Practical Ideas for Bartering in a SHTF Situation

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Practical Ideas for Bartering in a SHTF Situation


There will come a point in any SHTF situation or prolonged crisis when certain items or skills will end up having greater value than money.  However, very few think this far down the line, and bartering is something that simply doesn’t cross the minds of a lot of people.  However, there are a lot of common, everyday items that can be worth their weight in gold if you’re ever in a situation where you need to trade in order to get what you need.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of hot commodities that will be in demand when the SHTF.

Vice Currencies


These items include things like cigarettes, liquor and prescription medications.  While we are in no way promoting illegal activities, most rules will be thrown out the window during a SHTF situation.  Consequently, it’s important to stock up on some of these items that will have real value to someone who you are trying to negotiate with.  Even if you don’t smoke, drink or take drugs or medication, they could be valuable trading instruments to have on hand. 



People tend to assume that their ammo stockpile exists solely for their protection.  However, there may be situations when being able to trade some bullets for food, gas or other supplies can put you in an advantageous position.  While you should never give away more than you can afford to do without, don’t be afraid to use these as commodities if the need arises as well.  Consequently, think about adding a few more rounds of ammo to your stockpile specifically for the purpose of trading or bartering later.



We all know how valuable food is during a SHTF situation and how important it is to have a access to a good stockpile.  However, food can be an important bargaining chip, especially if you are negotiating with someone who is hungry.  Again, try to add some extra items that you won’t miss if you traded them away, and you can turn your stockpile into an improvised savings account.



While it’s easy to think of fuel as the last thing that we’d give away during a crisis, chances are that our supplies will never provide us with long-term solutions anyway.  An integral part of SHTF planning is to find alternative sources of energy and light so that we can be as self-sufficient as possible.  However, this is something that many people will overlook, and they will be desperate for fuel.  Keep a supply for your own needs, but also keep some extra on hand to trade.  Chances are that you will have an incredible amount of leverage while bartering when fuel is on the table.

Medical Supplies

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Always keep an extra supply of basic first aid items and medical supplies stocked away as they will also be in high-demand.  Everything from cotton balls to latex gloves, bandages, ointments, ice packs, headache medicine and sutures will have value during a SHTF situation.   

Remember that things, as well as skills, will probably have more value than cash or precious metals during a prolonged-crisis.  Consequently, you want to make sure that you have ample supplies that will not only support you and your family, but act as currency when the occasion presents itself.  It’s also important to remember that there will be times when you need something that someone else has, and having things of value to trade will make it easier for you to obtain them.

Think about other things that will have value during a SHTF situation, and try to add them to your collection of emergency supplies as well.  The more you prepare for trading and bartering now will pay big dividends when you need to use them for currency later.