Guest post by Mark M., a prepper in Great Britain.
OK, the SHTF big time, and it is going to be a very long time until things settle down. You, as a prepper, have your food, medication and fuel stores, your guns and ammo, your water and power needs sorted out and your retreat. You have even arranged allies amongst your neighbours. You are set to ride this thing out until things slowly get back to normal. Your garden is growing, and the odd intruding deer, raccoons and rabbits that fancy a free lunch are making a welcome addition to your meat stores.
You have probably forgotten all about the major tool for serious long term survival.
Entertainment. After all, there are not going to be any TV shows or movies for a while. Talk radio is off the air, and the HAM radio is used for contact first, gossip second.
Books are not just for information but, more importantly, entertainment. A musical instrument or two, if you or one of your party are blessed with musical ability. Songs, as anyone who has had to do a route march knows, makes even the most mind numbing tasks bearable. Music in general, as there is nothing more pleasing than listening to music of an evening.
For books, my family has a mix. Some are just paper and ink, mainly the how-to manuals and the repair manuals for every piece of machinery we have. At the insistence of my wife, one inclusion I should mention is a good vegetarian cookbook, for the summer months. The ability to trot out into the garden, grab some veggies and make a truly tasty and interesting meal without digging into your meat store is not to be sneezed at, yet, like most preppers, it was a blind spot for me.
We have three Kindles, and a hand cranked charger that will charge them and our MP3 player. A hand crank charger is dirt cheap, easily repaired if it breaks and takes up almost zero room (as usual, I am not affiliated with this site or product in any way, merely a happy customer). Two of the Kindles have yet more manuals on them, with duplication of the vital ones
like the Bible, Gray’s Anatomy, the Handbook of Medicine, various gardening books and, oddly, several law books. One of the things to be considered in a community after TSHTF is law, which a lot of people don’t consider. American readers might want to add the constitution to their list, though I would bet that most preppers can recite that by heart! The third Kindle though, is the most important one. Stuffed with books, both classics and modern, children’s and adult, fantasy and biography. Many of these are free. We already have the habit of reading to each other in the evening, which is surprisingly entertaining, and is a good habit to develop.
Music, well, there is the MP3 player, as mentioned. Three of them, in fact, each with SD card slots. Our entire music library (something I am REALLY going to regret losing when TSHTF, but it is simply too bulky to move) is all on SD cards. A battery powered docking station, with a solar charger, lets more than one person listen at a time. Instrument wise, we have 12 sets of guitar strings – bugging out with a guitar on your back is, shall we say, impractical. I can make a guitar or a dulcimer easy enough, but the strings I cannot make. Drums are easy enough to make and provide a good beat for evening singalongs.
Prepping is for survival. This I understand and approve of. Simply surviving, though, is not living. I have added maybe 3 pounds to your survival preps with this post, but have added a huge amount to your quality of life.
Lisa’s Note: For those of you over 45 or so, don’t forget to stock up on a few extra pairs of reading glasses!
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