What Skills Can You Barter in SHTF or TEOTWAWKI?

Preppers often think in terms of extra supplies or equipment to survive an extended SHTF situation or even TEOTWAWKI. But at some point, those supplies will run out. And even if you chose the Lone Wolf prepper mode, at some point you are going to have to interact with other people. Very few preppers have the skills and lifelong experience to totally live off the land.

At some point, groups of people will band together. Some will have prior to the event, some after. For long-term sustainability, you better have some skill(s)  that you are good at to barter with. And I don’t think stock brokerage would be a useful one. Once the initial chaos settles down, those who survive will need to be useful.  So lets look at some of the skills or experience that would be useful to others that you might trade for what you need. I will group these into broad categories.

Operation in Nahr-e SarajThe Protector: If you have serious military, police, or security experience, you might be valuable to people who need to be organized to protect themselves. Leadership experience in any of these would be a plus. Can you organize a bunch of former shopkeepers, Wallmart workers, factory workers, stock brokers,  etc. into an effective defense force? Can you teach these subjects as well as lead? Are you familiar with any martial arts? Can you teach weaponcraft?

The Healer: Doctor, Dentist, Nurse, or EMT. If you have any serious training or skills inThe_Doctor_Luke_Fildes_crop the medical professions, you are going to be extremely valuable. Start working now on learning natural healing herbs and ways to provide medical help without the luxury of a staffed emergency room. Stocking up on meds and equipment would be a good idea. You may want to enhance your skills to include veterinary capability.

lossy-page1-800px-NRCSCT07047_-_Connecticut_(716026)(NRCS_Photo_Gallery)_tifThe Farmer: Do you know how to grow food crops? Evaluate soil? Tend food-producing farm animals such as chickens, goats, pigs or cows? You could be the food producer. Can you keep bees? Know how to dig a well?

The Fixer: Having mechanical training in order to repair usable items will be essential.Kovář_při_práci_(Velikonoční_trhy_na_Václavském_náměstí)_055 Are you a car mechanic, a blacksmith, a gunsmith, a plumber?  Can you repair small appliances and small engines? Electronic repair (yes, some electronics will still work and people will figure out how to harness water power for electricity again).

The Builder: Are you a carpenter, or contractor? Do you have experience in architecture? or construction? Can you pour cement properly? Build a wood building? And have you stocked the non power tools that will still work to do it all?

The Householder: Can you make clothes, repair clothes or make soap? Can you spin wool into yarn to make clothes? Are you familiar with canning, dehydrating, sealing, smoking, and storing food? Can you tan and work leather?

The Scrounger: This is a unique individual. Every military unit tries to have one of these. This individual has a viable imagination combined with intense curiosity. His value? The scrounger can look at a pile of scrap metal and see 14 usable tools where everyone else only sees scrap metal. He has an instinctive feeling for where things may have been hidden or stored.Junk99

The above is just an overview sample of skill sets that would be valuable in an extended SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI situation. I’m sure you can think of a lot more. The point here is that if you survive the initial chaos and live to see people coming together again, you had better have some useful skills to contribute to the group, or to barter with. Because there isn’t going to be any “public assistance”.