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Tobacco & alcohol as barter items...

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by stratbastard, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    I think tobacco will be a very high value trade item in many discussed scenarios. And just like those who store cases of liquor (even though they don't really drink) I store tobacco too. In my research, I found that all of the semi-wholesale to-the-public online outlets had been shut off from interstate transfer, so had to drop that bulk buying idea. After soliciting several tobacco shops, I discovered that their actual margin on tobacco was so very small that no real bulk purchase could be arranged (they make their $ on sales of other items, the 'bacco gets 'em in the store). In the end, I just went with purchasing those little drums of American Spirit, Top, etc.... I seal each one up in a 1 gallon mylar bag. I have opened a few from 2009, and they are good as new. The rollers and papers can be had cheaply in bulk... papers of course likely valuable in the future for more than one smoked product.
    I go to the neighborhood liquor store and just buy what's on sale... and no worries about booze going bad over time LOL.
     
  2. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I agree to a certain degree but if I were thinking 'barter' issues I would probably concentrate on alcohol. More people drink than smoke (my observation) and tobacco will eventually go bad - even under good conditions. Vets - remember the dried out Marlboro's overseas? Regardless I think alcohol would trump tobacco as a barter item by a wide margin.
     
  3. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    There were times when people would kill for a smoke...
     
  4. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Another good reason not to have tobacco around......
     
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  5. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    Eventually go bad? Certainly. But again, it can be stored to last for many years, as long as many of the food items people commonly store. The dried out smokes seen overseas don't speak to the issue really... they were simply smaller versions of a common pack of cigarettes. And packs of cigarettes ARE going to dry out in short order. Vacuum packed tobacco, as I have discussed, has so far lasted good as new since JAN 2009 in my stash, 5 years and still counting. Probably you're right, that there are more people who drink than smoke. However, every person who takes a drink is not an addict... just about every person who smokes IS. This brings the barter value up to a high level. Tobacco was used to back actual currency in the colonies, when our forefathers were creating their own value-backed currencies to utilize... similar to the gold or silver backed notes we utilized later. We could argue endlessly over which would be the better barter item... however, I think the fact that BOTH will have high value is empirical. I'm choosing to have both.
     
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  6. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    There were even MORE times when people would kill for FOOD... should we not have THAT around for the same reason?
     
  7. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Tobacco will definitely be good barter material.
     
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  8. sailorfej

    sailorfej Scappoose Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Coffee guys, more people drink and are addicted to coffee (whether they realize it or not) than who drink alcohol or smoke combined. And for some reason coffee seems very hard to produce locally. Not mention even the snobbiest coffee drinker will settle for 50 year old, corroded tin stored, army (or worse navy) ration coffee, if its all they can get.

    EDIT: Sorry I missed the coffee thread right below this one.
     
  9. BlindedByScience

    BlindedByScience Vancouver WA Well-Known Member

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    I've got a nice temperature and humidity controlled humidor with maybe 2-3000 nicely aged cigars in it.

    If we're in SHTF times, the price goes way, way, way up. I have the other basics stored, the luxury items suddenly command seriously premium prices. Out of my cold, dead hands......
     
  10. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Alcohol can be made easily. Tobacco and coffee will be hard to come by.
     
  11. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    No argument with that... I'm a coffee slut myself, and will take what I can get rather than go without. I keep lots of it stored long-term.
     
  12. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I think over time that tobacco will dry out and go stale, even when sealed.

    Beyond that, I don't smoke (anymore) and neither does anyone that I care about, so the tobacco would be of no personal use beyond barter.

    Alcohol on the other hand has a number of uses, even though I don't drink (don't and can't due to medical problems). It is low on my list of stuff to get though, so I don't really have any drinkable alcohol in the house, only isopropyl alcohol.

    I will get the highest concentration grain alcohol in bulk, and have that on hand. Maybe 5 to 10 gallons.
     
  13. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have stored bulk tobacco, cartons of cigs and chewing tobacco even though I am a non-user. Booze is a great item to stockpile.....

    heck, maybe you guys in Washington should start stocking up on weed for all the potheads?
     
  14. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Stratbastard, interesting to hear that cigarettes were still good after 5 years. In the 70's, we would buy "sea stores" cigs before deployment. The cartons were sealed in plastic but don't remember how well they were sealed. I remember finding a carton that I had stashed before a previous deployment. It was 2 years old and the cigs tasted terrible. Sounds like good vacuum sealing makes a difference.
     
  15. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Not necessary. They will most likely be 'culled out' quickly in a SHTF scenario.
     
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  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Tobacco is either/should be absolutely sealed or kept in a monitored humidor.. after freezing it for a week or so to kill bugs. I keep.. I don't know.. 500 various and high quality cigars that someone gave me.. I'll smoke one occasionally, of course.
     
  17. stratbastard

    stratbastard eugene oregon Active Member

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    Yep, not just still good, but indistinguishable from a new one compared to it. It cannot dry out in a vacuum seal. Again, I did seal those little drums in mylar bags too, which performs in ways that the cellophane wrap on cigarette packs do not. No air, no light, no moisture. I imagine lots of folks will be growing and smoking wacky tobaccy, so I have laid in a large supply of papers to trade also. Not my thing, but it seems to be for lots of people so it seems a really cheap thing to lay aside for barter. .
     
  18. moncon

    moncon willamette valley oregon Member

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    A pipe will work with either variety of tobacco, so papers not so much needed. If you can get seeds to stay viable for a long time in storage, vacuum pack or mylar that wood be good.

    A humidor without electricity is just a storage cabinet. A generator would work okay for a while but I'd conserve for something more needy.

    Food, alcohol (both for drink and wound), coffee then seed for tobacco and tobacco. That's how I barter priority, ammo would be the last on the list. Just my 2cents
     
  19. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    This is a great idea, especially storing alcohol.

    Just realize that some booze does go bad over time...try to ensure you only store unopened, glass bottles in a cool, dry, dark area. Some alcohol has multiple uses from ignition, disinfection to even creating tinctures. My wife, for example, makes vanilla extract out of rum and vanilla beans.

    45 Survival Uses for Alcohol

    Vodka and Everclear should probably be the top thing to store, in my opinion, due to the multiple uses outside of just getting intoxicated and since they can be stored indefinitely.
     
  20. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    I found a pack in my shop that had been there for at least 15 or more years that I forgot about, and other than being a little dry, they were fine.