20 Best Items To Stockpile Which You Can Barter In An Emergency

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Be prepared with these bartering items if society ever collapses and currency becomes useless. In an apocalypse situation, you’ll want to have these bartering items on hand.

Bug-out bags have limited storage space, it’s critical to be judicious about what you stockpile.

The following are some of the most crucial barter items to have on hand:

  • water
  • food
  • medical supplies
  • light or heat source
  • feminine products
  • tools
  • spices
  • offline entertainment
  • fishing and hunting supplies
  • ammunition
  • duct tape

Why Money Will Be Worthless If the Economy Falls

When I advise stockpiling bartering supplies, one of the first questions I get is why I believe government currency will be worthless. Who says a dollar bill is worth a dollar just because the government says it is? And what exactly is a “dollar”? What’s more, what happens to that dollar when the government is no longer there?

I believe we can all agree that the value of an item is determined by the material it is composed of and the amount of usage it can provide. When you look at money in that light, it’s easy to see why it’ll be worthless. Paper money’s best purpose once the government fails will be for wiping your butt, and even that is dubious.

To be honest, I’d rather put scratchy leaves where the light doesn’t shine than a dollar note. It’s thin and filthy, and it doesn’t do much to keep you warm on a chilly night. You may be able to start a small fire with a handful of twenties, but that isn’t a good enough reason to have cash in your bug-out bag or stockpile.

That being said, I wouldn’t ignore cash completely in your disaster stockpile. If an emergency does happen, you might need some extra cash immediately to get you out of a sticky situation.

Tips For Bartering In An Emergency

Tips For Bartering Safely In An Emergency

A long-term disaster will almost certainly bring money and the economy as we know it to an end. Because the electricity will be turned off, no cashless transactions will be possible. People will simply not be able to access their money in any way.

Money will lose its value, and civilization will revert to bartering, the most rudimentary method of acquiring commodities and services for survival. It’s simply a matter of exchanging one good for another in order to benefit both parties.

Bartering can easily put your safety in jeopardy. You become a target once word gets out that you’re well-stocked. Here are some broad guidelines to maintain bartering safe and equitable for both sides.

  1. Never brag about your money. Everyone will start to see you as an enticing target if they know you always have the greatest items.
  2. Each time, barter in a new spot. This will help you hide your location and prevent looters and bandits from spotting you.
  3. Each time, offer a different item. You don’t want to be known as a “food guy” or a “water girl.” When people are desperate for something, they will come looking for you, and they may not be willing to barter.
  4. Maintain a modest profile. You don’t want folks to think you’re concealing more than you’re revealing. Be modest in your actions. Never brag, tease, or threaten somebody.
  5. Never reveal the location of your cache to anyone. Not even with your most trusted and closest buddy. They may be trustworthy, but the desperate man who overhears them casually mention your stockpile may not be.
Top 20 Barter Things To Stockpile During Disasters

Top 20 Barter Things To Stockpile During Disasters


The importance of water cannot be overstated because it is essential for human survival. Humans require water to drink, cook, wash clothes, and carry out other tasks. According to the Rule of Threes, the average human can only go three days without water. The amount of time a person can go without drinking water is determined by a variety of factors, including the weather, the level of physical activity they engage in, and their physiological composition.

Water supplies may be cut off as a result of natural disasters. If this happens, it’s critical to have water on hand that you may trade with those whose water supply has been shut off as well.

Do not confine yourself to storing gallons of water. Water treatment solutions such as desalination kits, filters, and water purification tablets can also be stored.

See also: Why Filter Your Water In An Emergency


Because it is another necessity for human survival, this is the next most valued barter item. The ideal foods to stockpile are those that are high in calories and have a longer shelf-life. Fresh vegetables should not be stored because they will either expire or deteriorate. Food that has been dehydrated, canned, smoked, or freeze-dried is a good option. MREs (meal, ready-to-eat) are another option because they are convenient and may be enjoyed straight away. I like this freeze-dried emergency meat supply (amazon link)

See also: How To Store Quinoa Long-Term

Growing vegetables and fruits is another strategy to secure a food supply. If you have the space and ability to develop a survival garden, you can do it. Chayote, potato, sweet potato, corn, beans, squash, and gigantic sunflowers are some of the most dependable crops. Check out our post on the most dependable crops for preppers to learn more about how to grow these crops.

See also: How Long Does Dehydrated Meat Last?

Stocking up on seeds for trading can also be a good idea, as other people may be interested in taking up gardening. Another option is to raise chicks that will eventually grow into hens that will provide eggs or provide protein.

See also: List of Common Cooking and Baking Ingredient Substitutions

The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that food spoils because of bacteria, which thrive in the presence of water and oxygen. To keep your food fresh, make sure to store it in a dry, airtight container. To extend the shelf life, include some oxygen-absorbing packets. Don’t forget to add honey to your food stockpile, it literally lasts forever!

See also: How to Plan for and Survive a Food Shortage

Medical Supplies

Hospitals are likely to close down in the event of a crisis. It could take weeks for medical personnel to arrive in the disaster area. As more people stay at home, pharmacies may close. It’s critical to have medical supplies on hand in case of an emergency.

Burns, headaches, dehydration, and infections are some of the most prevalent medical issues associated with disasters.

Stockpile medical supplies that can be used in a variety of situations. Don’t merely stockpile non-perishable medications. Gauze, medical tape, ointments, alcohol wipes, sterile gloves, and other items should be included.

See also: Preppers’ Must-Have Medical Supplies and Survival Medical Supplies To Stock Up On

Hygiene Supplies

Even in the midst of a tragedy, hygiene items help people feel clean and comfortable. Staying clean is still a top priority since it reduces the risk of disease and infection.

Keep a supply of long-lasting hygiene supplies on hand. This includes soap bars, baby wipes, and wet wipes. Toilet paper rolls can also be stored.

Toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and mouthwash are among the secondary goods to hoard. Oral hygiene is still an important factor in avoiding dental appointments.

See also: The Ultimate Guide To Bugging In In An Emergency

Heat and Light

When the power goes off, everyone will scurry to find a method to stay awake at night. People may also require a source of heat during the winter months. Prepare a supply of candles or solar-powered flashlights and lamps to trade later. People may be unable to charge rechargeable light sources because they will not have access to energy. Extra batteries of various sizes must be packed in this case.

You should also keep goods on hand that can be used to start a fire for cooking or to keep people warm. Include matches, lighters, lighter fluid, gasoline, and other items.

See also: How To Heat A Tent Safely and 10 Types Of Wood That Burn the Longest


Personal repairs and emergencies necessitate the use of tools. People are left to respond to their building needs during a crisis because specialists may be unavailable. Stockpiling equipment like a screwdriver, nails, glue, Swiss knives, and other essentials is a good idea.

When you barter, you don’t have to give up these tools. In exchange for some products, you can rent them to your neighbors. You just need to keep a small set of tools this way, leaving plenty of room for more expensive objects. Simply keep the tools in a safe and dry location to avoid corroding or damaging them.

See also: 24 Things You NEED When Disaster Strikes

Entertainment Items

Phones will undoubtedly run out of battery during disasters. People can no longer satisfy their entertainment requirements by turning to technology. You can store entertainment products because cooped-up families will undoubtedly seek out ways to entertain themselves in order to pass the time and find joy in a bad situation. Some households will have small children who may require amusement.

Decks of cards like these, board games, novels, periodicals, pens, papers, and other forms of entertainment can all be stored.

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are in handy when it comes to waste disposal and food storage. They can even be used as a space blanket to give warmth and can be adapted for creating temporary shelters. Plastic sheets can also be used to create rainwater collection tents, ensuring that people have access to safe drinking water whenever it rains. Plastic bags are ideal for stockpiling because they endure indefinitely and take up little space due to their thin and flat nature.

If you use reusable bags at the grocery store, that’s ok! You can purchase plastic bags on amazon.

Salt, Sugar, And Other Spices

Salt and sugar have an unlimited shelf life. Dry products and spices last for a long time if they are kept in clean, dry containers. Seasoning and preserving meat and veggies are both done with salt. Herbs and other spices have a short shelf life since their aroma and flavor fade with age.

Organic honey is another item you may store. Honey works well as a sugar alternative. It can last indefinitely, so you won’t have to worry about it running out.

The ants, as well as the possibility of contamination, should be your primary concern. You can keep this at the back of your shelf for years if you store it in a clean, dry, and airtight container.

See also: List of Common Cooking and Baking Ingredient Substitutions

Products for Women

It’s critical to keep your feminine hygiene in order to avoid infections and illnesses. Keep some staples on your hands, such as feminine wash bottles, sanitary pads or tampon packs, and other such goods. These goods store well and can survive for years if stored in a dry and cold environment. you can also stock up on reusable cloth pads and Diva cups so you can cut down on waste during an emergency situation.

See also: Survival Items You Can Make At Home

Fishing And Hunting Supplies

Wet markets will close due to a lack of meat suppliers. There is still a need for protein in our diets, and fishing or hunting is a wonderful method to get it. If you reside in a location where you can fish and hunt for food, you should store the necessary supplies.

Prepare basic fishing equipment, such as rods, fishing lines, fish hooks, and plastic baits, among other things. A crossbow, knives, rope, snares, and other basic hunting equipment are included.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a multi-purpose item with numerous applications. It can be used for a variety of things, including household repairs, engine repairs, setting up game traps, makeshift medical tape for wrapping wounds, and more. It’s an unexpected requirement that many people ignore, making it a valued and possible barter commodity.


Another important requirement for survival is clothing. It’s especially critical if there’s a natural calamity that causes the temperature to become unbearably chilly.

The most practical and efficient strategy to remain warm is to layer your clothing. You can no longer waste gasoline by running the heater because you can just trap your body heat and be warm. Stockpiling various types of apparel is also beneficial. Make sure you have a diverse wardrobe with outfits that can be worn throughout the year.

Thrift stores and estate sales are great places to look for inexpensive clothing. There’s no need to buy brand-new or trendy apparel because the major focus should be on functionality.

If possible, save the clothes your kids outgrow, you never know when you might need them.

Alcohol And Cigarettes

These vices are in high demand as trading products. As the stores close, folks who drink and smoke will definitely hunt for another source. Alcohol can be used for cooking, stress alleviation, and even wound disinfection by survivalists.

Instead of glass bottles, you can store your alcohol in plastic bottles, which are lighter, more inconspicuous, and less prone to break and spill. To keep cigarettes from growing stale, they must be placed in airtight and waterproof cartons. It’s best to keep your vices hidden for the first few days or weeks after the accident. Bring them out when everyone is in need of a drink or a cigarette, and their prices will skyrocket.

Portable Solar Panels

During a disaster, electricity will be switched off. Many homes in our technological era rely on electronic devices to meet their daily demands. When the batteries in these devices run out, they become unusable. Portable solar panels or grids are an efficient alternative energy source.

These panels turn solar energy into an electrical current, allowing you to charge or power a variety of devices, including phones and flashlights. It’s a desirable trade commodity and a must-have during emergencies.

See also: Checklist for Off-Grid Living


Aside from portable solar panels, batteries for items that can only be powered by batteries should be kept on hand. Batteries are simple to store because they have a long shelf life and remain functioning if kept in a cold, dry environment. Batteries are valuable for bartering since they power a wide range of items, from flashlights, starting fires to radios.

See also: How To Live Off The Grid In The Woods

Emergency Gadgets

Some survival tools are both practical and helpful. Flashlights, radios, walkie-talkies, portable warmers, and other goods are among them. These things may be more difficult to stockpile than the others on this list since they are more expensive, but they are extremely useful in an emergency. Because cellular signals are frequently disrupted, people turn to radios and walkie-talkies for communication. Frequency-based communication is more reliable.

See also: What To Think About When Looking For A Bug Out Location

Sleeping Bags And Tents

Some emergencies may necessitate the evacuation of residents for their own protection. No one is exempt from the evacuation notice issued by the local administration. The government normally sets up temporary evacuation shelters, although they are mainly communal areas with hundreds of other people. Some families may prefer to use their tent and sleeping bags for privacy and comfort.

See also: How To Heat A Tent Safely

Fire Starters

Cooking and staying warm necessitate the use of a fire source. Starting a fire with simply a pile of wood and some rocks is extremely difficult. Firestarters, such as lighters and matches, is more convenient. These are simple to hoard because they are inexpensive and take up little room in your doomsday storage.

To avoid these items from becoming wet or going stale, store them in waterproof and airtight cartons. It’s also a good idea to have extra lighter fluid cans in case the lighters run out of fuel. A useful barter commodity is lighter fluid.

See also: Tools You Need for Campfire Cooking

Top 20 Barter Items to Stockpile Bottom Line

Why Weapons Are Not On The Barter List

Would you rather be well-armed or be in charge of arming that strange guy down the street? In a post-collapse world, I’d rather have the bigger, better, and nastier weaponry than anyone else. I’m not about to part with my guns or ammunition. It’s not even the end of the world yet, and just a few years ago, there was a shortage of ammo in my region!

Imagine how horrible it will be after the invaders have stolen all of the stores and are now on their way to your farmstead. If you want to see society rebuilt, keep your weapons and ammunition.

Top 20 Barter Items to Stockpile Bottom Line

Always certain that you will have some stock left for personal usage before bartering an item. This is particularly true in the case of seeds and medicines.

This isn’t a comprehensive list. It should, however, give you a notion of the kinds of SHTF bartering products that most people will want after a social breakdown. Everything on the list is either inexpensive or readily available nowadays. The majority are simple to store or will last a long time.

Finally, exchanging information and services/skills for an object is an option. Someone may want your hunting or fishing experience, especially city folk who have never done these things before.

Top 20 Barter Items To Stockpile

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