I have a friend that lives off grid. He is solared up, he and his wife grow and preserve thier foods. They hunt together, preserve the meats and use the other animal parts for what he calls "trinkets and such" that they sell at local craft fairs.
I was pretty facinated when we first met and after a year of asking questions I am thinking these are two of the wisest people I know. When I asked him if they did this while the kids were young he said NO, but wish we had.
I asked if he was prepared for the senario we always hear about when the SHTF. He just laughed and said nope, that is not likely to happen in my lifetime. Here is his interesting take on prepping for life

People have been preparing for the SHTF senario since the 50's when they started building personal bomb shelters everywhere. No one benefitted from that except the folks selling the materials. But do you know what has happened in the following 60 years? 10 recessions in the United States alone.
We didn't get bombed, we didn't lose our power grid. We just lost our own power. The power to choose a sustainable life. Everyone wanted, bigger and better. Heck in the 80/90's it was almost unheard of to be buying anything used. Now even our kids want the latest and greatest.

Me, I am not totally set up for off the grid but I have a wood stove and I have an old well that is capped off, on the property, I know it is still viable because it still leaks at the overflow sometimes after a good hard rain. I grow a small garden and am looking at learning to can because I dont have a lot of freezer space but plenty of room to build a small root cellar.
So I am thinking I am set up ok.

At that point my buddy laughed and said Yup, your sitting pretty as long as Donnie is there with you. HUH??? Even with my disabilities, I have learned to chop wood and I can plant food. Heck, I could even shoot and clean a turkey or a goose right here on our land! I have learned a lot about natural medicines and what plants I would need to find or cultivate for it.
Again he is just grinning at me like I have two heads. He asks just one question, what do you have to barter?

The dollar becomes worthless, it is a time just like the great depression. The world doesnt fall apart so you can still have whatever you want...IF you can pay for it!
So you could grow wheat...can you mill it?
What happens if the wood stove needs fixed? Can you repair it?
Can you fix plumbing if you need to?
What do you have to offer if you need these things done?

Now I am laughing, my marketable skills are insurance adjuster, massage therapist, banker and web site owner. Not right up there with things needed for someone else to sustain thier lives. I could barter my food, my water and then where does that leave me? For a short time I could even barter away my knives. I have a forge, anvils and about any form of tool you might be looking for but my friend is right, Donnie has the skills for those not me.

So here is my question
What do you have to barter??????

Tags: bartering, survival

Views: 353

Replies to This Discussion

Medical skills (hospital nurse 7+ years now eye clinic nurse almost 8 years) 

Electronics work for 15 + years

Bicycle Mechanic & spare parts

Motorcycle Repair & spare parts

Heck I'd even sharpen knives for trade

See, those are some bartering skills!  They are also skills that mean you don't need to barter for too many things

I think if we had a total collapse even gold and silver might be somewhat worthless at some point and skills & material goods will be the way to go. say I'm hard up for food & have some gasoline to trade but all you have is some silver , I might just wait for the guy with a can of Mountain House because ya can't eat silver. I know some folks who think precious metals are the way to go & I agree  to a point but I'm not putting all of my eggs in one basket. And BTW if things do go to crap & people have to start doing real work your massage skills might be worth way more than you think.

Jan, Skills trump things. Sewing, leather work, plumbing, solar power, bee keeping, general household maintenance, teaching skills to others, medical skills including suturing, hair cutting. Things for barter: chickens – if you have room to grow them, extra produce you grow, lighters – you can put hundreds of Bics in a cubic foot space, extra knives – stock up on inexpensive folders, wood case pencils, playing cards, nails, nuts and bolts, tape of all kinds, rechargeable batteries – you have the charger and trade recharging for goods, if you can't suture – then sutures to trade, a few thousand steri-strips.

Many survival writers recommend ammunition. Think long and hard before you trade away a resource that may be used against you.

A skill that many overlook is cooking. Many of today's younger generation know very little about cooking and it might be possible to barter cooking classes for things.

One of the most valuable skill will be medical. A good first aid book will cover many of the things that will need to be treated.

Study bartering before you need it. And remember to look to the long term. If someone needs a couple of pencils, a lighter and a small knife, but only has a two foot piece of railroad rail to trade, what do you do? You may not need it, but if you know of someone who is a blacksmith or someone who needs an anvil, then maybe it could be a good trade. One more thing. Goods are only worth their utility value. It doesn't matter what you paid for an item, it only matters how useful it is. A shirt from Walmart will have the same value as one from Saks.


OK, that gives me list to start

I can sew

I have lots of knives

I may not be able to make a knife but I can blacksmith a few useful items

I have enough nuts and bolts for EVERYONE!

I have studied plants used for medical reasons

I have wood working skills, metal working skills (including some welding), and first aid, I can also do some leather work, plumbing and electrical work. I am also pretty mechanically inclined. I don't have a lot of things to trade (except some knives), but I can build a lot of different things.


That gives you plenty of bartering skills!

I forgot to explain why we should have wheelbarrow loads of steri-strips.  Many doctors are now using steri-strips to close wounds instead of sutures.  They do just as good, are faster to use and here's the biggie, no shots so no pain.  If you can apply a Band Aid, then you can apply a steri-strip or two..

And the also come in Antimicrobial which could become very important and add to the value as a bartering object

I just thought of two more barter goods.  2X and 3X glasses and coffee bags.  The glasses allow you to see and do things you can't do with your normal vision.  Folgers makes the coffee bags (real ground coffee);  and Starbucks has straw packs.  Okay it's instant, but better than none and you can trade singles packs for other items.  I've used the bags and the coffee is actually pretty good.

Very true.  As with all things, be sure to not trade away things you may need in the future.

Jan Carter said:

And the also come in Antimicrobial which could become very important and add to the value as a bartering object

Don't forget to stockpile as much toilet paper as you can.

Potassium Iodide tablets for radiation exposure.


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