Collapse Survivor: “There Was Little Room For Error… Either You Learn Fast Or End Up Dead”

Monday, April 30, 2018
By Paul Martin

Editor’s Note: When the Balkan wars erupted in Europe during the 1990’s people literally went from sipping coffees on their neighborhood streets to a war zone almost overnight. Most did not see it coming. Even in the midst of collapse, many believed it was a temporary situation that would soon pass. But food, medical supplies, and other necessities quickly began to run out. Tens of thousands of people were encircled by heavily armed military, snipers, and artillery. There was nowhere to go. In the following article from Selco of SHTF School, you’ll get a first-hand account from someone who was there and was forced to make difficult decisions just to put powdered eggs on the table for his family and friends. Specifically, Selco details the supplies and trade goods that became important in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the civilization around him.

It is a harrowing look into a life many of us can only imagine.

First Trades after Collapse
By Selco

The items for trade during my SHTF very often changed value, and some of them became unavailable for some period of time, just to suddenly show up again much more expensive.

Yes, the situation in the city dictated that, but also people, the black market lords made this happen. The whole situation was always changing where and if you can find what you were looking for.

Some of the items that were circulating in the city were completely new to everyone, one of the reasons was that all sorts of stuff from humanitarian aid was coming to the city through different channels and from all different parts of the world.

Some of those things became popular fast, others remained completely strange for us, but all had some kind of value.

Of course, practical things like MRE were very good to have. Some other things like Turkish army crackers (salt cookies, or so-called „Turks“) were strange for us. The taste was awkward, that’s why they had la ower value, but we were starving so of course everyone would eat it and trade it.
In one period there were big amounts of some French cigarettes in the city, we called it „black tobacco“.

It was very very strong tobacco, packaged in nice small boxes, and you simply did not need too much of those days, even if you were a very passionate smoker. Simply way too strong.

Some “smart” guy smuggled this into the city and it is a perfect example of successful product besides weapons and ammunition for trading.

There were many new items for us, strange new kind of rice (was much too soft), canned meat without any declaration of meat type or expiration date (we called it „sick horse“). We ate it and used grease leftovers for lamps. Sometimes there was also big metal sealed boxes with dry cookies inside – some of the boxes had expiration dates that said it was expired like 20 years ago, we called it „Vietnam war cookies“ and we ate it and trade it as well.
Of course, it was always a good few days when we had some sort of food. In many other periods (most of the time) we ate much much worse things. Often soup with anything we could find that could provide some energy.

One of the items in the beginning of everything that was very interesting for me was powdered eggs.

As I can remember, we did not see that before, I mean we heard it from the stories of the old guys who survived WW2 that they used it a lot in the years after that war (and they call it Truman’s eggs) because it was coming in the area as a part of humanitarian aid since everything was destroyed and folks were starving.

Those eggs were interesting for me because we loved eggs, and obviously, it became impossible to have real eggs. That is why food in urban survival is just a very bad version of food in wilderness survival. Rats and pigeons and some people probably also ate all dogs and cats. That was in the later months after we were surrounded without any way out and lost all basics like the power and drinking water.

One day we heard that powdered eggs can be bought from some guys who had lots of stuff taken from humanitarian aid convoy.

The Rest…HERE

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