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

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?


Manthong WakeUpPeeeeeople Sat, 08/12/2017 - 08:51 Permalink

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..an enjoyable read   : - ) ,.. BTW…. If you can personally lift all of your .22 ammo or move it and all of the other sundry calibers on a two wheel dolly…. ….you do not have enough. ….one needs to be ready for Mad Mel if he roars up sitting in the wrong side of a little race car.

In reply to by WakeUpPeeeeeople

True Blue WillyGroper Sat, 08/12/2017 - 14:22 Permalink

I got my hands on 2 gross of those bags of soap, toothpaste, razors, toothbrushes etc. that they give prisoners (hygene kits) a couple years ago.Another highly valuable bartering stock I picked up was a case of Bic lighters -I am thinking I need more.Tobacco actually has a long history of involvement with medicine because it causes capillary constriction and can help stop blood flow / bleeding. (In the 1700's and 1800's stomach surgery in particular involved 'Clinton-ing' someone with a cigar before cutting to reduce bleeding and complications.)Most important things though are -books. Get a small library of things like First Aid, a Boy Scout Handbook, a book of carpentry, (a good encyclopedia will serve you well) a primitive cooking book, instruction on the proper preparation and curing of small game and their hides, etc. etc. The most powerful weapon at your disposal is your brain -be prepared to use it. Just having the knowledge and/or skills to survive will be valuable and skills can be bartered like anything else (except they can't be stolen.)BTW -lye can be obtained by burning limestone or seashells in a hot fire and adding water to the ash, then filtering it (something an encyclopedia will tell you in more detail.)

In reply to by WillyGroper

HockeyFool PhysicalRealm Sun, 08/13/2017 - 06:37 Permalink

Lye can also be made from ash from your fire. And since most people that survivie will have to burn wood to heat their shacks and cook food, it will be readily available.I disagree with his dried beans and corn advise. How many decoration would you need around your house to survive a couple years? Just buy dried beans and save them in a large resealable plastic barrel or drum (available on craigslist). No need to display them..22 ammo will be the most readily accepted. And you can still find old silver coins too. They call them culls and junk silver now.

In reply to by PhysicalRealm

AGuy Doctor Faustus Fri, 08/11/2017 - 22:01 Permalink

"+1 on the tampons. If your woman isn't happy, no one's happy. "

No women is going to be happy after a collapse, no matter what you have to offer.

"they make excellent bandages for major wounds.

Odds are that if you have a wound big enough to use a tampon your going to be dead since your probably not going to find a surgeon, or in time to stop the internal bleeding.

In reply to by Doctor Faustus

serotonindumptruck True Blue Sat, 08/12/2017 - 15:41 Permalink

Super Glue is an excellent emergency suture, provided you have a jar of petroleum jelly/silicone grease and a pair of latex gloves on hand.I've never seen a real-world example of the procedure, but it is a rapid response to extreme life-threatening laceration.Rapid application of large quantities of cyanoacrylate directly over the wound cavity, while immediately or simultaneously applying signifiicant quantities of Vaseline around the wound cavity, and rapid closure of the wound with use of latex gloved hands.Two medics probably work better than one with this procedure.edit: This is no doubt a pointless procedure with center-mass gunshot wounds or where internal bleeding is evident.

In reply to by True Blue

Axenolith Doctor Faustus Sat, 08/12/2017 - 03:12 Permalink

Well, that, and the fact they will expand and seal a gunshot wound doing what they were designed to do when exposed to blood...

There are not going to be many survivable GSWs when the SHTF in the US. You might get away with eating a muscle mass drilling with a full metal jacket 5.56 and maybe a .308, but most of the people that are going to be fielding a bolt gun or even levers with their newer ammos are going to be putting soft points out and those are specifically designed for maximum expansion and damage. I make sure to have a good supply of those in the pile.

Most of those weapons are going to cause at a minimum loss of a limb on a periferal hit and you're gone if you take a torso hit without L3+ body armor.There probably isn't going to be timely medevac, surgery and 6 months of rehab or prosthetic adjustment for someone in armor that gets hit in the thigh or the shoulder by .284 Winchester or .300 RUM in an American city gone Mogadishu.

The people who will survive the longest are going to be the ones that go to the extreme to avoid getting into a gunfight, even if that means at the worst evacuating your position unless you're sure you can drill all or enough of the bad guys to end their threat. The smaller your group the more you'll have to consider and be prepared to move under threat. While we'd all like to stand our ground/territory, and there are situations where you might as well fight to the death, a family losing a key provider to a crippling injury or death can be a death sentence for the rest even if subsequently left alone.

In reply to by Doctor Faustus

AGuy Stackers Fri, 08/11/2017 - 22:09 Permalink

"Pre-1964 Quarters. Have several bags of them in the safe just for this."

Where your nearest farmer? and see if he will take junk silver in exchange for food. Odds are they won't be interested in PMs and farmers will focus on growing enough for their own family. I know I won't accept any PMs for anything I have (Food, tools, lumber, fuel, firewood)

At best I may be will to trade for hard labor. Gathering & producing resources is hard work and takes a lot of time. I am not going to trade you for trinkets.

The Majority of Farmer use machines that suck up diesel. Perhaps if you have 10 gallons of diesel he may consider growing some food for you, but don't expect a farm to provide you everything.

As far as hunting, the Deer will be depleted in just a few months.

In reply to by Stackers

bardot63 AGuy Fri, 08/11/2017 - 23:44 Permalink

You don't show much of a grasp of the historical concept of barter.  Gold and silver, accepted around the world for thousands of years, facilitate barter trade for once common items that become scarce.  Not everyone wants or can use a bushel of apples that will rot in a few weeks.  More to the point, if you don't want G & S, then fine and dandy.  But what do you trade to the guy who understands history and wealth and wants gold and silver but does not want a bushel of apples.

In reply to by AGuy

JimBobJenkins bardot63 Sat, 08/12/2017 - 08:56 Permalink

That's why they invented canning dickhead. He's saying that the average individual that you will barter your wealth with doesn't give a fuck about your trinkets! Can you eat gold and silver? If history is read correctly these trinkets were backed by some sort of centralized system. In a dog eat dog no centralized system your wealth is worthless!

In reply to by bardot63

HalinCA (not verified) bardot63 Sat, 08/12/2017 - 18:57 Permalink

Where we live in rural "New England" we are surrounded by farmers and Amish.  I've had this discussion with several of them.He is right.  PMs are only good to pay the tax man.  And if the authorities are in control of the fuel distributuon system, how will they react to someone trying to pay for gasoline with a bag full of gold?You must live in the suburbs ... 

In reply to by bardot63

PT AGuy Sun, 08/13/2017 - 06:59 Permalink

The farmer will like gold or silver if it allows him to swap it for a spark plug or a tyre for his tractor later on.His fresh bread might go stale by the time he gets to town and the tyre-seller isn't even sure if he could eat that much bread.

In reply to by AGuy

Doug Eberhardt Stackers Sat, 08/12/2017 - 12:39 Permalink

Stackers,Actually, it is pre 1965 quarters and of course dimes that have 90% silver. I always tell people that a 1964 quarter could buy you close to a gallon of gas in 1964 and it still can today if exchanged for the scrip of the day. A 1965 quarter can buy you about $0.25 worth of gas in 1965 and that same quarter buys y ou 2 5 cents worth of gas today. That's what the government's done to our money.The good news is the premiums of these mostly silver quarters and dimes have come back down to 2010 levels. And before so called Mad Max times, they will work great for barter for a period. Prices;https://store.buygoldandsilversafely.com/product/90-silver-coins-100-fa… 

In reply to by Stackers

Dickweed Wang AGuy Sat, 08/12/2017 - 08:48 Permalink

Actually the good butane lighters like the Bics hold their butane for a really long time. Last year I found one in my shop in a place that meant the thing had to be ten years old as least and it worked fine on the first try.  Zippos are the best as long as you can find fuel for them.

In reply to by AGuy

Conscious Reviver azusgm Sat, 08/12/2017 - 23:46 Permalink

Yes about the magnifying glass. But part of a busy schedule?No way. You bank your fire to keep it smoldering and the embers alive until you return. You only need the glass when it goes out.Here, great food grows everywhere so no one stresses. Laughable about all the TP concerns. No need for TP either. Vast amounts of fresh watet are always available for washing up.

In reply to by azusgm

OverTheHedge Conscious Reviver Sun, 08/13/2017 - 09:49 Permalink

Not in my house, after August. The upside is having a garden 12 months of the year: planting our winter cauliflower &broccoli at the moment, as long as we can find enough water for them. Nothing in life is easy.....Potatoes and onions both keep, so would make good trade items. If we are down to bartering , we are all going to die, unless you have a large community of like-minded, capable neighbours. The lone mountain prepper won't have enough hands to do the work, once the beans run out. Me? I live in a village full of peasants, who have generations of knowledge on how to survive in this climate, with enough land to be workable, without being a liability come the rationing of fuel. You need to own an array of mattocks, shovels, and gardening equipment, because THAT will be the  trade-goods everyone is searching for, afterwards. Hand-powered tools are the future, if you like the doom scenario.

In reply to by Conscious Reviver