I have to be perfectly honest here by saying I’ve never really taken the idea of bartering in a SHTF situation seriously, but I’m beginning to. I’ve always thought that if I prepare, if I store, if I train, I won’t need anything from anyone. My mother-in-law lives on a small farm just a few miles from us and has gone totally prepper over the last few years and we often share garden goods and such. I have lots of stored food and water, solar power system, generator, stored fuel, cash and silver on hand, so why would I need to barter? But with a financial collapse looking more and more likely I’m beginning to consider the possibility.
I remember my grandfather, a farmer in the deep south, telling us that during the great depression almost everything was barter, people wanted cash, but it was nearly non-existent. They would trade grain for chickens or eggs for thread, etc., but the only time you saw actual cash was if you were running illegal liquor. Note: he was busted for bootlegging and fined $90 dollars in 1932 or about $1600 in todays money, but he went right back to it as it meant survival for his family. If you think about it, is there really a limit to what you would do to feed your family?
So, if you may have to barter, what should you stockpile for barter? Opinions on this, like everything else, run far and wide and unless you have unlimited cash and storage space you have to narrow it down a bit. So I’m basing my list to things that are often scarce following an emergency, or panic buying or simply desirable.
Alcohol. This is where I have started; I have started buying a 5th or 2 of cheap whisky or vodka every week. Last week I picked up a 1.5 liter of Vodka for $13 and 750ml of Canadian Whisky for $9.84, so you know it’s the good stuff! I plan on adding some pure grain alcohol and cheap tequila as well. Cigarettes would also be a great barter item for many, but as a former smoker it’s probably not a good idea for me.
Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide were wiped out last year as were many pain relievers and cold remedies. Aspirin is a daily need for many. Toilet paper might also make the list from what we saw last year, but I’m not trading mine. Cleaning supplies such as bleach and ammonia might also be worth considering.
No, not ammo! I’m seeing this one listed everywhere, but I absolutely disagree! Will it be desirable and in demand? Of course it will, but never trade or barter something that could be used against you.
No, not fuel either. If I have stored fuel, then I have a need for that fuel.
Coffee, tea, drink mixes, hard candies, sugar, spices: anything that can break up the monotony of a diet limited to beans and rice and other long storage food.
Cash, coins, silver: remember that during the great depression people still wanted cash and it had purchasing power, they just couldn’t get it.
So what do you think, will barter become a thing again, if so what would you think would be fitting?
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.