There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on. One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. Gaia Rady over at survivopedia.com has put together a great list of useful skills and items for bartering after SHTF.
In this article, I’d like to discuss some of the most useful items you can stockpile now, as well as skills you can develop that will serve you well should you ever need them.
First, let’s start with 5 indispensable skills that you could develop, any one of which will guarantee that your skills will be in high demand in a post-SHTF scenario of just about any scale.
- First aid and basic emergency medical care; think knowing how to stabilize a broken limb pending proper care, how to reduce or stop traumatic bleeding, how and when to apply sutures to a wound, etc.
- Mechanical knowledge; knowing how things work, how they are taken apart, and how to put them back together or repair them with whatever you have on hand.
- Gunsmithing, repair and ammunition loading; being able to repair various guns and maybe reload some ammunition would be useful skills to have indeed.
- Weaving, tailoring, sewing and mending; while these skills are on the more homely side of things, don’t let that fool you. Clothing wears out over time, especially when worn for hard labor, and everyone appreciates a good pair of socks. Holes will need patched, socks will need darned, and eventually new clothing will need to be made.
- Butchering animals; this might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and know how to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again.
In addition to those 5 suggestions of useful skills you might choose to acquire, there are also many items that can be stockpiled with relative ease for use in trade and barter.
- Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even more valuable than they already are.
- Lighters, matches, and/or butane fuel; if electricity grids are down for an extended period of time, or permanently, fire will become integral to daily life. A stockpile of lighters, matches and particularly fuel for refilling lighters, can provide you with a good barter item should you need it.
- Alcohol; in the form of beer, wine, champagne, and various hard liquors, alcohol ranks alongside tobacco for long-term popularity and usefulness as a trade and barter item.
- Older (pre-1964) US silver coins; from dimes and quarters to half-dollars and silver dollars, pre-1964 US coins are comprised of 90% silver content.
- Non-GMO, organic or heirloom vegetable seeds;after things settle down following a disaster or serious collapse of civilization, farming will be a top priority for anyone who wants to survive.
- Sugar, salt, pepper, and other spices; many spices are quite affordable these days, but spices, sugar, even salt were much scarcer commodities traditionally.
- Spare tools and basic hardware; think along the lines of hammers, saws, wrenches, nails, screws and other basic odds and ends. Even a few pairs of decent work gloves could prove to be a useful barter item, but nails, hammers and other basic tools will definitely be in high demand post-SHTF.
Source: Gaia Rady