Should You Also Plan How You'll Fight Boredom?

Discussion in 'General Q&A' started by John Snort, May 31, 2016.

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  1. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    Some of you guys say there won't be enough time for anyone to get bored question though is should have some plan on how you'll de-stress? Tucking away a board game or learning how to make one can't be that hard, right?

    Making a checkerboard is quite easy after all, and the pieces used to play can be made from any material.

    Boredom? Is this something preppers should also take into account?
     
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    pack of cards or a solitaire set, maybe a monopoly board or a chess set?
    personally I think i'll be far to busy to have time for either boredom or games.
     
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  3. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member
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    Interesting question. I think boredom could certainly raise its head. But should it be a concern? Probably not. Boredom in a time of catastrophe would be a most welcome reprieve, in my opinion.
    Though I usually loathe the thought of being bored, I think in a disaster scenario I'd want to moment of downtime.
     
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  4. Lisa

    Lisa Active Member
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    I was just about to start a thread along the same lines as this, keeping morale up must be important. I think maybe I would incorporate training and practice into some sort of competion, points for the best hunter, fisherman etc
     
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  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    personally, I don't think there will enough hours in the day to get everything done, even when sitting down I will be repairing and mending stuff, mind you i'm talking about a proper long term situation, not sitting on my duff waiting for a minor power cut to end and the lights to come back on so the masses can go back to watching Eastenders .
     
  6. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I personally don't thin
    Personally I don't think that there is a need to carry anything extra with you, you can make all you need on site. This in itself should serve the purpose of breaking boredom. Try tomahawk throwing, you should be carrying one with you anyway. Great sport, fun, a good skill to have for defence & hunting if needs be.
    Keith.



    [​IMG]
     
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  7. lexinonomous

    lexinonomous Member
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    Honestly, I found it hard to be bored while being outdoors. The scenery is so different that it makes it difficult to have nothing to do. Everything you do at home is entertaining and normalized, so when you're out in the open, it's easy to find new and exciting things to do. Something as simple as foraging could be made into a bit of fun. If you're looking for something fun to do on your downtime, I'd suggest a pack of cards. Cards can give you endless amounts of entertainment, so long as you know more than a few games to play. I'd also suggest conversation. Telling stories with your fellow travelers is one of the best past times in the world. You'd be surprised what the people you know and love have dealt with on their own.
     
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  8. glreese

    glreese Member
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    I think if a really bad situation arose, I would definitely be to busy trying to survive and helping my family to survive to worry about boredom. But, then again, I would rather pack something just in case. I would probably pack a deck of cards. Who knows, maybe I could even trade them for something valuable if it came to it. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
     
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  9. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    When the young gunfighter irritates the old guy, there is just one out come. They bury the young gunfighter. If you have to ask why, you have not lived longer enough to understand gun fights.
     
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  10. NomadWill

    NomadWill Expert Member
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    Of course, depending on your prepping/living situation, You might have some down time when not prepping or working, So having something to do would be a really good idea. I usually always have a book on me, maybe having a deck of cards, or board game with you could help pass the time.
     
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  11. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    In concept I think it is a good idea. Yes, you should have something that will be a distraction, stress relief, whatever. In practice IMHO there won't be much downtime. Your entire day will be consumed by whatever scenario has befallen us.

    Maybe some of the members who are living a more off-the-grid, self-sustaining life style can weigh in. Sourdough, Grizzlyette Adams, are you guys ever bored?
     
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  12. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I seriously doubt post collapse any of us will have time to be bored, our days will be full and I do mean FULL!!!
     
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  13. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Sorry, Lonewolf. I should have included you in my earlier thread. You live a pretty much self-sustaining life style. Are you ever bored? I am thinking that routine chores will consume most of the day. Watching the episodes of Tales from the Green Valley I didn't see a lot of downtime, and there were five of them; all experts. Most of us would be rank amateurs by comparison.
     
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  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I live the same sort of lifestyle as most on this forum now but I have lived off grid in the past, very much self supporting and I didn't have any downtime then.
    Tales from the green valley is how I see all survivors living post collapse.
     
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  15. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Perfect!! I rest my case. You didn't have any downtime, and that was when things were normal. We can only imagine that things will be far worse in an SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation. There won't be any downtime, so we don't have to plan for it ( but stashing a deck of cards wouldn't hurt. ).
     
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  16. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Expert Member
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    I suspect that I will use any downtime for sleeping. Already too much to do, so much more so if TEOTWAWKI.
     
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  17. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    Depending on the circumstances, have some plans on hardening the home and property that will keep me busy for awhile. Boarding up windows, barring doors, repositioning some fire wood, unloading and readying some gear kept in 'deep storage', and some other activities that we only discuss with close friends around the camp fire :) We'll have power (solar), or if we don't for some reason then I'll be repairing that first, so likely be listening to the scanner and shortwave radios (or the recordings of what they captured when I wasn't there listening) a lot. Don't really foresee us being bored for the first month or so anyway, after that then the books, cards, dice, and DVDs will be nice to have.
     
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  18. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon all,

    My completely different view.....

    Create "down time" or periods to mentally rest up. Doing work has cumulative events building up. This is one of the causes of "PTSD".

    The psychological health literature suggests to take periodic breaks from your projects.

    Some of the best literature is produced by SAMHSA, a sub-agency of HHS. I've put some of their products on the forum (I believe). One document was titled "Disaster Fatigue". Another was "Compassion Fatigue".
     
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  19. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon all,

    An addendum to above:

    https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness

    Ref this link, surf around it for familiarization. At the top black bar the last entry is "Publications". Glance at this section and look for "Disaster Kit" "SMA 11- DISASTER".

    Even if a pub is themed for a responder, the material can be just as good for others.
     
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  20. Travis.s

    Travis.s Expert Member
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    I think at first you would be too occupied with survival to worry about boredom.
    Maybe after you've established a safe base and things settled ( 2 or more years later) would luxuries be something that would be useful.
    But I would suggest if you insist on something a deck of non laminated cards would be best it's small, light weight, anyone can use them and they could be used too light a fire.
    But it seems too me that could be space used for more bandages, meds, little extra food or many other options.
    But everyone has there own idea of survival.
     
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  21. Aerindel

    Aerindel Well-Known Member
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    Having a safe base established for many years now, and planing on bugging in, yes, I am very much worried about boredom as when I get bored, I tend to do stupid things.

    And I think I will have a lot of spare time to fill. A lot more than I have now. The best thing I could do when SHTF is bug in, go to silent running, and sit in my guard tower for a year waiting for things to die down.

    I doubt this is what I will actually do. ;)

    But I have a lot of books, movies, games, etc to keep me occupied and hopefully not getting myself killed looking for trouble.
     
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  22. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    The good thing about getting old ---- the body won't allow you to go looking for trouble. The bad thing about getting old --- the body won't help you get out of trouble.
     
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  23. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    the thing about getting older is you become more cautious and you don't go looking for trouble as a younger self might have been more reckless and taken chances.
     
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  24. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy Master Survivalist
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    In a full out grid down, shtf there will be loads to do but people will need some sort of distraction at least occasionally. And that might be in the form of something useful but that diverts the mind. Maye it's fishing, or reading something from your library or gardening or trying to understand a issue in the garden, or maybe it's knitting or crocheting something like a blanket for winter, or maybe it's journaling, or teaching something to a child or spouse.

    I've mentioned it before, if a person is running 24hrs a day, switched on into high stress mode, they'll burn out. Now depending on the person maybe its a week or 2, for someone else maybe it's 12 or 18 months. but if a person is running full out stressed at some point their going to snap or drop over from a heart attack.
     
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  25. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    we're talking about boredom and you talking a full stress situation.
     
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  26. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    A troop of dancing girls always worked for us guys in NAM .
     
  27. Aerindel

    Aerindel Well-Known Member
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    Sounds like an expensive prep.
     
  28. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon Poltiregist,

    Yes, indeed, and I have the color slides to prove it. At the Cu Chi USO Christmas show, Dec '67, got some pictures of Raquel Welch.

    I vividly remember this also because early this AM, when I was rambling about large 2 ft x 2 ft Hefty bags next to my ICS blank forms, I want to check the exact size of the product. I used to keep the extra bags in a box in my bin of RVN slides but I moved them and forgot where.

    After part of the show, back out to the thorns but show did wonders for mental health.
     
  29. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Yeah, I had planned on the dancing girls --- until I got too old to dance with the girls. :( I don't do stress, momentary excitement :eek: maybe but never stress. :cool:
     
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  30. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I have put a lot of thought and preparation into covering this. the fact is that you are going to have a lot of time on your hands especially at first. Most of the "work" that people do is to pay for things. When all you need is food for you and your family you have no need for a huge farming effort. When winter comes you will either stay in and try to stay dry or you will likely die. Remember, no doctors with magic pills. My Grandfather died from pneumonia that he contracted from refereeing a football game in the rain. Even in the summer, you don't always want to be out in the rain. If you stuff several people into a small building for several days you had better have some sort of plan to keep them entertained. remember, no TV, no Music unless you make it, no cell phones to distract you and no computer.

    People in the Northern places are going to have LONG winter nights that last a lot longer than they can sleep. What do you Alaskiansdo in the dead of winter when the night lasts for a month?? Imagine no electronic distractions and only limited lighting.

    Entertainment doesn't have to be frivolous. I do all sorts of crafts and work with wood, leather and do some braiding stuff. I know how to quilt and used to know how to make rag rugs. My daughter is a knitter, sewing and crochet fiend. You also can use this time to just sit and tell stories while you mend things but if you allow boredom to get under your skin it can be bad. Cabin Fever is REAL. There are some real horror stories about people crowded in during winter storms in the old days.

    Mental health is every bit as important as physical health. If either fails you die. They all work and no play makes you a dull boy is another old saying that has its roots in the truth of the past. Even in a prison, they have figured out that if you don't allow some time and places or materials for relaxation that people get mean as hell and don't feel like they have anything to lose.

    I have thousands of books both fiction and nonfiction. cards, dominos, dice, chess and checkers, Parcheesi, scrabble... and books of rules for just about all known games. I have the tools and materials for all sorts of crafts and books to teach you how to do them. In the yard, I have horseshoes and cornhole toss games and even a yard version of Yahtzee.

    To each their own. I plan on doing more than just surviving. I'm going to live and thrive.
     
  31. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    The extreme luxury of boredom is a thing that I've never even contemplated having. Death, mayhem, financial struggle, taking care of the crippled young people, paying for the funeral of your kid, base ignorant bosses, government ignorance & aggression, layoffs, job searching, more funerals, hospitalizations / surgeries, ..., on and on.

    I imagine Heaven as a place to be bored, or also to be able to go about in slow motion doing good things for people whose lives on Earth were spent being shat upon by their "betters". We could in Heaven all sit around and commiserate with each other. Maybe we'll get bored trying to top each others stories about what hell life was.

    I long to be bored.
     
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  32. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    I think people need to develop skills and hobbies related to their current and possible future environment. Knitting and crochet is great unless there is no yearn available. Plan your hobbies and distraction (mental relief) that is related to your situation. Chess by yourself is not much fun. I use firearms as my distraction. Shooting is fun but I enjoy the challenge of taking a cheap rifle and turning it into a tack driver --- on the cheap of course. My 6.5 Creedmoor has shot sub-MOA groups. It now has a reinforced bedded stock. Free floated barrel. 1.5 pound (approximately -- manual pull gauge) trigger pull. All the modification I have performed. Fun and mind freeing. For the darkest days / nights of winter it will be precision reloading. Very time consuming but financially rewarding as well as personally satisfying. TV, internet (web will be the hardest loss -- due to lost information) modern gadgets will not be missed. I will be busy from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep. Just practice wind reading can take a lot of time. Distance estimation can be another art to learn. A million things to learn and most will not cost a penny, just your attention and some time.
     
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  33. Steve-0

    Steve-0 Expert Member
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    Again, for those of us who have kids, especially younger kids, there will be no choice but to have some sort of entertainment. If there is anything to keep them happy and or quiet "or both" us parents will try anything.
     
  34. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    Kids are adaptable and easy to entertain. A stick becomes a gun, sword, flag holder, etc. old boxes or pallets become a play house, fort, etc. They learn to make there own toys while learning living skills as they get older (ie, sewing, carving, making pots, etc.) Kids in other, poorer countries don't have all of the manufactured toys and they still play and learn skills while playing. Humans have been doing it for 1000's of years.
    You and mom have more to think about as part of your recreation can make more kids..... Just a thought.

    Dale
     
  35. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    Boredom,...Can't seem to slow my brain down enough to get there. Always something needing fixed, figured out, settled or something. I can't get to my hobbies now so slowing down would be AWESOME!

    So would sleep,....stupid insomnia.

    Dale
     
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  36. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Steve - O,

    I've had both personal and large group experiences with "cabin fever" prevention for kids.

    Besides being a prepper, I'm a volunteer emergency responder and managed part of an emergency shelter. Kids stuck in an emergency shelter get bored nearly as fast as I do.

    Part of my load out before my family became us "empty nesters" was an extra short wave radio for our daughter, a traffic wand with flashing and steady lights in different colors, and some small weatherized books.

    At the shelter I had a few rolls of stickers - Smokey stickers, Woody Owl stickers, McGruff the crime dog stickers. I had a class for kids on the history of Smokey with a poster of the cartoon character's changes - and a book with a picture of the real Smokey.
     
  37. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    there will be so much to do in a post SHTF lifestyle you wont have time to get bored, in fact there wont be enough hours in the day to do everything.
    if you have kids, forget "entertainment"-that's what's wrong with people these days- get them doing chores like we used to do as kids.
     
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    1. Old Geezer
      Exactly. Our ancestors worked dusk to dawn. Even in the cold of winter's worst there was the matter of firewood. If you have livestock, you gotta make sure they too live on. People brought valuable livestock into their homes to keep them from dying when the trees were crystalline with ice. I have seen the ground and the trees and the once-flowing waters all become a glass palace of beauteous death. The eyes of animals frozen open in eternal stillness. Merciless calm.
       
      Old Geezer, Oct 23, 2019
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  38. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Steve-O: Barnes & Noble and Walgreens both have sections of games that are small and inexpensive. Many are designed for travel. I think you can still find things like Jacks and Pick-up-Sticks which we played as kids. Five dice is all you need to play Yahtzee. A deck of cards will go a long way.

    I would suggest helping them to use their imagination, and make up their own games. Who can jump the highest, or the farthest? Who can throw a rock, and hit a tree, or a target? Who can build the best shelter? We spent hours making forts and shelters. Having them help with tasks will go a long way towards keeping them entertained, keeping them supervised, and teaching them the skills they will need. Include them in your activities wherever you can.
     
  39. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy Master Survivalist
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    Steeve-O,

    I'm right there with you brother, I have 5 kids so I know what you mean. I think some of the "elders" have forgotten what it's like to have kids, especially modern kids that are use to electronics and an easier life. Now, I'm trying to instill skills and knowledge and know that kids, be it toddlers or teens are going to stress out hardcore in a grid down. Now you can stand there and tell them to suck it up and treat them like a Marine recruit, good luck with that, or be prepared to distract and redirect. there will be a fuzzy line between "play" with those of work and learning. The thing is to make them think it;s play while we know they are getting something more out of it.

    Suggestions I have are have some decks of cards and learn some basic games to teach them to play. Maybe a deck with survival info on them too. Maybe a deck or 2 of UNO cards. "Old Fashioned" board games like monopoly, battleship, Jenga or things like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders for the youngest can help to pass by hours while they stay out of your hair and off your nerves.

    I suggest books along the lines of "The American Boy's Handy Book" along with some of the older Boy Scout Handbooks and Fieldbooks. To be honest the ones from the late 60's to mid 80's are some of the better and I love they have a lot have Rockwell's art in them. Get some field/ guide books for plant and animal ID, that can be made into a game. with these there are activities for them to do, experiments to try and knowledge to be gained. Things like learning knots and lashings will be crucial. Stash away a volleyball net and some basic sports stuff like baseballs and gloves. Every Amish shindig you go buy around here they have a volleyball/ badmitton net set up for the Tween to 20 somethings to play to keep them occupied. Oh, there is a company called KnifeKits.com where you can buy complete kits to learn how to build and assemble your own knives or if you're a knife maker it's a place to buy all kinds of supplies from various steels to all sorts of handle materials. Maybe stash a few of those back, they could be a cool winter project around a candle lit kitchen table that when it's done they can learn to sharpen and have a possession they will cherish the rest of their life. Think about skills but in a game form way of teaching them.

    Also Read! Read books to them and have them read to you. As Morg said, Barnes and Nobles has some pretty low cost reprints of some of the classics, like works from Mark Twain, Jules Vern, and so on. Though if there is a good used book store near you check those places out also a few times a year. But besides stories and fiction, pick up books like ones with DIY subjects - ones on fixing engines, home repairs, how to crotchet, gunsmithing, canning, wood working, etc... Also talk to the local library as often they will get rid of books every now and then. See if you might be able to get them to call you when they do. Books will give them something to kill time while also learning something and increasing their reading abilities. Also get art supplies like markers, crayons, chalk, glue etc to help them channel their energy and creativity.

    So my ideas. There was another thread on this several months ago so I might have overlapped with what I said there or there could be different items in both...
     
  40. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    6 dice and a deck of cards go into every kit that I make. A book of rules for various games will go a long way to entertain a handful of people on long winter days. Our ancestors worked long hours because they had bills to pay and things to buy. The amount of work required to keep you fed, clothed, and sheltered is minimal. At first, you will need to try and survive. that means you want to keep a low profile and avoid injury. Most primitive cultures are very pastoral and don't require much effort. The Polynesians are a good example of this. The Egyptians built pyramids basically because they had a lot of time on their hands and their leadership knew that idle workers were going to get in trouble.

    My family were farmers, blacksmiths and bred, trained and sold harness mules. they took off for a couple of weeks in the spring after planting and a couple of weeks after harvest in the fall. In the spring they loaded up and went to the river and fished and in the fall they loaded up and went hunting. This was an entire family sort of migration. I'm talking 3 or 4 generations and all their siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. During the rest of the year, they also did all sorts of things for entertainment. they all were musically inclined and several both wrote and performed. They were very happy people that worked about 500 acres in cotton and cattle with each family having a garden and small livestock. Farming like that is very much a hurry up and wait thing. You work like hell for a few weeks and then don't have much to do for a few weeks.

    A lot of their work was intermixed with a lot of fun. They did things together their favorite entertainment was being together and relaxing. They sang and chased their kids around. When you have 17 kids you must not be too exhausted all the time. When I was a kid we got together for harvest, butchering and canning. We worked all day and had a great time with water fights a regular thing. at night we sat outside and I loved listening to the older folks telling their stories. Everybody worked and everybody played. Now we are all scattered across the country. We have more money than they did. They all work all the time to pay for all sorts of things that they don't have time to enjoy. People now don't even have time for family.

    When the power goes off time is going to lay heavy on people because they don't know how to share that time anymore.
     
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  41. Brownbear

    Brownbear Expert Member
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    I suspect if TSHTF I will be too busy surviving to worry about boredom. If it becomes a problem I will find a solution at that point.
     
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  42. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Country Guy,

    I've got a couple of different decks of cards with each having a bit of survival info / field info / weather info (eg cloud pictures). One of these decks has fire prevention info for my Smokey Bear class (emergency shelter). Don't have sources to get these decks but can guess prep fairs will have people present with guidance.

    As recently as today, the Boy Scouts merit badge pamphlet for their "Emergency Preparedness" merit badge is one of gthe best documents for this subject. It's up there with - perhaps better - than the FEMA equivalent pubs.

    *** Please reconsider candle use on kitchen table. ***

    ......

    Tex Dan; My day is made after reading "harness mules" ! I grew up with "20 mule team borax" and recall their picture logo. Believe one of their advertisers was Ronald Reagan. "We" always wondered the cost of a harness for a 20 mule team.
     
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  43. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    It was a TV show called Death Valley Days. Ronald Reagan was the host for a couple of years. It started on radio and lasted for years well into television. The 20 Mule Team always looked longer than what they were hauling.
     
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  44. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Morgan,

    Appreciate info on Death Valley Days.

    Thank you for reviving fond memories !
     
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  45. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy Master Survivalist
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    I agree. There are excellent books in the Scout program. Personally I tend to like the older ones as that's what I came up thru the ranks with but I also think they lean more to teaching skills and are less on tech or bought items and relying on outside assistance. Great sources are you can often find old Scout books, merit badge pamphlets and the rest at used book stores, yard sales, craigslist, etc...

    Another great source for those in cold weather areas is the Scouts Okpik program. If you can find a workbook/ program from a council get it. I recall when I took it back around 2001 we were told that the Okpik program was used a reference in the Army's cold weather training course. The primary purpose is to teach you how to be able to go out in the dead of winter and enjoy the outdoors in a very unique time of year while staying safe and warm. So throw up that tent in the middle of winter when temps are below freezing and preferably much lower and snuggle in. It teaches you the do's and don'ts that will keep you alive or get you killed. The weekend we did our camp out it was warm, only got down to the teens at night with windchill pushed to single digits.
     
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  46. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
      525/575

    Blog Posts:
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    I loved that show. I still buy and use 20 mule team borax and use it as a final polish with aluminum oxide in my rock polishers.

    Mules and harness were BIG money through the first half of the 20th century. My Great Grandfather bred big Grey mules and made their harnesses. A 4 mule brace with harness cost about as much as the land for a pretty nice sized farm. In the 1920s they built a lake nearby and he rented mule teams to the county. they pulled big box blades and that is how they dug out the reservoir and pulled up the earthen dam. He got 20 dollars a day per team and in 1920 that was a huge amount. The school district also paid him to pull buses out of the mud when the roads turned into bogs and only mules could get to the stuck buses. He also would then hook a pair to a big covered wagon and pick up the kids and carry them to and from school. My Dad and his brother rode a little sweet grey hinny to school every day.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Borax....great for numerous purposes. I know it works great for flux, when forge welding steel as well as preserving hides.
       
      Dalewick, Oct 25, 2019
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  47. Caribou

    Caribou Master Survivalist
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    Boredom is a breakdown of morale and must be avoided. I teach the seven steps to survival. The first is recognition as if you don't perceive and admit to your problem you can't, or won't, do anything to save yourself. The last is play. That can be fishing or berry picking alone or with someone. It can be teaching a kid how to bait a hook or how to fix something. As long as it is something different and fun. Cards, board games, books, dice and so much more work well. Just taking a nap in the sun can be refreshing to the spirit. A special meal or chasing the spouse around, it doesn't matter as long as you are having fun.

    We have holidays spread throughout the year, and heavy in the winter, to help people keep their spirits up. The old Disney flicks had a lesson in them. "Swiss Family Robinson," towards the end, had the group all wound up so they decided to have a holiday so that everyone could get back to work, be happy, and productive.
     
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