Apocalyptic Wealth: Trading, bartering and what to prepare

We’ve all seen the movies and shows where society collapses, people have to survive when money is worthless, but have you really thought about what YOU would do realistically?  The goal of this article is to get you thinking or maybe give you new ideas of what you can trade or barter with in a SHTF scenario. 

There’s things you can start saving and stockpiling now for barter and trade later and other things that you’ll need to learn how to produce as your stockpile will most likely dwindle faster than you think and you do NOT want to be left with nothing of value when you and yours are hard up for food, medicine or other life saving items. However this article will only be for pre-collapse prepping/investing.

Pre-Collapse Prepping: Hypothetically It’s present day and you’re feeling pretty good about life, you have enough money in savings to survive most modern day issues, maybe a steady job, 401k and some trendy crypto investments to “hodl” onto, but will these things help you during a SHTF scenario?  The obvious short answer is NO.  

During a collapse, electricity on a wide scale will undoubtedly go out simultaneously, bringing down the internet, and any electronic banking, investing or savings you might have.  If you’re a millionaire only in numbers on a computer, you’ll be destitute merely seconds after the power goes out for good.  

So what can you do to prepare for this sort of situation? This is a tricky question, and it depends a lot on your current situation and means that you currently have at your disposal.  Below is a list of some realistic ways to prepare pre-collapse: 

  • Physical precious metals like Gold/Silver
    • Gold/Silver has been a main purchasing power throughout nearly all of humanity and it will undoubtedly be one during a SHTF scenario.  
    • You can start saving and hoarding your precious metals even on a tight budget as there are local stores and online stores that will let you purchase as much or as little as you can afford. 
    • Even if a collapse never happens in your lifetime a stockpile of physical precious metals will have only gone up in value and can be traded back for cash value if needed or you can give them to your children as inheritance that the government cannot tax you on. 
  • Ammunition
    • No matter what your views are regarding firearms, the fact that ammo will be worth it’s weight in gold during a SHTF scenario doesn’t change.  Keeping ammo on hand and in large quantities can not only help you survive if violently attacked, but can also serve as a very valuable trading item.
    • Different types of ammo will be worth different amounts to different people depending on what type of firearm they have to shoot it, so keeping commonly used rounds on hand is preferred.  9mm, .45acp, .223/5.56, 12ga, 30-06, .308 and .22lr are all very common and keeping any of these on hand can help you out with bartering. 
  • Alcohol & Liquor 
    • Just like Ammunition/Firearms, your personal opinion about Alcohol will not diminish its value during a SHTF scenario.  Not only will other people want it for drinking, but others may need it for disinfectant or cleaning. 
    • Unopened liquor has a nearly unlimited shelf-life so you can start collecting your booze now, but don’t open it as opened bottles of liquor usually only keeps for 1-2 years before degrading. 
  • Hunting Gear
    • Getting food will not be as easy as it once was and you won’t just be able to stroll to your local Bass Pro shop or Walmart to pick up some bow arrows, fishing pole and or small game traps, so having a much of these items stored as you can (even if you don’t know how to hunt) is just a good idea.
    • You’re surely to run into someone in a SHTF scenario that either knows how to hunt that could use your items or could teach you to hunt and you can use your own items, so in either case, it will benefit you to have them. 
  • Salt
    • Salt is important, not only to make food less bland (which will be a huge issue during a SHTF scenario), but also because it’s a mineral your body needs (especially when running low on food and dehydrated).
    • Since you most likely will not be transporting large amounts of food long distances you’ll likely use it for your own food and to barter with as most people have no knowledge of how to find salt for their use outside of the grocery store. 
    • Buy and store as much salt as you can and you won’t regret having if the occasion should arrive. 
  • Medical & Hygiene
    • This section should go without saying, but knowing that you’ll pretty much ONLY be able to get these items pre-collapse might help motivate you to get a head start on stockpiling the more important ones below:
      • Antibiotics 
      • Scissors
      • Gauze Pads
      • Tourniquets
      • Tampons/Pads
      • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
      • Tylenol/Aspirin
      • Disinfectant
      • Ointments
      • Pain Meds
      • Rubbing Alcohol
      • And anything else you can get your hands on
  • Clothes
    • Believe it or not, clothes will become a bigger problem than you think.  Wear and tear of your current clothes will be accelerated without proper cleaning and with heavy use.  Also running to the mall to scavenge some clothes will likely be unsuccessful as you’re not the only person who will be running into this problem.
    • One way of doing this might be to hold onto some of the better clothes you no longer wear instead of selling them at the next yard sale or taking them to goodwill, this will take up space, but also won’t cost you anything extra. 

There are many items that other preppers would potentially add to this list, but to keep this from becoming a short book, I’ll stop here.  Remember, skills you learn will always be worth more than physical items when it comes to preparing for a SHTF scenario, but a combo of both is the best plan.

Our Bucket-List: Things we should all do before we die

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes people ultimately happy as well as myself, and that can be a pretty diverse subject given everybody has different goals, passions and things that they want out of life.  With that in mind I wanted to put together a list of things that I believe would give nearly everybody some memories to look back on with fondness as they ponder their life in their final days.  Some will be more specific and others will be broader, but all will be important in my opinion. 

Leaving something behind: 

  • Making your mark on the world before you go is a goal for many people, but it can also come in many forms.  For some their “mark” is their company they started that grows and becomes successful beyond themselves, for others, it’s a novel they spend years creating and for some it’s simply just raising a family that can carry on your traditions and values to the next generation.   No matter what your mark is, make sure you know it, make sure you aren’t left with no time on the clock wishing you could still leave one. 

Knowing you at least tried: 

  • One fear of mine and many others has been the fear of “what if”.  I don’t want to be that guy on his deathbed who looks back at his life with regret, especially regrets that I could change right now in this moment where I currently exist.  Do you have a business you want to start? THEN START MAKING PLANS AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES.  Do you want to travel more?  THEN START MAKING PLANS AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES.  Reference the “Getting out of your comfort zone” bullet below as I feel it goes well with this topic and remember, you’ll only be answering to yourself in those final days. 

Impacting other people:

  • This one is HUGE.  Think to yourself, when you look back on your life in your final days, will you get more satisfaction out of the money you made, the things you collected or would you get more satisfaction out of the fact that you know you directly helped or influenced others to help people who need it most.  This doesn’t have to be directly related to charity causes or homelessness, but it can be as simple as being genuine and honest with people who need it.  I was an Army recruiter for a few years as well as a tech recruiter and I helped people either get away from a bad home life or get started in the career they were aiming for resulting in their success.   The fact that I was able to influence these people and others positively makes me feel more fulfilled and happy with my performance as a human in my short existence.  

Pushing yourself: 

  • There’s levels to this one.  When it comes to “pushing yourself”, whether it be physically, emotionally or otherwise, it’s subjective and depends on your own perspective.  What is considered “pushing oneself” for one person, might be easy for another depending on how hard you’ve been “pushed” in the past.  So this will require an honest analysis of yourself and your own capabilities.  For me, I served 10 years in the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper.  I had to push myself running many miles, sleep deprivation, many months away from friends and family.  I will be able to look back on this and other times of my life knowing that I did indeed push myself in life.  Have you? 

Getting out of your comfort zone: 

  • We all get comfortable, and when we get comfortable we don’t want to ruin it by shaking things up, but you can still be stagnant in life even being comfortable.  The best way I’ve found to do this is to take a chance and just DO IT!  An example I’ll give is after I get home from work, I’ll eat some food and as soon as I relax on the couch a friend texts me and says “Hey lets hang out tonight”, “have a fire”, “go pick up that thing we were supposed to get” or something similar.   It could be easy to justify staying on the couch and some days I do this for sure, but I’m trying harder and harder to say “YES”, get my butt off the couch and DO SOMETHING and since I’ve been doing this, I’ve noticed that I NEVER regret doing that other (usually more productive/memorable) thing. 

Traveling:

  • One of my favorite quotes about travel comes from Mark Twain “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  This quote alone explains why it’s healthy, but for me, traveling let’s you see and appreciate the world you live in without stagnating in one country or area.  I have many great memories and experiences that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.  Travel more.

Family:

  • This might come as an obvious for most, but there are a large number of people out there who say things like “I’m never getting married or  having kids” as they think that “freedom” will give them happiness.  From what I’ve observed in my own life and looking at others I can say I would never want to live a version of my life where I didn’t have a wife, children and family that I care for, this alone is the biggest item on my Bucket-list.

I hope this article at least helped put you into a new frame of thinking when it comes to your bucket list and what you want to get out of life.  Life, no matter your experience in it, is still Amazing and to waste that experience would be the biggest regret of all. 

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