What are the best barter items to stockpile for when SHTF?

In the beginning of a crisis (such as an economic collapse) and extended power outage, cash in small denominations is always king.

Stores only accept cash because the credit card machines aren’t working and they may not accept checks.

Since stores may or may not be able to make exact change, wise is the man who has saved small bills of various denominations.

However, in a disaster which causes an extended disruption of the food and supplies delivery system, you may have to trade goods with other people for things that you need.

At that point, cash may not be as desirable as certain necessities of living, or things that just make life easier. It would be prudent to put a few barter items back that are always in demand in emergencies.

#1 Coffee and cigarettes

Two of the absolute best barter items in extended SHTF scenarios are coffee and cigarettes. Another highly sought-after item will be whiskey.

whisky would make for good shtf barter trading item
Whisky would make for good shtf barter trading item

You may be able to trade these items for something that you badly need and did not include in shtf list of supplies ahead of time for whatever reason.

Gasoline is something so priceless in a protracted crisis that you may not want to trade it. If you do, trade it sparingly and only for something that you desperately need.

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#2 Chocolate

chocolate as a shtf barter item

Comfort foods will be in high demand in a disaster because no one will think them important enough to stock.

Chocolate candy bars will be highly prized in the shortages after the crisis, just as they were in the shortages of World War II. Spices and seasonings will be valuable commodities as well.

In the wake of Hurricane Charley in 2004 where electricity was out for weeks in some areas, charcoal briquettes for small cooking fires were highly sought after and practically non-existent.

Bic lighters, flashlights and batteries would also make good barter items.

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#3 Precious metals

One of the first things that people think of in terms of trade value are gold and silver coins.

While these are a good investment, most people know absolutely nothing about coins, and the fact that it is a “pre-1965” silver coin may not mean any thing to them in a crisis.

Survivors may also shy away from collecting coins for fear of being deceived as to their real value.

In times of crisis and shortage, people will want to trade for something more immediately useful and basic than coins. They will want fuel, coffee, cigarettes, food, tools, and medicine. You can’t eat coins in an emergency, and they don’t keep you warm.

#4 Ammo

best barter trade items in shtf

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It has been suggested that ammunition makes a good barter item in an protracted emergency. It will no doubt be in short supply and the demand will be high, which will make it a valuable commodity.

But stop for a moment and think:

Do you really want to trade ammunition to people who can then shoot you with it?

If you do trade ammunition, make sure it is only to people that you know very, very well.

Medical supplies will be in demand in a disaster, but you may need all that you have for yourself, especially if you are trading ammunition to strangers.