The following is a guest post from Dan Sullivan:
We’ve all seen those articles outlining 40 or 50 or 100 items we can use to barter in a post-collapse world in order to get food, water, ammo and other things that we might desperately need. After reading them, the main thing I learned (apart from the fact that toilet paper and feminine hygiene products are always at the top of the list) is that pretty much anything might be useful in a post-apocalyptic society.
And that’s fine except for one thing: we don’t always have the space to hoard everything we can get our hands on. What I’m looking to do in this article is provide you with a list of 10 everyday items you can barter with that won’t get your relatives thinking you’re crazy for having too much of.
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Yes, these items are already in those huge lists but the great thing about them is that they will never raise any eyebrows (unless you have ridiculous amounts of). Ready?
I don’t know about you but I haven’t had a single cavity in the last 3 years, all thanks to the fact that I started flossing.
Post-collapse, oral hygiene is going to be a problem, and although water & baking soda make great toothpaste, it’s the food in-between your teeth that’s going to be tough to remove. That’s why floss is just as important as brushing.
The best part is, stockpiling it doesn’t take too much space. You can literally store hundreds of packs and no one will notice. Plus, they don’t need any special conditions, you can literally keep them anywhere.
Trust me, no one will become suspicious for having too much booze around. Alcohol will not only make a good comfort item but it can also help disinfect wounds and can even be used as fuel if you have an alcohol stove.
If there was a contest for the best bartering item to stockpile, my money would be on alcohol and I wouldn’t give toilet paper a chance. You can use leaves to wipe yourself but there’s just no replacement to good ol’ Jack Daniels.
#3. Reading glasses
Glasses break all the time and post-SHTF, with every passing week or month, less and less reading glasses will be “in circulation”… unless you’re there to fill in the void, of course, with the glasses you’ve stashed away in advance.
You can just put them in different drawers of different rooms, no one will ever suspect you’re actually stockpiling them.
With all this technology and information overload, it’s easy to take it for granted. However, once the lights go out, printed books are suddenly going to make a comeback. We have over 1,500 books in our home and we’re always complimented for having so many.
Tip: start getting printed survival books first; even more than one copy each if you can get discounts. You can re-sell them post-collapse.
#5. Gardening tools
Obviously, people are gonna want to grow their own food so they’ll need tools. No one will ever question why you have so many in your tool shed because when you open the door, they’re just gonna see them sitting in a semi-dark place. Little will they know you’ve got a whole arsenal of hand trowels, weed removers, bow rakes etc.
Nobody’s going to care whether you have 3 or 20 blankets stashed away. No one is ever going to see them and, even if they do, they’ll never guess what they’re for.
But when the lights go out and it’s cold outside (as well as inside), people are gonna want to start saving fuel and find cheaper means of staying warm. That’s when your blankets will help.
#7. Plastic Bags
Bags are cheap, lightweight and when you put them one inside the other, they take VERY little space. No one will realize that that big bag on the inside of your tool shed is not full of things but of other bags.
Good clothes will be hard to find post-collapse. Chinese factories may not be able to export to the US for a while. Instead of throwing away a pair of pants simply because it developed a hole, why not sew them and store them away in the attic somewhere? No one will ever call you crazy for having too many clothes, lots of non-preppers do.
#9. Pen, pencils and paper
With no Evernote to write your thoughts, pen and paper are going to make a comeback. Easy to store and no one will ever suspect anything.
#10. Your Everyday Skills
I usually like to have the last item be somewhat unique. Few people think that the thing they are good at could actually prove very handy post-collapse. Gardening, plumbing, quilting, even fixing electronics could prove very useful.
Keep in mind that the basic survival skills such as making shelter and finding and filtering water are more important because you’re gonna need them within the first few critical days or weeks. After that, sure, knowing how to grow a garden or fix things around the house is crucial.
Extra tip: make sure you do two things. One, become better at what you do. You want to be the go-to guy for your skillset pre as well as post-collapse. Two, stockpile a few books on the subject matter for when Google won’t be available to answer all your questions in a flash. You might not want to barter with those, though…