There is a lot of talk in the preparedness community about post collapse barter items. While bartering is great idea, some of the items people suggest having to barter with will probably get you killed.
What items I’m talking about?
There are 3 things that almost always come up as barter items. Alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. Now on the surface, these seem like dandy barter items. There will most certainly be a huge demand for these things. The problem is that what makes these things so valuable, also makes them potentially deadly.
Not A Smart Strategy
Lets face it, these items are valuable because people are addicted to them. Even if you don’t have a moral problem with taking advantage of someones addiction, you should at least consider the possibility that it may cost you or your family members their life. I once saw an elderly baptist couple, on one of those “prepper shows” on television, who were stock piling bottles of vodka and whiskey in their cellar to use as barter items. I wanted to yell at the TV, “What are you thinking?”. When the thin veneer of civilization wears off, how safe do you think it will be to be known as “the elderly Christian couple with a cellar full of booze”? Once word gets around (and you know it will), eventually some desperate soul with nothing to loose will decide to just take it. So what do you think is going to happen when an elderly couple who have little to no defensive firearms training and a high regard for human life face off with a criminal who needs to get his fix? It won’t be a happy ending.
It isn’t just alcohol either. Nicotine and caffeine withdrawal can turn a mild mannered man into a ill tempered man just as quick. Although most preppers fancy themselves as being able to defend their homesteads with firearms, the truth is most will blink or pause before they can bring themselves to pull the trigger. Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes you only make once.
Safe Barter Items
Again, I want to stress that I’m not against bartering. Bartering is a wonderful thing. I would advise, however, that you stock up on barter items that won’t bring potentially dangerous men to your house in the dark of night. Here are some items that will be in demand and are a bit safer to trade with…
Notice I didn’t include ammunition, reloading components, or precious metals in the safe list. While these are things that you most certainly want to stock up on, they are not items you want to be know as a source of. Keep them for yourselves, use them in an emergency, but don’t advertise that you have them. You are much less likely to have someone cut your throat over a roll of toilet paper than a box 30 06 shells.
When the collapse takes place, things will get ugly. Don’t invite trouble that you might not be able or willing to handle.
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