Our world today is so centered on electronics that it’s hard to imagine a post SHTF life without all our toys. All the fun electronics that occupy us (and at times, our children) when we’re bored or have a few minutes to spare, will have dead batteries within a few days (max). So then what?
In many ways, it would be nice to lose all electronics for a bit. It would be nice to go back to a simpler way of life, where board games and charades are nightly entertainment, but how easy would that be for our kids? I a post-collapse world, I don’t want my kids to be instantly bombarded with the harsh reality of the tough times that could be upon us and the even tougher times to come. Swift changes in the way everyday life is lived can be difficult for anyone, but the difficulties adjusting to new situations can be magnified for children, making the more restless, nervous or scared than us adults. I’m not saying completely shielding our children from a harsh reality, should it happen, is my goal, but I don’t want it to smack them in the face too hard, either. It is for this reason that we have two different chargers that work without being plugged in. These small chargers (for USB and such) will keep some of our electronics going just a little longer, to cushion the blow of the changes that would take place post SHTF.
So, what do we have? Well, we have a small crank radio with a spot for one USB to be plugged in a charged. This small radio not only has the hand crank, but it also has a small solar panel on its top side. Charging small hand-held devices with the crank is rather time consuming and not very practical, but it can be done. And I’m not talking getting a full charge on a ton of different things and keeping them charged. But to be able to give our kids thirty minutes on their DS when everything around them is falling apart would be wonderful. And of course, having a crank/solar radio is just a nice thing to have in any emergency in general.
The other charger we have plugs into the wall and has fold out solar panels. So now, having electricity, we keep it plugged in and charging at all times, because the great thing about this charger is that it holds a charge after being unplugged. So that stored energy can be used immediately upon needing it, without having to use the solar panels at first. Obviously, the solar panels are great too, as that takes no work on anyone’s part, other than setting it out for a bit. I haven’t tried much with this one, but it got great reviews, and once I do, I will get some information up about it (brand name, how well it works, what we tried charging, etc).
Why, in a post SHTF world, am I bothering to find ways to charge up my kids’ electronics? In my mind, it’s much like having comfort food. Do we need it? No. But it does provide that small sense of “thinks are ok” that everyone needs form time to time. Nobody needs to play a game on a DS, but to be able to provide a little time on one, in a harsh and scary world, could enable our children to have a few minutes of what they loved before, allowing them to calm down and smile.
In a crazy world, any bit of comfort we can provide our kids, even if only in short bursts, will be welcome.