Apr 02

Bartering items you probably overlooked

When you think of SHTF and bartering quite a few of the standard items come to mind.  Ammunition, hand sanitizer, lighters, food, coins, bottled water, alcohol, tobacco et al.  We probably have a fair share of almost all of these items stockpiled and there certainly is nothing wrong with that.  If T-SHTF does happen they will all have barter value, especially for those who failed to prepare.  Yet what about some of the potentially essential items you probably missed while attempting to fill up the barter shelf in your basement?  I would venture a guess that some of the items below would quite possibly be of  greater value than anything I originally listed.

– Condoms:  That’s right, when T-SHTF you’d better believe that people will still be sharing quality time in between the sheets.  Depending on how bad things get most traditional forms of contraceptives (pills, patch, shot) will be out the window.  Condoms will have huge value because it’s doubtful that couples will want to bring a baby into the world during the peak of a SHTF event.

– Crystal Light Packets:  I have written about these little packets of gold before.  When you are stuck drinking water for weeks at a time, you crave something different and will trade quite a few things to make it happen.  Little packets of Crystal Light can turn warm bland bottled water into delicious warm lemonade.  Trust me.

– Socks:  When T-SHTF people will be stuck with whatever is in their sock drawer, otherwise known as crappy white gym socks and a few pair of dress socks.  Anything that remotely resembles sturdy wool or synthetic blend socks will be noticeably absent from the sock drawer of most in the general populace.   Socks which will protect the feet and provide some level of comfort are absolutely essential when working and walking in harsh conditions.  When your feet go the rest of your body gets sapped quickly.  I’m willing to bet that most people would trade quite a few items for a few good pair of new socks.

– Sunglasses:  Today we tend to take our sunglasses for granted.  If the sun is out and we are outside, the sunglasses are usually on.  If they break we simply buy another set at the gas station.  Chances are if T-SHTF most replacement glasses will be gone, looted in the initial stages after the collapse.  People will most definitely be willing to trade for a few sets of sunglasses, especially considering the requirement for outdoor work will have greatly increased.

– Nail Clippers:  I know I can’t go a week without trimming my nails, it drives me insane.  There have been times while traveling when I forgot my nail clipper and made it a point to find a new one while out shopping around.  Buy 20 or 30 nail clippers and toss them in a drawer.  If people break or lose theirs, these little tools will become highly sought after.


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    • The Maj on April 3, 2013 at 10:25 AM
    • Reply

    Add chewing gum, Listerine breath strips, individually packaged wet wipes, cheap travel tooth brushes, and individually packaged insect repellant wipes to the list.

      • PJ on April 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM
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      Great items, mosquitoes love me so the wipes are a necessity.

    • Ranger W on April 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM
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    Here is the .pdf for the Ranger School packing list. Another good list of the many.


      • PJ on April 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM
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      Ah yes, a good resource for sure. What they don’t tell you is that thing costs the average joe around $1,000! Still a great resource, thanks for posting.

  1. Tampons and Feminine Pads, critical items that will quickly come in short supply… We will be talking about barter and barter items as currency in coming weeks on the wise prepper show.. check us out.. https://soundcloud.com/thewisepreppershow

      • PJ on April 3, 2013 at 10:24 PM
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      Thanks for the link Joshua. I’ve covered the feminine items before but their importance cannot be stressed enough. Good luck with your show.

    • Barbara Daca on April 3, 2013 at 4:13 PM
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    We plan to Barter our Herbal Medicines and Heirloom seeds. As well as our skills at basically everything from soap making to keeping bees.

      • PJ on April 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM
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      You make a great point, bartering skills will be just as important as bartering items. Keeping bees for honey will be a great “money maker” for you if T-SHTF.

    • Bonnie on September 15, 2013 at 7:42 AM
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    Joahua and PJ,, yes stocking up on feminine supplies for barter’s a good idea. But here’s how to barter iti ALL away without the ladies in your life suffering: The Moon Cup. For $25 she’ll never need that stuff again! Here’s my post about it:


    • J on September 16, 2013 at 5:34 PM
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    here is an idea I had on this subject and wanted some input…..

    I know that they are fairly expensive right now, but what is the general consensus on cigarettes as a barter item? I dont smoke myself, but it seems that they tend to be at least as popular as alcohol. A carton is lighter than a 5th of liquor, as well.

    one doesnt have to load up on Camels, either, bulk tobacco is a lot cheaper, as well as papers.

    If I am off base on this, let me know, honest input only, please : )

    • Guns Man on July 11, 2014 at 10:57 PM
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    also add batteries, or maybe some sort of small gaming device, books, board games, etc. because something a little comforting will bring ease to people (*P.S. this stuff is practically free too, i mean the books you could have already read, the gaming device might just be collecting dust, so i mean there’s no real loss here…unless you can’t stand to lose your precious mario game 😉

    • Roger on October 11, 2015 at 9:44 PM
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    Many good suggestions, may I add candles and/or candle wax, many, many uses. Also, instead of cigarettes, stock nicotine patches, pills, etc., much smaller in size than smokes and longer shelf life! And of course, food, food, food! Good Luck!

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