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Prepared For… Boredom?

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Bordom
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Food and water, check.  Emergency and first aid supplies, check.  Water purification system, extra clothing, and shelter, check.  The ultimate prepper has gathered and stored everything needed to keep themselves, family, and anyone else included clothed, fed, and cared for.  Like any prepared person, you have imagined yourself and your loved ones in your bug-out location, bunker, basement, or missile silo munching on dehydrated food and feeling overwhelmingly thankful just to be alive.  You envision each person  appreciating all the hard work you have put into to preparing for their welfare and safety.

But have you taken into account the ugly side of human nature?  Like the side that comes out when you are on an extended car trip?  Has anyone, besides me, ever fantasized about duct taping shut the mouth of a spouse or offspring that keeps whistling the same annoying tune over and over again?  Who among us hasn’t considered jumping from a moving vehicle to escape from the insanity that is the sixth hour on a road trip?  The only thing that has stopped me is the risk that I might be too maimed to hobble away fast enough; giving them time to turn around and recapture me from the side of the highway.

My point is illustrated beautifully in the movie clip below:

As a child I can clearly remember Christmas vacation.  I waited all year for the longest break of the school calendar.  I daydreamed during math class about how great it would be to not have to get up at the crack of dawn and trudge to the bus stop.  Day one of vacation was awesome.  I slept in; focused on all those little projects I had wanted to work on all school year.  Christmas Eve filled me with great anticipation, and Christmas Day was, of course, was never dull.  By the time I went to bed on Christmas night I was so jacked up on sugar cookies that I couldn’t sleep, but it didn’t matter because there was absolutely nothing to do the next week or so.  Then, things took a dark turn.  A couple of days after my Christmas high I became listless and bored.  I was sick of looking at my family and hearing them continually talking and breathing.  Every day was bleak and one tedious day melted into the next.  I began plotting and planning on how to send my mother into a psychotic rage just to break up the doldrums and watch her face turn colors.

Boredom, not hoards of zombie looters, could be your worst nightmare in a doomsday scenario.  Those around you could begin aimlessly snapping at one another, nit-picky tendencies may erupt, and a general “Honey, I’m home!” Jack Nicholas in the movie Shining moment might be lurking around the corner.  Every prepper should add a few boredom-busters to their supplies.  And don’t assume you don’t need these items if you have no children to prep for.  Adults, in many ways, can be the most annoying addition to every bunker because you cannot reasonably force them into time-out or threaten to pull their pants down and spank them.  That last one might make things irreversibly awkward.

Here is a list of supplies you may want to add for everyone’s sanity:

    1. Stamina 36 inch Folding Trampoline - The folding mini trampoline.  Need I say more?  When kids are hyped on dehydrated dessert and running circles around everyone, why not put them on the trampoline for an hour or ten?
    2. Travel Qwirkle Board Game - Quirkle is a fun and easy game to learn.  It will keep minds sharp and nerves calm.
    3. Balderdash - Balderdash is perfect for the family who wants to practice their bluffing skills without the risk of a fistfight that could ensue after a disputed poker game involving high stakes such as gum or filter straws.  Never play poker in a high stress situation; you might put your eye out.
    4. Guesstures - Guesstures has been a favorite game in our family.  Our kids choose this game over any other.  So much so that my husband and I hid it.
    5. Mad Gab - Mad-Gab is awesome!  Don’t live without it.
    6. Mad Libs - Mad-Libs take no effort and if you give the goofiest off-the-cuff words, it is guaranteed to make you laugh; even if zombies are clawing at your door.
    7. Phase 10 – I have already banked 3 years of my lifetime playing this game with my nieces and nephew and it never gets too old to play again.
    8. 20 Questions -  If you have no imagination or your brain is numb from coming up with ideas for twenty questions, this is helpful.
    9. Farkel Party Game – I have never played this in my life, but it gets rave reviews on Amazon.  How could you go wrong with a game called “Farkel”?  And if you tire of Farkel, you can always play “Craps” after the kids go to bed.
    10. Max Fitness 75cm Exercise Ball - I saved the best for last.  I have one of these at home and it is supposed to be used for exercise.  However, I find that no matter who it is that comes to our house they are always drawn to this giant ball.  No jokes, please.  Kids can bounce on it, adults can sit on it, and you can launch it at a dear loved one fixedly playing Quirkle.  This action is guaranteed to put the doldrums to rest.

What items have you saved to prevent boredom for your family?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/christine.tincher.5 Christine Tincher

    Learning a useful craft like sewing, crocheting, knitting, basket weaving, woodworking etc can keep you occupied and might come in really handy someday.

    • Cornelia Adams

      I completely agree! I haven’t tried my hand at weaving or knitting, but I love to sew. It is a wonderful idea to go ahead and learn those skills now because one day you may need them for yourself or as a barter.

      • NetRanger

        Great ideas, ladies! For you guys out there, how about reloading ammo? I’ve been doing it for 40+ years and in times of need (such as this latest ammo shortage) its advantages are quite apperant. …and there is something very satisfying hunting and shooting your own ammo. while others are always wanting the progressive hi-speed loading presses, I advocate, at most, a turret press. Not only does it use up some of that available time for useful activities but you can take that long range sniper rifle and turn it into a squirrel or rabbit popping plinker without alerting the bomb squads 3 counties way. Not NEARLY as expensive to get into as you think.

        • prepperjournal

          Great way to pass the time! We could also add running the stationary bike that is hooked up to a grinder or alternator to charge the batteries.

  • Evangiline Smith

    Wow. I never really thought about boredom. I would most certainly be mad if I was shut in a space 500 ft. under ground. I’ll go to Wallmart or some store and buy the things on your list. Also, I will try to learn some skills and hope that it is enough. Thanks for the post! Keep writing!

  • Cobalt Blue

    I agree with the useful crafts part, but supplies for them could be scarce depending on the situation. For a game to pack its hard to be a basic deck of cards for versatility and compactness. I know back in 2003 casinos near McChord AFB donated thousands of decks of cards to give to troops being air dropped into iraq at the start of the war.