Having fun in a crisis


In any stressful situation, it is imperative that you keep your morale high.  In a crisis you absolutely must be able to take your mind off of your current situation if for only a small amount of time.  Having the ability to entertain yourself and your family will help to alleviate the stress of any tense situation.

Entertainment comes in many different forms and range from single player games to full family undertakings.  Having a library of books at your disposal is a huge plus as they can be both entertaining and educational.

You can purchase a ton of books from used book stores for a fraction of the retail price. Most stores even have a clearance section with books for under a dollar.  If you like to read magazines but don’t want to have a subscription, you could even go to your local doctor’s office and ask for any old magazines that they may throw out.

When I say books or magazines, I just want to clarify that I mean a physical item.  Having an iPhone, ipad or Kindle library will only take you as long as the battery lasts.  While I do have an iPhone and Kindle, and I do keep books on them as they are great for travel and take up no space, I also keep several shelves filled with books.

You could also do something as simple as teaching yourself to whittle or learn to play the harmonica.  Your spare time could also be used learning to tie useful knots like a bowline, sheepshank, or even a simple square knot.

I usually spend travel time tying and untying a piece of paracord into different braids.  My favorite so far has been the blaze bar because I can unravel it in seconds and start again easily.

These are basic ideas for entertainment, but there are many more games and activities that you can enjoy either by yourself or with your family.

Having fun in a crisis

Below is a small listing of other simple games and activities that you can use to ease the burden that crisis may bring:

  • Solitaire (Learn to play)
  • Uno
  • Jenga
  • Mancala
  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Trouble
  • Aggravation (a personal favorite that my family plays every Thanksgiving)
  • Risk
  • Gin
  • Poker
  • Monopoly (this game will test the strength of your family)
  • Puzzles
  • Knot tying games
  • Yahtzee
  • Scrabble

Keeping yourself entertained is vital to your survival. If you are able to distance your mind from your current situation it will lower your stress level with  will reduce the impact that a crisis has on your body and mind.  Entertainment is widely considered a luxury item but in a survival situation it does become a necessity.  Whether you are surviving on your own or with your whole family you will be much better off if you can keep yourself entertained.

Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 30, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

7 Responses to :
Having fun in a crisis

  1. Craig says:

    Great article. Helpful hint: Invest in a solar charger for your Kindle.

    1. Joe says:

      I love my kindle! Unfortunately I would rather get some physical books for a SHTF scenario. However If I get to the point where i believe I can relax on other portions of my preps I may invest in a small solar charger. I have actually been given one to test out and will be writing a review on it soon

  2. socaldano says:

    mental health is so important.
    Don’t forget dice, that can get wet and dried off and kept in your pocket. When decisions get too stressed, the dice can be used to defuse the situation.
    With power out or an EMP, your electronics are no good anyway.
    Keeping old laptops and ham radios with a good charged battery in a farraday cage (an old thick filing cabinet, with the laptop in a non conductive package inside like cardboard box. Especially if you can use a metal sheet cover over the cabinet, will protect everything inside. Better yet, put that Cabinet deep in a root celler.

    1. Joe says:

      Great Idea! Yahtzee is a dice game so I completely forgot to add dice by themselves. Domino is another great game to play as well as those wooden peg jumping games. Any other tips?


  3. Ed says:

    All sorts of target practice games and competitions are entertaining and skill development. Knife throwing is amazing fun, I have competitions with my kids, tack a playing card or similar size object on a board with plywood backstop, have young kids throw darts vs you and older kids with knives. Hatchet throwing should be done mostly outdoors. exhilirating to stick a hatchet in a tree from 30 feet is like swishing a 3 pointer in Bball or sinking a 30 ft putt on the green.
    BB guns (rifles and pistols) can be shot indoors in basments, garages and such if neighbors are nervous, if neighbors are not an issue do it outside. Not very loud, develops good shooting skills, cheap, and excellent fun. I have my kids shooting bows and arrows, develops strength and skill and great fun-very cool now since “Hunger Games” They will graduate up to the crossbow when strong enough to draw the string. Just bought sling shots and they look like a lot of fun too.
    If you have a deck of cards, you must learn to play euchre.
    Make a game of necessary skills now. Go on youtube and watch how to start a fire with no matches or starters. Practice now when not emergency. If you are over run with squirrels like I am, pick one off now and then but don’t waste it. Go through the actions of cleaning it to prepare to eat.
    Gardening can be a game too, each person take a plot and try your best to grow the best produce using different types of soils, amendments, fertilizers (urine works well with many things). This is wonderful world and time to be alive, so much to do, learn, enjoy, I can’t even imagine ever being bored or depressed.

    1. Joe says:

      Excellent Ed! thank you for all of the ideas! Keep them coming.

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