Two Letters Re: Another Perspective on Selecting Barter Goods

Mr. Rawles:
I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that thinks having skills in different areas is a great barter tool. I worked for years as a mechanic, in my thirties I changed careers and went into construction as a General Contractor. After about 10 years in construction. I semi-retired and when to school to become a professional farrier. I spent seven years shoeing horses and working metal in a forge. That lead me into custom knife making. My wife & I have been selling handmade and factory knives for the last several years. I have always kept a stock of materials to make knives for along time. We keep a fair number of handmade and factory knives for exactly the reasons of barter. In fact we barter a lot or as we call it trade all the time.
I really enjoy your blog. It has become my daily reading. There is some very good ideas from your readers also. – C. J.


Having just recently found your [SurvivalBlog] web site, I’d like to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed it so far.
Regarding barter items : there are a few things I’ve not really seen anyone mention (at least in the articles I’ve gone through so far)
1. This may sound silly but – toilet paper. Much like ammo it is fairly easily divisible into small amounts, and lets face it, it’s one of those things that no one really thinks about until they need it. Also it has the advantage of being relatively cheap and long lasting if stored in a dry place. It does have the disadvantage of being bulky but if you have the room to store a large quantity it makes an excellent trade item that can’t be used against you at a later time.
2. Nails and screws. Once again, relatively cheap and easy to store. Easily divisible into small quantities and one of those things that you may not think about until you really need it.
3. Feminine hygiene products (pads and tampons) : Until I got married recently I certainly wouldn’t have thought of it but now its definitely on my list. Also pads have the added advantage of making excellent bandages for wound dressings.
To my way of thinking its the little things like this, the things that make life a little more bearable WTSHTF that may have as much, if not more, value as gold or ammo. – M.B.