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Think over the past several years. In particular, think back to a time when a problem popped up unexpectedly that was beyond your time and/or skill ability to fix and you ended up calling a repair man to come over to fix it.
Or, maybe it was a problem that you knew how to fix, but you needed a specialized part from a hardware store.
As Preppers, if we had the space to store everything we needed, and the money to buy it, and possessed the precognition to look into the future to know what would go wrong, we could cover all the bases. But the fact is, we’ll have to do the very best that we can and expect some things to slip through the cracks along the way.
When you’ve got the cash to pay the repair man or buy the parts, it’s pretty straight forward. But after a disaster when ATMs aren’t working or during a personal disaster when you simply don’t have any money, it’s another story. This is when your bartering your skills can stand in the gap and get you through.
The following is a list of the top 20 skill-sets that will be in high demand–both now and after a disaster. Some of these skills take years of formal training. Others can be learned and perfected relatively quickly.
Top 20 Bartering Skill-Sets
1. Medical Training: People get injured more often after disasters. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a short term disaster like a flood, hurricane, or tornado or a longer term disaster. Those with medical training have been and will be in huge demand, including those with midwifery skills and those who are proficient at herbal healing–this will be especially true during a time when traditional medicines aren’t available.
2. Dentistry: This is an area where some Preppers are not fully prepared, but dental problems can be debilitating, and in some cases, life-threatening. Those with dental training will not have any problem finding customers willing to barter what they have for the dental care they need.
3. Tactical/security: Not everyone will have the weaponry or tactical training required to survive a societal meltdown. Military, police, or private security tactical/security skills will be in huge demand from households, neighborhoods, relief agencies, companies, and government agencies at all levels. Simply taking a local 3-5 day executive protection class can pay dividends to you and your family for the rest of your life…regardless of whether you ever use the skills professionally.
4. Hunting/Trapping/Fishing: Once people have been forced to survive on basic bulk foods, canned goods, and MRE’s for a time, fresh meat and fish will be manna from Heaven. If you’re a skilled trapper, hunter or fisherman, you’ll be able to barter wild game and fish for whatever you need. . .if you’re willing to give up a portion.
5. Butchering/Curing/Smoking/Preserving of Wild Game: If you’re an experienced butcher or are skilled at preserving wild game, bartering for portion of the meat or bartering your skills for other preparedness goods will help to fill in the gaps that a long-term crisis will bring. An even more practical application of this is helping your neighbors quickly and effectively preserve as much of the meat and other food in their fridges and freezers after a disaster as possible.
6. Reloading: People will need ammo! If you happen to be an experienced re-loader and have a reloading press, powder measurer/dippers, dies, shell holders, case trimmers, calipers/gauge measurer, priming tool, case lube, and a generous selection of powders and primers–most especially for 223 and 308, you’ll be kept busy. Don’t go nuts on this unless it’s a passion…it still makes sense for most people to simply stock up on ammo rather than buy reloading equipment and learn a new skill.
7. Gunsmith: This field takes a two-year commitment to become formally trained in. An apprenticeship is a possibility, where you can become trained in gunsmithing, but typically there are costs, rather than an income, involved. Gunsmiths will be inundated with customers during a long-term crisis.
(David’s note: This is an area where you either need to passionately jump into the deep end and become the best gunsmith you’ve ever seen or decide that it’s just a hobby. Gunsmiths are a dime a dozen, but good ones are hard to find–It’s fine to be a hobbyist take gunsmithing classes, and work on your own guns, but don’t add to the problem by calling yourself a professional gunsmith before you really have the experience to do so.)
8. Horticulture/Gardening: In a breakdown, gardening and growing grains will be a necessity. As long as you are in a location where there is enough land and irrigation water, your sweat-equity will pay off either by bartering the fruits, vegetables and grains you grow yourself, or by joining forces within your community.
(David’s note: Food control has been a tool of tyrants throughout the ages. A people who controls their food supply are free to make moral, ethical, and legal decisions without having to make choices about what they are or aren’t willing to do to feed themselves and their loved ones. The more an area is able to feed itself, the less civil disorder it will experience after a disaster and the quicker it will be able to recover.)
9. Home Canning/Dehydrating Foods: Home canning and food dehydration are not difficult skills to perfect. If you are able to put aside the necessary equipment, starting a home-run business, preserving food for others in your community, will offer you bartering leverage.
10. Carpentry: If you have carpentry skills, there’s no end to the bartering potential this skill-set offers. People will need household repairs to be done, roofs to be repaired, windows to be replaced, structures to be built, and as long as you have the right tools (including manual tools for grid-down), you’ll be able to barter for whatever you need.
11. Welding (and welding equipment): Welding is a skill that will be in huge demand. Think of the parts that will need to be repaired by a welder should retailers be forced to lock their doors. People will need to make due with what they have, and necessities will need to be repaired on a large scale, meaning anyone with welding know-how and the right equipment will be kept busy.
12. Mechanical Repair: There will be mechanical failures of necessities like generators, chainsaws, ATV’s and vehicles. Preppers may have the foresight to have stored the gas or diesel they need, but it’s not likely they all will possess the mechanical ability or tools to repair these items when they fail. If you have mechanical ability, you’re bartering potential will be high.
13. Animal Husbandry: Farms will still exist during a meltdown and when possible, those with enough property will likely turn to raising cows, goats, chickens, pigs and other farm animals for meat and protein. Horses will be used for transportation in grid-down. If you have a working knowledge of the care of farm animals, your skills will equate to bartering potential.
14. Blacksmith (and forge making): A blacksmith who is proficient at making tools, fixtures, agricultural implements, cooking utensils and weapons could barter for just about anything they needed. This is especially true when goods and services are no longer available.
15. Sewing: Sewing is a skill and as such has bartering power. People will need to repair the clothing they have, and growing children will need clothing that fits. Solar quilts and other insulating drapery will be in more demand. If you have the foresight to purchase a treadle sewing machine that doesn’t require electricity to run, and a selection of fabric, threads and needles, you’ll be in business.
16. Knitting/Spinning: Knitting and spinning are skills that will be needed if fabric retailers ever close their doors. People will need clothing, hats, gloves and bedding, and your skills will allow you to barter with others for whatever you find yourself needing.
17. Cooking: Most of us who cook take our skills for granted, but just ask someone whose idea of cooking is making dinner reservations, or popping a frozen dinner in the microwave, and you get the picture. Some people will need help with this every-day chore, and because of that, your bartering potential just went up.
18. Tree Felling/Wood Gathering: Not everyone has the physical ability to fell trees, haul it and split it for firewood. As long as you have a good tree-felling ax and other necessary tools of the trade and a strong back, you’ll have plenty of bartering power.
19. Well-Driller & Witching (not real witchery…it’s just called that): If there ever comes a time when municipal water supplies cease to function, having the tools and the know-how to drill wells will keep you extremely busy. Although wells are against code in many locations across the US, in a protracted emergency, these rules aren’t likely to be adhered to.
20. Housekeeping/Care-giving: Chores will be extremely demanding during an emergency that lasts more than a few weeks. On top of that, children will require an adjustment period once TV, I-Pads and Play Stations cease to work. If you’re a nurturer, able to help with household chores and care-giving, your skill-set will be in demand by those able to share their preparedness.
(David’s note: If you’ve read my book, “Urban Survival Bartering and Negotiating, you know that this is the tip of the iceberg. There are other skills that I put at or above many of these in importance, including clergy, counseling, entertainment, fuel making, ice making, water purification, and more. For a graduate level education in bartering and negotiating, I suggest that you get Urban Survival Bartering and Negotiating on Amazon for $17 by going >HERE< or you can get it for free when you sign up for the Journal of Tactics and Preparedness.
Here’s what one member had to say, “David, this is the best newsletter I’ve read having to do with survival; great articles on defense, alternative energy, economics and book reviews. This is one membership I think will be the most valuable. Right now I’m subscribed to numerous newsletters, subscription based memberships and am in the process of weeding out the weak. Tactics and Preparedness is gonna be a keeper! Keep up the great work and reporting!” To learn more about the Journal and how to get my negotiating book for free, go >HERE<
Clearly, there are many skill-sets that will be in demand if life as we know it should be turned upside down. What skill-sets do you believe will be the most sought after? Please share by commenting below.
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva