Preparing for a disaster is an incredibly daunting task.
There are so many supplies and protocols to remember.
But here’s one critical item that many survivalists completely forget about.
Someone who doesn’t know anything about prepping could probably tell you that food and water are essential.
However, even dedicated preppers may fail to consider the importance of one item: a journal.
Taking a journal and a pen with you while bugging out has key benefits.
First, a journal helps you keep track of time.
If you find yourself in a prolonged disaster situation, it will become increasingly important to chronicle the days.
Losing track of time is a very disorienting experience.
It can also lead to elevated stress levels, which brings all kinds of increased health risks.
Keeping track of days, weeks, months, or even years will become a necessity.
For example, tracking the seasons of the year will help with planning.
A journal will give you an idea of how much time you’ll have to prepare for a harsh winter—if you’re in a cold climate region.
A journal will help you identify an impending rainy season in a wet region.
Being able to prepare for extreme cold or heavy rain could be the difference between life and death.
Second, a journal helps keep a record.
Record-keeping is what allows human civilization to expand.
Without detailed records, scientific, technological, and intellectual breakthroughs would be lost.
The same applies to the individual survivalist.
Keeping a record will be important for posterity; your story will add to the collection of the human experience.
A journal can act as a roadmap.
It will also help you chronicle your mistakes and failures along the way.
For example, if you become seriously ill after eating an inedible plant, describing the experience—including what the plant looked, felt, and tasted like—will help you avoid a similar pitfall in the future.
Keeping a detailed record helps with trial-and-error experimentation, such as starting a fire with nothing but sticks and shrubbery.
A record will help you duplicate the experiment.
Finally, writing in a journal will be good for your mental health.
Living through a crisis is obviously mentally taxing.
You might find yourself in a situation where you’re going at it alone.
A journal will help you express your thoughts and cleanse your mental palate.
Human beings are social creatures.
Even loners get lonely.
Writing in a journal isn’t the same as human interaction, but it can at least serve as a form of conversation.
A journal entry can act as a monologue, a sorting-out of thoughts and ideas, or a dialogue with a future reader.
Bottling up all internal thoughts and emotions during a disaster is not a wise move.
The brain needs to be nurtured just as much as any other part of the body.
As you find yourself prepping for the day when it’s time to bug out, make sure to pack composition books and plenty of pens.