Skills that can be bartered post-SHTF
By Mary Miller // Apr 05, 2019

In the event that society collapses, you can expect that cold hard cash will significantly lose its overall value, but that doesn't mean there won't be some rudimentary system of exchange that will eventually take its place. For the continued exchange of goods and services, a primitive barter system will likely emerge. Some people might be lucky enough to have plenty of items to trade away, but these are finite goods and they will eventually run out. If you want to have a true advantage in a post-SHTF economy, you need to acquire a variety of diverse skills that people will still have a continued demand for. Here are some of the top bartering skills you should learn before the collapse of society. (h/t to


Medical training

Disease and injury probably will be rampant in a post-SHTF world, which is why doctors and nurses will likely become valuable assets to the community. There will always be people in need of medical assistance, so if you have knowledge even in just basic emergency medical care, this knowledge can be worth its weight in gold. If you want to diversify your skill set even further, you can learn about both conventional medicine and natural remedies. This can be incredibly useful since conventional medication probably won't be in production anymore. If you can identify useful herbs that can serve as natural alternatives to these medications, then you will be able to treat people just by using what nature can provide.

Mechanical knowledge

Since most repair shops will likely be closed, being able to repair cars, heavy machinery, generators, and other equipment will make you a highly sought-after individual in a post-SHTF world. People will still need transportation, so vehicle maintenance will be a vital skill. What cannot be repaired can still be salvaged or re-purposed. With the right know-how and a little elbow grease, you can come up with various DIY projects to make life a little easier in this new world.

Water treatment

Water is life. Without access to clean drinking water, a population can begin to fall ill within a matter of days. However, if you know how to safely treat and purify water, and have the means to do so, you could be seen as a savior to these people. Once the economy begins to reshape itself, you can invest in water treatment as a solid business plan, especially if you live in an area where natural sources of water are scarce.

Construction and carpentry

In a world struggling to rebuild itself, the new society will need plenty of skilled craftsmen to put up new roadways, buildings, and other infrastructure. People will also need new homes. If you have some talent in woodworking, all you will need are a few basic tools and some timber, and you can get straight to work. (Related: Prepping to barter when SHTF: What skills to learn and items to stockpile.)

Weaving and mending clothes

This isn't about establishing a new fashion industry in the wake of civilization's downfall. This is simply about having functional clothing that isn't falling apart at the seams. Your current clothes might serve you well enough for now, but they will be subject to eventual wear and tear. Rebuilding a new society also requires plenty of hard labor, so you can bet that a lot of clothing will get damaged accidentally. This means that holes will need to be patched up, and broken zippers will need to be repaired. Eventually, there will be a demand for new clothing altogether.

Learn what other skills will be in high demand when SHTF by going to

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