Sean MacTira of Graywolf Survival Knows How to Keep You Alive

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By the author of The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, and The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.

The world has finally collapsed, and you’re now living in the modern version of Mad Max (minus the mullets, of course). People are attempting to rebuild, but you’re having a difficult time being burned on your barter transactions. You don’t know who is telling the truth, and it’s causing you to be taken advantage of over and over again as you barter away eggs for a sloppy product in return.

Sean McTira
American truckers, 2023.

You need to know how to tell if people are telling you the truth, and you need to know some of the tricks of the trade of barter that will help you to get what you so desperately need.

I’ve spent a little bit of time in places where barter was the modus operandi in daily life at the marketplace – and I hated it. Just let me walk into the store, see the price sticker, slap down my cash, and be out of there.

I don’t want to haggle with an old lady for a watch (or anything else, for that matter).

Though I’m slowly growing out of it, it was because of this long-seated hatred for haggling that I began to look into all the sources I could find that would help me to feel like I was better at it. I always felt like either I was getting ripped off or I was being a jerk to the seller – every time – and I was tired of this. I read The Art of the Deal and talked to some other people about what they did in those situations, all of which helped.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, however, you may enjoy reading Sean MacTira’s new book Survival Secrets of a Counterintelligence Agent.

The name MacTira is instantly recognizable to those who have been in the world of prepping and survivalism for any length of time. He’s the owner of the well-known site Graywolf Survival. He’s helped an untold number of people along their prepping journey over the year, and his new book is filled with information that can continue to help you on yours.

Some of the topics Sean MacTira covers in this book covers include:

  • How to plan a bug-out route
  • What do you do if you’re captured?
  • How OPSEC and body language combine
  • And the psychology of survival

Those last two chapters are the ones I want to focus on the most, though, because they’re the ones that will help you to become a better barterer/haggler.

Tips on barter from a counterintelligence agent

If you’re going to barter a deal with somebody, you need to know that you can trust the person. If you’re bartering with family or friends, you already have enough background information on the person to know whether or not they’ll be trustworthy. But if we return to our Mad Max example above? If you end up in a barter town situation with complete strangers like in James Wesley Rawles’ Patriots (a book you should reread).

You’re not going to know how trustworthy the person is who has that can of diesel that you need then. And this is all the more reason to understand how to read peoples’ body language. If you want to learn that it’s hard to find a better source than a former counterintelligence agent. That’s part of those people’s job – they have to know if their sources are telling them the truth or not.

Learning to tell the lies

For example, did you know that if somebody shrugs with both of their shoulders, odds are, they’re telling you the truth? If they half-shrug or only shrug with one shoulder, it’s indicative of their telling you a lie.

This was something I would never have known had it not been for MacTira’s book. He goes on later to add in the psychology chapter that you can get even better deals if you build rapport with the seller/buyer before the transaction takes place. I’d never thought about this before, but it makes perfect sense. As I look back at some of the times in my life when I’ve had to go back and forth with somebody on the price of something, I always gave a better deal if I got along with the person. If we entered the “barter phase,” and I thought you were a turd, well, you weren’t getting as good of a deal. You became easy to say ‘no’ to.

Sean MacTira knows what he’s talking about.

All this to say, there’s a wealth of information in MacTira’s new book Survival Secrets of a Counterintelligence Agent that you’re going to want to check out. The book starts at only $5.49, so for roughly the price of a single trip to the fancy coffee shop, you can not only improve your knowledge and provide yourself with entertainment, but you can help keep a disabled American veteran and a solid member of the survival community going. 

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to and Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast, The Last American, on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.


Aden Tate

Aden Tate

Leave a Reply

  • First and foremost, if everything has gone all Mad Max like, I am bringing back the mullet! Heck ya!

    Relationships make them here and now. I have said in the past, your reputation just may be worth more in a post SHTF world then anything else.
    People know you are trust worthy they will be more inclined to trade and barter with you.

    Just yesterday, two trucks pulled over on the side of the road right in front of the house (the dogs let me know they were there). I went out and asked if they needed assistance. Leak in the transmission line. If he babied it, he could get home, about 10 minutes up the road. They thanked me for the offer of assistance. While they dont know my name, they know that guy in that house is a decent guy.

    Two weeks ago, a car was pulled over, at the edge of the yard. Despite it pouring down rain, I put on a wide brim cover (hat for you non-Marine types) and went out to see if they needed help.
    It was a young woman. She pulled over to help a turtle get across the road without getting squished.
    We both laughed, I said, “Good on ya!” and told her to have a nice day.

    I know someone will call me naive, but I think being friendly and offering to help now, will get me and my reputation further in the future.

    • Nothing wrong with being concerned with unknown vehicles pulling up near your home. And being warm and helpful. Keep at it!

    • Reputation works in a small enough community that you can be known. The tribal nature of humanity still works. The artificial ecological niche of urban, congested living is toxic to that evolved natural existence.

    • You’d fit right in around here Bud. Sound like the kind of neighbour that I’d like to have. Out where I live we wave when vehicles pass each other – whether we recognize the driver or not. It would be considered an insult to just drive by a vehicle stopped on the side of the road without at least stopping to see if they needed help – BUT, that also lets us see who it is and if they are “shifty” in which case the “moccasin telegraph” let’s everybody in the area know that we may have some nefarious people in the area. Much like the book they are talking about – it comes down to reading body language.

    • As for the mullet – hell yeah! I just wish I still had enough hair for one. In my case it will be more of a “skullet”

    • I totally agree that relationships are best built ASAP. That said, it can happen quite a few times that you have to deal with a total stranger. Having good ideas on how to handle that sort of situation is always useful. Like with most other things, experience at dealing with strangers is most helpful.

  • Aden, much like you, I just want to know the price so that I can then decide if it’s worth it to me and either plop my money down, or walk away. Unfortunately in a “Mad Max” scenario, or even with the supply chain issues we now face, there may only be one source for something that we NEED. Shopping around, or finding it someplace else, that we have come to think of as normal, may not be an option – so bartering will be the order of the day.

    Now, generally I’m the guy that will tell the girl at Walmart if she forgot to ring something through, or gives me too much change. Yes, I’m THAT guy. I try to live my life honest and above board. Now, Sean Mactira is an intelligence/ counter-intelligence guy. They live in a world of mirrors, half-truth’s, and outright lies which makes his take on things a little different than the “average Joe”.

    When I wind up in a situation that calls for haggling, or even at an auction sale, the first thing to decide is, what is the item worth to me. Once I have decided what my top dollar is it makes the transaction that much easier. Whether the person I’m dealing with is honest, or dishonest, I know what I’m willing to pay. Much like buying a rifle at a gun show – I will not pay extra for a scope on a rifle, because I don’t know if the scope is any good. I have one price that I will pay for a proven item, and another that I will pay if I’m taking all the risk. In any haggling situation I try to depend on myself and my instincts, and thereby remove, as much as possible, my dependency on the other person’s character – whether they are honest or dishonest.

    The other thing to always consider, if possible, is the other side of the deal. How desperate is the other person to make the deal, and how much is the item I am trading worth to me. If you are talking about trading a can of beans to a man with a starving family the situation may escalate if it seems like you can’t come to an agreement. Even if he has nothing to trade that you want or need, diplomacy may be a better avenue than a possible confrontation. That’s something you would have to decide at the time, in the moment. Again, you have to decide before hand what it is worth to you.

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

    We respect your privacy.
    Malcare WordPress Security