This is a guest post by Julius K and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.
I have been preparing and following this website for just over 9 months now, yet I haven’t commented or written in until now. Since graduating with my Master’s degree in May (and being unable to find work in this economy) I have free time on my hands and decided I wanted to write something for the Wolfpack. However, the issue of deciding what I was qualified to write about was a tough one. Since both of my degrees are in the park and recreation field I decided this was a logical place to start and an area that I was experienced in.
I rarely see recreation mentioned in the prepper websites that I visit. Occasionally, I see it mentioned that crayons and paper should be stored to provide children with a means of play post SHTF. However, recreation isn’t just a fun thing for children; it is a useful tool to use for adults in a post collapse world. The root word of recreation is recreate and in a way, recreation can be used to recreate your mindset. You see, there are two ways in which humans are able to keep their mind refreshed and well rested. The first is through sleep. Sleep, however, could prove difficult with all the stress that would come in a post collapse world. In addition, if looters and thugs are prowling your neighborhood then you may need to sleep less and keep watch more. This poses a problem to the survivalist because a lack of sleep can lead to irritability, fatigue, less awareness, and a mind that isn’t as sharp. Keeping your mind sharp is paramount since danger or opportunities could pop up at any time. Fortunately, there is a second way to keep focused; recreation.
Studies have shown time and again that recreation relaxes the mind, reduces stress, and reenergizes focus almost as well as sleep. Furthermore, recreation that involves a physical element provides the person with exercise, increased energy, and alertness. Recreation can consist of almost anything so I won’t go into what or how to recreate. The key aspects of recreation are that it should be something that is enjoyable and it should take your mind off things, even if only temporarily. Essentially, recreation is just play for adults. If there is an activity that you “lost yourself” in then that is an ideal form of recreation that will assist you in receiving the full benefits of recreation. Have you ever said to yourself, “I can’t believe it’s been an hour already. It seems like just 10 minutes has gone by!”? Activities that make use think like that are ideal recreational activities.
Recreation is outdoor settings is also valuable. It has been found that people who looked at pictures of urban or manmade structures reported feeling as those their eyes were “tired”. The reason for this is that we, as humans, are also animals and despite centuries of technological advancement our minds are still wired essentially the same as they were thousands of years ago. It requires more effort on the part of our brain and optic nerves to look at complex manmade structure. However, viewing photographs of natural settings was found to make the individuals feel rested. It has even been noted that students who studied in nature had higher test scores that those who studied indoors. The point is that if your means of recreation can take place outside safely during a SHTF event then you will gain the added benefits discussed above.
Lastly, (and this was the focus of a lot of my graduate school work) recreation aids in building a sense of community. This could be important post collapse if you find yourself with a group of people whom you may or may not be extremely close with. Humans survive best in communities, but post collapse it could be difficult to join together with strangers. The stress created by the need to survive may cause tensions to run high and fights with others would be common. However, by engaging in recreation with others you are able to build community. This occurs through the shared experience of a positive event. Basically, having fun together makes people more comfortable with one another and brings people closer.
Recreation is also important now. Times are tough and getting tougher and it seems as though the S could HTF at any minute. Many of the pack may have jobs and children and life can be stressful. For these reasons it is important to remember to enjoy life and take some time to enjoy recreation with your friends and family. An added bonus is all of the benefits I’ve discussed earlier. Although we are all preparing for worst case scenarios it is important to remember the reasons why we are trying to survive; the fun and happy things in life. Recreation with friends and family is what makes life worth living and in a survival situation knowing why you want to survive gives you a huge mental advantage over those who would just give up!
Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – A Volcano Grill courtesy of LPC Survival a $134.99 value, a $150 gift certificate for Remington ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner, a 60 serving bucket of Wise Freeze Dried Food courtesy of EmergencyFoodWarehouse.com and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain meal a $219.95 value courtesy of Kitchen Neads and a USB Portable VPN courtesy of unspyable a $275 value. Total prize value of $899.99.
- Second place winner will receive – A Sopakco Sure – Pak MRE – 12 Meals courtesy of Campingsurvival.com, a $98.95 value, a Tatsu360 Tenkara Rod a $72.00 value courtesy of Dragontail Tenkara and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service, a $100 value, courtesy of unspyable. Total prize value of $270.95.
- Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and a copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.
Be sure to read the rules before entering… This contest will end on November 10 2013