The 4 C's for Collapse Preparedness Of all the material possessions one may have, which would become the most useful in a collapsed system environment when there was no longer access to electricity or running water in the home, no gas station, no hospital, and no one coming to help you or your loved ones? Immediately survival skills come to mind right? But before survivalin' in the streets should even cross your mind, you should have already had a preparedness plan well in place that will cover the 4 C's for Collapse:
Cash: Cash is a true system collapse will quickly be of no value, so while it's beneficial to have a couple hundred dollars on hand, cash substitutes will go much further during the initial stages of a collapse. Things such as Gold, Silver and precious stones will hold their value longer. But even those things will lose their value over time as things like bread, meat and medicine become increasingly more important. Therefore, cash substitutes such as skills, knowledge and resources will become the currency of a collapse. Skills such as how to fortify a home, harvest a seed for planting, hunt and trap game; knowledge of how to preserve food hunted and gathered, how to make warmer clothing and how to create tools; resources such as lumber for building, metal for smithing, glass for canning, plastic for greenhouses and many other things- these will become the currency of collapse within 90 days so amass these cash resources before they're to b relied upon as currency.
Cartridges: Cartridges of course refers to firearms and ammunition and by extension
other hunting devices and weapons. Obviously weapons for protection are important, in a true collapse of society, civil obedience is quickly lost as are morals of conduct. Weapons selection should be subjective as not everyone is capable of carrying an AR-15 with 500 rounds in a pack along with other necessities while traversing a cityscape; conversely, the suburbanite with a lifetime of regular hunting experience may choose to rely on what he knows by sticking with hunting rifles and pistol back ups. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, seek firearms training from professional, learn cleaning and maintenance, avoid uncommon calibers and rare or hard to find pieces. Go hunting, learn what it's like to take life, harvest game and process it for use.
Learn to utilize steel traps for procuring fur-bearing animals and learn to use them as food and tools too. Fishing kits also fit into this category. Knives are vital to ones success as they permit a broad range of uses ranging from utility chores to medical procedures and hand to hand combat. Many skills are common knowledge, but again seeking professional instruction is important so you learn what knife will best fit a specific situation and use. Then you plan accordingly. Two is one and one is none when it comes to this category you will need at minimum two of every type of “cartridge” (Long Gun, Pistol, Knife, Fish Kit, Trap). Above all, practice, which we refer to as dirt time, cannot be discounted. People operate at the lowest level they train, thus if you get outdoors only once a year to camp for a weekend, yes you have some experience and some skill- but is that the level o experience and skill you want to operate at or rely on when you need it indefinitely? Probably not! Outdoor Skills are perishable and require consistent honing and refinement.
Canned Goods: Food and clean water will become increasingly difficult to obtain during a collapse due to looting, tribal gangs hoarding supplies and the pillaging of areas where resources are available. Canned Goods purchased right off the local grocery shelf on average have an expiration date of 2 years with a standard shelf life of up to 5 years from the date of manufacture. The actual shelf life is often twice that so long as the cans are kept clean, undamaged, cool and dry. After 5 years however, the food inside the cans will begin to degrade in taste and texture. I've eaten plenty of 30yr old Vietnam era rations when I was younger and loved them and today in my own food rotation cycle we regularly consume food past it's 5 year expiration date with no discernible difference in quality. Canned goods and other long term shelf-life food stuffs are there only to buy you time. Time between growing cycles, hunting and trapping seasons, etc. It all goes hand in hand in the preparedness plan. You cannot expect to live in a collapse for an indefinite period of time on Freeze dried food and MRE's- gardening, small livestock (rabbits, chickens, ducks, etc) and hunting and trapping should all be used to supplement your food plans and with these go storage methods- salting, smoking, and canning.
By creating a full spectrum plan, you will have a more varied diet and greater chance of success for a longer period of time.
Consumables: Gasoline, Kerosene, Propane, Batteries of all shapes and sizes are all types of consumables that will certainly make life easier and more palatable during a collapse. Other consumables that will be worth their weight in gold will include toothpaste, deodorant, soap, alcohol and liquor along with toilet paper and other items of comfort and convenience. Anything that offers a peace of normalcy after a long term collapse will be of high demand and value. So have plenty on hand for your needs and extra for bartering.
Obviously you could fill container trucks with these items and attempt to set yourself up as a successful post-collapse tycoon, but the reality is that this is a lot of work and effort for one person or even a family to undertake. By having a community of like-minded people these preparations and their associated skills could be spread out among said community. This will permit the pooling of resources and sharing of skills, knowledge and resources. The 4 C's of Collapse Preparedness should serve as a foundation for your preparedness journey which should also include training in wilderness survival, austere & remote medicine and rescue. By combining these skills sets you'll have a very well rounded preparedness plan, adequate training for a variety of possibilities and will be an invaluable resources to any group you feel led to be a part of.