Have you ever thought about the items you’ll use in a survival barter situation? I’ve always thought that it required stacks of dollar bills packed away in my bug out bag. But something changed my mind.
Today I took my car into the local car repair shop. Paying $300 wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but the car works now. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Wayne a lot. If he wasn’t nearby, then the job would surely be more expensive. But the entire experience made me think.
A disaster scenario came to mind. So, what do you think would happen if disaster struck and Wayne had to evacuate? For a minute, I thought that Wayne would be in big trouble having to leave his shop. Tools, lifts, oil, tires, everything. He would leave behind all of the stuff he’d invested in just to save himself and his family. We’d be so happy that we weren’t the ones leaving the shop behind. But there’s some irony to this situation. He’s not in as bad a shape as you think. You see, his skills are evergreen.
#1 Evergreen Skills
Evergreen skills are skills useable anywhere and anytime. They don’t go out of style. They are commonly needed. And they will always be needed. In essence, they are ‘ever’ + ‘green’. So how does this relate to Wayne? He’s a car mechanic. Everyone owns a car. So if he leaves his shop and everything behind, he can still setup shop somewhere else. How does this relate to you? You want evergreen skills. These put you in a good position for survival bartering. But that’s just one way to improve your bargaining power.
#2 Skills Are Tradeable
In disasters you trade. But with what? You could trade old furniture. You could buy bread with those old toys your kids don’t need anymore? But there’s a problem with that idea. How are you going to carry boxes of toys around as currency? That makes no sense. What does make sense is to trade with skills. So instead of carrying around boxes of stuff, you carry around your skill set. Which leaves a lot of room in your bug out bag to pack other stuff. So let’s cover the third thing that will give you bargaining power in survival bartering.
#3 Skills Don’t Diminish With Use
This is the big one. Let me give you an example. If you have 1 radio, and you trade it for 1 pounds of food. You now have your food. But you have no more radio. You are out. The food you will eat, and so you’ve eaten the value you bought. You’ve eaten your currency in essence. On the other hand, when you trade with a survival bartering skill, you still have that skill. After you’ve traded, you still have the same skills that you had before the trade.
So with my friend Wayne, if he needs food, he can fix a tire, and get 3 loaves of bread for his time. And still has just as much skill in his back pocket as he did when he started. Unfortunately, most people don’t think like that. They are concerned more about things than skills.
So to summarize, to be in the best position for bartering, you’ll want the best system. And to have the best system in the world for bartering, you’ll want to have the best skills. And to have the best skills, you want skills that are evergreen, tradeable and that don’t diminish with use.
So let’s do this. Lets come up with a way to get you onto the right road to barter in a disaster. Why don’t you do this. Make a list of your skills that could serve as your survival barter items. Try to come up with 10 skills that you have. Next to each one, put a rating on its value. Try scoring it from 1 to 10. So let’s say 1 is low and 10 will be the highest and most valuable.
Ask yourself what others might need, and if you could see that event happening in a disaster. If you do, then that might be a 10. Do you know radio communications? How about car fixing? Are you a computer guru? Are you a good cook? What’s your fire making ability like? Can you throw up a shelter real fast? Come up with your own Survival Barter List and see how much bartering power you really do have.