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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit curious as to what kinds of barter stock, if any, we all should have.
Ammo, food, spices (I have a friend that stocked up on a ton of pepper corn
for Y2K, still has a LOT of it), Toilet paper, luxury items??

And, how separate do you keep it from you stash

Personally, I'm thinking TP, .22 ammo, basic spices.
 

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I am a little teapot
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Anything that will make people feel more like people again. I'm still stocking up on my main stuff so I'm not able to put much back for bartering yet, but I'd think "luxury" stuff-spices, as you mentioned, coffee, tea, booze, new pillows, new boots/clothes...
 

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Rookie Prepper
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4,106 Posts
IMHO, ammo and fuel should not be barter items. Exceptions could be when you give a person a weapon and say "come back with meat, or don't come back".

Toilet paper is another thing I wouldn't barter.

"Feel good" things are nice but expect a harder bargain. Salt is invaluable and a key item, especially if you don't have it. I'll go so far as coffee for a "feel good" item. My thoughts are that if/when SHTF, people will NEED things and want to barter for those. Feel-good are nice but can't replace clean water, food and clothing/shoes.

I keep water (bottled or filtration systems), pasta, rice and blankets as my primary barter items.
 

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Retired Army
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320 Posts
Barter Supplies

I don't have anything against stockpiling barter items, it's a part of survival history.

I take a little different tact. Instead of spending my money for things that I will have to move or protect, or anticipate will be of value, I spend my current prep time learning or building barterable skills and the tools for such:

Water Purification
Solar set up
Electrical repair
Blacksmithing
Seed saving
Tree horticulture (apples, nuts, fruits, etc)
Poultry breeding
Herbal medicine

there are hundreds more skills to learn that would be in demand (gunsmithing...)

While the EMBIVERSE series by Stirling may be a little dramatic or corny (but a nice read), it does show "knowledge" trumps "stuff"

If I take my son outside for an afternoon of blade making on the forge, or plant selection, he will have that skill forever. He may forget however to keep toilet paper in the pantry.

The knowledge of brewing booze or vinegar seems worthier than spending money stockpiling it.

Just my direction.
 

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Junior Member
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71 Posts
I agree that knowledge is the foundation of survival. If you know how to make or do something others cannot, you may find that your skills are your most valuable bartering tool.

But, as far as essentials go: Salt, spice, ammunition, black powder, fuse, water purification, seeds, tools (basics like a hatchet or knife), fire making supplies, and basic medical supplies and medication.

I think that owning things that will create a steady supply of something is a great benefit for bartering. I would love to own a still. Alcohol for pleasure and medicinal purposes will be a much sought after commodity.
 

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Woodchuck
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3,347 Posts
I’ll barter with skills. They are nothing extra to carry/stockpile and will last a lifetime if stored correctly. I have lots of hand tools (non power tools) for any carpentry/masonry needs and the skills to use them. Never done any gunsmithing or blacksmithing but think they would be a great knowledge to have. Although they would be more of a long term survival need not a short term value. I garden, preserve and save seeds. Having fresh food to barter with will be a biggie. I have a good selection of rifles, pistols, a shotgun and enough ammo for each to last a while. Not for barter themselves, maybe what they kill. Remember, there is no such thing as too much ammo!

Feel good items. Coffee, teas, salt, sugar, booze… all great to have but no need to stockpile specifically for bartering. Coffee can be done without, there are caffeine substitutes around. Teas can be grown. Salt… well, I’ll give in on this one. Sugar, again plants can help sweeten things. Booze. I do have a 20 gallon copper still and the knowledge/practice to make liquor without sugar. Never fired it outside with wood but feel confident it would not be an issue.

I also do not plan on bugging out. When the SHTF I plan on holding onto my little piece of earth. I’m digging in and staying put. If it’s radiation or a meteor then it’s over for me anyway. If it is just civil unrest, well… I’ll band with my small group of neighbors and we’ll hold out as long as we can.
 

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Liq Plumber on ur tin hat
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*Sass free post*

Why are we planning on bartering when so many are leary of other people? I read here all the time people being down right threatening when others make comments like "I know where I will be going" I understand that for the here and now those comments are soooo annoying. But when they really do come, even if it is to barter won't our first instinct be to turn them away (if not shoot?)


I guess I would plan on bartering service. I'm a nursing mom, I can help someone preserve, or establish some garden. I would also be up for trading chicks or rabbits (our main meat sources) in the spring.

Things like cigarettes and alcohol seem very temporary. If you are to the point where you have to find someone and ask them for supplies you aren't going to be asking for alcohol (unless you are an alcoholic) Luxury items are the first things that people learn to live without (or loot for)
 

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Woodchuck
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3,347 Posts
Being an old hippie, I know how bartering works and why it is needed. Not everyone has all the skills (maybe a few do) or the time to do everything for themselves. Work is much easier when there are more hands to do it. I can be cutting firewood, someone else weeds the garden, someone feeds the animals or hunts… I am leery of folks in general, especially if I do not know them and would be more so in a SHTF situation. But I realize that by banding together we all would stand a better chance.

Not everyone is going to be an enemy.
 

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Administrator
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2,248 Posts
*Sass free post*

Why are we planning on bartering when so many are leary of other people? I read here all the time people being down right threatening when others make comments like "I know where I will be going" I understand that for the here and now those comments are soooo annoying. But when they really do come, even if it is to barter won't our first instinct be to turn them away (if not shoot?)

I guess I would plan on bartering service. I'm a nursing mom, I can help someone preserve, or establish some garden. I would also be up for trading chicks or rabbits (our main meat sources) in the spring.

Things like cigarettes and alcohol seem very temporary. If you are to the point where you have to find someone and ask them for supplies you aren't going to be asking for alcohol (unless you are an alcoholic) Luxury items are the first things that people learn to live without (or loot for)
That would also eliminate candy and the majority of other "luxury items".
I think your undervaluing the hum,an compulsion to indulge. I think in a shtf situation people are going to be looking for it. You could always set up a still to preserve you grain over the long term then barter with it.
 

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My thoughts on barter and trade

Never show more than necessary for a given trade.
Never let on like you have more.
Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later.
Try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods. They don’t run out.
Try to make trades in neutral areas or a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren’t followed back home.


Some of what I'm acquiring for barter (No, I don’t have all of these items. Yet.)

Scales to get agreed upon weights of items
commercial scale (±500#)
commercial scale (±100#)
commercial scale (±10#)
commercial scale (±16oz)

1.0 oz gold coins
0.1 oz gold coins
40 count rolls silver quarters
50 count rolls silver dimes
blank barter slips

200ml bottles 190 proof Everclear
smokeless tobacco
2 oz boxes tobacco
booklets cigarette papers
smoking pipes
small boxes matches
butane lighter fuel
Zippo lighter fuel
lighter flints
lighter wicks
disposable lighters
straight razors w/strop, soap, & cup
shaving soap
Q-tips

playing cards
dice

candle/oil lamp wick
Coleman lantern mantles
Crank flashlights

multi-vitamins
2 oz jars instant coffee
16 count boxes teabags
2 oz jars bouillon cubes
tubs add-water-only drink mix

1 pound boxes sugar
2 oz boxes salt
2 oz cans pepper
5 oz cans milk
4 oz cans cocoa
2 oz bars chocolate candy
8 oz bags hard candy (individually wrapped)

4 oz cans Vienna sausage/potted meat
12 oz cans roast beef
7 oz cans Spam (or 12oz)(or Treet)
6 oz cans tuna
10 oz cans soup (heavy on the meat types)

16 oz bags rice
16 oz bags beans/lentils

aspirin pain killer
acetaminophen pain killer
multi-vitamin
OTC reading glasses
OTC UVA/UVB resistant sunglasses
Cheap wide-brimmed straw hats

small boxes tampons/sanitary napkins
reusable sanitary napkins

reusable cotton diapers
diaper pins

clothes pins

wooden pencils/ink pens
small note books
legal pads

50 count bottles water purification tablets

6”-12” candles
boxes strike anywhere kitchen matches

rolls toilet paper
bars soap (Ivory, Lava, Fels Naptha laundry soap)
hair combs/brushes
disposable razors
toothbrushes
boxes baking soda

packets safety pins
packets of sewing needles
spools of thread

mousetraps
rat traps
fly swatters

jersey gloves
cotton/leather work gloves
insulated gloves
socks

tubes silicone sealant
tubes Shoe Goo/Goop
tubes JB Weld
duct tape
mechanic’s wire
electrical tape
friction tape
rubber tape
sheet plastic
divided buckets with a variety of nails, screws, bolts, nuts, and washers
sealed cans of welding rods (6011 and/or 7018 1/8”)
variety of brazing rods
cans of brazing flux

regular canning lids
wide mouth canning lids
P-38/P-51 can openers

1-b propane cylinders
10-lb bags charcoal briquettes

solar 12-volt battery chargers
solar AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt battery charger
rechargeable batteries 20 each AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt


#10 cans heirloom seeds

500-round bricks .22 LR RF cartridges
5-round boxes .410/20 GA shells
single units M6 Scout/Savage 24F/Remington SPR-94 O/U .22 RF/.410 or 20 gauge combos


Here are some examples of Tradesman’s Tools that could be stockpiled and either used and the product/service bartered, or their USE bartered out. One wouldn’t barter away the tools that bring in the food. (Again, I don’t have all the items or skills.)
±500# scale
±100# scale
±10# scale
±16oz scale

Tailor/Seamstress tools
Sewing machine
Serger
Sewing basket (needles, thimbles, thread, measuring tape,
seam ripper, scissors, shears, marking chalk, straight edge, pins,
neck magnifying glass, etc.)
bolts of cloth, patterns, spare needles, pins, chalk, thread, buttons,
zippers, snaps, etc)
Treadle type sewing machine (Janome 712T)
weaving looms
>1,000 watt generator


Food processing tools
Grain grinders, solar dehydrators, butchering tools, manual meat slicer, manual meat grinder, sausage stuffer, stuffing tubes, jerky shooter, water purifier


barbers tools
scissors, combs, hair brushes, dusting brush, broom, dust pan, chair,
neck apron, razor, shaving cup, shaving soap, towels

ammunition reloader’s tools
Dillion progressive tool w/primary caliber dies
RCBS press with common caliber dies
Bullet casting equipment
lead
black powder making tools & screens

laundry tools
Staber washing machine
laundry soap
bleach
clothes lines w/poles, stakes & clothes pins
water heater (kettle w/tripod)
water tank
12v pump & battery
drain line
James washer w/wringer
2+ washtubs
>1,000 watt generator

entertainment tools
band instruments
projection TV
TV projector
Lap-top computer
DVD disk player
VHS tape player
Chairs
Karaoke machine w/cd-g’s
Lighting system
Sound system
>1,500 watt generator
Battery bank, solar panels, and inverter
protective bullet resistant face for TV’s if used
Classic books for storyteller to read

home canning equipment & supplies
firewood cutting tools
knife/edged tool sharpening tools
printer’s/newspaper publisher’s tools
butcher/meat cutter’s tools
meat processors tools (sausage, etc.)
tanner’s tools
milk processors tools (cheese, etc.)
baker’s tools & supplies
bath house/shower room tools
candle maker’s tools & supplies
gardener’s tools
mechanic’s tools
machinist’s tools - Smithy Granite 1340 Industrial Max metalworking all-in-one machine
woodworker’s tools - Shopsmith Mark V woodworking all-in-one machine
blacksmith’s tools - Oxygen accumulator, acetylene generator
plumber’s tools
lumber making tools - portable sawmill
electrician’s tools
carpenter’s tools
roofer’s tools
stonemason’s tools
primitive building tools
cobbler/shoe maker’s tools
soap maker’s tools
brewer/wine maker’s tools
distillery tools
miller’s tools
spinner & weaver’s tools (looms)
teaching tools and supplies K-12
smelter/foundry/metal worker’s tools
sheep sheering tools
papermaking tools
rope, cordage, and net making tools
millwright’s tools
farm tools (prepare, sow, cultivate, harvest)
biodiesel equipment & supplies
wood gas generator equipment & supplies
charcoal making tools
black powder making tools
paper making tools
reference/do-it-yourself library (books/magazines/CD-ROMs/DVDs)(never let the media out of your control)


Here are the skill sets I think most likely to be needed. (I only have a few of them myself)

Alternative energy specialist
Ammunition re-loader
Appliance repairman
Assayer
Baker
Banker
Barber
Basket maker
Bathhouse/shower room operator
Beekeeper
Bicycle Repairman
Biodiesel maker
Blackpowder maker
Blacksmith
Botanist
Brew master
Brick maker
Bullet caster
Butcher/meat processor
Candle maker
Carpenter
Cartridge maker
Cartwright
Chandler
Charcoal burner
Cheese maker
Chemist
Chimney sweep
Cobbler/shoe maker
Coffin maker
Cook
Cooper (barrel maker)
Coppersmith
Dentist
Distiller, drinking alcohol
Distiller, fuel alcohol
Doctor
Dog trainer
Electrician
Electronics tech
Farmer
Farm hand
Farrier
Firewood purveyor
Fisherman
Food canner/processor
Furniture maker
Gardener
Gatherer (wild plants, useful rocks and minerals)
Glass maker
Goatherd
Goldsmith/silversmith
Gravedigger
Gunpowder maker
Gunsmith/gun maker
Handyman
Harvester/picker
Heavy equipment operator
Herbalist/mineralist
Horse trainer/wrangler
Hunter/trapper
Ice purveyor/harvester/maker
Knife maker
Knife sharpener
Knitter/crocheter
Laundress/laundry room operator
Leather worker
Librarian
Logger/forester/sawyer
Lumber maker
Machinist
Mechanic
Metal worker
Metallurgist
Midwife
Milk maid
Milk processor
Miller
Millwright
Miner
Mulcher/composter/manure collector
Net maker
Nurse
Optician (eyeglass maker)
Orchardman/arborist
Paper maker
Peace Officer
Pedi-cab driver
Pest control specialist
Pharmacist
Plumber
Postman
Pottery maker
Primitive building specialist
Printer/newspaperman
Radio Operator
Rancher
Ranch hand
Repairman
Roofer
Rope/cordage maker
Sail maker
Sailor (Boatswain)
Salt maker
Salvage specialist
Security guard
Shake/shingle maker
Sheep sheerer
Shepherd
Shipwright/boat builder
Shoemaker
Skill At Arms instructor
Small engine mechanic
Smelter/foundryman
Soap maker
Soldier
Spice purveyor
Spinner/Weaver
Stonemason/brick layer
Sugar maker
Surveyor
Tailor/seamstress
Tanner
Teacher
Thatcher
Tinker
Tire repairman
Tool & die maker
Trader/Wagoner
Trapper
Truck driver
Undertaker
Veterinarian
Watch/clock repairman/maker
Weaver
Welder
Well driller
Wheelwright
Winemaker
Wood gas equipment maker
Woodworker


A few skills that won’t be in high demand, but would be a good secondary skill

Artist
Bookbinder
Candy maker
Comedian
Dye maker
Entertainer
Historian
Ink maker
Judge/arbitrator
Karaoke operator
Maid
Massage therapist
Musician
Physicist
Scribe
Secretary
Storyteller
Toy & game maker
 

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Woodchuck
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3,347 Posts
Holy crap!

You'll have a couple bunkers full of just about anything anyone could ever need… and then some. You'll need to add having a place for your guards to sleep while taking shifts protecting ya. ;)

I've learned to live w/out many of today's modern conveniences (electricity, indoor plumbing…) and could comfortable go back to that way of life. You've got every one else covered though. :)
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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8,000 Posts
I have a fairly extensive stock of cleaning supplies that I would be willing to barter as required. I have "bulk-packs" of bar-soaps like Irish Spring and Ivory soap - clean the hands, face and body. Without going to my store-room to check, I might have enough to last myself 3 years right now. I have stocks of pit-stick and using "sparingly" meaning using week-days when I am around people and not using on weekends when I am my basic manly-man I probably have enough stocked-up to last me 1 1/2 years (based on one stick per month). I also have toothbrushes / tooth-paste / floss / mouthwash stocked up - maybe enough for myself to last between 3 and 5 years worth (depending on the pile of whatever it is) - again - bulk-packs of each.

I also have lots of fairly extensive pile of first-aid kits of the auto, marine, home, office, industrial varieties stashed around that I could barter away for the right price (only because I have many kits). In the kits, I have all the basics - splints, slings, pads, tape, bandages, pills (pain, sugar), creams (PrepH, Ozonol, Aloe, VitE, A5-35, etc).

Depending on the situation, I could be willing to barter food / water / condiments / snacks ....
 

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Survival and Handgun Podcaster
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105 Posts
I don't have anything against stockpiling barter items, it's a part of survival history.

I take a little different tact. Instead of spending my money for things that I will have to move or protect, or anticipate will be of value, I spend my current prep time learning or building barterable skills and the tools for such:

Water Purification
Solar set up
Electrical repair
Blacksmithing
Seed saving
Tree horticulture (apples, nuts, fruits, etc)
Poultry breeding
Herbal medicine

there are hundreds more skills to learn that would be in demand (gunsmithing...)

While the EMBIVERSE series by Stirling may be a little dramatic or corny (but a nice read), it does show "knowledge" trumps "stuff"

If I take my son outside for an afternoon of blade making on the forge, or plant selection, he will have that skill forever. He may forget however to keep toilet paper in the pantry.

The knowledge of brewing booze or vinegar seems worthier than spending money stockpiling it.

Just my direction.
Good post! So many people are focused on stocking barter "items" and not so much on "skills." I do stock some ammo, salt, gold and silver coins, TP, tobacco and an extra firearm that I rarely use...as barter items, but skills are foremost IMHO. When I was growing up, we traded fresh eggs for veterinary services and I've traded my training skills for cell phones in recent years past.

Bartering can take place today, don't just wait until the shtf.
 

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Survival and Handgun Podcaster
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105 Posts
My thoughts on barter and trade

Never show more than necessary for a given trade.
Never let on like you have more.
Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later.
Try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods. They don't run out.
Try to make trades in neutral areas or a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren't followed back home.

Some of what I'm acquiring for barter (No, I don't have all of these items. Yet.)

Scales to get agreed upon weights of items
commercial scale (±500#)
commercial scale (±100#)
commercial scale (±10#)
commercial scale (±16oz)

1.0 oz gold coins
0.1 oz gold coins
40 count rolls silver quarters
50 count rolls silver dimes
blank barter slips

[..deleted to save space..]

Scribe
Secretary
Storyteller
Toy & game maker
This is also a very good post, Jerry D. Young!
 

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Rookie Prepper
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4,106 Posts
I guess what makes "barter" somewhat varied is what do you define the conditions in which you're bartering?

If you're in a rural area and waving to your neighbor, tending your garden and your animals are in the pasture, I'm all for bartering labor and skills. We all do that now, but call them favors. Bartering is I'll trade you this implement for that thingy.

If you're hunkered down or in a general defensive mode, what I would barter to a passer-by would be in an entirely different category.
 

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I figure the things ill barter with if needed would be

books/magazines i figure with out power or radio/tv signal this will be the best form of entertainment
Shit paper
Sugar
Salt
Drink
Smokes
Small anounts of fuel
Labor Skills, im a Mechanic

i will not be trading any
food
water
large amounts of fuel
tools
equipment (gen, tents, cookers ect..)
Ammo or weapons
 

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So many great ideas here...

A ton of ideas in this thread! SHTF, I'd rather barter skills than goods, unless the goods were easily replenishable within the group I'm with. I'm not a trusting-by-nature type of person, but we barter often with our neighbors and friends. The more skills your group has (medical, auto, gardening, welding, etc.) the more leverage you'd have to barter with, I think.
 

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I've lots of seed to trade off. Both veggie and tobacco. Some of the veggie seeds can also be eaten as they are of course like the Navy Beans and such. I like stuff that can serve a dual purpose. I can trade you a pound of beans and you can either plant them or eat them.
 
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