Last week I gave you the second part of my list (# 6-9) of items that will be priceless as bartering chips after a crisis. This week I will finish out the list with the remaining 7 items and why they will be helpful. Just a quick rundown of the first 5 items
- Antibiotics and medicines
- Sanitation and First aid supplies
- Laundry Detergent
- Water bottles
10. Fire Starters
You can usually pick up a box of matches for free from a bar or any place that sells tobacco. Most of the time matchbooks get tossed in the trash or forgotten in a coat pocket. But for someone needing to build a fire to keep their family warm, a pack of matches or a lighter could be a priceless godsend. Be sure these are stored safely, and if they are not waterproof make them so by storing in a watertight container or covering them in paraffin wax.
These matches will keep for a very long time, they typical match will last around 3 years if kept dry but good quality matches that are stored in an airtight container can last up to 10 years or more. Lighters such as disposable BIC lighters and Zippos will be huge in the barter community.
They will be a sought-after item simply because of how easy they are to use and the scarcity they will instantly have. How many people do you think know how to actually start a fire with a bow drill, or a hand drill? Starting a friction fire is not an easy task. I can do it but I am by no means a master at it.
Even the best primitive skills expert can have trouble stoking a fire. So it is for this reason that any lighters, matches, will be heavily sought after. Just make sure that you properly store them for the maximum amount of shelf life.
My great-grandmother used to tell stories from WWII. She would tell me how you couldn't just walk into a store and buy as much sugar or butter or meat as you did not want, nor could you fill up your car with gasoline whenever you liked. All these things were rationed, and you were only allowed your rationed portion, even if you could afford more. The government introduced rationing because certain things were in short supply during the war, and rationing was the best attempt they had to ensure that everyone got their fair share.
Sugar was something he often mentioned. Imagine how easily you could win over a mother with a family of children that all have a sweet tooth with the simple promise of a bag of sugar in exchange for something you are short on.
12. Toilet paper
This one is rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? Sure, there are substitutes for Angel Soft, but who wants to use leaves and corncobs like they did back in the “good ole days” when paper feels so much better. This is one barter item where creature comfort trumps practicality. People will be clamoring for anything that comforts them after a crisis, but unlike with cigarettes and alcohol, the urge to have soft T.P. doesn’t go away.
13. Water Filters/Purifiers
Water purification drops and filters could mean the difference in offering family members treated water or potentially harmful, bacteria-infested water. Considering the fact that you can die in just a few hours without fresh water, and the fact that drinking contaminated water can cause an agonizing bout with some very nasty parasites, what wouldn’t you be willing to trade for that?
May be used to disinfecting water or keep living quarters and soiled clothing sanitized. This would be a major barter item especially after any type of pandemic crisis. As far as water purification, 1 gallon of bleach can create up to 50,000 gallons of disinfected drinking water. This amount is entirely dependent on how contaminated the water is to start with and only works for biological contaminants (heavy metals and chemical runoff is not removed) Like I said above in the bottled water section, Clean water is NOT a luxury.
Can be used to power up flashlights, radios, and other electronic devices. You need battery power for just about anything mobile. While these will be used to power flashlights and other essentials, batteries will be coveted heavily for the ability to entertain us.
A mother can ration out the family Gameboy for chores completed by the children or the family can gather around the radio in the evening and get the comfort of music or keep in touch with world news. Either way when electricity is not option batteries are the only way. I have heard differing opinions on this, but I was always told to keep batteries in the freezer to increase their longevity. However, you choose to store them, be sure that you use FIFO on batteries as well, you don’t want to rely on half dead batteries when you need them the most.
Emergency candles would be a great barter item for those in need of providing some light to their living quarters without electricity. If you get the long burning emergency candles they can be used to keep a fire going or start a new one if you run out of matches. Also with a little know how you can learn to make your own candles, which increase your skill set and in turn would increase your value in a post SHTF community.
Can you think of other items you would add to your barter store?