June 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm #17053
In todays world, we’re more comfortable and entertained than we’ve ever been in the past. Any movie, song, tv show, it’s all at our finger tips. The ability to go out to dinner and get all sorts of delicious cuisines from around the globe is something our society has become accustomed to. But, should we be faced with a large scale disaster, or even a bad storm that knocks out power for a week or so in your area, many of creature comforts are gone.
In the event of a disaster, what do you plan to do to keep people/kids entertained in a world with no internet or cell service (or if you don’t have alt.energy set up, no power at all)? What sort of “comfort” foods do you have on hand to help keep your diets from becoming mundane? Do you have a way of having a nice warm/hot shower at the end of the day?
Keeping up your morale, and those around you, is really important. Without that, many people will slowly lose their minds, not want to go on, and can become dangerous. So what do you guys have set aside to help cope with the loss of normality?
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.June 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm #17054
Something that is a vice of mine is coffee. I’ve got a regular coffee maker, as well as one of those nifty keurigs. But, should the grid go down and I’m dependant upon my own little electric grid, I’m not going to waste the resources to run those. Instead I’ve got a simple little MSR coffee/tea filter. This bad boy just sits in a mug, with the grounds inside of it, and you pour hot water over it. Boom, cup of coffee. It’s actually big enough to make enough coffee for 3-4 people, which is also a big plus. All I need is to get hot water, which is a breeze.
I’ve also got plenty of board games, playing cards, poker sets, all rather self explanatory.
Lately I’ve also downloaded a bunch of movies and tv shows onto another hard drive I’ve got. Sure running a laptop isn’t the best way to use the electricity, but it can be important at times (plus I have 3 so I have a good few solid hours if I hop from one to another).
There are some of those solar shower bag thingies you can get, but I don’t have one. I do, however, have a few ideas on how to make one, but I doubt that I will unless I ever need to. Luckily for me, there are more sources of fresh water here than you can shake a stick at, so having a shower isn’t a drain on resources.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.June 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm #17057
Well Mr. Red, I live on a small farm. The amount of free time I have, even in winter (only slightly more) is next to nothing. Growing food, processing it, rotating and keeping track of it takes a lot of time. I use solar to power my lights, my freezer and other stuff even now. That takes time to monitor and maintain. Animal care, feeding, breeding and birthing is more time. Cutting, splitting and stacking firewood for the wood stove is a year round, weekly event. Basically, here, I don’t have a lot of free time to worry to much about entertaining myself.
I read – a lot every evening before bed and in the morning before I head out. I don’t watch TV, or a device/videos etc now unless I need help with how to do something on youtube. I purposefully changed and simplified my diet so that I could survive and still enjoy eating and not ‘miss’ stuff. Wrote a post here about it. Encourage people to do it. You’ll probably lose weight as a side benefit. I don’t eat fast food ever anyway. I don’t care for chocolate much or sweets so I’m fortunate.
I do collect books and have a large library for all ages. I went to art school at one point years ago and have quite a supply of art and even craft supplies if needed to occupy younger folk. I do also have homeschooling materials for young people, although I don’t have kids. Paper, pens and pencils and old school business supplies including a functioning manual typewriter – yes.
I installed a solar hot water heater 3 years ago – works great so I don’t have to worry about it unless I have to go up and change out a panel (have extras stored in small Faraday room).
Personally, my comforts are books, my glass of wine (I am growing grapes to give wine making a shot some day when I have time, now easiest to store a few cases) and evenings talking to my friends while we are helping accomplish someone’s project. Much different life now than I lead when I traveled all over Central/SAmerica/Caribbean etc and lived in a city. Much simpler. Hard work but I like that.
I wouldn’t store anything except educational stuff for kids. I’d make sure they had more than enough chores to keep them busy and learn the value of hard work and a job well done to the best of their ability. We didn’t have lots of ‘things’ to keep us ‘entertained’ when I was growing up. Only 3 TV stations anyway, our viewing show was limited to 1 show a week and the thing turned to snow at 11 or 12PM. We played in the woods or with each other (ok maybe a ball of some sort for some games)….made forts, built small dams and ponds in good weather, snow forts, and other stuff in bad. My mother was very good at making sure the four of us were never idle. Keeping the mind busy and occupied and the body moving goes a long way towards relieving stress and tension – and ensuring a good nights sleep. In my idea of SHTF, unless you are in a city and forced to hole up somewhere, I don’t think people will have lots of spare time to worry about the entertainment part much. Ideas of what makes ‘comfort’ are going to change of necessity I would think.
If Selco had a stack of dry firewood for a month in his house and a case of MRE’s he probably would have looked at that as ‘comforting’! Maybe I’m wrong.June 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm #17060
I used coffee and cigarettes as “escape” from hard reality, it was ritual for us, I mean it meant so much to me that it was almost some kind of therapy.
I did not have so much “time off”, it was not all hard survival and fight, but it is hard to imagine how much job you need to do to keep going when all things that make our modern life are gone. It is new world.
I do store lot of books and manuals.June 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm #17061
In addition to board games and lots of work just staying alive when things go down, I love to write. Triggers the imagination. Also a good way to transfer knowledge. So I bought (like Tweva) a good working manual typewriter for $2 at a yard sale. Now need to store a few reams of paper and extra ink ribbons.June 20, 2014 at 7:22 pm #17062
My kids do like xbox and movies but they love to read books so I will be buying more books that they have not read. I also think that when SHTF I will need there help with the planting of the garden and if it gets real bad they can also help with the lookouts.
For me it is a cup of coffee in the morning and green tea the rest of the day. I have stored about 8 months of coffee and 6 months of green tea. I want to increase it to a one year supply.June 21, 2014 at 7:28 am #17073
A few months ago I went looking for for what I call ‘manual’ games, that is, games that don’t rely on electricity or batteries to use, such as board games, darts, cards, and so on.
The payoff about games is that they can help adults and children have relief from the daily grind of life for a while. Having some fun is essential for mental well-being
I was surprised that a number of games I remember from by youth have become hard to find; it appears that the power games are dominating the market, or have been revised to make them appear more sexy to the younger folk.
I ended up with cards (and chips) and a book of different card games and spare packs (cards get worn or damaged; if you can’t buy more in a crisis having spare packs is a good idea), Scrabble (with inferior hollow tiles; get the old solid tiles if you can), checkers (draughts), dominoes, and Backgammon. I would also look out for games of quoits, hoops and darts, if I had the money to spare. I’ve come to dislike Monopoly because once the properties have all been bought it’s just a tedious grind until one player owns everything.
One game that is easy and also challenging and requires no extra equipment is Charades, provided that there is no need for concern about noise in the crisis situation as people tend to get quite loud while playing it.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!June 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm #17091
A couple of things.
Games, there are any number of games at walmart that are good, Spot It, Yaghtzee, Uno, SkipBo, Scrabble, Checkers/Chess, and more.
We just picked up a new one for a recent camping trip. Called, “Fish or cut bait”, it was fun for everyone and not overly complex.
Books, I have two libraries, the technical which has all the manuals and the other which contains cookbooks, and everything else. Why two? Because I seldom enjoy reading a technical manual compared to a murder mystery, scifi, or the like. There is no escape in a manual, no stress relief.June 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm #17093
Technical manuals offer no escape? Let your mind flow.. use what’s in the tech manuals to build new things, apply the tech to other areas… when I was in rehab, I built great, soaring machines in my mind – huge water wheels with giant gears, gristmills, sawmills, counter-weighted gates that opened upwards with a fingertip, great halls and buildings mortice and tenoned together, then crosspinned with trennels..
Of course, in building things – what I do to keep my morale up – the scale of the things I build is much more modest. But the tech is the same. Example: The Japanese – whom I respect for their innovative and creative methods – created something called “Hell’s Wedge”. It is a mortice and tenoned joint that uses no crosspins or nails and, once assembled, cannot be disassembled. It must be cut apart. I’ve used it several times in making things… it bears a passing resemblance to the Roman wedge shaped mortice that they used to lift huge stones, but is executed in wood.
I find technical manuals to be a wonderful source of ideas for applying to other areas… always interesting.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1June 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm #17095
Gunsmith, my shop has a wall of technical manuals. I keep a notebook/sketchbook next to the bed for when I wake up with an answer to a design problem.
I just finished rereading Mysterious Island, working on the Hunger Games trilogy again now. After this, some more Zane Grey.
Those books are there so I can shut the mind off, escape for a few from things like the idiot I’m evicting, and perhaps gain a little perspective.June 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm #17100
I’m a writer now that I have retired, and find it very stimulating, but relaxing as well. Anything to keep the imagination going really helps.
Family time is “Remember When Time.” Whenever we are all together, a lot of stories of past adventures are shared.
Also, I have made it a priority to build some memories. Even a small thing like dinner out can become a memory. Imagine when you are watching your rations, and your stomach in growling being able to remember a great steak dinner you had. Will not make you any less hungry, but having the attitude of gratitude for meals previously enjoyed can be a spirit lifter.
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