Bartering 101

Before the advent of paper money bartering or trading was the way people got what they needed. Farmers often specialized in certain crops or livestock. The chicken farmer might trade 3 chickens with the wheat farmer to get 10 lbs of wheat to make some bread to feed his family.  Similarly, if you have 100 cans of beans but no can opener you are going to need to trade a few of those cans with someone that has a can opener. You might trade a few more cans to someone with a lighter or stove so that you can cook those beans. The value of the item will depend on the needs others and how easy said item is to come by. In other words supply and demand. If you are the only one on the block with sugar and everyone wants some you can set the price as you see fit.

During a crisis, anxiety will increase. This will be especially challenging for individuals with addictions. Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and tea will be in high demand. Stockpile these items or learn how to make moonshine at home. Alcohol also has medical uses.

Soap will be necessary to stave off infections. Shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss will keep you clean and help you feel more human again. You would be surprised what people are willing to pay for a hot shower. Lotion and chapstick won’t just make you feel better but they can help your skin from cracking and getting irritated.

Many people stockpile food but not everyone thinks about how they are going to cook it during a power outage. Firewood and lighters will provide a warm meal. Propane and a camp stove will make cooking even easier. MRE’s and dried beans aren’t too exciting after a while. Salt, sugar, and other spices can make all the difference. Salt a critical part of our diet. Hard candies are a luxury which are easy to store and trade. Without clean drinking water, you will die. Water filters and water purification tablets will be in high demand.

Everyone is going to need a warm and dry place to sleep. Sleeping bags and camping tents will be essential. Even just a tarp and a bungee cord will go a long way. Candles and flashlights will be used to light homes and tents during power outages. Keep a variety of battery sizes for trading.

Gardening tool and seeds will provide food for the long-term. Google and the internet will be long gone so books will be the only source of knowledge. Books on different subjects will be great for bartering. People will have to learn new skills. Maybe you already have some skills you could barter with such as fishing, nursing, or engineering.

Essential Items for Bartering 

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Batteries (variety of sizes)
  • Silver and gold
  • Toiletry items (toothbrushes, floss, etc.)
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo
  • Food
  • Cash
  • Solar shower
  • Ammunition
  • Lighters and matches
  • Propane, fuel, gasoline
  • Water purification tablets
  • Medical supplies
  • Skills (mechanics, nursing, etc.)
  • Candles
  • Condoms
  • Coffee
  • Water filters
  • Hard Candies
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Spices
  • Seeds
  • Duct Tape
  • Fishing Gear
  • Gardening Tools
  • Lotion and Chapstick
  • Baby supplies (diapers, wipes, formula)
  • Books (gardening, childbirth, etc.)
  • Papers and Pens
  • Rope and Bungie Cords
  • Tarps
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camping Tents
  • Camping Stoves
  • Can Opener