Trade items

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  namelus 4 months ago.

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    I wrote this article today.

    I always thought there is more in “philosophy” of storing items for trade other then reading “100 items that will be missing when SHTF” kind articles.

    There is value of item today, and then value of that item tomorrow when SHTF, prefferably you want to store items that have highest “jump” in value, together with other common sense thoughts (small items, affordable,wide use..)

    It is all very personal, and often based on place where you live, so some items work for you not for me, and vice versa.

    This is one example of item that might work for me:


    It is homemade alcohol drink, or most of you call it moonshine. It is multipurpose item, item that can be always traded (and used in your home), it is very cheap to make today, and it will have hight price “jump” when SHTF.

    Now, this item works for me (i made this moonshine so it was cheap to make, people drink a LOT here…) maybe it is not working for you.

    What items might work for you?

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Selco.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Selco.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Selco.

    no money

    I suppose this items are on the list, but I was told small items that can’t be made from scratch in the home, like fish hooks, single edge razor blades (available in boxes of 100 in the paint section of big box home stores), pins and needles for sewing.


    Crow Bar


    I raise hogs.  Need salt to cure meat.  I have a lot of it on hand, now, but even then, to make meat last if there is no fridge, need salt.

    Number 2 Prag salt too.


    Preppy Squirrel

    I agree that it all depends and that there is no one list fits all.

    I live in a rural area.  To be honest, many here can make moonshine and probably do still, (pun intended).   Additionally there are many local vineyards, and beekeeping and growing corn are common pastimes.   I can only imagine there would soon be a lot of locally produced alcohol available if the fan became soiled.

    What I would have thought of for barter when living in a coastal city is entirely different from what I want living in a rural mountain community.

    I decided long ago not to stock pile specific items in bulk just for barter but instead to buy duplicates or more of things I need for my own usage.  Then later I have an assortment of things that will be available as potential barter goods.

    Examples include : 2 stroke motor oil, oil filters for machines and vehicles, light bulbs, matches, belts for my machines, hardware like nails, staples, screws etc.

    If we have a gradual or sudden economic collapse, I have parts and supplies that will let my use what I have longer.  If I have to up and run because it’s not safe to be here it does not matter what I am leaving behind then does it.  But if I get to stay, I will have more future normalcy and ability because I stocked what I need and not what imaginary trade partners need.

    I often buy items at used sales for pennies that fill out my stocks and possible trade goods.  For example I bought dozens of spools of quality sewing thread in good condition for a couple of dollars.  I can use this for years to come or trade it.  I also bought boxes of2000 safety pins for a dollar.  I am set for life and have it to trade and it takes little space.

    As far as liquor, I keep such things for potential gifts or repayment to people I trust already, not strangers.

    I consider that food stuffs could be trade goods as well.  I might want to swap with another trusted house for something they have surplus in and visa versa.

    I tend to over buy on repair items that would be useful for many different things, example flex seal in a can, foam spray insulation, hardware mesh, chicken wire, clear plastic sheeting, tarps, duct tape, cordage,

    These items can be used to repair or seal a home, car, chicken, coop, etc.  They will be useful in a protracted downturn when homes deteriorate and money is not available to keep things pretty. They will all make good barter goods when the time is right.  They will also all create potential tial opportunities to work for others I .trade or for money.






    Mountain sam

    Although in the past I have canned meat, I am buying small cans of meat. I am making sure to get different sizes as well to avoid waste. Small canned hams are often 16 oz but there is a brand that is 12 oz. Canned chicken comes in different sizes too. Oh and green tea by the lb is very inexpensive on Amazon. Green coffee keeps better than roasted and is much cheaper. I could see storing some green and some roasted in case you don’t have time to roast or the fuel to do so. Fuel is not an issue for me so I am less worried about that than some might be. Several types of water filter is important. I think everyone should have more than one because water is a top survival consideration.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Mountain sam.

    Empress Juju

    I’m in a city and I can think of a lot of things that people would want/need, but I don’t expect many people would have very much that they would have to offer me in a crisis!

    Diapers, toilet paper, clean water, and coffee would all be highly valuable commodities around here.



    I live in a hurricane prone area, so most are ready, and everyone to a degree purchases things year round.

    With that said, I am thinking water and water jugs, generator parts, sanitation supplies, rodent control products.





    In my area we are very community minded. The population is mostly 20 to 30 year olds. The elderly are very active. What would be the best for trade here is means of extra warmth and collapsed water carriers.

    Batteries would also be useful. What I feel people would want first though is food and alcohol. These Would be scarce for most families as we do community dinners in the winter to help the residents. It is tough here in the winters for a lot of people.



    Great examples.

    Especially mentioning when moonshine is not some particulary interesting item for someone because lot of people do it, that is the point actually, same items do not work for everyone.

    That is the reason why “lists” do not work same for everyone.



    I’m living in a village in Bulgaria, many of the villagers grow stuff and have chickens, goats, pigs, etc.  And they actually live quite simply.  I try to grow stuff that nobody else has – like white and dark tomatoes with amazing flavor, easy to grow, same for other vegetables.  I’ve over the years here gathered stuff – mainly for own use, but extra, like lighters (which I am finding empty out over time) matches, fire starters, detergent, that kinda stuff.  I don’t have yuuuuge stocks, but enough.  I’m growing medicinal herbs and collecting their seed, herbs that they don’t generally grow here and am familiar with their medicinal properties.  I think things like cheap pain killers (ibuprofen, aspirin) and antibiotics are probably good items, they are all quite cheap here.  I think things like toilet paper are a waste of time, they take a lot of space and run out quite quickly.  In case of SHTF, better off with “family cloth”


    Preppy Squirrel

    I keep extra TP for short and medium term crises, but keep several bundles of wash clothes and powdered laundry soap and bleach for long term sanitation.  One bucket holds a years long supply of these alternatives.

    There is a lot of small and hobby farming here, many people would be adding or expanding gardens and life stock over night.  The amount of old tractors and small farm implements and trucks and equiptment stashed in barns and garages here would amaze.  The amount of wood working and mechanical tools, welding machines, sitting idle and for show in garages and hobby shops in the US is amazing.

    Small shops would spring up out of no where overnight.  I worry mostly about food for war or lengthy disruptions to bridge that time when gardens are expanding.

    In my area canning jars would make good barter.  People would be expanding there canning overnight.  I tend to store lids in abundance as they are consumable over time.

    If I lived in hurricane alley still, or an urban area, my barter would be water containers, small tarps and water filters.

    We also keep a little extra on the OTC meds.  But I fear that would be an awful lot of folks growing and brewing there own “medicine”

    Again we don’t stock specifically to trade but keep extra of items we use anyway.  This is like money in the bank of there is hyper inflation., as well as having assorted barter goods.  As with the above writer from Bulgaria, we find that the stocks will deplete if not watched carefully.  Often it’s not an issue of finances but simply noticing and buying inexpensive items like matches and such.




    Lee’s homestead

    Yes bartering is an area my husband has focused on. We have everclear as part of our long term storage. I have added small travel size ones too. I brew beer and this too can be a barter item as a useful skill.

    As my hubby is trying to stop smoking cigarettes would be a barter item he might need.

    Mine would be candy. Black licorice is my fav.


    Lee’s homestead

    Cambria batteries could be a good barter item if they are rechargeable. We have a solar battery charger and batteries and had not thought of those as a barter item.

    I just read an article on a bag to protect items from an EMP pulse. One item they said to but in it was a cell phone and laptop. Hubby laughed saying we would be the only people able to watch videos on our laptop and see photos on our phones. If the EMP is large enough he said it would take out all need for these items.  I reminded him we have mother Earth News on cd we could access with a laptop.


    anon 411

    @lee‘s homestead – “we have mother earth news on CD” – I don’t know about trade value, but you can gather a whole lot more reading the material here The Information Specialist Series




    For barter, I stash seeds (they take up hardly any space), cheap lighters, and I also have about 50 LED headlamps that I got for a steal of a deal a while back.

    I live an easy walk to the river, so the idea of containers for water is fantastic.

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