The eReader: A Prepper tool

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/The eReader: A Prepper tool)
29 April 2012,, by Mr. Larry

[Above: Kindle with leather, lighted cover (not the 3G model mentioned below).]

 A few months ago, during December 2011, I bought a Kindle Touch 3G, eBook reader. I presently have 71 books and 9 PDF files downloaded into the Kindle, as well as 22 books archived in my free Kindle Cloud (web storage) account. The Kindle Touch comes with 4 gigabytes onboard storage, of which I’ve used 1.12 GB, leaving 2.87 GB free. Based on this information I could store between 200 and 250 books on the device. Amazon allows unlimited storage for archived literature bought from them. So, its not a really a matter of my device ever running out of the built in flash memory, I could store all my books on line and download just the one I’m reading! 

[Above: Two shelves from one of my bookcases. The top shelf has 43 books & booklets, the lower shelf has 31 books, for a total of 74 books. My Kindle currently has 71 books downloaded into its memory, or about the same number you see on two these shelves, combined. I also have 22 books, or half the top shelf, stored in Amazon’s Cloud storage, however, the number of books you can store in your free Amazon Cloud account is limitless. This visualization should bring home the value of an eReader, not only for everyday use, but as a Prepper information & general entertainment tool.]

The survival value of the Kindle and other eReaders, is that you can download numerous books into the device and read/ reference the material later.
You can also use your computer to transfer any PDF document to the Kindle. This means that besides the thousands of books that you can purchase or get free from Amazon, you can download many hundreds of free PDF documents from the Internet and place them on the Kindle. The kinds of free PDF documents that can you find for your Kindle, include everything in the PDF file format, ie., military manuals, magazines, reference sheets, etc.

I’ve set up my Kindle with categories/folders for specific information related to my interests, ie: Ecology, Fiction, Games, Economic-Financial, Literature, Reference, and Survival, etc. When I download books or PDF files to the Kindle, they are moved into those categories.
As previously mentioned, I have 22 books stored in my Kindle Cloud account, most of those were free from Amazon. A partial list of these preparedness oriented, free books includes: Agriculture for Beginners, Gas and Oil Engines, The Golden Age Cook Book, Manual of Surgery-2 volumes, How to camp Out, In Time of Emergency, Wood Craft and Camping, and more.

If you’re going out into the boonies/environment with your Kindle, I would advise carrying it in a protective sleeve and carrying the unit in a gallon size, slider type, zip lock baggie or something similar to protect it from rain; no more than you’d do for any other electronics taken to the field.

Here are a few pictures of my device:

 [Above: Kindle Touch showing a page of my ‘category’ folders.]


 [Above: Close up screen shot. The text you see on the screen looks just like what you see in a book, but there is no glare as you’d encounter trying to read from a LCD backlit tablet or computer monitor.]

The Kindle has many capabilities, text can be resized larger or smaller, there’s text to speech if you want to listen to your book being read by a computer voice while your doing something else, passages you want to find again can be quickly highlighted, the readers controls are accessed by touching dedicated areas on the screen, pages are turned by touching the left or rigth margin. While reading a book on your Kindle, you can also read through the pages of the digital book in the Kindle program on your computer.  From your computer you can copy the passages you previously highlighted (or any other text) and paste that text in a seperate document file; for example, if you wanted to make a copy of instructions on how to make Bannock bread, you’d just copy the text off the digital book and paste it to a text or docdument file. When you want a copy of procedural steps, or a lengthy list, this copy/paste capability is a valueable time saver. Its that easy.

The Kindle Touch 3G has a rudimentary wi-fi Web Browser that can be used to create a list of favorite websites; ie., The Weather Channel, Yahoo, WordPress blogs, ABC News, etc. The nature of the electronic ink display, does not allow video. Text and photographs are in black and white. Remember the Kindle eReaders are not tablets they use electronic ink to duplicate a book like reading experience – which works very well.  The 3G version allows you check the Kindle library, buy and download books, magazines or newspapers from anywhere there is 3G service.  It also play music or mp3′s. This means you can download any mp3 such as podcasts and store them on the Kindle for listening to later.

Benefits that a Kindle has for survival preparedness:
1.  It can carry an enormous amount of text (hundreds of books, or more) in a small space, and has access to your Kindle Cloud account where you may      have archived a much larger selection of purchased and free books, PDF and personal files.
2.  eReaders are very  portable and can carried in a jacket pocket, dropped into a backpack, bug out bag or carried along with your camping gear.
3.  Kindle Touch has a very long battery life – up to a month per charge. With a small sCharger-5 solar panel (see below) the unit and most, or all of your other small personal electronics can be charged (you’ll need to buy the adapters seperately, they’re not expensive.).
4.  Relatively inexpensive – the Kindle Touch model starts at $99 (wi-fi only) and goes up to $189 for the a) free 3G model, b) without advertisements.

Some of the best survival and emergency preparedness downloads for the Kindle (or buy them in paperback form):
1.  Crisis Preparedness Handbook
2.  98.6 The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive!
3.  Where There is No Dentist
4.  Where There is No Doctor
5.  When All Hell Breaks Loose
6.  Buckshot’s Complete Survival Trapping Guide
7.  How to Survive TEOTWAWKI
8.  The Survival Retreat
9.  The Encyclopedia of Country Living
10. 5 Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management
11.  Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills & Wilderness Survival
12.  The Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Survival
13.  SAS Survival Handbook
14.  The Survival Handbook
15.  Surviving the Economic Collapse

[Above: The ability to read and search for information at night. Kindle Touch shown in an optional cover jacket with built in swivil-out reading lamp. The small, effective  LED lamp is powered from the Kindle’s built-in battery. Separate AA & AAA battery powered lamps for Kindle are also available.

Suntactics sCharger-5 Solar panel
* 5w, 1 amp, 5v output folding panel for small personal electronics
[The product description from Amazon:] “Solar Charger for iPod, iPhone, Motorola Droid, HTCs, Samsung, Android phones and most all other small electronic gadgets including GPSs, Kindles, Nooks, portable gaming devices and even USB batteries. Works very well on the iPhone 4S. It even charges the iPad in good sunny weather.This is not an ordinary small solar charger. These use high efficiency solar cells like the ones used in industrial grade solar systems.
The sCharger-5 solar charger will not only charge your device, it will run it directly from the sun. And it will last for years. Use the sCharger-5 solar charger to charge your handhelds while camping, on picnics, at the beach, by the pool, or ball games. Use it to solar charge your devices when there is no other power available. Take it hiking with you to charge that GPS device.Use it for emergency power and disaster power relief. Most of the time cell phones still work when there is no electricity. Be the only one with a fully charged phone! No power no problem. Loose your wall charger? Why not start charging from solar?…”

Carry-storage Pouch
Case Logic CDWC-24:  A 24 Capacity CD/DVD zippered, khaki Cotton Binder, used to house my sCharger-5 solar panel. The Folded panel fits iside the pouch as though they were made for one another.

The Survival Podcast Forum
Pasted from <>
Several members discussing the value of  e-Reader in their prep:
•  I keep PDF’s of owners manuals for equipment that I own on it. Most are available online as a download. If not, I scan them and save them as a PDF.
•  I scan magazine articles and put them on the Nook, especially if there are only one or two articles I want to save from a magazine. This works well for recipes, and Sis saves knitting patterns on hers. This cuts down on the stack of magazines lying around, the articles can be backed up and indexed, and also viewed on my laptop. I can then pass the magazine on to other people. I do not keep any secure information on my Nook, so I dont worry about OPSEC with it. If I loose it or break it I only loose the device, my information is backed up on my laptop and my external hard drive.
•  I can see having a kindle for a number of reasons – but having the paper option as well.
One reason I came up with the question is when looking at say a cook book. Do you get the Kindle version or go with the paper version. Both versions you can hand write the recipe on paper,.. But the Paper version I can have cut down and then scan to PDF which I have done to other books and could create own e-book using mobiPocket.
•  I have many megabytes of books, papers, threads, etc – such as the NATO Emergency War Surgery Handbook, Where there is no Doctor, several FM21 series manuals, and much more. I just have a (non-service based) reader on a pocket computer. My notebook computer is connected to the internet, but I try not to allow any service to dictate what I am allowed to have (or not to have) on my computer.
•  If a wildland fire rolls through my neighborhood, I want a way to check e-mails, update facebook, keep my calendar, have my phone directory, watch videos, read books, stream movies (netflix), view google maps, read news stories, listen to  music… and any hotel room with WiFi can do all that for me without having to lug around a laptop. A Kindle, i-Pad, or other device offers some of these same features or in some cases, more. While I still keep a new book in my car at all times, just in case, I also keep a AA battery and lighter charger in the glove box. Even without wifi, there’s plenty of features that make it worth keeping at my side 24/7. An i-Phone or Droid would do all that and more, so there’s lots of valuable technology that’s worth considering as part of your EDC.
•  I have a Sony E Reader and am quite fond of it. I carry a number of survival/prepper books on it, but the true be told I don’t like reading or using reference books on it. It takes longer to find stuff as you can’t just flip through. It will work in a pinch but I prefer paper for reference work. I do have all my member’s brigade ebboks loaded on it. It works great for general reading. It is light and good battery life. I tend to always carry mine and figure it is part of my preps as a great many normal emergencies involve being stranded for periods of time. If I got stranded in a airport due to storms, my ereader is going to be one of my best pieces of kit.
I am military and have spend a good deal of time sitting on my ruck waiting for transport over the last year or so, the ereader has made my life better when times got bad and even when it did not. Note my Sony is not linked directly to the store, like the kindle, so I can’t buy books without my computer and the internet, on the other hand they can’t remove or change a book I have bought.
•  I have converted a number of PDFs and other docs of interest to kindle format and copied them over. Google “MobiPocket Creator” for a pretty decent Windows app to do this. Some files may be encrypted, though I haven’t investigated the mechanism (shared key, etc.)
A few weeks back, I sucked down dozens of those survival genre PDFs (army field manuals, construction plans, first aid, etc.) and batch converted them to kindle for save keeping. Collectively they take little space. In this way, not only may I view them on a kindle, but it’s also a storage device which I can later copy back to another PC.
The battery life is superb compared to using a smart phone, and it charges via USB, so a 12 volt power source and a USB car adapter is the only requirement for long term grid down use.

(end of post)

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