Best barter items for SHTF

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by TwoCrows, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Monkey++

    I think the single best thing a non-smoker will be able to have for barter will be cigarettes, smokers will trade away everything they have to get them when the SHTF and they cannot buy them any more.
    They are light and easy to carry, store well in a freezer or refrigerator.
  2. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Salt has been the standard for bartering since recorded history. Ever hear the term--worth his weight in salt--came from weighing people to see how much salt they could swap for. I keep a variety of goodies including cigs. Spices, lubricants, coffees, condiments, and most importantly--services. Being able to weld, mill, plumb, carpentry, and do mechanic work are valuable skills.
  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    We had a can of Folgers at work that was a year old, still in the original sealed container, and the guys opened it and said it was gross. My understanding is that smokes go stale and nasty too after a while. I really have no idea, not being a smoker or a coffee drinker.

    If you look back through history, the major trade items were salt, sugar, and spices, and for important reasons. You could preserve your foods with salt or sugar, and spices helped to mask the taste of what was basically decomposing meat. Kept dry, they also last forever. Of course booze was a popular trade item, particularly quality booze. Anyone can figure out how to make popskull but good whiskey or vodka that won't leave you blind and crazy takes a bit of skill and practice. In a serious SHTF event, there will be plenty of people who choose to drown themselves in a bottle... though if things were really dire, I believe I'd just pour it into a small jelly jar and pretend it was home brew or the last of what I had or whatever, before I'd let anyone get a look at a shiny full bottle and start gettin ideas about liberating it from me.
  4. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    All good ideas, I would add cooking oil and honey for trade goods as well as personal use.
  5. bfayer

    bfayer Keeper Of The Faith

    I hate to say it, but in all the history of mankind the one barter item that has stood the test of time is Alcohol.

    Entire world trade systems have been based on Alcohol since the beginning of time. From biblical times, to the triangle trade of the 17th and 18th centuries, alcohol is king. I don't drink and I never will, but it is what it is and human nature will never change.

    The other thing to think about with bartering is that anything you save up and cannot replace, is only a short term fix to a long term problem. If you are planning for long term situations you need to have the ability to produce a product that other people will want or need on a continuing basis.

    That makes the best barter commodity your skills, and your ability to turn local raw materials into a marketable product.
    sgtdesertstorm, bgner, pmbug and 2 others like this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Monkey++

    Or the ability to repair that irreplaceable item.
  7. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I would not waste much money stocking up on cigarettes, as mentioned they go stale after awhile. Alcohol would be a better option over smokes.
  8. bfayer

    bfayer Keeper Of The Faith

    Absolutely!! .

    Someone who knows how to make a wood gasifier, or bio diesel out of soy bean oil will have a very good life.

    Stock pile for short term. Learn marketable skills for long term. Security all the time!
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Monkey++

    While they lasted, which can be extended by keeping them in a freezer or refrigerator sealed in an airtight container they would be extremely valuable.

    They will keep that way for over a month, which is easily long enough for most people to run out.

    I am not suggesting them as a long term trade item, but for the shorter term they would turn a high profit.
  10. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    Things I keep for barter:
    .22lr ammo
    Good Scotch
    Coffee beans
    Pipe tobacco

    The top 3 are the majority because they store so easily and will keep pretty much forever. Sugar requires a little more care with storage (mostly with regard to protection from critters), unground coffee beans will store quite a while (we have tested coffee beans stored in oxy-free cool environment for 2 years and it is about as good as the commercial ground coffee in stores. Pipe tobacco kept sealed, cool and dark I have tested only after 1 year so far and it held up well.

    We also keep a healthy surplus of the old standbys beans and rice as well as over the counter drugs.

    If I were choosing a "best", it would be a tough call between .22LR and salt.

  11. pmbug

    pmbug Golden Cockroach

    If you envision a SHTF scenario where the power grid is gone, there is going to be a huge market for useful tools that don't require electricity. Water filtration, cooking, gardening, transportation, etc.
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Knowledge. A good reference library. I prefer hard copy books. heirloom seed. fruit and nuts from my fruit and nut trees. tobacco seed. 22lr rounds which I will hoard and save until most all others have run dry of ammo, then we will talk to select known individuals I know can be trusted.
  13. I agree with books being very much in demand after it all hits the fan. People will need to learn things for survival and read for entertainment, since there will be no TV or radio or internet access. I'm working on increasing my book collection.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Well , I don't know about Radio, being gone.... There are a bunch of RadioMen that will certainly be around, and still "On the Air"... and I expect that there will be pockets of Computer Networks that certainly will survive, any SHTF senerio.... ...... YMMV.....
  15. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Actually the books are reference (reading library) only for a fee to outsiders. I have no problem sharing knowledge, but post SHTF my library will be worth it's weight in gold to the tribe. I would kill to keep that knowledge for the use of my tribe and other friendlies. A fiction library where you could leave two and take one or barter for one is a possibility
    NotSoSneaky and BTPost like this.
  16. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Lets hope they don't use the books as TP
  17. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    You would have to be careful with this or you may end up with nothing but Harlequin Romances....
  18. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    a care very little for fiction. it's like tv. to kill time. post shtf I suspect time for work will be at a premium. time for frivilous pursuits very limited. My reference library will not be going anywhere while I live.
  19. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Wine and other alcohol, Medical supplies, Divisible silver bars like the 1 ounce stage coach bars. Oil, Propane cans, Lighters, ammunition, salt, sugar, drink mixes like Kool aid, Crystal Light, Tang.
    Tools of all sorts. I am also sure some Gals will get by with their good looks.
  20. k_m521

    k_m521 Monkey

    how about midwifery skills and herbal healing? salt is great and honey and garlic.....and quite frankly, i wouldn't want to stich an episiotomy without some alcohol for the mom and for the wound. just sayin'
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