barter items

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by questor, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. questor

    questor Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    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...

  3. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    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.
  4. insidethebunker

    insidethebunker Member

    Salt.... buy it cheap at Sams or Costco.... supposed to be a great barter item.
  5. SurvivalNut

    SurvivalNut Retired Army

    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
    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.
  6. drhwest

    drhwest Junior Member

    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.
  7. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    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.
  8. Kriket

    Kriket Liq Plumber on ur tin hat

    *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)
  9. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    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.
  10. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  11. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Well-Known Member

    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

    playing cards

    candle/oil lamp wick
    Coleman lantern mantles
    Crank flashlights

    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
    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
    boxes baking soda

    packets safety pins
    packets of sewing needles
    spools of thread

    rat traps
    fly swatters

    jersey gloves
    cotton/leather work gloves
    insulated gloves

    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
    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
    black powder making tools & screens

    laundry tools
    Staber washing machine
    laundry soap
    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
    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
    Basket maker
    Bathhouse/shower room operator
    Bicycle Repairman
    Biodiesel maker
    Blackpowder maker
    Brew master
    Brick maker
    Bullet caster
    Butcher/meat processor
    Candle maker
    Cartridge maker
    Charcoal burner
    Cheese maker
    Chimney sweep
    Cobbler/shoe maker
    Coffin maker
    Cooper (barrel maker)
    Distiller, drinking alcohol
    Distiller, fuel alcohol
    Dog trainer
    Electronics tech
    Farm hand
    Firewood purveyor
    Food canner/processor
    Furniture maker
    Gatherer (wild plants, useful rocks and minerals)
    Glass maker
    Gunpowder maker
    Gunsmith/gun maker
    Heavy equipment operator
    Horse trainer/wrangler
    Ice purveyor/harvester/maker
    Knife maker
    Knife sharpener
    Laundress/laundry room operator
    Leather worker
    Lumber maker
    Metal worker
    Milk maid
    Milk processor
    Mulcher/composter/manure collector
    Net maker
    Optician (eyeglass maker)
    Paper maker
    Peace Officer
    Pedi-cab driver
    Pest control specialist
    Pottery maker
    Primitive building specialist
    Radio Operator
    Ranch hand
    Rope/cordage maker
    Sail maker
    Sailor (Boatswain)
    Salt maker
    Salvage specialist
    Security guard
    Shake/shingle maker
    Sheep sheerer
    Shipwright/boat builder
    Skill At Arms instructor
    Small engine mechanic
    Soap maker
    Spice purveyor
    Stonemason/brick layer
    Sugar maker
    Tire repairman
    Tool & die maker
    Truck driver
    Watch/clock repairman/maker
    Well driller
    Wood gas equipment maker

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

    Candy maker
    Dye maker
    Ink maker
    Karaoke operator
    Massage therapist
    Toy & game maker
  12. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    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. :)
  13. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    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 ....
  14. Todays Survival Show

    Todays Survival Show Survival and Handgun Podcaster

    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 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.
  15. Todays Survival Show

    Todays Survival Show Survival and Handgun Podcaster

    This is also a very good post, Jerry D. Young!
  16. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    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.
  17. kbamvakais

    kbamvakais Well-Known Member

    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
    **** paper
    Small anounts of fuel
    Labor Skills, im a Mechanic

    i will not be trading any
    large amounts of fuel
    equipment (gen, tents, cookers ect..)
    Ammo or weapons
  18. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Concerned_ Citizen

    Concerned_ Citizen Well-Known Member


    think of anything that, if it came to it, would be rationed or triaged out...

    Medical supplies
  20. Rody

    Rody Active Member

    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.