The Best Barter Items for Emergency Situations, specifically items you should have on hand to use as Emergency Currency when the SHTF. We’ll share the top 25+ items to stockpile for bartering.
We live in pretty scary times. Over the past several years, the world has been witness to unforeseen and unexpected game-changing events. A slew of natural disasters has befallen countries all over the world. Economies previously regarded as extremely stable have collapsed.
The threat of a nuclear attack or fallout is ever-present with unstable countries like North Korea constantly testing new methods of warfare. Doomsday events that we previously only saw in the movies have been occurring, albeit on a smaller scale… Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and tsunamis have become alarmingly more frequent in recent years.
As of late, it’s the threat of a spreading pandemic, the Coronavirus. In light of these facts, it is always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality. When disaster strikes, there may come a time when money will no longer be of value. Various items will be used as emergency currency.
25+ Items to Stockpile for Bartering
Here we will list 25 items to stockpile for bartering should the need arise.
These emergency barter items may come in handy if you find yourself in a doomsday situation in the future. They are listed in no particular order. The important thing to remember about these items is that you should make sure you have an adequate supply for yourself and your family before you think of using them as emergency currency.
MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat)
Food will always be a precious commodity in emergency situations. MREs are individual food packets commonly used by soldiers in combat. It would be good to stock up on MREs because they have a long shelf life and are pretty easy to store. Of course, it’s best to have a family meal plan in place before disaster strikes.
Coffee is the elixir of life, quite literally. You’d be amazed at what a coffee drinker would be willing to do to get a mug of coffee in an emergency situation. This is an excellent bartering item and often one of the first to run out of. Don’t be concerned that people may not have electricity, in a pinch coffee can be brewed in something as simple as a sock!
Canned food, which includes canned meat, fruit, vegetables, and soup are also important items to stockpile for bartering.
Since food is a basic necessity, it will always be in demand so you won’t go wrong in having a ton of canned food around. On the off chance that you won’t be able to use them as emergency barter items, you could still eat them yourself.
Dried Foods such as nuts, dried fruit, and jerky are also useful barter items. Don’t overlook grains and lentils as well. They’re easy to store, don’t require refrigeration and last a long time.
If you prefer, you can dehydrate food items and simply add in an oxygen absorber packet to extend its storage life. These work particularly well if you’re storing in bulk in mason jars.
Water is life. It’s as simple as that. Bottled water will be much in demand in times of crisis. No further explanation is required here.
Honey is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, it’s great for cooking, cleaning wounds, etc. Luckily, honey is perfect as an emergency barter item because it stores indefinitely without loss of quality.
Useful for cleaning, purifying water, supplies, bleach is a perfect disinfectant. It lasts virtually forever and makes a great barter item.
Water Purification Supplies
These can range from individual water purification tablets to actual water purification systems/filters- access to clean water during a disaster is not always easy. If you are forced to grab a bug out bag and go- a few of these tablets can come in handy for scoring you some fresh food or other necessities.
This important item can be used in cooking, cleaning, homemade explosives, health-related conditions, stomach ailments, etc. It makes a great shampoo, it’s dirt cheap to buy and easy to store.
Spices & Seasonings
Although the quality can break down over a period of years, various Spices/Seasonings are still edible and enhance wild foods considerably. As in the past, these are still and always have been excellent bartering items. You can get containers of spices for as little as .50 each at dollar stores to stock up.
The value of alcoholic drinks has been estimated to appreciate as much as ten times during disasters. Make sure you have a few bottles for bartering, as well as few for yourself.
Even non-smokers should have a few packs of cigarettes for emergency barter purposes. A lot of people turn to nicotine to relieve stress.
Stock up on different types and sizes of batteries. They will come in handy for bartering and store well. If you’re unsure whether your batteries are still good, here’s a simple, yet effective way to Test Batteries.
Electricity is a luxury you probably will not have in a doomsday situation. A flashlight could be a much-coveted item. There are several different varieties including an emergency flashlight that recharges by a simple hand crank motion or solar power rather than with electricity.
Candles, like flashlights, are also very important in emergencies. You’ll want to choose decent quality candles that last at least 6 hours, like these long-burning tea lights.
Make sure you have matches (that have been waterproofed) to light candles or start a fire if the need arises. It helps to vacuum seal packages of them as well to keep them dry until they’re needed. Some matches are even storm proof and burn extra-long, staying lit in extreme conditions, even underwater.
Swiss army knife
This can be a very useful tool. Make sure you have some for bartering.
Stock up on water filters because people will want clean water during emergencies. We actually carry these straw water filtration systems when we go hiking or camping. They’re easy to carry, lightweight and purify water in an instant.
Silver and gold coins
Silver and gold coins have been used for trade since ancient times. They continue to be important barter items.
Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper are items that we usually take for granted. In disaster situations, they become luxury items that are worth a lot to other people.
When the water supply is limited, alcohol or other disinfectants will be an easy way to maintain cleanliness.
These become a necessity in a situation where panic sets in and people just want to survive. Having the means to protect yourself is necessary and other people will want something to protect themselves too.
For those who are wary about touching firearms, pepper spray is a good alternative when it comes to protection. It would be useful to stockpile several bottles of pepper spray.
Quality warm clothing will be highly in demand during crises. Have extra wool socks, waterproof jackets/coats, and sturdy footwear available for barter.
Medicines will also be very much in demand. Useful medicines to stockpile are painkillers, burn ointments, antibiotics, and first-aid ointments for cuts and wounds. Vitamin supplements could also be in demand, particularly vitamin C and vitamin D for their anti-viral properties.
Depending on the nature of the disaster, some items may become highly prized such as Geiger counters in case of nuclear fallout and specialized masks and suits in case of a biological disaster or outbreak.
This list is by no means complete. There are many other items that could be used to barter with during emergencies. The important thing is to recognize the importance of preparing these items and maybe start stockpiling some of them. Just in case.
Honorable Mentions: Stockpile Items submitted by our members:
- Hard candies Candies are a quick source of sugar and thus, energy. In case the food supply becomes very limited, hard candies will become in demand because they can easily reverse hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) that results from starvation.
- Chocolates Comfort foods such as chocolates are also useful items to barter with. There’s nothing like a piece of chocolate to make a person feel better when his world has been turned upside down.
- Drink mixes – Kool-Aid mixes and iced tea mixes could also provide comfort to someone who has lost everything.
- Powdered milk– Powdered milk is the better alternative to liquid in times of crisis but does not have a very long shelf life.
- Can opener Have extra can openers on hand to serve as barter items. Some people may not have had the foresight to keep one for opening all the canned food they’ve stocked upon.
- Dental Floss can be used for a wide variety of things- cutting through items, cutting, trapping, fishing in a pinch, etc. It’s small, easy to conceal, lasts forever in storage and is a great barter item.