End of the World Entertainment: Don't Forget the Fun

by Erich

One of my readers had recently commented on the importance of not forgetting entertainment as part of your preparations. Duly noted, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about that in this article.

As we go about meeting our prepping goals, one aspect that rarely gets covered is the entertainment side of things. We get so focused on food storage, ammo, fuel, water and so on that when it comes down to it, prepping for fun things gets forgotten.

The thing is, during an end-of-the-world type situation, it’s going to be miserable. And life, for your whole family, is going to be turned upside down. Depending on how bad it really is, the stress caused by the change in lifestyle will be quite daunting so having something that can increase morale and give your family something else to focus on is very important.

Here is a list of items that you’ll want to consider as part of your preps:

  • Board Games: Board games like Monopoly and Scrabble were a family favorite during the Great Depression and are sure to be the same for troubled times ahead.
  • Card Games: A deck of cards is one of those things that can be used to play a myriad of games. If you don’t know many card games, be sure to buy a book like The Penguin Book of Card Games.
  • Toys: If you have little ones, its a good idea to pick up a few toys for their coming years so that they have something to grow into. In an end-of-the-world type situation, toy stores might not be around and if they are, you might not have the money to pay for them. Yard sales, Craigslist etc, are a fantastic source for toys at cheap prices. Stock up now.
  • Fiction Books: I’ve talked about the importance of having a survival library (books on gardening, hunting, outdoor skills etc). Let me add that having some light reading (fiction books) will also be an important escape for those dealing with the pressures of survival.
  • Spiritual Books: Although not exactly “entertainment”, spiritual books like the Bible provide hope, improve morale, and uplift the depressed soul.
  • DVDs and Other Media: Even in an extended grid-down situation, watching your DVDs and listening to your iPod is still a possibility. Laptops, DVD players, iPods and other similar electronics do not require a huge amount of wattage and can be run off of solar power. If you don’t have a solar setup for your residence, consider purchasing a portable solar charger like Brunton’s 26 Watt Foldable Solar Array. Although you won’t be able to run your laptop off of it in real time (your iPod can be), you can use it to charge the battery in time for family movie night.
  • Sports Equipment: In an extended grid-down situation, your kids may no longer be able to play the Nintendo Wii, but having a few balls, a bat, and other simple sports gear is more than enough to get you and them outside and enjoying themselves. Not only that, they’ll actually be doing some real exercise (sorry you Wii Fit fans).
  • Musical Instruments: Like spiritual books, music has a way of lifting the soul from the darkest of places. If you don’t know how to play then now is the time to get some lessons (or at least get some books that teach you how).

Don’t Forget the Bug-Out Bag

As you are putting together gear and provisions for your bug-out bag (or if you’ve already put it together), don’t forget to add something for entertainment as well. A deck of cards, a harmonica, or a small paperback book will go a long way in passing the time if you and your loved ones are required to bug out for a few days.

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Comment by Xavier
2011-03-08 09:49:27

Wow this makes me think of packing more entertainment. Thanks Erich

Comment by Tactical Intelligence .NET
2011-03-08 11:09:28

No problem Xavier. Laughter is so underrated in tough times.

Comment by DaveyBoy
2011-03-09 00:34:23

If I may add, puzzles, and a hand crank radio. Also puzzle books like sudoku, and things like that can be a lot of fun. I personally have some board games, cards and lots of books. For those with kids, most bookstores also sell books/kits that have science experiments that you can do with them, and for the more dramatic, there are the mystery dinner type games. The possibilities are endless, but considering a lot of activity at night will need to be done indoors in many crisis situations, some faves like “night games” may not be possible.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-03-09 12:02:40

Thanks DaveyBoy,

I meant to put puzzles down as well (they’re in my original list) but it wasn’t until after I published that I realized it was missing. However, thanks for the hand-crank radio idea (hopefully it won’t be so bad that radio stations stop broadcasting music) as well as the puzzle books etc.

I think I’ll be adding “Clue” to my list (one of my favorite games as a youth).

Comment by tarditi
2011-03-09 15:22:00

Even Les Stroud carried his blues harmonica!

Journaling is a great way to busy the mind plus document and catalog the events and lessons-learned during the tough times.

Comment by TacticalIntelligence
2011-03-09 19:17:08


As an avid journaler myself I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for the tip!

Comment by av8r1
2012-08-20 15:09:36

I make sure that all of my survival kits and stores also contain at least one condom, three if carried by vehicle and no fewer than 12 stored at home. Even when I’m single. As you’ve noted elsewhere, they can be used as improvised containers, but their intended function fits with the intent of this article. In a regional or global SHTF scenario they also have trade value.

Comment by TI
2012-08-20 15:26:14

Right on brother.

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