Soap And Other Useable Commodities

Discussion in 'Financial Planning' started by Photon Guy, Jun 21, 2019.

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  1. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    I once read that when grocery stores close for the night they lock up their soap. They lock up the entire store of course but the soap gets locked up in its own special cabinet. Why? Because its something that burglars particularly like to go after. Soap is a useable commodity, it comes in standard sizes such as bars, and its easy to fence. So it makes sense its one of the things that burglars would particularly want to make off with as much of it as they can.

    Now I am certainly not encouraging anybody to turn to a life of crime and steal soap from stores but it does make sense to stock up on soap. I myself have a small stash which I plan to make bigger. Soap I consider a good financial investment. In a crisis soap can be used as money.

    I believe if we has a crisis of the magnitude where currency becomes useless the first thing to go would be credit cards, they would not be accepted anywhere. Next to go would be debit cards and personal checks. Finally, physical cash, the green paper printed in the US Mint would be the last thing to go and to not have much use except to make a fire or to stuff a mattress or use as wallpaper, ect.

    At this point there would still be precious metals which would have some value for barter but I think useable commodities might be better. Not just soap but other stuff such as non perishable food, clean water, sugar, honey, and certain medical supplies. Even stuff to provide entertainment that doesn't require electricity, stuff such as books and board games.

    Anyway, I do believe soap will be overlooked. Food and particularly water are much more obvious necessities but cleanliness is also a necessity that is less obvious. So that's why I think having a good supply of soap bars on hand in a crisis is a good idea. Soap is money, especially in a crisis.
     
  2. Brownbear

    Brownbear Expert Member
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    In the wild you can make your own soap. The leaves of a Beech tree (a European variety) is particularly good for this. Grab a handful and crush them, introduce water and they lather up just fine. You can keep yourself perfectly clean and even shave with the resulting soapy mix.
     
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  3. Radar

    Radar Expert Member
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    Really? Lock up soap?
    When did that start? Is that only in your part of the country?
    How do they lock up the soap? Does it have it's own cage?
    Or do they wheel it off to the lockers where they keep the expensive cheese? Of course it may take an extra 30-45 minutes to get it all off the shelves. What about deodorant and shampoo?
    Do the managers wait until all the employees have left the store before locking up the soap and then have to get there first thing in the morning to put it back?
    This is silly. I don't believe soap gets locked up at night. Burglars that are hanging out near campgrounds and national and state parks, MAY BE the ones stealing soap, but overall...how could this be? I've never heard of it.
     
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  4. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    https://www.directive21.com/blog/2014/03/surprising-lesson-prepping-learning-soap-thieves/
     
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  5. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    soapwort plant in the UK, the use is in the name.
     
  7. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    Inexpensive, used by everyone everyday, helps prevent disease, not overly heavy or bulky, nearly infinite shelf life, can be divided into smaller pieces/quantities for use in trade without loosing any of its value - what's not to love about soap?

    Lots of personal hygiene supplies share these traits and might be in high demand if the SHTF. Toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, shampoo, talc/powder, and razors just to name a few.
     
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  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    all of them man made and any supplies one might have will run out over time.
    okay for a short term event but not much good in a long term change of lifestyle event.
    everything man made on a commercial basis is finite and will at some point be non existent.
     
  9. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I like Zote soap. It is a Mexican soap made from basically natural fats and is a gentle cheap lye soap that is good for all washing purposes. You can even use it for catfish bait.
     
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  10. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    We have a significant stockpile of personal hygiene items. I agree. They will be good barter items when SHTF. Most of these items can be purchased very cheaply, and don't take up much room to store. Consider the appliances as well; toothbrushes, combs, brushes, scissors, almost anything that is in your medicine cabinet or bathroom.

    Toilet paper!! :eek: Except I'm not bartering that. I will have a fifty year supply, and I'm not sharing. Some things are sacred.
     
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  11. Caribou

    Caribou Expert Member
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    I keep motel soap and shampoo. When I get really lucky they have sewing kits.
     
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  12. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    You might not be able to get much bartering value on toilet paper in a SHTF event even if you wanted to. Its not hard to find stuff that can substitute as toilet paper such as leaves, ect.

    If there's anything that I would not barter its guns and ammunition. I will not barter stuff that can be used against me.
     
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  13. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Always. There was a time when I would have guilt pangs about taking it, but came to find out that the cost of each item was built into the cost of the room, so they expected to replace all of the items every day. You don't help yourself to the cleaning lady's cart, but taking what is in the room is acceptable.
     
  14. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    I live 2 months in a motel, I have a very large collection of soap, shampoo, etc. I will not trade my coffee supply. That maybe the one item I turn raider for (just kidding folks).
     
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  15. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    your argument of it runs out because its man made doesnt stand...why you ask...because everything runs out...including us...if folks take the stance why stock an item it will run out...then why bother doing anything..i am going to die eventually anyway...and as far as using the natural stuff from the wilds...your argument of it will run out stands for even those items in the wild...why do i say this because theres all kinds of plants in the wild that man use to use regular that are rare and hard to find...those run out as well....people talk about gathering stuff...well i got a friend that does a huge amount of gathering...you wouldnt believe the acres he has to cover to do so.

    you can wash without soap but getting clean of germs in shtf time just might save your life...look at history...dirty squaller brings on diseases.
     
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  16. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    everything will run out...…………POST SHTF, I didn't add that, maybe I should have, I thought it was obvious but maybe not to some people.
     
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  17. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    right now dial soap is approx 50 cents a bar...go down to the shop and take a $50 bill and bring back 100 bars for shelf...easy peasey.... it doesnt take much to keep lots of cleaning supplies on had..but stuff by the gallon or more if available. i keep lots of dawn ultra on hand..its cheap now and easy...right now you can get large 3quart jugs for $7.50....i keep 5 to 10 on shelf all the time.

    dont forget clorox either.
     
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  18. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    its is....my point is everything runs out..including the stuff..plants..you talk about to use for soap....stock a little soap will extend those plants....no matter the route we take we will use items up and they will be replenished some how some way or do without....if i was mind set of why bother it will run out...then why even talk prepping...after all its what it is preparing for the future is...some soap on shelf will extend those plants..you could maybe propagate them to expand for your needs..i do this in my own forest now..i propagate all kinds of medicianls because they have been so abused by man they hardly exist in many cases...another reason is age..as we age we will need items closer to home...our ability will diminish as time goes on.
     
  19. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    soap is only a minor requirement, its possible to keep clean without it.
    my point was if someone is going to rely on what they have stored ONLY, then at some point those stores will run out, I don't care how much one stores we cannot store enough to last the rest of our lives, in England the houses are too small to accomplish more than a few years worth. if we are to live any longer than that we have to either find alternatives or learn to live without.
     
  20. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  21. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  22. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    one thing to is to ration your supplies..you cant just go on like you do today....limit amount of bathing to once a week? or whatever depending on circumstances. or maybe for those of us with unlimited water doing a bath without soap during week and using soap on weekend or some such thing? we each will have to decide....if one of us has a sick spouse or god forbid a bed ridden spouse we will go through some type supplies or they wont last long.
     
  23. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I agree people wont be able to go on post SHTF like they do now, for one thing they wont be able to get replacements so what they have is all there is.
    people are very wasteful but then we live in a throwaway society.
     
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  24. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    I'm not so certain how minor of a requirement soap is, especially in more crowded areas or downstream/downriver from population centers. Lack of sanitation (open defecation) and with flies as the vector might spread disease and kill a lot of people in the weeks/months after the SHTF, even to people and homes that do have good sanitation and hygience practices. I'd plan on needing more soap than is usual for developed countries. And having alternatives if you run out is wise, but stock the two years (or more) if you have the space. It's not like soap goes bad, and you'll rotate through it eventually.

    Out of curiosity I checked how much antibacterial hand soap we had and how long it would last. We refill the pump dispensers, so started with how much soap is dispensed in one full pump. Answer, a little less than a teaspoon full.

    25f1df1c592f4c4d71da3f71ccb084a0.jpeg

    Then totaled up the amount of had soap we had in the closet (have a couple more in storage in the attic too).

    25f1df1c592f4c4d71da3f71ccb084a0.jpeg

    490 fluid ounces total, or 2,940 teaspoons. Enough for 500+ days for the wife and I, assuming 3 hand/face washings a day each. I'm fairly comfortable with that amount, and it's not like that's the only type of soap we have stored.
     
  25. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    @GateCrasher thank you..thank you...i love a number cruncher...i do it often myself.
     
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  26. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    currently 2 rolls of TP in Caracas cost 20,000 bolivar...thats half a month salary.

    when i see tooth brushes on sale/clearance i stock up...i will use them...eventually.

    i am not into bartering but into having supplies long term for me and others in my tribe.
     
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  27. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I've got a box full of toothbrushes and enough shampoo to last several years, I don't use soap as such as I have psoriasis I think soap inflames the psoriasis, I have hand sanitiser gel for hand washing. everything is finite though.
     
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  28. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    do/does a cream help psorasis? do you keep extra..can you make something from wild or garden? does something like olive oil help? educate me on this...
     
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  29. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    Post SHTF I am not going to be in a crowded area or downstream from a population centre.
    some people still haven't got the hang of the mortality rate post collapse have they??:rolleyes:
     
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  30. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    there is no cure for psoriasis, a cream does help with the itching-a bit!
    a wild cream can be made-good job wife is a herbalist!!!
     
  31. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    does the hot wax hand dipping thing work..or have you tried it...not sure if it would help just thinking hand repair. i know some folks use it to repair damaged hands.
     
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  32. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    hot wax?? no thanks.
     
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  33. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    The soap bar could become the dollar of TEOTWAWKI.
     
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  34. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    To each his own, I like to "what if" different scenarios and plan to prevent problems as much as possible first, but also have the means to deal with them when prevention fails. Using plants high in saponins as a soap replacement is a last resort as example, not the primary plan just because it's renewable or replaceable. Different survival philosophies I suppose. I wish I was comfortable with yours, it sounds much less expensive :)

    Found this interactive map showing waste treatment facilities in the UK.

    http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-m...ource=EEA Newsletter&utm_term=Interactive map
     
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  35. NomadWill

    NomadWill Expert Member
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    I know at my local grocery store they've started to lock up the shaving razors and such. Guess they've been having a lot of thefts as of late, and dang are they expensive. $20.00+ for some of the razors. Haven't noticed them locking up the soap.

    I think it'd be really cool to make your own soap.. gonna have to research how to do this!
     
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  36. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    Making your own soap is easy enough but does not smell as nice as commercial soap.

    We have a stock of bars of soap and liquid handwash.

    If you have a clean water supply washing in cold water will clear most bacteria from your skin. Soap helps degrease your hands shifting caked on dirt so really for most of the time washing in clean running water is all you need. On a weekend trip I don't take soap with me, I wash without soap in a clean stream. You don't need to wash in warm water either, for the temperature to be high enough to kill bacteria you would need to scald your skin so cold water/soap and cold water works fine.

    This is the first thing that popped up on Google, worth looking at other sources yourself too
    https://www.tested.com/science/life...-and-antibacterial-soap-dont-help-kill-germs/

    Good little learning video here
    https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
     
  37. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    I can't help it ! I just can't !

    Good afternoon Duke in Wales,

    Ref: "don't take soap with me ..."; Well. no wonder the Chinese restaurant delivered the Budda Delight meal via drone !

    ......

    Consider a smooth Chinese plum wine with meal instead of that mentioned grape juice.

    .......

    It's now RX prescription only, but there was a soap named "Physohex" (at least something similar in pronunciation) that was the real germ-killer. Came in a green plastic bottle with fail-safe dispensing cap.

    National Health Service of UK on best way to wash hands ?! What do the NHS surgeons use ? What do they discharge their patients with for at-home recuperation ?

    I have some of the small motel size unbranded bars of soap distributed to those seeking refuge in an emergency shelter. If used with warm water, this soap removes dirt and epidermis of hands.

    Am now in the mood after the Waffle House hash browns for some Chinese food and Chinese coffee.
     
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  38. Duncan

    Duncan Expert Member
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    We have two young female goats that we hope to breed next March. Once they've kidded and are in milk, that should give us enough for drinking/cooking as well as making cheese and soap. So about this time next year, hopefully we'll have our hands full with milking and making!
     
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  39. duke in wales

    duke in wales Expert Member
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    I find Plum wine a tad sweet, I prefer a dry white with Chinese food, maybe a cold lager.

    I loved the food in my stay in Hong Kong, so very different to whats typically served in the UK.
     
  40. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon Duke in Wales,

    And also very different than what's typically served in the US, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing.

    You know - I hope - I'm adding some joking within the basic thread themes.

    And Waffle House doesn't even have cold lagers !
     
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  41. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Yes, Phisohex is some amazing stuff. Some years ago, I looked at the label of a vintage bottle and compared it with the current (at the time) off-the-shelf stuff, and discovered that they changed the formula (and again when it became available by prescription only).

    The vintage Phisohex contained Chlorhexidine as its main active ingredient, which should not be for general-purpose use, so I fully understand why it is available by prescription only. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorhexidine#targetText=Chlorhexidine, also known as chlorhexidine,hands of the healthcare providers.)

    I went to the local farm supply and bought Chlorhexidine and made my own "Phisohex" soap by adding a very tiny amount to liquid castile soap. (It's powerful stuff; the labeled dilution rate for skin use is 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Chlorhexidine solution per gallon of water.)

    If this stuff gets in your ears, it can cause hearing loss with repeated use over time. :eek: So use care if you wash your face or scalp with it. Also, do not get it in your eyes, either.



    .
     
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  42. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good evening Grizz,

    Yes, that's it ! Phisohex with chlorhevidine. (my spell ?)

    My use wasn't for routine hand washing in a creek/river but for injuries and the like when in field and not having luxury living for an extended time.

    I'm sure the original container now qualifies as a historic souvenir item just like a tube of Harley Davidson chain grease.

    Appreciate the pleasant memories brought back when you mentioned Phisohex. Merci !
     
  43. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    there are plenty of natural replacements for soap, a plant in Britain is called SOAPwort the use is in the name, just washing in water or using sand works quite well, the ancient Romans used to scrape their skin to remove the dirt.
     
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  44. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Lone Wolf,

    Yes, there are natural options in lieu of using our prepared soap, whether manufactured or homemade. However, ...

    sometimes sand in various areas is loaded with microscopic pests that just don't help the washing process. My point here is focused for when "on the move" during an evacuation by pods.

    Washing with water only to treat injuries or just filthy hands gives little "return on investment" for the time and effort. A small motel size bar of soap, with its nominal weight and volume provides geometric returns on investment. It's also a super first aid kit item.
     
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  45. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    Chlorhexidine is good to have on hand (pun intended). It's concentrated as Grizzlyette said so one gallon of it can make a couple hundred gallons of disinfectant when diluted. $10 at ShopMedVet: https://www.shopmedvet.com/product/94052
     
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  46. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I was talking about when manufactured soap is no longer available, not being made and the shops are empty,(I am not concerned about the here and now) a natural replacement would need to be sought, same with medical items.
     
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  47. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Yes, you're right.
     
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