Comfort & Reference Items
The most important determinant for survival in stressful environments is a persons mental state. A Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) can overcome the harshest of obstacles.
Most survivalist teachers consider it more important than even water and food, and when you deeply examine the impact it has on your survival chances you quickly understand why.
This is an especially critical consideration if you have to keep children entertained and distracted during an extended period away from their homes.
Think about being trapped in a shelter for a week with nothing to do.
You need to be able to take your mind off of the uncomfortable reality of being displaced from your normal routine. Be ready for the long haul.
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Games, movies, toys, or study can help in immeasurable ways. Comfort foods will give you a sense of well being. Inspiration from God or Spirituality will help you look past yourself, to see beyond your predicament.
Typical Price: $10
Kids love UNO. Actually many adults do too! It's easy to pickup and remember the rules. Kids young as 4 can pick up the rules, and it's good for keeping them busy at least 30 minutes or more.
Typical Price: $11
The undisputed King of Time Killers, ye olde 52 playing cards. Look up the rules of as many games as you can: buy an book or app which shows you some games. Remember, sometimes you need 2 decks. Worst case, you can always make a house out of them.
Typical Price: $11
Portable game for 8 - 18 players. Lots of fun - its a different game every time. Can be played anywhere, no board or props needed. One person acts as narrator and the rest are divided into Werewolves and Villagers, the rest is up to you!
Typical Price: $14
Planning for extended periods of boredom and waiting should be at the top of your list of things to avoid. A book of puzzles like this one can keep you focused and alert while counting the hours until you can return home.
Typical Price: $12
This might be the one book you might actually want to carry a physical copy of. This is the full bible, 6.8 x 4.6 x 1.1 inches. There are smaller, but the text is impossible to read without a magnifying glass or electron microscope.
Reference: Carry A Library
With the state of technology today, you can carry the equivalent of several thousands of encyclopedias in your pocket. Collect, organize, and store a reference library on every subject you can think of and put it on your iPhone, iPad, Tablet, and Kindle. Build a bug out Kindle!
A few hours searching online for .pdfs will give you a treasure trove of information that you can carry with you at all times.
Search for: military survival guides, field first-aid, shelter-building, using a compass, farming, trapping, foreign language dictionaries, local and not-so-local street maps, homesteading, self-defense, basic electrical systems, carpentry, and whatever else you can think of!
If you go this route, you may want a way to recharge your electronics. We've assembled a good list of options for you here.
Typical Price: $79 & up
Here is an amazing option for carrying a HUGE amount of information. Super light-weight with a battery that lasts for over a month! You can load .pdfs onto it, as well as ebooks. You can also get one that has a built-in light, great for night reading.
Typical Price: $400 or more
If you are looking for a rugged tablet that can survive the harsh conditions you might be facing, there are a handful of options available.
The Dell Latitude 7202. It's an excellently-built tablet that has IP65, MIL-STD-810G and IP-810G certifications which means it has Anti-vibration resistance, Cold-resistant, Dust-resistant, a Hot-swappable battery, Thermal protection, and is Water-resistant. It runs Windows 10 so you get laptop functionality in a portable package.
Typical Price: $18
Not knowing whats going on in the world around you would be extremely stressful, so a good, reliable cheap radio would be priceless during an emergency. This little guy is a work-horse and gets high praise from its users on Amazon.