What Kind of Barter Items Should You Have Stocked?

What Kind of Barter Items Should You Have Stocked?

What Kind of Barter Items Do You Have Stocked?


In uncertain times, having the ability to barter can be a valuable skill. When traditional forms of currency may no longer hold their value, bartering can become an essential means of acquiring goods and services. But what kinds of items should you have stocked for bartering? In this article, we will explore different categories of barter items that you should consider adding to your stockpile.

1. Food and Water

When it comes to bartering, food and water are always in high demand. In a survival scenario, people will be looking for basic necessities to sustain themselves and their families. Having a surplus of non-perishable food items and clean drinking water can give you a strong advantage in a barter situation. Here are some ideas:

– Canned goods and dry foods with a long shelf life such as rice, beans, and pasta.
– Bottled water or water purification tablets.
– Seeds for growing your own food, such as vegetable and herb seeds.

2. Personal Hygiene and Medical Supplies

Personal hygiene and medical supplies are essential items that people often overlook when preparing for emergencies. In a crisis, these items become even more valuable as access to clean water and medical facilities may become limited. Consider stocking up on:

– Toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and other personal hygiene items.
– First aid kits, bandages, and over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, antiseptics, and allergy medication.

3. Tools and Equipment

In a post-disaster world, having the right tools and equipment can make a significant difference in your ability to survive and thrive. These items can be highly sought after in a barter situation, so it’s worth having a few extras on hand. Some useful tools and equipment to consider include:

– Multi-purpose tools, such as Swiss Army knives or Leatherman tools.
– Lighters, matches, and fire starters.
– Rope, duct tape, and other basic repair supplies.
– Portable camping stoves and fuel.

4. Clothing and Footwear

Clothing and footwear are necessities that people will always need, regardless of the situation. Having extra clothing and footwear can be valuable when it comes to bartering for other goods. Consider stocking up on:

– Extra socks, underwear, and t-shirts.
– Warm clothing such as jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves.
– Sturdy footwear such as hiking boots or work boots.

5. Fuel and Energy Sources

In a scenario where infrastructure may collapse or become unreliable, fuel and energy sources become extremely valuable. Whether it’s for transportation, cooking, or generating power, having extra fuel and alternative energy sources can give you an advantage in a barter situation. Consider stocking up on:

– Gasoline or diesel fuel (properly stored in approved containers).
– Propane tanks for cooking or heating.
– Portable solar panels or generators for renewable energy.

6. Skills and Knowledge

While physical items are important for bartering, it’s important not to overlook the value of skills and knowledge. In a post-disaster world, people will need practical skills to survive and rebuild. If you have unique skills, such as medical training, construction knowledge, or wilderness survival expertise, these can be highly valuable assets for bartering. Sharing your knowledge and offering your services in exchange for other goods or services can create beneficial trading opportunities.


Having a wide range of barter items stocked in your emergency supplies can provide you with the ability to trade for the things you need when traditional forms of currency may no longer hold their value. Food, water, personal hygiene and medical supplies, tools and equipment, clothing and footwear, fuel and energy sources, and skills and knowledge are all valuable barter items to consider adding to your stockpile. Remember to regularly rotate and update your supplies to ensure freshness and usability.

My 2 Cents

While having a stockpile of barter items is important, it’s equally crucial to develop good relationships and networks within your community. Building a strong support system can enhance your bartering opportunities by connecting you with individuals who possess skills or resources that you may not have. Additionally, knowledge of local trade dynamics and common items in your area can help you optimize your bartering strategy. Finally, when participating in barter exchanges, always negotiate with fairness and mutual benefit in mind. Both parties should feel satisfied with the outcome of the trade.