Top 10 Bartering Commodities For A Disaster

When disaster strikes
When disaster strikes

In a grid down scenario where the power grid goes out and you no longer have access to grocery stores, sporting goods stores, and restaurants, the items that you have stockpiled are going to be the only items you have left to sustain yourself.

Money will no longer be as valuable. Rather, the new commodities will be the random yet valuable items that we take for granted each day but that will prove to be immensely valuable for you and your family in the midst of a disaster.

Whenever you’re running low on a certain item in a disaster scenario, bartering with someone else may be the only option you have left to get more of that item…and that means you need to have something equally valuable to give in return.


Here are the top ten bartering commodities for a disaster scenario:

Baking Soda


Without question, baking soda is one of the most multipurpose and versatile cleaning agents/personal hygiene items there is. You can use baking soda to make the following:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Dishwashing Soap
  • Floor Cleaner

Baking soda is definitely something that you should be stockpiling lots of for disaster, and not only for yourself, but for trading and bartering as well.


It’s no secret that everyone loves coffee. Well, almost everyone. Coffee is one of the most popular products in the world, and while it’s not a true survival necessity, people with a strong affinity for coffee will do anything to get their hands on it in a time where it becomes only more rare and precious.



Even if you’re not a coffee drinker yourself, stockpiling it for disaster or the purposes of bartering and trading will be a very wise move on your part. In addition to coffee, be sure to stockpile coffee filters too, which can be used for a number of survival purposes:


  • Water Filter
  • Makeshift Bandage
  • Cool Compress
  • Fire Tinder
  • Wrapping Food

Duct Tape

Any of us who has used duct tape in the past knows how amazing it truly is. Duct tape can be used to fix pretty much anything, and in a disaster scenario, this means repairing shelter, vehicles, or bottles and containers to name a few things. You can also use duct tape to tie a splint over a broken limb, as a makeshift bandage, as a sling for your arm, or as a restraint.



The best thing about duct tape is how cheap and available it is. You can stockpile entire boxes or containers full of duct tape, which you can use either for yourself or for bartering.


Food is one of the most valuable bartering commodities of all because it’s a commodity that EVERYONE understands the value of. Everyone needs food to survive, and it’s something that everyone will go desperate for.



Not only do you need to stockpile plenty of food for you and your family, you also need to stockpile lots of it for trading and bartering too. The best kinds of foods to stockpile are foods that are long lasting and nutritious. Examples include beans, white rice, flour, and canned meats and vegetables.


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Gasoline is another commodity that pretty much everyone fully sees value in. We need gasoline to power our generators and vehicles such as our cars, motorcycles, and ATV’s. Since we need vehicles to bug out of town and out of danger, gasoline is going to be one of the most in-demand trading commodities there are in a disaster scenario.



When stockpiling gasoline, remember to store it in clean red containers in a cool and dim location. Never store gasoline in your house for safety reasons.

Paper (and Pens and Pencils)

In the event of a disaster such as an EMP attack where all electronic items become shut off, pens and paper are going to become more valuable than ever before. We need paper to record things, to write letters and notes to people, to keep track of our rations, to write stories, and so on.



All kinds of paper will be valuable as a trading commodity, including blank white computer paper to lined notebook paper.



A simple bar of soap will be worth a lot in a disaster scenario, and it’s something that you’ll definitely want to stockpile lots of for disaster. Soap is yet another trading commodity that literally every single person is going to see value in, and it’s also something that you can store in bulk and on the cheap.


There’s no question that tarps are one of the best shelter building items out there, and they will be highly valuable to refugees who have been forced to evacuate their homes as a result of a disaster.

Tarps can be used for the following uses in a survival or disaster situation:

  • Shelter Building
  • Makeshift Stretcher
  • Rain Water Catchment
  • Window Curtain
  • Makeshift Hammock
  • Flotation Device
  • Signaling Device (if brightly colored)

Trash Bags


Here’s an item you may not have expected to see in this list. Even though garbage bags may seem like a relatively mundane commodity, the truth is they will prove their worth in any survival scenario. Trash bags can be used for the following survival uses:

  • Disposing of Trash (obviously)
  • Makeshift Poncho
  • Storage Bag
  • Makeshift Toilet
  • Shelter Building
  • Mattress (stuff with leaves and grass)
  • Signaling Device (if brightly colored)


Last but certainly not least, we come to what is easily the most precious survival commodity of all: water. The human body can only survive a maximum of three days without water, and will become severely dehydrated in less than one day without it, which is why water will become perhaps the most in-demand trading commodity there is.

Be sure to store your water in clean containers in a cool and dark room. In addition to water, you would be wise to store canteens, containers, purification tablets, and water filters as well.


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nick-oetken is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival