STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS, Uncategorized
5 Best Off-Grid Currencies That Don’t Require Electricity
By The Daily Bell Staff - August 11, 2017

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 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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Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS, Uncategorized
  • georgesilver

    Toilet paper.

    • FalconMoose

      Got my Charmin. Good post.

  • I’m glad to see soap mentioned. It’s so easy to make and it obviously keeps very well. My spouse and I have been making our own supplies for years. It’s far better than any commercial soap that I’ve bought.

  • Spanky Lee

    Soap is easy to make if you have lye (sodium hydroxide) which is NOT easy to make, which is tagged as a chemical used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, which is monitored by DEA and which, in large amounts, draws attention. Might be better to buy a ton of cheap old bar soap. That is usually the REAL thing.

    • Nobleharbor

      better find out how extract it from wood ash then…

      • Bombaste Von Hohenheim

        Just soft boil hard wood ashes in rain water for 30 mns, skim the top

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    I suppose it will be expecting too much for people to figure out what an old 90% silver dime is worth.

    • SnakePlissken

      Here’s how that conversation will go.. “You see, before 1965, dimes were made with 90% silver. This dime is about 2.26 grams, so 90% of that is 2.04 grams, and at today’s silver rate of about 54¢ per gram, so this is worth about the same as a dollar. Now, don’t keep this with the rest of your change, because it’s worth more if you can explain to the next guy what I just explained to you.”
      The other guy: “Just gimme a dollar”

  • You need 3 things to survive: potable water, food, appropriate shelter. If you don’t have these, none of the rest matters…so, I would add a means of purifying water to the top of the list.

    • Me too and the Berkey is not it for sure. Any filter that uses any form of ceramic filter will plug us very easily. But if you have pristine water like tap water it will last much longer. Problem is in any real emergency you will NOT have that pristine tap water. You will have to get water from another source like a river, lake creek or whatever and it will likely NOT be pristine. Then you are screwed with that type of a system because it will plug up in very short order and be completely worthless almost immediately. Sawyers plug up just as fast !

      • Nobleharbor

        Do some serious homework on water PRE filtering. Sand bio-filters cascaded are the norm today in many villages worldwide. For more portable use. multi-layer filtering to remove solids and silt. Treating for bugs with chlorine (MSR makes a small portable chlorine generator) to just be sure.

        THEN use your choice of filter to “finish” your water.

        I use the Berkey filters (the black ones) not the original “Super Sterasyl Ceramic Filter” by British Berkefield.

      • FalconMoose

        Coffee filters. Prior.

    • Don Duncan

      Permaculture is growing. It takes little land, .25 acres for a family of four. Well water, rural or sub-rural house, chickens, ect. makes a family self sufficient. Trading provides the rest.
      Getting off the grid or having the capactiy to live without it are a bonus.
      Even if you never need the prep you still benefit from a better life style.

      • Don’t disagree with your conclusion but where did you get the 1/4 acre to sustain four people? I’ve read several articles that argue we neeed at least an acre/person.

        • Don Duncan

          Research, research, research. I have watched 100+ videos this year and am still learning. I started gardening in 1955. Don’t work hard, work smart. That requires study, thought, and carefull observation of your situation (experimentation).
          It might take a few years to build up your soil, but every year after the soil will pay back many times over. “Back to Eden Gardening” and “The Natural Way of Farming” are good references.

          • Appreciate the references. Am only a few years into ‘gardening for food’ and am seeing greater production each year but I can’t imagine growing enough for even a single person for a year on our property but will keep trying…and being able to store any surplus properly.

  • SnakePlissken

    AA batteries

  • SnakePlissken

    Fernando Aguirre write a book called “Surviving the Economic Collapse” based on his experience living through the 2001 currency collapse in Argentina (great read). He said that there was a robust black market for a certain brand of laundry detergent and it was used to pay for things.

  • SnakePlissken


  • eyesofgod

    Damn straight! Good stuff. There are lots of other items. A Berkey water filter is gravity-fed, so doesn’t need electricity. Blankets are important–and battery-powered and crank-type LED lites. There’s the whole aspect of emergency travel materials (if needed). I’m involved now in stocking up for such crises. I have a whole checklist, and most of the items are inexpensive. Pays to be prepared. Thank you for your concern about this crucial factor in our lives.

    • Berkeys are junk compared to far better ways and far too expensive. They plug up easily if you are using any thing but near pristine water source like your tap water. And even with tap water or well water they are very slow to produce water. I fully realize many people have bought into the Berkey marketing sham as if it is actually an emergency filter/purifier. In a real emergency what will you do when it plugs up as soon as you don’t have atht pristine water source ?

      There is a far better way and far more cost effective by a factor of more than 100 X. Not even in the ball park unless you are fine with paying far too much for a far lesser system.

      No doubt all the items mentioned in the article would be highly tradeable for whatever ? and the list could be easily expanded

      • eyesofgod

        Hey, Down-to-Earth, please enlighten me about the cheaper and better water purification system you are referring to. Currently, I use the Pure Water Mini-Classic II electricity-driven steam distiller. I have used it for years now, and am quite happy with it. I place the glass bottled water out in the sun for several hours to allow the sun’s energy to further purify the water. BUT…as you point out (and per the article), what happens if there is no electric? Your suggestions, please.

        • Donna Jang

          I am perplexed myself on whether I should purchase a big berkey, a water purifier,an ionizer or or perhaps a black mica (adjaclarity) filtration system and then I thinking I should run it through a vortex and place on a telsa plate! Any advice appreciated. Thank you

          • davidnrobyn

            For water, the thing to do is store it in large containers (35-gallon trash cans are excellent). A tablespoon of bleach in a trashcan full of water will disinfect it quite nicely. Bleach is cheap, a gallon will disinfect a LOT of water. To replenish, use roof runoff. Actually, the best water storage system would be a cistern with roof runoff replenishment. This would take some doing, but would be well worth it. Your first need in a real emergency is water. If the power grid goes down, you won’t have it. Plan for your water supply. A few thousand gallons of distilled (rain) water in a cistern would make me feel a lot better about our chances in a grid-down situation. You folks who live in very urban environments should be looking for alternative situations, if at all possible.

  • FalconMoose

    Good read. Logical.

  • Ethercruiser1

    Yep. I agree!

  • StriderMan

    A good crop fertilizer for use and barter.

  • EzraO’Brien

    Don’t forget the toilet paper. Bulky, sure, but it will trade well if fresh supplies are exhausted.

    • aj54

      and ladies supplies. Can actually fit a surprising number of tampons in a small space

  • Jim Blackwear

    Salt Oliver oil flour butter dry bread

  • Henry Balfour

    “Of course, your bullets could rust and deteriorate” The bullet is the cast lead (usually lead) projectile that goes down the range. Lead cannot rust, and is (for all intents and purposes) incorruptible. If you mean to say ammunition (the complete assembly) then shell casings are (usually) brass – brass does not ‘rust’. it can react very slowly to atmosphere, and can become greasy. Properly stored, ammunition is stable.

    • snowiegeorgie

      Chemistry 101, lead oxidizes. WHICH IS RUST.

      Iron oxide is iron rust.

      Titanium dioxide :

      Gold does not oxidize, perhaps you are confusing
      lead with gold .

      “Gold Corrosion. Gold is the most non-reactive of all metals
      and is benign in all natural and industrial environments.

      Gold never reacts with oxygen (one of the most active ele-
      ments), which means it will not rust or tarnish. Gold tarnish
      is very thin and shows up as a darkening of reflecting sur-

      Anyone who has ever done real work with lead
      knows about white-powdery lead oxide.

      Chemistry 101


  • davidnrobyn

    Before the .22 ammo crunch, I suspected that .22s would be a good currency if TSHTF. So when I saw them on sale at my local discount store, I’d buy a brick (500 rounds) at an average price of about $15 a brick. Little did I know that that was a very smart move in the short run, not just the long run! After I’d accumulated about a dozen bricks, the ammo shortage hit. You couldn’t get .22s anywhere for a year or two, and when they slowly came back on the shelves they were TRIPLE the pre-crunch price. That wasn’t a bad investment! And they’ll still be good currency. .22s are absolutely the most useful round by far, although the “super-cheap” rationale has been seriously compromised!