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Post SHTF Barter Supplies List

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Hi there. I've been reading a few articles on various forums/sites recently that mentioned surviving urban/suburban SHTF situations, and a couple of people had some great suggestions for items to buy for barter. I've compiled their suggestions and added a few of my own.

I thought I'd share to help others prepare.

A couple of notes:
1) I believe we should store up ammo not only for our guns, but have some for our neighbors,many of whom won't have .223 or .308 or AK battle rifles, but maybe have hunting rifles. They usually have 20 to 60 rounds at home. Many have 22s, or bb guns, or pellet guns, but may have limited ammo, and for the air guns, many are now CO2 powered, which is why I have CO2 cartridges listed with "AMMO"--you can't propel your pellets without CO2 unless you have a spring- or pump- powered air rifle.

2) Some items such as Baking Soda have multi-purposes: tooth paste, and shampoo. Vinegar makes a good rinse to Baking soda shampoo, and also disinfects vegetables to kill parasites such as amoebas.

3) Whistles: the cheapest emergency communication device around. Can be used by patrols guarding a neighborhood, or individuals being attacked, but who keeps any in their homes?

4) Rat Traps: not only kill rats, but combined with peanut butter, these are excellent for killing squirrels to eat, and no ammo is wasted, no noise generated.

5) Paper: for flyers. WHen the SHTF, you'll need to organize the neighborhood, and flyers will work, but you'll need to be able to take them around the area and hand them off to plan a meeting and get people to meet.

6) Not listed, but could be useful: an efficient wood-burning stove. I dont know of anyone in my neighborhood with a wood stove for cooking. So unless they plan to cook over an open fire, if you have a stove you can help others cook their food. I'm thinking of something like the Zoom Versa:
This would also give you the chance to possibly trade for the access to the stove.

Alcohol (small bottles, some large bottles)
Ammo 17 cal pellets
Ammo 22 cal pellets
Ammo 22 Long
Ammo 22 short
Ammo BBs
Ammo CO2 cartridges
Ammo Pellets .17
Ammo Pellets .22
Ammo Shotgun 12g
Ammo Shotgun 20g
Ammo Shotgun 410
anti-biotic creams etc
Beer making materials
Bike repair equipment
Bike: extra inner tubes
Bike: flat repair kits
Bike: Mountain bike tires (extras)
Boxes baking soda
Chap sticks
Coffee (instant bottles, packets)
Duct tape
first aid supplies
Garbage bags
Gun cleaning solvents and supplies
Hand Sanitizer
hand soap
Hard candy
Hot sauce
Lantern Mantles
Lantern oil
Lanterns (extra, oil types)
Lighter fluid
Mouse/Rat traps
Nails, various sizes
Paper (for flyers)
Peanut Butter
Pocket knives
Rechargeable batteries
Spices, salt and pepper
Tea (black)
Tobacco in cans
Tobacco (cigars or cigarrettes)
Tobacco: chewing
Tobacco: roll your own in bags
Toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste,
Unscented bleach or Pool Shock
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1 - 20 of 23 Posts

· Adventurer
19,323 Posts
I recommend instead of filling your house with stuff you may never use and especially don't recommend getting things you personally do not use

plant fruit trees and grow a garden it will save you money you can use it all the time its low maintenance

and if anything does happen you will have food and something to trade to hungry folks
and a ay to replace it

· One day at a time........
299 Posts
Bater your knowledge and services, as said above, if your builder, build something as payment for your trade etc,

plant fruit trees, fresh fruit is renewable and will be good for trade

Ammunition, precious metals, gas, livestock

· Registered
11,828 Posts
If I have extra of something and I need something I will attempt to barter with my excess, but to buy even part of that huge list just to have barter items is not money well spent IMO.

· TEXAS!!!
7,352 Posts
There is NO way I'm bartering ammo.

1) It can, and most likely will be shot back at you.
2) You will eventually run low on ammo and will regret bartering any of it away.

· Registered
1,116 Posts
I think bartering depends on how bad it is and how far in you are I only see bartering for myself in a teotwawki situation and only after a suitable time where some new type of community has been formed

· Registered
438 Posts
I don't see tobacco products as being a useful item to stock in anticipation of using it to barter. If you don't smoke, it'll go bad long before you ever get a chance to trade it. If you do smoke, you won't want to trade it away.

You figure, the day after tshtf people are going to still have plenty of cigarettes. By the time they run out, your stockpile won't be any good. I guess you could trade tobacco thats gone bad, but I still don't see it as the best option. I think booze is probably the better choice.

· Super Moderator
12,850 Posts
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

playing cards

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
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
boxes baking soda
shoe and boot laces

packets safety pins
packets of sewing needles
spools of thread

rat traps
fly swatters

jersey gloves
cotton/leather work gloves
insulated gloves

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
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
black powder making tools & screens

laundry tools
Staber washing machine
laundry soap
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
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
Basket maker
Bathhouse/shower room operator
Bicycle Repairman
Biodiesel maker
Blackpowder maker
Brew master
Brick maker
Bullet caster
Butcher/meat processor
Candle maker
Cartridge maker
Charcoal burner
Cheese maker
Chimney sweep
Cobbler/shoe maker
Coffin maker
Cooper (barrel maker)
Distiller, drinking alcohol
Distiller, fuel alcohol
Dog trainer
Electronics tech
Experienced barterer/flea market operator
Farm hand
Firewood purveyor
Food canner/processor
Furniture maker
Gatherer (wild plants, useful rocks and minerals)
Glass maker
Gunpowder maker
Gunsmith/gun maker
Heavy equipment operator
Horse trainer/wrangler
Ice purveyor/harvester/maker
Knife maker
Knife sharpener
Laundress/laundry room operator
Leather worker
Lumber maker
Metal worker
Milk maid
Milk processor
Mulcher/composter/manure collector
Net maker
Optician (eyeglass maker)
Paper maker
Peace Officer
Pedi-cab driver
Pest control specialist
Pottery maker
Primitive building specialist
Quilter/Quilt maker
Radio Operator
Ranch hand
Rope/cordage maker
Sail maker
Sailor (Boatswain)
Salt maker
Salvage specialist
Security guard
Shake/shingle maker
Sheep sheerer
Shipwright/boat builder
Skill At Arms instructor
Small engine mechanic
Soap maker
Spice purveyor
Stonemason/brick layer
Sugar maker
Tire repairman
Tool & die maker
Trade maker
Truck driver
Watch/clock repairman/maker
Well driller
Wood gas equipment maker

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

Candy maker
Dye maker
Ink maker
Karaoke operator
Massage therapist
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
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

· Registered
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jerry, awesome post. thanks for the information, it's a great collection of ideas.

In response to the criticism I've gotten (well taken, no hard feelings):

1) I have a residence in a condo unit out in the mountains. I can't grow fruit trees there, and planting a garden could only take place once things get so bad the home owner's association is no longer pestering us.

2) Ammo would NOT be for strangers. I have lots of great neighbors, and many I know already I can trust. We are a tight community, I'm a Cub Master in the local cub scout pack, and I know a lot of parents that way. Some are hunters but not preppers. I therefore am reasonably sure that they have not stored large quantities of ammo. Why buy ammo for guns I don't have? I'm sure at some point someone will have something I need but don't have, and don't have room to store. It's easy to say store up everything you;d need, but I don't have a barn or large storage (mine is 10'x10') and I can't afford to dump the condo and go buy another house. So I want to be able to help the neighbors help themselves, and afterall, one family can't protect the neighborhood; we'll have to come together to do that.

3) I can only afford enough food for ourselves, so that's not a barter item.

4) tobacco: most folks don't store more than a case or two of cigs. so i think tobacco could be a good barter item for services or goods, at least with a few people. SO I wouldn't store a lot of it.

I'll read more responses and reply if i have something to say on them...

· Registered
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·

You laugh, but those meth heads would get you what ever you want for some dope!
actually, i'd thought of marijuana seeds as a crop to grow and barter. yes, it's illegal and I have my issues with that, but honestly, I'd rather give someone a joint than booze, as I believe a drinker is more likely to get boozed up and attack than someone smoking their joint for "medicinal purposes"...

I have friends with medical marijuana licenses and could gather some seeds from them. 30 or so seeds would be very useful.

it's just an idea at this point, the legality issue of this has kept me from moving on the idea.

· Registered
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
on Ammo

There is NO way I'm bartering ammo.

1) It can, and most likely will be shot back at you.
2) You will eventually run low on ammo and will regret bartering any of it away.
Dragunov, I've thought of both of your responses. I agree with them...but can also think of scenarios where I disagree.

First, we all likely agree that the lone wolf can't survive. It will require team work. And where I live, we are in a neighborhood of great people, many of whom are my friends. I also know that many are hunters but not preppers, don't have large quantities of ammo saved up, so I can see having some 30-06 or 30-30 stored so 1) they can hunt something to eat (and feed us a bit in return) and 2) help defend the neighborhood.

In most cases, most of these folks would already have some ammo, and little food. I'd rather do something to make myself appreciated and help them get their own food rather than tell them "you can't have any food or ammo" and then have them decide they have to kill me to get what they need.

it's going to be a really tough decision at any rate. but i'd much rather have armed friends around me than unarmed friends who can't protect each other

· Registered
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Only barter ammo i stock is 9mm, lots of them out there and I don't own one. I plan on trading some to FarmerJohn for fruit some day :)
not a bad plan, but I anticipate farmer john needing stuff like shotgun shells and hunting ammo like 30-30 rounds...

i know some folks will have a stroke when they hear this, but I've considered buying a couple of "extra" rifles (22 magnum, single or double barrel shotguns) for any close neighbor who doesn't have one, so they can "check one out" of the "armory" for going out hunting, or standing guard. I won't be loaning out my battle rifle to anyone, but it's no good to have unarmed guards...

· Registered
388 Posts
Sorry, but if I store ammo, it's for me. I'll never trade ammo to someone who one day might use it on me. Honestly, my neighborhood can go **** themselves if they aren't prepared.
Pretty much this, I am not stocking up to save my neighbors, if I have space to store a case of some random supply for bartering why wouldnt I use that space to store a case of something I could use more of? Picking up some precious metals for currency is one thing but if you are buying supplies then never buy something you wont use. Storage space is precious so use it for what you need, not what someone else might need.

If I come across someone who is as prepared as I am but maybe has a gap or two things can be discussed if I realize I 'want' something (hopefully not need) but much consideration would happen first and of all the things I doubt ammo would be on the trade table... Oh and the response would never be 'no you cant have any XXX' it would be 'no I dont have any XXX' Not going to give someone the chance to think 'well if I kill this person I could get all of XXX anyways'...

· Adventurer
19,323 Posts
Only barter ammo i stock is 9mm, lots of them out there and I don't own one. I plan on trading some to FarmerJohn for fruit some day :)
if you live close by ill let you have some maby help me prune in the springtime or whatnot i usually have more pears than i can process each year for example and i don't like seeing things go to waste
not a bad plan, but I anticipate farmer john needing stuff like shotgun shells and hunting ammo like 30-30 rounds...

i know some folks will have a stroke when they hear this, but I've considered buying a couple of "extra" rifles (22 magnum, single or double barrel shotguns) for any close neighbor who doesn't have one, so they can "check one out" of the "armory" for going out hunting, or standing guard. I won't be loaning out my battle rifle to anyone, but it's no good to have unarmed guards...
I would recommend getting moisan nag ants for hand out rifles there good to 500m with iron sights idiot proof and cheap as or cheaper than most 22lrs tho that is not a bad idea

and when I am hurting for ammo it will be a cold day in hell just in 7.62x54 i have 12k and 22lr a lot more shotgun shells i am decent on but not a whole lot maby 1-2k #6 and bb and prol 200 in slugs and buck those are what i can think of i have the most ammo for but i have a good bit for my other guns as well

and even if i run out of ammo I got smoke poles to use too:thumb:

what I would be needing more than anything would be people who can make cloth as the fibre arts are something I'm not super good at cordage ect
and good mettle worker or possibly someone who grows things i cannot like maby wheat or whatever or just generally able to help me do what i need like a communal barn raising

· One day at a time........
299 Posts
Good fruit bearing trees will be invaluable, learn a skill that is in demand or could be ie blacksmithing, building, mechanic, herbal medicine. Barter your skills

· TEXAS!!!
7,352 Posts
I'll trade alcohol, batteries, lighters and stuff like that.

NEVER food/water/guns/ammo or anything else that can be used against me and my family, or that I would die without. That's just plain stupid in my opinion.

· Registered
205 Posts
I don't think I could add to the lists above but if shtf

as the post says not teoki as the op is Colorodo I would

say having a large stock of sustanance food to feed the hood

power and heat with space for people to have a cot and shelter

when its -10 and they lost power in the storm. What about a

shower in the basement that could be used by the neighbors?

Realisticly just making them feel human again.It's just shtf right?
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
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