Best Barter Items You Should Start Hoarding Right Now

In this article, I will go over the absolute best barter items you should be hoarding right now in case of an SHTF.

Money loses its value in a real disaster situation (because the most important items it can theoretically buy become so valuable), so bartering is far more useful. Nonetheless, there are some easily stored, easily carried supplies, many of which can be divided into small quantities, that deserve special consideration in your plans.

There are three main things to keep in mind when choosing what to pack especially for bartering. In a survival situation, the first is demand and supply. Matches are a good example: in a survival scenario, demand will be high, so you could reasonably expect something very valuable (say, some unusual meds that the other person happens to have) in exchange for a small number of matches.

Consider what you would miss if you were locked up in prison tomorrow. The prison would cover the very basics (simple clothing, very basic food, heat and light, and so on), and it is very likely that anyone who survives long enough to consider bartering will have at least some of these covered as well. 

This results in the following items (after the basics: a better fire or knowing you can light another fire, security of your situation, luxuries like chocolate and candy, etc.)

Without any further ado, let’s dive right in

gold and silver for bartering when SHTF and survival

Gold and silver are, of course, among the first things many preppers think about when putting together a stockpile for a SHTF scenario. Their worth is obvious, and they will most likely be the most easily bartered with. It is reasonable to accumulate a smaller piece of gold, silver, or even platinum, often in the form of a coin, as this makes them easier to trade with. 

You wouldn’t want to trade a bar of gold for a loaf of bread, so stockpiling bars may not be as beneficial as it appears. If you do want bars, consider Valcombi bars, which allow you to break off small pieces from a larger bar.

Water Filters

Water is an essential component of life, and proper filtration systems will be critical to everyone’s survival. As a result, filters and purifiers could be a popular item for trade and bartering in a variety of survival or disaster situations. 

Water filter systems, tablets, or personal water filters like Life Straws are not only great for bartering, but they are also important to have for yourself and your family, as are many of the items on this list. 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

Coffee is literally the elixir of life. You’d be surprised at what a coffee drinker will do in an emergency to get a mug of coffee. This is an excellent barter item, and it is frequently one of the first items to run out. 

Don’t worry about people not having access to electricity; in a pinch, coffee can be brewed in something as simple as a sock!

Rope and Cords

rope and cords for survival usages

The cord is an essential survival item because it can be used for everything from repairing a broken shoelace to building a survival shelter. I always keep paracord in my survival kit and wear a paracord bracelet on a daily basis.


Electricity is a luxury that you are unlikely to have in a post-apocalyptic scenario. A flashlight could be a highly sought-after item. There are several types available, including an emergency flashlight that recharges via a hand crank or solar power rather than electricity.


matches in box on table 191

Make sure you have waterproof matches on hand in case you need to light a candle or start a fire. It’s also a good idea to vacuum seal them in packages to keep them dry until they’re needed. Some matches are even stormproof and burn for an extended period of time, remaining lit even in extreme conditions, such as underwater.


Medicines will also be in high demand. Pain relievers, burn ointments, antibiotics, and first-aid ointments for cuts and wounds are all useful medicines to keep on hand. 

Vitamin supplements, particularly vitamin C and vitamin D, may also be in demand due to their anti-viral properties. Violets are also amazing forms of herbs and medicine, so be sure to check out our Survival Uses For Violets to learn more.

Last Words

Now that you have learned about the best barter items you should start hoarding right now, you have just improved yourself.

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