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Knowledge is Power (KiP)  Ever since the first humans came together and before the advent of any type currency,  bartering evolved and became the norm for everyday commerce and trade.  So the Art of Bartering has been around for over ten thousand years.

Bartering is an art, a skill that is acquired over time.  One of the best ways to practice these skills is go to your local garage/yard sales and flea markets.  When you see an item you want, set the max price you would be willing to pay (say $50).  You start at say $25 and the seller starts at $75.  You work your way up getting the seller to work their way down to the price your willing to pay.  After a disaster, what are you willing to barter with for what you want?

Items to Barter:  When collecting and storing extra items for bartering, strongly consider common everyday items that would make day-to-day survival more bearable.  Items like:

  • Ammo:  Common calibers like 12 gauge, .22, 30-06, 308, .40, .45,  brass casings, etc.
  • Animals: Chickens, Goats, Horses, Pigs, Rabbits, Watch dogs, etc.
  • Canning items:  Jars, Extra lids,
  • Dental: Mouth wash, Tooth brushes/paste, Tooth picks, etc.
  • Drink items:  Alcohol (only the small mixer bottles) Beer, Coffee, Cool-Aid/Limon Aid mixes, Teas, etc.
  • Female hygiene supplies
  • Fire:  Fire starter, Matches
  • Food items:  Honey/Nectars, Salt, Seasonings, etc.
  • “How To” books
  • Light:  Candles, Kerosene, Lamps, Wicks
  • Medical supplies
  • Seeds:  Non-hybrid fruit, herbs and vegetables
  • Toiletries:  Bar soaps, Deodorants, Shampoos, Toilet paper, etc.
  • Water purification items

Skills to Barter:  Knowledge and skills can be traded for the items you need to make your life better.  If you have any of the following skills that you can teach someone else will greatly enhance your bartering resources.

  • Blacksmith
  • Butcher
  • Candle making
  • Canner
  • Carpenter
  • CPR/First aid instructor
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • EMT/Paramedic
  • Farmer
  • Fisherman
  • Gardner
  • Gunsmith
  • Herbalist
  • Hunter
  • Leatherman/Tanner
  • Mechanic on older autos
  • Midwife
  • Nurse
  • Seamstress
  • Self defense instructor
  • Soap making
  • Soldier/Combat vet
  • Survival instructor
  • Weaver

Making items for Barter:  When you have the resources and extra supplies to make items that would give folks a since of norm in a TEOTWAWKI situation such as beer or wine or growing your own tobacco would be a great hit at your next barter encounter.

Currency:  The only currency that will have any value will be gold and silver.  They both have been used and have held their value for thousands of years.  Having some 1/10oz gold coins and several pre 1964 silver coins known as junk silver will greatly enhance your ability to barter and sweetening any deal.

Barter town:  After a TEOTWAWKI situation, there will come a time when the survivors will come together to trade.  New “Barter Towns” will spring up where folks will come together to trade for items they need to survive.  This is the place where you will bring your extra barter items, your skills and knowledge, and/or the items you’ve made and/or grown to barter for the things you need to help make your own survival more tolerable.

Barter Entertainment:  To get a good idea of how to barter, I would recommend watching two popular shows on the History Channel, “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars”.  I would also recommend the reading of four books by James Wesley, Rawls.  They cover in detail a TEOTWAWKI situation and each has a section on bartering.

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