Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bargain-Hunting in the Post-Apocalyptic

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the following are becoming "hot" items -- any non-electric tools, not broken, worn out, badly pitted with rust, or of no practical use. Mainly things to do with home building, repair, renovation, and also gardening. The older the tools, the better -- the metal was apparently better in the old days, and I'd be inclined to avoid anything chrome-plated (as most of the modern tools are) -- these seem to rust very quickly. In any case, go on Google now to find simple methods of removing rust (e.g., with salt and vinegar). All these things are going for pennies now, but not for much longer.

Hammers (old ones with wooden handles) seem to vanish quickly. But I picked up a lovely drawknife recently (probably about $60 when it was new), and some hatchets and pliers. The big prize was a practically unused bit brace, with a couple of dozen bits to go with it -- a set like that would sell for perhaps $200 new, but even then you might have quite a hunt just to find one.

I suspect knives would be greatly prized, especially hunting knives. I paid $8 for an excellent new sheath, which now holds an ancient Bowie knife I've owned for years. In fact I bought two of those sheaths – such things wear out much faster than the knives.

Quite likely there are other objects that are getting grabbed for similar reasons, though I've only got started (via kijiji, flea markets, etc.). Certainly books are in that category – at the moment I can hardly convince anyone that old books on farming and vegetable growing will be worth a zillion times more than the one dollar that they're now going for, but there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Internet crashes and people want to know which end of a bean goes into the ground first.

Other tools and books -- for hunting, for fishing, for trapping? For medicine? For edible wild plants? For making clothing? Containers of any sort, from buckets to backpacks. Any non-electric kitchen appliances. And so on. But avoid plastic – in general, when it breaks it can't be repaired.

Slightly more upscale in technology – compasses, wind-up clocks, slide rules.

Nearly forgot – stock up on clothing, but especially boots.

Oh, well, the list goes on.

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