Bartering Supplies for Doomsday

Bartering Supplies for Doomsday

By Emily Butz,

There’s nothing new about “the end of the world”—that idea is nearly as old as humanity itself. Thanks to shows like The Walking Dead and National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers and post-apocalyptic, dystopian novels like The Hunger Games or Divergent, the notion of becoming a hardcore “prepper” has become wildly popular.

While a zombie apocalypse is an exciting prospect, an economic or natural disaster is more likely. Such an event would render cash useless and storefronts ransacked as people scramble for supplies. But you can prepare yourself by stockpiling a number of simple resources that will be perfect for bartering in your storage unit.

What to Store

You’ll need to get creative here and think of those little things that others will have overlooked. Other preppers tend to stock up on strictly survival items: shelf-stable food, bottled water, and basic first aid. The “hot commodities” will be luxury items that many aren’t used to living without. Toilet paper, for example, is something that we never think about needing until it’s gone.

Other personal hygiene products will also be in demand, especially after the first few weeks of chaos. As things settle down, people will be looking for ways to clean up from running around. Stock up on bars of soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and razors. The travel sizes of these items are perfect for trading.

Simple energy sources will also be powerful bartering resources when the power goes out. Small candles, inexpensive BIC lighters, lighter fluid, and charcoal are easy to store and necessary for light, heat, and cooking.

Basic hand tools can help with the rebuilding process, and seeds provide opportunities for new sources of fresh produce. Other good things to stock up on include general medications (such as ibuprofen), iodine tablets or other water filtration systems, and books or small board games.

Where to Store It

Security will be paramount once society falls apart. Organize your bargaining chips by category into boxes or tote bags for easy transport. Then, store your stockpile in a protected, strategically placed storage unit. Find a multi-level facility and rent an interior unit on an upper floor—if it’s more difficult to access, it’s less likely that anyone will try to break in. Be sure to secure the door to your storage unit with a sturdy lock, too.

Bartering Tips

Trading goods and services (i.e., “bartering”) hasn’t been common practice since before the Industrial Revolution. It’s easy enough to get the hang of though, and The Survivalist Blog has some great tips for a successful trade.

  1. Get an idea of what the other person wants and has to offer in return. This makes bartering easier when you know whether or not they have what you’re looking for and vice versa.
  2. Use your best poker face, especially if you’re the one who needs something. If the other person knows that they have the upper hand, they’ll likely drive the price up.
  3. Start by offering your lesser value items, then work your way up in quantity or value if necessary. It’s difficult to take things off the table once you’ve offered it.

Once you’ve stocked up on the apocalyptic must-haves and mastered the art of bartering, you’ll be survivin’ and thrivin’ long after the end of the world.