Imagine a scenario where cash has become worthless. It could be hyperinflation, where it takes a wheelbarrow of cash to buy a loaf of bread. Or it could a devastating act of terrorism such as a bioweapon or an EMP that sets the country back 100 years. Whatever the cause, there could come a day when our money becomes useless.
And it won’t necessarily be a nationwide disaster that causes this to happen. In a local disaster such as a powerful hurricane or earthquake, the power will be out which means the banks will be closed. And if they don’t reopen, there won’t be enough cash to go around.
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In any of the above scenarios, people will be forced to barter with one another until power is restored or a suitable currency emerges. In case that ever happens, it’s a good idea to have a wide assortment of barter items. That way if someone has something you need, you’re more likely to already have something they need.
Although precious metals are a great thing to have as a part of your portfolio, they might not be ideal in a survival scenario. If the SHTF, most people are going to be more interested in things they can use than gold and silver. On the other hand, many people believe in the intrinsic value of precious metals. So in a survival situation, precious metals could emerge as a popular form of currency.
This is why I recommend getting some metal, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s probably best to buy silver instead of gold because even small pieces of gold are too valuable to trade for any items you would want from your neighbors. Try a site like apmex.com where you can buy a roll of 20 American Silver Eagles.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Again, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In survival situations, nicotine addicts are going to become desperate and some of them will trade useful items just so they can smoke. And if times are tough, a lot of people will crave spirits so they can temporarily escape the reality of their situation.
However, if things are really bad, your alcohol and tobacco might be useless. In a post-apocalyptic scenario where people are starving, even nicotine addicts and alcoholics will be more interested in food. I recommend storing a few cartons of cigarettes and several bottles of alcohol, but no more. And if you have a drinking problem or are an ex-smoker, please don’t store any alcohol or tobacco. It might become too difficult to resist.
The point of this article is that in most survival situations, people are going to want things they can use. If you want to store up items you can trade, they need to be useful and have a great space-to-value ratio. For example, people might want shovels, but they might also want lighters, and a pack of lighters takes up a lot less space than a shovel. Lighters are also very portable, a necessity when visiting your neighbors and making deals.
Here’s a list of fairly small items that could be great for bartering during a disaster:
Apple cider vinegar
Dried soup mix
First aid kits
Glasses repair kit
Nuts and bolts
Solar battery charger
Tuna fish (in oil)
Water purification tablets