The End Is Near

The End Is Near
2nd Amendment

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Barter Items In The Post-Apocalyptic World

Check your pockets right now. Chances are, you might have some funny colored paper with dead people’s faces on it, and maybe some jingly pieces of semi-precious metal. Do you know what those will be worth after the collapse of society? Nothing. So in this new world, with a barter economy, you’re going to need some things worth trading and after the collapse, gold and silver will be nice but only worth what you will be able to get for it. What will become the new currency? Here is my list of some possibilities. Post to the comments and add what you think needs to be on here this is just a short list and not even close to the full list of barter items.

AMMUNITION: A firearm is only useful when loaded. Ammunition will become incredibly rare, highly desired and expensive. Those who have weapons will need ammunition to stay in control; those with ammunition can control them. Just imagine you meet up with a commune of people, by trading a box of shotgun shells, your not only gained respect and admiration, your ensured survival of the group and now can probably join up (remember there’s something to be said for safety in numbers). Just be careful who you give ammo to… probably not wise to give them to someone who will turn around and use them on you.
FOOD: Any canned or dry foods will be needed so this will be a good form of trade or barter. But remember you will need food so don’t trade away your food unless you have extra.

GASOLINE OR FUEL: Gasoline or fuel means combustion engines, machinery, heat and light from lanterns. Those who are left out there will covet anything that provide heat or make their motors run. Lamp oil will be very needed, but remember olive oil burns just as good as lamp oil.

CIGARETTES: Once Salem-Winston and Phillip Morris go down, there are going to be a lot of people with a major case of the with draws . A pack of smokes may just save your life, or gain you needed items in trade.

SPICES: Not too far back in our history, spices were worth their weight and more in gold. Egyptians were buried with their spices. Roman soldiers used to be paid in salt. Trust me, once your eaten nothing but bland food for a month, something along the lines of pepper, paprika, or even tarragon is going to blow your mind. Stock up on extra spices.

ANTIBIOTICS: Infection and disease are going to be the big killers after society collapses. As bacteria grow increasingly resistant and proper hygiene becomes harder to maintain, a handful of penicillin or Cipro is going to be a great advantage to have for your use or for trade.

SEEDS: Heirloom seeds, you will need the seeds to keep growing food year after year. And only heirloom seeds will give you the seeds you will need for next years growing. Seeds=food and food is life.

KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS: The most valuable items you have to trade are your abilities. Being able to fix small motors, start fires, navigate using the stars, or even knowing how to create and use simple machines will give you an edge. First-Aid and nursing will be much needed skills so learn a skill or two.


  1. Great suggestions, Pete. I think some of the things that will be good for bartering will be the little luxuries: soap, new toothbrushes, chocolate, hair coloring. After the initial chaos subsides, I think folks would be willing to trade their firstborn for a piece of chocolate.

    I think my husband and I also have skills that will be invaluable: gardening, carpentry, leatherworking, my husband's experience as a flight medic during the first Gulf War will be super-handy!

  2. You left out 'toilet paper'.

  3. Girly needs if ya know what I mean. Also can be used for first aid. I also think luxuries such as kool-aid, tea and especially coffee. After drinking water long term, a beverage with flavor would be quite refreshing.

    I think a valuable skill would also be to educate children. (the right way) Eventually, some sort of normalcy will return and a group/family would want their kids to have some sort of routine and education.

  4. Things that start with 'T'. Toilet paper and toothpaste (ever spend a few weeks with out it?). Of course, you only need those if you've got food to eat.

  5. (Currently) illegal drugs and drinkable water.

  6. Any kind of weapon. Knifes, guns, baseball bats, crow bars. Its gonna be your klan vs. The next. You will need weapons to take what you need from others and to protect yourself and your people.