SHTF Gear You Can Barter If Necessary

Money is considered one of the most important items for people around the world, but when society or the economy collapses due to a global pandemic or an apocalyptic event, there is a very high chance that money will lose its value, as people would now care more about basic necessities than dollar bills or coins.

Although basic necessities are still important today when society is still running, they don’t really have value since a lot of them are readily available in stores, and these stores have plenty of these necessary items or products in stock. However, when society collapses or experiences an SHTF event, these basic necessities will become much rarer since manufacturers can’t make more of them anymore.

If you are going to prepare for an SHTF event, then you will need several items or basic necessities stockpiles so that you can barter them or exchange them for other important items in the future. Here is an SHTF gear list of items you can barter if necessary.

Canned Food

Of course, one of the essential items that will surely have value when SHTF is canned food, which has longer shelf life compared to other types of food. There are also different types of canned food that can already be eaten even without heating or cooking it, and these canned goods will have better value, especially in situations where you can’t cook.

Bottled Water

bottled water

Another item that you can barter from when SHTF is bottled water, which is a basic necessity that people need to survive. Unopened bottled water is much cleaner to drink compared to tap water, and when society collapses, there is a chance that tap water wouldn’t even be drinkable anymore since it will be contaminated with dirt and grime. You should always refresh your stocks of bottled water and try to keep them under lower temperatures to make them more pleasant to drink.

Heating Items

When you are living in an area where the climate or temperature is cold, heating items can be considered as SHTF gear you can barter, as keeping yourself warm is basically essential for you to survive in a cold climate. There are heating pads that you can stockpile, and there are also candles and lanterns that you can barter since they can also be used to keep a person warm. Of course, pieces of wood and matchsticks are also considered heating items because they can be utilized to make a campfire.

Flashlights and Other Sources of Light

With a collapsed society, there will be moments when there is no power or electricity at home. So, at night, the house and the area outside it will be so dark that you wouldn’t be able to see anything. Because of these situations, flashlights and other gadgets that can produce light are essential for SHTF events and are highly valuable for bartering. The most valuable gadgets for light are the ones with long battery life and have replaceable batteries instead of rechargeable ones, which don’t really have use in cities or towns that don’t have electricity anymore.


rolls of toilet paper

Despite living in a collapsed society, a lot of people would still want to keep themselves clean, and one way for them to do that is to use toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper. In case you didn’t know, toilet paper became a very valuable item during the global pandemic, and if there is a much bigger SHTF event that would happen in the future, toilet paper and other types of toiletries will certainly become rare and more valuable. 

Luckily, stocking up on toiletries is relatively easy, as most of them have a long expiration date, and a few don’t ever expire. Collect as many toiletries or hygiene products as you can so that you will be prepared to barter them when SHTF.


Tools like screwdrivers, hammers, and axes can really come in handy when SHTF or during the post-apocalypse, so it would always be best to keep your tools in their best condition so that you can barter them eventually. Almost all homeowners have tools in their garage or basement, so tools may not be valuable in SHTF events. 

However, there are still some people that don’t see the importance of tools, and bartering your tools with them could be beneficial, especially when they want to fix something in their house. Keep a proper toolbox so that you will know where you placed your tools and can find them quickly in case you need to use them in emergency situations.


All people or households have clothes, but when SHTF, some families may not have the sufficient amount of clothes that can help them survive the post-apocalypse or a severe global pandemic. Different types of clothing can become very valuable in SHTF events, but when the climate or temperature gets colder, winter clothes like jackets, boots, and gloves will surely come in handy for a lot of people. If you have a lot of winter clothes, you can eventually barter them for other basic necessities in case of emergencies.

Medical Supplies

first aid kit

Of course, wounds and injuries cannot be prevented in SHTF situations, so you would need stocks of medical supplies that you can use to make you feel better faster. Much like toiletries, stocking up on medical supplies is relatively easy since they have a long expiration date. So, stock as many medicines and medical tools as possible so that you can use them for emergency situations or for bartering with other people that have extra stocks of other necessities. Basic first aid kits are also important to get since they will have everything you need to heal wounds and minor injuries.

And these are some of the best SHTF items and pieces of gear that you should have so that you won’t have troubles and worries surviving a post-apocalyptic or collapsed society while also utilizing them for bartering in case you run out of specific necessities. It is better to always be prepared, so keep your pantry and your basement stocked with basic necessities in case something bad happens in your town, city, or country.