During a major man-made or natural disaster, commodity items will become scarce. Common, inexpensive items that we take for granted today will become some of the most valuable items to own.
Why? Because store shelves will be stripped.
In such an instance, bartering will be widespread, simply because money will hold little value. People will want goods, not money. Bartering is the trading of goods where money is not involved.
So, which items will be the most valuable? Here are bartering items you should consider stockpiling, in alphabetical order:
1. Ammo – Hands down, ammo will be one of the most valuable bartering items in a grid-down scenario. Sporting goods and grocery stores will be stripped clean of all ammunition, and all that will remain is what people stored in their gun safes and cabinets. You should have plenty of ammunition for your own weapons, but have some extra common rounds set aside for a bartering situation.
2. Batteries – Batteries power a lot of things, but what they’ll most be used for in a grid-down situation are flashlights. Stock up on a variety of different kinds.
3. ChapStick – No one likes having chapped lips, but beyond that, ChapStick is excellent for treating small wounds from infection – and even for starting fires (with assistance ). Plus, the cases are so small and cheap that you can buy large bulks of them at once.
4. Cigarettes/Cigars – You shouldn’t take up smoking, but a lot of people who do smoke are going to miss the availability of cigarettes – and will barter for them.
5. Clothing – Shoes, hats, gloves, snow coats and pants — and children’s clothing — are likely to be the most in demand when it comes to clothes.
6. Fire Starters – This includes everything from lighters to matches to flint strikers and beyond. While starting a fire naturally with something such as the fire bow method is more than possible, fire starters make the process much less time and energy consuming.
7. First-Aid Supplies – Simple medical supplies such as bandages, gauzes, Tylenol and ibuprofen will be very valuable.
8. Flour – Flour can be used to make many edible items.
9. Soap/Shampoo – Personal hygiene will be a major concern in a grid-down situation. A simple bar or two of soap may get you a longer ways than you would expect.
10. Tooth Brushes/Toothpaste – For the same reasons that soap and shampoo are a hygiene concern, so will be tooth brushes and toothpaste.
11. Hand Sanitizer – You may laugh at this one, but hand sanitizer does more than kill the bacteria on your hands. It’s an excellent fire-starting resource, as well.
12. Knives – A standard folding or fixed-blade knife is undeniably going to be one of the most useful tools in a grid-down situation, and the value of a sharpened blade in good condition is more than obvious.
13. MREs – The beauty of MREs is that you can buy them in bulk — and they are easily portable. They also provide quick and easy food.
14. Paper – Along with pens, pencils and other writing utensils.
15. Seeds – Planting seeds for food isn’t as fast as MREs, but it’s by far a better source of food for long-term survival if you know what you’re doing.
16. Sugar – Sugar has always had to be rationed in times of war, so expect the supply of it to be even worse in a grid-down situation. While sugar is definitely not a necessity for survival, it is something that people will still crave. Don’t discount it.
17. Toilet Paper – People will be more than welcome to pull leaves off of trees, but even so, toilet paper  will be worth more than you think.
What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below: