Sei sulla pagina 1di 21

Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 1 of 21







Safe Haven States Project (NEW!)

Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Thursday, 09 June 2011 00:47 Brandon Smith

The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars or without the inclusion of corporate chains seems almost outlandish to many people. However, the fact remains that up until very recently (perhaps the last three to four decades) barter and independent trade was commonplace in this country. Without it, many families could not have survived. Whether we like it or not, such economic methods will be making a return very soon, especially in the face of a plunging dollar, inflating wholesale prices, erratic investment markets, and unsustainable national debts. It is inevitable; financial collapse of the mainstream system ALWAYS leads to secondary markets and individual barter. We can wait until we are already in the midst of collapse and weighted with desperation before we take action to better our circumstances, or, we can prepare now for what we already know is coming. In todays modern globalist economy, we have relied upon centralized and highly manipulated trade, forced interdependency, senseless and undisciplined consumption, endless debt creation, welfare addiction, and the erosion of quality, as a means to sustain a system that ultimately is DESIGNED to erode our freedoms not to mention our ability to effectively take care of ourselves. We have been infantized by our financial environment. In the near future, those who wish to live beyond a meager staple of government handouts (if any are even given) will be required to make a 180 degree reversal from their current lifestyle of dependency and immediate gratification towards one of self sufficiency, personal entrepreneurship, quality trade, and a mindset of necessity, rather than unfounded excess. This means that each and every one of us will not only be driven to form barter networks outside the designated confines of the mainstream, we will have to become active producers within those networks. Each and every one of us will need to discover practical goods and skills that will be in high demand regardless of economic conditions. Being that our society has all but forgotten how this kind of trade works, lets examine a short list of items as well as proficiencies that are sure to be highly sought after as the collapse progresses


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 2 of 21

Top Priority Goods To be sure, this list is a summary of items that will have high value during and after a breakdown scenario. I welcome readers to post their own ideas for trade goods below this article. The following is merely a framework which you can use to get started, and was compiled using actual accounts of post collapse trade from the Great Depression, to Bosnia, to Argentina, to Greece, etc. These are items and skills that people were literally begging for after financial catastrophe occurred in numerous separate events. Water Filtration: Stock up on water filters. Learn how water filtration works. Even make your own water filters using cloth, activated charcoal, and colloidal silver. Everyone will want to trade with you if you have extra filtration on hand. During economic breakdowns, especially in countries like Argentina, and Bosnia, which had more modern, city based populations, the first thing to disappear was clean water. Always. In some cases, the tap water still runs, but is filled with impurities, and needs to be boiled. Boiling does not remove bad tastes or smells, however, and clean filtered water will be in demand. Seeds: Non-GMO seeds are a currency unto themselves. They can last for years if stored properly, and everyone will want them, even if they dont have land to plant them. Get enough for yourself, and then purchase twice as much for trade. Fresh Produce: Ever heard of scurvy? Probably. Ever had scurvy? Probably not. Believe me, you dont want to have it. Your body essentially begins to fall apart slowly, and the result is an ugly boil and sore filled complexion, the loss of teeth and hair, and the eventual failure of internal organs. Dont think you can live on beef jerky and canned beans for months on end. You need fresh vegetables and fruits, and the vitamins they supply. Anyone with a well managed garden and a few fruit trees is going to do very well in barter. Vitamin supplements would also be a practical investment. Long Shelf Life Foods: This one should be obvious, but you may be surprised how many preppers, even though aware of the danger in the economy, do not have ample stored foods. The rationalizations abound, but usually, you are dealing with a person who has a heavy hunting background, and believes he will be able to procure whatever food he wants whenever he wants with his trusty bolt action rifle and a few hours in the woods. Dont fall into this foolish trap. Thousands if not millions of other hungry, destitute people will likely have the same idea, combing the forest for deer, only running into (and perhaps shooting at) each other. In every single account of modern economic collapse I have read, the people involved kick themselves brutally for not stocking more food that didnt require refrigeration. Even those that were moderately prepared stated that they wished they had stored twice as much as they did. Sealed food kits would be highly valued trade items, as long as they contained necessities like grains (wheat or rice store well), salt (the human body will not function without salt), honey or maple syrup (the body needs sugars), and powdered milk, peanut butter, or any other foods with fat content (the body needs fats). Prepackaged freeze-dried foods are more expensive to stock, but they are, of course, easy to trade. Food Producing Animals: Chickens are great for eating, but they also produce eggs. Cows and Goats can be slaughtered, but they also produce milk. Sheep can be easily herded towards your dinner plate, but they also produce wool. Rabbits make a good stew, but they also produce lots of other rabbits. In terms of barter, these animals will be life savers, as well as a solid source of trade income. Dual purpose livestock are really where its at for those who have even an acre of land, and many of them (except cattle) tend to feed themselves easily if left to wander your


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 3 of 21

property. You can trade eggs, milk, wool, etc, that they produce. Not to mention, fetch serious value for trading the animal itself. Solar Power: Solar power is so overlooked by most barter organizations and survivalists in general that its astonishing. If every home in America had at least two large solar panels on the roof, I would not be half as worried about collapse as I am today. My suspicion is that many preppers believe that after a breakdown, we will all return to some kind of Agrarian pre-electric age where everything is lit with oil lamps. This is silly. If I have my LED lamp with rechargeable batteries, Im certainly not going to rely on less effective burning lamps that depend on a finite fuel supply. And, Im certainly not going to give up the advantages of nightvision, radio communications, or refrigeration if I can help it. The key is to ensure that you have a continuous means of diverting electricity to these goods. This already exists in the form of solar power. Depending on your budget, you can purchase solar panels that can be folded and carried with you for charging batteries, or, you can purchase entire arrays and battery banks that run your whole house. Those without electricity WILL want electricity, and solar is an excellent barter item. Wind generators, as well as water driven generators (as used often in Bosnia) are also a consideration. People that have the knowledge to set up these systems for others will not have trouble finding trading partners. Firewood: Even with solar power, home heating will become a major concern for every household during and after a breakdown. If you can avoid running your battery bank out on inefficient space heaters, you will. The best way to do this is with a wood stove, or a fireplace. Those without any electricity will scour their immediate areas for loose wood, then move on to chopping down random trees for fuel. This is one of the few instances, ironically, that those in urban environments would have an advantage, being that dry wood for burning is literally everywhere in the city. During the Great Depression, families would often sneak into abandoned homes and apartment buildings to dismantle sticks of furniture, or even the walls, to use as firewood. A small, well insulated home can be heated with as little as two cords of wood every winter. Larger drafty homes require as much as twenty cords per winter. A cord of wood is a stack of split timber around four feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. This wood is aged, or dried for at least a year after being cut, so that it burns cleaner, and creates much more heat than freshly felled timber. When the general public begins to rediscover the need for aged cord wood, those with timberland will have a prized commodity on their hands for barter. A disciplined cutting routine would be essential. Only cutting enough timber (of the right maturity) to create a decent supply while not erasing the whole forest for a single year of profit. Those traders with the correct knowledge will do very well in a barter economy. Gasoline And Oil: This is a tough one, because its hard to predict how much petroleum the U.S. will be able to import or produce on its own during a collapse, and its very difficult to store for long periods of time. If you hear news that the wars in the Middle East have expanded even further, or that OPEC is decoupling from the dollar, you might want to run to the nearest station and fill as many storage cans as possible, along with a little bit of added gas saver which helps keep it stable longer. Initially, people will be dueling to the death for gas and oil. I have little doubt. After the price hits $15, $30, $60 a gallon due to hyperinflation, and a little time passes, I think people will begin finding ways to live without it, or they will reduce its use to emergency tasks. Desire for gas will always be there, especially in agricultural areas where one tractor could help sow the seeds that feed an entire town. But beyond storage, I would suggest learning ways to distill your own corn ethanol and alcohol based fuels. This is where the real barter potential is. Silver And Gold: I placed precious metals in the middle of this list for a reason. Concerns in a collapse situation will be varied, and the manner in which a derailment progresses will also determine the order of needs in a barter community. In a Mad Max scenario where there is little to no community, or the construction of any semblance of economy is impossible; sure, gold and silver will not be very high on most peoples lists. Has this ever happened in recorded history? No. Gold and silver have remained common currencies for thousands of years despite any catastrophe. This is why I have to laugh at those people who undercut precious metals or claim that because you cant eat them they will not be important. In Argentina, in the midst of complete meltdown and monetary chaos, when people were shooting each other in the streets for food on a daily basis, gold and silver became king, and still are. Barter networks that have formed in Argentina love to trade for anything made out of gold or silver, because precious metals are the only tangible form of currency in existence there. Being able to trade goods is fantastic, but sometimes, you may not have what another person wants. Do you go out to find someone who does, trade with them, then, try to find the guy who turned you down? No. If you have any meaningful localized commerce in place, then you should also have a


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 4 of 21

common medium of exchange, and precious metals are the only thing that safely fits the mold, because they cannot be artificially reproduced or fabricated. Their rarity and their longevity make them the perfect method of common trade. Even if the worst of the worst occurs, rebuilding will result in the immediate resurgence of trade, and the immediate need of a new currency. Gold and silver will come back, as it always has, and always will. Every potential barter network should be including gold, silver, and maybe copper, on its list of accepted alternative currencies, and the values of said metals should be weighed by the inherent supply and demand of the community. The official market value ( which is very manipulated) should only be used as a loose guide. Firearms And Ammo: Another obvious one. The problem is, the selection of calibers is so varied within the U.S. that stocking anything that will be needed by everyone is very difficult. The only recourse is to stick with common military calibers, such as 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, .223, 7.62 by 39, 7.62 by 51 (.308), 12 gauge, .410, and 20 gauge shotgun shells, and the ever pervasive .22. Stocking these calibers will result in a much greater chance of trade. I can think of no instance of societal disintegration that did not lead to horrible violence. In places where firearms are outlawed, the carnage is always much worse. Criminals easily get their hands on weapons, while law abiding citizens are left defenseless. Governments take liberties with the people, while the populace cowers. Accounts of torture, rape, murder, and genocide, are abundant in the face of hard economic times. EVERYONE should be armed, and as reality sets in, even those who clamored to outlaw guns will be clamoring to get one. Of course, laws today very strictly regulate our ability to barter firearms, but post collapse, no one will care much. Ammo reloading will be a useful skill in light of the fact that homemade manufacture of ammo is very difficult. The nationwide ammo supply will dwindle very quickly, except for those pockets of people who smartly stockpile for trade. Body Armor: Thats right. Any kind of body armor is as good as gold in a collapse environment. People in countries across the world wish they had it, and would trade almost anything for it. When you live in a place where a random gun shot (a minute by minute occurrence in many countries), from a criminals weapon, or more likely a police or military weapon, could bounce off the curb or through your car windshield, and into your chest, you begin to respect the necessity of Kevlar. The fact that body armor is relatively cheap and is easily obtained in the U.S. should be taken advantage of by barter networks. This advantage may not exist in a couple of years. Tazers And Pepper Spray: Easy to purchase and stockpile here in America. Better than nothing when facing armed attackers. Disables without death (in most cases), and easier on the conscience. Trades well. Various Tools: A garden hoe may be a novelty item to most suburbanites and city dwellers now, but soon, it will be a mainstay tool. If you have extra, they will come to you for barter. Im not going to list every tool in existence here, but I suggest using common sense. What tools do you see being required for daily use? What would YOU need post collapse? Pesticides: Im big on organic food and healthy eating, but if my life is on the line, Im spraying my crops down with whatever poison I can find. Unless you have years of experience with natural pest deterrence methods, then I suggest you do the same, especially in that first year of calamity. A hoard of locusts could annihilate your crop within a day given the chance, and should be dealt with using the most powerful means available. Cockroach and rat poisons will also be huge sellers, guaranteed. Vermin thrive in unkempt human environments, whether in the country or the city, and with them comes disease. Diseases you thought had disappeared off the face of the Earth, like bubonic plague or small pox, will make a comeback in cities, where streets of death and sewage act like enormous Petri dishes (remember New Orleans after Katrina? Imagine if that had never been cleaned up). Stock pesticides, even if they offend your environmental sensibilities. Youll use them, trust me. And, people will trade whatever they can for them. Warm Clothing: The world is awash in textiles and clothing. Using clothes as your primary means of trade is not necessarily the best plan. However, most of the clothes made around the world are very poor quality, and are not designed for harsh environments. Clothes made specifically for harsh cold or rough wear are harder to some by, and are often very expensive. This is where you would want to focus your investments. Gortex, for instance, could give you incredible bartering potential. Wool socks are a rarity (how many people do you know with more than two pairs of wool socks?). Water resistant and water proof jackets and overcoats, boots, well made hiking shoes, and waterproofing chemicals and


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 5 of 21

sprays will be needed within trade networks. The ability to make these items, or repair them, will also be valued. Medicines: This is another difficult item to procure, mainly because doing so often gets you flagged as a possible drug dealer. Certain items arent too hard to come by and store, though, and could be life saving barter material in the future. Antibiotics are handed out like candy by doctors today, so storing any extra you have away for trade may be a good strategy. Painkillers are another medical miracle that doctors seem to sprinkle out of helicopters without a second thought. With the risk of injury increasing one hundred fold after a financial tsunami, I suspect even mere aspirin would put a smile on the face of any barter networker. Eventually, natural medicines and herbs are going to have to move to the forefront, as industry medicines begin to disappear, or become so expensive they are unobtainable. Stocking such herbs and vitamins would be smart, for protecting oneself, not to mention, its savvy business sense. Toiletries: Yes, yes, we all hear about how great toilet paper will be as a barter item, and how preppers plan to demand cows, trucks, and beach-front property, in return for packages of the silken quilty-soft huggable rolls of goodness. I dont disagree that it will be highly desired at first. People dont change their habits that quickly. But lets face it; toilet paper is a luxury item in a post collapse environment, not a necessity. People are going to eventually go back to older methods of hygiene, like using strips of washable cloth. It might sound gross to us now, but hey, did you think we were going to start using poison ivy and pinecones? Stock toilet paper, but dont treat it as a priority. Focus more on cleaning items like soap, toothpaste, and bleach, as well as chemicals that cause human waste to quickly biodegrade. Staying clean is VERY important, because the alternative is catching a nasty bacterial infection that may kill you, when in more peaceful and comfortable times, it may have just given you slightly irritating intestinal distress. The rest of the country will come around to this way of thinking in short order, and many people will come to you for the cleaning goods you stockpiled. Specialty Items: There are many circumstances that are hard to predict, circumstances that could severely affect barter markets and what items come into demand. For example; a nuclear event, as is in progress in Japan, could just as easily strike the U.S. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S., not to mention the threat of a small nuclear attack (or false flag). The market for goods such as potassium iodide pills and Geiger counters would explode (potassium iodide suppliers were inundated with orders from around the world after Fukushima). How many people do you know with a Geiger counter? Im one of the few I know with one, and I know preppers across the country! In the wake of a fallout situation, knowing what is contaminated with radiation and what isnt, knowing if its even safe to go outside, is imperative. Having an extra Geiger counter could help you barter your way into any number of goods. A biological event might bring medical grade particulate masks to the top of peoples lists, as well as disinfectants and even hazmat suits. Its an ugly thing to imagine, but for those who plan to engage in independent trade, its a likelihood that must be considered.


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 6 of 21

Top Priority Skills Provided below is a brief list of skills which have served people well in various economic downturns, and will do the same for you in this country. Keep in mind that almost any skill that other people cannot do well has potential for trade, but some skills are more sought after than others. In my research, it is those people who are able to produce their own goods as well as effectively repair existing goods that have the greatest potential for survival in a barter market. Next, are those people who have specific abilities that are difficult to learn and who have the knack for teaching those abilities to others. If you do not have any of these skills, or perhaps only one, then it would be wise to begin learning at least one more now. Keep in mind that competition will very much exist in a barter economy, so knowing as many skills as possible increases your chances of success. Mechanic, Engine Repair Welding Blacksmithing Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading Construction Architect, Home Reinforcement Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care Bee Keeping Doctor, Medical Assistant Veterinarian Well Construction, Water Table Expertise Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning Martial Arts Training Wild Foods Expert Hunting Chemist


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 7 of 21

Sewing, Textiles Soap Making, Candle Making, Hygiene Products Small Appliance Repair Electronics Repair HAM Radio Expert Homeschooling, Tutoring Again, there are definitely many more trades of value that could be learned. This list is only to help you on your way to self sufficiency and entrepreneurship in an Alternative Market. Unfortunately, too many Americans have absolutely no skills worth bartering in a post collapse world. Bringing Back The American Tradesman Barter networking is a powerful tool for countering the affects of depression, hyperinflation, stagflation, globalization, and beyond. But, networks require that participants actually have necessary goods and services to trade. In only half a century or less, American culture has been sterilized of nearly all its private trade skills. We have lost our desire to produce, and have been relegated to the dregs of a retail nightmare society dependent entirely on consumption and debt. This is going to change, one way, or another. We can change on our own, or we can wait until fear and desperation force us to make hard choices. I would rather forgo the desperation and the painful fall into the gutter. It makes little sense. The bottom line is, if you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large. Without strong, independent, and self sufficient people, this country will cease to be.

You can contact Brandon Smith at: Join Alt-Market today, find a barter network in your area, or start your own. Insulate yourself and your family from economic collapse before it is too late.

Hits: 43299


Comments (57)
written by Lynn , June 09, 2011

You forgot the second oldest trade, midwifery. We have a great barter tool and are indespensible! vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +69

The Patriots Cave

written by Joel the K , June 09, 2011

I have heard that when the USSR collapsed, alcoholic beverages traded as high as 100X retail price. So for barter purposes, it may be wise to stock some bottles of cheap whiskey. Also, tobacco habits will not go away when the trucks stop bringing cigarettes to the carryouts. Tobacco seeds and surplus tobacco stored away will be worth a fortune during an economic collapse. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +34


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 8 of 21

written by sophie , June 09, 2011

I have already started at least the idea of bartering with my clients. I have helped a few folks not have back surgery and am expanding my 20+ years of herbal/natural remedies self education. We have been gardening and canning for several years now as welll as trying to stock storable foods. I don't go to the DR except for the annual paps and such, ( only because my insurance covers it). I have treated my own UTi's, bronchitis/pneumonia, asthma for years. I am hoping that this will give my hubby and I at least a means of surviving in the event of a worst case collapse. Mostly, I pray for help for myself and others to know how to prepare and strength to endure whatever may come. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +22

written by ssj , June 09, 2011

The author talks about being prepared in case a nuclear incident - like at Fukushima - happens in the US. Well, Fukushima is enough - though the media is mute on the issue. The West Coast & the rest of the US will be dealing with Japanese radiation for decades. It will contaminate our water, our soil & our crops here. In addition to an economic collapse, & the radiation coming your way, you can also look forward to an encroaching police state. It is a triple whammy. Because of the soil/water contamination, it might be wise to purchase some clean bags of potting mix (soon) along with the seeds mentioned above. People will want clean soil to grow food/herbs inside their homes and in greenhouses. People are going to want clays to wash their vegetables in - no one will want to barter for contaminated produce/milk unless they have a way to clean them up. Zeolite will be useful to decontaminate our bodies. A grain mill might be useful for grinding up neighbors' stored grains into flour to make bread. Lots of things to consider. But all preps must be done with the awareness that we will be living with radiation, and a police state that will NOT be supportive of herbs, natural supplements, small farmers, bartering, or much else. It's not your granddad's Great Depression. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +35

written by BEENS-BULLETS , June 09, 2011

awsome post!!! THANK YOU very good comments from others, all POSITIVE input is a must for good preparedness ") vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +5

Montana Barter Organization

written by Montana Barter , June 09, 2011

Please check out this no-fee barter organization in Montana: CLICK HERE Set up with Wordpress. The organization would be glad to explain to you how to set up your own network in your own part of the country. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +3

Montana Barter Link

written by Montana Barter , June 09, 2011


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 9 of 21

Try this link for the Montana barter site I was just posting about: Thanks. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

written by rspasoje , June 09, 2011

Like another commenter said, you left out a big one, making booze! When the big industrial breweries and wineries shut down, being able to home brew will be very beneficial, and knowing how to run a still and make good distilled spirits (and not rotgut) will be even more of a premium. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +8

written by Judy , June 09, 2011

Thanks for the great information. Very educational. I just joined alt market. I have a question, can I use some of this article on Craig's list, Ebay or social web sites to educate others? I own 90 acres of farmland in southwest Michigan and want to start a barter/trade. My husband is a licensed general contractor,certified in solar, very mechanically inclined, very self sufficient, and I am a nutritionist, and health coach. This information would be great to help like minded people understand how important this will be to all of our futures. Thanks again and thanks for all you do. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +12

Solar and Wind energy

written by caryjulietate , June 09, 2011

we got that coverd in the Kansas City area 913 416 9467 google voice vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

want to talk to judy

written by Mary , June 09, 2011

Judy, I also live in southwest ,MI. would love to make contact, my husband has wood floor business, would like to trade services. Mary vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

Skilled Craftsmen
written by michael a , June 09, 2011

I don't think there is any shortage of skilled craftsmen in the US or Canada. Who keeps things running right now?


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 10 of 21

There are also lots of people who know how to grow food and do it well. As times get tougher they will step forward and take their place, and those who have neglected to learn how to produce things of value will find their own places as well. Here's a secret worth knowing: Anyone can learn to do almost anything that they need or want to do. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +8

written by Brandon Smith , June 09, 2011

@michael a I agree that anyone can learn any skill given enough time and effort, but I disagree that we have many solid craftsman in the U.S. today, certainly not anywhere near what we had 50 years ago. Almost everything we consume is made in other countries and imported here. Even much of our food! Most farmers in this country are corporately run, and plant a single crop each year, not many. Most people I know or meet on a daily basis would be completely helpless if the collapse were to occur tomorrow. Given time they could learn, but we need to first recognize that America has lost much of its self sufficiency. Only then can we can fix the problems before us. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +9

Tis better to give than receive

written by Patricia Pearson-Machado , June 10, 2011

Back in the early eighties in Northern California we owned a Dental Office. On many occasions we bartered for services rendered. The economy took a big hit , it was as if the tap water had been turned off. We traded for cut cords of wood, home made feather comforters, we also accepted many people on account and we did plenty of extra for free dentistry especially on children who's parents were on medical. We were hurting financially and we new everybody was also. Nobody was refused treatment we used creative financing to keep everybody's head above water and with dignity. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +24

written by Brandon Smith , June 10, 2011

@Judy, Definitely. We welcome anyone to reprint and republish our articles. We only ask that they link back to us as the source. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +4

written by ZERO , June 10, 2011

TRY PUTTING IN HYDRO POWER IF YOU HAVE A CREEK. MY HYDRO IS GREAT . if you need help contact me vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +5

My Skills
written by Woodsman , June 10, 2011

Hi all, I'm from Michigan as well here are my skills and website, mainly Yurts, Domes, Greenhouses, and a unique Veg Oil Stove!


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 11 of 21 Thanks~ vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

written by TheWarrior , June 10, 2011

Fact: The world is ruled by the aggressive use of force!If you can't defend what you've worked so hard to prepare, you will loose it. The Warrior will always have a place to stay with food to eat because those with much will have much to loose if they can't defend it, they'll hire the Warrior to protect them and their supplies or loose it to them. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

Un-Common Sense
written by 2+2=4 , June 10, 2011

I've been bartering for over twenty years and have lived off the land for several years. It's good to see more and more people waking up to the wicked web that has been weaved around our lives. Prior to the "Industrial Revolution", mankind managed fine without the Federal Reserve, the IMF, BIG government, MEGA Corporations, GIGANTIC Pharmaceutical drug pushers, EVIL chemical manufacturers, etc......... If we needed something, we bartered for it or made it ourselves. Today's society has been conditioned and misguided to be lazy and dependent on others for their daily survival. We need to embrace the harmonious relationship that we once had with nature and wildlife. I personally have eliminated man-made chemicals from my life (other than the obvious air pollution, radioactivity, etc.). I eat natural, locally grown and fresh farm vegetables and meats (no GMO, antibiotics, steroids, etc.). Although I appreciate the article, I totally disagree with one suggestion by the author: PESTICIDES! Are you nuts? You are what you eat. You do not need to have years or even months of experience with gardening to NOT use pesticides. It takes minutes to look up NATURAL pest control on the internet. Other PESTS are often your best bet. Organize your garden and group certain plants with other suitable plants for self-preservation. It isn't rocket science - people have done it for thousands of years. And, to be blunt....... if a neighbor of mine sprayed chemicals all over and contaminated my water, food, air, pets, children, etc....... I would consider that an act of chemical warfare and respond accordingly. Tough times or not, if someone pollutes my immediate environment or harms my family, someone might end up fertilizing my soil ;-) vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +10

written by Brandon Smith , June 10, 2011

@2+2=4 I also dislike the use of pesticides, but I think I explained pretty clearly in the article the reasons why they might be necessary. Let's face it, that beautiful organic garden you have today is a HOBBY. Your life does not depend on it. If you have a bad year and your produce is destroyed by vermin, then you can just go to the supermarket and get what you need. However, post-collapse, you will not have that option. This is about SURVIVAL, and our pet peeves concerning the environment will have to be set aside for a little while as we try to endure the best we can. If I have a crop, and my life depends on that crop, I'll do whatever it takes to make sure it grows unimpeded. Period. And frankly, so will everyone else, especially when they experience the first tinges of hunger. Some organic growers have mastered natural methods of pest control, at least for small to moderate gardens. That's great for them. For the rest of us, and myself, spraying the crop down is going to be a lifesaver. And, if someone threatened MY life for doing so, they wouldn't


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 12 of 21

get the chance to enjoy their precious pure veggies, believe me. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

Grow Hemp
written by Myles O'Howe , June 11, 2011

Hemp seeds are the most nutritional seed on the planet, the strongest fiber on the planet, the best non toxic biodiesel on the planet that yields 6-10 times more than corn ethanol. High THC cannabis/hemp oil cures cancers and most disease! Even smoking cannabis cures my asthma induced by toxic industrial society. Don't buy cancer causing pesticides! WHAT IS THE POINT IN LIVING IF YOUR POISONING YOURSELF WITH CANCER CAUSING CHEMICALS THAT CAUSE DEATH? It won't be all chaos. In fact, I believe most people will act like LITTLE CHILDREN and hide, while the men and women will set the standards. There will be chaos at first don't get me wrong but just not that much. I can see corporate businesses being broken into, government property destroyed, but I think people will leave other people alone for the most part. Live and let live, the environment would drastically change in collapse into a dog eat dog, there won't be mass murders on the streets, propaganda in movies has people thinking that is truth. Grow Hemp, Cannabis/Hemp is the best bartering item known to man, the best medicine, the best food, the best fiber, the best oil, and much more! Over 25,000 products can be made from hemp! There has never been a single death from cannabis/marijuana/hemp, search "oldest woman ganja" Cannabis is anti-aging, and is the greatest PREVENTATIVE medicine known to man. Cannabis is non addictive, safe, non toxic. I can stop smoking at any time with zero withdrawls or addiction. When I do stop smoking my breathing just goes back to normal which is bad, I can't breathe normal with my asthma, which I had before I started smoking weed, which smoking cannabis cures! Screw all the group think mind control programming! 2+2 is not 5, war is not peace, ignorance is not strength! Solutions to Economic Collapse vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +14

written by Bill x , June 11, 2011

Myles O'Howe -- The qualities you mention are precisely why cannabis/hemp are illegal. You can grow a lot indoors and in a collapse you will find you have been growing gold. Even now it is extremely valuable and post collapse its value will skyrocket. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +5

written by Frank , June 11, 2011

Fishing tackle, hooks, line, netting of all kinds are all high on my list. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +7

One Second After!

written by Cahonaz , June 11, 2011

There's a fictional novel by William R. Forstchen called "One Second After" that follows what happens to America after being knocked out by an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse).


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 13 of 21

Well researched and lives out what could happen to a small town when all power and communication is lost. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +4

written by wasadoc , June 11, 2011

I am retired from medicine. I am a mechanic. I am a farmer. I am a welder. I have food and water put back, that I think would get my whole family, including the two kids and their wives and kids, through a month. My wife thinks I'm nuts, and she may be right, but as I told her--I am responsible for you, myself, and our families, as much as possible. She discovered a very small part of my food stash by accident, a few days ago. She actually never really understood what she had found, and thought it was just some stuff that I didn't have room for, elsewhere. Oldest son is an electrician. All in all, we have much to barter with, in addition to having room enough to plant one hell of a garden. I am still, and will be until I die, the head of my family. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +11

on alcohol and tobacco

written by Groovtacular , June 11, 2011

Im glad someone mentioned alcohol and tobacco. Alchol can be useful for many things including sterilizing things. I see alcohol and tobacco as a panic (in the case of the unprepared ) commodity. Although I won't rip anyone off, the way I see it, anyone willing to trade weapons or ammo or any valuable item for abooze or nicotine fix probably won't make it very long anyway. After the initial panic, these goods will be good for a luxury item or can be used to seal an alliance. Also I'm starting to go on google earth and print and laminate aerial photos of my surrounding area. These can be used to help plan recon missions or to get a basic idea of what to expect to find topographically. By the way, great message and responses. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

diatamaceous earth
written by rachel , June 11, 2011

the only pesticide you'll ever need and it's non-toxic, even edible for humans. It even kills spider mites! No need for pesticide crap. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +3

written by Daniel , June 11, 2011

Agree with Smith. Organic pest control is not the most reliable. I would not bet my life on it working, especially during a collapse, and I will probably use at least some pesticides. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

Hello from London

written by Abhaya , June 11, 2011

Bicycles (maybe not in Montana!), horses, oxens Hare Krsna

vote up

vote down

report abuse Votes: +0


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 14 of 21

written by yendalg , June 12, 2011

Hello, As an organic gardener, I can only say, save your seeds, and subsequent generations of plants will adapt to the conditions in your area. If you use pesticides, you kill the good organisms with the bad, and kill the symbiotic organisms in the soil that healthy plants depend on. Dead soil is a huge problem agriculture faces today. Just make sure you have a variety of stockpiled seeds, plants, roots, critters, egg layers, and manures. Diversify, don't monoculture. Don't wait till the last minute to start gardening, it takes years to get in the groove. Also, batteries will be a huge barter item, as well as ignition sources like strike-anywhere matches. Just sayin'. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +5

Seeds for Vegetables

written by Common Sense , June 12, 2011

Really smart to get Open-Pollinated Seeds now... Grow your own Vegetables...before it is too late... I already have two gardens up and going and am now going to start my own with the openpollinated (non-hybrid) seeds that allow me to grow veggies/fruits and save seeds...and grow the following year. Make no mistake about the Globalists (Elites) really mean to control us with food....they make no bones about it. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +8

written by kingk , June 13, 2011

Where can one go where people are acctually doing this. I studied wholistic health and nutrition for years and having a hard time finding places to go where people are taking care of themselves and each other. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

written by Brandon Smith , June 13, 2011

@kingk You should read my latest article on barter network building. Check the front page. Its entitled: Easy First Steps To Building Your Barter Network

vote up

vote down

report abuse Votes: +0

Learn Basic Permaculture

written by Lance , June 13, 2011


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 15 of 21

Greetings: Taking a local 'Introduction to Permaculture' course is normally cheap and you'll walk away with a plethora of ideas on how to gradually switch to a perennial food system. Also, a Permaculture nursery is cheap to start and very fulfilling. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

Cannabis cultivation
written by Mr. Fantasy , June 13, 2011

Although a weed, growing medical grade cannabis takes knowledge and effort. Post collapse I would expect more outdoor growing which requires a somewhat different skill set from indoor growing. Learn both and learn to produce feminized seeds. Save and store seeds of your best strains. These are already worth much more than gold. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

Baby items
written by Sue Trumpfheller , June 13, 2011

I don't know if I missed it but diapers, creams, bottles are all essential with a wee one. anyone still have some cloth diapers....oh yes they have to be washed. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

written by Brandon Smith , June 13, 2011

@Sue Good points. I would also add in baby formula (without melemine). I hate to think about it, but economic collapse usually results in a lot of motherless children, or in malnourished mothers who have trouble producing milk for their babies. Baby formula would help save those children from starvation. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

Container gardening
written by AbuTomas , June 13, 2011

I grow all my crops in containers, most of which I found in peoples trash, on craigslist, etc. And I produce all my own compost from self-collected seaweed, grass clippings from trusted yards, waste from Farmer's Markets, fall and summer drought leaves raked/mowed and stored, traditional manure from a local ranch. Spent hops from the local breweries. All that adds up to an incredible ability to grow food and create soil for nearly nothing. And seeds traded for completed compost, I nearly forgot. Still learning more about rain catchment, seed saving, food setting aside and of course, beautiful big buds of Blue Dream, XJ-13 and God's Gift; all for my self-medication and barter for donations of silver/gold and fruits/vegetables. Cheers! vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

re: diiatamaceous earth

written by TaxedENuff , June 14, 2011

"diatamaceous earth


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 16 of 21

written by rachel , June 11, 2011 the only pesticide you'll ever need and it's non-toxic, even edible for humans. It even kills spider mites! No need for pesticide crap. " I discovered this great stuff just last year. For those that are curious, just make sure you get FOOD GRADE! It's a very diversified natural earth product and with a little Googling, it can be purchased cheaply. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

Trades and work ethic

written by Ted Long is Groovtacular , June 14, 2011

On bringing back the trades, I was always told by my father, who was a pipe fitter, that someone with a skill will always have a job. He may not be rich but will always have someone who needs his services. I never thought that would be so true. I am a flooring contractor by trade and have been self employed since 1986. I see a lot af college grads doing " hamburger flipper" jobs because there is not a demand for what they went to school for and piled school loans on top of school loans for. This country was founded on hard work, free enterprise and a faith in God( among other things). When the house of cards that is our current system falls, these things are the only things that will bring us back from oblivion. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +4

The hope is love, with its intelligence

written by Kerry , June 14, 2011

The only hope is love, with its intelligence. Love has no motive. Search Wildman Walker's blog and read my free book. The Dawn of Intelligence. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

written by Tej , June 15, 2011

A "Pony Express" type of relay delivery system will be needed. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

written by squashnut , June 15, 2011

People who know food preservation technics of all kinds will be needed. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +2

written by HighHoeSilver , June 15, 2011

Not mentioned in the article are booze and marijuana. Their worth, though, would depend on the locale. Some US communities would produce a plethora of food. There would be a lot of idle time and a need for organic pain killers. I live in a semi-rural area. A few acres could produce enough food for most people and families. I think people would get "high" a lot. There would be a lot of down time and a need for escapism. Bands of neighbors and sticky communities would form. I don't think this area would be violent often... perhaps only in times when bands of unwelcome city denizens make an exodus and when roaming bandits come around. In a Mad Max scenario (which I think is remote), the exurbanites and banditos would die off after a couple of years. US society would become feudal after several years. JMHO


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 17 of 21

Homemade booze and marijuana wouldn't be exceptionally valuable in this type of scenario because they can easily be produced. In fact, marijuana values would come down from where they are currently because everyone would be growing it, and it is easy to produce (don't use or grow it). Booze and marijuana would be like a 5 or 10 dollar bill for smallish quantities in good agricultural areas. They would always have value though. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: -1

Trade Disruption
written by HighHoeSilver , June 15, 2011

I would also like to say that in any breakdown of trade routes scenario, trade items would have widely divergent values in differing regions. Water filtration units might be golden in the Houston metro area but might be not worth much if you lived on a remote stretch of the Finger Lakes. Similarly, someone living in Greenwhich might give you a Monet for a bag of potato spuds, but if you lived in low country South Carolina you might only get a cord of wood. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

I've already stocked up

written by Mary Dawson , June 16, 2011

I agree with the author of this article. Many people do not think about how valuable having items like this would be in a meltdown scenario. I just purchased a non-gmo seed bank from and I'm going to stock up on several more. I've already gotten myself a few Berkey water filters, a chainsaw so I can cut my own firewood and as much medicine as I can. What really concerns me is medicine for family members who need their pills to live. Very hard to stock up on that. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +4

written by wallace rosa , June 17, 2011

Fertilizer. If you don't use it you can sure trade it. Much soil is fairly poor. In a pinch cover crops and animal manure are a luxury, and it takes 3 years effort to generate good soil . One 50 lb sack of 16-16-16 and 10 lb seed wheat will cover 8000 square feet and produce 800 lb which will feed 3 working adults basic calories for a year; if you don't eat the wheat, trade it or feed it to chickens. If you can buy a year of time, it is a year to get your ducks in a row. I do not and will not use pesticides, but I realize natural pesticide control may disappear if radiation kills off the songbirds or everybody is eating them. Agriculture is a general but also very local skill. If you plant your main crop according to reasonable advice but two weeks too late for your area, you need more than a year to recover. Train yourself now. Plant a spoonful of wheat so you learn when to plant it, how it looks different from your local grasses, and what kind of things are likely to eat it. You will be able to negotiate skills as simple as this. Humans are very adaptable, the problem is staying alive during the learning curve, meaning getting through the first two years. Useable skill means prepare for more than one scenario. If you are prepared to plant wheat in October but crash happens in November, you have a long wait unless you plant rye in November. Beets planted in April will give you enough calories to live on by June. If you lack enough land or water or fertilizer or energy to till a crop, concentrate your efforts into pumpkin hills in June which can spread out over your driveway or up the front of your house, and the October pumpkins will keep most of the winter.

vote up

vote down

report abuse Votes: +3


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 18 of 21

To person above
written by HighHoeSilver , June 19, 2011

Fertilizer is a great idea. Personally, I don't believe the Mad Max scenario is remotely possible. A military dictatorship is more likely (what would become of all the ex military personnel, tanks, military bases, etc. ?). I see disruption of trade as possible, though. Sporadic hunger, gas shocks, bare Walmart shelves... that sort of thing. Stock up on potatoes if your area has sandy loam. A small area can produce more than a family needs. Wheat is hard to grow in comparison. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +3

written by HighHoeSilver , June 19, 2011

salt and soaps and condoms also vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

Weary Prepper
written by Bloom , June 29, 2011

Bleach; lots of bleach for sanitizing. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

written by Delta Child , July 18, 2011

Where are you all going to live when the bankers forclose on your homes where your growing your crops? vote up vote down report abuse Votes: -1

What Can Americans Do, To Fight The New World Order?

written by Ben Dover , July 19, 2011

What can Americans do to fight the New World Order? 1. Turn off or throw away your T.V. 2. Think for yourself. 3. Question all so-called Authority 4. Get out, and/or stay out, of debt! 5. Use cash, trade or barter as much as possible, rather than debit cards and credit cards 6. Get rid of grocery store discount cards grocery stores provide this information to insurance companies. 7. Bank at a Credit Union, or any alternative to the TBTF Banks, that participated in the 2008 Banker Bailout. 8. Invest as much as you reasonably can in precious metals especially silver. 9. You have the right to own a firearm, to protect yourself,and your family. Read the 2nd Amendment. 10. Buy products Made in America" 11. Start your own garden 13. Meditate or pray - reduce your stress! 14. Get exercise! 15. Read a book (here is an excellent book recommendation: Psychological Warfare and the New World Order:The Secret War Against the American People )


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 19 of 21

16. Listen to soothing classical, jazz, ambient, or other alternative music 17. Watch Freedom to Fascisma film by Aaron Russo (can be found here: 18. Watch Why We Fighta film by Eugene Jarecki (can be found here: 19. Watch Endgamea film by Alex Jones (can be found here: 20. Below is advice from John Perkins book, entitled THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE (The Truth About Economic Hit Men,Jackals,And How To Change The World), pp. 322-329. AVOID SHOPPING AS RETAIL THERAPY (Instead, jog, meditate, read, or find some other solution). SHOP CONSCIOUSLY if there is something you must have, purchase items whose packaging, ingredients, and methods of production are sustainable and support life. MAKE EVERYTHING YOU OWN LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE PURCHASE AT CONSIGNMENT AND THRIFT STORES where everything is recycled. Write letters telling Monsanto, De Beers, ExxonMobil, Adidas, Ford, GE, Coca-Cola, WALMART, and other labor exploiters and environment destroyers why you REFUSE TO PURCHASE FROM THEM. CUT BACK ON OIL AND GAS CONSUMPTION! DOWNSIZE (your car, home, wardrobe) everything in your life (and dont buy what you dont need) SUPPORT/SEND MONEY only to non-profits, radio stations, and other organizations that promote JUST causes. VOLUNTEER your time and energy to such organizations. SUPPORT LOCAL MERCHANTS ENCOURAGE stores to buy from local growers, producers, and suppliers. Shop at your LOCAL FARMERS MARKET AVOID DRINKING WATER THAT IS FLUORIDATED (only your toothpaste should have nonindustrial fluoride) INSIST that those who use your money banks, pensions, mutual funds, companies make socially and environmentally responsible investments. 21. Invest in precious metals (especially silver). 22. Research every company whose products or services you buy 23. Research every organization to which you donate your hard-earned money 24. Vote with your dollars! 25. Watch The Secret of Oz a film by William T. Still (can be found here: 26. Get prepared for when the U.S. dollar TOTALLY COLLAPSES - You'll need 1) Water, 2) Food, 3) Vital Medicine 4) First Aid Kit, etc. 27. Global, non-violent, NON-COMPLIANCE is the answer, of We the Plebs, to the elite New World Order! 28. Find alternatives to EVERYTHING that theyve set up, to entrap you in THEIR system. 29. What would happen if 200 MILLION AMERICANS refused to pay their taxes, in 2012? (Just a hypothetical question) 30. Familiarize yourself with the concept of BOYCOTT 31. Corporate Membership in the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations): 32. Dont ever join a secret society 33. Watch 'Global Warming or Global Governance' ( v=_u81qXOYfKg ) 34. Educate yourself. Thomas Jefferson: "If a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was & never will be." Expand the above list,and share it with everyone you know! vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

written by Christian Patriot , July 25, 2011

Brandon needs to take this article and the comments and write a list. I love lists. They are so helpful and simple. Essential List of Barter Commodities


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 20 of 21

might be a good title vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

cheap nike air max shoes sell

written by jasonchen , July 26, 2011 nike air max sell with high quality and low price. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: -1

written by youllhavetoforgiveme , August 05, 2011

Especially after the violence calms down, a "Pony Express" will be needed. Not to mention a way to "truck" goods over longer distances :) vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +1

Booze / Tobacco as trade goods

written by Donpapa , August 12, 2011

You might want to think carefully before entering into the world of supplying vice products. If during normal times addicts rob, steal and kill to supply their vices, how much more will it be true when society collapses? Better I think to barter and trade without dealing in such products. Honest skills and goods will be profitable for producers, slackers will still be trying to hustle everyone out of their goods. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

written by Burberry Outlet , September 08, 2011

Thank you for your great article and I enjoyed reading it keep the good work. vote up vote down report abuse Votes: +0

Write comment
title comment

smaller | bigger name write the displayed characters


Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

Page 21 of 21