40 Items to Barter

Updated: Oct 24

Bartering is such a great tool, not just at TEOTWAYKI, but in everyday life. Whether it’s the loan of tools between neighbors, parents that trade off babysitting, carpooling, or more technical-labour skills, bartering saves money and builds invaluable relationships.


There were many items, that we often take for granted, which were much sought after following the major hurricanes in the southern United States. Some people from spared states and regions sold them at astronomical costs to those in need. Stores were looted, those in need suffered.

Here are 40 items that fit inside a standard 5-gallon bucket that are easily traded during severe crises or if the “shit hits the fan” (SHTF), as they say. Please note: I have left out standard weaponry and ammo, for a few reasons.

  1. Canned Fuel (like Sterno)

  2. Duct Tape

  3. Socks

  4. Hat

  5. Gloves

  6. Candles

  7. A hygiene pack (basically a ziploc bag with a toothbrush/paste, small bar of soap, tissue packet, and a compressed washcloth)

  8. Seeds

  9. Nail Clipper

  10. Knives (as a tool)

  11. Sewing Kit

  12. Batteries (AAA and AA being the most common)

  13. Lighters

  14. Matches

  15. Deck of Cards

  16. Chewing Gum

  17. Reading Glasses

  18. Home or Personal Alarm

  19. Tampons

  20. Condoms

  21. Travel Packets of Over-the-Counter Medications

  22. Vitamins

  23. Hand Tools

  24. Cigarettes

  25. Water Purification Tablets

  26. Mylar Blanket

  27. Toilet Paper

  28. First Aid Supplies (all kinds)

  29. Powdered Creamer

  30. Coffee/Tea

  31. Powdered Drink Mix

  32. Hot Cocoa

  33. Sugar

  34. Oil

  35. Vodka

  36. Peanut Butter

  37. Hard Candy

  38. Canned Stew/Meat

  39. Crackers

  40. Granola Bars

Most of these can be found at a dollar store. A good strategy is to store your “barter bucket” away from your other supplies in the event of disaster so no one sees how much you really have. Also, make the deal first, fetching the items needed in private.


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