Barter For Survival: Top Ten Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have

by | Mar 28, 2017 | Headline News | 143 comments

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    This guide was originally published by M.D. Creekmore at The Survivalist Blog

    M.D. is the author of The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving the End of the World as We Know It: Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How


    Barter items for survival – What would you have to trade in a survival situation?

    Any conversation about prepping first starts with the “the best survival gun” followed by “bugging out vs hunkering down” and then on to “the best retreat location” and then to “what to have on hand for barter… well today, I’m going to answer that question.

    The first thing to consider is what items do people need and use every day, followed by will they need these items after a long-term disaster and if so will those items be readily available when the resupply lines are cut. If not, then would those items be easy to make from other common items?

    These are the questions I asked when putting away my own barter items – those are included in the list below in no order.

    1. Ammunition

    While I don’t advocate bartering most ammo after a collapse simply because that ammo could be used against you. Stop and think about it, if a person needs to barter for ammo in the first weeks and months after a collapse then it’s evident that that person has not prepped and will need other stuff, stuff they figure that you now have and there is no guarantee that they won’t use the ammo that you traded them at a later date to kill you and take your preps for their own use.

    The exception that I make with ammo for barter purposes is for shotgun ammo. I’ve stocked up a large amount (500 rounds) of 12 gauge bird shot in #6 and smaller shot sizes for barter purposes. Sure birdshot can kill someone, however, it’s low penetration and short range make it one of the least threatening ammo types that can be stocked up and used for barter purposes.

    2. Water Filters

    Fresh, clean drinking water will always be in demand and while storing water for barter might not be feasible for most people it’s easy and takes up little room to store water filters such as the life straw. The life straw is an excellent barter item, that is easy to store, has a long shelf-life and is small and lightweight meaning that 25 or more of these types of water filters can be stored in a small space life a military ammo can.

    3. Garden Seed

    Seed to grow food is one of the if the best barter items that you can have on hand post collapse. I store both non-hybrid seed as well as hybrid vegetable seed for barter. Seed is light-weight and inexpensive but will be worth more than gold to a survivor who is trying to barter for those seed after the balloon goes up. But, before, you go out and buy a bunch of seed for barter (or for your own use) do some research on what grows well in your local area. Another thing that I’ve done is print off copies of the PDF guide “Planting a Home Vegetable Garden” to handout when bartering with vegetable seed because most people have no idea how to plant a garden and this pamphlet will give them more confidence in their own ability to take the seed and grow food. This will help them to be successful as well as increase the perceived value of the seeds when you’re negotiating your barter deal.

    4. Solar Panels and Rechargeable Batteries

    Wow! Wipe that look off your face, I know what you’re thinking… solar panels… those are expensive and I can’t afford those for myself let alone stockpile enough for barter. Well, in some cases you would be correct, however, I’m not talking about expensive 200-watt panels, no not for barter,  what I’m talking about here is smaller solar chargers such as the C.Crane 11-in-1 Solar Battery Charger priced at $24.99 each or the SunJack Portable Solar Charger with a SunJack USB Battery Charger for Rechargeable AA/AAA Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd Batteries for under $60 dollars. You can also set up a charging center where people can bring you their batteries to charge and you use your solar set up to charge their batteries in exchange for goods.

    5. First Aid Supplies

    You could stock up on individual first-aid items such as bandages and gauze and while that’s a good idea, I’ve also stocked up on premade first-aid kits for barter. These kits can be bought for under $20 each now but post-collapse would be worth much, much more. Don’t forget about antibiotics – you can get antibiotics here and find out more about their use here. If you have medical skills (or someone in your group does) then those medical skills will be in high demand and can be bartered for just about anything that you need.

    6. Skills

    As mentioned above in item number five medical skills are and will continue to be in high demand after any major disaster especially a long-term disaster, however other skills will be in demand too. Skills such as carpentry, auto and shop mechanics, sewing, firearms repair etc will be in high demand and those skills can be bartered for goods that you need.  Don’t forget to put back the tools you’ll need to get the job done in the best, quickest and safest way possible.

    7. Toilet Paper, Baby Diapers, and Tampons

    Toilet paper, baby diapers, and tampons are always in demand will continue to be in the aftermath of both short-term and long-term disaster. Sure some folks might substitute toilet paper with something else like a cloth or even leaves if forced but toilet paper would be a luxury and preferred by nearly everyone and survivors would pay handsomely for that luxury post collapse. Same with tampons and pads. Baby diapers would also be needed and in demand – if you have a baby, plan to or someone in your prepper group has one then I suggest that you look into cloth diapers

    8. Coffee, Tobacco, and Booze

    Oh, my… need I say more. Most people have their vices and most of those vices involve one or all of the three. Bags of tobacco that have been vacuum sealed with give the longest shelf life. If you can brew your own booze then you and your product would be in high demand, but by so doing you would probably increase your chances of being robbed for your product so security and caution would be a top priority. Currently, there are laws regarding the brewing of booze, find out the laws in your state if this is something that you’re interested in learning and follow those now, but after a major collapse, they probably won’t be a whole lot of enforcement of those laws that are currently on the books.

    9. Condoms

    Yes, I said it… condoms, we all hate to have to use them but the consequences of not using them could be disastrous now but even more so post collapse (I have a whole section in my book dedicated to birth control). The best ones that I’ve used are the Crown Condoms and at only $15 per 100, they are a great investment for barter and for your own personal use post collapse. People will continue to have sex after a disaster and protection from pregnancy and STD’s will be needed and if you’re the person in your community with the condom stockpile for barter, you’ll be in the catbird seat.

    10. Lighters and Matches

    Lighters and matches for barter should be self-explanatory, but keep in mind that these like condoms and some of the other items mentioned above would most valuable for barter after a major long-term EOTWAWKI type of event.  Because we don’t know exactly what is going to happen or when it’s best to stockpile smaller amounts of many different barter items than a massive amount of only one or two items.  Before anyone sends an email telling me that matches have a short self-life, it should be noted that I have matches from over 15 years ago in a glass jar that still strike and burn just as well as the day I put them into storage. The key is to keep them dry and add a desiccant.

    What barter Items for survival do have you stockpiled? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

    M.D. Creekmore is the founder of and the author of several books, including The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving the End of the World as We Know It: Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How.


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      1. I don’t know about ammo and booze. They may get drunk and decide to attack you for your stuff. Tobacco and seeds is great. Imma try and grow some this year. The rest is ok, if you know how to make booze you will be in demand but just be careful who you distribute it too (see above). Got sugar?

        • NEVER BARTER AMMO !!! NEVER !!! 🙂

          • @ D.K. Agreed Never barter your ammo!! I would replace that with Coleman fuel, propane bottles, or some other kind of fuel.

          • Great article! I agree all of these items will be items in demand for barter.

            I think salt will also be useful barter item.

            • Sugar, flour, butter, milk, and salt would be great barter items. Do not barter honey unless you are a producer of honey.

              In a REAL SHTF, carbon based fuels will disappear or be rationed. So there must be a SPECIAL USE for storing serious amounts of propane, like smelting GOLD.

              Solar power, wind or water power with energy storage is the only way to go, depending upon your resources. You MUST have some form of green energy production and energy storage system, even if it is a basic system.

              In REAL SHTF, electrical power for heat, cooling, cooking, and light will separate civilization into the have’s and have nots.

              Be a have.

              I am looking into the FREE ENERGY revolution. Some of it looks very real, very good. I am also developing a product that will multiply wind energy in a dramatic new way and want to install both on the new project.

              we’ll see. 🙂

              • i think my bulletptoof vests will be PRICELESS after the collapse…..maybe even more expensive than THAT!

                • When the shtf you wont be trading with people…. you idiots when the shtf people will be out with their guns looking for people like you…. you wont be able to walk around outside,
                  damn think….. Move out of me way i have gold to trade and sir put that gun down its illegal to shoot me…lol

                • Can you say “Headshot” ???

                  • hmmmm….you have to have a head shot to take ME out, and all I gotta do is hit YOU center-mass….i like MY chances WITH the vest, thanks for pointing that out!

              • Baking Soda (so many uses) and other baking essentials would be good barter products. Store them properly.

                50+ Ways to Use Baking Soda

                11 Amazing Health Benefits of Using Baking Soda

                *Store baking soda in a sealed glass container in a cool, dry place such as a cupboard or pantry and it will last indefinitely.

                From the Mormon preparedness guide…
                “Baking soda kept well sealed in an air and moisture-proof container, its storage life is indefinite.
                If kept in the cardboard box it usually comes in, it will keep for about eighteen months.
                Do keep in mind that baking soda is a wonderful odor absorber. If you don’t want your baked goods tasting of whatever smells it absorbed then keeping it in an airtight container is a good idea.”

                Baking soda may lose its effectiveness and potency over time. You will want to test it when you open it for use after being in storage.

                Baking soda: Mix 1 teaspoon with 3 tablespoons of vinegar. If the mixture becomes bubbly, you’re good to go.

                *Baking soda does have an indefinite shelf life and potency, but with baking powder the soda has already started reacting (minutely) with the cream of tartar which causes it to lose potency over time.

                Cream of tartar also has an indefinite shelf life. Store baking soda and cream of tartar separately and then they can be combined 2:1 tartar to soda to make baking powder (baking powder will also sometimes have 1 part corn starch as well, but that isn’t necessary for the rising action — it does help longevity on the shelf as it absorbs moisture which would react with the soda and tartar).

                easy test…
                Baking Powder: mix 1 teaspoon baking powder with 1/2 cup hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately.

                How To Store Baking Essentials For Longer Shelf Life

          • I have bartered 22 LR for Ahi. It was a good trade. 10 cartridges for 10 pounds of fresh fish.

            • .80 cents worth of ammo for 10lbs. of radiated fish? Hmmmm lol. Why else would anyone trade you for .80 cents of ammo?

              • You know me, I like my radiation! Especially if it is about 330 to 770 nanometers or so.

                • Kind of like built in chemotherapy? Tell the dolphins hi for me and I will miss them greatly, before they disappear.

          • Darn right Durango…

        • Agree on bartering ammo and booze. Canned beans, meats other foods, hygiene products (toothpaste, brushes TP, razors, first aid stuff, etc.) On #9: best to get surgically sterilized now since insurance does pay. No one needs to start a family now days anyway. Men and women both should, as one could die and/or a woman could be raped. Don’t trust condoms or pills, not 100 percent, and drugs or implants must be rx, and the Doc may not be around. #8, add tea bags as some hate coffee, chocolate, mints, protein bars, etc.

          • Laura Ann:

            There are no shortages of blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. These people and Semetic people are all procreating at rapid rates having eight or nine children. Men have multiple wives and keep them pregnant in some, although not all of the above.

            By contrast, white European people in Countries around the globe have abdicated their responsibility to maintain the survival of the race. I could not care less whether or not the other races continue to squeeze out more of their people. But I do care that white people continue to have children. Over reaction to stress in today’s world is no reason to give up on the future. Have a large family. Your children are important. Without them there will be no future; at least no future worth while.


        • The author lost all credence at the first item. Ammo is NEVER a barter item. NEVER barter ammo. The only trading you should be prepared to to with it is by its intended purpose.

          • Got that right !!! 🙂

        • Tobacco, if not for barter or personal use, makes great natural insecticide ( beware: kills worms and you too if too concentrated )

      2. Bic lighters (not the shitty cheapos) are 50 for 50bux on ebay with free shipping. Don’t buy the 4 for a buck pieces of crap that fail miserably. You never regret buying the best, especially when your life may depend on it. 50 Bic’s will last a long, long, long time. Fishing tackle is good too, you can get tons of it cheap at yard sales. Buckets and lids are a must! Blankets and jackets etc. are good too. Backpacks, fuel, tools, tire plugs, compressors, hardware, oil, optics, reading glasses, books, hand towels, bars of soap, dish soap, sewing kits, candles, foil, Tupperware, baggies, pots and pans, steel wool, duct tape, shovels, for a start.

        • Don’t forget pencils, tic combs, and nails and metal coffee cans, (that’s a big one. Coffee cans to hold it all).

          Basically, all those junk collectors and folks whom never throw anything out will suddenly have a gold mine on their hands.

          Why do you think that is? Some of us are too young to remember what our Great Grand Parents went through. They would bother recover an embedded nail from a piece of wood before burning it.

          • You dream to much, you know the worlds gonna shtf YET somehow it will still be civil….lol a 1000 guns for every barter..

        • Good list. But in reality the list could be endless. If one intends to hunker down, Barb wire, hedge post, and tee post can offer difficult obstacles for intruders to cross. Solar powered motion detection lights can illuminate sneaky intruders. Should be a big demand for security items such as these if 911 calls are no longer answered.
          Give a man a fox hole, a Barrett 50 with N.V., a VEPR with bolo 00 buckshot, enough barb wire and motion lights and he could hold off a good sized mob. Throw in some donuts and a thermos of hot coffee and I’ll join ya.

          • no fixed position is defensible LONGterm… that as many times as it takes to sink in.

            • Yeah your thinking castles my friend…. the kind where a tank rolls up and blast it, BUT if that tank dont roll up I want a fixed position all day long……

            • Its been my experience that fortified positions are avoided by looters. They choose to prey on the helpless and unprotected. The “NO GUN” areas. And why not, they are numerous.
              I have hopes that people will pull together when times get tough. I plan to help everyone I can for as long as I can. I have a clean water well and several large water tanks that I can fill daily and take to neighboring towns. I might also be able to pass along some fish and other foods. I make my own electricity so I will also offer freezer space to as many neighbors as I can. My goal is to offer fresh water, food, freezer space, and security to as many good people as I can for as long as I can. And if they are cold, I just cut about 4 years worth of firewood I can share. If gas is available, I can cut more. I am too old and arthritic to share with everyone, but I plan on doing the best I can.

            • Would you prefer standing in the streets with water balloons?

        • Bic lighters are a waste of money. I bought 400 lighters for $80 on Amazon. And if a few are bad, no big deal. After 2 years, I had maybe 2 or 3 lighters go bad, and still was able to push the gas and light it with another lighter. So really there has been no waste here in 2 years with probably 30 lighters.

          Buying a Mercedes to get you to the corner store is a big waste of money. Think people think!!

          • How much are they worth in trade? I wouldn’t give you hardly anything for them but a bic I might. Why skimp on something you need to rely on?

            • You will wish you had a Mercedes when your Yugo breaks down lol.

            • And thats because your not thinking, when shtf people without arent in position to choose…

              Still dont understand how in the world you think your gonna barter in a world full of hungry and thirsty killers with semi auto weapons out the azz…

        • The Bic lighters are good for fire starting, even when they run out of gas. The flint lasts a lot longer than the gas. It’s an easy to carry alternative to a regular flint and steel.

          So don’t throw away empty lighters.

          • Another thing I highly recommend is put full synthetic oil in EVERYTHING! I use mobil-1. Do the math, 15,000 miles vs. 3000 miles with regular oil. Is it cheaper to change your oil 5 times compared to 1 time? Besides the much better protection you get from synthetic! If you bugout with regular oil you may not even get to change it again. If you give a shit at all about your engines and want to save money GO SYNTHETIC!

            • i work on cars for a living(over 35 years now), and you don’t need to change oil in a modern engine more than every 5,000 miles…..and more than 10,000 miles on synthetic is asking a lot, so it’s actually half as often with synthetic. turbo’s simply MUST run synthetic, if you value your engine.

            • BWHAHAHAHHA REALLY? You will be a moving target for all the people who dont have food and water saved up

              Yep its gonna stay civil out there…. wake up….

              • To be fair, Truth, you don’t know what SHTF will look like. Sure, the cities will probably be Hell on Earth, but having an eye for barter in the smaller communities can be useful. Being the person in the community who can get others need is a valuable position. If you can trade or just give certain items to people to help them help themselves, you can build a strong community that will have your back once the outsiders come calling.

                Life might be super dangerous for a while, but it won’t last forever. Even in the dark ages there were traders. The idea is to be ready for it when the time comes.

                • Redoubt Renee,

                  Well said!

      3. I suspect that were going the way of Venezuela, a slow decay into your worst nightmare, or a surprising change of a relaxing lifestyle (if your prepared). If that’s the case, and it not BOOM -instant FEMA Camps, Chinese in Blue Helmets, Embedded Chips and SDRs, and we get past the worst of it, then trade could settle in.

        I think ammo will be right up there with gold. You simple don’t trade it, nor let anyone know that you have it.

        According to the stories from Bosnia. Bic lighters were a hit, (I always buy a few each week, building a small stock pile -easily overlooked, easy to stash and carry and never done without). Also, there was man whom could make kerosene and he never went hungry.

        Making soap and candles would also be very important skills.

        Growing tobacco.

        Shoe and leather repair as well.

        Consider oil lamps/lanterns. Shoe repair and sewing kits, etc.

        Books is another form of trade. Something the cowboys liked to do while on the trail was trade books.

        Were going back to old tymes. Time to stop following the Cardashian’s and get busy both reading up and buying tools while you can, on how to be someone worth seeking out, and you’ll never go hungry.

        We also should discuss the act of trading. How it’s best done. The folks from Bosnia never traded at home, and would meet a safe location.

        • True that about not trading at home. BUT you must be very careful you are not followed home too. Perhaps a location where you could have a sniper or two watching over. I am lucky I have a great location that I can watch everything going on for miles close by. Radio comms are a must also!

          • Agree. Also, never go alone. People will take advantage. No matter what. Discouragement from being an easy target is the only way.

          • What happens when they also have a sniper or 3?

            Lol if you need snipers to go out and barter…..

            Man wake up… you arent going anywhere…



          • I do think manufacturing will return to the US when robotics make even third world wages higher (and less reliable) than robotic manufacture.The facilities however will employ 2-5% of their former displaced work force. Even warehousing and trucking transportation are not immune. We become Kissinger’s, “useless eaters”. It doesn’t take a high IQ to see where that is eventually headed, the only question is the methods employed and the time frame.

            Agenda 21

            • I’ve been thinking about the useless eater situation too. I wonder if it isn’t a good thing that Caucasian birth rates are down. Eventually we will need to provide for ourselves apart from a system that sees us as superfluous, and having fewer mouths to feed might be a plus. I can’t help but think that with advanced technology, the manpower we’ve always had to build won’t be needed, and many will indeed become useless. You can say that we need to continue to have babies because the muslims are going to bred us into oblivion, but they remain behind us technologically speaking. Who’s to say that their population will suffer a large reduction with the new advances in technology and the coming crisis. In the end, I’m only responsible for me and mine, and I can’t say I’m sad that I only have to take care of two children instead of six.

        • I also read that “Bic lighters were a hit” a while back. I got 100 cheap on Amazon last year. I can see why. When I was up north last summer they became my go to fire starter with cotton swabs and petroleum jelly.

          • I should also add that I shamelessly keep every condiment and salt packet I get. They keep forever, (Gee. I wonder why). Something like that would be a treat to sweeten a deal.

            No more news papers, burnables and good plastic bottles with lids (food grade quality) in the recycling bin. Keep them. It’s all possible trade items. It’s a shame to think it, until you one day you’ll need it. Get a few cheap trash cans to sort and hold and it all.

            Another tip: The straps that go with laptop bags with metal clips? They make great cheap bandoleers and a means to carry a jug of water, (the ones that have molded looped handles).

            Time to keep all your old clothes and hand me downs. Sorry Goodwill. It’s all money in the bank, now.

            I would also suggest to carry only a small amount at any one time in case of theft. A huge bag might persuade a person to consider the worst.

            Also. Be careful of your appearance. Nothing shinny and new. Cover a good pair of boots with few strips of duck tape to suggest they’re worn. Including the elbows on your coat.

            Knife and gun should be worn under the jacket. The belly belts come in handy for this. Speak of jacket, you can get a full dress rain coat at Goodwill to hide all your worn wares. Like the old west. Yeehaw. $20 for London fog. The stuff that folks throw out.

            Think it through, all of it.

            • ” Be careful of your appearance.”

              Look poor. Act poor. Talk poor.

          • Dryer lint saturated in Vaseline Petroleum Jelly stuffed in toilet paper rolls were great for camping fire starters.

          • Yes, BIC lighters… NOT cheapo shitty lighters.

            • Also I like the triple flint welders sparkers. And from what I’ve seen . Blast match has the biggest flint.

        • Wise, Smart, words to pass along, sir !! Thank you for sharing all of that good stuff. I also teach good people how to throw tomahawks and knives accurately, and my “Hawks” are American made, but buy them from: — Let compare notes, and I also write a humble Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL. My email: [email protected] –Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70. Tommy S –Jesus is Lord —

          • Stupid people have perished en masse before the 20th century invention of welfare. It should be as it was in old times. The stupid die and the intelligent survive. Imagine what the world would be like now if that was the case….

          • See the difference is WE HAVE MILLIONS OF GUNS

            add millions of guns there and no one is walking around bartering…

            • Truth,

              Remember, one thousand people with one thousand rounds each, have one million rounds…

      4. No soap?

      5. I think soap is another good choice.

        • Dawn dishsoap is a great choice. It can be used as bodywash and shampoo also. It cleans grease very well and is less toxic than shampoo and you only need a little bit.

          • Dawn can also be mixed with a few things to make weed killer and insect poison.

            • I mix a solution with Dawn and keep it in a spray bottle to spray wasps. The wasps drop, curl up, and die.

              Louisiana Eagle

            • Last summer I kept the tomato worms away from my tomatoes and my winter cauliflower and brussel sprouts. I now no longer use pesticides.

              • It’s not because it’s so poisonous, the reason is any soap that has a thick film will choke out insects and wasps etc. with that soap film. Kinda like being wrapped in plasic wrap lol.

      6. Screw you all… I’m keeping the booze….

        • Stan, At least it is good for pain, toothaches, and cleaning wounds !! Smart Idea !

        • @ Stan…..LOL, I don’t blame you buddy.

        • Stan522: I may be keeping the Dove dark chocolate.

      7. Who uses French letters in a crisis?

      8. Soap and toothpaste a pretty cheap to store. Imagine waking up in the morning without either one.

        • Toiler paper

          • or maybe toilet paper

        • Red leader: watch exp. dates: a friend and I loaded up on both, here’s what happened: bar soap over time cracks and drys out, tooth paste hardened in tube (y2k prep). I suggest baking soda and Dawn dishwashing soap like someone mentioned above instead.

          • Switch out the dawn for coconut oil- with baking soda and you’ve got something.
            Stock up on coconut oil if you can and do not barter it.
            Any cooking oil is worth it’s weight in -anything-.
            Coconut oil is best, then olive oil.

            • I didn’t think you could cook eg. deep fry with olive oil.
              Coconut oil is best, it costs a fortune, but it will last forever.

              • I don’t deep fry and haven’t in decades. I stir fry (Coc. oil) and sauteed like fish, in butter. Sometimes used peanut oil which is used (in the south).

            • Ketchup, I looked into coconut oil and it is a lot cheaper than olive oil. 1 gallon for 24 bux on ebay but it is steam processed (to take out the coconut flavor). I also understand that it is longer shelf life than olive oil. Olive oil will go rancid after a while so I decided to try the coconut. 3 gallons for 70 bux with free shipping. Thanks for the tip 🙂

              • Its organic too ;P

              • Genius we don’t always agree,
                But this is a prepper site.
                But you should be able to get coconut oil cheaper than that.
                Look up Bulk apothecary, I’m not a sales guy. 5 gallons of 76 degree for $60.
                Olive oil is for salads and pasta.

                • Then why do you say it cost’s a fortune? I can’t even get the shittiest olive oil for less than 10 bux a quart. I do spend extra to get organic stuff too but I will check into apothecary. Thanks for the tip, agree on things doesn’t matter, what matters is helping eachother with prepping! 🙂

          • Plastic containers eventually become brittle. I had a shampoo bottle hit the floor and shatter. That was a mess to clean up.

            • Where was the plastic container kept? U.V. light breaks everything down, from plastic to kelvar. Keep all plastic bottles in boxes and away from any form of light.

              In regards of cheapo lights people were talking about, I have a cheapo lighter that I’ve been using off and on over 1 year and still working, going to run out of fuel soon before the flint runs out. bought that cheapo lighter 3+ years ago and stored away in ziplock bags, hidden away from light in the closet. I have to admit I have some BIC lighters, but never had to use them…yet.

          • I stored Crest toothpaste back in the early 1980’s and 20 years later it was like new. The bar soap did dry out a little bit and had a crack, but worked fine. So far liquid soap appears to store well.

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      10. Never set up a barter site close to home. Out of your car in a shopping mall car park is good. The customer has no idea who you are or where you live.

        My #1 barter item is rice in 1Kg (2.2. pounds) packs at $1.40 each (in Australia), and I have LOTS.

        • old codger: I think flea markets will flourish after shtf, people bringing stuff to sell or trade, safer than meeting in mall parking or walmart area or even a roadside park.

          • I agree, barter faires will probably happen in stable communities.

      11. – 8 life straws
        – 120 ER Bars (3600 calories)
        – 300lbs rice
        – 30lbs beans
        – about 2 person-months worth of canned food
        – 35 gallons water
        – water purification (tons, 3 or 4 brands)
        – 25 gallons gasoline + gasoline treatment
        – 2000 .556
        – 800 9mm
        – 25 bottles of liquor and some wine
        – waterproof matches, lighters, magnesium fire starters
        – book on edible plants, survival in general, medical survival skillls, couple others
        – sling shot, cross bow, blow dart
        – solo stove (titan)
        – mylar blankets, tarps
        – more than 100 candles
        – various flashlights + 48 surefire 123a batteries
        – other batteries (just a few dozen)
        – first aid kits + various related things like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide,
        – survival seed kit + many seed packs from Home Depot
        – loads more stuff
        – various kinds of tape and glue
        – paracord (hundreds of feet)

        • Forgot:

          – (Becker) BK2 knife
          – KBAR knife
          – dive knife
          – fish spear
          – many smaller knives
          – SOG hatchet
          – breach tools (including short but heavy crowbar)
          – steel camp cooking pots (small sized)
          – laminated map of our state
          – 3 compasses, one with a map guide
          – signal mirror

      12. My motto is “food first.”

        M.D. thanks for the link on growing veggies. I’ve the same idea, printed out instructions to go with the veggie seeds. I suggest Suzanne Ashworth’s “Seed to Seed” book on seed saving. The smaller the seeds the shorter the life time. Each year we literally save gallons of veggie seeds, field peas, pole beans, heirloom corn.. the calorie filled basics. While one may make substitutes for many items, there is no substitute for veggie seeds, fertilizer, garden tools, diesel fuel, implements, a farm tractor. Folks who have never grown much food imagine they can feed themselves with a shovel. They will starve. I suggest everyone download M.D.s treatise on growing veggies. There is a long, steep, hard, learning curve. We typically have some 20,000 sq ft of veggie plots. Some 8000 sq ft are needed for food for one person for one year.

        • I am starting to store 15-15-15 fertilizer for the garden and fruit orchard.

        • Tennessean,

          You’re welcome – and you’re right it does take more garden area than most folks think to provide all of one’s food needs. I plant all over my property anywhere that I have room, I plant something edible.

      13. Salt. For Food. For Curing. For preserving food. Sodium Chloride. Some Iodized ( depending on locale) and Some plain. Will be worth it’s weight in Gold.

        • The iodine eventually sublimates away, so it’s a waste for long-term storage.

          • I buy the Redmond real salt. It tastes much better than table salt and is from ancient sea beds. It lasted this long, it will last a lot longer I’m sure 🙂

            • To get a lot of salt cheap. Water softener salt some say it’s 99 % pure? I read that Stone wall Jacksons foot Calvary would look for salt before food. We might not realize how important salt is ? Scientist say that the salt % in the ocean is the same as in human blood.There is the Dead Sea and salton sea. But the others?

            • thanks Genius. Got me 10lbs for the stash.

              • You won’t regret it! That is the BEST salt EVER! Cost more but hey it’s worth it. I get the 25lb. bags to save money and have a good supply. You will thank me again after you try it lol 🙂

      14. Also something else you can add to your b.o.b., or for barter is (Dentemp).. You can use it to cement a crown back in place, replace a lost filling, repair a broken tooth.. It’s zinc oxide putty, with some tooth ache medicine in it.. It hardens up pretty quick too.. It’s Pretty much the same thing the dentist uses, for a temp filling.. Costs around 4 or 5 bucks at the drugstore, krogers, ect, ect..

      15. This Article is complete toilet paper…..when you give away Opsec …. You give away your life

        • Yep . Bartering is for preppers that forgot something. We all make mistakes but I wonder if doing without is better then exposing your weakness ? Don’t underestimate the canibles.

      16. Machines and tools from the pre technological age. Hand drills and bits, typewriters with ribbon and paper, vertical single cylinder gasoline engines with spare spark plugs, doohickies (various fasteners) to make not A fit B bit rather A fit Z and everything in the middle (with a creative mind.

        If the above is done right no self respecting “salvage specialist” (trash picker) would stop at your home. Five decades ago my father would made us disassemble any appliance thrown out and salvage the fasteners and things of value. If nothing else we got to understand how things worked.

      17. I have bartered and traded to obtain desired things my entire adult life. In a shure enough SHTF situation without the rule of law. I will not barter anything. If you got something I need and you dare or are dumb enough to enter my domain I will just kill you and take everything. I will not take any chance that you might possibly come back later and ambush me. Instead of getting stuff to barter with just get whatever you think you might need to trade for. It will be a survival of the fittest and meanest.

        • Yep. You can’t turn away a starving person if he knows you have food.He will get insane with starvation and come back and ambush you. Through out history the people that didn’t prep for a bad harvest went out and murdered and caniblized for survival. They are the Tares and they are to be burned ( culled ) from the population. People I meet that say o well I’ll worry about that when the time comes. I know are the Tares. And as hard line as God is . Even the believers that didn’t fill there lamps ( And ) fill there flasks . The door will be shut on them. And he will say he did not know them . Even though they were believers. Read Matthew 25 over and over . Until you understand that filling you lamps and flasks is more important then being a believer . Why? Don’t ask why . Just do it.

        • If I mistakenly wander into your “domain” and you kill me then you’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice. Why? Because I have all the things YOU need! You heard that right. I have Geritol, Depends brand adult diapers, hearing aids, catheters, walkers, age spot removers, readin glasses and Preparation H. I also stock a complete selection of elaborate leather trusses for your hernia. Think it over, dustfarter.

          • Well cam im 66 and likely can out work you any day. Yep I don’t see and hear as well. I aint the rifle shot I was back in the day. But my mean little grandchildren can see hear and shoot really well. Im not afeared of death. Are You? Come a real SHTF without the rule of law. If you climb that fence and don’t heed the purple trespassing paint. Me and mine will make certain you don’t do that no more times. And when we kill you we will have all of your Geritol ,Depends and whatever else you got.

            • Befuddled old fool! I accept your challenge. You WILL be purchasing my wares at my exorbitant prices…and you’ll like it.

              • No challenge. Im trying to make you see how dangerious trading could possibly be. You will be relived of your wares and your life very quickly you will never make it to my portion of the Ozarks. Its the neighbors I have to worry about defending me and mine against. Even today they will steal from me. Just for hoots I mowed and bailed the Highway right of way into small square bales. I placed some game cameras . And I bailed 40 bales. And left them overnite. All 40 where stolen by different neighbors. I bailed it with two different colors of plastic twine. One yellow and one blue string on every bale. A few where taken before I finished bailing it.

      18. I saw Red Dawn. I have lots of matches and fire starters.

        • I saw red dawn too, I don’t surround myself with idiots lol.

      19. I agree with the many, never barter ammo. One exception may be to like minded law enforcement in exchange for a blind eye when the day comes.

        In the slums they open packs and sell cigarettes one at a time. In the SHTF, learn from this. It’s ok to sell alcohol a couple ounces at a time, or your twenty pound bag of rice, six ounces at a time.

        Laura Ann is right, join or organize a local flea market. This is why the third world has market places. There is safety in numbers. Sell in small quantities, your customers will want more in a couple days, or next week. If they could kill you for two weeks worth of food many would. So only display small quantities.

        A word of wisdom to survive by, never tempt a thief.

        I have to say there is little I would need to barter for. Most preppers should have the bases covered. I might want to barter for labor.

        • If I am successful at growing tobacco I will barter it otherwise it will be used for us. Seeds are cheap and you need to have a sheetload of papers to trade with it. I found some 1 lb. bags of tobacco at the native American store for 7 bux a pound! That is a killer deal and I am going to buy 10 pounds or more. Smoking is harder than heroin to stop (so I have heard) it will be my #1 barter item. As far as labor, I don’t want strangers on my property. Use captured trespassers as labor then dispose of them?

          • You’ll have strangers on your property and you’ll like it, is that understood? You will compensate them for their labor by allowing them to sharecrop on your land. That is all.

            • Nope strangers on my place will not be tolerated. The only way to get anything from me and mine is by killing all of us. Only the self reliant who are very mean very healthy and extremely lucky will survive. No person will need to or ever become a share cropper. 90% will die off. there will be plenty of vacant land. However it will quickly become a stone age existence. Those who survive will become hunter gatherers and nomads. It will not be a reset or a 1800,s life style. It will be a stone age existance. A much worse existence than we could ever imagine. The poorest of us are on easy street at present compared to what SHTF without the rule of law will soon become.

          • In the beginning there will be no bartering for anything.Make your area look like it has already been sacked then get small.
            The bartering will be down the road with all supplies collected off of the smucks that attempted to enter our area!One crucial item to hoard is SALT!
            Be well all
            Maniac –out

        • COPS will be the LAST group I will barter with….they got the makings of the WORST criminal element.

        • Safety in numbers? Its those who you know who will stab you in the back. There are bad people today that will kill someone for a cell phone. Attempting to trade with desperate folks is stupid. During the civil war in Arkansas the nogoods preyed on other folks. The slaves in south Arkansas rose up and robbed the plantation owners wives and widows. took everything. and where headed north on the levee road. Fagans army caught them and slit the throats of every single one. Left the naked bodys lying on the levee as a example. And Fagans army did not return the purloined goods to the rightful owners. They kept them as the spoils of war.

      20. They go to any third world country and try to hand out bags of flour. They don’t make it 20 feet and its stolen. We don’t realize what starvation does to a rational mind let alone an irrational mind. But we might soon find out the hard way.? Barter with desperate starving people? If possible they will kill you and take everything you have. We have lost touch with reality . Most of us have never missed a meal in our entire lives. Do you realize how crazy that sounds. To never miss a meal in your entire life? It sounds impossible ?

      21. It is interesting that alcohol appears on every prepper list as a bargain item, but another natural substance I think should be also on that same list. The medical use of cannabis is widely known now, and I think having seeds and or lots of cannabis as barter would also work well. Not only for recreational but those medical things that has come to be well known now.

        • I think pot would be useful to impare those who you need to subdue. Maybe plant it everywhere and let it be plentiful free for the taking.

      22. Viable semen will be hard to find

        • We sell that as well here at Ovals General Store & Trading Post, fresh from the tap! How much do you need?

      23. I’m stocking up on personal lubricants to barter with because when the shtf all yall are gonna be takin it in the balloon-knot from your local warlords and their henchmen. Yep. You’ll all be waddling over to Ovals General Store and Trading Post talkin bout how sore ya are from all the attacks on your cracks. Six hundred rounds of any caliber will get you a generous supply of either KY or Astroglide (sorry, no choice).

      24. Barter? What are these people expecting, a big ol’ family camp out? This is going to be TEOTWAWKI, folks.

        First of all, if you using up your valuable storage space with items than you intend to trade away later then you are looking at the preparation thing way different than me. I’m putting away only stuff that I’m figuring on needing and using ourselves.

        Second, if there is any barter item more valuable than food then I surely have my wires crossed. If you are dead set on packing a lot of crap around that you don’t figure on using then keep it simple; cache the most valuable item on Earth, food.

        • Toke Tom is correct There is no safe way to barter when its TEOTWAWKI. Better have what you need or learn to do without. Be prepared to watch those who need medicine die. The weak and infirm will be a burden. Keeping them alive will be a luxury you cant afford. The mental stress will be the hardest thing to deal with. The heck with growing tobacco. Grow pot. Plant it everywhere. Doped up mellowed out folks will be easier to dispatch.

          • I prep for many scenarios. The TEOTWAWKI is a special low probability scenario.

            More likely is the Great Depression Two. A long term financial collapse, a barterer’s delight.

            Each requires its own plan. In either case there is a time to be invisible, and a time to rebuild.

            I don’t know if anyone here agrees, but I see preppers as the leaders that will rebuild our society downstream after the current leaders do a face plant.

            When I worked in business, I was a leader, and most of all a teacher. In every job I ever held I taught my replacement as I moved up, and always the people that worked for me. This as one of my greatest strengths. It’s how you build. I can build awesome stuff with my hands, but when you build with people, now that is really amazing. The only downside was dealing with the stupid ones that couldn’t/wouldn’t learn. It’s my hope that the stupid ones won’t survive TEOTWAWKI!

      25. I don’t understand people saying don’t barter. Hard for me to believe everybody has everything you need. Humans have bartered or traded since the beginning of time. Even in TEOTWAWKI it will be a necessity. The trick is with whom and where. If you are smart enough to survive you should be smart enough to figure out a relatively safe way to trade. I seriously doubt I will have considered everything I might need when SHTF, and I also figure I have overestimated my need for some items I have stored, should make excellent trading material. One item I haven’t seen on the list today is medicine, along with ammo THAT will be worth its weight in gold. Have quite a store of fish antibiotics, some pain killers and some items like pepto, aspirin and neosporin

        • you clearly haven’t read selco’s accounts of the boznian war… SHOULD!

      26. Celantro removes heavy metals. Take it with chlorella.

        Put dried celantro into a tea bag and put it into water. The celantro will absorb any heavy metals. You can grow celantro to clean up heavy metal contamination in your soil.

        Can be stored dried and used to barter if you like.

        Keep bees, chickens, rabbits, and goats for food and barter. If you have room for cows, go for it.
        But for suburban and urban rabbits and bees.


        • At present I actually have rabbits goats cattle chickens and geese. And we grow a garden. I don’t for a minute think that I will be able to keep and defend those items in a true SHTF situation where there is no rule of law. Those type of things will be a luxury and a burden.

          • Old Guy:

            Do we prep for the most drastic senario imaginable. I think not. There are 101 situations where being prepared is beneficial. And there are an infinite number of levels of preparation. I don’t share my plans or my real preps or the truth of who I really am, as this is a public forum.

            If this Country starts going down the tubes, flexibility, a willingness to give up possessions, and start over somewhere else; that will be your greatest advantage. Many Americans flourished on this continent because their ancestors were willing and able to do it. I come to this site to learn and to share what I’ve learned. Lately, I have been getting tired of the articles. Not much prepping info. Some people here are terrific. Some seem to be here to criticize others. I have no respect for such people. I’m not referring to your comments, Old Guy. I agree with you and even if I didn’t, your comment is a legitimate opinion on the subject. I admire your knowledge.


      27. Lot of bravado and bullsh..t about preps the majority of ‘us’ have not made. Lot of folks figure the only problems the world has will result in a total finish for society as we know it. Lot of folks figure on hunkering down and crouching by the window to watch the crowds stumble by and leave them alone… sneak out at night and plant your beans, matos an melons. Make the folks you’ve lived nextdoor to for many years.. think your not there? Nice plans… I got all sorts of ‘plans’ ‘A’ plans, ‘B’ plans, ‘C and D and E and F’ plans… Riot plans and deep snow plans… No ATM/SNAP/Cash plans… and plans for the rattle of small arms fire in the night. Yepper.. I got plans!

        Reality has a plan too. Reality has made plans to ignore ours.. Our preps are our bets in a crap game…

      28. Going out with some desired item to barter it is the exact same thing as playing Russian Roulette. Even now go to the wrong place and you will be robbed beaten and possibly killed. Why not put it to a test? Go to Detroit occupy a vacant house and plant a garden on some vacant land. And go and try to barter for what you need. How long do you think you would survive? After SHTF and the government police are no longer effective . The entire nation will be a Detroit.

        • Old guy,
          You are so right, but those people in Detroit didn’t have market places in their native lands either, for the same reason. Usually the only market places are the larger towns run by a warlord who levies a tax on all trades, but protects the market. Still in Detroit they manage to have an open market for drugs, and they protect their customers from the suburbs that have cash and nice cars.

          It’s not so many years ago in the US and terrible things could happen to a stranger who went into the wrong town in almost anywhere USA.

          Selco said that there were times when you’d be shot just for walking down the wrong street, including his! You are much better off having what you need already hidden in your house, and other stash spots, and no one knowing about it

      29. Bartering ANYTHING after a collapse and Without Rule of Law (WROL) is FANTASY when people are scrabbling to survive. WE have modern day markets so people can trade on SAFE NEUTRAL LAWFUL GROUND. The idea that you will barter anything useful after a collapse is beyond the pale UNLESS you live in a gated off community where a SAFE NEUTRAL LAWFUL TRADING GROUND can be enforced. if you don’t control the terrain and have defensive overwatch where your alleged barter deal goes down, you are EASY PICKINGS for those who want your resources (now that you tipped your hand that you have something THEY WANT). they will merely follow you from a distance and take your shit by force later.

        You have to SHED these foolish notions that IGNORE Human psychology and STRATEGIC THINKING used by true warriors and successful criminals…but whatever, make up your list od tradeables and ADVERTISE what you have stockpiled on here. DO YOU NOT THINK THAT THOSE WISHING TO STEAL YOUR SHIT NOT ALSO READ THESE OPEN FORUMS GATHERING HUMINT AND OTHER INTELLIGENCE for later use? What SANE STRATEGIST WOULD NOT DO SO? But blab on you all. I get it you want to have the most cheery view of post dystopic world, but you are IGNORING ALL THAT POST COLLAPSE PEOPLE HAVE SAID WHEN IT HAPPENED TO THEM and shared their experiences!!!! If you do not have protected enclave of trusted people (a REAL TIGHT KNIT TRUSTED community) you don’t have a SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR BARTER OR TRADE, but one ripe for brigand and thieves and murderers and PREPPER HUNTERS. You all need to take serious course in basic psychology, because you are unprepared or just cannot/willnot see how people REALLY ACT NOW, much less when they cast off any notion of RULE OF LAW in a vacuum of law enforcement and desperation runs the day.

      30. You are correct Neal. The writer of this article is out to lunch. I have already achieved the core concept that I will take a hard line. I don’t trust anyone. I don’t believe anything I read or hear and only half of what I see with my very own eyes. Stupid fools who think they can barter after SHTF. They cannot barter and trade now in the present. But suddenly they will become proficient after SHTF WTF? They need to face Reality.

      31. Anything that is good for bartering is liable to be taken by some government agency for the “greater public good”. The actual people who do this may just use what they have confiscated for their own use. Ordinary looters worry me but these would be far worse.

      32. Yes every year the Dept of Agriculture sends out a questionare. They want to know everything. How many chickens, how big your garden is, what kind of livestock and how many ect. I believe your assets could be a target for confiscation be any government agency including the local govt. Heck the govt dispossesed the Five Civilized tribes ( for the greater good) even though the US Supreme court had ruled against it. Andy Jackson just like obummer did as he wanted.

      33. You buy Bic lighters for yourself, and the cheapies for barter. Always carry and flick your bic when alone… and when you’re out and about – flick the cheapie… and offer it for barter… Fire is fire. If they need fire because they don’t know how to use a mag stick or they don’t have a bic – they WILL trade for a cheapie…. Collect 22LR’s for cheapie lighters… or collect their honey. It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.
        Keep heirloom seeds and trade hybrids. I mean…. If they aren’t prepp’d… why trade the good stuff? Its their fault – and you are prepp’d… so, you get the best. they get second best – they should have been prepped. 😀

      34. Get a bicycle and ride it. Get a magnesium fire starter, and learn to use it. Grow a garden and store some of it. Learn how to clean up water – other than boiling it. (Make a 55 gallon water filtration system). Learn how to build a small shack with pallets and camo it all up. Get a small quiet dual sport motorcycle and learn to ride it. Be agile on it. Ride it on trails. GET OUT OF THE CITIES. Learn, learn, learn, do, do, do…. get out side and do something. Tune up your skills. oh… don’t have any? watch an online video on “how to _______________” and go do it…
        The digital world is making the masses fat and weak. Be smart and lean.
        The more you can do. The more skills. The more you learn. The more you can do and learn – the less you’ll need from others. Be a do-er… not a sitter. Have a goal. A vision. Think of a goal (Plan) Learn about the goal (Vision) Utilize the skill (Do) See the end result; smile (Sit) and rest and go out and DO again, and again, and again.
        CAN’t? No such word. “Cant never did do anything”
        DON’t? Then, what’s the point of being here?

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