Top Barter Items For Survival Situations

Survival Diva here to discuss an important, life-saving tactic that too many Preppers leave out of their preparedness plan. We may think we have everything covered for survival, but what if we’ve prepared for six months or a year when a crisis comes that lingers for years? Few of us have the resources to put three, four, or five years of food storage and preparedness goods aside, but depending upon the emergency, we may need to figure out how to make it through a breakdown in infrastructure lasting that long.

As David has said before, the “stuff” that you store up is only there to help you get from one predictable source of provisions to the next.  It won’t last forever, but it will give you time to figure out or set up sustainable solutions.

One of the most obvious choices for developing a sustainable food supply is through gardening…specifically with heirloom seed that can be dried and used season after season. In my opinion heirloom seed is imperative for long term survival. We will need a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits to combat appetite fatigue and for good health, especially when food storage begins to dwindle. If you can afford the cost, adding heirloom seed to your bartering goods stash will give you plenty of bartering leverage.

But that’s just the beginning…there’s always more when it comes to prepping. The truth is there is no possible way to plan for every emergency. To do that we would need to be clairvoyant, able to see in the future of what our needs will be at every juncture. In the real world the very best we can do is to get ready for the most likely calamities and be prepared to barter for the rest.

Bartering doesn’t have to involve food and preparedness goods, although survival-specific goods will be invaluable during a prolonged crisis. Bartering can just as easily involve skills. For instance, I purchased an antique treadle sewing machine that operates by a foot pedal and does not require electricity to run.  I plan to take on sewing projects, and have made that known to folks in my small community who are Preppers.  A nearby neighbor has taken up blacksmithing in preparation for grid-down that will allow him to barter for what he needs during a long-term crisis. Hunting, fishing, carpentry, home canning, farming/gardening, auto repair, small engine repair, welding, plumbing, blade sharpening, cooking, taking in laundry, midwifery, wood gathering & splitting, wild game processing and curing,  medical, dentistry, veterinary, chemist, teaching, babysitting, ice making, water purification, beekeeping, and tactical/protection skills are others that will be in huge demand when the going gets tough.

Bartering may mean trading one skill for another, or it can involve trading preparedness goods for skills, or it may simply be trading goods for goods. At a time when retailers and grocers are shut tight, dollar for dollar trades will not likely be as important as it is today.  For instance, a doctor who typically charges $120 for an office visit who is in need of a welder who normally charges $60 per hour is likely to trade services equally when the need is great enough.

It isn’t a stretch to imagine a time when gold and silver won’t be as valuable as critical survival goods. Yes, gold and silver will continue to increase in value and are excellent investments, but in my opinion it is better to invest in gold and silver after necessary preparedness goods have been purchased. The next layer to insulate yourself against doing without is to either develop skillsets that’ll be needed during a crisis, or to put bartering goods aside. Imagine how priceless a simple shovel would be for the person who needs to dig a hole for an outhouse or must prepare land for gardening would be. What about the person with a basement full of canned goods who must replace a broken can opener for a working one?

That’s why I always recommend an heir and a spare. Redundancy is the key for long-term survival. In fact, I’d up the ante and state that if you didn’t have a third shovel or can opener; I wouldn’t risk bartering the only replacement you have.

Once you’ve provided for at least an heir and a spare of critical preparedness goods, the remainder will make for great bartering potential. So, what are the most likely items people will barter just about anything for when SHTF? The list below is fairly long and much like bartering for skills, bartering for goods may not necessarily jive for the cost of an item, but more for its need and serviceability. It may mean that shovel or can opener may have more value than a chainsaw for someone whose gasoline supply ran out. Should you happen to have a good supply of gasoline squirreled away and you are in need of a chain saw or replacement parts, such a bartering agreement might be possible.

Items like salt, yeast, body soap, bleach, and reading glasses (think dollar store) cost next to nothing and there will be a huge demand for them. The list supplied below includes many items already mentioned in the recent post Top 50 Preparedness Items (and why)  for the simple reason that these items are must-haves because they are pivotal for survival.

The following list does not include pricier items such as a generator, tree-felling ax, water purifiers, or camp stoves. They will provide incredible bartering power but you must first decide if the risk of theft and their high cost are worth it. On the other hand, selecting just a few of the bartering goods listed (purchased in gross) will give you bartering mussel.

Ammo was included with the list, but as David points out in his book, Bartering and Negotiating in Post-Disaster Survival Situations (Which is included in David’s “Ultimate Survival” package) it is risky to let strangers know you have a cache of ammunition or guns and is best bartered with those you know you can trust.

Bartering Goods That’ll Be Worth Their Weight In Gold

Again, this is a partial list and a more comprehensive list is included in David’s book on Urban Survival Bartering.  MANY of these items fall under multiple categories, but are only listed under a single one in this list.



Baking soda



Cooking Oil

Assorted Spices

Can Opener

Canning Supplies

Heirloom Seed




(Included in Tools & Misc)


Water Containers





Stabilized Fuel—any kind

Gas Stabilizer

Two-Stroke Oil

Chainsaw Oil


Solar Battery Chargers


Cloth Diapers

Baby Wipes


Body Soap

Dish Soap

Laundry Soap

Toilet Paper

Reading Glasses

Dental Floss



Band Aides

Ace Bandages

Pain Medicine

Fever Reducer Medicine





Cough Drops


Feminine Pads

Hemorrhoid Cream

Antibiotic Cream

Latex Gloves


Camp Toilet



Pepper Spray




Heavy Mil Plastic

2 X 4’s


Plywood sheets

Nails, Screws, Washers—Assorted Sizes



Work Gloves

Garden Tools

Garden Gloves

Philips Screwdriver

Flathead Screwdriver

Duct Tape

Knife Sharpening Stone

Tire Repair

Ziplock bags

Aluminum foil

Plastic wrap (Large packing wrap and kitchen wrap)





Fishing Line

Plastic Bags



Emergency Candles

Oil Lamps

Replacement Wicks and Chimneys for Oil Lamps

Lamp Oil

Mosquito Repellant






Fire Extinguisher

CO Detector

Fire Alarm

Automobile Repair Tools

So, what would you add to the list? What is your opinion of investing in high-end preparedness items…good idea, or bad? If you have learned new skillsets, or have existing ones you would suggest to the group for bartering leverage, please share by commenting below!

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva.

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  1. texastwin827 says:

    For those who may need a means to cook but can’t afford an expensive solar over or camping equipment, one can be made out of an aluminum auto windshield shade and a few strips of velcro. These shades run about $7 at Walmart.

    While it’s not an ideal solution for those who live in some of our northern states, who get less sunshine, year round, it is ideal for those of us in the Southern & Southwestern states. solarcooking. org/plans/windshield-cooker. htm

  2. texastwin827 says:

    Just yesterday, I found a website that a Dr and his RN wife have. They are also preppers and she has instructions on how to do gardening. What I found interesting was his recommendations for obtaining antibiotics, since many doctors will not write a prescription for them unless you are ill.

    doomandbloom. net/

    doomandbloom. net/2013/04/survival-antibiotics. html
    There are many antibiotics, but what antibiotics accessible to the average person would be good additions to your medical storage? Each antibiotic belongs to its own family and is useful for different ailments. Here are some common antibiotics (most available in veterinary form without a prescription) that you will want in your medical arsenal and their veterinary equivalent:

    MY NOTE: Can purchase these antibiotics here: http: //www. fishmoxfishflex. com/ Current expiration dates, shown on the website, range from 1 yr to 2 yrs, depending on which med you would buy. Below are some of the current “on sale” prices for the most commonly prescribed antibiotics. Keep in mind that most prescription drugs are still useable, after their expiration dates, however, they can lose up to 50% of their potency. I only checked the prices of the meds that I know my family and I can take.

    • Amoxicillin 250mg AND 500mg (FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE)
    100 count each: 500 mg 29.85 250 mg $18.49
    60 count each: 250 mg $ 13.99
    30 count each: 250 mg $ 9.89
    500 mg $ 15.85
    • Ciprofloxacin 250mg and 500mg(FISH-FLOX, FISH-FLOX FORTE)
    • Cephalexin/Keflex 250mg and 500mg (FISH-FLEX, FISH-FLEX FORTE)
    100 count: 250 mg $29.99 500 mg $43.99
    30 count: 250 mg $15.99 500 mg 23.99
    • Metronidazole 250mg (FISH-ZOLE)
    • Doxycycline 100mg (BIRD-BIOTIC)
    • Ampicillin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-CILLIN, FISH-CILLIN FORTE)
    100 count: 250 mg $37.99
    30 count: 250 mg $ 17.99
    * Clindamycin 300mg (FISH-CIN)
    • Sulfamethoxazole 400mg/Trimethoprin 80mg (BIRD-SULFA)

    I found his article to be very informative, given that most of us would never know that there is a means to obtain antibiotics (which may be needed if the SHTF) to care for our families.

    • James McDonald says:

      I know some think IS/CS(Ionic silver/Colloidal Silver) is junk but my wife and I have been using them for over 5 years! My wife is a allergic asthmatic. She would get 5 to 6 upper respiratory infections a year, since using a CS nasal sprayer and a ultrasonic nebulizer when she had an infection. She has not needed any antibiotics in over 4 1/2 years! So I know it works but must be used at the very start of an infection. I still plan to have antibiotics in store but the silver does extend the supply.

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  5. Great info! Has anyone here been to grocery stores which cater to the Oriental population? Their ingenuity will surprise you…..they utilize very basic items which are practical. Tiger Balm comes to mind, also they sell these portable stoves which work off of butane(think hairspray can)with pietzo electric starters. One can used very conservatively can last up to 7.5 hours of cooking. In addition, go to R.E.I….yeah, I know they are upscale, however, they have an amazing amount of equipment for those who need to limit weight and space…especially if you are on the move. Staying in place is the proper thought, however, there may come a time in which you have to go mobile. You have to decide the most practical items you can utilize and carry…and it may be the only thing you can pack out if you have to walk. Just my thoughts on this aspect.

  6. Storage is important for food. Use metal containers. Mice cannot chew through metal. Also mouse traps, the snap trap kind which can be used over and over.

    • Kate, mice have an extreme;y keen sense of smell(which is why they can find your food stash). Repeated use of a mouse trap which has killed several of the problematic little fellows, leaves a scent which others detect and avoid at all cost.

  7. Wow, great advice! Copy and paste all this information into Evernote (free note taking program that syncs to all your devices) My phone and my tablet have volumes of survival information stored on them. Look into the Biolite stove as a way to power your phone with twigs. I have a STRONG VOLT Portable solar charger to power my tablet and charge batteries.

    Water is at the top of my list. If you can supply clean drinkable water to your neighbors you will be king. Look into the Sawyer water filters. For $35.00 you could supply infinite clean water. ( I am not associated in any way with any of the products that I am mentioning in this article) You might also consider buying a few pounds of Calcium Hypochlorite pool shock. Super cheap and a spoon full will sanitize hundreds of gallons of water. (Save yourself time and trouble and buy this stuff online) By the way, forget about toilet paper buy some pump sprayers (the kind you get from a hardware store to kill bugs or fertilize your plants) to wash and bathe.

    Power is number two on my list. Buy a solar charger and a slew of rechargeable batteries. I bought some Solar Shed lights made by SUNFORCE at Home Depot for 20 dollars apiece! It’s a solar charged light that puts out 300 Lumens for 3 hours. I rewired one of them with a battery holder of my own and it recharges my AAs. You could rent out charged batteries and refill them with energy when your customer brings them back.

    Education is number three. Teach people how to survive. Do you know how to make a solar box cooker? Teach people how and sell them the parts. Stock up on heavy duty aluminum foil (thousands of uses, dirt cheap). Teach people to spout beans and seeds. (buy sacks of garbanzo beans now) Many of you are quite knowledgeable; consider sharing information in a crisis situation. It will garner good-will and it might keep people from acting in desperate ways.

    That’s all for now. Good luck to all of you.

    • Pump sprayers… that is a novel thought. Pressurized, it limits the amount of water usage/wastage and achieves a reasonable result. Kudos!

    • Robert,

      Where did you purchase this water filter for $35? I went to their website and found the basic unit double that.

      Do you think they’ll really go 1 million gallons? Would be great and what a trading item.

  8. Cold Pressed coconut oil… you can cook with it as well as use it for burns, rashes, bites (the itch), dry skin, chapped lips, hair conditioner, diaper rash cream, head lice, hives, bed sores, nose bleeds (put on a qtip or finger and coat the capillaries), after shave, makeup remover, … and many other uses…

    It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-carcinogenic, and more… replaces many other products but you have to get a higher quality product – there are a lot of “average” products. Nutiva makes a good one and I get it on Amazon.

  9. raru treli says:

    entertainment & recreational items…
    arts & crafts supplies

    assorted crafting & fixing supplies…
    small hardware items
    adhesives & glues
    assorted solvents
    assorted paper
    writing supplies
    cosmetics & toiletries…
    and the list goes on for basic consumer items…

  10. I see one mention of knitting needles and crochet hooks.. very good! but I also would add sock yarn and wool yarns that will felt to hats, gloves etc.. and a lot of patterns.. and learn to use them!. Items made already would be excellent for barter.. hugs and prayers folks..

  11. Store much spice especially pepper. In the middle ages protein staved Europe often couldn’t afford to throw it out even if it was a couple of days to old. Pepper was worth the equivalent weight in gold. Growing, preserving, and packaging herbs and medicinal plants is something that takes up so little space that it can be done indoors or containers.
    Prepack your consumable trade goods in small packages. Especially salt, pepper, spices which might be repackaged in once ounce amounts – in old (and washed) prescription or diabetes test strip bottles. The Morton salt and pepper packs are cheap. McCormack has 4 oz. cans of pepper. Coffee, coco, and drink beverages might be repackaged in quarter, half, and pound amounts in vacuum or heat sealed bags. One way to eliminate oxygen/air without vacuuming would be to fill the bag with your consumable, place a small piece newspaper on it then dry ice. The dry ice (wear HEAVY, DRY gloves) will melt and the CO2 will push the air up and out. You can tell if all the air is all out when you light a match below the outside of the bag/container and it goes out. Heat seal the bag.

    Make people value you for your skills and knowledge MORE than the goods others can take from you.

    Some brief considerations on ammo and security methods. Security first, there are really good people who when hungry or scared WILL do horrible things. Criminals are called so because they ignore the law choosing to live by the code of might makes right. Criminals act in seconds while the police – if available – act in minutes. Does it matter if the people taking your food and/or killing your family are scared or thugs? If you are attacked, you must STOP it as far away from you and your loved ones as you can. Pepper spray w/ a range of 6-8′ or tasers will NOT 100% stop everyone – and if they continue and get their hands on you, Bad Things. 95% of pistol gunfights occur w/in 21′. I know people who can cross 21′ before you can draw your pistol. If there are multiple attackers, firearms (and practice, practice, practice) are pretty much the only reliable solution. There are other ‘tools’ and things you can do but of lesser reliability – particularly if seconds count. Time for cold, hard logic. You DO need to give those depending on you the best chance possible. Please do so.

    Ammo – .22LRs are great. Reloading supplies – powder, primers, bullets, cases – are great. Be careful about who you trade w/ and how much you trade.

    • As a former gun store owner I often encountered people that could not/would not shoot someone. To them I suggested keeping a can of Wasp spray near their door. It it a reasonable household item that does not pose a threat to anyone who sees it but it will shoot a stream 12 to 15 feet and has a devasatating effect on those who get it in the face. Consider it to be a home protection device that can keep undesirables further away.

  12. Everybody should have needles and thread, safety pins and extra buttons. Pretty cheap and small. You mentioned socks, but I did not see undergarments on your list. Lastly a Benadryl type med would be a great addition and you can but the Costco brand very cheap.

  13. just a thought, how about those solar lights that are used for walk ways? i know
    they don’t put out an awful lot of light but they could be very usefull and easy to
    charge from the sun.

    fantastic ideas and information, thank all of you very much.
    david, i thank you for your time and effort for all that you do.
    take care and be safe.

  14. Ed (Jeepster Jim) says:

    Don’t for get easy to find Faraday cages. Old microwaves make great all ready made Faraday cages. Just put in sensitive electronics you want to work after an EMP from a nuke or the Sun. I’ve bought them at yard sales for $10.00 , wrap the insides with plastic,if any metal is showing,like the ones that spin around when on. Cut off the cord so it doesn;t collect a electrical charge in it. I’ve put in extra flashlights,batteries,crank-up emergency radios, Two way radios and other items you might consider useful. Geiger counter,silver colliodal Generator also comes to mind. Anyway you get what I mean. I sure it won’t be long before we’re glad we prepared for the SHTF thats coming down the road.. Good Luck all my Prepper Friends out there. Wish I had a chance to meet with all of you. God Bless the U.S.A.

    • best cages you’ll ever find for size n price is a large chest freezer.the “holes”need to b taped n gasket space covered w foil tape,2nd best metal garbage cans

      • I love the freezer idea. All Faraday cages should be tested to be sure they are effective. Tune a transistor radio to a loud station, place the radio in the cage, and close the lid. If the radio loses signal then your cage should work.


    • Please DO NOT Say that. Microwaves ARE NOT!!! Faraday cages.
      C’mon people stop that PLEASE!

    • Ed,

      It’s almost that simple, but not quite. If you look at the back and/or sides of the microwave you will see vents… These must be sealed by metal tape, and the insides of the vents or other openings must have nonconducting material between the vents/openings and the goodies inside. I chose rubber, then sprayed with that rubber in a can stuff.

      Personally, I like zinc trash cans. I place a layer of cardboard on the bottom (cut to fix exactly), then the same around the inside. Next I place a layer of rubber and bubble wrap on bottom and sides…oops…don’t forget to do the same to the lids.

      I’m not sure if this is necessary, but I have also placed grounding wire connecting it to the incoming water main to our house.

      Of course, this is hoping the EMP doesn’t burn the house down when the lines are on fire as they enter the house. I’ve placed 2 fire extinguishers in each room of the house for incoming hotspots.

      God Save us All…though with what we have done to his Eden, I don’t know why HE should.

  15. All this information is great, but useless if you can’t remember. Find a good way to archive this material. You can make printed copies or a flash drive CD,DVD ect …. Of course you will need a back up power supply for some of these sources. I have a old lap top in a feriday box with back up batt. Knowledge will be worth more than anything you can carry.

  16. Cigarettes and booze are money. No one mentioned bungee cords and pet food, and other pet supplies. Watch dogs are lifesavers, and a breeding pair gives you something invaluable to trade.

    Canned meat of any kind. Jerky. Herbal extracts, which keep longer than capsules or leaves. If you have chickens, buy tons of feed for them. Eggs can be stored in barrels of salt for more than a year if you DON’T wash them.

    A fishing boat, a steel drum full of cooking oil, some wood to heat the oil. You cook the fish and serve people – can barter fish for other foods to make that a fish dinner.

    • Emily,

      Great post. I, however, would like to add mating Geese to your list. They are cranky (albeit tasty) and since Roman times NO ONE has been able to sneak up on a goose.

      You are RIGHT ON with all your suggestions. I just wish my neighbors and community didn’t think Prepping is idiotic. I have only 2 couples among hundreds in our community who agree, but sadly, they have no available funds to Prep…maybe they will be my first SERFS. Sorry, that just sounds mean…buuttt…

  17. Sewing kit, sewing awl and twine

  18. I would also suggest knitting needles and crochet needles, all sizes. Haven’t seen that mentioned.

  19. kate russell says:

    One thing to consider are nose bleeds. I had never had one in my life until I moved to a higher altitude for a year. The air is thinner and dryer. My nose bleeds were severe, so much so that it would come out my nose and mouth at the same time. I went to the emergency room and they cauterized my nose, but that didn’t last more than two days and it started again even worse that the first time. Then a different physican in the emergency room told me what to do. Take some regular cotten balls, soak with Afrin or like medication and insert all the way into the nose. Leave there about an hour. Slowly remove. If bleeding continues do a fresh piece of cotten with the Afrin and repeat as necessary until the bleeding stops. Don’t panic if you see clots on the cotten balls when they come out. That is a good thing. I have since moved back down to a normal altitude and no more problems, but I still and will alway keep a good supply on hand “just in case”. Also, buy generic cotten balls and generic Afrin. Work just as well and a whole lot cheaper.

    Blessings, Kate

  20. Norman Hatfield says:

    I have a very simple method to figure out just what you should stock for barter. Just take a week and write down everything YOU use now. All the tools, all the medicines and vitamins, etc. All the ‘toiletries’ and all the food. EVERYTHING. Now buy at least a years supply of everything on the list.

  21. William Brown says:

    Two itemjs that worked overseas many times should not be overlooked …. Cigarettes. Buy them by the carton, wrap tightly in Saran Wrap; then aluminum foil then freeze. Can be kept fo many years. Then ther is good grades of liquer ….. Jack Daniels, other name brands of brandy, rye, etc. Have a couple bottles of cheap corn squeezings also. You would be surprised what you can do with these items. They can be traded for 10 times or more their value and then it helps your survival items to last longer. Also, the booze keeps forever.
    Citizen “Bill”

    • Oh, MAN! Thats all we need are drunks while everyone should be keeping their cool! Booz and guns don’t mix!

      • George….you trade the booze and cigarettes to the drunks for other items of value. Look at today’s society who have food stamps…..they will sell you their food stamp allotment for a pittance so they can get their cheap generic smokes and Mad Dog 20/20 fix. You in turn can go and buy ample food supply for you and your family. It’s a win/win….the wino gets his fix and you benefit by getting your hard earned tax dollars back. That is why it is called “survival”.

      • George and Jerry, Really?

        In the 1800’s everyone on this continent was constantly buzzed. Men, women, and kids. Cocaine, heroin, laudanum, LOTS OF BOOZE, and any other buzzer…peyote. You name it. The people were all BUZZED, all the time. That’s why saloons were often also pharmacies, and the real money makers of our GREAT WESTWARD EXPANSION.

        Quote from Wild Bill Hickock: “I feel splendid.”

        Did you know that the good old German Company, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, created a guaranteed cure for morphine addiction following the American Civil War? Yep, they sure did, and its name is heroin. Gotta’ luv them Germans.

        Since 90% of the population will be dead in a year anyway, I say “Let ’em go with a good buzz on!” But, that’s just me, a simple old historian from Arizona. Both of my own Grandmothers were whacked out on laudanum and coke. Sadly, they both died before my birth of cancer. I know there’s a point in there somewhere…I hope.

  22. My grandmother (turns 100 next year!) said in the Great Depression the items most in demand were hot dogs, coffee, liquor, cigarettes and TP!

  23. joseph morehouse says:

    One item that seem to be used all the time and thrown away but could have meny uses plastic grocery bags. Think about it as a over look resource ,you can brade it into rope, weave it , you can insulate with it .You can melt it and pour it into molds to make souls for shoes , it limits is your inmagination or need. We as Americans throw away millons of tons of resources every year.The same thing with bottles , cardboard – corrigation – styrofoam – plastic bottles – tin cans – and so forth. I live on a budget and I have learn how to make due,before you go out and buy all these prepper wiss bang stuff ,teach your self how to make what you need , it might not look pretty or have a logo on it so you have bragging right to your prepper friends , but you have more money left in the bank at the end of the day to pay your bills or buy food if need be. This article is about bartering what about as a bartering skill teach people to make thing out of trash that can be used over and over again .Use resources that are thrown away . It help people to be self reliance – learn a teachable skill – helps Mother Earth – less waste.

    • Hi Joseph, You are so right about about Americans being wasteful.
      restaurants throw away over 40 tons of recyclable food every day. If the laws would allow it this same food could go to help the homeless and very low income families.
      Not to mention recycle plants should recycle more than can and plastic bottles.
      this could create more jobs. that is if white people weren’t so blankity-blank worried about job status.

      • White People?

      • Miss Arleen says:

        Seriously? White people? This is a place for prepper information, not inappropriate race remarks. Please go someplace else to unload that kind of garbage.

        • White People, Really. Well, I guess we “White People” are the only ones who EVER waste anything. Man, this was going so well, until someone (I don’t want to call anyone a moron) has to AGAIN, blame US WHITE FOLKS for all the worlds ills…of course we have done our share…but only that, OUR FAIR SHARE. Hmmm, now where have I heard that before…our fair share.

          Thomas Jefferson said that he believed we would lose our Republic around 1900. He was close as that was really the beginning of the movement to the dissolution of our nation. Now, in 2012, it has completely disappeared, with only the tattered flag remaining.

          Upon exiting from Independence Hall, Ben Franklin was asked, by an old lady, “Well, Mr Franklin, what is it you have given us?”

          He replied, “A Republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.” Apparently we couldn’t.

          Hello, there is no U.S.A. it’s gone “like the Civil War bang bang.” No question I will die for my stand when they come for my stuff, so “they” had better bring guns. I’m old and I just don’t care anymore.

          Sorry for getting off subject…but did you pick up the lyrical reference?

      • Carlyn,

        Do you have a job? If so, I hope nothing clerical as you cannot properly punctuate a sentence.

    • texastwin827 says:

      Joseph, I agree with you. What many people don’t think of is those plastic grocery bags could also be used as part of your bug out supplies. If tied together, they can make a barrier between your sleeping bags and the wet ground, they can be used to recover waste, in the outdoors, and they can be used to store your food in trees, away from most animals.

      I have a small apt, with little room for storage so, I take my empty paper towel cylinders and tape them together, then stuff the grocery bags down inside of them. It takes up little space, they remain lightweight, and each cylinder will hold 5-10 bags, depending on what size bag and how compressed you can get them.

  24. Everyone should have a supply of papaya tablets for stomach upsets. I could never get my kid to take pepto bismol but alfalfa tabs are fruit flavored and chewable. Another good thing to have on hand is a supply of charcoal tabs or capsules. Great for food poisoning. Used to carry them all the time when I was travelling world-wide. I’m a senior and hoping to write a small pamphlet for ladies on how to pinch pennies cooking and other things useful. My granny raised me and taught me a lot … she was born in 1884 and had lived thru many depressions and a smallpox epidemic. She was also the neighborhood go to person when anyone got sick. Best thing for a sick baby, boil barley till it’s very soft, strain thru a sieve then strain again thru cheesecloth, save the liquid, then feed with eye-dropper or put in baby bottle. This is also good for anyone with stomach problems, very healing. For boils, etc. get some antiphlogistine (ANTI-FLOW-JISTEEN) from vet (horse) supplier. Looks like putty. Comes in 5# cans. Heat and spread between two clean pieces of cloth, bind on infected wound or boil. It will draw out all the infection. Saw granny do this many times, never fails. Also, good idea to have tea tree oil on hand. Aussies use it for everything. You can even brush your teeth with it. Baking soda also good for tooth brushing. Silver hints given above are great, we have a generator. That’s where the ‘born with a silver spoon’ comment came from, those who could afford it fed babies with silver spoon since it was safer and anti-bacterial before anybody knew the word!!! I’m dehydrating a lot of stuff myself just to keep on handand still canning stuff from garden. DON’T CAN PUMPKIN OR SQUASH … NOT SAFE. Thin sliced zucchini makes great tasting chips if you sprinkle with a little salt and garlic powder.

    • kate russell says:

      Thankyou for all the great tips. If you get a booklet together I would love to have one. You are suggesting a lot of old time remidies that folks used. Much of that info has been forgotten or tossed aside and I would love to have it for prepardness.

      Thankyou, Kate

    • transponder says:

      We have used Silver Sol for years. It will cure everything from a toothache to a surface infection. SilverSol is a natural antibotic and highly effective. On the toothache subject, a half teaspoon swisched in your mouth until you have a mouth-full of saliva and then swollow it. At first, do this three times a day and then you can taper down to once ever few days just for maintenance. Far better than the old silver spoon or cup which I grew up with. I am a nearly 67 years old and I have not been sick a day since I started doing this to stop the pain from what was supposed to be a $1,200 root canal. I’m NOT a doctor, I just know what works.

      • transponder says:

        Here is something you can probably get for nothing. . . Track down a Fresnel lens from an overhead projector like they used to use in schools and every church, etc. There are two magnifiers in every one of them which can be used to start a fire. . . IN A HURRY.

      • transponder says:

        I appologize for the spelling errors in the above post concerning SilverSol.
        This is the post without the typos:

        We have used SilverSol for years. It will cure everything from a toothache to a surface infection. SilverSol is a natural antibiotic and highly effective. On the toothache subject, a half teaspoon swished in your mouth until you have a mouth-full of saliva and then swallow it. At first, do this three times a day and then you can taper down to once ever few days just for maintenance. Far better than the old silver spoon or cup which I grew up with. I am a nearly 67 years old and I have not been sick a day since I started doing this to stop the pain from what was supposed to be a $1,200 root canal. I’m NOT a doctor, I just know what works.

    • Pat…don’t print…podcast. Much cheaper and available to more people.

  25. I have another thing to add. Get your ham radio license and become a ham! Then buy ham radioes for communication. You can talk all over the world with them. Don’t forget to order freeze dried foods. Beans and of course spam!

    • Doris Flowers says:

      I’ve been dehydrating foods for over 30 years , some will last for years especially potatoes , yams & carrots , if I plan on keeping them for awhile I found they do best if you put them in a jar , dark jars are best but hard to find so, I wrap paper sacks around them to keep the light out I also like yams sprinkled with sugar & cinnamon you can eat them crisp OR cook them & have candied sweet potatoes ( a nice treat ) & don’t forget the honey it will last a life time as long as no water gets in it

  26. The sugar trick is good for diabetic ulcers and other open wounds. The sugar kills the pathogens that cause infection and thereby aid in healing.

    I don’t worry too much about buying barter items. I do buy more of the things I use than I think I need. If I need more of these items they are available if not I have barter items. I will certainly have extra of some items.

  27. Great information for everyone,Thanks. I have most everyting on the lists and more,but one thing I was thrilled to learn was how many things mustard could be used for…i had no idea it would,could help relief for burns….excellent to know. One thing people forget is comfort things like candy,books,games, crayons especailly if you have children. I also would recommend at least 100 feet of good rope,several tarps and duct tape. I know many don’t like guns or other weapons … is important to be able to protect yourself and your family,I have several just incase and I know how to shoot very well. I also have a huge garden with many types of fruits and berries,veggie’s etc…and pigs,goats,chickens….God Bless.. be wise,be safe,be ready..

    • If you don’t like guns, get thee to the closest walmart and get some wasp spray. The stuff would stop an elephant, it’s really strong and the spray is very strong, shoots out 6-8 feet. Especially if you’re not familiar with guns and/or don’t have them, ypu’re probably better off without one.

      • Ok, I understand some folks are afraid of guns, but seriously, do you really think wasp spray is going to stop a group of people who are determined to take your supply of food and prep? I guarantee you that all of them will be armed with more than a kitchen knife or wasp spray! In my experience, just the presence of a gun along with determination will cause most to stop and consider- probably to move on to another house where they are using wasp spray to deter looters!!

  28. Methane Creator says:

    Lots of great info! Our group is hoping to gather an expert to teach us the basics of distilling alcohol. Medicinal purposes only. Also for fueling gas operated engines. Don’t forget to include Senior Citizens in your groups. They have already been through most scenarios and survived (Depression, multiple wars, and the rise of communism). They also are more knowledgable in repurposing and making things work. Read lots of books and articles on Canning, but nothing made any sense until Grandma Melanie did a demonstration on the subject. Her humor and making it look so easy, convinced a lot of us to do more Canning.

    • Let me know what you find out , I ‘m very interested in distilling.

    • Medicinal purposes only, my tucus. Never close any venue for survival. I grow potatoes and I would love to know how to build a still to make vodka…medicinal purposes only, of course. Please don’t take offense, I’m just havin’ a bit of fun.

  29. Unfortunately if the SHTF, and I mean REALLY Hits The FAN! I don’t think we will be “living” in the USA. What’s going to happen to all those Nuclear power plants??
    Think FuKASHIMA x100.
    http ://www .howtosurvive2012. com/htm_night/placs_01.htm

    • Hey, Hardcase, I saw a documentary on TV that a company is already working on a 4 legged robot. They will use these robots to go in Nuclear Plants when employees have been told to leave because it is not good for people to remain in there. These robots will be able to look and find the problem and work on fixing them quickly. And, we pray, of course.

      • transponder says:

        I might suggest that you purchase a TyChem F suit to protect you from the effects of a nuclear mishap. Of course you will also need Israel NBC gas mask. Nuclear, Biological and Chemical. Spend the extra dollars and get the ones with the larger eye viewing lenses.

        Question . . . what makes anyone think there will still be a government system still in place? No government system, no monetary system, barter only.

        • The purple color coded filter cannisters for gas masks are designed for filtering nuclear particles but the protection factor is not 100 %. It will filter large radioactive particles but not very small/fine particles. If you live near a nuke plant (there are 103 operating nuke plants but a lot of hospitals and testing labs have high concentrations of nuclear material), make sure you have Potassium Iodide tablets to eliminate a dose uptake to your thyroid and plastic glasses/goggles to protect the lens of your eyes from Beta radiation. Gamma radiation waves can penetrate anything but concrete and lead slow the waves down.

      • I don’t really think that 4 legged robots would have helped places like 3 mile island, fukashima, or especially good old Chernobyl.

        As of 2011, nuclear power in the United States is provided by 104 commercial reactors (69 pressurized water reactors and 35 boiling water reactors) licensed to operate at 65 nuclear power plants, producing a total of 806 TWh of electricity, which was 19.6% of the nation’s total electric energy generation in 2008.[1] The United States is the world’s largest supplier of commercial nuclear power.

        Makes me so proud…there’s that tongue in cheek thing again.

    • There are many misleading and/or uninformed articles which lead to panic. First, there are ALWAYS survivors. This is a very, very BIG country. Second, panic and paralyzing fear does NOT increase our own personal chances of survival. The remedy is knowledge as to what could happen. Nuclear Events are subject to much fear-mongering. A 1-MT nuke will create a radiated blast zone of well less than 2 miles from ground zero. In nukes bigger is NOT more destructive. A 10-MT is destructive over only 1.3 x more area, not 10 x. Fallout drifts downwind between NE and SE depending on wind direction. Radiation decays by the cube-root in the first 49 hours – !,000 Rs/hr drops to 10 Rs/hr. After several weeks that is down to 1 R/hr. We know Japanese fishermen absorbed 175 Rs over a week and showed no effects. Radiation is cumulative. There may be increased cancer risks 20-30 yrs later for survivors but so far it hasn’t shown up in medical surveys. Radiation from fallout is reduced by a number of factors including material between you and the fallout particles. 3.6″ of common dirt cuts radiation received in half. 36″ would cut it down to 1/1024 so if you can stay inside for 6-8 weeks, you’re ok.

      Roughly 100 nuclear plants in US and per 7/2012 about 435 worldwide. Is the worst that can happen in a meltdown, worse than a 1-MT detonation (which can’t happen at a plant)? Look at Sandy’s major destruction from NJ thru CT. Several hundred nukes wouldn’t cause that damage.

      Please check Cresson H. Kearney,’s classic Nuclear War Survival Skills. He headed up Oak Ridge National Labs (developing nuclear survival skills) for 20+ years. Originally written in 1979, he updated it in ’87 w/ material the government had wanted toned down in ’79 and an addendum in 2001. The devices he and his team created are still viable today – particularly the very accurate RADIATION METER (good to-scale chart and instructions for building) from items around the house and the cardboard VENTILATION PUMP. He missed a couple of things like vertical/velocity stack wind effect and that backyard bomb shelters in built up, burning neighborhoods were deathtraps due to CO and CO2 but overall was right on target.

      • Good information Hodge. I work as a Radiologic Technologist. Radiation diminishes after a period of time. People….remember….Time….Distance……shielding. If you are in an area of exposure….be quick to leave…..distance…the greater the distance between you and the source…the better……shielding…..utilize any and all inanimate objects(vehicles, buildings, ditches, etc…..) to shield yourself further from the source. Study up on Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation and the effects that each has upon biological entities such as yourself.

  30. Dont forget dental floss. Get at dollar stores they are much cheeper than markets. You can also use it for sewing if need be. Fishing line not just for fishing/sewing/staking up plants etc.
    Mouthwash great for wounds, sore throat healer, and can be used on hands to sanitize.
    I also store sanitary napkins because they made great dressings for wounds.\tape is also on my list not just duct tape but scotch tape and wider tape to seal boxes.
    And wine for drinking ofcourse/cooking/sanitizing/settles upset stomachs.
    Extra vitimins should be vit d3, q10, fish oil, C, ,calcium, and magneisum. If you get calcium chews can be used as a treat (like candy). And they have a long shelf life in the foil bags.

    God Bless all of you

  31. I would suggest plain yellow mustard for burns in medicine. I knew a survivalist friend who swore by it. Then I burnt my hand and arm taking a hot pan of grease out of my TiPI and slipped to have it splash over my hand and lower arm. My friend put regular yellow mustard poultice on it and it relieved the pain and healed the burn–no scar, no infection. Now I swear by it. It also clears heartburn, helps silence coughs, for morning sickness, and cramps.

    • you can also stock up on dry mustard to save space and just make mustard poultice with that. it also will work for those other things and probably a bunch a stuff we haven’t thought of and it also makes a good sauce to cover up the wild taste of game…

  32. I see one thing we use missing from your list and the additional comments so far. It’s colloidal silver. You would want this because almost no bacteria or virus can live in the presence of silver. You can make it if you have some .999 pure silver. In a pinch you could use a silver dollar. Just leave the silver in distilled water. Or you can make colloidal silver by connecting a piece to each end of a 9 volt battery and suspending the pieces in a cup of distilled water for about an hour. You could use a TDS meter to find out if your process is working. Also, a Geiger counter may be good in some cases.

    • Well despite the idea that many people agree that gold and silver will probably have a lesser significance in a prolonged crash scenario, at least with the idea of making colloidal silver, that can mean that bulk silver (ingots, not junk silver) may have more value than gold to some. Cant make colloidal gold now.

  33. Add a small manicure set (Dollar stores) for trimming, cleaning fingernails and toes.

  34. texastwin827 says:

    There are several items that people need to learn how to make homemade and accumulate the materials to do so. One can make homemade laundry detergent from Borax and grated Ivory soap & a grated Fels Naptha or Zote soap bar.

    Borax has many uses, just as white vinegar does and it is much cheaper than buying ready made products. I have made the laundry detergent (and bought supplies for more) and two batches will fill a large coffee can. While directions say to use 1-2 Tbs, I’ve found it takes about double that to clean clothes, in a large load…but consider that is also a product you can barter.

    • If I remember correctly, napalm used during vietnam was made from Ivory soap flakes and kerosene, I think. Not that anyone would want to have that, I would presume, just remembered that when I saw your mention of Ivory soap flakes in home made detergent.

    • I’d like to recommend Lehman’s catalogue or wwwLehmans. com for prepper products. Outstanding variety.

  35. Make the gloves latex-free.

  36. An EMT I know suggested Latex gloves and masks. Remember the can opener(s) should be mechanical not electric!

  37. What about extra tires? I remember my dad having a terrible time getting decent ones when I was a child.

  38. Cast iron skillets are good things to have. I just “baked” chocolate chip cookies in on.
    Low heat and a lid are necessary.

    • Do NOT use cast iron pans on glass top stoves. They work great for fire pits/fireplaces and grills but, the flat bottoms cause high concentrations of heat that will cause the stove’s glass top to shatter, especially on convection type stoves.

  39. Not sure if anyone’s mentioned it yet, but Olive oil is worth it’s weight in gold. It has everything you need to live, short of bulk and water. Yes, that’s right, you can live a good, healthy life just by eating bread soaked in olive oil and drinking water. Imagine what you could get for a few bottles of olive oil when bartering with you armed with this knowledge to pass on to the person you’re bartering with. Same goes with Caribo meat if you can get it. Just need water and that specific meat and you won’t ever suffer from any deficiencies.

    Also, for minor cuts and scrapes, try a stepic pen. You can get them in Walmart in the shaving supplies, they’re close to the old shave stuff, like the cup and brush and shave soap cakes. Just wet the tip, rub it on the cut or nick or whatever and in just a few seconds it’ll clot up. You can also use superglue for some bigger cuts, just be careful with it. They use a variant of superglue for surgical glue in hospitals, so it does work.

    • 4-5 pales of lard will be nice to have and the shelf life is indefinite…makes a dead gummed fine biscuit….

    • Nail glue is a better choice then superglue. It is every bit as strong, if not stronger. Steril, where super glue is not and you can by it in larger quantities for a lesser price.

    • Something my vet taught me not too long ago when I had an animal that had been attacked on the weekend and I could not get the animal to the vet, packing plain flour on a bleeding wound stops the bleeding as well as any clotting device or medicine. She just told me to pack the flour on until the bleeding stopped and it worked very quickly. To be honest, it was a stray rooster that had been attacked, and I have a video of it on my facebook page for evidence, and the bleeding stopped, but i think the rooster was getting a bit worried I was breading him to fry him, but he fully recovered and I took him to a good safe home the next day. Probably the only time anyone in our complex kept a stray rooster in their bathtub overnight.
      The vet says it will work in emergencies for pets and humans to stop bleeding. and just about all feed stores carry large containers of powders that are rather inexpensive that will stop heavy bleeding as well, but the vet, correctly,told me common baking flour will work just as well.

  40. I thought “Strike Anywhere” matches had been done away with but found plenty at my Ace Hardware. Others must have discovered them, too, as the price has nearly doubled.

    • ‘stike anywhere matches’, I have lived in several parts of the world and I think we are the only place left that makes them. Some stores here doen’t carry them, buy them while you can.

    • I just bought some at the Dollar Store. Two boxes= $1

  41. Greetings!

    I hope this e-mail finds you happy, healthy and well. I really like your prepper/barter list. There are some items on your list that weren’t on mine. So, I have included those items and will work on acquiring them ASAP. There are some things I would like to recommend adding to your list. Sorry it’s so long.

    Anti-diarrheal medicine
    Allergy medicine
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    White vinegar
    Hand crank lanterns and flashlights
    Hand crank 2-way emergency radio
    Walkie-talkies (field radios)
    Multi-adaptor kit for small devices and cell phones
    Heavy duty pick and axe

    I included white vinegar and vodka, because they are awesome multi-purpose items. In a SHTF scenario when rations start running low and MRE’s and freeze-dried food stores are tapped into, these types of foods affect people differently. That’s why I added laxatives and anti-diarrheal medicine to the list, because you just never know when you might need them!

    In an event where mobile phone service and home phone service is interrupted, field radios with a 30-mile range could prove to be essential communication devices in a survival situation. Urban environments can dramatically restrict the range of walkie-talkies, but they’d be a better alternative than a dead cell phone! Hand crank 2-way emergency radios are also excellent alternatives for communications in dire situations.

    I prep, because you just never know what life might bring, and I would rather be safe than sorry! I have survived through hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and home invasions. I hope and pray I never have to use any of these things in any type of crisis, ever! Stay safe, God bless, and Happy Holidays!

  42. BIBLES

  43. BIBLES not for barter, but to give away. Many peole will get comfort from them

  44. M. T. Brawner says:

    Second the Vodka…can be used to clean skin wounds and as a field expedient prep to I&D an abscess. You can’t drink rubbing alcohol, unless you want to go blind.
    I would advise multiple small tubes of Triple Antibiotic Ointment(generic Neosporin) instead of cream. Ointment provides a protective barrier that lasts, the cream disappears pretty quick. For barter.
    For yourself, get your Doc to prescribe Mupiricin ointment(generic Bactroban) with refills and wait a reasonable time and get the refills to stock-up. Bactroban is the “21st century Neosporin. It kills a lot more skin “bugs” and also the only topical to kill MRSA.
    While you are at it, ask him(her) for Cipro 500mg 10 day supply w/ refills(tell him why!). Good for internal infections pneumonia/gastroenteritis also kills Anthrax. Available at WalMart under $4.00 generic plan and Publix for free. A good skin and soft tissue antibiotic to have on hand is Doxycycline 100mg, effective against MRSA. Doesn’t have that common Penicillin allergy problem. Don’t know the costs but it is in a generic.
    I would say a Betadine generic in place of Iodine, and get some of the scrub and some of the solution. Scrub and prep if you are forced to do minor procedure or stitch-up a wound.
    Two other cheap but likely valuable items are ChapStick and Tums. Think of the last time you had bad chapped lips or heartburn. They don’t go bad, but might be worth their weight in gold for some poor soul.
    Great article, BTW!

    • check with your vet and see if they have any suture kits out of date…they might just give you a few for your back country first aid kit !

    • If you are, as I am, allergic to the entire Tetracycline family of drugs, don’t even try the Doxycyline, you might have, as I did a life threatening allergic reaction. I am also allergic to Cipro, so don’t just go out and stock up on these or give them to people unless you are certain neither you nor they are allergic.
      And the silver solution and a product of 17% food grade H2O2 Plus, that I bought off the Natural Health site, will also kill MRSA, easily stored and topical.
      I have stocked up on quite a few of those little bottles of hard liquor, which I do not drink myself, but figured they might serve as barter items. I will be honest, not knowing anything about any of them, I just told the people at the liquor stores where I have bought several at a time, I was having a small party, would they help me pick out decent brands of liquor that people were likely to enjoy. I have a plastic 5 gallon barrel well hidden full of these little bottles, which I definitely have to keep a few of my neighbors from EVER finding out about. I have bought the small bottles since I can only bring out one or two or however many I feel like offering in trade for whatever I might need or want, or to give to someone who might look as if they might need a shot of hard liquor in some harsh circumstances. I am a beer drinker only and have found an internet site where you can buy your homebrewing equipment, recipes and books and tapes on how to make your own home brew. I think they also have instructions, equipment and recipes for making wine, something else I cannot drink, but might be a good thing to have on hand for barter, especially those that are good for cooking. My mother used to use a wine, I think it is Sherry (SP?) in a lot of cooking and it added a good flavor. She made one of the most divine creamed tunas with that and I had not thought of that in a long time and now feel compelled to go buy some Sherry and make myself some of that creamed tuna. Have not had that for years. I hope that is the right name for it as I hate looking like a fool having to ask someone where to find it in the liquor store.

      • For gena I am almost positive that your allergy source is Sulfur.You mentioned 2 anti biotics that are derived from sulfur and wine which has sulfite in it. I am storing up Mike’s haard cranberry lemonade as it isgood tasting and sulfite free.Caps screw off so bottles can be reused for that home brew we will be making

  45. Matches, matches, matches! You mention matches, but nothing about quantity of course (by that I mean you can’t put quantities for everything), but most people don’t understand how many mathes we would use, unless they heat with a woodstove and practice living w/ lamps, candles, etc. Buy good wooden ‘kitchen’ matches of course, but also matchbooks, talk about a barter item! You can buy boxes (1,000 per) of match books for $2-3, well worth it and if you drip candle wax on an open matchbook (close while wax is still warm) you have a great fire starter for emergency fires. God bless all.

    • Dollar tree has 3 big boxes or 10 small boxes for a dollar…..jes sayn..; )

      • Norman Hatfield says:

        Yep, but the Dollar Tree ones are the ‘strike on box’ type. I prefer the ‘strike anywhere’ for ‘survival’ use. (Like a previous poster stated, you can still find them at ACE). But you CAN pick up a $1 pack of ladies cardboard fingernail files at Dollar Tree and store them with your strike anywhere matches to use as an alternative strike surface should something happen to damage the box.

  46. Hey Folks,
    The most important prepping is to have excellent physical and mental health, fitness and skills. Without these all the list of supplies will not do you much good. We have survived 3 earthquacks over 7.0, devastating tornadoes and the L.A. Riots in the early 90’s. No-one jumped in their cars to bug out. No-one was concerned about immediate bartering because no-one wanted to leave their home. Law enforcement was unable to help our neighborhood. The national gaurd was unprepared back then to help and execute scurity. During times of sudden disasters such as earthquacks and riots people do not bug out. They stay in their homes where they’re comfortable because this where they feel safe and what they are familiar with. When people have warnings of oncoming disaters such as hurricanes and tornadoes the bug out mentality comes into play. It was the physical and mental ability which is my lifestyle which helped me protect my family. Most individuals I’ve found do not want to take the time and put out the effort to build relentless physical skills and mental awareness. I’ve beeen training survival fitness for many years, in fact decades, to Special Forces, law enforcement, first responders & civilians (for those who know the importance and embrace it). I pioneered many of the training applications used today for these groups. The bottom line is to prepare yourself and your family before disaster hits, then, you can truly ready during times of disaster.

  47. Steve Rhinehart AKA Peter Propwash AKA Rufes Macgoofis AKA Outlaw Aviator says:

    Of course anything requiring Gasoline or electricity would be usless after about 6 months unless you had a refinery, mabey a couple of years with a still.

    A still would be a good thing for making drinking water, disenfectant, and drinking wiskey, there are those who would trade there wife and kids for a jug of corn. My grand daddy said during proabition he got $2 a jug and 4 gallons per acre.

    • David Morris says:

      Fortunately, that’s not so, Steve. Between alcohol distillation (in a post-ATF world) and gassification, you can continue running gasoline consuming items for as long as they hold out mechanically.

      • That would be another good skill to have, the ability to make wood gas producers, of various sizes, after gasoline and even alcohol supplies start running low those fuels are gonna be very pricey and people will end up having to do without power or other conveniences that require the use of motorized equipment. A wood gas producer, and even better, maybe a means to compress and store the gas in pressure canisters, will give one the means of running just about anything with a spark ignition engine for little cost, plus if you have a way to contain the gas, it would make for a good barter item, think of poor man’s propane. Speaking of internal combustion engines, other stuff to stock upon would be antifreeze, motor oil of different weights, tranny oil, brake oil, axle grease, all of the lubricants typically used on automobiles, tractors and other motorized/mechanical equipment, w/o that stuff, all the fuel in the world won’t matter if the machine wont otherwise be able operate.

  48. Under fire I would include swedish type fire steel matches are a consumable and will be used up at some point,but fire and steel along with jute type binding cord as a tinder will last 12,000 strikes. research fire by friction to see how easy it is. practice before you need to use it.

  49. Since this list is so long , you may consider buying a military Duse and a half Army surplus
    Truck. A good price to pay would be about $5,000.00 They are a duel rear axle 6 wheel drive truck with a diesel engine that will run on almost anything like used transmission oil,
    cooking oil, used motor oil , break fluid or any other oil you can find and of course Diesel
    fuel. They will go just about any where. With the canvas top they provide shelter and all of your goods dry. They usually come with a 10 K LB. winch and usually come in good condition. The army never repaired these trucks. They replaced the parts with factory rebuilt parts. Look for a 1970’s vintage model.

    • Methane Creator says:

      Ken, this idea has crossed my mind. Are you aware of an agency that I can contact to get prices and look? What I have found on the Internet is from private collectors and most are cost prohibitive. Thanks.

      • You might try Royal Tiger Imports.Their E-Mail address is ROYALTIGERIMPORTS. com. phone 888-968-4437.They did have some duece and1/2 trucks

      • on computer search bar type in military vehicles hit search and several web sites will come up. also try website for military vehicle preservation association. we are members and own a deuce truck. they have links to several sites for truck purchases and repair parts. different groups in each state. if near military base call and see if they have vehicles getting ready to be sold at auction. if have family members in service check through them. get great deals and helped a friend get a hummer for under $5 GRAND.
        also can get good prep items from commisary if retired military or dependent.

  50. Schneewitchen says:

    One important thing you forgot is in fact VERY important is Alcohol, and or the ability to MAKE alcohol. In war torn Yugoslavia it was an excellent barter tool, while also being very important medicinally. It can be used to make tinctures from herbs both grown and found.
    Think Witch Hazel, a very common tree growing on most of the East Coast and in the South. The Witch Hazel you buy at the store for cuts and bruises is very easy to make. Cough medicine can be simply made from honey and alcohol, add lemon juice if you have stocked it. If you are aware of the trees around you you can find abundant wild cherry, and strip the bark and boil it. Voila, wild cherry flavor for your cough medicine.
    If you know how to make beer, and you have that equipment, you can make other things like wine, and if you are very clever, you will have the stuff to distill it too.

  51. Lantern mantles

  52. I’d add liquor. Medicinal and soothing at a time of stress.

  53. Miral Morris-Jackson says:

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU David Morris for doing your thing!!! You’re doing the right thing by helping everyday people learn about surviving the madness that is before us. Also Thanks to Survival Diva for her assistance with this Top Bartering Items List…GREAT JOB! OK so, I’m on my way to pick up more supplies. Thanks again

  54. shipcarpenter305 says:

    Here’s one more overlooked “quality of life” item I just researched and added to my household medical/barter supplies: LICE SHAMPOO, e.g. RID, and LICE COMB. There are currently only a couple of effective products and most home remedies are frustratingly ineffective and/or dangerous. Also turns out these tenacious parasites are evolving to become resistant to current shampoo treatment hence the slow, small, but effective non-electric, long shelf-life, manually operated hand device, the $10 lice comb.

    • All you need is oil(baby, vegetable, olive). It’s true that black people don’t get lice because of how they keep their hair. The lice can’t hold on and eggs won’t stick. This is also cheaper and healthier. I have worked with children for a long time and have used this method a few times on my own.

    • I have some friends who dealt with school outbreak of head lice using raid on the furniture and olive oil in the hair. Another friend, whose daughter’s hair was very long and thick, who had been through several conventional treatments, her doctor told her to saturate the childs head with mayonaise and keep a plastic cap on her head for a couple of hours. This did worked for her. I dont know how the raid worked out… That is just as toxic as the lice sprays for bedding and furniture…but I imagine that the mayonaise or olive oil suffacated the lice and made egg removal easier. Just a thought for alterative and less expensive treatments.

    • Regular dog flea and tick shampoo is practically identical to lice shampoo and will work on humans as well. With both you have to be careful with overuse, as with all insecticides, these are the basic ingredients in nerve agents and overuse on humans or pets can cause serious, permanent, and sometimes fatal problems. Nerve agents are nothing but highly strengthened insecticides, so you do not want anymore exposure to any insecticides than you absolutely have to have.
      I have a friend who used to take care of her nephews who were always coming home from school with lice. She got to where she was too embarrassed to keep going in to buy lice shampoo, so she found out flea and tick shampoo works as well. Best advice and what she finally did, was get the boys’ hair cut real short, and that greatly stopped the problem.
      And there is a product which will keep mites, which are pretty much the same as lice off your pets and will keep people from getting scabies or will cure scabies in humans if they get it from exposure to humans with scabies or dogs with mange. It is called Ivomec or Ivomet, I cannot remember for sure. it is sold at feed stores, about $40 for a 50ml vial, and the dose is one cc per 100 pounds of body weight, regardless of what you dose it with, except for cats. You cannot use it on border collies, collies or Australian herding dogs for some hereditary reason, it will kill them. It is the same ingredient exactly in Heartgard given to dogs for heartworms. It also works for dogs and cats to treat ear mites. It is sold with the label it is for use on cattle and swine. I first took it after exposure to mange from a dog i was caring for at a no kill shelter. I took it and then after telling a few folks and they were all panicking I was going to drop dead so I called poison control to see if I might have made a boo-boo, and the guy at poison control told me it is used all over the world on humans in third world nations since it is so cheap and effective. So it is safe. And I could see the tiny mites walking on my skin while I was treating the dog, who made a full recovery, and they never bore in and I didn’t have to face the humiliation of going to a doctor. If you have ever had to go to a doctor for scabies, they will treat you worse than an AIDs patient with open sores.
      What I do is draw up the correct dose with a syringe, take the needle off and put it into the dogs mouth direct. When I use it on myself, I put the stuff in a can or bottle of beer as I can tell from the dogs’ reaction it is very bitter. Being a 130 pound human my dose is enough more than what most my 10-20 pounds dogs would get that I feel I need to mask it, and I don’t give my dogs beer. It is injectible, I have never tried that, don’t think I would care to, plus if you inject it you would have to keep on hand a supply of needles, by only using the needle to draw it into the syringe, you do not contaminate the needle.

  55. I would add chocolate powder to that food list.

  56. not sure if honey should be under FOOD or MEDICAL but should be included with one of them . maybe axe under TOOLS .

    • I have also read that good old white sugar is good for packing a wound and that something in the sugar helps fight infection. I have not had a chance to ask a physician if this is true.

      • Robin my mother used to tell me the story of her father packing an injury she sustained as a child with sugar and topping it off with a piece of a cigarette paper. Honey is also an excellent antibacterial dressing for wounds, burns and infections…google it and you’ll see lots of info on it.

      • When I was a baby just learning to walk, I stumbled and fell on a chipped sidewalk. The fall split my forehead open and the blood was gushing out. A neighbor put a handful of sugar over the wound and the bleeding stopped. But the doctors had trouble picking out every grain of sugar before they could stitch up the wound.

    • And make sure if possible to make that raw honey produced as close to where you live as possible. I don’t know the reasoning for the last but I’m told it is an important health issue. And it keeps forever. If it crystallizes, you just place the container in hot water, and it will reliquify.

      • For survival purposes it doesn’t matter as long as it’s raw. For allergy reasons, it needs to be local, due to the fact that your allergy’s are from local trees, weeds or others plant life that the bees are harvesting from. Honey is a whole food that you can literally survive on. Maybe with a few locusts thrown in!

  57. Regarding barter items to store, small items such as sewing needles, thread, thimbles etc. would be difficult to reproduce and large quantities could be purchased and stored very easily at very little expense.

  58. Skills need to be added to the list: Diesel Mechanic, Smithing (Black and Gun), Carpenter, Electrician, Metal Fabrication, Cooking/Baking, Plumbing, Agriculture, Sanitation, etc… Add to your skills everything you need that would support your basic need to survive that would help you construct SHELTERS from primitive to lightweight construction; understanding AIR quality (Nuclear, Bio, Chem); WATER purification (to include finding, dig/drilling, moving it, and collecting it); FOOD (to include seed collection and understanding the importance of soil quality); lastly SECURITY (to include offensive and defensive strategies and tactics, comm, and marksmanship)

  59. I have purchased some dutch ovens on Ebay. and several large bags of charcoal which I store in a room which I keep airconditioned year round. I also bought a propane cook stove and an adapter for my large propane tanks of which I have 5. I try to keep 4 filled and one in my grill. I bought a drip type coffee pot off Ebay also. I also ran accross a single burner Coleman stove for $10.00 on Ebay. I grew up camping with my folks in the 50’s.

  60. I inherited some camping equipment from my parrents and my wifes parrents. About 4 years ago I began buying Coleman white gas. My experience over the years has been that if you keep them sealed in the metal container they came in they will last for several years. I also bought some Coleman camp stoves and lanterns off Ebay. I was able to get them very cheap.

  61. David Dietrich says:

    Mr Morris,

    I recommend at least two additional items for your barter list. First, under food, I would add alcohol, in particular a variety of one-ounce bottles And second, I would add items for water filtration, such as activated charcoal, sand, gravel, and buckets.


  62. What about chocolate & also whiskey?

  63. bernard charles. says:

    ‘A very good list. Also, one may want to have what native islanders utilize, that being machetes and cast iron cookware–skillets/Dutch ovens/utensils.

    My intention to keep warm in my groundlevel apartment during a winter power outage is to heat up used brake drums and rotors, and place them in Dutch ovens with the lids on–radiant heat with no toxic fumes/smoke. Have an additional set of brake drums and rotors in the outdoor fire pit heating up while you enjoy the ones inside the apartment.

    Always the Very Best, bernie

  64. I would suggest in your medical supplies is some sort of burn relief. Of course the homeopathic remedy would be Aloe Vera plant so that it will replenish itself but for a more severe burn that would require something more at least in the beginning. What I have purchased and use is “Burn Free” or Burn Gel it helps to relieve the pain although with a bad burn pain will be difficult. In a grid down situation burns will become much more prevalent and they become infected so very easily that I think everyone needs to consider this most often overlooked supply. Recently my 16 year old grandson made a stupid mistake and received 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns from the tip of his fingers to his shoulder. Since we live in a rural area a helicopter was called in to transport him to a hospital 3 hours away . The doctor stated we had done everything just right, By Plunging his arm in cool water for 30 minutes and dressing the burn with the gel. We may not have the luxuries of a doctor in the future and everything we can do now is all the better for later. The burn gel can be bought online at several different sights. Both the plant and the gel will also make for great barter items.

    • Miss Kitty says:

      Homeopathic aloe is used as an anti-diarrhea remedy. I think you mean aloe as used in herbal medicine, as a skin treatment for burns and wounds. They are two very different things. On that note, if you are interested, learn a little about homeopathy and stock up on a few basic remedies. If the bottles are kept sealed, they keep a very long time. I have used homeopathic remedies numerous times successfully in treating sick animals that the vet couldn’t help. I also once had to treat myself for Legionnaires’ Disease with full-blown pneumonia (which is often fatal) and all I had was homeopathic remedies — and I was through the worst of it, and out and about within a week. Never saw a doctor or took antibiotics — couldn’t afford it at the time. People were stunned at how quickly I recovered. Used correctly, homeopathy can be amazing sometimes. A good remedy everyone should have is “rhus tox” — which is for poison ivy and oak, but also will work for other similar skin eruptions. My husband used to get terrible cases of poison oak every summer, but using rhus tox he NEVER gets it anymore. A good homeopathic specialist with some books you can consult is Dana Ullman, MPH. His little introductory book “Homeopathy A-Z” is worth its weight in gold. A good resource online for learning and for acquiring homeopathic remedies is The conventional medical establishment likes to try to discredit homeopathy because they don’t understand how it works (and also it makes people less reliant on expensive M.D.s and their expensive pharmaceuticals), and I used to be a skeptic about it myself. Then I saw it work so dramatically so many times that I couldn’t be skeptical anymore. If you haven’t explored it but you are open to alternative/natural healing, and would like to be more empowered to heal yourself and your loved ones, it would be worth your time to look into it, in my experience.

      Thanks to everyone for their really helpful contributions here!

  65. This is the best article you’ve had in a long time! Excellent info. Anyone who has read “One Second After” knows the value of TP and toothpaste.

    • You can’t store enough TP to last very long. Much better are 3″ or so square cloth that can be boiled many many times.

  66. Add alfalfa seeds, fresh greens year round in 3-4 days. 1 lb. of seed makes a tremendous amount of fresh food. I have a stash of vodka and other booze. Since I don’t drink it will be there to trade. Also used to make tinctures etc. Lots of uses besides just drinking. Last forever, doesn’t freeze….good item.

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