Prepper's Bartering List

------------------------------------------------- Revised 2/1/21
(C) Copyright  2012-2021 by All rights reserved. The site happily targets concerned
citizens who are self-reliant survivalists, preppers and homesteaders with original content on survival following
societal collapse. You may link to our site, but
you may NOT reproduce any part of our content, or store our
content in any retrieval system to represent it as your own. Further, you may not transmit content in any other
form or by any means, including (but not limited to) electronic, photocopy, mechanical, or recording without
written consent. makes no warranties. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising
program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, or Amazon is a great place to buy emergency supplies. In other words, we
recommend prepping gear sold on Amazon. It's a great place to shop.

Get prepared! Read more emergency preparedness information on our home page.

happy preppers bartering list has been archived by It's been saved as many as 118
times between Jan. 25, 2015 and Oct. 2, 2019. This helps protect our copyright.

Do NOT copy.
We have NEVER given permission to anyone to copy content. Do NOT steal.
It is plagiarism to steal our copy!

privacy policy
Bosnia Survival List
Prepper's Long Term Survival Guilde
Prepping with kids
Prepper's Bartering Guide
Free Prepper's Guide to
Bartering - 50 things to barter
with in a disaster:
Happy Preppers site for survivalists + preppers
27 uses for a five gallon bucket
Top ranking prepper Web site - prepping and survivalism
Prepper Deal Alerts Check
daily deals for prepping
gear and food storage.
How to use a plastic bag for survival
There are four ways people have paid for things throughout history:
  1. barter of services and supplies
  2. bullion and coins
  3. cash (paper currency) and
  4. plastic (credit).

When the plastic and cash are meaningless, preppers can turn to

Happy endings...
Set up a bartering system now before an economic crisis or
cataclysmic event. Preparedness is about thinking in advance of a
situation to not only survive but to thrive. For example, in the
beginning of a long term crisis, money may have value. That's the
time to spend it. Know in advance!

The time may come when you need to barter something to survive
or to be more comfortable in a dire situation. The day may come
when the dollar is not worth anything or there are no stores.

More prepping articles...

A happy prepping idea: Fill a bean bag with edible beans! The
mylar filled bags will be at the bottom, the stuff on the top to
make the bean bag cushy is what you'll use to barter.
Learn more
secret compartments.

Prepare to live happily ever after with us at - the emergency
preparedness Web site of prepping, survival,
homesteading, and self-reliance.
Prepping for fires
Dozens of homesteading uses of zote soap
How to survive Radiation fallout
Easy Ways preppers save on gas
Best water purifiers for preppers
Water storage Options
Are water pouches worth the expense?
nine reasons to love a Big Berkey
Foods with the best shelf life
Prepper's Bartering List: Bullet, beans, bandages, bartering
Katadyn is the water filter trusted by the U.S. Military
Survival skills weigh nothing
How to live in your car for fun, camping or survival
50 survival tools you forgot to buy
Brown Bread in a Can
Ten reasons to stock up on pilot crackers
Prepper's TO DO list
Condiments to stockpile for survival
BIC Lighters
Prepper's Bartering List
Bullets beans and bartering

Prepper's Bartering List: Bullet, beans, bandages, bartering.
Bartering is a sort of prepper currency for when the bullets, beans
and bandages run out. When cash and credit cards are
meaningless you can turn to your bartering stockpile, but there
are some rules to bartering that you must first consider (see the
video). Also, you can be clever in how you set up your stockpile.

  • Look to the past and present for bartering ideas: During
    strife in Bosnia, one survivor valued his BIC lighter more
    than a generator. Venezuelans currently barter for personal
    hygiene items like toilet paper, feminine hygiene items,
    diapers and medicines. The government does not provide
    much meat protein, but they provide rice and pasta. This
    makes meat a highly valued bartering item that you can
    stockpile in freeze-dried and dehydrated form.

  • Be creative in bartering! If you don't have money now to
    set away for bartering, you can barter your skills. Be creative
    about recycling.Candles will always be a valuable bartering
    item and you can remelt old candles to make new ones for
    barter. Stock candle-making supplies so you're ready to make
    something new from what's available. People will need can
    openers as they break or lose them in the crisis. It's very
    easy to stockpile military can openers and they take hardly
    any space.

  • Be practical. Make sure everything you stash away is
    something you or your family would use in an emergency. If
    you don't drink vodka or don't smoke cigarettes you can still
    stockpile these things for other uses, but don't stockpile
    diapers if you don't expect to have kids or grand-kids. Be
    safe and barter well away from your stockpile. More on that

Prepper's Bartering List
Think of bartering as a prepper savings plan! Considering that
anything you can buy now cheaply will increase in value when it's
no longer available, it's time to stock up. Below is a prepping list
of the top items you can barter, but first, know the rules of

What survival items will you stash away? How will you handle a
bartering situation? Understand the rules of bartering before you
Imodium Anti-Diarrheal
Above, learn how Venezuelans barter to survive.

There are only a few things you should never barter...
One thing that didn't make it to our bartering list is ammunition!
You'll want every last shell for yourself. Not only would it be too
cumbersome to stockpile the wide variety of calibers needed to
ensure you have supply for everyone, but you may risk your life!
Never barter your firearms or bullets!

In his book,
Prepper's Long-term Survival Guide, an excellent book
on food, shelter, security, off-the-grid power and more life -saving
strategies for self-sufficient living, Jim Cobb, says "Never, ever
trade ammunition or weapons!" We agree! You may be tempted
to trade bullets with a trusted neighbor, but who's to say this
neighbor wouldn't return the favor with a few bullets and rob you
of all your supplies? With this in mind, stock ammunition only for
yourself. For the same reasons listed above, firearms also should
not be up for barter!

Not on our list...
A few interesting items that didn't quite make it on our list, but
that made it to the
Prisoners bartering list, published by Wired
Magazine, include:
  1. Can of Mackerel. Well, we didn't specifically mention a can
    of makerel on our list (because it's not popular), but canned
    meats are on the prepper bartering list, above.
  2. Postage stamps. Prisoners aren't allowed to use money and
    as it turns out, postage stamps have a value and a
    connection to the outside world. Unless there's a pony
    express set up during the apocalypse, postage stamps likely
    won't have any value.
  3. Combination lock. A combination lock is an interesting item
    for the list, but it's nothing a shimm-cutter or bolt cutter
    can't handle. Lock picking is a prepper skill! Here's how to
    open a pad lock with a can of soda.
  4. Items with a short shelf-life. Beer and chocolate have a
    short shelf life. Barter your chocolate early and with the
    beer, drink and enjoy or make your own beer.

Bartering is a skill worth developing.  
Learn how to trade up for bigger and better. A Canadian bartered
his way from one red paperclip and traded up to a house!
Incredible, inspiring and true, here is  Kyle MacDonald's story...
Above, Survival Dispatch shares the rules of bartering when money is not

Preppers Bartering List
Preppers know that money will someday be worthless. When
society collapses, preppers will be ready with items to barter.
Preparedness is about thinking in advance of a situation to not
only survive but to thrive. Consider this prepper's bartering list as
a starting point. From activated charcoal to Zote sopa, below is  
our prepper's bartering list...

Here is our list of things to barter:
  1. Activated charcoal
  2. Apples and other home grown fruit.
  3. Aspirin
  4. Analgesics (pain killers, such as HurriCaine and
  5. Antacids
  6. Antibiotic Ointment
  7. Anti-diarrheals (a simple diarrhea problem can kill
    you quickly without medicine)
  8. Antiseptics
  9. Bandages
  10. Baking soda
  11. Batteries (rechargeable batteries are best)
  12. Bar soaps ~ Right is a 100 hotel-sized bar soaps deal
  13. Beans and other shelf stable foods.
  14. Benadryl or generic allergy medicine
  15. BIC lighters / Zippo lighters
  16. Bike repair tools and inner tubes
  17. Bleach
  18. Bourbon
  19. Booze (moonshine or homebrew)
  20. Bullets
  21. Butter (we found canned butter to barter!)
  22. Cable ties
  23. Candles
  24. Canned foods
  25. Canned fruits, meats, veggies
  26. Can openers. P-38 Military can openers (smaller) P-51
    Military can openers (larger) Set of P-51 and P-38 survival
    can openers
  27. Candy and Chewing gum
  28. Car repair services (if you are a mechanic)
  29. Cigarettes
  30. Clothesline and clothes pins
  31. Charcoal and lighter fluid
  32. Chickens (if you have non-egg laying fryers)
  33. Coffee
  34. Condoms and other contraceptives
  35. Combs. Combs are bound to break eventually and
    people may be unwilling or unable to whittle them.
  36. Cooking oils
  37. Copper is an unusual barting item worth considering
  38. Cordage (paracord, string, twine, rope)
  39. Cornstarch is a multi-use survival item
  40. Cotton balls and cotton rounds
  41. Cough drops
  42. Dental Floss
  43. Detergents (dishwashing, laundry)
  44. Diapers, cloth (for long term off-grid scenario)
  45. Diarrhea Medicine
  46. Dishwashing soaps
  47. Dog food (and cat food)
  48. Duct tape
  49. Eggs, (bartering abundance, if you have chickens)
  50. Epsom salt
  51. Eyeglass repair tools
  52. Firestarters
  53. Firewood
  54. Fish
  55. Fish antibiotics
  56. Fishing gear, line, lures, hooks, sinkers and bobbers,
  57. Flashlights
  58. Freeze dried meats
  59. Garbage bags
  60. Gauze
  61. Gum
  62. Gas
  63. Gold ~barter every last bit of gold in the house to get
    the things you need to survive!
  64. Hairbrush
  65. Haircuts (bartering your career skill). Certainly skilled
    individuals bartered their haircutting services during the
    Great Depression.
  66. Hand sanitizers
  67. Hydrogen peroxide
  68. Ibuprofin
  69. Instant ice packs
  70. IOSAT
  71. Kerosene (lamp oil)
  72. Laundry detergent
  73. Lip balms
  74. Lotions, including moisturizing and sunscreen lotions
  75. Marijuana
  76. Mason jars
  77. Masks
  78. Matches
  79. Medicines for pain, diarhhea,
  80. Medical services (bartering your career skills:
    paramedics, nurses, physicians)
  81. Mosquito repellent.
  82. Motor oil
  83. Nails and screws
  84. Nitrile Gloves
  85. Pennies. Copper pennies have about double the face
  86. Pencils and pens will be necessary in a long-term off-
    grid scenario.
  87. Petroleum jelly ~ Vaseline has infinite prepper uses
  88. Polishing cloth for eye-glasses
  89. Powdered milk
  90. Rabbit Meat (bartering abundance  if you raise rabbits)
  91. Razor blades
  92. Repair (bartering your skills as a handyman)
  93. Rubbing Alcohol
  94. Rum
  95. Salt with iodine, sea salt and himalyan salt
  96. Seeds (heirloom)
  97. Sewing notions, including safety pins, thread,
    needles, etc.
  98. Services - haircutting, chiropractic care, vehicle repair
    or maintenance, dental and medical services,
    recharging devices from solar power...
  99. Shampoo
  100. Shoes. Kids will need the next size up of shoes and
    shoes will wear out. Good walking shoes, sneakers and
    boots will be in high demand.
  101. Shoe repair, and shoe laces or leathers. Always
    pack extra shoe laces in your bugout bag. They are
    ideal cordage and come in handy when you need it for
    long treks.
  102. Silver bouillon and junk silver.
  103. Soaps (liquid soaps, bar soaps)
  104. Socks. A fresh pair of socks will be a godsend in times
    of crisis.
  105. Spices.
  106. Sponges, scrub brushes
  107. Sugar (Pure Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar). Sugar
    was a highly valued commodity during the world wars.
  108. Super glue. When you need to fix something, it's
    SuperGlue to the rescue!
  109. Surgical masks and respirators
  110. Tampons and feminine pads. As long as you have
    menstruating women, this will be a need. Preppers also
    know how valuable tampons and feminine pads can be
    to stop bleeding!
  111. Tea
  112. Toilet paper (hardly a prepper will want to give it up)
  113. Toilet paper tabs
  114. Tools: axe, hammer, saw, shovel, spade,
  115. Toothpaste, toothbrushes
  116. Vegetables from your garden
  117. Vick's VapoRub
  118. Vitamins
  119. Vodka
  120. water purification tablets
  121. wet wipes
  122. WD-40
  123. Whiskey
  124. Wine
  125. Wool blanket
  126. ZipLock Plastic Bags
  127. Zote soap and other bar soaps like Fels Naptha

Look to bartering, past and present:
The bartering list above was garnered from multiple prepper
sources with ideas from prison bartering systems, and bartering
records of the world wars, as well as stories from the
Depression, and survivors of Bosnia 1992-1995.

Each crisis brings new ideas of what might be valuable for
bartering, for example:

  • Economic downturn. While it's true that people became
    poor virtually overnight, there were problems endured over
    the long term. In the ten-year span of the Great Depression
    people cobbled and repaired shoes as best they could
    because their shoes just fell apart. They also gathered
    apples to sell to help add variety to their meals.

  • Rationing during the World War II. Soldiers in World War II
    were given rations of chewing gum, which was highly prized
    for barter overseas. They also learned to split matches
    carefully in two to double the use. People learned the value
    of saving their cooking oils. Wartime also changes bartering.
    People turned to victory gardens to add to the food supply
    and neighbors bartered amongst themselves.

  • War in Bosnia. During strife in Bosnia, one survivor valued
    his BIC more than a generator. At about a dollar a BIC, you
    can imagine the bartering value you'd have in stockpiling this
    very important firestarter.

  • Below is a video about how survivors in Venezuela are
Ultimate Prepper's guide
Nutristore Meats
Freeze dried hamburger
Can Openers
gab social media profile for happypreppers