To help alleviate the pain, I decided to write an article with all the different ways you can have fun, enjoy yourself, entertain yourself post-SHTF, or whatever you wanna to call it.
The Best Survival Games to Play Post-SHTF
A simple deck of cards will open the gate to so many games I can’t even fit them all in this post. Plus, these cards are also a good source of tinder if need be. Here’s what you can play:
- old maid
- and many, many more
The only thing to worry about is the fact that the cards will eventually get worn out. You can make a lot of toys with limited resources but a new deck of 52 cards that look all alike when faced down is impossible. That’s why it’s always best to get high-quality plastic cards.
P.S. Don’t forget to save the rules of all these games in paperback and/or on your Kindle or tablet. You don’t want the fun to be ruined by arguments because no one can remember the rules. Or, you can purchase Hoyle’s Modern Encyclopedia of Card Games which includes all of the rules, plus their variations.
A lot of people throw away or give away their books because they now have tablets and Kindles. Kindles are great, particularly since they don’t need a lot of energy. On the other hand, a good old fashioned book is irreplaceable, especially in an extended power outage.
Since the chances of an EMP aren’t particularly high, having a Kindle loaded with eBooks is great. Just to be safe, wrap it in aluminum and place it one of those Faraday cages you can get from Amazon.
As far as book selection, you can never go wrong with the classics. Your kids will find them both entertaining and useful, particularly since there wont’ be any school for them to attend.
Survival Board Games
I just don’t know where to begin with the board games. Perhaps, in addition to the ones that you’re probably playing right now (such as the Settlers of Catan), you’d be interested in some survival board games?
Monopoly: The Walking Dead (Survival Edition) (Amazon Link)
Outdoor Survival: A Game About Wilderness Skills (Amazon link)
Doom and Bloom SURVIVAL! (Amazon link)
Dead of Winter Crossroads Game (Amazon link)
Zombie Road Trip Board Game (Amazon link)
Zombie Survival Game (Amazon link)
RISK The Walking Dead Survival Edition Board Game (Amazon link)
Of course, no board game collection is complete without chess or backgammon. One way to find out which board games to stockpile is to get your family to put down their iPads and actually try them with you! I myself have been playing chess since I was 4 and I find it excellent for developing one’s logical thinking.
Activities that Involve the Entire Family
Again, I don’t know where to begin. I know, how about with playing an instrument? Unless there’s a danger of being heard by neighbors, looters, and anyone else you might be hiding from, playing an instrument can provide hours of entertainment for the whole group.
Puzzles are always fun but the best part is – you can always squeeze some of your other stuff in the puzzle box. Maybe copies of your IDs and other important papers, maybe a credit card knife, a small mirror, a few napkins… whatever fits in there!
Beach Ball Playing
Yes, you can stockpile any ball you want, but a beach ball, when deflated, takes very little space. It’s also easy to inflate with just your mouth, no pump needed.
I chose this sport for several reasons. One, the shuttlecocks and the racquets are lightweight and take very little space. Secondly, your entire family can play at once (provided you have enough raquets). Third, you don’t really need a field, a goal, or a basket, so you can play it in even the smallest clearing in the woods.
Here’s a video of how to make one. Of course, as any other survival skill, it has to be practiced before SHTF. 😉
Instead of just throwing away old frisbees, why not stockpile them? They’re lightweight and take very little space.
Again, lots of choices. Popular songs that area easy to sing include:
- Hotel California (The Eagles)
- House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
- Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
- Let It Be (The Beatles)
- Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel)
- Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
Although camping is definitely not survival, there’s no rule that says you can’t borrow the games. I’ll mention just a few of them, if you know any others, please add them as a comment to this article.
Oh, you might want to write down the rules (or find them somewhere online and print them) because you might not have access to them post-SHTF.
- Scavenger Hunt
- Hide and Seek
- Truth or Dare
- The Name Game
- The Winking Assassin
- Shoe Kicking
- Noah’s Ark
- The Name Game
- Catch, Don’t Catch
Skills That are Uber-Fun to Practice
We know by now that there are dozens of survival skills yo can learn. But which of them are more fun than others? I have a few for you:
Throwing Darts, Knives and Shurikens
Darts make a pretty good alternative survival weapon, by the way. Shurikens as well, although not many people have them and they’re a little dangerous for kids. If you’re going to use knives or shurikens, I suggest you watch your children closely.
Knives are a great way to hunt animals that are at most 30 feet (or 10 meters away) from you. If you want to make it harder and more realistic, instead of throwing knives in the ground, why not hang something from a branch and try and hit it while it’s swinging? This will make you all better hunters.
Crossbows and Bows
Nothing more to say here, you know what to do. To make things harder, have someone throw a bottle or something into the air for you to hit.
Here I’ve put all the ways to kill time that didn’t really fit into any other category.
Well, I couldn’t leave this out, right? Of course, the more condoms you stockpile, the more you can enjoy this without having to worry about babies. Love and sex will always be one of the “reptilian brain pleasures” that we’ll never grow tired of.
Playing with Pets and Farm Animals
Right now we may be giving likes to funny cats on Facebook (well, I don’t but most people are) but a day will come when we’ll finally play with real-life animals like we used to every day when we were kids.
So, please, get “Max” a bug-out bag too so he can make it out of the coming disaster situation alive and provide joy for you and your family just like he is now. Consider getting some chickens or ducks or even some cows. They’ll not only be a delight to your children but provide you with a continuous supply of eggs, milk, and meat. Well, meat is going to be tough with all the kinds trying to stop you from hurting their favorite playmates (like I used to do to my grandpa when I was young).
You know how useful dogs are post-SHTF but don’t underestimate the importance of cats. With no doctor in sight, mice can quickly spread disease unless “Felix” is there to catch them.
When was the last time you were in a swing? Swings are easy to make and are fun for the whole family.
Making and Playing With Origami Boomerangs
Heck, you can go ahead and play with real boomerangs but then you would miss all the fun of making one from a simple sheet of paper. Yes, they do fly if you do everything according to these instructions:
This is yet another fun activity we’ve all forgotten. You can draw anything, including maps of your bug out location and its surroundings, wildlife, or just portraits of your loved ones.
Playing on Your Phone and Tablet
I’m not putting them here because you wouldn’t have thought abut them, but to remind you to take precautionary measures. The first thing you need is to have means of charging your gadgets, such as solar chargers. The second thing I wanted to tell you was to make sure you place them in a Faraday cage, if possible, to protect them from an EMP attack. Last but not least, it’s a good idea to stockpile your gadgets instead of selling them. You never know which one will work and which will die post-disaster.
Also, you might want to look into a portable hard-drive where you can make a full back-up of all your music, movies, and even games if you can. There’s no telling whether the Internet will work if the grid stays up. Better safe than sorry. I recommend a drive with a capacity of at least 1 TB (one terabyte).
And since you’ve gone down this road, how about a portable DVD player that hooks up to your portable hard-drive via a USB port?
I realize this may not be for everyone but you never know when curiosity turns to hobby and then the hobby turns to passion. And all you need is a pair of binoculars… (P.S. Binoculars will also give you a chance to better inspect your surroundings if you’ve bugged out.)
Keeping a Journal
Keeping a journal can not only be relaxing but it could also be an invaluable asset to future generations who’ll want to know and learn about your survival experience.