This Summer I've put some time into putting together an emergency kit. I wouldn't call us "preppers" by any stretch of the imagination but I think it's a good idea to have some basic plan in the event that something catastrophic happened to our infrastructure (like severe disruption to the power grid or something).
During the process of figuring out what sorts of supplies we should have, I have found numerous Internet forums that discuss this (they call their kits "bug out bags"). One item that I was surprised few considered essential was an iPad (or Android tablet if you prefer).
So here is some advocacy for why a tablet should be part of your emergency kit.
Since the iPad is small, durable, and uses relatively little power, bringing it requires relatively little sacrifice. Each of us has one. So with that in mind, here are 3 reasons I think an iPad is a critical component of any "bug-out" kit:#1 MAPS
While bringing paper maps is a must, the iPad can store huge amounts of data that works just fine even if the Internet is out. Many GPS apps will cache the map data for you.
Similarly, even with cell phone towers down the GPS on them will still work just fine. In the deep woods, knowing how close you are to that "little pond" is helpful.
My personal preference is to use elevation maps which have a variety of uses.
Moreover, some iPad maps (like MotionX maps) include off-road trails and such on them that a normal map might not include.#2 VIDEO HOW-TO
I am the first to admit that I did not grow up in a camping/firearm environment. I grew up in a 2 bedroom apartment with my mother. Not a lot of camping or wilderness experiences there. So in the absence of first hand practical experience, reading and watching videos is a must for me.
So for example, when my Walther P22 jammed, it was YouTube I turned to for a video demonstration of how to take it apart (which worked great).
There are apps for the iPad that let you download YouTube videos for off-line viewing.
In the same vein, you can read a great article or thread on a forum like this and then click on the Reading List icon in Safari and have it stored for offline viewing.
Hunting? Trapping? I've never skinned an animal. I've never set up snares. I've never tracked anything. But there are step-by-step videos on this out there. Onto the iPad they go. Would it be better if I took the time to learn these skills? Absolutely. But most people don't have time to dedicate to this kind of thing. This is, I think, a better than nothing compromise.
Consider all the articles, videos and threads you've read over the years that were helpful. I can't remember all of it. I wish I could but I can't. So I save it to my iPad#3 Kindle offline
These days, nearly every book has a Kindle edition. And that means you can have entire books stored on your iPad that won't require Internet/Cell towers to make use of.
Here's an example:
That's from the Prepper's Pocket Guide. Similarly, there are books on edible plants, how to make use of those cans of emergency seeds that many people have purchased, wilderness remedies (like using charcoal for a stomach ache <g>), tactics, manuals, etc.BONUS #4: THOSE DOCUMENTS
Most people consider having numerous documents kept with you a must. What those documents are will depend on the person. Regardless, if you decide certain documents are ones you feel you need to keep, even in an emergency, consider digitizing them and keeping them on your tablet.
I hope this helps others. Cheers!