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On that “indispensable/irreplaceable” list, you have some things that are replaceable in part by lower tech. Synthetic rubber, artificial fertilizer, smelting and one kind of plastic is lower tech capable. Light bulbs, guns and ammo, antibiotics and all other kinds of plastics are only stockable or substituted. You can substitute a light bulb with a candle ( I call veggie oil lamps problematic due to calorie shortages ) but it doesn’t come close to the same thing. And even some of the Replaceable items aren’t practically replaceable. If Florida isn’t under water, would rubber trees even grow there? If so, how would you go about getting plantings from the original plants down in the tropics? Regular natural fertilizer is actually superior to the synthetic type, but there is the issue of quality over quantity. And smelting is going to be brutal on your tree supply unless you have some coal near the surface nearby. And STILL there is the quantity issue there.
Your “Forever Gun” ( don’t have the book yet? What is wrong with you? I don’t even care for firearms all that much as a survival topic and those make for some of my best books ) goes a long way towards solving the gunpowder issue, if you can conserve the ammo in your semi-auto carbine. Nine mil’s suck giant donkey dingus compared to just about every firearm out there except rimfire and any caliber from a boot gun a pimp might carry, but against crossbows and swords, spears or anything else not chemically powered, they will do very well indeed. So let’s go on from that subject. Light bulbs are a lot easier than they used to be to stockpile, and even if you can’t match the quantity of ammunition, with one to five dollar LED flashlights all over the place you won’t spend the equivalent amount of money either ( “flashlights” to include the garden solar lights that are pretty cool as they include the solar panel, the rechargeable battery and bulb all for the same price as a regular empty flashlight. Of course, you know the quality must suffer a bit but I’ve usually had all of mine last several years which is about right for the claimed “one thousand charges” for those batt types, even if the later charges produce less light output ).
I would include batteries in the category of light bulbs as one is worthless without the other. And while it is certainly possible to salvage nickel and copper and Mason jars to create wet batteries of a primitive type, I would think that those materials would be far more valuable used in other ways, and you would need a lot of them to duplicate the performance of even a single AA battery. The technique is certainly something to keep in mind but it is far better to stockpile the current tech types of batteries. They are inexpensive, not much more than disposable batteries ( disposables are a quarter each bought in bulk at Amazon, rechargeable ones with great reviews are sixty five cents each. The only reason I even consider buying disposables anymore is because I’m a dumbass. I just tell myself since every device I have that uses a battery can go about a year before it needs new ones that the discharge rate on the unused rechargeable would necessitate two or three extra changes. It still makes no sense economically. Over ten years one AA disposable costs $2.25 in replacements. The rechargeable will last another 200 years at three recharges a year, so the cost over ten years is what? Three cents? Over two centuries, what is the cost of a $20 solar charger? Add a cent a year ), so you really have absolutely no reason for not stockpiling a lot.
I certainly would NOT rely on 12v batteries. They are Trash Tech, cheaply manufactured to perform minimally rather than optimally. They are disposable, really, despite that hefty core charge you pay on one to presumably recycle it. I would sooner take a battery and use it for the lead inside for reloading than rely on them for electrical storage. The crappy ones are $100 and the ones lasting ten to thirty years rather than 3 to 5 are insanely prices, like $1500 for a low amp unit. They are for luxury electrical use, modern living, NOT collapse living. The only thing that electricity is really truly good for in a resource poor environment is illumination. And you can get that with AA batteries. Granted, the higher the lumens ( if a lamp/light doesn’t advertise the lumens-the intensity of the light, the brightness-I wouldn’t buy it as it probably is last decades LED tech. LED’s increase in brightness while using less power as their chips improve just like a computers back in the day ) the quicker the draw down and you could get as low as only a week before you needed to recharge ( AA’s are much quicker to charge on a solar unit, cost less and are more universal than D’s or C’s or even 3a’s-stick with them ), so in that case you only have a decade of use out of the battery. And that is a “problem”, why?
A crappy dim flashlight will, kept out of the elements and not beaten like a redheaded stepchild, die from parts failure from moisture long before your batteries are no longer rechargeable. Now do you understand why $50, buying a solar recharger ( I don’t know if an inverter and large solar panel to recharge a 110 charger is better longevity wise than a small book size 12v solar battery charger, so either do some research or get several small chargers in case of failure ) and thirty AA batteries is much better than buying an Edison 12v battery for $1,050? Twelve volts batteries are not needed unless you actually think your middle class lifestyle has a snowballs chance in Hell of surviving long past the initial die-off. And if you erroneously believe that, a grand for a battery is just the start of your investment. Start saving up for buried gasoline tanks, industrial size propane tanks, another TWENTY Edison batteries, tens of thousands of dollars in freeze dried foods, a greenhouse that costs more than a small house, etc. Either pinch your pennies or go “in for a penny, in for a pound”. Continued tomorrow.
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