Web Analytics



You’ve probably heard that cash is king during a crisis, but that’s not always true. Cash can be burned, eaten, or otherwise destroyed. And when there are no banks or credit unions open, you may find that you have a bunch of useless paper in your wallet.

Bartering is the business side of survivalist. In some cases, it can turn nearly unusable goods into useful items for your family.

Buying from the grocery store may become incredibly difficult during a disaster. This will certainly be true if there are food shortages or a complete stop in the supply chain from the grocery store to your table. One way you can prepare for this is by learning what to barter for in a crisis.

The article below is your guide to help you survive in any of the possible crises that might happen and help you know what to barter for in a crisis.

The Rules of Safe Bartering

  • Be discreet with your wealth. If you are in a situation where the value of your goods is known to everyone, you will be in high demand. But if the world knows what you have, they will also want to take it from you. As long as your wealth is a secret, however, you can make sure that only select people learn about it and try to barter for it.


  • Maintain a low profile. Low-key is the key! The last thing you want is to be regarded as that person who seems to have everything. Such a reputation could put you at risk of threats and dangers. Stay humble, calm, and easygoing.


  • Whenever possible, barter at different locations. Moving around with your stuff creates confusion among those who would like to rob or otherwise harm you. If someone knows which house has all the good food, he will return for more when he runs out of his own supplies—and he’ll have more incentive than ever to rob or kill you for yours!


  • Offer different items every time. This goes hand-in-hand with bartering at different locations each time—if someone doesn’t know exactly what items will be on offer, they won’t know whether there’s something better waiting at another location.


Listed below are the 10 items every prepper should keep on hand to find success at bartering:

  1. Water

Water is a critical aspect of survival. You need it to stay alive, and you need it to help you barter for other goods.

This is why water is first on our list of top 10 barter items that can keep you alive in SHTF. When SHTF, people will be scrambling for everything they need to survive—including water. If you’ve already stocked up, you’ll be able to exchange your water stores for whatever else you want or need!


  1. Food

Most of us realize food will become a valuable commodity in the aftermath of any major crisis. We need to eat to survive, and most people will do what it takes to ensure their loved ones always have enough food on hand.

Food can be barter for everything from weapons and ammo all the way down to entertainment for your children. If you have some, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly protected from both theft and spoilage.


  1. Seeds and gardening tools

Seeds are a great way to barter because they take up little room and have a long shelf life. You don’t need an entire greenhouse full of seeds, but it’s good to have some seed packets on hand just in case.

Gardening tools are also a good bet. They’re not likely to be plundered as people look for food, and there are plenty of us who lack the knowledge or resources to make our own garden tools so will appreciate having some available when we need them.

  1. Medical supplies and first aid kits

Medical supplies and first aid kits are among the most valuable items and lifesavers you can have in a crisis, so it’s important to make sure you’re ready to barter for them.

A blood pressure monitor could help someone track their health without going to a doctor’s office—and given the unpredictable nature of SHTF events, that might be impossible anyway.

Antibiotics are just as valuable as medical equipment: they’re going to be necessary for treating everything from small cuts that get infected all the way up to life-threatening injuries like gunshot wounds.


  1. Heat or Fire

This barter item is very valuable since it keeps you warm and can light a fire. Who cares if you have food, you’ll die of exposure or hypothermia if you can’t get warm and dry. A good wool blanket will last much longer than a tarp or tent, so store one near your stockpile.

Barter for matches, lighters, and fire starters as well as candles and kerosene lamps. People who still have electricity may not want to use it for lighting (waste of electricity), but they may need their remaining fuel for other uses such as cooking or heating.

     6. Alcohol

Alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor, is useful for a lot of things. It can be used to disinfect wounds or sterilize medical tools. If you take the time to learn how to make homemade alcohol lighters, you’ll have a very handy fire starting tool. Alcohol can also be used as fuel for cooking or even burnt directly in an alcohol lamp such as this one. So it’s barter able and useful for a number of things.

      7. Nicotine

If you’re a smoker, you already know the value of nicotine in barter situations. And if you’re not a smoker, well, you’ve probably got a few people in your life who need their fix.


But what makes nicotine such an essential item to have on hand? Well, it’s all about dopamine. In fact, one recent clinical trial found that as many as 75% of participants experienced a significant increase in attention and focus after inhaling just two puffs of nicotine vapors. So it’s no wonder smokers find it helpful when they need to buckle down and focus—and why so many people are willing to barter for those little sticks of tobacco.

8. Birth control

Getting pregnant or having a baby in the middle of a disaster would seem like a terrible idea, right? This is a highly personal part of disaster preparedness and should be tailored to your individual needs.

Birth control pills, spermicide, condoms, diaphragms, IUDs, morning-after pills (emergency contraceptives), and sterilization are all viable options. If you have young children at home or feel that family planning is right for you in the coming years of uncertain food and resource availability, it’s wise to keep extra birth control on hand in your pepper stockpile and have them useful for barter negotiations.

    9. Tools

Anyone who’s ever tried to fix a door or a car knows that tools are important. But when it comes to bartering, they’re even more necessary because it’s hard to get your hands on the specific tool you need when you need it.

It’s important to remember that tools aren’t just hammers and nail guns; they can be anything from a screwdriver to a pair of scissors, hairbrush, screwdriver sets, a pocket knife, handsaw, or a hand drill. Anything handy is a good resource for bartering them with others.

  10. Skills

If you don’t have items to barter with, consider trading your skills. This is a great way for you to use your pepper knowledge and share it with others. If you’re good at stitchery, offer to fix other people’s clothing. If you’re good at maintaining and fixing vehicles, offer to help out in return for fuel or spare parts; this can be especially useful if the vehicle in question uses parts that are no longer being manufactured.

If you have any kind of farming experience, even if it’s just raising chickens or growing a small garden, offer your gardening skills in exchange for food or supplies. You can also try looking into local homesteading groups; they always seem to be willing to teach new skills in exchange for some of their homegrown produce!

Preppers can use a wide variety of goods to barter in the event of an SHTF scenario. You never know when one may prove more effective than another, so it is best to be prepared for any situation.


These are some items that consider bartering too!

– Soy sauce, Vinegar

– Hot sauce and Ketchup

– Preserves and Syrups

– Spreads in sachets

– Spice Packets

– Shampoo & Conditioner

– Soap

-Entertainment items (non-electric)


The world is always changing, and it’s important to be prepared for what might come next. We hope this guide helped you learn a little more about how people used to trade in the past, and how you could use those same principles today if the time came.


Start planning now – and stay on top of it – in order to make sure you’re ready for anything.


Most Popular

Recent Comments