Getting Prepared Week 16: Things to keep you entertained

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Getting Prepared Week 16: Things to keep you entertained

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booksThinking about amusement and entertainment during a period of crisis may at first blush seem frivolous but think about it.  If things were bad, really bad, and you had to shelter in place or perhaps move to a community shelter, what would you do to while away the hours?

Let us assume you have food, water plus the other necessities of life (TP, meds, first aid, sleeping bags) on hand so the basics are covered.

Now your choices are:

1.  Sit around and grouse about how bad things are

2.  Feel sorry for your self and get depressed

3.  Make the best of things and keep mind engaged

Given a choice – and given that the basics are covered because you have been following the weekly preps at Backdoor Survival –  I go for door number three.  Today I took a stroll around the house and gathered up some fun and games to stash in one of my survival bins.

Here is what I included:

  • A selection of paperback novels.  I chose thrillers and suspense tomes – pure escapist
  • A deck of Canasta cards.  It seems that everyone at on time or another learned to play Canasta from from their grandparents.  And if not, no worries. The rules are included in the box.
  • A book of Sudoku along with some mechanical pencils and a big eraser.  (Whenever my mind feels fuzzy or slow, I get out the Sudoku which always helps to get the brain cells going.)

The nice thing about my selections is that they don’t take up a lot of room, do not weigh a lot and most important, do not require a power source.  That is not to say that I won’t try to grab my iPod (for music and audiobooks) or my Sony reader (for e-books).  But I can’t count on having power and even if I did, using the power for pleasure during a time of crisis may not be prudent.

This weeks prepping directive is to take a tour around your homestead and snag a few items that will keep you company in a crisis.  Stash these items away in your bug out bag, your get out of dodge bin, the trunk of your car or even in a closet or cabinet in your shelter in place safe room.

Stuck for ideas?  How about board games, jigsaw puzzles, sing-along music, or a harmonica? Let you imagination prevail!

Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!


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4 Responses to “Getting Prepared Week 16: Things to keep you entertained”

  1. Its too bad that one needs to be “entertained”. Just what is the point of your survival if that is the extent of your intellectual depth, curiosity into the meaning of life, etc. Survival for what? To go back to shopping when the all-clear is given? To go back to a pointless existence?

    Figures a women would worry about this.

    • Tom, Sorry to burst your sexist bubble, but what was recommended is quite practical in the short term. When people have too much idle time on their hands, as in a public shelter, their imaginations run wild and they dwell too much on their situation. If you’re working your butt off to stay alive, whatever that may consist of, you don’t have much time to worry or imagine.
      In my disaster preparedness seminars and on my website (, I recommend that people pack such items as playing cards, dice, notepads, crossword books, simple games, etc to keep themselves busy. While most of us deplore the almost total dependency of the average American on being constantly entertained, it is simply a fact of life.
      While you don’t sound like that type of person yourself, there are countless others who DO need something to keep the mind engaged on something other than their predicament. Besides, a little “escapist” activity is not exactly counterproductive. Even primitive societies have all sorts of games, music, dances, competitions, etc to simply have fun and relieve the stresses of life.

  2. Funny thing is, I just went to the dollar store yesterday and picked up about 25 different puzzle books and 3 different board games specifically for this reason. Unoccupied minds usually find trouble. I have also been collecting books, mostly classics and survival skills books. My next project is to find a very good quality chess/checker folding board. I am so glad that you posted about this. It is often a prep that is forgotten. Great job.

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