5 Best Off-Grid Currencies That Don’t Require Electricity

TDB's picture

Via The Daily Bell

When zombies attack or when the electric grid is taken down by an EMP or solar flare, trade must go on.

Currently, about 90% of U.S. dollars exist only digitally. Even if fiat cash remained valuable post-apocalypse, it would be pretty hard to come by.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are great, but still rely on electricity and the internet to function.

So what are the best off the grid currencies for a worst case scenario?

A currency stores the value of labor or goods that are otherwise hard to store, trade, and transport.

A Proper currency will not physically deteriorate over time. It will be widely useful, all the better if you can use it yourself, worst case scenario.

Here are the five best off the grid currencies to hoard, or have the means to create.

1. Distilled Spirits AKA Moonshine–Hard Freakin’ Alcohol!

We would never advocate that you break the law, except for right now when we encourage you to break any stupid laws against brewing your own hard liquor. Or try to navigate the legal minefield of home brewing, either way.

Whiskey was the currency of choice for Western Pennsylvanians after the Revolutionary War. Instead of hauling grain to market over hill and through dale, they converted it to whiskey. This was much easier to transport and trade since it had high value for a low volume. The scumbag Alexander Hamilton ruined that by demanding a whiskey tax paid in coin. This set off the Whiskey Rebellion which set the precedent for the terribly cronyistic and centralized government we have today.

But anyway, alcohol sales are generally recession proof. Worst case scenario, you can drink your money and drown your sorrows.

Amazon actually sells a stove top distiller… FOR DISTILLING WATER you degenerates.

Another easy way to distill alcohol is by using a big pot where you slowly boil your fermented mash. Place a smaller bowl that floats in the mash, and then a larger bowl over the top of the pot. The idea is that as the alcohol boils off, it collects on the bottom of the larger bowl covering the pot, and drips into the smaller floating bowl.

If you have access to below freezing temperatures, another makeshift method is to strain the alcoholic mash, and freeze it. The water will freeze before the alcohol, so any remaining liquid is your moonshine.

Alcohol is also a great disinfectant, and preservative.

2. Ammunition. The Silver Bullet of Currency.

Just make sure your ammo is for widely used guns. I’m not sure how much your 7.62×54 Russian is going to trade for on the apocalyptic market.

Of course, your bullets could rust and deteriorate, but kept under the right conditions, they should outlive you.

It also helps if you can make your own ammunition. So go ahead and buy up a crapload of brass casings, lead, gunpowder, and a loading press.

Worst case scenario, you just bought yourself a lifetime supply of cheap bullets.

In terms of using it yourself, there is obviously protection from people and animals, but also hunting. Squirrels will start tasting like chicken pretty quick.But stick to the .22s for squirrel hunting, anything bigger and

But stick to the .22s for squirrel hunting. Anything bigger and we’re talking squirrel puree.

3. Soap. This gives money laundering a whole new meaning.

If you have water, fats, and lye, you can make soap. Soap is actually pretty rare these days. Real soap is a chemical reaction between lye and fat. Most commercial soap is just chemicals and fragrance.

But soap is always useful, doesn’t go bad, and easily transported and stored. That makes it the perfect currency.

It’s not a luxury item, it is a sanitary item that prevents disease.

You can make a good soap with water, lye, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, and some essential oils.

Check out the soap calculator here to get started.

You can also use animal fats, but that might make it tough to trade with vegans.

4. Tobacco and Cannabis. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

In the German concentration and prisoner of war camps, cigarettes were as good as gold. Actually, they were better than gold. You couldn’t smoke gold, what use was it?

A little reprieve from the terrible reality of life, or a bartering item for an extra bowl of soup. It actually didn’t matter if you smoked cigarettes or not. Enough people did that it was widely accepted. Now clearly not as many people smoke cigarettes. But tobacco is still widely used enough that chances are it will be accepted even by non-smokers.

Tobacco actually has some medicinal uses. Swallowed, it can dispel worms and other parasites. But mostly it has the same appeal as alcohol–a little escape. The type that survives–and may even proliferate–in economic crisis.

Marijuana, on the other hand, can relieve stress, and dull pain. It can help people sleep, or help the sick work up an appetite. Cannabis may even ease seizures and control spasms. It is a medicinal plant, and would likely be in demand in an apocalyptic scenario.

Both tobacco and cannabis are light weight and easily traded in bulk.

Right now anyone can legally grow weed in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, D.C., Nevada, and Oregon. It is also legal to grow marijuana for personal use in Uruguay and South Africa.

We recomend growing it in case of emergency if it doesn’t put you in a precarious legal position.

5. Dried Food, especially whole beans and corn.

Here’s an idea if you are worried about being robbed, or food being confiscated. Disguise your dried food as art.

The featured image of this post shows a variety of dried beans and lentils arranged in jars. This looks pretty and can be kept on a shelf, mantle, and other inconspicuous locations. You could do the same thing with dried rice or corn.

It is great to have these extra stores of value which can be eaten or traded in times of crisis. But the best part about whole dried beans or corn is that they can also be planted. Not only is this a store of value, it can create more value. And it is much more likely to fly below the radar of thieves and looters.

What do you think of these off-grid options for diversifying your emergency currency portfolio?

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RTUT's picture

Anyone who trades, much admits to having, ammo and alcohol to people when they may be starving people looking for food and drugs is nuts.  That would be a good way to be attacked by a drunk using your ammo.  The only ammo I would trade would no longer have a casing, powder, or usable cap, and it would be strategically placed to stop a beat down, robbery, or what ever else they might have in mind.

pc_babe's picture

fort got Gold and Silver

RayKu's picture

I'm going to suggest some research into long term storage of coffee. Those of you thinking of, or storing preroasted coffee are in for a nasty surprise if you try to use it two or more years later.

RTUT's picture

Instant coffee is what I keep for such an occassion.  Better than nothing.

Hobbleknee's picture

Regarding #3, can't you just stock up on store-bought soap?

grekko's picture

You could, at about $1/bar. Or you could make it for 15 cents/bar.   There is a series of books called Foxfire.  The one book I have covers moonshining, faith healing, soap making, log cabin building growing food, and a ton of other topics.  They were written in the early 70's by University of Georgia students who went up into the mountains of Georgia and spent time with the old timers there.  Lot's of good pictures and info.





Stinkytofu's picture

batteries, lots of batteries....and usb connectors.

to sell to the the proud owners of bitcoins and erectlonic warrets.

hey mister!  trade ya 3 "D" cells for yer wife!


Lost in translation's picture

Stockpiles of everything will be forcibly taken by armed gangs/warlords with large, personal armies making liberal use of heavy weaponry.

Females will become commodities.

Some of you seem to actually believe the bullsh#t that disinformation agent John Rawles, preaches.

You will learn the hard way.

RTUT's picture

It has been theorized that living at least 10 miles away from the outskirts of cities is a good idea when considering your scenario.  But when it all runs out in the cities there will be the hunting parties you mention.  Home made Claymores, Viet Nam pungy sticks, anything you can think of at your property edge, and don't forget to invest in a compound bow, crossbow, and night vision.  This sounds fun.  I love shopping for this stuff.

grekko's picture

In some places maybe, but I doubt very much where I live.  Everyone is either a hunter or just plain packing.  I can pull together at least 30-40 guys locked and loaded.  Gangs will last seconds, warlords a little longer befor they are picked off by sniper fire.

jughead's picture

so that pretty much makes you one of the warlords.  whoops. 

idontcare's picture

"Stockpiles of everything will be forcibly taken by armed gangs/warlords with large, personal armies making liberal use of heavy weaponry.

Females will become commodities."

This has always been the way for many.  It just depends which "side of town" you live on.   The reality is that those who have lived in many "wrong sides of town" will fare best while the weekend warriors, trendy city dwellers who stay away from "those" areas, and suburban housewives & their commuting hubbies will be some of the first to succumb to the mercy or ire of the gangs/warlords.


RTUT's picture

If you are speaking of left winger white democrats, I agree in regard to suburban areas.  In my area the UPS driver who delivered a case of ammo to me said he delivers multiple cases of ammo to many of my neighbors monthly.

Sun Rabbit's picture

What, you won't be able to use Franklin Mint Collectibles, baseball cards, Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, comic book collections, plastic shower curtain rings, old stock certificates, old matchbooks, or phone cards? WHAT KIND OF AN APOCALYPSE IS THIS?!?! If I get a call from a public opinion researcher DURING the apolaclypse asking me (on a scale of 1 to 5) about how satisfied I am with The Apocalypse I'm gonna say ONE, so THERE! And, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna say I think it SUCKS because I can't trade my authetic reproduction Elvis doll from the Franklin Mint for a tank of gas. So, so SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS! 

idontcare's picture

Disagree on the soap.  The rest are on my list.  One that men would never think about would be "feminine hygiene products" - these will be more useful for you horndogs once civilization crumbles than pantyhose were to your great granddads during WWII.  


StarGate's picture

If you want female companionship, you better have Soap. For dishes, clothes, stinky kids and smelly road warriors.

RayKu's picture

You would be wrong regarding what men would not think about. Every form of feminine hygiene products that doesn't time out in less than six months has been stored. The thought process of using it to get laid was not the purpose either. In normal circumstances, a clean female is a happy female. One without access to necessary products for hygiene will trade about anything to get them.


ThrowAwayYourTV's picture

Chickens, eggs, rabbits, milk, meat, vegetables, medical supplies, heat. All the basics. I don't think gas will be bigly, not for me anyway. I can walk or ride a bike about as far as I'm intersted in going anyway.

So! SHTF? I'll trade you a chicken and 6 eggs for some moonshine. Gotta have some recreation yaknow.

RTUT's picture

Livestock is a good idea, especially the type you don't have to have outside feed sources.

NukeChinaNow's picture

ATFE-Alcohol, tobacco, firearms and ?

Should be ATFFoo-Alcohol, tobacco, firearms and Food.

CoCosAB's picture

"Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are great, but still rely on electricity and the internet to function."


GO TELL THAT to the dumb fucks buying fake electronic money!

Duc888's picture



Thanks for those links.

Farmerz's picture

Where do you people find time to do all this stuff??

King of Ruperts Land's picture

"electric grid is taken down" - This does not mean there will be no electricity anywhere. Hook things back up and sell electricity. Fix the CO and sell phone service.

Setting up an oil business like ISIS does is a way to have a valuable good to trade.

Get some tanker trucks and welding equipment. Go to an oil well and put together a crude refinery and sell gas and diesel.

The left over tar and some chicken feathers can be used on the fucking assholes wherever you find them.

If you don't have skills, but have a gun, then work as security. If you have no skills, then just perform hard labor. If you are female, get knocked up and have babies.

Work hard and Make America Great Again. Good Luck.

didthatreallyhappen's picture

For liberals:

1. dildos

2. dildos

3. dildos

4. dildos

5. dildos

RTUT's picture

Arse dildos for the liberal men.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Salt is so cheap now, why not have a ton if you have a dry place. You can use it cure meat and sell it.

OverTheHedge's picture

You can salt the contents of your freezer, should the power go down long term. Big bin or barrel, and lots of salt. Chuck the meat in, cover completely with salt, and keep until you need it. Lots of soaking needed, and it won'tont be the tastiest, but it will be edible protein.

idontcare's picture

Bricks of coffee should be stacked & hidden in a cool, dry place as well!

HenryHall's picture

> If you have water, fats, and lye, you can make soap

Heck, Home Depot doesn't sell lye at all and at Lowe's it is outrageously expensive costing a lot more than the soap you could make with it.

Just hoard soap, making soap is ridiculous.

ThrowAwayYourTV's picture

you can make lye from wood ash If you have to. I'd rather stack cheap soap, as you said.

Sweet Cheeks's picture

Amazon sells 5 pounds of Sodium hydroxide for $19.95.

Soap Ingredients
18.5 ounces Olive oil – moisturizing
12 ounces Coconut oil – for good lather
9 ounces Palm oil – for a firm bar
1 ounce Shea butter – moisturizing
5.8 ounces Lye – a.k.a. Sodium Hydroxide
13.5 ounces water

These ingredients yield 51 ounces of soap, cut into 14 bars. The total cost of ingredients per ounce of soap was only 15 cents!

California Nightmares's picture

Why not just buy some fucking soap at the dollar store?? It's practically free, now. And it stores pretty much forever. Ever heard of  Pugsley's "Alpha Strategy" ?

For the very long term, Lewis Dartnell, "The Knowledge": extract sodium and potassium carbonates by soaking wood ash in water.  Pour off and dry the clear liquid. Bake residue in kiln to produce NaOH and KOH.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Sodium hydroxide is dirt cheap by the ton. Bulk chemicals that can be used to make things people need would be tradable.

paint it red call it hell's picture

Not mentioned but certainly at #1 or 2 on my list is toilet paper.

Never missed until you don't have it.

Trogdor's picture

The scumbag Alexander Hamilton ruined that by demanding a whiskey tax paid in coin.

I'm glad someone else thinks that AH was an utter scumbag.  We need an Aaron Burr day.  God knows how much further into the Banksters clutches we would have been if that filthy Rothschild agent (AH) had lived longer - he did enough damage as it is .....

pine_marten's picture





Bottles, jars and containers

deimos178's picture

Fuck it, if it gets down to Mad  Max time, I will be sitting on my front porch with locked and loaded firearms sipping adult beverages. I have a clear field of fire for several hundred yards, a few years of supplies stored and enough patience to take steady aim even after a few drinks. It's nice and quiet out in the country so I wll hear and see pretty much anyone approaching. I will sleep on the porch also. All the suggestions are great ideas people.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

If you coordinate with your community to form a force, and then less manpower can be used to gaurd approaches and vet strangers.

Sitting on porch sipping beverages while locked and loaded does sounds good also.

grekko's picture

I agree, my neighbor is a SWAT Team captain.  I'm putting him in charge of security.  As for me, I'm a gardener and moonshine maker, and besides, this body was built for comfort.

8th Estate's picture

I don't think it's possible to survive long solo when the SHTF - you'll need to sleep and rest, and what about if/when you fall ill?

And that's before a gang of a dozen armed and hungry guys come to take your stuff - you might get the first few but then it's all over.

You need at least three people capable of guarding, and a team of at least six in total to cope with on and off shifts. Eight might be better if you have the space. But no more than dozen, which is where cohesion starts to slip and factions emerge.

So..........you'll need five friends you can trust, ideally with valuable knowledge/skills/resources, and then you all need to be able to feed and water yourselves until most potential enemies are too weak to attack. At which point you can start roaming the area for supplies etc.

Six people able to last for 50 days.

You'll need a pack of cards.


deimos178's picture

didn't say I was solo. there are about 15 families out here like minded, I'm ex-military and those that aren't have lived and  hunted in the wilds all their lives. We have already decided not to kill everyone, we will try our best to keep one or two from even being wounded so they can dig the graves in the woods. I have dug 6 foot deep holes before by hand and it is no fun at all.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Communities will have a minute man force that can be called out at a moments notice to meet any roving band of bandits and kill them all dead.

After burying bandits, men will return to more productive things. Manufacturing, commerce, trade, farming, home economics, will all still exits.

1033eruth's picture

Thumbs up!  Getting rural away from the feral masses is one of the most critical things you can do.  In the past ten years, how many people have had their lives disrupted by raucous crowds or actual riots in the US?  I would venture to say 100s of thousands.  Something as simple as driving to work and having dindus block traffic, wreaking havoc on your day because you are now trapped on the highway.  Why would anyone want that sort of aggravation in their life?  All because the jobs are in the urban area.  That's the only reason.  Find a way to make money in a rural area and you're set.

pine_marten's picture

One corpse close by will put up quite a stink. Dozens and the stench will drive many insane. Add in the newly feral dogs feasting on them.........