Anyone who has been around the survival and prepping community for long has undoubtedly viewed and read countless videos and articles concerning bug-out bags and supply caches. The one thing that almost all of these have in common is a peculiar air of darkness and gloom. Perhaps rightly so due to the serious nature of such content, but there has been one serious item of note missing from the vast majority of such content.
Don’t know what it is?
Consider this list of basic survival, and see if you can spot the missing element:
- Have the necessary supplies to survive for three days, then one week, then one month, then six months, then one year, and then beyond.
- Have adequate stock of drinking and cleaning water (1 gallon per person per day) and the means to purify your own water.
- Have adequate stock of preserved food, and a means to get more food in a self-sufficient system (gardens, livestock, fishing, wild game, etc.).
- Have a 72-hour bug-out bag of basic survival gear (knife, hatchet, maps, MREs, rope, duct tape, flashlight, two ways to start a fire, two ways to purify water, two ways to construct adequate shelter, first aid kit).
- Have guns in common calibers and with high availability of parts — and be proficient with each of them
So what’s missing? Entertainment. It is a wonderful thing to be able to provide shelter and food for yourself and your loved ones when the need arises, but consider the effect of entertainment loss on even the smallest assembly of people.
Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine. In a time of harsh trials and tribulations, such medicine is as essential to survival as food and shelter.
Many hikers, backpackers and other such travelers who experience extended periods of time in primitive situations can attest to the danger boredom can pose. The monotony of true boredom can bring forth powerful feelings of depression, apathy and defeat. Can you see the danger such a situation could pose to a prolonged disaster or survival scenario? The great news is that entertainment does not have to come in the form of some extravagant production.
The incorporation of something as small as a deck of cards or a few dice can provide hours of healthy competition and healing laughter that can greatly improve the physical and mental well-being of those involved. Board games (non-electronic) are bulkier items that can be included as well, but only if their bulk and weight is considered carefully in the scope of a plan. The last thing we would want to happen is for items meant for entertainment to be discarded simply because they caused a transportation burden.
The good news is that if you haven’t added even the smallest of entertainment items into your prep, items can be made in the field that can achieve the same result. Sticks, stones and any number of other naturally occurring objects can be utilized in the making up of new and exciting games.
Competitive activities aren’t the only entertainment options essential to psychological health in the case of a disaster. Music is another option to consider in our planning. It has the almost magic ability to raise the spirits of even the most threatened people. The good news is that, again, we don’t have to have mastered the art of playing certain familiar instruments such as guitars or violins. Consider picking up a musical instrument, even something as small as a harmonica, and learn the basics now. The benefits of music, rhythm and dance when all else seems lost cannot be overestimated.
When putting your prep plan together, don’t forget to include some form of entertainment and fun. Without a doubt, there is a time for seriousness, but there is also room to include the opportunity for hilarity and laughter.
What are your survival tips for including entertainment? Leave your tips in the section below: