Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Josey Wales (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

20 Of The Most Important Barter Items You Need To Have On Hand For When The SHTF

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

By Josey Wales

If we have an event similar to the nationwide power outage portrayed in American Blackout, there is little doubt that we will eventually have widespread panic, looting and rioting by people who either don’t care or are driven to criminal behavior because of fear or need. The duration of the hypothetical scenario in American Blackout was only 10 days, but for events lasting longer as in a societal breakdown caused by an economic collapse, we could be looking at years of chaos. With no formal way to purchase anything using what would at that time be worthless paper, people would need to revert to bartering.

Here are a few of my thoughts and opinions on barter and trade.

When bartering with people never show more than necessary for any given trade. Never let on like you have more, people will be desprate and unpredictable at this point,  people will not be thinking or acting rationally, flashing large amounts of barter items in front of people could get you hurt or even killed. 

Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later. Just when you think you know someone, the situation may change them into someone you never knew at all.

Always try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods.  Knowledge and skills never run out and no one can steal them from you.

You can also try to barter the information in books. Don’t let the books leave your control.

In a SHTF situation try to barter the use of tools and equipment rather than trading them away.

Try to make trades in neutral areas or at a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren’t followed back home.

Not all the items/skills listed will be of much value early into the event. It could be three to five years or more for some of the items to become valuable.

Try to have most of your equipment and several months of consumables before you stockpile trade goods, including Precious Metals.

When it comes to PMs, unless you are wealthy, start slow. A few silver dimes & quarters at a time. When you feel it is time to get gold coins, stay with the small denominations. And remember that there will be some people that won’t trust or want them.

If you are trading bulk items, try to have the customers bring their own containers for the items. But it will be a good idea to have some of your own so you can trade just the amount you or they want without having to try and get full value for the full container of the goods. For many of them you can collect a deposit, to encourage the people to bring back the same container for repeat sales to conserve you stock of the containers.

Things to Stockpile with High Barter Value

First aid – Antibiotics – Medicine is hard to stock up on unless you have a very understanding doctor. Fortunately, there are sources for antibiotics you can take advantage of now and stock up before the hospitals are overflowing with people.

Cigarettes. I hate smoking, and can’t stand being around anyone that smokes. But Having said that, I recognize that in a SHTF situation many others will be cut off from their access to cigarettes, so there is plenty of barter potential.

Soap. Bars of soap, and even those little cleaning napkins/wipes that you get at the BBQ restaurants could be very valuable in a SHTF scenario. Learning to make soap is easy and a skill that can never be taken from you.  Ever see “The Book of Eli?”

Bullets. Obviously, it’s a good idea to have a decent store of ammo representing all calibers of the weapons you own. However, it is also a good idea to store extra ammo in common calibers (9mm, .22, .38, 12-guage shells, etc.) as a potential barter. After all, a gun without ammo is just an inacurate throwing object.

Alcohol. Alcohol could serve a variety of purposes in a SHTF situation. It is valuable as a potential bartering commodity, and it also has medicinal uses. Did you know Vodka is a great home remedy to counteract the reaction to poison ivy?

MREs. More portable and easier to barter than larger 5-gallon buckets, or even #10 cans of dried foods, MREs are great to have on hand for bartering. Keep a variety of flavors and different kinds of foods because you could be holding something that could complete a meal for a hungry person.

Silver Coins. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean only silver dollars with a full ounce of silver, but even older, less expensive coins with a high silver component (the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar, for example).

Detergent. Don’t think people are interested in bartering detergent? Check out the story about the recent rash of detergent thefts across the country. Apparently, Tide detergent on the black market is now referred to as “liquid gold.” Interesting.

Water bottles. To someone in bad need of water, a water bottle could be worth its weight in gold. Remember the rule of threes: you can live three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Store accordingly.

Matches and lighters. A box of matches is relatively inexpensive, but for someone needing to build a fire a pack of matches or a lighter could be very valuable. Be sure these are stored safely, and if they are not waterproof make them so by storing in a watertight container.

Sugar. My grandfather used to tell stories of things that were in limited supply in the Great Depression. Sugar was something he often mentioned. Imagine how easily you could win over a sweet-tooth with the promise of a bag of sugar in exchange for something you are short on.

Toilet paper. This one is rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? Sure, there are substitutes for Charmin, but who wants to keep using leaves when paper feels so much better.

Water Filters/Purifiers. Water purification drops and filters could mean the difference in offering family members treated water or potentially harmful, bacteria-infested water. Who’d be willing to trade for that?

Bleach. May be used to disinfect water, or keep living quarters and soiled clothing sanitized.

Batteries. Can be used to power up flashlights, radios, and other electronic devices.

Candles. Emergency candles would be a great barter item for those in need of providing some light to their living quarters without electricity. Plus another skill you can add to your developing skill sets.

Propane – Small propane canisters like the kind for camping grills or lanterns are relatively cheap and could make an excellent barter item.

Seeds – Seeds will be one of the most valuable commodities we can have on hand. Everyone needs to be able to eat.

Books – Resource books and even fiction books. Without our modern distractions, a good book will be welcome to someone who has the time to chill out or who needs to learn something.

Hand Tools – People will have to have tools to survive, wether it be gardening or repairs on their shelter, small hand tools will be very barterable. Garage sales and auctions are a great place to buy these tools cheap.

The list goes on.  What other items would you add to your barter list?

Critical Reads: More News Mainstream Media Chooses To Ignore By Josey Wales, Click Here!

Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 33 comments
    • W. Willow

      Screws and nails of various sizes for those hand tools. Forges, anvils. Leather working tools. Hides if you can find them, if you dare to part with them.

      Heavy weight fabrics. Denim, duck, canvas, camouflage. These can be found in inexpensive remnant lengths in some discount fabric outlets. Scissors, heavy duty needles.

      • simboliza

        People with out a living God do need these things … Cant blame em… But us with faith in our living God have need for nothing as he supply’s all our need as the situation requires!

        • AZRanger

          He also gave you a brain, and expects you to use it!

        • Arcflash

          I met people like you in my church days. I considered them leeches.

        • NoBullshit

          Please tell me about all the starving homeless people in the world with strong faith in God but are still starving and getting sick. Or all the children in cancer clinics who pray daily for god to make them better but only get worse.

          Faith is pretending to know something you dont know. We’ll see how far pretending get’s you in a survival situation.

          Refer to the story of the man on a shipwreck, when 3 boats float past him for his rescue, and he says “that’s ok, god will save me”. then he dies and asks god why he did not save him, and god replies “I sent you 3 boats to your rescue!”. Dont be the guy stranded.

          If you really believe god helps you, then take this article as the first boat.

    • Huan Xiang

      Top 5 missing items:
      Fishing Line
      Magnifying Glass

      Top 5 missing skills:
      Build a steam engine
      Build an electric motor
      Build a wind turbine
      Build a solar generator
      Build a hydroelectric generator
      (no gas reliance, the petro dollar run by the Zionists will cause STHF)

      • Theron

        How to build a gasification generator

    • Jacksdad

      Tampons. Don’t let SHTF without them!

    • Theron

      Marijuana seeds :idea:

      • FarmerX

        Check! :lol:

      • clockwork angel

        How true…. :cool:

    • spiritof1776

      Thanks for this list. I believe that greatest barter item will be coffee.
      This is what was most asked for by ppl in France during ww2.

    • bob-bob-bob

      I disagree on the booze ! The LAST thing I want in front of my door is a drunk or high idiot who wants more booze or smokes and this time he has TEN ” friends ” with him or her, all with Guns ! Just remember the more you trade the more people you are going to get at your door , some of those people are going to try to kill you to get what you have. so at some point in time , like whwn you have run low of your own supplys you are going to shut your door and “TRY” to close shop only to face an angry crowd you are going to have to kill some of them to stay alive

      • Theron

        I said marijuana SEEDS. If you knew anything you would know that seeds don’t get you high. Any user who grew plants from seeds would allow a couple of plants to go to seed and would never need to bother you. Also I highly recommend you research yourself for examples of unbiased peer reviewed clinical studies on the medicinal properties of Marijuana before you ignorantly deprive yourself of it’s medicinal benefits. You plan on running to the pharmacy if the SHTF? No you wouldn’t want a medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years. It’s a no brainer.

        • Anonymous

          Theron,.Yes you are correct, but bob tells the truth also. The type of morons who will try and take what you have will be drawn to Pot and it’s seeds if they are known. He is just stating the desperate type of mentality that will be very evident in an anarchy. I have to agree with him.

      • FarmerX

        The booze ain’t for drinking. It’s for bribes, mostly.
        As for weed, it’s good for all kinds of stuff.

      • carveorstarve

        Bob is not very smart is he? If you have the mind-set of “everyone for himself” you’ll end up being one that’s shot. Why wouldn’t you be in a community that sets up trade? And why would you be stupid enough to let them get as close as your door?

        • bob-bob-bob

          carveorstarve , HOW else are you going to barter or trade things ? People will have to come to your door to do that , do you want to set up shop out on a street that everyone can come at you from every side an pull guns and then rob you ? Good luck with that one pal As for everyone for himself ?, who is more concerned about your family’s safety ? the guy down the street or you ?

      • W. Willow

        Don’t forget the parameters for barter set forth in the article. It doesn’t seem wise to attempt barter any where near your abode.

        If you watched the TV series Jericho, the heroes travel to a place to bargain for windmill parts to create local energy. The marketplace was a highly controlled environment where people agreed to abide by the rules. Silver was rejected. Of course the episode continues on with the trouble that ensues with the rising awareness of others of the Jericho community.

        The place to be, of course, is in a position where you don’t need anything but what you’ve already got. This will keep the need to barter at a minimum.

      • Josey Wales

        bob you make a good point, that’s why I add3ed these words of wisdom in this article. “When bartering with people never show more than necessary for any given trade. Never let on like you have more, people will be desprate and unpredictable at this point, people will not be thinking or acting rationally, flashing large amounts of barter items in front of people could get you hurt or even killed.

        Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later. Just when you think you know someone, the situation may change them into someone you never knew at all.

        Always try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods. Knowledge and skills never run out and no one can steal them from you.

        You can also try to barter the information in books. Don’t let the books leave your control.

        In a SHTF situation try to barter the use of tools and equipment rather than trading them away.

        Try to make trades in neutral areas or at a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren’t followed back home.”

      • patriotwolf

        If you are bartering at your house you have stupidly set yourself up fyi don’t do that

        • bob-bob-bob

          Patriotwolf: At my home I have my loved ones to back me up , At home I have a fortress to hunker down in and fight from, as well as friends and neighbors who are going to be real torked when some idiot pulls his gun and starts shooting. And they will open fire at them as well. So I am all for selling from my home as long as my friends and neighbors are kept in the loop . It will only take a couple of times for that to happen before the word gets around ” Don’t go messing with those cats over on(insert your street here) or you will get shot!! Or better yet Hang a body from a tree for a few days with a sign “THIEF” around its dead neck !! Trust me , no one will make trouble in that “Hood “Am I a cold hearted SOB ?? You better believe it sir ! I AM , In a shtf situation I will do whatever it takes to ensure my and my friends and neighbors safety !

      • alcohol4fuel

        What you may not have considered is the fact that alcohol can run engines and can be used for fuel when there will not be any gasoline available.

    • Anonymous

      Safety in numbers. Find a large building and occupy it with as many neighbors as possible. Take your essentials with you and create a community there. Trying to stay in a single family home is just asking for it.

    • FarmerX

      Salt should be up towards the top, and honey is better than sugar.

      • MJ12

        Agree about salt, however honey is perishable.

    • Sid

      My goodness. Do you have a salt mine in your neighborhood? If not, you better add salt to your list and forget the sugar unless you plan on being dead within a year. You will die quite soon without salt, but you can live forever without sugar. Whoever wrote this list is nutritionally ignorant.

      • just say\\\'n

        I,m pretty sure it says barter items not stay alive items… I don’t think batteries and cigarettes are very nutritional as well, but thats beside the point.

        • Sid

          I pretty sure people will want to barter to get salt since it is one of the most important things they can get. Salt was always a major trade item before the modern age, and in fact was actually used as money at times in history. I stand by what I said.

    • ducksfeet

      I would also like to have Poppy seeds especially the one that produces the opium milk for you may need a pain killer or something to settle nerves when under stress.They grow abundantly easy and has many other uses. Medicines will be hard to come by so having knowledge in Botanical medicinal properties is very helpful in surviving and that knowledge can be bartered with.

      • FarmerX

        Very good point and….. Check! :lol:

    • harvtrueword

      and if you have all the things in the video then they will be taken from a complete civil breakdown these supplies will mean life or death to those trying just to survive everyday. the word gets out that you have this or that there will be a sudden violent visit made on you to take what you have, the video lets on that every one will be nice and play by the rules and not want more than what they can barter for but this will not be the case. Only this will be believed by those that have no use for guns, as they will be the first to die, have real plans use your head in a common sense type of way. Trust no one and watch behind your back those that you think you can trust no matter who they are. Plan wisely and may be a while before everything gets back to the normal you are used too if ever.

    • Wings of Eagles

      Great piece! These items may not be critical, but I believe they will hold some value:

      - MultiVitamins. If getting food at all will be an issue, getting your basic nutrients in a pill may make the difference between being hungry and feeling lousy and being hungry but essentially stable until real food can be obtained.

      - Nuts of all kinds and nut butters. They’re packed with protein as well as fats your body can use for energy.

      - Tweezers, box cutters and razors of any kind (especially straight edge), sharpening stones, hair cutting scissors, nail clippers, all first aid items. Tweezers can remove splinters and be used for minor surgical repairs (i.e. — removing gravel from a knee cap — personal experience x( Razors and scissors can likewise be used not only for personal care but cutting tarps, etc. The increase in manual labor pretty much explains the first aid stuff.

      - Dog & cat food, both tinned and bagged kibble. May be used not only to feed Fido or Fluffy, but yourself if you get in a pinch.

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.