My personal philosophy is: DIVERSITY is key when it comes to preparing.  For me, this means having several different kinds of food storage (freeze dried, dehydrated, home bottled, store canned, etc), Self-protection, Medical preps and First Aid, and so forth.

This also holds true to gathering items now that you can use to barter with when things go bad. I wouldn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket by only having a single item or two to barter with. Also, having a diversity of things would allow us to barter for more skills and items that others may be able to provide for us.

I’m thinking items that aren’t hard to get right now, that are inexpensive and easy to carry. Items that might become valuable and harder to find later on.


32 Items to STOCK UP ON NOW – that you can use to BARTER with Later!

  1. Ammunition

Most notably .22LR ammo. Many guns use this as it’s good for protection and hunting. It’s small and easy to exchange. Other types of ammo will also be valuable especially for people who need it! The government is stocking up on ammo, we certainly should!

2. Matches / Lighters / Flints

These items will run out quickly, especially for those who haven’t stored much. They are pretty cheap now, great items to stock up on now. It was mentioned from a Bosnia survivor that having lots of lighters for bartering was more valuable than a generator which would just get stolen. (See link to this story at the bottom of this post)

  1. Heirloom Seeds

These will be so valuable later and are quite inexpensive right now. Keep in original packaging so you can verify they are really seeds when you use them to barter.

  1. First Aid Supplies

Bandages, wraps, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial ointment, gloves, masks and so forth. Not too much to stock up on now, but will be highly sought after when we can no longer get these at the store!

  1. Garbage Bags

Needed and used for so many things: rain poncho’s/shelters, trash, portable toilets, etc. You can never store too many garbage bags!

  1. Disinfectants / Detergents / Bleach / Soap

This are necessary items for cleaning and washing wounds and items. They will be in high demand when others run out.

  1. Antibiotics

Not just storing them, but knowing how to use them. I would think this includes colloidal silver.

  1. Toilet Paper

A luxury when you run out. This was like gold to those who suffered in Bosnia.

  1. Mouse and Rat Traps

So cheap right now, but after a time setting traps these would be a great item for trading. Sure beats setting up those hard snares!

  1. Toothbrushes / Hygiene Items

You don’t know what you got until it’s gone! Having a new toothbrush, deodorant, razor etc. could be worth a lot for someone who’s gone without for a while.

11. Salt / Coffee / Cigarettes

In Bosnia, one survivor said that salt became very expensive. It is used for so much more than flavoring. He also said that coffee and cigarettes were very hot commodities.

12. Alcohol

Most types of alcoholic beverages will be a big trade item.  Vodka can also be used in many medical situations.

  1. Food

This is a no-brainer. Be aware when bartering with food, that the people you are dealing with may not be surviving in a self-sustainable way yet. This can make them unpredictable and desperate. Canned foods that do not need heating to be eaten are most convenient. Store smaller, easy to eat cans of food, ramen noodles, and other easy to eat items for bartering. Or consider having smaller containers of staples (wheat, rice, oats and legumes) for bartering.

  1. Emergency Blankets

On a cold night, these little wonders are worth their weight in gold. It might be a good idea to have a bunch of these for people who are simply out on the street freezing to death.

  1. Batteries
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Compasses
  4. Sewing kit / Needles
  5. Hand-crank Flashlight or Lantern
  6. Multi-tools
  7. Mosquito Nets
  8. Work Gloves
  9. Aluminum Foil
  10. Hooks / Lures / Line / Fishing gear
  11. Sunblock / Effective bug spray
  12. Cable Ties / Duct Tape / Rope
  13. Spices
  14. Industrial Strength Glue
  15. Whistles
  16. Chewing Gum
  17. Chocolate / Candy
  18. Condoms

Other Not-So-Cheap Items to Have for Trade:

  • Emergency Radios & Extra Batteries – Trading these out to others gives you more people to connect with for support (assuming you have your own you keep).
  • Solar chargers
  • Survival Manuals / Wild Edibles, etc.
  • Silver Coins
  • Gold Flakes / Common Gold Bullion Coins
  • Weapons


So print out this list and keep it with  you when you go shopping so you can remember to grab extras while you can and pretty soon, you’ll grow a small stash or valuable bartering items! This can help bring peace of mind.



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