Surviving the Economic Collapse: Essential Supplies



Worried about an economic collapse?

Not sure what you should do to prepare?

Check out our tips on surviving an economic collapse below.

Surviving the Economic Collapse: Essential Supplies

History has proven that societies eventually collapse and when they do their citizens are almost never properly prepared.  However, in recent events such as the, economic collapse of Bosnia inthe 1990’s, history has shown us that in times of crisis, certain supplies become valueless and other essential supplies become increasingly valuable.

Supplies that were thought to be easily accessible will become extremely hard to come across once an economic collapse occurs.  Items such as trash bags and even deodorant will be looted from the shelves and not seen again until a supply chain once again becomes established to the populace.

Be prepared for the worst by studying the survivors of other countries’ economical crises and what they stored and bartered with for survival.

Long-Term Supplies for Surviving Economic Collapse

1. Books

Books are one of the most important supplies that pertain to long-term survival.  This is because books possess unlimited knowledge from gardening techniques to scavenging for food and sustenance.

Books can also provide information on how to properly fortify a shelter as well as even mend, treat, and heal life-threatening wounds.

Having a small library of books with a wide range of topics ranging from survival tips to gardening and livestock will be one of the most important essential items for surviving an economic collapse.

2. Fabric

When no stores are open to sell clothing where will clothing come from? Many people will have to become quite industrious especially when it comes to providing new clothing.

This means that items such as fabric will become much more valuable as new clothes will be a thing of the past.  Be sure to store excess fabric especially so that various clothes may be mended, repaired, or made new from scratch altogether.

Possessing additional fabric will also make for a great bartering tool when in need to obtain essential survival supplies.

3. Seeds

When all the stored survival food has been eaten a garden will need to be initiated.  And because gardens do not come pre-equipped with fruits and vegetables the seeds themselves will have to be gathered and properly stored beforehand.

Fortunately, when the time is right (pre-economic collapse) packaged seeds can be purchased with a variety of seeds that will benefit every beginner garden.

If the seeds are already on hand then proper seed storing techniques can be utilized in order to increase the lifespan of the seeds until they are ready to be germinated and grown.

4. Food-Producing Animals

When refuge has been established and shelter is in place food-producing animals will need to be added to the already existing garden.

Even if it is just a few animals to begin with, food-producing animals such as chickens, goats, and even a cow will help to produce much more than just milk.

Poultry from chickens can be gathered and used as protein and the shells can be used to increase the nutrient supply of the garden.

With time and space, additional animals can be added and soon livestock will naturally increase allowing the opportunity to harvest meat.

5. Tools

Many people do not realize how important basic tools will be during a collapse scenario.

In a post-economic collapse civilization, new tools will no longer be produced so building shelter, maintaining protection, and even repairing vehicles will all have to be completed with old tools.

Be sure to invest in and store high-strength tools to ensure their lifetime in case strenuous labor occurs during a post-collapse scenario.

6. Weapons and Weapons Cleaning Kits / Reloading Supplies

Of course, weapons will be used to protect you and your loved ones as well as weapons will be used to hunt and gather food.

However, what happens when a weapon breaks? What happens when weapons become clogged and dirty?

Weapons cleaning kits as well as reloading supplies will need to be in possession in case ammunition runs short on supply.

As well as these tools will need to be used and practiced to ensure that personal firearms can be repaired if necessary and additional ammunition can be provided.

Short-Term and Bartering Supplies

1. Razor Blades

Planning on shaving during a post-economic collapse scenario? How about if you’re a woman? Plan to shave your legs or armpits?  Believe it or not, Razor Blades will be worth about as much as gold in an economically collapsed society.

Shaving will mean that all of your other survival needs have been met and that you are able to tend to your vanity needs by shaving for a distinguished appearance.

Having a stockpile of razor blades will be one of the greatest bartering supplies next to having food and additional ammunition.  Choose wisely if you will be shaving or providing razor blades in order to get the supplies that you may need.

2. Alcohol/Tobacco

Even if you do not drink or smoke there will be those who do.  And in a post-collapse society, many people will turn to substances in order to be relieved from the stress or to just be entertained.

Luckily stocking up on tobacco and alcohol will make a great bartering supply especially if an individual learns to brew homemade alcohol.  If possible, gather information on how to do so in order to always maintain an upper hand in a collapsed society.

3. Service Capabilities

Providing others with your service capabilities will be the ultimate bartering tool.  This is because nothing can replace someone who already knows how to do something.

Whether it’s a doctor, teacher, gardener, security personnel, roofer, construction worker, or even a tailor; the fact that someone maintains a level of industriousness with their bare hands will go a very long way in trade for supplies such as food, ammunition, medicines, and other survival needs.

Realize what services you offer and what services you may be interested in developing in order to offer future essential survival supplies. 

4. Misc. Bartering Supplies

Although they won’t be common additional bartering supplies that will help you get closer to the items you may need in a post-collapse society are: Shampoo, conditioner, gold and silver, chocolate, candy, various short-term medicines, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair combs and ties, and even cosmetic supplies for women will make great valuable trades.

Learn to store these items or items similar to these once a great majority of your other essential survival supplies have already been stored.  It is important to note: In an economically collapsed society having one is none, and having two is one.


“One Year in Hell… Surviving a Full SHTF Collapse in Bosnia.” (Source)

Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE: Think It Can’t Happen Here?

12 Ways to Prepare for Economic Collapse

20 Ways to Prepare for an Economic Collapse

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 15, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  4. MIc

    January 5, 2017 at 10:29 PM

    Water and knowing how to purify water might be the biggest survival/barter item both during the Collapse and after. Without Clean Water, no one will live very long. So add that as #1, to this list.

    Survival knowledge needs to be in your brain, not in books, this will keep you alive until these things might be worth something. So try not to rely on books yourself for knowledge but later you might trade them to the totally unprepared masses.
    All these things are good ideas to have stored. Yet the problem is; that an Economic Collapse in America will result in riots in the cities and it spread out into the country side. It will not be like Bosnia or any other collapse, it will be much, much worse. Those nations were not ethnically diverse nor had the racial tensions we do. They also had economic help from the US and other Nations. Who will be around to help us? No one! Everyone will be busy celebrating our demise instead.

    So how much good or need for bartered goods or services there will be, is very questionable. While every one is fighting to survive. So those things will not be worth much until things settle down and by then they may be lost or destroyed.
    So I suggest splitting them up and putting them in multiple caches. This way if you must reveal one by opening it and are attacked or robbed, you still have other ones to fall back upon. So plan to be somewhat mobile rather than totally bugged in with all your supplies in one spot. This will reduce your vulnerability and need to defend a specific location against all odds.

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