March 15, 2013

BEST BARTER ITEMS FOR AFTER THE COLLAPSE





Here's my philosophy that leads me toward the best barter items for after society collapses.

If it's CHEAP, SMALL, and LIGHTWEIGHT now, yet will be SCARCE, VALUABLE, and EXCHANGEABLE later, it is a good barter item.  The better something fits this category, the better it will be as a barter item.

I also want to mention that it is not wise to count on one barter item.  Don't put all your stock in 22lr ammo.  You might come across somebody someday who has no need for 22lr ammo, but they are desperately seeking first aid supplies.  You want to have enough diversity in your barter items, that you can do business with everyone.  And by helping your local trade community, you will in turn, help yourself in the long run.

Another very important point to remember is that there will be different phases of trade after the collapse.  At first, people will be mostly interested in practical things that will help them survive.  Later, people will start to be more interested in precious metals, more advanced equipment, luxuries, and more standard forms of trade.

Here we go...

.22LR AMMO

It's cheap, small, and exchangeable.  It will be very valuable later, and possibly become a standard form of currency.  Many guns use it.  It's good for hunting, protection, etc.

OTHER AMMO

Don't neglect other types of ammo.  If 22lr ammo will be valuable later, just imagine how valuable other caliber ammo can be to the people who need it.

SEEDS

So cheap, so small, so lightweight, and SOOO VALUABLE LATER.  Only downside is they don't last forever.  Also, if they are not in original manufactured packaging, people might not believe you that they actually are vegetable seeds.  They might think you are trying to sell them grass seeds or something.

FIRE STARTERS

Matches and lighters will run out eventually.  These last for thousands of strikes, but I guess they too run out eventually.  They are small and cheap now.

MAGNIFYING LENSES

They are very small, lightweight, and quite cheap.  They can start fires forever...so long as the sun is shining enough.

LIGHTERS

Similar concept and they're cheap, so why not buy a bunch in bulk to diversify your barter items.

EMERGENCY RADIOS

Emergency radios are certainly one of the more expensive barter items I would consider.  The only reason I consider this option is because I plan on broadcasting using an amateur radio, so by trading out these radios, I know I will have an audience of people I can continue to help, teach, and build a rapport.

SURVIVAL SAGE

This package would be so valuable and powerful, that you just might want to have a second package of it to give or trade in an extreme situation.  Keep it hidden in a safe waterproof place though.  Not cheap now, but might save your life later.

FIRST AID SUPPLIES

Obvious reasons.  Some of it is cheap too.

RAT TRAPS

They fit the description of a good barter item.  Very excellent choice that not a lot of people consider.  For someone who has spent a few weeks clumsily setting snares and figure fours, these would be a Godsent.

TOOTHBRUSHES

We won't realize how valuable these are until we no longer have them.  Again, cheap, small, lightweight, and valuable later.

EXTRA FOOD

Kinda obvious, but if you find yourself bartering with food, it also means that the person you are trading with is not surviving in a self-sustainable way yet, so you have to be careful with this one.

SURVIVAL MANUALS or CUSTOM PRINT OUTS OF INFO LIKE WILD EDIBLES

They can be lifesavers.  These are really more of a 'Go Away' kit item than a traditional barter item, but still good for barter as well.  Print out dozens of copies, buuuuut you also have to consider if the people you give these to will be competing with you for foraged foods, so be careful.

SOAP

If you learn how to make it, this can be a continual supply of a barter item for you.

EMERGENCY BLANKETS

If you've ever used them, you know they are amazing.  On cold nights, they are worth their weight in gold if you don't have good insulation.  But these are also more like a 'Go Away' item for a wondering vagabond.


SILVER COINS

Right now many people are aware of their value.  Their standard size and value will likely be accepted in trade everywhere.

GOLD FLAKES

It's a precious metal but in a small form that can be weighed out, so you can get an accurate amount for an equal trade.  What's the point of having gold coins that are worth $2,000 each?  I guess you could cut and chip pieces off of them?  I would go with flakes or really small beads.

HONORABLE MENTION:

BAKING SODA
MYLAR ZIP LOCK BAGS
OXYGEN ABSORBER PACKS
COMMON GOLD BULLION COINS
COMPASSES
SEWING KIT
HANDCRANKED FLASHLIGHT/LANTERN
MULTITOOLS
DENTAL REPAIR KIT
BLEACH
ALCOHOL
TOOTHPASTE
MULTIVITAMINS
MOSQUITO NETS
FISH/CRAB TRAPS
MASON JARS AND LIDS
WORK GLOVES
ALUMINUM FOIL
RAZORS
SALT
SUGAR
CAMP SHOWERS
PONCHOS
EARTHWORMS
HOOKS
FISHING STRING
CONDOMS
SHAMPOO
BELLS
GARBAGE BAGS
SUNBLOCK
TWEEZERS
CABLE TIES
ROPE
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH GLUE
MOTH BALLS
SPICES
WHISTLES
CAFFEINE PILLS
CHEWING GUM
FISHING LURES

All I really did here was go through my own list of survival supplies and pick out all the items that basically fit the criteria described above.  It's a good way to build up your barter supplies.  Just get double or triple of a lot of the items you will need, and then focus on really stocking up on the ones that most accurately fit the barter description.  I think this is a better plan than all alcohol or all 22lr or all silver, because different people will be in need of different items.  It's best to have options for trade.