When it comes to preparing for disasters, especially long-term economic disasters where paper currency becomes useless, bartering is a preparedness skill that could come in very handy. Those who do it well will help ensure their ability to thrive in a post-collapse world.
If you’re fully stocked and prepared to survive, you need to start thinking about stockpiling some popular bartering items for those times when paper currency may be unusable.
What are the best bartering goods to stock up on before things go bad?
The exact items you choose to start stockpiling will depend on the situation you’re planning for; but in general, the following items will all probably be in high demand after a total collapse situation:
Water Purification Supplies
Most people don’t realize how hard finding clean drinkable water will become in a post-collapse situation. When the water treatment plants stop running, people are going to be scrambling to find a way to purify their drinking water. Iodine tablets, bleach, water filters, canteens, and even cooking pots will all be needed and in very high demand.
Guns, Ammunition and Firearm Accessories
1 out of every 3 Americans owns a gun, but how many of these gun owners actually stockpile an adequate amount of ammunition? After the economic collapse in 2008, ammunition became very scarce. Some types of ammunition, specifically .22lr, were impossible to find, and those that had it were selling it for 10-20 times its original price.
During a long-term disaster or collapse, ammo is going to be a highly sought after and will quickly become a very popular barter item. I recommend stocking up on calibers that you actually use, followed by the most common calibers (.22lr, .223, 9mm, .45, 30-06, 12ga, & .308)
If the SHTF, those 2 out 3 Americans who don’t own guns are going to be wishing they did. That means guns and firearm accessories are going to be in high demand. From people looking for parts to repair broken guns, to those who are currently anti-gun and will quickly change their position when the chaos hits, I can almost guarantee that firearms will become one of the most wanted items after a collapse. Even pellet guns might be good items to stock up on; They’re cheap, easy to find, and would be easier to part with.
Alcohol: It’s always a Top Bartering Product
The history of using alcohol as a bartering tool is long and complex and dates back probably to the beginning of alcohol itself. For early American moonshiners, making and selling alcohol wasn’t a hobby; it was how they survived.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, during hard times there is always a market for alcoholic beverages. And during an apocalyptic SHTF scenario, there’s going to be a huge number of people who will want to drink their sorrows away. Hard liquors like Whiskey and Vodka are going to be the best option because of their long shelf life.
Medications & Medical Supplies
Almost half of all Americans are currently taking at least one prescription medication. In a post-apocalyptic world, prescription medications will be another highly sought after item. From people who need to treat life-threatening illnesses with antibiotics, to those that will just want to forget everything that’s happening and dull their senses, medications will be worth their weight in gold. Check out our list of top medical supplies, everything on the list will be helpful in a barter economy.
Food & Water
This category is really a no-brainer. During a long-term crisis, food and water will be the most traded items on the market. Check out our list of some of the most important foods to stockpile. These will all be in high demand and are all good items to start stocking up on before things go bad.
Skills, Tools & DIY Knowledge
Having a good stockpile of tools, combined with the knowledge of how to use them, is not only a sound investment but can also ensure you have a method for generating income when things go bad. If things ever completely collapse, those who can fix things are going to be some of the most sought after people in the new economy.
Plumbers, carpenters, and handymen are all going to be able to trade their services for almost anything they need. That means the best thing you can do to ensure your survival is to start learning skills that will be important during a collapse.
Never barter with something that you may need.
The great thing about the last category is you’re not giving away anything that you might need in the future.
While bartering may become a real part of life in a post-disaster world, you really need to consider what items you can and can’t do without. That means when it comes to bartering, the only thing you should be trading are items that you have a surplus of, or items that you are sure you won’t need in the future.