After an apocalypse or SHTF scenario, assuming you survive the initial chaos, boredom can begin to take its toll. It is very important to keep your mind occupied and active. You need entertainment for when SHTF.

If only to maintain your sanity. Entertainment during the apocalypse is likewise valuable for building friendships, and creating a sense of normalcy.

Certain scenarios could force you to shelter indoors . A nuclear detonation requires you to shelter in place for over two weeks. A blizzard could make it difficult to even open your front door. Rioters or revolution could make going outside unsafe.

Whatever the scenario is, being prepared means more than just having food and water stockpiled. It is easy to focus only on the basic level necessities of life, while neglecting entertainment during the apocalypse.

In this article we will overview strategies that you can use for entertainment for when SHTF. We have broken down entertainment into three categories: social, technological, and developmental.


Contrary to conventional prepper thinking, most disasters don’t turn people into murderous looting machines.

Humans are social animals who thrive by living in groups. Communities respond to disasters by acting spontaneously and altruistically. Social interaction is crucial to our development and daily living.

Having companionship is the single best form of entertainment for when SHTF. Having a conversation helps keep us grounded in reality, and can spark ideas, friendships, and debates.

A deck of cards has been a form of entertainment since ancient times. Games like Go Fish, Spades, and War are easy to learn and are tons of fun. There is a prepper themed deck of playing cards which have lots of useful survival information on them. The best part about cards is that they are inexpensive, and lightweight. A deck should be included in everyone’s emergency kit.

Conversational games are entertaining, and also don’t require anything more than a partner. 20 Questions, Eye Spy, and “Truth or Dare” are examples of good conversational games. Just avoid playing Eye Spy if everything within eyeshot is a grey and lifeless nuclear wasteland.

Board games are great entertainment for when SHTF. Multi boardgame sets are a great way to have several board games in one package.

While these are not practical to carry around, they are great for survival scenarios that require you to shelter in one place.


Computers, TV, cell phones, and video games are probably the most common forms of electronic entertainment in this day and age. They are relatively inexpensive, and can provide hours of entertainment during the apocalypse.

Hand-cranked radios are great and you can listen to the latest news broadcasts. While this form of entertainment hasn’t been popular since what feels like 50 years, in the aftermath of a disaster this could be a great source of fun.

Radio stations should continue operation through the more routine types of emergencies. An added benefit to many hand-cranked radios are that they can charge cell phones.

Handheld games are also great source of entertainment for when SHTF. The only downside being that they require a constant supply of batteries to operate. These types of gadgets are great fun, and are an excellent way to keep restless people occupied.

One piece of technology that can prove to be very valuable is the Kindle. Some models have batteries that can last upwards of several weeks with constant use. This feature allows for reading material to be safely stored and accessed for a relatively long amount of time.

Power outages are the biggest threat to entertainment during the apocalypse. This can be remedied with solar chargers, generators, and power banks.


Reading is one of the most productive uses for your time. You can read for fun, to learn, or to simply pass the time. Books can store vast quantities of knowledge, and everyone should have at least a few on hand.

 While it is difficult to recommend specific books for a SHTF scenario, it is generally a good idea to have a few reference, nonfiction, and fiction books. Diversify your collection so that you have the broadest amount of material at your disposal. I also highly recommend having a survival manual on hand, such as Survive! By Les Shroud or The SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman. Having expert knowledge in your pocket can be invaluable.

Writing is another great way to keep your mind busy. A durable writing pad can be used to document daily events, set up reminders, and to put some creativity onto paper. Keeping a daily record of events will help you reflect, and will be useful in remembering essentials such as when you planted vegetables. The story of many adventurers have been recollected through their journal entries. It is possible that long after a disaster event has passed, your journal entries could become the next big epic, story, or even a movie.

Painting, drawing, and other forms of art are a great way to express yourself and to have a creative outlet. A sketch pad with some pencils or crayons are cheap and light enough to include in an emergency kit.

Knitting, sewing, or other crafts can be both fun as well as productive. Having a useful skill that you enjoy not only gives you something to do, it also raises your value to other people in a SHTF or apocalypse-level scenario. It is generally better to learn these valuable skills before a disaster event occurs, so that you will not have to learn via a trial by fire. Having your only pair of pants rip when it is freezing outside could mean death for someone who does not know how to mend them fast.

Final Thoughts on Entertainment for when SHTF

Entertainment is valuable in building relationships, keeping morale high, and passing the time. This is particularly important after disaster scenarios when tensions are running high.

There are many sources of entertainment to rely on in a SHTF scenario. What you decide to use for entertainment can largely depend on your budget, storage situation, and what your environment allows.

Are there other forms of entertainment during the apocalypse that you think are worth mentioning? What do you personally plan on doing to keep yourself occupied during a disaster scenario? Let us know in the comments below.