Food, water, ammo, fuel, medicine. This is what people normally think about when the topic is “barter goods in the post-apocalypse” (or”post-a”, as I call it at times). While different types of scenarios make different types of goods attractive, there are some goods I somehow never see listed, but which would make for valuable trade objects, at least in my books. Here are five things to barter for or with in a post-apocalyptic setting… and the reasons WHY! Suggested “costs” for Mutant Future(tm) are provided as well.
Rolls of duct tape [MF: 1 -3 sp]
I really wonder why those aren´t more prominent in gear lists. They are useful to fix things, they help in temporary constructions, they are useful to patch holes in things that are meant to hold (or transport) liquids, you can bind and gag people with it and , overall, duct tape is lightweight. Next time you get “shopping” in the post-a, have an eye open for duct tape. Adventures should have use for duct tape.
Turpentine [MF: 1-3 sp]
If you go looting in the ruins for stuff and gear, chances are that your finds are dirty and perhaps thick with something not to wholesome. But you need your gear a bit cleaner, otherwise it might not work proper. Turpentine comes handy here. In a pinch, you can rub Turpentine into your skin to get rid of some parasites (like flea or lice), but this will cause skin irritation. But on the other end, that might be better than whatever you can get from said parasites.
Talcum powder [MF: 1-3 cp]
Don´t laugh here! Adventures usually march a lot and wear armor most of the time. If you are hiking yourself or do wear armor at times (either because your are a LARP fan or happen to be a member of the military or the police), you will know how uncomfortable your own sweat can make you. Now, imagine you CANNOT have a shower or a footbath at the end of the day. And not even at the end of the week. More like, “at the end of the month”. Wet feet are vulnerable, not only to growing sore but also to “athlete´s foot” and whatever your GM has ready in your future-gone-south.
Aside from making your road trip more comfortable, what is it with looting armor and clothes from slain enemies or found corpses? There was this scene in the post-a movie “Book of Eli” where the hero snatched a pair of shoes (or where it boots?) from the corpse of somebody who hanged himself. Sure, I am in bad needs of better shoes, but in that case, I would WISH for having some talcum powder so it can suck up the moisture from the footwear´s former owner while I sleep at night.
Salted Peanuts [MF: 1-5 cp]
This is one food source that rarely gets mentioned when it comes to the post-a. But, why?!? Peanuts are little nutrition bombs! There is a reason why aid agencies ship peanut products into regions where a famine needs to be fought. While their products are of course better for feeding people than the products of our snack culture, the snacks do the trick and there should be an abundance of salted peanuts in most urban areas. The salt and their packing keeps them from going off quiet some time, they are easy to carry along and make a good addition to your diet. Next time you raid a super market or gas station, fetch some salted peanuts.
Road salt [MF: use entry for salt]
I won´t mention how important salt gets once you have no fridge to keep meat from spoiling. What I want to mention is that road salt does the trick. Any salt is as good as any other salt, as long as no other substances (dirt, glass splinters, rocks, etc) are mixed in. Some salt is just more fancy than others. And with the world being as it is in the post-a, “fancy” sailed away a long time ago.
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