Unless you are both a multimillionaire as well as a psychic, odds are pretty good that if/when a collapse arrives, there will be things you overlooked in your prepping. Could be you just didn’t store enough food to last long enough or perhaps your medical supplies didn’t last quite as long as you’d planned.
As you continue your prepping and stockpiling, give thought to adding some items that are going to be set aside for possible bartering. After a collapse, paper money is going to be worthless or nearly so. Hard goods available for trade will be the new currency.
When it comes to items I suggest for stocking up to barter with later, I have a few rules I try to follow.
1) The items have to be relatively inexpensive now, but likely to have great value later. The vast majority of your prepping dollars should be spent on things that will keep you and your family alive and safe.
2) The items should have intrinsic value to you. By this, I mean don’t stock up on things you may conceivably never use yourself. That’s just plain wasteful. Choose things that you’ll be able to put to use yourself if they never need to be bartered away.
3) The items should be relatively small and easy to store. Don’t devote the bulk of your storage space to barter items. Also, the smaller items are better in that you won’t really be able to “make change” in a barter and you don’t want to end up in a situation where you can’t strike a deal because what you have to offer is way more valuable than the thing you are hoping to receive.
Keeping those rules in mind, here are some suggestions.
–Booze. No need to go out and buy a couple cases of Jameson Irish Whiskey, the cheap stuff is fine. Folks will want this both for consumption as well as medicinal purposes. If you plan on buying the large bottles, give thought as to how you will repackage it into smaller containers should the need arise.
–Cigarettes. Tobacco will be worth its weight in gold. Rather than buying cartons of smokes, consider buying tins of loose tobacco and rolling papers. This may prove to be cheaper and the tins will last longer if they are unopened, as compared to commercially package cigarettes.
–Disposable lighters. You can buy these now 3/$1 at many gas stations. They don’t last forever, of course, as they will slowly leak after time. But for people who need to get a campfire going and have no clue how to do so with flint and steel, these lighters will be worth a pretty penny.
–Ammunition. I’m on the fence about this one, personally. I don’t like the idea of trading away something that could be returned to me at high velocity. But there is no doubt that .22 and other common calibers will be extremely valuable post-collapse.
–Coffee. For the caffeine addicts out there, they will value coffee and tea highly. Rather than storing coffee beans, you’re probably going to be fine with having instant coffee on hand. Easier to use and folks who have a real jones for caffeine aren’t going to care too much.
–Medical / Hygiene supplies. Things like feminine hygiene products, lip balm, vitamins, and yeast infection creams will be prized. Condoms might be worth a fair amount as well. Pain relievers like aspirin are incredibly cheap now too.
–Seeds. While not really suitable for a short-term crisis, heirloom seeds will be extremely valuable in a long-term collapse.
–Water purification. I suggest stocking up on a quantity of pool shock for this purpose. A small amount goes a very long way and it is very easy to store, as well as divide up for trade.
There are also many skills that would be valuable. If any of these are already in your realm of expertise, make sure you have all the supplies you’d need to set up a cottage industry later.
Medical (including herbal remedies)
Automotive, small engine repair
Home brewer, distillation
Leather working, tanning
Smithing, metal working
Your assignments this week:
1) Make a list of potential barter items you feel comfortable acquiring. Remember, the priority is to prep for you and your family but if you come across a barter item that is on sale very cheap, pick some up.
2) Brainstorm the skills you may have, or can learn fairly quickly, you feel would be valuable post-collapse. Begin stocking up on any needed supplies you’ll need.
Have a great week!