Safe BarteringCrystal Calhoun
Ever barter for something from a Flea Market? Did you get a good deal? Or did you get more than you bargained for? Many in the prepping community feel that if the system fails, most people will resort to bartering. In the event that you should find yourself in a like situation, please be aware. Remember if the system fails, you may find yourself bartering for basic supplies from people of less than honorable intentions. So to help you along, please remember a few things:
1) Situational Awareness
2) Backup Buddy
3) Gambler’s Rule – never show your hand
Situational awareness can be challenging when you feel hungry, thirsty, and tired. Think about those moments in the movies were some weary travelers approach a house or camp fire seeking food and shelter. In the event of a system collapse, you may be in the same situation. After Hurricane Sandy, the news reported of an instance where a man was trading fuel cans of gas for an intimate meeting with women (fuel for sex for those of you trying to figure this out). As a result, you should be fully aware of your surroundings.
• Avoid walking into a building if you can barter outside.
• Identify an escape route.
• Use your back up buddy
A back up buddy, or as the military calls it your Battle Buddy, is someone who assists you in looking out for your best interests. The back up buddy can be man or woman, older or younger. The key is they need to be able to assist you if you need it. Ever meet someone for a purchase from Craigslist? Didn’t feel like meeting them alone? That’s exactly what a back up buddy does for you. He/she provides some added reassurance and security by observing things you may not be able to. As a backup buddy, your job is to ensure that the other person negotiating the trade can focus on the trade while you watch for shenanigans.
Finally, as with any serious barter, follow the Gambler’s Rule – never show your hand. If you are dealing with some flavorful characters, you need to insure they don’t know some of your best goods are available for the taking. By pure accident, you may reach in your bag to retrieve an item for trade and expose something more valuable. Ensure you never bring anything to the table that is not for trade! If it’s there, it may become an item of interest whether you like it or not. That family heirloom that means everything to you may be of significant interest to the other party. Keep it safe by leaving with your backup buddy or somewhere else.
Bartering may end up the way we do things for a while. If it is, keep your backup buddy informed. Always have a plan to safely end a barter, or escape if necessary. Look for any signs of foul play. Keep you and your family safe.