There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about bartering and trading in SHTF. You’ll probably find a lot of articles online that talk about a million and 1 possible items to barter/trade. But let’s look at it from a realistic standpoint.
Is this for bugging in or bugging out? If you’re planning to store a lot of items for bugging in purposes then as long as you have the room, you can store as many as you want. Just keep in mind, if you do have to leave your home, how much could you realistically take with you? How moveable are the items? If you’re bugging out, you probably wouldn’t be able to take those 50 bags of flour, but you might be able to take some fire making supplies, extra food, maybe some other stuff, especially if you’re able to drive. If you’re not able to use a vehicle, and you’re having to carry everything, you’ll need to consolidate even more. You could even consider a wagon or something to carry your stuff. It just really depends, so we have to be realistic about what we store. If you have a bug out location, you might want to consider stocking up on those trade items at your bug out location.
What do you want to be known for? There are a lot of things that you could learn or store in order to trade during SHTF. But what do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known as the person who has alcohol and cigarettes? Or do you want to be known as the person who can fix things or has fire starting materials? I don’t want to be known as the person who has addictive items for trade, such as alcohol and cigarettes. I have NOTHING against those who choose to smoke or drink. I don’t smoke but I do drink on occasion, so I understand that people have their vices. I get it, I really do. But some people will take it to the extreme and could even loot and murder for those specific items. Will someone loot and murder for some flour? I mean, maybe, but chances are low.
Think of a few items and store those. I’d say narrow down your trade items to about 5-10 and stock up heavily on those. For instance, I’ll be stocking up on fire making supplies, water purification supplies and hygiene supplies. Those are just 3 of what I’m stocking up on for trade. And if I need to use those items, then I obviously can. All of those items are useful to everyone. If you think people won’t need any of those items, just think about the regular, unprepared person who will be desperate for a bar of soap or clean water during SHTF.
Skills will be just as valuable as items. Many people forget that items won’t be the only necessary trade/barter item during SHTF. What skills do you possess that would be valuable in an SHTF situation? I guarantee that whatever skills you have, they’ll be valuable and people will want to trade/barter for your skills.
Keep your trade items separate. Keep your trade items in a specific box away from your other prepping supplies. That way you have a specific box devoted to just trade items. Make a list of what’s in there and if you ever need anything from there, then you can obviously go in there and use it, as it is your stuff, it’s just extra stuff for possible trade.
So now that we got all that out of the way, here’s a list of some items that I’d want to store, these can be for bugging in or bugging out or storing at a bug out location. Also keep in mind that with some of these things you don’t have to store a lot, you could just store a few, it just depends on the space you have available and what you’ve chosen to store.
The list could literally go on and on. But these are just some ideas that I feel would be really useful to everyone. And keep in mind, if you have a solar panel, you can just rent out the use of that solar panel, you don’t have to “sell” it to them. Same goes for something like a solar oven. If you have a solar oven and someone wants to use it, just rent it out to them for a bit.
What are some other items that you’d add to this list?