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The Most Valuable Trade Items in a SHTF Scenario

When a disaster strikes and the common rules of society fail, dollar bills won’t have the same leverage as they once had. Sure, you can stockpile gold and silver for their endless value, but it’s important to remember the other valuable goods in a SHTF scenario.


This one sounds obvious, for good reason. Everyone needs to eat, so when you have a can of non-perishable food, that can be bartered with. The value of food is endless because people will never stop needing to eat.

This doesn’t have to be cans of peaches and other endless foods. Growing your own veggies of farming your own meats can also be of value to others, assuming you can keep it fresh.

Alcohol, Coffee, and Tobacco

Generally speaking, these are all addictive substances that people consume as a coping method for one reason or another. While these items don’t exactly add to one’s ability to survive, people still want them. That fact means that booze, cigarettes, and coffee tins can all be used as bartering chips.

If you’re savvy enough, you can even grow your own tobacco plants or develop their own microbrewery, allowing you to produce these items after the SHTF.


There are very few folks that can produce their own bullets. While not impossible, it requires a selection or rare materials and special equipment, both of which will be nearly impossible to find in a disaster scenario. Whether it’s for hunting wild game or protecting yourself from looters, people will continue to want ammo.


In reality, any power source has value. Some have bicycles attached to generators, others have solar panels, and the rest have gasoline engine generators. Not to mention most vehicles use gasoline as fuel. There’s plenty of reasons to need gas. In an extended disaster, gas stations will stop running and the fuel it once provided will be a rare and commonly desired item.

Just make sure you’re storing the fuel correctly for the long-term.

There are tons of other items one could use to barter with: seeds, toilet paper, diapers, water filters. But here are a few items with the strongest buying power. If you’re concerned about a SHTF scenario, it might be good to develop a stockpile of these items.

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