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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:59 pm 
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I think everybody has seen the fidget spinners. A couple of bearings in a trefoil housing. IMHO, they're kinda worthless in an amusing way. But, since a lot of handling a crisis involves waiting for news or for something to happed, it got me thinking about ways to pass time. Given the amount of time and money dedicated to better forms of electronic amusement, I though I'd look at ways to pass the time that doesn't require batteries.

So, subject to the following, is there anything else you think should be on the list?
1) Not much bigger then a paperback dictionary.
2) Batteries not required. For that matter, doesn't require anything else including a table, a partner, or good ventilation.
3) Quiet enough to do in a crowded room
4) Doesn't require excess space (no YoYos or paper airplanes)
5) Won't cause trouble (no balisong flipping)

THE LIST
Paperback book
Sudoko/crossword booklet
Baoding balls (the ones without the chimes)
Kendama (Japanese variant on cup and ball)
Worry beads (Kompoloi)
Beglari
Pen spinning
Walking a coin
The aforementioned fidget spinners
Knot practice


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:16 pm 
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magnets! I like magnet cubes and magnet balls


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:51 pm 
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I think a deck of cards is a must. Or any other small games. Cards can be played solitarily or with a group. If you don't have a table, you can use the floor. Depending on the group, games are a great calming, bonding, and time-killing activity (as long as no one is too competitive).

You mentioned knot practice, but whatever string/rope you use for that could also be used for making string figures like cat's cradle. String figures can also be solitary or multiple person activities.

And fidget cubes are a bit more useful than fidget spinners, as they take no batteries and have multiple sides to mess with.

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:41 pm 
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6/6 dominoes used to be really popular when I was in the military. Those little sets are about the size of a paperback. When the internet started appearing everywhere they waned a bit but never disappeared. Quiet enough to do any crowded room might be tough. The bone games were often the loudest part of a big room.

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:32 pm 
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napping :awesome:

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:39 pm 
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I agree 100% with playing cards and knot tying.

Back when I lived on a boat, we used to do riddles and mind games. So a book of riddles would be hours of fun. Most of ours were word-of-mouth but they had to have come from somewhere. We wasted so many hours on watch and smoke breaks bullshitting about who figured out Chief's made up riddle about being drunk in the Philippines.

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:47 pm 
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Tangrams! Apparently one brand is called Tangoes, now.

Example: https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Tangoes-US ... 000SZSQK8/

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:31 am 
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I have decided to take up whittling. For a camping sit down do stuff. And it means I can get a cool new knife.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:06 am 
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I always have a deck of cards for the above mentioned reasons. I can burn time very well playing solitaire. It has to be manual though. Electronic games bore me easily.

I carry a bible in my gear as well. I read it when waiting if I'm outside. God and Nature seem to go well together.

Of course, if I'm not tasked anything to do whatsoever, I can sleep until I'm hungry and eat until I'm sleepy like a firefighter.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:33 am 
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IMO this is an under-emphasized aspect of disaster prepping. I think OP hit the nail on the head when he points out a lot of time during a crisis will be spent just waiting around: for news updates, something to happen or just conserving energy.

While I know one of OP's qualifications was something that does NOT require a partner, there's tremendous value in diversions that do involve interacting with others. Especially important for those of us prepping for families. Keeping spouses and children's minds off of a crisis situation can go a long way to making it more manageable for everyone.

But even if you're not necessarily planning on riding out an emergency with anyone but yourself, having something fun to pass the time with a fellow survivor/refugee/whatever can be a really good thing. Fixating on a crisis while stewing in your own juices is a recipe for poor morale.

For that reason, I really like the playing cards idea; something small, simple and that you can use to play with others. And if it turns out you don't have a partner for that rousing game of Crazy-8's, there's always Solitaire to while away the hours as you contemplate the grim realities of a post apocalyptic future. :ohdear:

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:04 am 
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Print these ZS threads out and try to read them. Boredom will look wonderful.


viewtopic.php?f=109&t=120132

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=120085

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=120083&p=2668299#p2668299

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:07 am 
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taipan821 wrote:
napping :awesome:



You could knap in your sleep?


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:11 am 
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Maybe build a bike generator and recharge your batteries?

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Pedal Power! How to Build a Bike Generator
Hey, DIY Cyclists: Bring your bike indoors and generate electricity while you ride.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technol ... -16627209/

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Farkle: https://www.amazon.com/Farkle-Nano-Keyc ... B002BUYEGS

They also make such things as a barrel of monkeys in keychain size...

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 4:28 pm 
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majorhavoc wrote:
IMO this is an under-emphasized aspect of disaster prepping. I think OP hit the nail on the head when he points out a lot of time during a crisis will be spent just waiting around: for news updates, something to happen or just conserving energy.

While I know one of OP's qualifications was something that does NOT require a partner, there's tremendous value in diversions that do involve interacting with others. Especially important for those of us prepping for families. Keeping spouses and children's minds off of a crisis situation can go a long way to making it more manageable for everyone.

But even if you're not necessarily planning on riding out an emergency with anyone but yourself, having something fun to pass the time with a fellow survivor/refugee/whatever can be a really good thing. Fixating on a crisis while stewing in your own juices is a recipe for poor morale.

For that reason, I really like the playing cards idea; something small, simple and that you can use to play with others. And if it turns out you don't have a partner for that rousing game of Crazy-8's, there's always Solitaire to while away the hours as you contemplate the grim realities of a post apocalyptic future. :ohdear:


That's three of the big four as far as gaming mediums go. A pack of cards(B/J, poker, crazy eights, uno, go fish), a dozen dice (Bunco, Craps, Farkle, Yahtzee), and a 6-6 set of dominos. The last being paper and pencil games, and you'll need those anyway to keep score. Toss in a paperback copy of Hoyle's, and an equally bored friend, and you're set to wait out just about anything.

Speaking of pocket sized time wasters, does anybody remember the Rubik's series of puzzles? Cube, pyramid, and magic. They've all been outsourced to China, but you can still get them under various brands.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:12 pm 
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I dunno if anyone has played the card game "31". I learned it when I was volunteering at a senior home. 4-10 people can basically play for about 2 hours for just one game. It's a good time. It can eat up the time.

The apocalypse and aging are really one in the same... learn from your elders....

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:30 pm 
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CG wrote:
Tangrams! Apparently one brand is called Tangoes, now.

Example: https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Tangoes-US ... 000SZSQK8/


Tangrams: When I was a kid, there was a set of Tangoes that came in a convenient case with a deck of double-sided cards to complete and two sets of tangrams to play competitively with another person. The set I had looked pretty professional with a black case and black and deep red pieces, but I see Amazon has a more colorful version now. I recently found another set like I had as a child at our local Goodwill. I was an only child and played those by myself for hours and hours at a time. You do need a surface to manipulate the pieces, but it can be small, like that book you got bored of reading :wink: .

Portable Games: Mancala is a self-contained game. It is technically a two-person game, but you can find solitaire rules for it, as well. I always check the travel-sized game section of stores to find portable things to keep hands busy.

Coloring or Sketching: My teen daughter likes the "adult coloring book" fad (these are coloring books that appeal more to adults than young children - not adult-themed material). You can find ones that are about the size of a paperback book and small packs of coloring pencils or gel pens. She always has a small coloring book and pack of coloring pencils in her purse. It's a very soothing activity. A sketchbook or journal and some sketching pencils or pens may be more your speed.

Rubbing Fidgets: Worry stones or a small toy are good things to keep in your pockets if you have anxiety or just feel like fidgeting. I find them more to my liking than fidget spinners (which I find annoying, personally). I find the Tsum-Tsum stackable figures to be good worry stone-style fidget toys. I have a small Rocket Raccoon I keep in my pocket to mess with when my anxiety kicks in and I gave my daughter my Doctor Strange (they come in a stack of three figures and you can get a variety of styles ranging from Disney to Marvel characters). They come in plastic figures and plush, though I don't think the plushes are small enough for a pocket but would be fine for a purse or pouch.

A Different Fidget Toy: My personal favorite fidget gizmo is a bike chain flipper. You could easily make one yourself if you are so inclined, as well. Heck, you could take a small bag of chain parts, key rings, and rubber bands and use your time making these to hand out to fidgety children and coworkers.

Make Something: How about knitting, crochet, loom knitting, knobby (chord) knitting, or making something on a Rainbow Loom? These only require small tools and are pretty contained. You can find a pretty decent variety of instructions for paracord crafting. You could spend your time crocheting Octopi for premature infants (these octopi or shown to improve outcomes in at risk preemies). There are some pretty strict rules about these in order to protect the babies, so please be sure to read the rules if this is a project you want to work on. With the opioid addiction sweeping the country, there is a high demand for these as more and more babies are born prematurely to addicted mothers. This is a really small project that's easy to do in your lap and you can learn to crochet while making them if you don't already know how. I keep the entire project in a BB-8 style lunch tin, so it is definitely within lap-space parameters.

Physical Brain Teasers: Metal brain teasers come to mind - the kind you have to figure out how to get apart and put back together. Little brain teaser wooden puzzles would work, too. You could take several of those in a small container. Oooooh, keep some in a puzzle box for double the fun.

Eighties Toys: How about the old "magic snake" you could twist into all sorts of shapes? Or the Rubik's cube and its several mutations (there are some seriously complicated ones out there, too)?

Stress Balls: The squishy foam balls are not only good for focusing your stress, but they're pretty good at strengthening your hands, too. My husband works for our state department of transportation and brings home little foam traffic cone style "stress balls" from conferences and I found that those were a great help to exercise my hands when we first started milking goats.

Prayer Beads: These are great for keeping count of things without actually having to count. You put a different bead at the number where you want to stop so you do a thing a number of times and just stop when you reach the bead that feels different. It doesn't have to be prayers, by the way, that's just the easiest term for finding them. I've seen some really pretty Asian ones with jade beads and dragon charms and decorative knots.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:44 pm 
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I spent the better part of a summer trying to master jerking up a piece of rope and making it fall back down with a knot in it......

Of course I also spent months (years?) of my life dipping snuff and trying to spit on the same spot when the tractor tire came back around.

Edit to add: Lots of time watching a little red and white ball bob up and down on a pond too.

I'm probably not a good example.....

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:59 pm 
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Storytelling?
Especially if your group may have young children in it.
Might sound weird, but weapon cleaning. Some people it'll actually take their mind off things and relax a little bit.
Relatively quiet musical instruments. Think somebody just softly strumming guitar or fooling around with a harmonica (obviously don't go crazy with the noise level).
I think you should definitely consider activities that can be done with a partner, it can help build up your relationships so that people don't get so frustrated with everyone that it becomes a problem. Probably not a concern with family members in the house, but say a family member or friend showed up to ride out the storm with you and you guys weren't super close.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:22 pm 
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I guess we're keeping it clean, eh? :crazy:


I'd like to try whittling, with an emphasis on potentially useful items that are currently manufactured.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:43 am 
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velojym wrote:
I guess we're keeping it clean, eh? :crazy:


I'd like to try whittling, with an emphasis on potentially useful items that are currently manufactured.


While what I think you are talking about takes up time, I don't think it wastes time and you are not usually bored when you do it, so probably doesn't apply to this thread :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:07 am 
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Meditation is a valuable tool I use while waiting. Some stillness inside can be quite refreshing.

However, a surprising amount of people are disturbed by stillness and quiet in others.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:32 am 
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velojym wrote:
I guess we're keeping it clean, eh? :crazy:


I'd like to try whittling, with an emphasis on potentially useful items that are currently manufactured.


Yeah i have been trying to do spoons at the moment. you can go from quick functional to art. I have been doing a crap job with a little fiskars x5 and a pocket knife. but it does give me something to do while camping.

I think I need a special knife for it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Our bug-in plans have gone toward making sure that we have plenty of paper books. More knowledge and entertainment on the shelves than can fit in the head.

A PAW D&D game wouldn't be out of the question, though.


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