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10 of the Best Bartering Items if the grid goes down

Bartering
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If we have an event similar to the nationwide power outage portrayed in American Blackout, there is little doubt that we will eventually have widespread panic, looting and rioting by people who either don’t care or are driven to criminal behavior because of fear or need. The duration of the hypothetical scenario in American Blackout was only 10 days, but for events lasting longer as in a societal breakdown caused by an economic collapse, we could be looking at years of chaos. With no formal way to purchase anything using what would at that time be worthless paper, people would need to revert to bartering.

I have discussed potential risks with bartering in the past that I still feel would be valid, but assuming that barter was the only form of commerce you could use I wanted to write down my thoughts on what I felt would be the best bartering items to have on hand. If you could stock up on prepping items now with an eye toward a future without money, what would be the best items to have on hand for barter with someone else?

Before I get into that, let me quickly explain what bartering is to those who don’t know. Bartering is simply exchanging goods or services for other goods or services. It is trading without using money. An example of this is I have a neighbor who has a large and productive garden and he has tons of beautiful vegetables that he grows like nobody’s business. I on the other hand have chickens that lay a good number of eggs each day. He has vegetables and my garden is lagging this year. I have eggs and he doesn’t have any source of protein. In a barter situation, I could negotiate with him some of my eggs for some of his vegetables. We would both work out an equitable amount of each (vegetables and eggs) and trade. The terms would be up to us and I would be free to set my prices as low or high as I wanted. My neighbor would be able to do the same.

SwapMeet

If the grid goes down, bartering may be how you conduct business.

This concept isn’t new and bartering was actually the way people purchased things for a very long time. Bartering continues to this day, but you can’t go into a Wal-Mart and say, “How about I cut your grass for all these groceries?”. Bartering would work best in small communities with people who know each other I think. Of course outsiders would be able to barter too, but then we get into that risky part of bartering I spoke about in my other post.

Bartering isn’t limited to goods. Services in the form of work or skilled trades can be bartered too. If we had the same grid-down economic collapse scenario I was talking about and my neighbor needed his roof repaired on his house. I could barter my carpentry skills for those vegetables too. One issue I can see coming up quickly in a long term catastrophe would be services of a more personal and physical nature. When you have nothing to trade but your body, I can see very bad things happening and this isn’t a plot from a movie either.

What am I trading for?

Now, we know what bartering is and how it’s done, but before you start stocking up on items you intend to use for barter, you have to ask yourself what you want to barter for? If you have barter items, the implication is that you would trade these for something you don’t have. If you are already planning to trade for something you don’t have, wouldn’t it make more sense to get that item you want instead of purchasing bartering supplies? Maybe that doesn’t work for all things and you would rather be safe than sorry. OK, I understand that, but the supplies listed below aren’t probably going to get you big ticket items. If you plan to barter for guns or ammo, you better have something very valuable to the people you expect to trade with.

  1. Food – This one along with some of the others is a tough one. There will be people without food and I know that decent people will part with something of theirs that you want for food. Maybe if someone is desperate enough, they will barter a weapon for a big chunk of food to feed their family.
  2. Water filters – Clean water is so simple, but immensely important. Disease is one of the quickest killers in any type of natural disaster. People in Haiti quickly succumbed to disease in the quake of 2010 because they had no clean drinking water and sanitation was a major problem. Having some simple water filters like LifeStraw or gravity fed systems like the PointONE could be highly valuable.
  3. Ammo – This probably goes without saying, but ammo will be more valuable than even Gold I think if we really live to see TEOTWAWKI. The supply and pricing is still not back to the levels we enjoyed a couple of years ago. I don’t know if they ever would, but I can always use a little more.
  4. First aid – Antibiotics – Medicine is hard to stock up on unless you have a very understanding doctor. Fortunately, there are sources for antibiotics you can take advantage of now and stock up before the hospitals are overflowing with people.
  5. Toilet Paper – Feminine napkins – One of the first small wins in my quest to convince my wife that stocking up on some things wasn’t crazy. All she had to picture was not having some of life’s necessities on hand and that changed her mind about stocking up. A smarter alternative I think would be something like the Diva Cup that is reusable. Takes up much less space than 20 years of pads…
  6. Candles – Candles are cheap and you can store them just about anywhere and forget about them. I have several boxes of candles in my supplies and these provide light and potentially warmth to someone who has nothing.
  7. Batteries – Another no-brainer. If you have devices like radios, flashlights, walkies-talkies you will want to have batteries on hand. Bonus if these are rechargeable like Sanyo Eneloop.
  8. Propane – Small propane canisters like the kind for camping grills or lanterns are relatively cheap and could make an excellent barter item.
  9. Alcohol – Cigarettes – I don’t know how long cigarettes would store. If you kept them in a freezer they might last longer, but I wouldn’t devote a lot of space to something I can’t use, although I have said that if zombies take over the world I will probably take up smoking again. Alcohol on the other hand has a few uses. Buy small pint bottles and these may enable you to barter for something really needed if all other sources are gone.
  10. BooksResource books and even fiction books. Without our modern distractions, a good book will be welcome to someone who has the time to chill out or who needs to learn something.

What about toiletry items for hygiene and cleaning up? I have heard others talk about that and I am sure someone would want those if the situation were ever so dire that people valued getting clean more than eating or protection but I think that is of limited value.

What other ideas do you have? What if anything are you stocking up on to use as barter?

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  • barkway

    Tampons/pads, diapers, and baby formula for sure! And the first two, feminine hygiene products and diapers have good alternative uses too. My mother used feminine napkins when we were kids as temporary bandages for deep wounds requiring a trip to the hosp for stitches.

    • Baby formula is a great idea, but it has a more limited usefulness I think. That is unless you have kids who are on formula already. I agree that for someone who is looking to barter and has nursing babies, that will be an excellent idea. Thanks for your comments Barkway!

  • Expat

    Bartering – Giving something away in return for something you need. Thin about it. what can you give that someone still alive would need or want? If they haven’t preped they will not be alive. If they have preped they will want or need something they either ran out of or forgot to stock. Most of the items mentioned are obvious and would have been stocked or is something you can’t do without. Best items in my opinion;
    Coffee
    Cigarettes
    Whiskey
    You don’t need then but they will want them – bad

    • Great ideas Expat! Coffee is another good one. I had lumped that into the food category, but I think for some people that might be a little more valuable than food. At least in the beginning.

  • thetruthmaster1

    Besides the usual given Preps for Barter above, Stock up heavy on Lots of Cigarette Lighters, hand tools, saws, axes, drills, drill bits, garden tools, hoes, weeders, Q-tips, cottonballs, toothpaste, tooth brushes, paperplates, plasticware, papertowels, soap, handsoap, laundry soap, lots of 5 gallon buckets and toilet plungers to use to wash clothes in the buckets, mechanical weighing scales to measure grains, lots of pre-ground coffee vac packed in canning jars, coffee pots, sugar, flour, rice, canning jars, canning lids, propane gas, gasoline, cement and cement blocks, chicken feed, potting soil, PVC pipe,connections and cement, 55 Gal Rain Water catchment drums, and lots of liquor. lol

    • Excellent additions! Thanks for sharing that list theTruthmaster1. I think canning jars and lids would be an awesome idea as well.

      Pat

  • Andrew

    I’d keep leisure items for bartering. Cigarettes, liquor, cheap puzzle books, I also keep a big bag of hotel toiletries that my mother-in-law and wife bring home every week. I like to keep a bunch in my bug out bag for personal use on the go and the rest would be for people who want to be able to wash their hair, moisturize, wash themselves and Listerine their mouths.

    Another thing I keep for personal use and for bartering is bullion cubes. Since my emergency plan is most circumstances involves travelling to my fathers property, I keep those to add to warm water when you need something tastier to drink warm. Also it acts as a small pleasurable food item.

    Lastly, I like keeping cheap emergency blankets and cheap clear plastic ponchos both of which can be easily found on sale especially around the holidays in walmarts camping section.

    Granted it would be very difficult to get a gun out of any of these deals. Thats going to require some gold or silver. .

    • Thanks for the comments Andrew!

      Yes, blankets and warm clothes that you no longer need/wear could help someone out who has been displaced in the middle of winter.

      Pat

  • CalliopeJ

    You could definitely stock up on feminine products for bartering, but I recommend reusable menstrual products (RuMPs for short) such as cloth pads and menstrual cups. They take some getting used to but can be some of the most valuable items you have on hand for long-term or lifelong disasters. Menstrual cups do wear out after a while (most manufacturers say 10 years at the most) so you would want to have a few on hand for yourself and any other growing people with uteruses who may need them in the future. Cloth pads will last a few years if properly cared for, but are fairly simple to make out of fabric scraps such as old clean sheets, shirts, towels, etc. In the event that the apocalypse doesn’t come in your lifetime, I recommend RuMPs anyway. It’s nice to know you’re not putting toxic chemicals near sensitive body parts and contributing to landfills.

    • Rumps?!!?!

      I think that is my new favorite acronym! Great suggestions too and I have read about the cups, but don’t have any experience myself with any of those items… The cups seem to be a great idea.

      Pat

      • kate

        CONDOMS everyone will need protection. They also have many other uses. There is also an ovulation microscope that lasts years as a contraceptive.

        • Good additions, thanks Kate!

          Pat

  • Miss Dandelion

    One of my strategies has been to become an expert in useful skills that most people don’t know about: natural home building, herbalism, local and wild edibles. I keep a store of fresh seeds from my medicinal herb and edible garden that is always ready to go and become a new garden somewhere else. We can only hope to survive whatever comes…and then after that, survivors will eventually have to start cooperating and create new kinds of societies. I hope that humanity can reach its full potential and not sink into various kinds of despot-ruled feudal societies…

    • Thanks for your comments Miss Dandelion,

      You and I have the same hopes for what we want to see after any time of event that could put all of your skills into use. I think whatever happens we will have a long hard road of trials before we ever get to something stable and normal again. History is replete with stories of civilizations falling, rampant death, wars and generally horrible conditions. Even in our so called enlightened present, we aren’t immune from the base human instincts that have been around since the dawn of time.

      Pat

  • rangerider

    While in the Army during the late fifties to late sixties C rations were a staple. The rations were WWII issue. After the meal I smoked many Phillip Morris/Chesterfield cigarettes 🙂

    • Ah, the good ole days when you could still smoke without the guilt and scorn of everyone around you… Things sure have changed haven’t they rangerider?

      Pat

      • rangerider

        Oh! how things have changed! Most of my life was spent with communism as the biggest threat to our freedom, to bad no body was listening 🙂 I still smoke, after a 10 year period of not smoking. I have been verbally accosted by the strangest folk on the streets, so now I smoke at home or when walking down a dark alley with no one in sight 🙂 Life goes on and I am so old that all I can say is :screw um 🙂

  • Big Mike

    I think salt and sugar would be a great bartering item. You can cure meats to store them long term. Also paracord has a million uses. Everclear can be used as fuel and an antiseptic.

    • Great additions Big Mike! Yes, salt and sugar are also easy to store and last a long time. As for paracord, I have a 1000 foot spool from military surplus that should fit the bill nicely.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Pat

  • Sheila Orr

    I have been buying, over time, travel size items of toothbrushes (foldable), toothpaste, mouthwash (antiseptic), chapstick, sunscreen, sanitary napkins. These are for barter. I would imagine if you’re desperate enough for something you will barter seriously with even food stores.

    • That’s right Sheila and worst case scenario you would have extra on-hand for your family. Thanks for commenting.

      Pat

  • farmer phyl

    I’m a longtime gardener, with garden skills that could be used for barter. But I have saved very large amounts of open pollinated seed from my garden. They are free to me right now, but in a longterm emergency would be unavailable at any price. I also have lots of bar soap. It takes very little room and stores forever. Maybe getting clean wouldn’t be a priority; but cleaning wounds when antibiotics are not available could be invaluable. And vitamin C. It’s cheap and in large doses helps your body’s natural ability to fight off infection. Certainly, not as good as antibiotics, but better than nothing.

  • Bookworm

    Salt and vinegar. Important for nutrition, home remedies, and cleaning/sanitizing.

    • Great suggestions Bookworm and the Salt will keep forever if it is dry. We have probably 30 lbs of it already.

  • Dennis Lundberg

    Just a couple of items I would like to touch on…first, remember NEVER TRADE HARD FOR SOFT…those of you who are in barter know what I mean…second, Information is invaluable if the info is first hand and trusted. And last, knowing where you can trade a trade outside of the market is also worth the time and effort…you may not need a ax, but if you had an ax you traded for 5 loaves of bread, to a guy who needs to split 4 cords of fire wood… for a shotgun with 80 rounds of ammo, then by all means do so. NOW! before I get the logical response police after me…this was a mental activity for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. For those of you who understand what I am saying, May he who watches over us all bear you up in the days that lie ahead.

  • Kevi

    Nobody mentioned duct tape which is a staple as far as I’m concearned. The giant bags of baking soda are super cheap and it has uses too many to name including: puts out fires, poultice for stings and bites, toothpaste and odor eliminator. If you live on your own land an outhouse or composting toilet disguised as a tool shed would be useful. Here in Hawaii the moisture is tough on stored items. we bought a couple 30 gal metal trash cans, lined ’em with contractor bags and filled with canned goods and instant coffee and tea. These are buried in places only the hunters in the family know about so we can go in groups to whichever area seems safest. For barter don’t forget simple rubbing alcohol, witch hazel and eucalyptus oil. All cheap at walmart, all super useful.

  • Doug Linn

    Also the little cannisters for the MSR Pocketrocket stoves (and others) and having that as a back up is good as it is lightweight and very small. The large canisters for them are somewhat smaller than the small propane bottles for camp stoves/lights.

    • That’s a great idea Doug, thanks for sharing!

  • rick0857

    A cast Iron skillet and dutch oven are a must. Also a good instruction booklet on digging latrines (a must to prevent disease). Also strike anywhere matches, a steel/flint set up for sparking fires. Various types are available all over the web for cheap and you can start a fire anywhere anytime (almost) with these items. Cheaper than dirt sells lightweight space age blankets that fit almost anywhere and works as good as wool, but take up about 1/8 of the space for around 2 dollars each.

    • You would barter away cast iron skillets? Mine are so expensive I am hanging on to them.

      • rick0857

        Actually I’ve got three of each…so yeah; I’ve got some wiggle room on that.

  • Jason Bowen

    First off
    Great article! It’s well thought out and practical.
    One thing to remember is that items don’t have to be expensive now to be invaluable in an emergency.
    A few more items to stock up on for bartering might include…
    Duct taped super glue, buckets/gas cans/ ammo boxes/other containers, cleaning supplies and shoes! nobody ever thinks of shoes. When the looting starts I’m stealing boots and socks. sure look at me crazy but a year later I’ll have them and you won’t.
    Also you can get a few things now and charge small amounts in trade to rent them. Examples include…. Wood burning stoves, solar showers, a stills, horses/donkeys/ect. Solar power, and tools/workshops.
    Most of these items are low maintenance allowing you to focus on other survival strategies. After a week without running water I’m sure many people would give just about anything for a shower and a still can be used to make anything from whiskey to fuel to clean drinking water. Allowing others access to these items at a fair price not only makes you wealthier but makes you crucial in your community.
    The key to bartering it to have good neighbors with whom you have a good relationship. This is also the key to staving off attack and creating order again

    • Thank you very much for the comments Jason and you bring up some very good points also. I have thought about shoes or boots for the rest of my family but it’s like pulling teeth to get some women into a sensible pair of shoes that will last…

  • iamdlogan

    Been in the prep game for 25 years…and I need to take exception with your EXPERT claim of limited value…though I follow very few of you internet experts, I find it amusing that many of you make the same mistake…YOU SPEAK or WRITE before you know what you are saying. Have you ever been down range? Have you ever been without food and water for 6 days? Have you ever been in a hostile enviroment? If you have, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE…IF not you need to understand what limited value is and you need to do your homework or should I say, YOUR GROUND WORK before you inform folks about LIMITED VALUE…

    The following is An extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945:

    “I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen.

    It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing could save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference.

    Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated.

    It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

    Source: http://www.bergenbelsen.co.uk/pages/Database/ReliefStaffAccount.asp?HeroesID=17&

    Whenever I’m having a shitty day, a little lipstick is a guaranteed pick-me-up for me; I’m happy to see that it also helps on a massive scale for women who have experienced unfathomable tragedy and torment. I think it gave them a little bit of power – something to be in control of again. I especially liked this:

    At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm.

    The power of a red lip, right?

    I pray that you will reconsider Limited Value in a different light, and may he who watches over all us bless you for your efforts.

    Please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray table to its full upright and locked position. If you havent prepared for what happens next, enjoy the ride down.

    D. Lundberg
    beyondseventytwo/review

    • Thank you for your comments iamdlogan and for reading this post.

      I must first tell you that anytime there is a URL in a comment it is automatically held by our software. This is because I don’t want bad links in my comments that could lead people to spam or sites with viruses. I don’t screen comments as a rule and anyone is free to say what they think about any article on here as long as it is generally civil. If there are links, it just takes me a little time to get around to reading the comment and approving it. I hope you understand why.

      Now, you bring up a few things I would like to address. First, you assume that I am calling myself an expert at anything with what I write. I am not an expert, simply someone writing my thoughts and perspectives based upon my experiences and sharing them freely with anyone who cares to read. As I said above, anyone is free to disagree with me, but I don’t hold my opinions or what I write above anyone else out there. I have never claimed to have all of the answers.

      Secondly, I have served my country in the US Army, both in the US and abroad but I have not seen combat. Not that I have ever asked for anyone to thank me, I do appreciate the sentiment. You are very welcome.

      Lastly, the subject of this post is about bartering items and I think you have missed that point. I tried to look at this from the perspective of what I think would be of value in a grid down world to someone else who would have another object or service to trade with.

      I was not referring to the horrible conditions of a prison camp. If any of us are unfortunate enough to find ourselves in that condition, you would likely not have anything of your own to trade in the first place. I would hazard a guess that while these women, who had experienced hell may have appreciated that lipstick, but they would have rather had food.

      The women in that prison camp had nothing, they were dying and had been around death and despair for who knows how long. Yes, lipstick probably did lift their spirits, but that is not the scenario I am discussing with my article. The article is all about items of value to trade with another person, not what can give someone comfort who was just recused from a prison camp. If you had a big box of lipstick and no food, but someone else had the last MRE but no lipstick, do you think they would trade their last meal for all the lipstick left in the world?

      The point I was trying to get across is that some things will have more value for trade. Comfort items certainly will hold some value. They might even make someone’s day as in the situation you described, but would they be more valuable that other things? Would you get more in trade for them or some of the items I listed above?

      Pat

      • Rowenna

        I have given some thought to what D Lundberg has said and I think they have a fair point. There are many different types of people in this world, some will survive, others will struggle to survive and then there will be those who struggle to grasp the concept that their survival is at stake (it’s like they are brainwashed or indoctrinated to the point they struggle to recognise anything that does not fit their ideological belief).

        Lipstick, as referenced by D Lundberg, was no doubt grasped at as being symbolic. Many in the description would have already accepted their death as inevitable but lipstick was enough to give them just enough sense of self and dignity before they died – perhaps its appeal is to the survival of the spirit rather than the body. While the prison camp and end of civilisation as we know it scenarios are vastly different in many ways, the human nature involved would remain the same.

        Those who value food over lipstick (or similar) will certainly be more likely to survive in the long run however in the end life is not worth much if you lose your sense of self and in any shtf scenario there will be many who will likely place great value on lipstick simply because they have lived their pre-shtf life with make-up and fashion being a huge part of their identity. Many will also miss the way life was pre-shtf and will place high value on something that is familiar to them of that time. It is quite likely difficult for many preppers to understand this as, by definition, preppers are people who think outside the box, go against the grain and so are already mentally preparing themselves for such an eventuality.

        Great blog you have btw have made lots of useful notes!

  • iamdlogan

    OK…I know that I should not have impuned your article, but the fact is this: Limited Value is not what you say it is…So let try again without the added facts that have prevented me from expressing my thoughts on YOUR SITE…this needs to be read and understood by preppers everywhere. Let this article be posted please.

    The
    following is An extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett
    Gonin DSO who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945:

    “I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself
    were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as
    bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes
    they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen.

    It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you
    walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had
    to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew
    that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on
    dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It
    was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when
    you knew a tracheotomy and nursing could save it, one saw women drowning in
    their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms
    as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had had to eat worms
    to live and now could scarcely tell the difference.

    Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the
    dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing
    herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a
    child floated.

    It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no
    connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all
    what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other
    things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could
    discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated
    brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick.
    Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you
    saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but
    with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched
    in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make
    them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed
    on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That
    lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

    Source: http://www.bergenbelsen.co.uk/

    Whenever I’m having a shitty day, a little lipstick is a guaranteed pick-me-up for me;
    I’m happy to see that it also helps on a massive scale for women who have
    experienced unfathomable tragedy and torment. I think it gave them a little bit
    of power – something to be in control of again. I especially liked this:

    At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were
    someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm.

    The power of a red lip, right?

    I pray that you will reconsider Limited Value in a different light, and may he
    who watches over all us bless you for your efforts.

    Please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray table to its full upright and locked
    position. If you havent prepared for what happens next, enjoy the ride down.

    D. Lundberg

    beyondseventytwo/review

    • John

      This….has absolutely to do with Barter. Also, even my somewhat controversial postings have at least been on the topic for the article.
      Second, while the dead wont have need of goods, the living will. From food, to ammunition (for hunting or fighting), spare parts for the things that are still functioning, etc.
      This article was a very good article, with a lot of applicability to Prepping. For shame.

  • toktomi

    I just can’t see your “societal breakdown” where apparently nearly everyone is able to survive and barter. What I see is that with an industrial societal breakdown the planet has 7+ billion hunter-gatherers with not enough food or water or heat or mobility or any other necessity to support even one tenth of one percent of the population.

    The world completely ENDS no later than when the electricity goes off. For the overwhelming majority there will be nothing to do but die.

    • OK, so just give up? Is there nothing left for anyone to do but die? What about the 10 percent who live in your example toktomi? Do you think they would ever trade for something they didn’t have?

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  • Muhammad Yasir

    Hi Pat,
    Its really an interesting article. I am a PhD Student at University of Otago, New Zealand. My PhD research is also inlined with modelling of communities living in catastrophic situations. I was wondering about the possibility of bartering of same commodity in catastrophic events. For example, in grid-down crises, I have solar PV installed on my roof top and my neighbour has wind turbine at his backyard. I have abundant electric power during day time because of sun and nothing at night time, Whereas my neighbour has nothing during day time and abundant power at night (because of wind patterns, most of the time wind blow in evening or at night time). So I and neighbour exchange electric power to each other so that we would have power throughout the day. My question is does that come into bartering category. If yes, then could you please point out some scenarios or literature that cover bartering of same commodity. If no, then what do you think about exchange of same commodity in different times. Waiting for your prompt reply.

    • Thank you for the comments and the question Muhammad!

      I think the most basic answer is that anything that two people can agree upon to trade would make a potential bartering item. Regarding your specific situation though, why wouldn’t both of you store energy in batteries? That way you could both use power when the source isn’t as prevalent because it has been stored in deep cycle batteries. Both of you are producers that way and perhaps could focus energies on something else.

      • Muhammad Yasir

        We assume that they dont use batteries because of many reasons: firstly, no proper recycling/dumping mechanism of batteries, which actually trigger up the environmental pollution, secondly efficient batteries like lithium ion batteries are expensive (large size), thirdly we talk about catastrophic events where the goal is to help each other through battering,
        not to save up for the later use.

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  • John

    First and foremost, thanks for writing an article for public consumption!
    I think that a lot of what you said is very much in line with good stuff, but I think spices should be in the top 10. What it would replace, I’m not sure, but the ability to flavor your food would be a HUGE trade good, both because it has morale benefits, and because it is a very lightweight for value item.

  • Vacuum pack many items like cigarettes, vegetable seeds and cigars. Books on Wild Food, Medicinal plants and animal snares will all be useful. Have books or print out on methods of food preservation without refrigeration by smoking, sun dried and salted. Learn how to produce salt from saltwater, how to make a natural water filter, be sure to have flint and steel for fire making, matches get wet and lighters run out of fuel. In a National Crisis, 90% of the population will be dead from disease, bad water and food poisoning. Only the strong will survive because country boys know how to survive.