 and even 7 figure range, so even if you took all of my advice in this column to heart and put in the time and money, there would still be plenty of money left in the bank. You can’t store more than maybe $10,000 worth of freeze dried and bucket food in a reasonable space, and even if you went all the way and bought solar, wind, a well system, and a bugout location, you still have to store the rest of your savings in the something that will retain value after all this is over. It could be that the next phase of humanity is a Mad Max economy of complete scarcity, but for those of us alive today, this probably wouldn’t be true. As even the mainstream TV show from Jesse Ventura proved, the cabal aren’t building FEMA camps and bunkers in the Ozarks for nothing. They expect a rough patch, but there is a plan for a world after the collapse, and what that would look like I have no idea.

What I do have an idea about is that ***things*** will still be in demand, and that is the point that I am meandering to here. I think that if there is commerce after a collapse, gold and silver will still be manipulated. But regular old things people want will not. A sewing machine will still be worth a sewing machine worth of food. A musical instrument will still be worth a musical instrument in laundry soap and toilet paper. If there is such a thing as trading value, those things are going to hold their value better than anything, and in the event of no collapse, many of those things will increase in value regardless, just because of inflation.

But to take one step back first, let’s go over the scenarios of what could happen. There is a huge divide in the prepper world between people who think that the global financial collapse will cause inflation, meaning that the paper currencies will be worth less in buying physical goods than the are now (or they end up being worthless). Then there are those who say that when the derivatives and banks eventually collapse, money will disappear worldwide, so money, “cash” in either physical or electronic form, will be scarcer. Therefore money will be worth more, which is called “deflation.” I can’t say I have an opinion that isn’t just regurgitation of either side, which you can find elsewhere, but I will make a couple interesting points about ***things***.

If the paper currencies of the world “hyperinflate” and become worth little or nothing (which historically has been the fate of every unbacked paper currency), things will be valued in whatever monetary system takes its place. I think that the nations of the world are in a private war to control which currency will do that, and if you don’t believe me just go watch a few Youtube videos on the Federal Reserve or other financial collapse topic. You’ll see an add from Jim (Shill) Rickards, whose book I lambasted here months ago. He is some kind of paid salesman for what is called the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) that is yet another unbacked currency created by the International Monetary Fund. Jim isn’t alone though. China has indeed been stockpiling gold, and there have been reports out of Shanghai that billboards are popping up advertising a new gold backed currency. Again, who knows, but it doesn’t matter. In hyperinflation, the ***things*** will be valued in the new currency, and it will carry the same comparative value. A loaf of bread may be worth a box of ammo if food is scarce and violence is rare. But what will it be in gold? Or silver? I’d rather have a box of ammo.

Now let’s look at deflation. If dollars are worth more (highly unlikely for more than the first few weeks), wouldn’t it be stupid to buy ***things*** now because they will be worth less as cash gets so scarce? Yea, for a time the things are going to be worth nothing as the world struggles to survive, but to you, so will gold and silver. If you prepared sufficiently for those difficult days and you did indeed survive it, other people will have survived it too, and as trade re-establishes itself, they are going to want ***things*** again. The companies that make those things will long be out of business, and the ***things*** will also get scarcer, which will make them more valuable against the things you want.

The banker elite already get it. A Picasso recently sold for 179 million dollars, because it was a safer place to store that much money than stocks, bonds, or unbacked paper currency in the mattress. The ultra rich all know what is coming, and they are storing their wealth in things that they can carry, and that they know will have equivalent ***value*** after the system burns down. Greece may be the lynchpin that lets the whole system go, and that problem has now been pushed off another month, but the Greeks are taking all of their money out of the banks and putting it into ***things***. It is an electronic bank run as people quietly buy expensive cars with what were thought to be “safe” paper asset savings accounts not too long ago. Greece is next to Cypress, and in Cypress, back in 2013, the banks took up to 48% of depositor bank accounts due to a debt crisis.

I know it took a while to meander over to my actual point, but I’m not done. The reason I called this column Guns & Guitars is because those are two things that I know a lot about, and both are things that do not depreciate over time if they are taken care of properly. If, as I desperately hope and pray, we just keep going for decades and centuries to come without any collapse, I can pretty much guarantee that guns and guitars that I buy today will at the very least track inflation. Our financial system requires growth and inflation to operate. That is how a Ponzi scheme works, and if we can keep printing fake money for another few centuries and get away with it, great, I’m in. But if you know that fact about the entire western banking system, it should be a lesson in what you can buy that will store your money, and maybe make you money, not in pure numbers of currency values, but in actual ***value*** swap.

What do you know about (besides guns)? Cars? Model trains? Art? Because knowing about it is the key. The economy is in the toilet right now and cash is king. Buy stuff right, and it is the best financial insurance you can acquire, far more safe than gold and silver, because the bankers couldn’t care less about manipulating the price of a Gibson Guitar or a Juki sewing machine, or for that matter a Ruger Blackhawk. If you are going to gamble and “take your money out of the bank,” gamble on something you know.

I, for instance, would never gamble on art, because I know nothing about art. Cars to me depreciate too much, even if you don’t use them, and they don’t become collectable until they are really old, plus they take up a ton of space. Collectibles require someone who cares to collect them, and that goes for a lot of antiques too. If I knew a lot about antiques, they might be a gamble, because I would know what is more likely to have demand down the road. I would hope that antiques would be much like art and eventually become a good investment, but I don’t know anything about antiques. Likewise collectible coins. There is a huge sales force out there that is trying to sell old coins at premium prices, claiming that rare coins will not be subject to confiscation that way that bullion coins will be, but I question all of that. Someone has to care, and coins may have a great track record, but I don’t see the world elite gravitating to them the way they do to art and high end real estate.

Guns I think we all agree will always be worth utility value as long as you can get ammo or you also store the ammo. Ammo itself is a good investment, and don’t believe the stories that ammo has an expiration date. If you keep it dry and out of serious humidity, ammo lasts forever. What do you think is going to be worth more in a post collapse scenario, 5 Mosin Nagants and 2,000 rounds of ammo or an ounce of gold? That is about equivalent value in today’s prices. Er… sorry if you just spit your morning coffee all over your computer.

Musical instruments I also think will retain much if not all of their utility value, and possibly some of their “art” type value. There are Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Stratocasters from the 50s and 60s that are worth $20,000 and (much much) more these days. What tells me that collectible guitar values will survive the collapse is that there have been record prices paid for extremely collectible guitars over the last decade. George Harrison’s Telecaster from the Let it Be album went for almost half a million in 2003 at auction (his wife bought it aw). Guitar Center also purchased Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster, as well as his vintage Gibson “ES-335,” and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” Stratocaster for over $2.4 million from the Clapton Crossroads Centre charity auction at Christie’s New York in 2004. Old collectible guitars are just like guns in that at some price-point, I’d say north of $10,000, they require a provenance, or paper trail, in order to worth more than utility or general collector value.

I would also argue that, being a guitar nut myself, you can extrapolate that rule into some current and recent production guitars that come with a built in provenance. These would be the custom shop guitars and artist signature models. The Special Reserve page on Musicians Friend (a Guitar Center entity) will show you some of the guitars I’m talking about, generally in the $1,000 – $10,000 range. If we don’t collapse, I’m pretty sure that they will keep suppressing the prices of gold and silver, but even an obscure Warren Dimartini (Ratt) import Charvel will be worth a comparative value 20 years from now that it is today. Gibsons and Fenders will be even more of a sure bet, and all of those guitars, will garner a decent amount of the new currency and comparable value once society gets back to a semblance of normal life. Tens of millions of Americans either play guitar or wish they did. Post collapse there will be plenty of time to practice instruments with no screens to look at. I do think that there will be electricity, which is why Warren Buffet is investing in railroads. Electric plants make power locally, using fuel from far away. That will be the center of commerce.

Violins also seem to remain collectible, but those values seem to be more about craftsmanship and sound than a name brand. The same goes for brass, woodwind, and brasswind instruments. In general if those instruments are higher quality, they carry a higher utility value. Once the collapse puts instrument companies out of business, instruments will be at a premium. Pianos are not easily moveable, and drums take up too much space and don’t travel well, but hey, buy what you know. You have to invest in what you know, and get great deals with the cash you have in hand and don’t need to live off of.

One final warning I will make is about real estate. There are only two things that have limits in the world. Time and land, but land doesn’t get scarcer like does time. If there are fewer people, there will be less demand for housing, and certainly business real estate will be useless. The supply of homes at present is enough for everyone in the US. Farm land is at a premium right now, but I question if all real estate is in a comparative value bubble right now. I guess we’ll see. The elite are bidding up prime real estate the same way they are bidding up Picassos, but as I’ll note below, I think real estate is a crap shoot.

This is a long one, but I only wrote this article because there are soooooo many gold bugs in the prepper world preaching gold, and I feel that it is for the most part misguided for shlubs like us. I don’t think that any of the gold bugs know anything more than I do about how the inherent value that is in gold and silver will price out in dollars or value in the future. And don’t believe for a second that the sheep would question a new gold an silver roundup for “national security” so we can fight another banker war for the control of poppy fields. Gold and silver might be the only true investments that will survive this coming absolute melee of humanity, but if that happens, people like us won’t be concerned with wealth. If it doesn’t all burn down, any investment is a risk, but paper, and leaving your money in a bank is riskiest of all at this point. I say invest in what you know. I have gotten some killer deals on guitars of late, and guns are also struggling along with the rest of retail. There are great deals on guns right here on GunsAmerica, and ammo is comparatively cheap right now in the best investment calibers.

An exhaustive analysis of the topic this is not, though I have kind of gone on and on (and haven’t stopped yet lol). The gold bugs are salesmen. All the stuff they say sure sounds good, but when you boil it all down, I think there is more uncertainty in the future prices of gold and silver than in anything else, and they are extremely dangerous investments in the span of our lifetimes. In 500 years the guitars and guns and sewing machines will be irrelevant, and gold will still be gold. Ultimately, I do believe that our successes and failures in life are governed by our Creator, but He/She/It seems to have a very difficult sense of humor when it comes to human suffering. All we can do is what we can do, and ultimately the only path forward is forward, to an end we can’t control. In the here and now, where we are trying to guess what happens, this very long point is that we should not be listening to one idea and grabbing it as the only possible outcome. Anything could happen. Your best guess is just as good as any other. This whole thing is dangerous. It’s a big club, and we ain’t in it.

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  • Robert Gonzalez October 3, 2016, 12:40 pm

    I think you lost me on the 9/11 tin hat weblink. And in a collapse, who’s gonna give a crap about guitars? People want to eat, people need shelter, warmth, and protection. Anything related to these essential human needs is going to be king. Ammo to me is the most compact, easy to store “currency” there is. Guns is next. I can trade that for anything I need because in a collapse, people without guns will just be victims. Placing value on anything else, including guitars, assumes that life will sort of be normal and people value art, guitars, etc. I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I also believe that land will also be valuable because our food production infrastructure may collapse as well, leading to the possibility that people with land that can grow food and raise animals will have the upper hand.

  • Smoke Hill Farm March 19, 2016, 7:02 pm

    I tend to agree with you on almost all points, though the “end game” I am preparing for is more like the zombie apocalypse than a takeover by a tyrannical government after the economy collapses — though I suspect there may be some elements of that popping up, too, in certain areas.

    I am therefore a bit skeptical that high-end guitars are something to stash for better times … that may or may not come. There is also an age factor in this; I am 70 yrs old and figure that I won’t live long enough to see a societal “recovery” to the point that there will be public auctions of Regency furniture or celebrity-owned guitars. I am therefore more concerned about stashing cheaper items that will be in high demand in the months & years beyond SHTF. A simple one-dollar Bic lighter (unlimited shelf life & at least 2000 “lights”) will have huge value to the 98% of people who did no real preparation for bad times Most of these people will probably not survive long, but those that do will absolutely need a reliable source of fire. Same with the old military P38 and P51 can openers; scrounging cans from vacant houses and ransacked stores doesn’t do you much good without a means of opening them. I hope not to need to do much trading, if I prepare properly, but spending a hundred bucks on 50 or 60 extra Bics and large fistfuls of G.I. can openers just MIGHT give me a real edge in swapping with someone who actually does have something I want — or just giving it to them if the mood strikes me. And even though I have a very large selection of guns, knives & ammo, I stashed a few dozen cheap paring knives from the Dollar Store (with little plastic sheaths) for the same reason. Having extras, even of minimal quality, could also come in handy if you add to your own group as time goes on.

    I realize that you are approaching this from the standpoint of “in what do you hold your accumulated cash value to protect it” — and you’re right that it’s probably smart to keep it in items you understand well. Not having much in the way of liquid assets to protect, I naturally lean more toward the short-term solutions. However, it seems to me (and I am also a huge fan of vintage guitars) that times will have to be a LOT better before many people are going to be interested in, or able to afford, a guitar once owned & played by Eric Clapton. It’s not the value of the guitar I question, but the existence of the market itself within, say, a 10 to 15-year period after SHTF. Some of these decisions, obviously, have to be made based on each individual’s assessment of how bad things will get, or how soon they will “recover.” We each roll our own dice.

    • mblack October 3, 2016, 12:50 pm

      Exactly on point. I do collect Gibson and Fender guitars but for enjoyment. Better money spent will be in 22lr. lighters, hand sanitizer, candles, magnesium firestarters, even fire pistons and medicine. Most can be obtained at the local dollar store. (Except 22lr/pistons.) The cleanliness we take for granted won’t be around much after things go south.

  • nick February 1, 2016, 10:50 am

    GOOD insight!! As for Warren Buffet, he knows every good Nazi that has to move LOADS of “People” around will be “sending them on their way” by TRAIN a la the Last Train to Auschwitz! Here is a good rule of thumb to go by as you accumulate for the future;
    If you CAN’T Eat it, Drink it, Shoot it, Smoke it, or catch a Buzz from it, it’s going to be WORTHLESS! Period! You’ll realize this FACT the first time you try to trade Gold or Silver for Food. You will give up your entire holdings to feed your family for a day IF you can find someone interested in doing the trade.

  • rt66paul January 8, 2016, 12:24 pm

    After our basic needs are taken care of, the trade items(luxury goods) will be those that give a temporary calmness. Nicotine delivery systems were very popular in war torn europe and are still popular though out most of the world. Black market item #1. Alcohol in any drinkable system will be a great trade item, as will pain killing drugs, both over the counter, prescription and illegal.
    Those of us that have depended on “modern medicine” all our lives and use antibiotics often, know have important these can be. More people died of infection than anything else in wartime, as a matter of fact, antibiotics have worked very well to overpopulate the planet. If you stock them, be sure that you know how to use them.
    All of these items are relatively cheap, having a store of these would not be a bad idea, even if you do not imbibe, because someone will want them and will be willing to trade work or food or fuel to get them.

    • Smoke Hill Farm March 19, 2016, 7:21 pm

      Getting ahold of prescription drugs, esp. painkillers and antibiotics, is not easy, and I’d tend to keep them for my own group’s needs than trade them off (depending on the trade, of course). I managed to stash a lot of pain meds over a number of years, figuring that doing without now might assure my survival down the road if really serious injuries occur. My only advice there is to stash whatever you can.

      Antibiotics can be had if you do some online research into tropical fish supplies or livestock meds from. You may have to do some math to figure out dosages for humans, and which antibiotics are good for which infections … but it’s well worth the effort. Some OTC preparations are good, too, like the Triple Antibiotic Ointment, and you should read up on Dakins Solution (bleach & water) for many surface wounds/infections/fungi. Needless to say, a huge supply of first-aid items like Band-aids, alcohol, 2×2’s, 4×4’s, gauze, compression wraps, etc. won’t go to waste, and if used properly might reduce your need for systemic antibiotics.

      The NATO Handbook on emergency surgery is available everywhere online, and can get an amateur thru some simple surgical procedures. Not anything we look forward to, but it’s better to TRY than to watch someone in your family die slowly.

  • rt66paul January 8, 2016, 11:53 am

    All these are great for the 10% that have something to trade in the coming times. I think that most people will be working towards heating thier hovels and filling thier bellies, as well as basic clothing. We have to look no farther than 1934(the depths of the depression) to find what will be valuable. If electric service is sporadic, a DC supply will be great. A way to keep food from spoiling(which is the reason for all the foods with long shelf life. The military long ago demanded this, and it became cheaper than allowing it to potencially go bad. In “interesting times”, the main problem was food spoilage and the pestilence it creates). A place to lay your head(much of the population was transient, and they were hurried on thier way by the local brownshirts and owners of those properties).
    If the grid does go down, or has hits from time to time, we may have to think like our grandparents. Fuel oil could be king, kerosene and diesel can be safely stored and used for light and more important, heat. Assuming a 50% death rate in our country, how long do you think our forests will last if everyone burned wood for heat? We could look to the Amish way of life(with guns to protect our borrowed lifestyle). We can also look to the way people actually lived behind the iron curtain(they did what they could even with repressive goverment). We have infrastructure that the third world doesn’t, so we will be better off. Having a warm, defendable place to live, where there is safe water, enough garden to grow some of your food and a little land to keep a couple of pigmy goats and/or a pig and a flock of poultry will go a long way for your family. As little as 1 acre to live on could be a big help for a couple.
    The basics are what we need for survival. Collecting the popular trinkets, cars, high value music, coins, baseball cards, is all very nice, but you can not eat them or protect yourself with them. Thier value goes way down in a depression. Yes, they may get popular again, but only the best of the best will be sure to hold value. Coins were great in the 70s, but after 1982, the dates that they average guy could afford dropped in value and never really came back.

  • tweedmus January 8, 2016, 7:24 am

    I have been collecting guitars (and other instruments) and firearms since the ’60s and spent 20 years as a professional musician and another 10 operating a music store. Guitar prices have pretty much tanked since ’08, so I am sitting on what I have. Firearms are doing much better and have been steadily increasing over that time.
    I did this as a retirement strategy, also a few stocks and some real estate, as my feeling was that I was better off investing in something I had some expertise in.
    One thing that has not been mentioned here is what I call “weenie value”. This is what is over and above what it would cost to produce the same thing today using the same quality materials and skill. and what you can convince some weenie to pay for it. If you want a demonstration, watch “Antiques Roadshow” a couple of times.
    In an apocalyptic situation, I’d rather have a gun when push comes to shove, but a guitar will give you a way to occupy your time when you’re not busy subsisting.

  • Bruce July 14, 2015, 12:57 pm

    My safe is full of guitars and guns. I have collected old guitars since the 1960’s, guns about the same period of time.
    We’ve seen a significant increase in the value of certain guitars. Others, not as much. It’s a field where condition is everything, and the models that are the most liquid have become incredibly expensive. If one were starting out today it might not be easy to
    put together a group of guitars that will perform well over time. The quick sellers will always be the Les Paul’s from the late 50’s, the early Strats and Telecasters, the Martins from the 1930’s and some of the rare Gibson guitars and mandolins. If you want to start collecting them, you may be too late. To spend over 100K for one right now is not in the budget for most. And to guess which will be rising in value in a significant way will be difficult to predict, if not impossible. Yes, there are almost always going to be rich collectors who will want your valuable old guitar. But they are becoming so picky as they fill their collections that what you buy will have to be excellent, expensive and rare. The ship may have sailed on old guitars. I’m not selling mine, though I know that a phone call would produce a significant amount of funds. Guns are much more reasonable though few represent the opportunity for value escalation. They are more tools than guitars though also very enjoyable to use as a recreational diversion. And they offer some protection, or at least a sense that you have protection which is almost just as important.
    The best investments are things you can enjoy, if they do not perform as you had planned you still got to enjoy them. There will always be the argument of precious metals as investments. I’m certainly not qualified to discuss that. But I’ll never regret the old guitars I bought when they were still reasonable and they will some day pay for something I have to do or have but till then I enjoy them every day. A balanced approach to your future needs makes the most sense to me, I’ve tried to remember that, sometimes I’ve done better than others but there are no guarantees. Thanks for the article and thoughts. It’s up to each of us to plan for what we see as the possible issues that face us. Not to plan is to fail, no doubt.

    • Administrator July 14, 2015, 1:08 pm

      I think the biggest opportunity is in the high end import guitars because of the worldwide credit markets. When the ponzi scheme eventually falls, we will be in the same situation that Greece is in right now, unable to import anything because the banks are insolvent. Greece can’t print their own money like we can, so our collapse should be more manageable, but if the confidence game all of a sudden loses its requisite faith, it could also mean that we fall harder. It is easy to say that none of this will matter, but then gold coins won’t matter for those of us in serfdom either. They soldiers or roving bands of criminals will just take them when we try to spend them. They will be less likely to take a guitar in a case under the bed that is saved until things right themselves, which ultimately they always do one way or the other.

  • m June 5, 2015, 12:05 pm

    there is 5000 year, worldwide market for gold and silver. assuming we don’t go mad max for 100 years, there is going to be a need for gold and silver in solar, electronics, and countless other applications. they are compact, portable, liquid (esp since they are a commodity, all the same) and ABOVE ALL they are not spoilable. You can bury gold and silver naked and they still retain 100% of their industrial/monetary value. Should you put everything in gold and silver? Absolutely not. But it is foolish to dismiss them entirely. High end art may have some value in the next paradigm because other super rich people will want those things, but the market for guitars is middle class essentially, and the middle class could very well be wiped out….something to think about. To me the right path is a mix of some gold and silver, land, some real estate although it’s a gamble depending on future population/housing/co-living patterns etc, and local businesses that people actually NEED before during and after a collapse. Be it a car repair shop, medical clinic, or anything else. Staples of real life, not high flying paper stocks. But do not dismiss silver like it has no place, 10% is a good rule of thumb most people recommend.

  • Dan May 29, 2015, 2:29 pm

    Loving guitars and using them for investing are two different things. A few well maintained guns will serve you better. The luxuries will be gone. I agree gold and silver will be useless or close. You cant eat either one and I think you would be hard pressed to find another prepper willing to sell you ammo, food, clean water, guns, etc. for gold/silver.

    Find a place to hole up with the supplies you need. (many listed in previous posts) No trading needed. If you attempt too much trade, word may get around that you have things to trade worth taking from you.

    Stock up, learn several valuable skills, and find like minded friends close by. Take care.

  • Loren Wright May 28, 2015, 1:57 am

    I’m 61 have played guitar professionally since eight grade (on & off). People may ask $100,000 for a guitar, but people seldom pay that for them. Some signature guitars have sold at charity auctions like the ones Eric Clapton holds to finance his rehab facility, but we are talking bucks up benefactors here, not your typical – usually broke – musician. As with anything though, you make money when you buy something, not when you sell it. If you can get a good brand guitar in good condition at a steal of a price it should be an OK investment, but the numismatic (collectable) value is mostly pie in the sky just like with coins. When things get tough, numismatic value is the first increment of value to go. Guns and ammo should retain their value well if you can hide them from the government when they come to take them from you. Having food and water supplies is also a no brainer. But the threat of government confiscation is present no matter what investment you have. A bit of farm land is also a good idea, again especially if you can buy it cheaper than the current market price. Hand tools – always good, cosmetics, if you can buy out a drug store inventory when they liquidate, ladies will always need cosmetics. Just buy low and keep things in good condition. You can read Fer Fal’s book (Google it) on how this has already gone down in Argentina, and my book, The Wright Book to Garage and Estate Sales (on Amazon Kindle) to learn how to efficiently buy stuff cheap. But whether its coins, guitars, guns, stocks, rail roads, etc. buy only what you fully understand, so you know what you are doing going in. Educate yourself so you know more about the item than the person selling it to you. You will probably do OK.

    • Administrator May 28, 2015, 8:56 am

      Sig series and custom shop guitars sell every day on Ebay for thousands and even tens of thousands. Regular old lp standards from the 70s are over 10k right now. There is this thing called the internet… It’s pretty good for actual research before you give people advice. Reading the article wouldn’t have hurt either.

  • Mason Hamilton May 27, 2015, 10:03 am

    Perhaps you the author should address the type of collapse his advice is addressing – financial collapse, catastrophic collapse, slow, sudden, etc. – or just a bad day at the office. Or, he should accept the general survival adage to prepare for the worst case which is a total collapse – an interruption of fuel and food supply chains. In which case his priorities are not realistic.

    Guns and ammunition compared to art in a complete collapse survival situation, especially in the initial months and year(s) thereafter will always have functional priority and consequently a better store of trade value over any form of art – no matter what you know about it. I think the author is confusing present value with post collapse value and priorities. Unfortunately, preparation priorities for a total collapse is mutually exclusive from preparing for a collapse that doesn’t happen. Art value as a trade good comes when civilization/sustainability resources return – as do the stability necessary for trade markets where art can be practically and safely traded and where survival is less in question. However, given the expected loss of population from starvation in a complete collapse there could be far more art than people once populations reach resource sustainable levels. For example you might note that in the “collapse” of Baghdad, most of most prized art was left behind and unprotected, just as it was major European cities during WWII. When people literally have to run for their lives, they generally aren’t thinking art – or strumming on their old guitar.

    In the initial stages of a complete collapse defined by fuel and food supply chain disruption, your electric guitars will have less value than the equivalent fire wood. Acoustic guitars slightly more, but likely won’t survive the necessities of being mobile and the priorities that pack loading dictates – unless you are in an impregnable, isolated and long term sustainable fortress – none of which I have yet to see. Second to guns and ammunition caches, after stored food and as part of food production resources, I would suggest your next priority would be a variety hand tools and fastener caches in the area you might reasonably expect to occupy once conditions return where food production can be accomplished successfully and a permanent base established.

    The number of people who no longer “fix” things today and or have the necessary hand tools to do so – is likely to make hand tools scarce in post collapse conditions. Once sustainable population levels are reached, in most cases power tools will be or become useless rather quickly. Battery life being about two years – assuming you have the ability to resources to charge them to start with. Large AC power tools of course will be dependent on the return of electrical generation resources and that may take longer than most are able to wait.

    • Administrator May 27, 2015, 10:25 am

      Whenever someone talks about needing things to be mobile, you can safely guess that they have never prepared for anything, nor have they thought the matter clearly through. Unless you are in a place with no resources at all, bugging out is the worst thing. Build your supplies now. Make sure you have tons of water, not in milk jugs which leach plastic into the water. When everyone suddenly wakes up and blood runs in the streets, hunker down and wait for them to kill each other. The world that emerges will be mostly people who will be willing to work together to rebuild our world. Ten years down the road, if you have sewing machines and musical instruments that you put away as swap material, there is much less of a chance that they will be manipulated by the powers that be in what they are worth. That is point that so many people don’t seem to understand.

      • Smoke Hill Farm March 19, 2016, 7:46 pm

        I often wonder, based on the constant discussion of Bug Out Bags, etc., just how many of us are really going to leave where we live (and, presumably, have stashed some survival supplies & tools). I understand that some urban locations may be dangerous and it might be tempting to leave, but surely I’m not the only one with a small property (3.5 acres) that has little choice but to hunker down and defend (thanks to advancing age and numerous medical limitations).

        And even in urban locations, would it not generally be smarter to hunker down in place with a supply of water, food & means of cooking, until the bulk of the crazies have killed each other off and things have quieted down a bit? I have a friend who lives in a San Francisco apartment, and that’s the best advice I could give her — invest in massive door locks and the usual survival supplies, and hunker down quietly until things settle down a bit. She has a (legal) .357 Ruger and has been slowly amassing ammo, too, so she can bug out with some safety if it becomes necessary. However, considering how much weight one person can carry (pistol, ammo, food, water, etc), what’s her next plan? No good answers there, unfortunately, so for her hunkering down is about the only option.

  • rick May 26, 2015, 6:37 pm

    One thing.. Invest in yourself.. Teach yourself too garden. Teach yourself too cook. How few know how. Teach yourself canning. Teach yourself how to heat with wood or coal if naturally available near you.. and learn how to safely cut firewood or collect coal… Teach yourself how to catch a fish and feed yourself for a lifetime. Teach yourself too owe no man anything. No credit. No Mortgage. No car payment. No Credit Cards. Teach yourself how to use and care for black powder firearms and how to make powder or pour lead or similar from readily available or natural source.. Learn to reload. Practice gun control.. One shot one kill. Learn to build a fire with damp wood and no matches or lighter… Learn to not freeze to death in the wild.. or starve.. or get lost.. or how to hide in plain sight. Just a few of many teach yourselves… There are many more. You have time.

    • Administrator May 26, 2015, 7:56 pm

      You have a natural source of lead? The meathead comments are never from the guys who read my last week article on canning and went out and bought a canner and tried it. It is always from the armchair failures, who will alas, also fail to survive.

      • rick May 26, 2015, 8:56 pm

        @ Meathead ADMINISTRATOR: Lead is found in stream beds I have personally prospected.. If you want to go that route. Instead of scrounging.. but go ahead meathead. Also just a side note. I do not wait with baited breath for every one of your postings. I work for a living.. You are welcome to remove me from your mailing list. As most of your blog is manure anyway and not the good garden rich cow manure. I double dog dare you too post this reply! Bawk! Mama said if you have nothing nice to say. Say nothing at all.. So I shall refrain.

        • Administrator May 26, 2015, 9:23 pm

          Cow manure actually isn’t great in the garden compared to other animals, so maybe you should lmao. Can you send us a video of you prospecting enough lead in the stream bottom to kill dinner?

          • rick May 26, 2015, 9:33 pm

            However much I can appreciate a good intellectual joust.. I’ll have to pass… and yes.

          • Jake May 27, 2015, 9:21 am

            Not to barge in on this but…. We pull many pounds of lead from nearby rivers in the summer when the water gets low. This lead is not natural but is left from salmon/steelhead fisherman. It is in fact an excellent source for lead. I 100% agree with knowing how to pour lead ammo and I’m currently learning. Another excellent source and abundant too: wheel weights. They are a lead mix and are sometimes harder than needed but they are everywhere and can be melted down and cast. Not just bullets but fishing weights too. Just an FYI.

            I have a source for clean lead ingots and I’m debating stacking some. Also considering copper too…thoughts?

          • Administrator May 27, 2015, 10:21 am

            “Many pounds” may seem like a lot of lead, but depending on your caliber, it only makes about 35-45 handgun bullets per pound. There are 7,000 grains per pound, so a 200 grain .45acp bullet would be 35. A great source of free or cheap lead is a local shooting range. They have to hire companies to come in and take the lead to meet OSHA standards. If you are a customer they may let you sneak back there and grab a couple buckets. Then you just put it in your melter and the jackets float to the top. You could then swap the jacket material for more lead at a metal recycler. These days you have to be careful with wheel weights because some have zinc, and that can mess up your molds and the fumes are really deadly.

            Um, we have a three part series on bullet casting here, once y’all figure out which manure is best for the garden.

            Oh, and I would totally grab those lead ingots. Base metals are at long time lows and you can grab them cheap.

      • Smoke Hill Farm March 19, 2016, 8:01 pm

        I saved about a 100 lb of lead sash weights when I was a contractor, rehabbing houses, and wheel weights are another likely source of lead. Are the alloys exactly what’s recommended? Who cares — they work. And after SHTF lead will be found in every ransacked auto repair joint or on a lot of the cars sitting by the side of the road, either out of gas or dead from an EMP spike. I plan on using the lead to supply my Colt R.E. Lee Commemorative black powder pistol, eventually, but it’s a project still sitting on the back of the workbench.

        When SHTF and most houses are abandoned, you will be able to scrounge tons of lead sash weights from old windows, with just a crowbar or hammer. You just have to become familiar with how old (pre-50s) windows were built. Auto wheel weights are, of course, easier to figure out.

  • Chris Quake May 26, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Old quote and I paraphrase- “A person with much to say doesn’t have much to say.” I have owned a 63 ES355 and a 68 Les Paul Custom and they are still worth what I paid for them then- $350. When the SHTF, they are worth firewood since you can’t plug them in. Acoustic guitars are another story. I think this guy is looking an excuse to buy fancy guitars. A $5000 engraved nickle Python will be no better than a $500 SW 586. I think I would rather have 10 SW’s.

    • Administrator May 26, 2015, 6:13 pm

      You see, the problem is storing said 10 SWs. And yes, you will be able to plug them in, because, as the article explained, electricity is very local and plenty of the world will have plenty of electric, hence Warren Buffet buying railroads. Try storing $100,000 worth of $300 guns and guitars. It ain’t a small amount of space.

      • Chris Quake May 26, 2015, 6:42 pm

        No one really knows if there will be electricity. What about EMP? The vintage instrument market has tanked over the last ten years and times haven’t even been that bad. If the government is trying to take over or isis is trying to nuke us, maybe it’s just me but I’m not going to care about owning a BB King guitar. And I didn’t mean literally that I would buy 10 Smiths. I just making a point about firearm values in bad times. Best use of storage is ammo.

        • Administrator May 26, 2015, 7:54 pm

          Maybe read up on the science of EMP, including the very good article in this series. If anyone nukes you it won’t be isis. It’ll be white men in suites. Just don’t forget, if you see a bright flash in the distance, go to the window and stand there trying to figure out what it was ok.

          • Brian January 8, 2016, 8:09 am

            China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea have nuclear weapons. It may be an Asian man in a suit that nukes you.

    • Brian January 8, 2016, 8:01 am

      Right now the least expensive Gibson ES335 model is the Studio, and it retails for over $1500. Even the Epiphone ES335s go for more than $350.
      If you want to get rid of either of those instruments for anywhere near the price you listed let me know.

  • Magic Rooster May 26, 2015, 5:45 pm

    Don’t forget to “hoard up” on ganja seed. There will always be a demand for weed, and what you don’t trade you can smoke before it “goes bad”. LMAO…..

    • Smoke Hill Farm March 19, 2016, 8:08 pm

      Excellent suggestion. Stashing a goodly amount of marijuana seeds, or cultivating a few healthy plants in an inconspicuous place would produce some highly desirable trade goods — certainly more efficient (and cheaper) that trying to stash lots of liquor.

      • Vic October 3, 2016, 3:32 pm

        Don’t forget… Poppy seeds (poppy saverandum). Very easy to grow, perennial and you can milk them several times a year, produce opium, for pain medication, and believe me… You want to own so called gold, opium will be it!!!

  • Will Drider May 26, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Situation: Major SHTF. Only people in a position of Power (buyers and sellers) will be trading. You/your group, must be able to enforce the deal. There will be Zobies (the have nots) and they will have weapons of varying types. These are the people that want what you have. Organized, solo or mobs: they will come and not to trade. You must exist without leaving any sign of your location or make any contact for three to six months minimum, to let the mayhem and dying take place. The longer your invisible, the longer you will survive without conflict. History has shown time and time again that no fortification is impregnable. They are breached from the outside or forced to open from within. Only time and manpower are needed.

  • Graham May 26, 2015, 1:42 pm

    Once you have been thru a natural disaster, you kinda get to know what you may need to do, in my case Hurricanes! The last being Katrina – we resettled in a safer place after that one.
    Whilst your article has some interesting points and observations, here are some things, I feel important, to consider.
    If and I mean IF the worst does happen, you need to be prepared – you don’t want to be “shopping” at the last minute, and it isn’t the obvious things that you will “forget” to have on hand!
    Regards investing I disagree – invest in hand tools, new or old.
    Gold has always been a store of value, for hundreds of years – but it is only useful as a store of value (not currency), it must be in your possession not “stored safely” in someone else’s care!
    Money (vs currency) has to be a store of value as well as a medium of exchange, therefore IMO, Silver IS a good choice for Money – barter won’t always be possible (Ammo for bread or WHY), again it must be in your possession and preferably in recognisable coins (Silver Dimes, Quarters and Half Dollars).
    Stock up on things you use anyway rather than “prepper meals” that go bad and/or thrown out! Things like canned Fruit and Veg, dried beans and rice – don’t forget herbs spices salt sugar and vinegar.
    Your un-prepper “friend” will quickly become your worst enemy – if they know what you have…
    Forget “bugging out” you know where you are, who’s who, where to go etc etc. Besides roads will likely be blocked.
    Have a meeting place pre-arranged in case family gets separated – away from your home – with a signal system “I’m here” “It’s safe” or “not safe”
    If you don’t feel safe staying put where you are – WHY do you live there?!?!
    Just my 2¢

    • Administrator May 26, 2015, 2:23 pm

      We have been covering actual preparations for survival for over a year. Please refer to the back catalog. This article is mean to address people who have at least theoretically done most of this, and who have retirement savings that they are unwilling to spend on more survival food, tools, and water/electric delivery systems. It is a very long but very specific discussion of the choices facing many people in this singular situation.

  • George May 26, 2015, 1:11 pm

    One does not need to know anything about gold or art as investments for hard times. When it comes down to it, if nobody has anything, who is going to buy these items from you? Only the 1%, and they will only give you 1%. Why do you think their wealth jumps so much after every “crisis”? Food, guns, ammo, TP, — practical items are much better thought as of “insurance” rather than “investments”. No matter what, you and your family will eat the food, even if nothing ever goes wrong. And what cold go wrong? It’s not just the economy or overreaching Govt. . There is a very serious drought, diseases, and DNA bastardization going throughout our food supply right now. The Govt. won’t protect your family from those. They are too busy being treasonous for their personal gains to worry about you.

  • Ron May 26, 2015, 12:46 pm

    So, now we’re supposed to be taking prepping and investment advice from a 9/11 truther?
    No thanks, not me…
    I’ll take my chances with someone who has reasonable critical thinking skills, not someone who thinks Jesse Ventura is a genius…
    Better to listen to someone like Jake above.

    • jb76 May 28, 2015, 8:16 am

      So, the the writer can’t have an opinion .??? So the 1st amendment stops outside your narrow paradigm? ?? You sir are the type of people that will be dangerous when everything crashes. If you can’t keep an open mind and roll with other points of view and work with people of different stripes, you will be one dead lone wolf.

    • jb76 May 28, 2015, 8:16 am

      So, the the writer can’t have an opinion .??? So the 1st amendment stops outside your narrow paradigm? ?? You sir are the type of people that will be dangerous when everything crashes. If you can’t keep an open mind and roll with other points of view and work with people of different stripes, you will be one dead lone wolf.

  • Shane May 26, 2015, 11:51 am

    Good article and comments. I’d sum it up with; after family preps fully squared away, if any money left over, then prudently diversifying into some gold and silver and stocking up on more barterable goods makes sense, instead of only and solely holding your remaining wealth in paper investments.

    Thing is, many people are in a financial bind and don’t have enough $ to even fully acquire their family preps first, much less buy gold/silver. What they need to do first is to sell everything they own, or owe on, that is not essential to survival or does not either save them $ on essentials or make them $. And, they have to do it well before a wider financial crisis has everybody also then trying to sell all their non-essentials in a rush then, too, to where nobody is getting a good price for anything then.

    Many also need to ‘bite the bullet’ and smartly downsize. For instance, too many will sell their RV or live-aboard boat to make a few more payments on their mortgage, desperately trying to maintain their status quo hoping things will turn around, and still end up eventually losing their home and be flat broke then and out of options. They’d of been better served to have downsized on their own terms, earlier on walking away from that mortgaged house and keeping all those payments in their pocket, moving into their RV or boat, instead of selling them. This is hard to envision for many, but you’ve got to tell yourself that you’ll be in a better position tomorrow to buy bigger, better, later if you stay ahead of curve, acting proactively instead of re-actively after all your options have eroded away clinging to maintaining your current lifestyle status quo.

    Whenever there are big sweeping changes financially, economically, monetarily and/or disruptions in services, the majority are caught short on the wrong side of the trade and suffer greatly for it, desperately wishing then that they could turn back the clock a few months and done earlier what few others had the foresight to do back then. Selling all non-essentials and downsizing to fund essential prepping will be one of those “wished I’d of’s”.

    – Shane

    • Administrator May 26, 2015, 12:28 pm


      I allow the bonehead comments to some degree because I think it is important for people who really think that if they have a gun they will be able to get what they need after the collapse. None of the boneheads should preface their comments with “if I was ever going to do anything which I’m not.” This series is meant for the few people who are actually planning to survive, and over the course of the last year, I would say that they number in the thousands. The boneheads are the ones who are going to go to the window to see what that pretty light in the distance was, because when I ran your stuff they never bothered to click the links. At least after the blast wave we won’t have to listen to them anymore. 🙂 -ph

      • Shane May 26, 2015, 12:47 pm

        I can only hope that the first nuke shot in anger is overseas and readers here will scramble to find/click/read those links then.
        If it’s here first, the after action reports will reveal then that 90% of the casualties were 100% avoidable, if only people had known and employed what’s at those links.
        – Shane

      • Retired Navy Spook May 26, 2015, 1:28 pm


        I’m engaged in an on-going debate with a friend of mine about where inner-city thugs will go when the SHTF. I say they will attack their neighbors first, then work their way outward through more affluent suburbs and eventually out into the country. My friend (who lives in the city) thinks they will head straight for people like me who live out in the country because they know I am more likely to have a store of food than the yuppies in the burbs. On the flip side, there will be more armed resistance out in rural areas, at least in my rural area. I can see the logic both ways. Your thoughts?

        • Administrator May 26, 2015, 1:42 pm

          I know that within one day of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, the cops were out guarding the banks and we never saw them. Two days after, there was a riot at the end of our street because someone had said that the FEMA truck was coming with water and ice, and it didn’t show. Mind you, two days later, the refrigerators were still cold. By day three the gangs of kids were already roaming the streets, and my neighbor had the chain shot off his generator by a shotgun.

          What most of us fear in rural areas are Mad Max style skinhead gangs, which are largely a product of the movies. Existing militias in rural areas are for the most part freedom loving patriots who intend to not leave their neighborhoods to chance. If you keep your head down and don’t advertise that you have resources, you will join the others who are quietly keeping their heads down, and who will survive it. I don’t see any possibility of that in the cities. In my water article I covered a 250 gallon closet water that fits through an apartment door. If you can barricade yourself into an apartment with food and water for 60 days, you may emerge to an empty city with decomposing bodies littering the streets, but with very few actual threats.

          Ultimately these are all just guesses, but what I saw after Wilma did open my eyes as to what the suburbs of Miami are going to look like when the lights go out. Aventura, right next to my neighborhood, never lost their power. While the mall was open, gangs of kids were roaming the streets looting houses and looking for opportunities. I removed the trees from across the street with my chainsaw. The electric crews didn’t show up for almost a week, and we didn’t have power for over two weeks.

        • Smoke Hill Farm March 19, 2016, 8:35 pm

          My assumption has always been that the inner-city subhumans will, after a week or so of local looting/rape/mayhem, eventually head out (what’s left of them) for the suburbs and then the more rural areas. Unfortunately, we’re at the edge of the rural area, with a small (3.5 acre) farm — but with a well-stocked pond full of bass & bluegill. We won’t be the first ones hit, and I’m hoping that all the armed suburban dwellers will have thinned the herd quite a bit. In this area we have a very high rate of firearms ownership.

          Eventually we hope to make some arrangement with other close-by preppers, but have not thus far. Our tentative plan is to wreak such brutality & havoc on any marauders that others may decide to move on, and we have such a huge supply of ammo that we can afford to spray a lot at any prowling mutts from the city. We assume that a few dead bodies at the end of our driveway might give pause to others with looting in mind, and perhaps leaving the Dobermans & Great Dane running loose in the fenced front yard might also encourage predators to move on to the next farm.

  • tom May 26, 2015, 11:28 am

    The problem with musical instruments and other collectibles is the fact that they really don’t have value in a survival situation other than being sold at a considerable discount for food/fuel/ammo. Guitars make great firewood for the EOTW scenarios. Also, with guns and ammo, do you really want to trade something like that when, after trading it away for something you want, that very item could be used against you?

    In the early 1960’s, you could buy a Mercedes for 5,000 ounces of silver. Today, you can buy a Mercedes for 5,000 ounces of silver, market manipulations notwithstanding.

    Food for thought…

  • Capn Stefano May 26, 2015, 11:27 am

    Here’s my “after the freeze dried food/personal supplies, barter items” short list (although I believe barter will be risky unless you have a very secure “portal” to do so, and covering associates)

    1) Ammo. 5.56/7.62×51/pistols/buckshot

    2) Hard booze. The bargain stuff for the most part, in large bottles

    3) Fresh produce, (Think potatoes/onions/carrots/garlic for stew, squash [especially butternut which stores well] all easy to grow if you are prepared.. don’t count on the freeze dried seeds, be a grower every year for the safe, organic food and experience, and save seeds, taters) + chickens, etc

    4) Medical supplies including iodine and hydrogen peroxide

    5) BDUs, tarps, boots, blankets

    6) Field tools such as axes, push-pull saws, shovels, machetes

    7) Fabric, thread [the huge mil-surp spools], needles

    -The basics of life-

    Revelation 18 tells us the cities are going to burn. Even the banksters will “stand far off for fear of her [Babylon 2, the multicult cesspool] burning”. This will occur after the great economic crash that’s coming, and the Great Chimpout happens. They will hit the monthly red button, no EBT card, no bunch of bananas = Chimpout. All food transport will cease to urban zones/mass starvation/cannibalism/disease. You see it starting already in Fergison, etc

    Be out in the boonies in a fire proof/bulletproof retreat. ICF construction is the best, fastest way. AR500 doors/window coverings. Here location is everything. Do you have a spring? Do you have renewable fuel for heating? Get to it or pay the price..

    • tom May 26, 2015, 12:10 pm

      Two things you might consider adding to that list, .22LR ammo and a group of trusted friends to pool resources with. There is safety in numbers. Of course, booze and chocolates could come in handy for trades or other medicinal applications!

      • Retired Navy Spook May 26, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Tom, excellent point — forming alliances with people of like mind but varying skills will be as important, if not more important than anything else. Communes may actually come back into vogue, LOL.

    • Larry May 26, 2015, 5:26 pm

      I agree with all of your recommendations except, I know an insulated concrete form house cannot protect you from radiation…

      • Administrator May 26, 2015, 6:14 pm

        Roughly 10″ of concrete will attenuate enough radiation to matter.

  • William M Lolli May 26, 2015, 11:10 am

    I am a silver stacker. I believe that when the USD reset occurs “things” will still be needed, traded and valued as the author suggests, but that the reset will simply change the values of those “things” into the new currency — whatever that is. Call it the New Dollar or whatever. The paper manipulation of gold and silver — at some point — will have to resume their multi-millenial values.
    I don’t dispute the author’s position, but I wouldn’t totally abandon silver and gold either. I agree that it is best to invest in what you know. I also use my stack to create my Birther Coin so I can make a political statement while also creating something of value to our Republic.

  • sevenheart May 26, 2015, 10:20 am

    Interesting article for sure. I know this will be a repetition of some comments above and in the article, but points I think are important. You are among the first I’ve read to make some of the points I’ve made on gold and silver for years now. I have cattle, you have gold, we have families that meed food. Keep your gold, I’ll keep my cows. People have told me, “It will be a whole lot easier for me to get on a plane with my gold than for you to get on a plane with your cows.” How true, get on a plane with a pocket knife. If you think you’ll fly to Costa Rica with your gold when TSHF you are deluded. Look at history as recent as WWII, many Jews hoped that diamonds, gold and silver would preserve their lives. And real estate? Castro’s Cuba can provide valuable lessons for you. The only thing gold might be useful for is paying real estate taxes until the govt has all of your gold, don’t forget, land ownership is protected by a piece of paper too.
    Let’s say you want to swap in the barter world. Let’s use current dollar amounts because we can all understand that at this point, I have $100 worth of used clothing, you have one ounce of gold. How are we going to precisely divide $100 off your gold ounce. Without the purity stamp that eventually disappears with such trades , you have a much more difficult time proving the value of your gold, if it is a collectable coin you destroy the value as soon as you cut into it. Would you trade 5 rounds of .308 for my old coats? What if my price was 10 rounds? Why we’ll negotiate based on what value each item has in the “real world.”
    As for guitars, let’s look at recent refuge fights in the Middle East and Africa. It will be hard enough to flee with your arsenal and 10,000 rounds of ammo (about 250 lbs), let alone 2 or three high value guitars. In the 20th century people still had plow horses and carts, when the 1964 Jeep (will be running after an EMP) runs out of gas, you either bivouac in place, turn into a pack mule or abandon your possessions. Just as with gold and silver, who is going to buy it when TSHF? With history as a guide, the mercenary soldiers who are gathering up people for re-education/refugee camps will enjoy a degree of windfall because they will be the only ones with the means to transport bulky and heavy loot.
    One last thought on gold and silver. Anyone who has tried to sell collectable coins or bullion has discovered that no matter what the spot price is, you will be selling at a discount (the only exception is the run up in precious metals a few years ago when everyone was trying to buy). That rare Morgan silver dollar never sells for the “list price.” And if it is a high value item, the universe of buyers is pretty small.
    Bottom line, none of us are prepared for what can happen. Read the book “Defiance” about Polish Jewish refugees during WWII to get a better idea of what things might actually resemble, starving people with nothing but what they could carry on their backs showing up in a refugee community with nothing of value, yet pooling together to survive.
    And as for this truther propaganda on 911. It is obvious that none of you have ever seen what goes into placing demolition charges required to bring down a building. It takes a lot of time, precision placement and a lot of manpower to pull it off in an abandoned building, none of which would have gone unnoticed in the World Trade Centers of NYC. New Yorkers are pretty oblivious, but they are vocal enough to have said something about demolition squads ripping out sheetrock to get to the structural components of the buildings. Please drop this truther BS, even if you truly believe it. There were thousands of witnesses to the airliners flying into the buildings, and I have yet to hear one credible witness say they saw demolition crews placing charges.

  • Tom Grunau May 26, 2015, 9:58 am

    Guns and guitars? I’m hoarding three things: whiskey, cigarettes and chocolate!

  • joe May 26, 2015, 9:29 am

    Well said re: Sean Hannity and patriotism.

    When tyranny comes to the United States it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible.

    • Capn Stefano May 26, 2015, 11:35 am

      True, because they completely misunderstand what the bible says, and therefore support and promote pure evil

  • Jake May 26, 2015, 9:07 am

    I’m not a gold salesman but I will tell you that if I had the choice between gold an a Guitar I would take the gold! Countries aren’t acquiring gold at record rates because it’s worthless. Surely the NWO money that will eventually rule us all will be gold backed. At which time you can take your gold or silver and exchange it (be it legal or not) for the curency of the moment. As for a confiscation, well I imagine that it will be like guns and ammo, if your dumb enough to give them up then you never really stood a chance. I imagine silver will remain the utility metal that it has always been and will be more widely traded then gold. You are right these metals are manipulated and suppressed at the moment which is why you should buy now. In our dollar these metals are cheap compared to other countries. China and India wish they could purchase gold for $1200/oz.

    All that said I hope most realize these investments should be last in line. Food, water, shelter, and the necessities to maintain and utilize them need to come first. Protection (that can be found on GA) is right up there too. Then you can start thinking of investing in gold and silver (or guitars). PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS that’s the best investment you can make. Our creator told us “to owe no man” & “gold and silver are the only honest, true money”.

    Also I would suggest a skill if you don’t have one. While you can invest in yourself, you should! Learn a skill that allows you to produce something tangible. Can you fix your lawn mower when it breaks down? Take some small engine courses. Can you weld up your wood burning cook stove when it burns through? Do you have the things it takes to do it? What I’m saying is, in our “desk job” world, most have lost the skills that a generation ago were so needed. Lots of the “craft skills” that built our country are not known by folks today. In the world to come I think those skills will be imperative and they will be easily bartered for items needed.

    When you feel like you have all of that checked off your list then go buy a guitar.

  • Retired Navy Spook May 26, 2015, 8:48 am

    I do agree that something bad is coming, and everyone will prepare differently — or not at all. Tens of millions of Americans aren’t prepared for anything beyond next weekend. My wife and I are in our 70’s and we’re not particularly interested in surviving long enough to be part of the re-birth of civilization as someone in their 20s or 30’s might be. A year or two? Yeah, we can do that, but we have no interest in living in a “Mad Max” type of world.

    The most surprising thing in your article is that you think there will still be electricity in a post-collapse world. As Alan noted — how is anyone going to pay for electricity? And one of the most likely scenarios leading to a collapse, IMO, will be some sort of attack on our electrical grid, either a cyber attack from which we could recover relatively quickly, or an EMP which might take a year or two to recover from. Studies indicate if it’s the latter, 90% of the U.S. population could be dead before we get back on line.

    • TVPC58 May 27, 2015, 9:48 am

      RE electricity…the paradigm is shifting now with the combination of Tesla’s (Elon Musk) new batteries that can be used with Solarcity’s solar electricity generation. In the near future, it will be easier than ever to go off-the-grid. Problem is that the old power companies will have to raise their rates to cover their losses.

      Just in case though, acoustic instruments may be the most useful. I also would encourage a move back to iron sights/non-electric scopes in a long-term worst case scenario.

  • Robert May 26, 2015, 7:38 am

    Great article, man. Thanks! I, too, happen to be a (professional) guitar nut. I’ve played all my life but have never gotten into collecting. However, you make some great points about the value of material things in general. I like the idea of saving “what you know” as well. Being that I know guitars (and of course guns), makes me think I should start considering at least a few extra instruments. Besides, at the very least, I’ll have an excuse to indulge that penchant. While I’m at it, I think I’ll get some more ammo…. 🙂

  • Mick Dodge May 26, 2015, 6:11 am

    I’m gonna get me a guitar made out of silver and gold that shoots silver bullets like the lone ranger does and I will be ready for everything….except that Saturday morning bath.

  • Alan Butterworth May 26, 2015, 6:08 am

    You’ve gotta Love an article that combines guitars and guns! At the point Americas dollar reaches it’s actual value, which could easily be a negative number, infrastructure like the electrical grid will no longer be viable because nobody will be able to pay for it, ditto for oil and gas and everything that it makes possible. This is why it’s called SHTF. I don’t know how You, or I, will be able to keep Our instruments from self destructing once they’ve lost their air conditioned, climate controlled surroundings and My generator will not run on water which I won’t be able to pump from the well without electricity. As far as Mr. Buffet’s railroad goes, it doesn’t run on electricity but on diesel fuel and He doesn’t just own stock in Burlington Northern, He owns every mile of track, every piece of equipment, every building and yard and every Locomotive and rail car. Not that it matters because He won’t have to deal with the trials and tribulations that Us normal Mortals will be faced with daily. If We look at the History of America We can see some very dark days that could have been the End of Us all but We kept on Keepin On and the Defecation never hit the rotary cooling device! I Truly Believe that when “that” Time comes, survival isn’t going to be an option much less saving My Jazz Bass but Yes, I would if I could! Unfortunately We could easily be reduced to carrying Our possessions on Our Backs… what the heck am I going to do with this arsenal?

  • Naturalist May 26, 2015, 4:38 am

    Guns are a better investment than Guitars. You can’t shoot a rabbit with a guitar. In a total collapse most people will not have use for a Collector Guitar. As far as the Artist owned guitars go I would never pay the price even if I could afford it. Just because it was Eric Claptons Guitar or anyone elses guitar means nothing to me. Fender, Gibson, Martin and all of the other companies sold their guitars because so and so played one. I could care less who played the brand and model and I bought what I liked. It was the same with the S & W .44 Magnum. If Dirty Harry used a .41 Magnum then everyone would have bought .41 Magnums. In fact as you know the .44 Magnum was at one time the most powerful mass produced revolver in the world, but not the most powerful. At the time some company had a .45-70 Revolver which was more powerful then the .44 Magnum but it was not mass produced. Fact: A hot loaded .45 Colt (Long Colt) in a modern handgun is more powerful than a .44 Magnum. When the apocolyspe is here who is going to have the money or food to pay the price for a collector guitar. The only thing you can do with a guitar to protect yourself is to break it and use the neck to disable someone or an animal. Guitars need much more special care than a gun. A gun is still a better choice than a guitar. When the world is in a turmoil the guitar will be useless except for a calming effect if yoou can get away with making noise. Get Real.

  • Will Drider May 24, 2015, 12:50 am

    Good read. I agree on silvers future being industrial value only. Gold to hard to equally trade IF it retains value and dependant on the scope of the upheaval. I don’t see “survival” value in a guitar. Say its a Hendrix @ $20K, who you trading it to to get that much value in a dog eat dog world?
    My bets: guns, ammo, no battery scopes, long fixed blade knives, machetes, rechargable batteries/ chargers, simple machines kitchen and shop, none electric machines, belt driven machines, fine to automotive oils, Seeds (cheep, buy a lot, will have mour value then bullets when things slow down, food and spice), reams of white cotton cloth. Tarps, reams of paper, cases of pencils. Bows/arrows, fishing poles and tackle. Footwear. This may sound funny unless you take shoes of the dead. It will be in high demand and get heavier use then they do now.US mfg capacity now is about zero.

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