The Most Scarce Commodity in the Apocalypse

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Chris.  If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today!


By now most casual preppers and survivalists have become at least moderately aware of the basic essentials of survival.

  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Food

The more hardcore survivalist has gone on to ponder more advanced scenarios and techniques necessary for long-term sustainability. First by building upon the three basics outlined above and making those immediate necessities something that can be readily available at all times. Essentially making your makeshift shelter into a long-term survival situation.

Most of those preppers have contingency plans for just about everything. Plans to pivot from bug-out to survival and finally to homesteading in the event that there is nothing to go home to. Idea’s for repelling hostile invaders and trading goods and services with non/semi-hostiles, cross-country egress routes, underground bunkers. On and on the preparations go.

One thing that I have heard bandied about regularly is exactly what the most valuable commodity would be in a post-apocalyptic scenario.If we are suddenly plunged into a Mad Max meets The Walking Dead, every-man-for-himself world, what exactly would be the most valuable commodity?

Precious Metals? For sure Gold, Silver and Platinum will be of considerable value in the early days of a doomsday situation as people will expect that everything will return to normal soon enough. People looking to take advantage of a temporary situation will likely trade surplus gasoline for gold early on. When society doesn’t rapidly rebound, watch for the value of precious metals to slowly be eclipsed by the following items.

Gasoline? Without mechanics to keep the cars running gas will slowly lose value. Unless we learn to make more, this will eventually run out regardless of what we do.

Ammo? Similar in scope to gasoline, this too will eventually run out unless we have the knowledge to make more.

Read More: Do you have enough ammo?

Water? While water will always be of considerable value as it doesn’t take very long to die of dehydration without it. Those who control the water supply will certainly be in a position of great strength, but there is one commodity that makes all of the aforementioned ones attainable by anyone will the willingness to crack down, while we have the chance.

It is the contention of this article that the one commodity that will be in the shortest supply, and one that people will most likely be short on from day one is…

Knowledge.

Of the hundreds of thousands of books written over the centuries, I would wager to say that most people will not think much about throwing a couple of the most important tomes in their bug-out-bag. In the event of a catastrophic collapse most of the ones we’ve left behind may well be gone by the time we find our way back to where the Libraries once stood.

Sure, we will all know how to make fire, how to shoot, hunt, build a cabin, find water and may even become great traders within our realms of fellow survivors but what do we do when we need a Judge, or a Doctor, or a Sheriff?

Eventually, the rule-of-law will have to be re-established. We can’t just keep shooting intruders, regardless of how reasonable it may look on TV. The reality of our situation will likely be nothing at all like that. People will expect due process, fair trials, juries of their peers, and in fact, the long term existence of mankind will depend of those kinds of civilities being employed.

I fully understand that part of the “attraction” of going off-the-grid is the fact that one will no longer have to answer to bureaucrats, politicians and would-be tyrants. However, in a lawless society, or even a major city under an extended period of martial law, the murderous thugs and wannabe king-pins would rise among us in fairly short order without those bureaucrats and politicians. As stated before, we can’t just keep shooting people!

How many of us could re-build a government or even a simple judicial system that functions fairly and justly, with just the knowledge we already have locked inside our cranium?

I’ll be the first to admit…I’m not there yet!

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way
The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

There is so much to know that we overlook in our current state of comfort.

What is the extent of our knowledge of first aid? We might be able to stitch a wound, but what if we had to amputate a limb, deliver a baby or perform an emergency surgery?

What about Self-Defense? Are we trained in hand-to-hand combat? Can we even run a hundred yards, let alone miles?

How many of us give as much consideration to our actual physical fitness and our ability to perform the tasks that may one day be the difference between life and death as we do to the gear we have in our bag?

Can we even do basic vehicle repairs, with a manual, a full tool-box and three buddies leaning over the hood on a Saturday afternoon, let alone in the bush with a pair of pliers and a hammer?

We might be able to shoot a gun, but can we make a gun? Can we reload our own cartridges?

It is my belief that the preacher, the carpenter, the mechanic, the blacksmith and the country doctor will have just as prominent a role in the new world, that we may one day find ourselves forging afresh, as any Wall Street Trader or Politician does in our current reality.

I have, of late, taken to learning many of these types of things which I formerly had very little knowledge of. I have taught myself to make knives and bladed weapons, primitively if necessary, from scrap metal and lumber. I have begun studying The Constitution, The Federalist Papers and other founding documents and I have resumed my lifelong study of The Bible with zeal, among other things.

Currently, in our safe secure homes, we have the wealth of the knowledge of the ages right at our fingertips via the internet. In fact, we don’t even have to read to learn, we can just watch Youtube! There is literally no reason whatsoever for us to not become as intellectually prepared for as many things as we can, while we can.

Read, study, learn and pack some books if you can. You never know if there will be any to come back to. The long-term survival of your offspring will depend more on what you know than on what you have.

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68 Comments on "The Most Scarce Commodity in the Apocalypse"

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Mike Lashewitz
Guest

Does the book cover making penicillin?

IMHO
Guest

Penicillin and other antibiotics are not necessary. Good common sense and cleanliness work just fine.

Mike Lashewitz
Guest

Still I provided a link to the process. Don’t forget we also have st’oo’pid American sheeple in this country.

Pat Henry
Guest
i would disagree with you on that one IMHO. For normal every day use, yes I think regular soap and common sense (making sure you do use proper hygiene) are sufficient. However, the body can’t fight off everything, all the time. If your immune system is low due to malnutrition or some other illness and you accidentally get a cut that gets infected, you will likely need a little antibiotic help. At least it is something to consider. Many people used to die from simple infections that are easily treated today. I plan on stocking up on some SilvaSorb (silver… Read more »
IMHO
Guest

There goes the brain washing again. People lived for thousands of years before “antibiotics” were invented. And those who died from minor infections from cuts, as you say, did so because they didn’t follow common sense and cleanliness.
By far most illnesses and infections and injuries will heal just fine as we are designed to. The medical industry is the biggest terror organization in the world to the point that people actually believe that they can’t live without their sorceries (aka pharmacia). Just another indicator of the times we are living in. Satan’s final deception is going well.

Chris Mills
Guest

Can’t I just eat moldy cheese?

Mike Lashewitz
Guest

You can but I do not think you really want to.

Chris Mills
Guest

That is something I haven’t considered learning, yet.

Mike Lashewitz
Guest

Something I believe we need to know.

Pat Henry
Guest

Survival medicine? No, but it does go into pretty good detail on the fish antibiotic substitutes and what they are best used for.

Mike Lashewitz
Guest

I use as much natural as possible. Honey, Silver, turmeric,
oil of Oregano and much more.

Chris Mills
Guest

Survival Medicine may be next on my list of purchases.

Chris Mills
Guest

That would be a valuable skill to have!

John Wheeler
Guest

Penicillin itself would be hard, but if you have the basic knowledge and the aseptic technique, it wouldn’t be that difficult to acquire a collection of molds and then test them on sputum samples on gelatin (made from bones) dishes to see which ones inhibit bacterial growth. Safe? Hell no. But if it’s your only option against an otherwise deadly disease….

Chris Mills
Guest

That’s what I’m talking about! What you know how to do is very valuable. Immeasurable in fact!

Huples
Guest

Long term knowing germ theory is more vital than having a recipe make penicillin. For most of humanity’s history germ theory was totally unknown and it took a huge technological leap until we figured out germs in the late 1860s. Clean water, basic hygiene, and health care are late ideas and only available with solid basic science

BobW
Guest

A lot of talk about re-establishing rule of law, due process, and all that jazz. The idea that anyone intelligent would want to recreate the current world in the new world is crazy talk. The entire system is corrupted beyond repair now. I can understand medicine, plumbing, carpentry, etc, but honestly, at no point can I see needing lawyers return.

Bill the eighth
Guest

Exactly, turned me off right away, to the point I could no longer take the author seriously.

Chris Mills
Guest

Then again, there will always be those who insist on “just shooting people” …

Chris Mills
Guest

Lawyers don’t get to come back! But, we may need a Judge or two!

Chris Mills
Guest

I guess I should have said “ambulance chasers” don’t get to come back!

Chris Mills
Guest

The rule of law wasn’t broken in 1776. We’d have a chance to do it just as well and not make the same mistakes.

IMHO
Guest

Yes it was. The rule of law was forsaken in favor of mob rules (aka democracy”

Rhialto the Marvellous
Guest
Rhialto the Marvellous

– Liberalism/socialism illegal.
– Free-market economy only.
– Every person responsible for himself and no one else (as in welfare).
– No prisons. If someone commits an act which is detrimental to another, he’s either executed or exiled (immediately, with no delays or appeals).

Huples
Guest

Sucks if you were framed

Chris Mills
Guest

Exactly. Which is why we have due process.

Rhialto the Marvellous
Guest
Rhialto the Marvellous

Due process? I thought “lawyers don’t get to come back”?
Sounds like someone’s confused.

Chris Mills
Guest

The “all lawyers are shunned” comment was tongue-in-cheek.

Rhialto the Marvellous
Guest
Rhialto the Marvellous
When I saw the title of the article – “The Most Scarce Commodity In The Apocalypse” – I immediately started guessing. I thought it might be something intangible, and I was right. However, if the author had chosen to go with a tangible commodity/product, my guesses would have been – 1 – Toilet Paper 2 – Diapers 3 – Medicines 4 – Refined Fuels 5 – Generators 6 – The Vices – Cigarettes, Good Booze (Not Homebrew) I picked these items because they’re what society as a whole will run out of first, therefore they’ll be very valuable. Commonplace “prepper”… Read more »
Chris Mills
Guest

Diapers not as much, but toilet paper would be sorely missed, and fast!

Chris Mills
Guest

I had never pondered the value of toilet paper…

Huples
Guest
Totally agree with Chris on this one. I’d say basic high school physics, chemistry, biology, and maths texts should be wrapped in plastic and at every retreat. The how to books are crucial but long term we must not spend centuries rediscovering basic science. The next generation after the shtf, Generation Phoenix, needs to be well grounded in basic sciences or else we risk an even more ignorant society than we have at present. I have medicine and technology how to books but honestly they are magic without basic science. We take this as a given but in shtf security… Read more »
Kula Farmer
Guest

What generation is that? The one that wants safe spaces on college campuses and a free ride?
They are for the most part a lost cause, a liberal arts degree doesnt exactly impart any useful knowledge other than how to generate a deafening sucking sound

Chris Mills
Guest

No. The millennial, metro sexual beta males will all day in the first 3 days. Their kids are Generation Phoenix, because grandma and grandpa saved their lives.

Chris Mills
Guest

Additionally, the only place information is safe is in your head. It tends to stay waterproof!

NRP
Guest
Mr. Mills Very good article. I find it interesting when I read and think about the demise of our current lifestyles (choose your favorite SHTF) I see an eventually reversion back to the 17-18 century way of life, and the values at those times. Meaning after the Apocalypse life will go on. Knowing/Believing this you made a GREAT point of Knowledge being the key. I agree with you, and one could list thousands of items one would need to know about. With that said and without trying to start a HUGE list, I would ask a question, what is it… Read more »
Chris Mills
Guest

I think we’ll be having Church everyday, even if just around the campfire.

IMHO
Guest

“Having church everyday” LOL. Church will be just as meaningless after the “apocalypse” as it is now. How about you stop going to “church” and start reading Scripture instead. You can do that every day now.
Take no offense.

Chris Mills
Guest

That’s what we do at my church, not sure what other people do at theirs.

IMHO
Guest
Not to start an argument but it’s time for eyes to start opening to Satan’s deception. I will be willing to bet that you don’t “read” Scripture at “church”. I would be willing to bet that you sit while some person stands in front of you and tells you what you want to hear and how you are saved because you “believe” and then lead you to certain verses, usually out of context, to make their point. Now don’t get mad as I am only being honest here. You probably go to “church” on SUNday and keep all the other… Read more »
Chris Mills
Guest
I don’t disagree with you , generally speaking. What goes on in “most churches” today is apostasy and heresy. I, however, have been blessed enough not to go to “most churches.” For 25 years I have been in a ministry that has taught me how to study the Bible and encouraged me to verify what is being taught from behind the pulpit. In the Original texts. We have covered everything from the pre-Adamite existence to The Nephilim to Dispensationalism to the End Times. At last count my wife and I owned 25 various study bibles and 8-10 Concordances, Dictionaries and… Read more »
IMHO
Guest

Also I feel I must point out that John Hagee thinks that the Jews are God’s chosen people. I even heard him say that they were God’s holy people. Wow, talk about not knowing Scripture. Also he talks a lot about God’s Holy days and their prophetic meaning yet he still rejects them and keeps and teaches the sinful holidays of paganism instead, just like the rest of the false Christians in this world..
John Hagee is the same as all those other self serving televangelist liars.

Nick Dresser
Guest

Mat 7 isnt about Unbelievers vs Believers. its about believers vs Believers. Many “christians” will go down the wide path to destruction and YahShua will say to them “i never knew you”. A few very few Believers of YHWH/YahShua will make it. It doesnt boil down to love/belief. it boils down to obedience! 99.9 of all “christians” are practicing a roman paganism and are deceived. Ceasar invented the name “Jesus” and created the religion “Christianity” as a mixture of several pagan religions to combine all beliefs into one. Oh yeah, and the world is flat. wake up.

IMHO
Guest

You are right. Matthew 7 is about obedience and hypocrisy. Yahwh wants obedience and hates hypocrisy.
Also, don’t take the flat earth buffoonery lightly. “Flat Earth” is a well planned PsyOp by the godless globalists to try and discredit Scripture by associating it with Flat Earth. Flat Earth is wrong scientifically and Scripturally.
Satan’s deception is going well in these last days.

Nick Dresser
Guest

the psyop discredit and deception is the godless globe infinite universe. always research both sides of the coin.

IMHO
Guest
I have researched and found that Flat Earth is a lie. Scripture doesn’t say the earth is flat nor does easily proven observation. And with the Satanists from Obama to episodes of the Simpsons bringing attention to the Flat Earth “theory” it becomes obvious it is a PsyOp. DON”T LET THEM CONF– USE AND FOOL YOU. They say the “firmament” is a dome. Firmament does not mean “dome” nor does it mean “thin covering”. It means Expanse. And the Universe is a huge expanse. They say centrifugal force would throw us off the spinning earth. Look at your watch. Now… Read more »
IMHO
Guest
I meant chronologically. The very first command Yahshua gave was “Repent”. And that is totally ignored by just about every person who calls themselves Christian. Most quit drinking or smoking, because they think that is what repent means, but they continue in sin without repentance. Then they continue to break and teach people to break Yahwh’s Law. The continuance of sin and lack of repentance is the reason we have a New Covenant. Yet… Actually Yahshua never gave a commandment that wasn’t already commanded in the Old Testament. Except the “love one another as I have loved you.” command. But… Read more »
BobW
Guest

Which is why you don’t need a church. The building is a means for collecting money from people. GOD is all around, and doesn’t care where you pray.

Chris Mills
Guest

It will be quite a while before anyone would commit resources to a building to have church in, but the people are the church, not a structure. So in that sense, I agree.

NRP
Guest

Mr. Mills

I would totally agree “but the people are the church, not a
structure” sure wish someone would convey that to the ones building
multi-million/billion dollar Church Buildings, Could you just imagine what “good”
could become if those Billions and Billions of Dollars were actually used for “humanitarian”
good and NOT for a building?

FYI, not being aggressive here, JMHO

NRP

Chris Mills
Guest

Agree 100% !

Darren Ford
Guest

In reference antibiotics I would recommend learning how to make ionic silver, been used for years! You can buy simple generators! Great tool to have an learn to make!

Chris Mills
Guest

So much to learn!

Chris Mills
Guest

Nice…

The Penitent Man
Guest

Crap article, we don’t need government (which literally means “mind control”). We do need social structures though, but going back to the ones that have failed us in the past is a serious mistake that will bring with it all of the old problems. People put way to much faith into the constitution, which is, if anything, an ambiguous document at best, and a very clever way to make slaves of free men at worst.

Read what Patrick Henry said about the new constitution. He predicted the reality we are now living in over 200 years ago. Smart man.

Chris Mills
Guest

Regardless, there will always be government of some sort. Either one based on morals or one based on force. A “social structure” is government.

The Penitent Man
Guest

No, that isn’t true. You’re misunderstanding what I am saying. I’m telling you that those who chose the word “government” chose it for a reason. It literally means to control the mind (or to steer the mind). We don’t need anything that is based on mind control. Honestly, the ways of men always lead to the same results. We won’t be free of this evil until the Messiah returns. Until then expect more of the same, brief periods of peace mixed with the horrors of war and everything that goes with it.

Chris Mills
Guest

Don’t get stuck on the Constitution/ Rule of law example. This article is more about the absence of books and the necessity of learning while we can. We take the accessibility to knowledge for granted. If you don’t think learning is important, then good luck to you.

The Penitent Man
Guest

I get it but I’m sick of people being shills for the constitution when they actually know very little about it.

Bill the eighth
Guest

As Lysander Spooner said:

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

Chris Mills
Guest

Spooner was an anarchist and a Christian abolitionist so….

IMHO
Guest
The first amendment is a very useful ploy. The truth gets drowned out in a chorus of free speech lies and BS. You talked about studying the Constitution so here are some points. The preamble sets the stage for multiculturalism with the false statement “All men are created equal.” It sets the stage for endless taxation at “their” discretion when the say “congress shall have the power to lay taxes”. It shields them from prosecution as long as they are “doing their duties”. It creates a representative democracy which is an ungodly form of government. Literally. The bill of rights… Read more »
DJBudSonic
Guest

Books are to be found everywhere, and are not “used up” once read, unlike true consumables like toilet paper, tampons, dish soap, bleach, band-aids, etc. A small stash of these things would go a long way towards health and comfort.

Chris Mills
Guest

They would be used up if the cities were ablaze or an EMP erased all the computers…

T.j. Thomas
Guest
A friend of mine who lives in a well-watered rural area after leaving the DC Metro Area a few years ago believes (1) that yes, knowledge will be a scarce commodity afterwards, and (2) that the other scarcest commodity is preparation for after SHTF in general – by which I mean rebuilding. Along with food, water, etc., he’s been building a print library over the years – not just of survival skills and medicine but history, science, literature, art, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Thousands of books. He calls it a library to rebuild all of civilization… Read more »
Chris Mills
Guest

A man after my own heart then. There are many who are looking forward to reverting to barbarism, as evidenced by some of the responses to this article. Most people, however, will wish to return to some sort of order fairly quickly.

christopher
Guest
Great article..one thing I do is I have a small black & white nook book. I download free articles from Barnes & Noble, internet and any PDF files on all subjects. Manuals for all my gear, Plants, tactics, health, military books, recipies, science formulas and equations and a few books for enterainment. I do buy some select books. it actually holds alot. I can charge with a small usb charger or my solar panel system. I keep it in a faraday defence bag in my faraday cage.. if i decide to bug out on foot, its light enough to decide… Read more »