So, what are the best items to stockpile for bartering?
In the aftermath of a catastrophic disaster, cash may be in short supply, and if the financial system collapses, maybe even worthless. Food goods, fuel and other basic staples will likely be the more acceptable medium of exchange, (i.e. bartering), because of their scarcity.
And, until an acceptable currency is established, people will be forced to use whatever available goods or services they have to offer as their medium of exchange. Barter has been used throughout civilization where a monetary system did not exist or during time of monetary crisis. Even today, in the digital era, barter is a popular form of exchange on websites like Craigslist.
But in advance societies, bartering can only be a temporary currency replacement because of the difficulty in establishing any common unit of exchange. Also, barterable goods will eventually become scarce, creating a society of haves and have-nots.
If you intend on being one of the haves, you will need to be able to store a significant amount of food goods, fuel, commodities or staples that are in demand making them the best items to stockpile for bartering. Then, should civil society begin to deteriorate into marauding crowds intent on getting their “fair share”, you would simply become a target.
Still, it would be important to emerge in the aftermath with as big a supply of bartering goods as you can safely store. Canned goods, raw grains, seeds, powdered milk, freeze-dried foods, ammunition (stick to popular calibers such as .22 and 12 gauge), toiletries, liquor (think airline-sized bottles), cigarettes, chewing gum, batteries, matches and fire starters will be in demand.
Because it will be difficult to know in advance which types of goods and supplies are the best items to stockpile for bartering, and which will take on some sort of monetary value, it wouldn’t be wise to simply go out and buy things that you might not use yourself. Buy and store what makes sense for your particular circumstances and then use any excess as barter.
Certain skills and services will also be valuable in barter, such as car repair, tutoring, sewing, personal care, medical care, self defense training, wild foods expert, construction, well repair or construction, soap making, appliance, ammo reloading and electronics repair. Any one of these would be a worthwhile skill or trade to learn anytime, but would be especially valuable during an economic collapse.
You might want to also consider developing core negotiation skills for bartering. At a time when value is in the eye of the beholder and the exchange rate of barterable goods is subject to the specific needs of individuals, the ability to negotiate with the right combination of stern and tact could by extremely valuable.
The Best Items to Stockpile for Bartering
- Tobacco, Liquor are two of the best items to stockpile for bartering. In an end of the world scenario, sin items will be a premium barter item. Although they do not have a specific survival value, other than alcohol can be used as an antiseptic, they will be a great barter item with people who have an abundance of resources. Meaning, if a person owns cattle and slaughters a cow, he may not be able to store and use all of the beef before it spoils. He then may be willing to trade his excess for alcohol or tobacco.
- Salt, spices and seasoning. In end-world situation, people may be forced to eat bland and bad tasting items to survive making spices one of the best items to stockpile for bartering. Also, having an ample supply of salt, which can also be used to preserve meat, is a cheap and easy item to stockpile for bartering purposes.
- Sugar and Honey are another two of the best items to stockpile for bartering. They are relatively inexpensive, and are easily stored for long periods of time.
- Coffee and Tea are also in the group of “luxury items” that are easily stored and highly sought after in barter situations. During times in the Great Depression, they were known as some of the best items to stockpile for bartering.
- Fruits and vegetables, primarily fruit. If you are on a limited amount of land, stockpiling vegetables from a garden may be difficult to pull off. However, almost everyone can plant fruit trees. Fruit is a highly sought after commodity making it one of the best items to stockpile for bartering. On a regular sized lot, you can plant multiple fruit trees giving you a bounty of barter items when they are ready to harvest.
- Heirloom Seeds. Having the ability to give people the ability, to grow their own food will be a very valuable resource. Just make sure you stockpile the non-GMO variety that allow people to harvest the seeds from the food they grow.
- Toilet paper and other related paper products. This particular item needs no explanation to anyone who has ever wiped with leaves.
- Toiletries. Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors. In a SHTF scenario, hygiene products will soon become scarce. Brushing your teeth is something we take for granted. If people find themselves having to go months without proper hygiene, your stockpiled toiletries will easily be some of the best items to stockpile for bartering.
- Over the counter medication. As we get older, we get used to our aches and pains, usually with the help from over the counter medications like Advil, Tums and allergy medications. Being thrusted into a world that provides none of these over the counter items that we take for granted will make them a premium on the bartein market.
- Ammunition. Specifically the most common calibers. Almost everyone will have a 12 gauge shot gun and a 22 rifle. Stockpiling these items gives you a HUGE barting advantage. Just make sure to store them properly, and keep the fact that you are stockpiling them a secret.
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