What Can You Barter When The SHTF?

One of the realities of a disaster situation is that you can never be completely prepared; you’ll never be able to have pre-planned for every possibility. For that reason, while you are wise to be cautious about who that you let know about your prepping activities, it can still be useful to have people who you can trade with to help you with the areas that you haven’t been able to prepare for. But the question is: What can you use to barter with these other people?

Fortunately, historically, there are a number of “things” that you can stock up on that you can use to trade with others. Some of these things include currency such as physical paper cash (though, as Mike Adams points out, in many situations, paper cash may become quickly worthless) or physical metal (such as gold coins or pre-1963 U.S. coins which actually maintain a value for the metals in the coins).

Fortunately, though, many other items can be bartered such as collectible items (stamps, art, etc.), firearms, natural medicines, or other pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter pain killers and medicines. Every situation will be different, but you are likely to have more opportunities to barter items that can be put to practical use than collectibles with appeal to only limited groups of people.

Some people may have considered these physical items for bartering purposes, but sometimes the most powerful bartering option is your knowledge. Consider how many people will be in desperate need of protection from the violent, so, if you have self-defense skills which you can use to protect people or that you can train people in, you have a valuable skill to barter. Or, knowledge on firearm maintenance and shooting skills. Similarly, if you know how to build a bow and develop accuracy and power in shooting, this would be a very useful skill which you can use for trade purposes.

Beyond offensive and defensive knowledge, knowledge about the types of plants safe to eat in your part of the country or knowledge on how to build and maintain a homestead and live off-grid increases in value exponentially when people need those results (food and shelter) but don’t know how to fulfill this need themselves.

I’m sure that you can think of more skills that can be use for barter purposes, either by putting the skills to use to create products to barter or to teach others the skill as your offering in the barter exchange.

What other skills would you consider valuable and useful for barter in a disaster situation? Comment below.


  • gingergirl

    I think that if TSHF, people are not going to want art and stamp collections! Toilet paper will be much more valuable!

  • CaptTurbo

    Beans, bullets, and bullion.

  • K Pomeroy

    Coffee beans will be the most valuable commodity. Stock up!