Best Barter Items For an Economic Collapse You Need to Hoard

When the SHTF and an economic collapse hits, bartering is one of the best strategies to ensure your survival. Having a stockpile of the best barter items for an economic collapse that can be traded for goods or services in times of crisis will help you stay afloat. 

Knowing what are considered some of the bartering items during an economic collapse could prove invaluable when disaster strikes.

Having these essential items on hand at home gives you bargaining power which allows you to exchange them for other essential products not available due to financial shortages caused by civil unrest or natural disasters. 

By being prepared ahead of time, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that if the worst comes worse -your family won’t suffer from the lack of essentials needed to survive & thrive through tough conditions.

Let’s dig in.

gold and silver for bartering when SHTF and survival

Gold and silver are two of the most valuable barter items during an economic collapse. Gold is a precious metal that has been used as a form of currency for centuries, making them ideal to trade in uncertain times. 

Unlike paper money which can become worthless when economies fail, gold and silver retain their value no matter what happens with the economy or markets. Their portability also makes them easy to store away until they are needed again – making it one of the best barter options for a SHTF scenario!

The ultimate downside associated with holding onto your wealth through physical investments(such as owning bullion)is a security risk. 

Burglars target high-net-worth individuals who might own large quantities of jewelry, coins, etc. So keeping this kind of item secure should always be a top priority whether living under normal circumstances or after experiencing a financial crisis.

Water Filters

In the event of an economic collapse, having access to clean water is essential for survival. Water filters are a great barter item as they allow people to filter out contaminants from contaminated sources and provide families with safe drinking water. Water purification is a game changer when there’s limited access to clean water.

There are many different types of water filters available on the market that can be used in various ways depending on budget, needs or preferences. 

There are gravity-fed systems which use ceramic elements to physically remove particles and bacteria from collected rainwater, UV light purification handheld devices which kill viruses by bombarding them with ultraviolet radiation so they become unable to reproduce themselves, and more.

If you would like to learn more about life straws, be sure to check out our Lifestraw Go Water Bottle Ultimate Review and our How to Filter and Purify Water in the Wild articles to learn more.


coffee usage for bartering during SHTF

As any coffee lover will tell you – nothing beats a good cup! Not only does this delicious beverage offer flavor benefits during times when food may not be readily available – it has important health benefits as well. 

Coffee contains antioxidants which can prevent cell damage due to free radicals while providing energy boosts throughout the day without relying upon processed sugars or artificial stimulants. 

Quality beans are a logical choice when trading items going forward since many people have caffeine dependencies and need coffee for a good mood. Coffee will surely be in high demand in a survival scenario.

Rope and Cords

rope and cords for survival usages

Ropes and cords can be an good barter item during an economic collapse. They are useful for a variety of tasks such as shelter building, tying up bundles, or even helping with some repairs around the house. 

Ropes come in different lengths and thicknesses depending on their purpose, so it is important to have a good selection available should you need them. 

Additionally, many types of cordage (such as paracord) also contain internal strands that can easily be unraveled for use in other situations making this item incredibly versatile when looking at utility value alone. 

Furthermore, if one finds themselves short on cash then trading these items solely based on market demand won’t hurt either since having something everyone needs often translates into higher resale prices down the line.

This is especially true when considering how durable rope-and-cord products tend to be over time compared to more delicate goods like food which quickly degrade after purchase anyway due course rendering them useless shortly thereafter.


Having a flashlight in an economic collapse is essential. Flashlights provide light during the night time, and can be used as defensive tools against attackers. They are also necessary for navigating unfamiliar places when power outages occur or electricity becomes scarce.

Furthermore, flashlights require minimal upkeep; they only need periodic battery changes to remain operational throughout the duration of any crisis situation. You can probably get a great barter exchange for this, like 10lb of canned food. Canned food is an amazing survival food with a super long shelf life.


matches in box on table 191

In addition to flashlights, having matches on hand during an economic collapse is critical due to their ability to start fires. 

This allows people to access heat sources and cook food safely without relying on electrical appliances like microwaves or ovens that may no longer function properly if there’s a lack of energy supply in affected areas. 

Matches are easily stored because they come packaged into small boxes that don’t take up much space.


Medicine is essential in any economic collapse. With the inability to purchase it, bartering for medicine can be a lifesaver. 

Many basic over-the-counter medicines and vitamins are easy to store long-term making them ideal items for trading during times of crisis. 

Medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or even aspirin could prove invaluable when dealing with minor aches and pains due to injuries or illness. Medical supplies are also very useful, because you’ll need aid supplies to treat most injuries.

It’s also wise to have antibiotics on hand as well as preventative treatments such as topical creams against infection should one fall ill from foodborne illnesses caused by lack of proper refrigeration capabilities during hard times.

You can definitely get a great barter trade, especially if the other party has someone ill or hurt.


Alcoholic beverages may not seem necessary, but they do provide some benefits that make them worthy candidates for barter goods in an economic collapse scenario. 

Alcohol has been historically known for its ability to help ease stress & anxiety levels (especially if medical care isn’t available) – both physical & mental health being key components in staying healthy in a SHTF situation.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is one of these essential items because it has so many uses in an emergency situation. Whether you need something to wipe dirt off your hands or use as makeshift bandages, toilet paper will come in handy when resources are scarce. 

Not only does TP serve practical functions during times of crisis, but its value makes it a great item for barter trade with other survivors who may not know how else they could acquire this resourceful product otherwise.

Duct Tape

duct tape

Duct tape has multiple uses during emergencies. It can repair broken items, create makeshift shelters or seal windows and doors against drafts of air. 

Additionally, duct tape’s adhesive quality allows it to serve as a bandage substitute and waterproofing agent on clothing fabrics or surfaces exposed to the elements outdoors.

Last Words

Now that you have learned about the best barter items you should start hoarding right now, you have just improved yourself. You know at least one valuable item you could be hoarding right now that you could barter in an emergency situation.

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