Relying on or using electronic tools in a survival situation is a serious debate among the survivalist and the emergency preparedness crowd. Sometimes the usefulness of a tool might out weight risk of something going wrong with it, which is the case with the Kindle.
The common themes you will hear from those individuals adamantly opposed to any electrical devices for Survival are:
“What if there is EMP or Solar Storm?” (Electro-Magnetic Pulse)
“What if it gets wet?”
“What if there is a dust storm from a Nuclear Fallout?”
“what if you can’t find a source of power?”
“What if you run out of batteries?”
“What if, What if, etc.”
I agree with those “What If” planners, you have to consider for as many of those contingencies as you possibly can but on the flip side, what if all of those things don’t happen and you are in an urban survival or wilderness survival situation with out a good piece of gear like an eReader. I believe this falls into the same category as the GPS. They are an excellent tool but you better have a compass and map as a back up. Same goes with the eReader, you need to have a few back up survival books/manuals in case things go wrong. (Two is One and One is None)
The Kindle 3 by Amazon.com can hold up to 3500 books and weighs just 8.7 Ounces. The older Kindle Version 2 weighs a whopping 10.2 Ounces. Compare this to the paper back version of “Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook” by James Talmage Stevens which weighs over 1 pound. 1 Book at 1 pound or 3500 books at 8.7 Ounces, who do you think will be better prepared?
Get Your eReader Charged Up
The Kindle ver. 2 & 3 can hold a charge for almost two weeks. If you combine the Kindle eReader with a product such as the Brunton Solar Roll, you are talking about endless amounts of reading and being able to reference books for different situations such as medical emergencies, edible plant types, tool making, gun smithing, agriculture, etc (as long as the sun is shining). I know, I know….what if the sun doesn’t shine for a long time? Trust me, if the sun doesn’t shine for a long time or we are hit by a Solar Storm, that last thing you will have to worry about is your Kindle not working.
There is also another factor that a lot of people do not think about in survival situations. If you go long periods without some type of stimulation you could become depressed and your drive to survive could become diminished. A tool such as an eReader, with 3500 books on it, could provide someone with endless stimulation and knowledge to get through a terrible situation. Some survivalist out there might consider the iPad but at 1.5 pounds and a questionable battery life compared to the Kindle 3, I would not recommend it for emergency preparedness situations. Bright colors with touch screens and animated graphics are nice but they also use lots of extra power with no real added benefit (The only exception to this might be for topo maps).
Keep Your eReader Element Proof
Get your eReader and electronic gear element proofed!!! Use a product like LOKSAK element proof bags to make sure all of your electronic gear is 100% safe. These bags are resealable element-proof storage bags featuring a hermetic seal. That means absolutely no water, air, dust or humidity permeates the closure. They are designed for a wide range of applications and environments. The transparent bags are flexible and puncture resistant and they come in multiple sizes (including ones that hold a full size AR-15 or pistol) and can be sealed over and over again. The best part about these bags is that you do not even need to take your Kindle out of the bag, you can type and view the screen right through the bag. The unique and patented materials, closure systems and manufacturing techniques used to fabricate the LOKSAK products meet the most rigorous testing standards and the SurvivalCache team has field tested them as well, they work!!!
Still Worried About an EMP Blast or Solar Storm?
Store your Kindle in a Faraday Cage Anti-Static Bag made by 3M. Will it work? I am not sure but at least with the combo 3M anti-static bag and a Loksak bag you have covered a lot of bases and improved your Kindle’s survivability.
With all of the “What If’s” considered and knowing that there are products out there that can recharge your Kindle and keep it safe from the elements as well as a static electric charge, we feel that a product like the Kindle should find a way into your Bug Out Bag. At 8.7 Ounces, the potential benefits far out weigh all of the “What If’ers” arguments against it.
The Best Survival and Emergency Preparedness Downloads for the Kindle (or paperback):
1. How to Survive TEOTWAWKI
2. SAS Survival Handbook
3. Crisis Preparedness Handbook
4. Where There is No Doctor
5. Where There is No Dentist
6. The Survival Retreat
7. The Encyclopedia of Country Living
8. Back to Basics
9. The Firefox Books
10. 5 Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management
11. Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills & Wilderness Survival
12. Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them
13. The Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Survival
14. The Survival Handbook
15. When All Hell Breaks Loose
The SurvivalCache Crew
“The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare”