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The Barter Value Of Skills
SHTF Plan ^ | 4-28-2012 | Tess Pennington

Posted on 04/28/2012 2:26:45 PM PDT by blam

The Barter Value Of Skills

Tess Pennington
April 26th, 2012

This article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness, Homesteading, and a host of other topics at


Recently, we talked about the necessity of learning skills to aid us in a survival situation. Don’t underestimate the value of those skills for barter. If the grid goes down, people may be left with no access to medical care, serious gaps in their knowledge or the inability to repair vital items. If you possess those abilities, your skills will be in high demand.

In the situation of economic collapse, there will be a revival of the barter system. To barter means to exchange your goods or services for someone else’s goods or services. To complete a satisfactory barter transaction, each person must desire something from the other party. Despite the potential of desperation, it’s morally imperative to be fair to the party that is most in need. Remember that one day, that person who is most in need may be you.

Right now, if something breaks, the replacement is only as far away as the closest Wal-Mart. However, in the event of an economic collapse or a disaster that causes the trucks to stop running, it won’t be easy to replace broken items. The ability to repair broken items will be in very high demand. It will be a rare skill, because we live in a world of planned obsolescence. Few people actually know how to repair an item in a sturdy and long-lasting way.

Brandon Smith of Alt-Market calls this about bringing back the American Tradesman:

“If you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long,” he says, “you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large.”

Check out Brandon’s excellent article on the barter system here.

There is no limit to the skills that could be used in a barter situation. Some examples would be:

First Aid for traumatic injuries Sutures

Midwifery/delivering babies

Dental care

Herbal remedies

Animal Husbandry

Veterinary Skills

Teaching children

Teaching skills to adults like knitting, gardening, machine repair, etc.

Mechanic’s skills: the ability to fix solar generators, small machines, automobiles, etc.

Other repair skills: the ability to repair tools, woodstoves, plumbing, etc.



Gunsmithing/Weapon repair

Security services

Food Preservation


Making soap and candles


If the grid goes down or the economy collapses in a long-term way, gone are the days of making your living doing IT work or ringing through purchases at the grocery store. You will need to become not only self-sufficient, but a provider of goods or services.

Consider what abilities and knowledge you possess that can be shared with others. Nobody can do it alone – there is always going to be something you need that you can’t provide for yourself.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barter; economy; prepperping; preppers; selfreliance; shtfplan; survival; survivalping
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To: hope

I just paid $350 for one, but I wasn’t willing to wait for the “wow factor” to depreciate on it.

I’ve been waiting for a 22 like this one to hit the market for many years.

41 posted on 04/28/2012 4:57:31 PM PDT by papertyger ("And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if..."))
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To: JD_UTDallas; All

Here are my skills, but sadly, none of adult children want to “larn-em” - Target and Walmart are so handy, you know!

I can clean and spin wool straight from the smelly old sheep, and know which breeds are good for what kind of wool, what type of garment
can design and knit woolen garments, socks, sweaters, shawls, blankets, using the right wool for the planned use
can thread and operate a loom to weave cloth
can sew clothing (dresses, shirts, pants) from basic patterns
can plant a garden, manage pests with companion planting instead of chemicals
can preserve the harvest with both a water canner and a pressure canner
can also dry the harvest, either by electrical dryers, or the old-fashioned way (sun-drying)
can cook on a wood stove, a camp stove, or more primitive methods.
know enough about nutritional needs to keep people from getting scurvy and other illnesses
can keep baby chicks alive to adulthood for eggs.
know how to train farm dogs to protect home and property.
hand cut, hand piece, and hand quilt bedding.
grind wheat and bake bread
milk a cow or goat by hand
make baskets

Maybe I should auction myself odd as an old granny, good for “larnin’ the young’s, but now much good for plowin’ these days. Can still stir the jam pot, though.

42 posted on 04/28/2012 5:10:15 PM PDT by jacquej
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To: jacquej

odd= off.

Old eyes and arthritis makes for many keyboard funnies.

43 posted on 04/28/2012 5:14:04 PM PDT by jacquej
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To: Pasadena2k
"What can I trade her for? "

I'm thinking that she may be assessing YOUR value at some point in the future, ahem.

44 posted on 04/28/2012 5:17:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: hope
"Wow, My mothers family did this and it was a way of life...I became a hater of alchohol because when I was a kid I tried moonshine...They lived in a dry state and it was the only way to actually make a way to put food on the table. "

My mother said her family seemed to 'fair' better that the other farmers around them during the depression. I'm thinking the money from the moonshine may be the reason.

My father, who's family was near by, "damn near starved."

45 posted on 04/28/2012 5:20:10 PM PDT by blam
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To: jacquej
I've got a cot in the barn, and there's a heater in there. ;)

You sound like a cool granny to have around.

I can shear (hate it), I can spin (hate it), I can weave (would rather build the loom), I am good with a sewing machine (AF did that to me), and everything in the kitchen (culinary school, and countless restaurants, and AF).

I did make a quilt out of my old AF uniforms (won't do that again). Never made a basket, but I can weave mats for draining cheese or rolling sushi.

And I've got the engineering side of my careers...


46 posted on 04/28/2012 5:21:47 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I think every neighbor has at least one other neighbor that fits that category.

47 posted on 04/28/2012 5:22:41 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: jacquej

” good for “larnin’ the young’s, but now much good for plowin’ these days. “

I got a feeling that, in extremis, we “Useless Eaters” will become priceless assets to our communities...

“What to do and how to do it” can be taught - “When” and “Why” comes from a lifetime of experience... ;)

48 posted on 04/28/2012 5:24:12 PM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: blam
What could go wrong with upsetting an ER doc? Besides the whole killing you, bringing you back to life, and killing you ad infinitum thing?


49 posted on 04/28/2012 5:24:16 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lurker
We put back enough ingredients for pretty near 50 gallons. I reckon we are going to be right popular when the SHTF.

50 gallons is a nice starter;)

50 posted on 04/28/2012 5:27:20 PM PDT by Sarajevo ( Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.)
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To: Melas
"What is with all the bitterness that’s infecting FR these days, and which your post is but one example?"

You're alleging "bitterness" on my part from my mention of "busybodies, rumor mongers and false accusers against the property rights and other civil rights of their neighbors." We owe nothing to people like that, and it's not wise to do business with them.

51 posted on 04/28/2012 5:37:46 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: blam
The Fallacy Of Bugging Out – Are You Prepared To Be A Refugee?
52 posted on 04/28/2012 5:41:04 PM PDT by blam
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To: JRandomFreeper

Like the idea of the cot in the barn! Am in Minnesota, but if my kids don’t want me, am willing to relocate.

Very good with babies and young children. Don’t enjoy bored teens so much, but do understand their existential problems. They need hard meaningful work that challenges them, without that, they are lost

Have a sharp and clever mind, but 68 yr. old body doesn’t do stoop labor very well. Good sense of the ridiculous, or else why would I be here on FR.

Probably could learn to shear, if someone could help me hold them down. Did help with birthing them when I was young. Build me a loom, and crawl under to do the tie-ups, and I will do the threading.

If you can weave baskets for cheese, then you can we’ve baskets, but we need to do what satisfies us the most. I am the happiest spinning, knitting, and sewing. Second happiest baking, cooking, and canning.

Engineering is wonderful! Focus on that!

53 posted on 04/28/2012 6:12:26 PM PDT by jacquej
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To: blam

Pinto beans and corn meal! I understand it was a life saver!

54 posted on 04/28/2012 6:55:03 PM PDT by hope
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To: blam
The principles are similar to wineamaking or brewing except its taken to a further extreme. It's easy to experiment. If you are handy with soldering and tools its not that hard. Just saying or so I have been told. I am only stating this for informational purposes as it's highly illegal to to manufacture high potency alcohol for home consumption for :~)
55 posted on 04/28/2012 6:58:34 PM PDT by Polynikes (Hakkaa Palle)
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To: blam


56 posted on 04/28/2012 7:27:39 PM PDT by Pasadena2k
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To: jacquej
I like children. I have several recipes. ;)


57 posted on 04/28/2012 7:32:55 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
"I hear ya. One old lady here on the street is on her own. Sorry. She burned bridges with almost everyone in the neighborhood."

Yes. That's a good example. Imagine a large area controlled from all sides of politics by a majority of such people. They've essentially outlawed most truly productive businesses (e.g., small manufacturing starts vs. zoning regulations).

The default process is what our country needs, IMO. Political activities are corrupt on all sides, and the repudiation of debt will radically cut funding for those. The decline of real estate prices, though sad for many, will probably also be a blessing in disguise. Neighbors without "property values" will be out of excuses for pecking at other neighbors.

As for predictions of a long term, nationwide spectacle of violence, though, I doubt those. Very few of us could stand that for long in reality (not "as seen on TV").

We'll probably see new leadership based on older moral principles, though, after more of the government-connected folks are laid off and take the plunge into poverty, commit a few crimes with less subtlety than in office politics and throw a few tantrums. Poverty can be a real eyeopener--gets people more in touch with physics.

I hope animal "rights" proponents, after having robbed their neighbors with false allegations and unconstitutional laws, enjoy having Spike or Wildfire for dinner. More of the honest and competent producers will be getting out of the business of feeding ingrates.

BTW, after any extreme, large scale disaster, fuel would be in short supply if available at all. As for the economy, as we use less fuel, some countries in Asia and elsewhere continue to use more to continue production and getting new drivers behind the wheel (potentially hundreds of millions of them). Contrary to over five years of popular, feelgood propaganda, those countries haven't collapsed, yet. "Black gold," indeed. That would cut mobility for wanna-be "marauders."

58 posted on 04/28/2012 8:29:16 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: JRandomFreeper


59 posted on 04/28/2012 8:45:27 PM PDT by jacquej
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To: familyop
I have a very short list of people that I will feed. And I don't mind telling someone to go away (and enforcing it). I won't waste resources on keeping problems alive.

Sounds harsh, but with limited resources, I just can't afford it.


60 posted on 04/28/2012 9:10:18 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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