Upgrade Your Bug-Out Bag with the Kindle eReader
One piece of gear that you’ll want to seriously consider adding to your bug-out bag is a Kindle eReader.
When I first mention this to my other prepping friends, I typically get laughed at — after all, relying upon electronics in a survival situation should be avoided, right?
After all, what if there was an EMP or solar storm? Or what if the Kindle got wet? And what about battery life? What will you do when the battery dies?
These are all valid questions but with some proper precautions (which I’ll be getting into in a bit) the advantages of a Kindle (and other “electronic-ink” eReaders) far outweigh the risks of losing it.
Let’s take a look and see why…
The Advantages of a Kindle as a Bug-Out Tool
First off, the Kindle eReader I’m talking about is the “electronic ink” variety that only displays black and white. Not the color “Fire” one that is more like an iPad. These are ok too but in my opinion are not as ideal for a bug-out situation. Here are the top reasons you need to add a Kindle to your BOB…
A Prepping Library in the Palm of Your Hand
The main benefit of having a Kindle in your bug-out bag is being able to access a literal library in the palm of your hand. Kindles can store over 3000 books!
On top of that, you can upload PDF files which lets you take advantage of the huge amount of fantastic (and free) prepping files out there on the web — everything from arrow making to zeroing a rifle.
And since you can print anything into a PDF file (using apps like BullZip PDF Printer) you can also store personal maps, cache locations, inventory lists and more.
Especially if a crisis became long term, having that kind of information at your fingertips is a huge advantage.
Low Power Requirements and Fast Recharge
The big advantage Kindles have over their color-tablet cousins (like the iPad, Kindle Fire, or Galaxy) is ridiculously long battery life.
Based upon a half-hour of daily reading time, a single battery charge lasts up to two months (with wireless off)!
In addition, recharging can be easily done off grid with small solar panels. And using a portable solar panel like the Suntactics sCharger-5 Solar Charger will allow you to keep it charged even while on the go.
Entertainment to Break up the Monotony
If you do decide to store a Kindle in your BOB I’d recommend adding some novels, children’s books (if you have kids) and other “light” reading.
Survival situations are inherently stressful and depending on if you’re holed up in one spot for long it can be monotonous and boring. Having some entertainment to break up the monotony is another reason a Kindle is a beneficial tool for your BOB.
Getting Around the Issues
So we already talked about how to get around the power issue. But what about some of the other concerns that people have, like the elements or an EMP?
Overcoming the Elements
The elements, especially moisture from rain or accidental immersion, are a real issue when it comes to non weather proof electronics like the Kindle.
This can be effectively remedied through use of a Loksak. I reviewed the Loksak last year after seeing it the 2012 SHOT Show in Vegas and absolutely loved them. They’re certified waterproof to 200 feet and the US Army Special Forces Group Dive Detachment uses them to protect their valuable electronics from salt water and hot humid conditions.
If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
What’s also great is you don’t need to remove the Kindle (or any tablet for that matter) from the LokSak to use the electronics. Your finger can still activate the touch screen (if it’s a Kindle touch) even when in the LokSak bag.
Protecting your Kindle from an EMP Attack
Although an EMP attack or solar storm is not a very likely scenario, it’s still a potential threat that many preppers prepare for and worry about.
If this concerns you there are some options that may work for you.
One is to enclose it in a 3M Reclosable Static Shielding Bag. These 3M bags (that I’ve linked to) meet MIL-PRF-81705D Type III standards which are pretty effective against electromagnetic pulse. For added effectiveness you can also wrap it in a few layers of aluminum foil.
Is this proven to work? I don’t know. We really don’t know what the true effects of an EMP surge will be, but we know that using a Faraday “cage” can have the greatest potential and possibility of protecting our electronics gear — whether that is our GPS device or our Kindle e-reader.
Despite the potential downsides electronics like the Kindle bring to the table, the advantages you can gain from adding the Kindle to your bug-out bag far outweigh these negatives.
Although the Kindle is a great tool and I highly recommend it — it is still just a tool. Remember, the saying, “two is one and one is none” still applies here. It’s not a bad idea to add a small survival guide or two as back up just as you should have a compass as backup for your GPS.
- Posted in Bugging Out