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I hear a lot about people stocking up on liquor for it's multiple post-EOTWAWKI uses, particularly trading (also as fuel for vehicles, improvised Molotov cocktails, disinfectant, anesthetic, etc). What are some other things that could easily be traded in a primitive setting? I've thought about things like knives, sharpeners, tools, and little things like hard candy.
 

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Things I would be willing to trade for would be seeds for vegtables, sulfur to make black powder, lead for bullets, a quality map showing locations of other groups. Just about anything could be traded for it would depend on what I need and what I have. I won't trade for ammo though too many variables with trading for ammo.
 

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Items for personal hygiene. Stuff like bar soap and tooth paste.
 

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Here's a few ideas.

Items:

Alcohol (Any mind altering substance)
Tobacco Products
Pornography
Contraceptives
Toilet Paper
Ammunition
Medical Supplies (Trauma and otherwise)
Sugar
Salt
Spices
Coffee
Batteries
Candles
Lanterns
Fuels
Flashlights
Books (Both instructional and novels)
Rope
Sewing gear
Blades for razors
Tooth Paste
Tooth Brushes
Shaving Creams/Soaps
Soap
Non-Electric Tools
Reloading Gear
Socks
Underwear
Footwear
Precious Metals (either well into a total collapse or in the time just before)
Watches
Floss
Matches
Lighters
Rodent Traps
Metal Pots
Buckets
Seeds
Any Luxury Items
Any Food Items

Services:

Hair cutting
Shaving
Provide Hot Bath
Medical (If you have the knowledge)
Sexual (It's a reality, like it or not)
Home-Brew Drinking Alcohol
Grow Medicinal Plants/Herbs
Grow Fruits/Vegetables
Raise Livestock
Security
Transportation
Print Documents (If you have a non-electric type-writer or excellent penmanship)
Parcel/Information Delivery
Installing composting toilets
Structure Repair
Vehicle Repair
 

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Here's a few ideas.

Items:

Alcohol (Any mind altering substance)
Tobacco Products
Pornography
Contraceptives
Toilet Paper
Ammunition
Medical Supplies (Trauma and otherwise)
Sugar
Salt
Spices
Coffee
Batteries
Candles
Lanterns
Fuels
Flashlights
Books (Both instructional and novels)
Rope
Sewing gear
Blades for razors
Tooth Paste
Tooth Brushes
Shaving Creams/Soaps
Soap
Non-Electric Tools
Reloading Gear
Socks
Underwear
Footwear
Precious Metals (either well into a total collapse or in the time just before)
Watches
Floss
Matches
Lighters
Rodent Traps
Metal Pots
Buckets
Seeds
Any Luxury Items
Any Food Items

Services:

Hair cutting
Shaving
Provide Hot Bath
Medical (If you have the knowledge)
Sexual (It's a reality, like it or not)
Home-Brew Drinking Alcohol
Grow Medicinal Plants/Herbs
Grow Fruits/Vegetables
Raise Livestock
Security
Transportation
Print Documents (If you have a non-electric type-writer or excellent penmanship)
Parcel/Information Delivery
Installing composting toilets
Structure Repair
Vehicle Repair
Birth Control, Condoms, Diapers, Fishing Line, Fishing Bait/Hooks, Knifes, would be a commoditys also.
 

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My thoughts and opinions on barter and trade

Never show more than necessary for a given trade. Never let on like you have more.
Only trade alcohol, weapons, and ammunition to those you know will not be a problem for you later.
Try to barter skills and knowledge rather than goods. They don’t run out.
Try to barter the information in books. Don’t let the books leave your control.
Try to barter the use of tools and equipment rather than trading them away.
Try to make trades in neutral areas or at a designated barter/trade meeting. Make sure you aren’t followed back home.
Not all the items/skills listed will be of much value early into the event. It could be three to five years or more for some of the items to become valuable.
Many of the items are only appropriate if one already has the items or skills involved. They aren’t something you would acquire just for barter. Listed simply as a reminder that many things might be in demand in the PAW, and various hobbies or existing businesses and skills can be the basis of trade goods or services.
Try to have most of your equipment and several months of consumables before you stockpile trade goods, including Precious Metals.
When it comes to PMs, unless you are wealthy, start slow. A few silver dimes & quarters at a time. When you feel it is time to get gold coins, stay with the small denominations. And remember that there will be some people that won’t trust or want them.

Some of what I'm acquiring for barter (No, I don’t have all of these items. Yet.)

Scales to get agreed upon weights of items
commercial scale (±500#)
commercial scale (±100#)
commercial scale (±10#)
commercial scale (±16oz)

small containers for measured out items (spices, meds, etc.)(really small zip-locks)

1.0 oz gold coins
0.1 oz gold coins
40 count rolls pre-1965 silver quarters
50 count rolls pre-1965 silver dimes
blank barter slips (pre-printed slips to record barter transaction – who, what, when, how much, etc.)

A large library of useful books (remember, trade the information, not the book)

200ml bottles 190 proof Everclear
smokeless tobacco
2 oz boxes tobacco
booklets cigarette papers
smoking pipes
small boxes matches
butane lighter fuel
Zippo lighter fuel
lighter flints
lighter wicks
disposable lighters
straight razors w/strop, soap, & cup
shaving soap
Q-tips

playing cards
dice

candle/oil lamp wick
Coleman lantern mantles
Crank flashlights

Canned green coffee beans (with a roaster and grinder to use, not trade away)
2 oz jars instant coffee
16 count boxes teabags
2 oz jars bouillon cubes
tubs add-water-only drink mix

1 pound boxes sugar
various spices
small containers of cooking oil
2 oz boxes salt
2 oz cans pepper
5 oz cans milk
4 oz cans cocoa
2 oz bars chocolate candy
8 oz bags hard candy (individually wrapped)

4 oz cans Vienna sausage/potted meat
12 oz cans roast beef
7 oz cans Spam (or 12oz)(or Treet)
6 oz cans tuna
10 oz cans soup (heavy on the meat types)

16 oz bags rice
16 oz bags beans/lentils

aspirin pain killer
acetaminophen pain killer
multi-vitamin
OTC reading glasses
OTC UVA/UVB resistant sunglasses
Cheap wide-brimmed straw hats

small boxes tampons/sanitary napkins
reusable sanitary napkins

reusable cotton diapers
diaper pins
plastic/poly/nylon/rubber diaper cover pants

clothes pins

wooden pencils/ink pens
small note books
legal pads

50 count bottles water purification tablets

6”-12” candles
boxes strike anywhere kitchen matches

rolls toilet paper
bars soap (Ivory, Lava, Fels Naptha laundry soap)
hair combs/brushes
disposable razors
toothbrushes
boxes baking soda
shoe and boot laces

packets safety pins
packets of sewing needles
spools of thread

mousetraps
rat traps
fly swatters

jersey gloves
cotton/leather work gloves
insulated gloves
socks

tubes silicone sealant
tubes Shoe Goo/Goop
tubes JB Weld
duct tape
mechanic’s wire
electrical tape
friction tape
rubber tape
sheet plastic
divided buckets with a variety of nails, screws, bolts, nuts, and washers
sealed cans of welding rods (6011 and/or 7018 1/8”)
variety of brazing rods
cans of brazing flux

regular canning lids
wide mouth canning lids
Tattler reusable canning lids
Tattler reusable canning lid rubber rings
P-38/P-51 can openers

6-hour cans ECOFuelXB
1-lb propane cylinders
10-lb bags charcoal briquettes

solar 12-volt battery chargers
solar AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt battery charger
rechargeable batteries AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt


#10 cans heirloom seeds
Coffee plant seed
Tobacco plant seed
Tea plant seed
Poppy plant seed

Biodiesel production chemicals
Soap making chemicals

500-round bricks .22 LR RF cartridges
5-round boxes .410/20 GA shells
single units M6 Scout/Savage 24F/Remington SPR-94 O/U .22 RF/.410 or 20 gauge combos


Here are some examples of Tradesman’s Tools that could be stockpiled and either used and the product/service bartered, or their USE bartered out. One wouldn’t barter away the tools that bring in the food. (Again, I don’t have all the items or skills.)
±500# scale
±100# scale
±10# scale
±16oz scale

Tailor/Seamstress tools
Sewing machine
Serger
Sewing basket (needles, thimbles, thread, measuring tape, seam ripper, scissors, shears, marking chalk, straight edge, pins, neck magnifying glass, etc.)
bolts of cloth, patterns, spare needles, pins, chalk, thread, buttons, zippers, snaps, etc)
Treadle type sewing machine (Janome 712T)
weaving looms
>1,000 watt generator


Food processing tools
Grain grinders, solar dehydrators, butchering tools, manual meat slicer, manual meat grinder, sausage stuffer, stuffing tubes, jerky shooter, meat smoker, water purifier


barbers tools
scissors, combs, hair brushes, dusting brush, broom, dust pan, chair, neck apron, razor, shaving cup, shaving soap, towels

ammunition re-loader’s tools
Dillion progressive tool w/primary caliber dies
RCBS press with common caliber dies
Bullet casting equipment
lead
black powder making tools & screens

laundry tools
Staber washing machine
laundry soap
bleach
clothes lines w/poles, stakes & clothes pins
water heater (kettle w/tripod)
water tank
12v pump & battery
drain line
James washer w/wringer
2+ washtubs
>1,000 watt generator

entertainment tools
band instruments
projection TV
TV projector
Lap-top computer
DVD disk player
VHS tape player
Chairs
Karaoke machine w/cd-g’s
Lighting system
Sound system
>1,500 watt generator
Battery bank, solar panels, and inverter
protective bullet resistant face for TV’s if used
Classic books for storyteller to read

home canning equipment & supplies
firewood cutting tools
knife/edged tool sharpening tools
printer’s/newspaper publisher’s tools
butcher/meat cutter’s tools
meat processors tools (sausage, etc.)
tanner’s tools
milk processors tools (cheese, etc.)
baker’s tools & supplies
bath house/shower room tools
candle maker’s tools & supplies
gardener’s tools
mechanic’s tools
machinist’s tools - Smithy Granite 1340 Industrial Max metalworking all-in-one machine
woodworker’s tools – Smithy Supershop 220 woodworking all-in-one machine
blacksmith’s tools - Oxygen accumulator, acetylene generator
plumber’s tools
lumber making tools - portable sawmill
electrician’s tools
carpenter’s tools
roofer’s tools
stonemason’s tools
primitive building tools
cobbler/shoe maker’s tools
soap maker’s tools
brewer/wine maker’s tools
distillery tools
miller’s tools
spinner & weaver’s tools (looms)
teaching tools and supplies K-12
smelter/foundry/metal worker’s tools
sheep sheering tools
papermaking tools
rope, cordage, and net making tools
millwright’s tools
farm tools (prepare, sow, cultivate, harvest)
biodiesel equipment & supplies
wood gas generator equipment & supplies
charcoal making tools
black powder making tools
reference/do-it-yourself library (books/magazines/CD-ROMs/DVDs)(never let the media out of your control)


Here are the skill sets I think most likely to be needed. (I only have a few of them myself)

Alternative energy specialist
Alternative HVAC specialist
Ammunition re-loader
Appliance repairman
Assayer
Baker
Banker
Barber
Basket maker
Bathhouse/shower room operator
Beekeeper
Bicycle Repairman
Biodiesel maker
Blackpowder maker
Blacksmith
Botanist
Brew master
Brick maker
Bullet caster
Butcher/meat processor
Candle maker
Carpenter
Cartridge maker
Cartwright
Chandler
Charcoal burner
Cheese maker
Chemist
Chimney sweep
Cobbler/shoe maker
Coffin maker
Cook
Cooper (barrel maker)
Coppersmith
Dentist
Distiller, drinking alcohol
Distiller, fuel alcohol
Doctor
Dog trainer
Electrician
Electronics tech
EMT/Paramedic
Experienced barterer/flea market operator
Farmer
Farm hand
Farrier
Firefighter
Firewood purveyor
Fisherman
Food canner/processor
Furniture maker
Gardener
Gatherer (wild plants, useful rocks and minerals)
Glass maker
Goatherd
Goldsmith/silversmith
Gravedigger
Gunpowder maker
Gunsmith/gun maker
Handyman
Harvester/picker
Heavy equipment operator
Herbalist/mineralist
Horse trainer/wrangler
Hunter/trapper
Ice purveyor/harvester/maker
Knife maker
Knife sharpener
Knitter/crocheter
Laundress/laundry room operator
Leather worker
Librarian
Logger/forester/sawyer
Lumber maker
Machinist
Mechanic
Metal worker
Metallurgist
Midwife
Milk maid
Milk processor
Miller
Millwright
Miner
Mulcher/composter/manure collector
Net maker
Nurse
Optician (eyeglass maker)
Orchardman/arborist
Paper maker
Peace Officer
Pedi-cab driver
Pest control specialist
Pharmacist
Plumber
Postman
Pottery maker
Primitive building specialist
Printer/newspaperman
Psychologist/Psychiatrist
Quilter/Quilt maker
Radio Operator
Rancher
Ranch hand
Repairman
Roofer
Rope/cordage maker
Sail maker
Sailor (Boatswain)
Salt maker
Salvage specialist
Security guard
Shake/shingle maker
Sheep sheerer
Shepherd
Shipwright/boat builder
Shoemaker
Skill At Arms instructor
Small engine mechanic
Smelter/foundryman
Soap maker
Soldier
Spice purveyor
Spinner/Weaver
Stonemason/brick layer
Sugar maker
Surveyor
Tailor/seamstress
Tanner
Teacher
Thatcher
Tinker
Tire repairman
Tool & die maker
Trade maker
Trader/Wagoner
Trapper
Truck driver
Undertaker
Veterinarian
Watch/clock repairman/maker
Weaver
Welder
Well driller
Wheelwright
Winemaker
Wood gas equipment maker
Woodworker


A few skills that won’t be in high demand, but would be a good secondary skill

Artist
Bookbinder
Candy maker
Comedian
Dye maker
Entertainer
Historian
Ink maker
Judge/arbitrator
Karaoke operator
Maid
Massage therapist
Musician
Physicist
Scribe
Secretary
Storyteller
Toy & game maker


Some things I probably won’t get for barter for this reason: If there is a large die off the items will be available to pick up all sorts of places. If there isn’t one, they will still be available through normal channels.

Knives, especially ‘Cheap’ knives
Clothing
Tools (Yes, have a really good set for yourself, and possibly one to barter the use of, but keep the tools)
Cooking equipment
Fishing gear
 

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I keep a few cartons of cigarettes tucked away in the freezer and various hygiene items such as toothpaste, brushes, bar soaps and such in the prep room. I know it isnt a whole lot but I have seen first hand how desperate the wife gets when she is out of smokes!
 

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Toilet paper or paper in general. Seeds are definitely good but please be sure to get heirloom seeds because the engineered fruits and vegetables are basically producing "sterile" seeds nowadays.

Hmm...I know a place to get decent cheap knives locally so I might pick up a ton of extra ones. Speaking of which, I might ask those folks if they are "preppers" and see if they want to team up...
 

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I found a local store that had to close in 09. They had mostly junk, but they had these solar AA chargers with 4 rechargeable batteries. Not Duracell, but certainly not useless either.

I got a box of 100 for 50 bucks. As far as trading goes, I think that's going to be my ace in the hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not to be rude to the other commentators on this thread, but Mr. Young, you pretty much ended this thread!
(I just noticed that I posted this in the wrong catagory, but I didn't think about at the time, since I spend so much time on the rifle forum!)
Thanks everybody, now I have a BIG list to start writing!
 

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Some of the items I have on my list for bartering:

Fishing supplies
Seeds
Eggs
 

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Many people mention marijuana seeds. Being former LEO, I will not tell anyone to possess illegal items of any kind.... HOWEVER, should one acquire said seeds in a world where modern law no longer applies, mind altering substances will be in demand sooner or later. In a world where 95% of your loved ones are dead and you just had to eat the family dog, one can see why. With the number of marijuana users in this country already, coupled with the ease of "production", I feel like the seeds and product will be so wide-spread already that they will not be an overly coveted item for any great length of time. Just my thoughts as someone who has never touched the stuff, but has had an insight into relevant circumstances.
 

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For those on a limited budget, watch for refills of consumable items, such as utility knife blades, saw blades, drill bits, etc. I also look for non-expiring first aid supplies, tools and knives that are sold in plastic blister packs, and all sorts of things that don't take up much space but serve lots of purposes. If I was going somewhere on foot to barter, I'd want to be able to conceal my barter items rather than have them in a big bag or backpack.
 

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Alcohol and cigarettes are two things I'll be buying for barter use. Especially in the first few months, alcoholics will trade guns, ammo, food, fuel, and their wives and daughters for a case of whiskey (no, I'm not planning on acquiring sex slaves by taking advantage of alcoholics, it was just an analogy). Later, as the people who psychologically won't/can't adapt die or run off, things like first aid kits, knives, hatchets, clothes, blankets, and water purifiers will become premium. By no later than the second winter, food will be most highly sought after.
 
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