Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Things you should stock pile but aren't: #1 Tobacco

There are, by current estimates, approximately 1.1 billion smokers in the world. There has also been no decline in levels of smoking in English speaking countries since the early 90s. As of 2010, 21% of Britons are smokers of some kind.

In America, Tobacco was the original cash-crop, and was the basis for the entire southern economy until the advent of cotton plantations. It is a valuable, often expensive luxury good, in it's refined forms.

In the 1600s Navies and military units began making allowances for tobacco in rationing, and by WW1 governments and tobacco producers were working collaboratively to ensure a steady supply of tobacco to the front. Tobacco was used to keep soldiers alert and calm.

As many preppers own areas of land for planting, or rent allotments or such, it has come to me that such a commodity would be desirable to possess after the crunch. I have recently purchased seeds for three breeds of plant, to produce Kentucky Burley, Havana, and Oriental Samsoun tobaccos. There will be a running update on the condition of the plants on the fb page, and a growers guide at a later date.

For now, though, I will discuss the various forms of tobacco and it's storage.


The main consumed forms of Tobacco are:

Cigarettes - Everyone knows what these are. This includes roll-your-own.
Pipes - These use a slightly fermented rougher cut tobacco, combusted in a bowl. This includes Bongs.
Molasses/Hookah/Shisha - Middle eastern water pipes which use indirect heat to combust a combination of tobacco leaves and honey, syrup or molasses.
Snuff - Finely powdered tobacco which is inhaled through the nose.
Snus/Dip/Chew - various forms of tobacco which are chewed to release nicotine into the linings of the mouth.


- First of, dump the pre-made cigs. They're only stored in foil-lined boxes, which won't preserve them for longer than the time it takes to smoke them. They're also more expensive than their component parts. Second, don't bother with the little cotton filters. It's an unnecessary cost, which takes up space that can be used for more useful items. If filters are required, a card or paper "Roach" is useable. The rolling papers will keep forever in their little boxes as long as they don't get soaked and rot, so I'll say no more on that. The main component is the tobacco. The pouches it's bought in, they'll last for a good couple of years un-opened, but other options are large, air-tight tubs available in Spain and France (I don't know about their availability in the UK, any information is welcome.)

Pipes - This is easy. Buy a few relatively cheap pipes. There's a glut of decent, inexpensive pipes on eBay, just look around. Ignore anything from Asia for less than £10. Buy a decent range of pipes, and lots of corncobs. Processed pipe tobacco comes both in pouches and tins. Buy the tins, they last forever.

Shisha - The combination of tobacco and honey or mollases should, if kept in an air-tight jar, keep almost forever. Honey has no expiry date, and the tobacco will be protected from the elements. Buy a couple of hookah pipes, you can find a nice 8" one on eBay for approx. £10.

- Comes in tins. Will probably not go off ever.


My favourite scene in JWR's "Patriots" is the market scene a couple of years after the crunch. All those people, all the life gathered in one area. I have therefore had the idea of some kind of Tobacco Bar set up, similar to the hookah bars present in some areas (There's one in Camden's horse market if you don't know what I mean), as well as selling the tobacco and various devices stockpiled. A trade which would be useful to learn is that of pipe manufacture, be it from wood or clay.

No comments:

Post a Comment