Exchange by Barter

June 23, 2015

in Tools

In the aftermath of an extreme survival event that shatters or destroys the basic infrastructure of society, using currency to exchange for good may not be possible. The value of our currency is established by the confidence that it is backed by an economic system that is stable and functioning well. Destroy that confidence and the value of the currency plummets.

Before we had currency, we had trade, but is was accomplished directly, without the use of a currency intermediary. Exchange value was established by supply and demand and negotiation at the moment of exchange. Goods and services or work can be directly exchanged as long as the involved parties agree on the value.

Saving money makes good sense as long as the money will hold some value. Converting that money to precious metals, like gold, also makes sense as long as the metal will hold some value after the value of currency has diminished. But even gold can lose value when there is no demand for it. When what we need is a drink of water, a warm fire or some food, gold may seem worthless. If the trading partners we have are in the same condition, they may not accept gold in exchange for anything.

Here is a list of items that might be considered high value:

  • Knives – all kinds and sizes, sharpeners
  • Fire starters – matches, lighters, flintsteels, tinder
  • Water containers – bottles, jugs, tubs
  • Water purification tools – filters, chemicals
  • Seeds – all kinds
  • Gardening tools – hoes, rakes, shovels, trowels, wheelbarrows
  • Hunting/trapping tools – guns/ammo, traps, wire, bows/arrows, fish hooks
  • Medical supplies – antibiotics, sterilizers, bandaging, pain meds
  • Lights – flashlights, candles, lanterns
  • Batteries and charging equipment
  • Solar panels and inverters
  • Fuel and fuel generating equipment
  • Sewing materials – thread, needles
  • Tools – all kinds
  • Weapons – guns/ammo, knives, bows/arrows, pepper spray
  • Communications equipment – radios of all types
  • Key knowledge in many areas

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