Editor’s Note: A guest post from Rodney to The Prepper Journal on a subject of interest to us all. The focus being on skills that can be bartered in exchange for things one needs.
We have all seen a variety of apocalyptic movies where commerce is reduced to the old tried and true method of barter and in those scenes the exchange is always tense and fraught with danger. These images give the preppers mind something to ponder. If the paper and electronic currency we all use today becomes worthless when access to electronic money becomes limited or impossible or faith in government backed currency diminishes what are we to do? Should we stock precious metals and other items for barter? Well, Yes and No.
Well Yes – because I can pretty much guarantee that if a major SHTF event occurs that barter will become the norm once again. Even after smaller regional SHTF events we can expect barter to return on some level at least momentarily due to the lack of access to money (much of which is electronically accessed) or from the lack of goods as a result of people buying everything up beforehand leaving others without and wanting
Well No – because I am reminded about a conversation I had on this subject with a like-minded coworker that was curious about what he should be buying for barter. While I have to commend him for giving the subject consideration I was also troubled with his inquiry because I knew very well that his prepping budget was limited and he had a ways to go before his preps would be capable of sustaining his family in a long term SHTF.
My advice to him was to not worry about barter items until you have a substantial stock of all the items that you and your family will need. I told him you would be better off using your prepping budget on securing the preps you know you’ll need and not on barter items.
However I did give him some thoughts about things he could barter with that wouldn’t necessarily cost him much of anything or that would be useful to himself as well as others during SHTF, things that could be used over and over again.
So if you are like my coworker and friend what are some things that you could barter with later that won’t take away from your prepping budget today? Well most of us have certain skills and knowledge that could prove useful to others in SHTF. We also have the ability now before SHTF to learn and practice skills that would not only be useful to us but for others as well. Those skills could be marketed during a barter exchange. That’s right during and after SHTF your labor and skills will be valuable to others just like they are today.
Most people today have very little connection to how things are made or done. Their only connection to the things they need is limited to the shelf where they go get it. We live in a service world where making or doing things is beyond most people’s experience nowadays. Every DIY skill we can learn and practice now will prove invaluable to others during SHTF. Things like gardening, wood working, survival skills, even cooking will be a commodity that many people around us lack and will have a need to for.
These and the many more skills that we all discuss on these forums can and will be bartered items during SHTF. Bartering your services or teaching others these skills during SHTF may become your next full time job and I have a feeling you’ll be in high demand. The lesson here is that we should all be familiarizing ourselves with these skills anyway so we don’t end up being the one wanting but rather the one that has what they want… and if it’s a skill it doesn’t do them any good to kill you for it like that poor guy in the movie who died for a cigarette or over a can of green beans.
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