What will go first in a SHTF scenario?
I totally agree with all of you about the importance of storing food, water, medical supplies, knives, weapons, and ammo. What I see as a discrepancy is that some are forgetting about the ‘looting masses”. The idea of “trade” or barter resembling near what everyone thinks will happen, wont exist for a long time. The looters will not have a lack of guns, ammo, knives, or food for at least 3 to 6 months and when that runs out, they will be stealing from every store that sells guns and ammo. Granted, the food will probably run out first because they are either too lazy or they aren’t smart enough to plant gardens or can their food if they do. The ones who weren’t prepared will be looting or killing for food and water.
Medicine will run out after the pharmacies are looted dry. Drugs will be a hot commodity. Beer and liquor will last only as long as the looters allow. Paper money will be good for starting a fire. Rather than being in short supply, I believe that clothing will last a very long time just because the “looters” will be going from home to home and taking what they want and there are so many clothing stores. If they run out of bullets, they might try to trade for it. Silver and gold might hold some value but we have to remember that any place that sells or trades precious metals will be on their list to knock off. Wedding rings, diamonds, ear rings, gold teeth, or necklaces will be stolen from the less fortunate.
Gas will only last for a very limited time, even with the proper additives and stored properly. Diesel will last longer and there are many homes that have “fuel oil” heat that can be used in diesel vehicles. I’m not sure what the life expectancy of propane is. That will run out also.
Everything will run out eventually
Do I sound like the “grim reaper”? Sorry. Just trying to keep it real. If you’re going to prepare, Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Preparing like you are going on a camping trip and being caught in a real major TEOTWAWKI catastrophe is going to leave you a statistic. You won’t be any better off than those who didn’t prepare. In my opinion trying to survive alone is the worst case scenario and is not an option. The “looters” won’t come around knocking at your door and asking if you can help them and they won’t be alone.
If you want my opinion, get as much ammo as possible and learn to reload. Start growing your own food, collect water from natural sources and learn skills now that can help you protect your home or bug out location. You also need to get as many like-minded people with skills to join you. The only people to consider are those that you can trust and know will have your back no matter what.
It’s always a good idea to have the 5 basic weapons. There is another posting on here for that. Having the ammo and the skills to use those firearms are just as important as having them in the first place. I would like to add 1 more, the air rifle. To be exact, you should consider an Adult Air Rifle. Don’t discount its possibilities. It can save your life in more than one way.
Having extra seeds to plant your garden (or trade) is or can be a life saver. Buying the right seeds are just as important. Heirloom seeds are seeds that are taken from mature vegetables. They will grow the same plants and give you the same vegetables year after year. You can also use those same seeds to trade or plant new stock.
Fishing and hunting skills are necessary by someone in your group and could prove not only to save you, your family, and group, but to barter with if you have a “good day” and can’t preserve it. You don’t need expensive fishing poles and reels. You don’t need a lot of lures. You will need hooks, sinkers, and bobbers. Remember, you’re not trying to win a fishing tournament; you’re trying to supply food. Small fish taste just as good as or better than big ones. Nets, fish traps, trout lines, hand lines and a stick with a string, hook, and worm will catch you a meal.
Rain catchment barrels are a must. They can give you many gallons of water even in a small rain fall. The water still needs to be purified but a simple boil can make it ready for drinking. I would strongly suggest getting food grade barrels and converting them to your gutters. There are many YouTube videos on how to do this. Very easy and very cheap.
The final piece of equipment I would strongly recommend is an M-67 Immersion heater. They can heat your water for showers, heating food, and cleaning dishes and they are not expensive. (under $200) You will need a metal trash can (35 gallon or larger) and PLEASE, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. It runs off of gas, diesel, kerosene, or any flammable liquid.