Friday, July 26, 2013

List of Lists - Barter & Charity

Many people may not think that barter in a post-SHTF situation is very important. Many people surely believe that charity is a non-factor. They see whatever may happen as an "every man for himself" type of society, or they see no society at all. However, this type of scenario is unlikely and unless you are surrounded by impassable terrain for many miles, you are likely to come across other people, possibly on a regular basis.

It times like that, it's important to protect yourself and your supplies. It's important to stay out of a situation in which you can be taken advantage of. But it is also arguably equally important to remember your humanity, and remember that part of our reason for being here is to help our fellow man.

Barter is likely to be a large part of the economic system in many types of SHTF scenarios. Charity, if conducted on a large enough scale, can have such a positive effect on a community post-SHTF that it may add a large degree of stability and cohesiveness. God tells us to be compassionate toward others in their time of need. It is possible and advisable to give to others when you can while simultaneously ensuring your own safety and security.

Some items that should be included on a good barter and charity list are:

- Cans of iodized salt
- Small bottles of alcohol for human consumption
- Matches
- Chocolate and candy
- 550 cord
- Duct tape
- Fishing line
- Playing cards
- Cooking spices
- Over the counter (OTC) medications

These are not the only items that can go on a barter and charity list, so tailor your list to what items you feel others may need or want, items you have in excess or items you can easily bear to part with. Additionally, you always have the choice to trade or give items that you have but aren't on this list. You never know when someone in need will return a favor to you, and friends in a survival situation are the best friends to have.

Skills can also be bartered. Some people may be willing to trade supplies if you will teach them how to build a fire with sticks, assemble a shelter, filter water, grow a garden or hunt small game. Everyone knows the adage "if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime". People will remember this sort of thing when the time comes.

Coins and currency are obvious options for barter if the receiving party feels there is value in it and if the monetary system is still in place. I'll wait to discuss coins and other currency for the "finance" category of the "list of lists". It is likely that our current monetary system will retain some degree of relevance in many types of scenarios, but depending on the needs of the people you come across, it may not be relevant at the time.


  1. Agreed, I'd add to begin setting up a network of like minded folks asap. Attend farmer's mkt and small anumal auctions and talk to folks about bartering. Sites like Craig'slist has bartering section, etc

    1. Absolutely. Setting up a network of like-minded people who you know will barter will also allow you to begin bartering immediately without worrying about whether you can trust those people.

  2. Also, as with all things survival, keep an open mind,,,,,,anything can be bartered. All that's required is that each have something the other wants. IMO, (skilled) labor is a huge bartering commodity.

  3. Right. While I think there are things that people will always be willing to barter for (see my list above), you have to realize that they will be looking to barter for anything that they forgot to stock up on or anything they didn't realize they needed to learn how to do.