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What do you think will be the best bartering items when the SHTF?

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  • I have not read this whole entire list yet, and I am sure many things already mentioned would also be on my list.

    At the very top of my list are magnesium/flint/steel firestarter kits. Not many folks know how to make fire with primitive ways, but it is fairly simple to show someone how the kit works. It would be worth its weight in gold, so to speak, because you need life-giving fire for purifying water, cooking, keeping warm, etc.

    BIC lighters used to be on my list until I learned the hard way that they can eventually "go bad" and have a limited shelf life. I had some disposable lighters (Bic and other brands) stored in a cool and dry location and recently discovered that many of them lost the ability to produce a flame. Strange, that!

    I have noticed that very old BIC lighters (manufactured a long time ago) tend to last longer than any that were made in the last 10 years ago. Found one in a coat pocket that Everything is made so cheap these days!
    Genius is making a way out of no way.

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    • Let us not forget the lowly, paper, book matches. I know they are probably the least reliable in many ways, but there are a huge number of advantages. First, they are CHEAP!!! Second, they are relatively small and easy to store. Third, with a little effort you can waterproof them. Keep the box sealed in plastic either double Ziploc bags or Saran wrap, and you shouldn't have any water problems. If you need to start a fire you can keep a ton of these.

      I don't know if these have a shelf life, but I can say from first hand experience we still have book matches with our names on them from our wedding over 40 years ago, and they still work just fine.

      https://www.webstaurantstore.com/bul...ite%20Coverage
      Last edited by Morgan101; 11-27-2018, 12:15 PM. Reason: add:
      The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

      Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

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      • One sure fire way to know what to get for barter.is to pay attition to your neighbours. And the people in the town(s) where you do buiesness at.especially when your in a buieness.look at what their buying.you'll probably start seeing a rutine in hygiene products as well as other everyday items.i know 5 of my neighbours well enough .where i know for a fact.that i have barter items where i can make some sort of deal with them.during a power outage.that be candle's and matchs.I've also established myself as a handy man of sorts with some.
        be prepared,be worried,be careful..and watch your 6

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        • How about homemade soaps for laundry, and body washing.. Anything homemade including honey comb, jelly's, even peanut butter.

          Never ammo because they could come back and use it on you.

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          • I need to come up with a bartering list later to add to all of the things listed on here. I am sure there are lot more things. Not everyone will have everything on a list but at least somethings will help to barter with. Better than nothing. One of the biggest things will be skills. That is one that we all need. Trading and helping someone out for something you need will go a long way.

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            • This is kind of crazy, but a skill I would really like to learn is shoe repair. There is only one shoe repair store in my area that I know of. When they close I have no idea what I will do. IMHO old shoes, and old clothes, especially children's clothes will be great barter items. When nothing new is coming out of the factory or from overseas we are going to have to make do with what we have.
              The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

              Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

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              • Excellent idea!

                Ever since the advent of our trade with China (and the flood of tons of inexpensive shoes), cobblers have faded into obscurity. This dying art could very well see a resurgence, and you would be in great demand.

                Sidebar thought: years ago I was surprised at how easy it is to make moccasins. (I used to make them for a powwow dancer friend of mine), but tanning the leather to make them is WORK. I have made beautiful brain-tanned and smoked deer hides that are still very nice over 20 years later, and are a good choice for clothing, but quickly wear thin as footwear soles. Cowhide, elk, and bison offer the greatest durability for that purpose. (Not likely to be able to hunt buffalo, though, lol. However, I plan to keep a sharp eye out for downed cattle...they are good for much more than meat.)
                Genius is making a way out of no way.

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                • Originally posted by Morgan101 View Post
                  This is kind of crazy, but a skill I would really like to learn is shoe repair. There is only one shoe repair store in my area that I know of. When they close I have no idea what I will do. IMHO old shoes, and old clothes, especially children's clothes will be great barter items. When nothing new is coming out of the factory or from overseas we are going to have to make do with what we have.
                  I have worn leather boots for a greater part of my life and had a family member that made them and saddles. With what I learned from him I could repair some boots and make tire sandals or crocks. The sandals & crocks would need the uppers, not the soles repaired most often. Learn to knit socks! they will be much in demand when ill fitting footwear is all that is available.
                  Skills, Skills Skills That is what will keep you alive the longest.

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                  • I read all this thread from the beginning and I believe alcohol is fairly underestimated bartering item. Apart from "medicinal uses" mentioned above, I strongly believe, that a bottle of good whiskey, which might not be available anymore ever, can be a piece of gold in your pocket. There will always be someone with enough resources, who will be willing to spend them on "pleasure" items.

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                    • 100% + to what Yenix said.

                      Even better is to know how to make your own whiskey. Then you would be in high demand, and could name your own price. Just make sure you can protect yourself from being kidnapped because you and your skills would be more valuable than gold. This is a very serious and real caution!

                      You don't need high-tech equipment because alcohol distillation has been around a long, long time:

                      https://www.bottleneckmgmt.com/blog/...tory-timeline/

                      Here is a brief overview of the process:

                      http://www.whiskyforeveryone.com/whi...isky_made.html

                      Corn, wheat, and barley are popular grains for making alcohol. Just about anything that has the tiniest bit of natural sugars can be made into alcohol in some form or another, including wine. (I have made wine with staghorn sumac berries, of all things, and it was very fine.) I read that even wood pulp can be converted to some form of alcohol... but I don't remember the details.
                      Genius is making a way out of no way.

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                      • I think the best barter items will be the one's you can replenish. Make your own still and brew alcohol. Grow your own tobacco and you would be loved far and wide. by the smokers. Make your own soap and shampoo. To me, it is better to barter away items you can replenish. What is needed or more importantly WANTED and see if you can repeatedly fill that niche.
                        It is better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war!

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                        • Alcohol and tobacco have always been near the top of every bartering list I have seen. I try to look at the places that have actually had to do it. Bosnia during their war. Now Venezuela. Lighters and cigarettes were very popular barter items during the Bosnian war. I have been leaning more toward personal hygiene items: soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, tooth brushes, razors, toilet paper. These all seem to be in very high demand and short supply when TSHTF. Virtually unlimited shelf life. Inexpensive to buy in large quantities. Other than toilet paper, which does require a lot of space, you can store large quantities in a very small space.
                          The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                          Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

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                          • Originally posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post
                            I read that even wood pulp can be converted to some form of alcohol... but I don't remember the details.
                            It will, it produces "wood" alcohol otherwise known as methanol. It is poison, do not consume any of it!

                            During prohibition, unscrupulous types would put it into rock gut booze/ bathtub gin etc and unsuspecting people were poisoned, blinded and died. In fact many don't know but our benevolent Fed govt would even taint and poison booze and let it get into the bootleg supply. Read where 100's if not 1000's died from this direct action.

                            I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

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                            • That's some bad juju for sure. Thanks for jogging my memory and providing more details, CG.
                              Genius is making a way out of no way.

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