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Survival Tablet: Part 2 - Digital Content

Saturday, 13 October 2012 20:22

This is the Part 2 of the Survival Tablet, which will discuss finding and organizing digital content. If you have not read Part 1: Data Storage Methods and Personal Information, please do that now. Most of us have saved dozens of reference materials to our computer, or have printed them out. The problem with these methods is that you have to carry dozens of documents or your computer wherever you go. Instead, upload your information to a tablet computer, which is usually the size of one small book. Think about it; would you rather have one book, or one thousand digital books in your Survival Bag? If you choose the latter, you should invest in a tablet computer. 

Kindle Fire

Note: Shortly after we published Part 1 of the Survival Tablet series, Amazon released the new Kindle Fire. The smaller version now has 16 or 32 GB of storage, up from 8 GB, and they have also released a larger version which has an optional data plan. There are many tablet computer options, but if you decide to go with the Kindle I recommend the smaller, more compact, Kindle Fire for a Survival Notebook (but either will suffice).

Getting Out of the Paper Mindset

I recently conducted an informal Prepping Consultation with a close friend, where we primarily discussed lists and reference materials. She explained that printing costs were extremely high, whether she printed her downloaded documents at home, or outsourced it to a printing shop. She further went on to say that it was costing $40, or more, each time she had documents printed out. This price is subjective, depending on how many documents you decide to print.

For most people, we want to have a physical copy of every document that we deem necessary. With the move to digital media, a lot of us are trapped in the way of the past or are ignorant of current technology. I prefer picking up a book or folder to sort through information, but if you are concerned with mobility, having multiple large reference books in your Survival Bag is not a real option. While a survival situation is an extreme scenario, what if you wanted to have relevant information on a camping or hunting trip? We never know when we will need to access this information, as any situation can turn into a survival scenario. So, how do we get all of our documents and lists into a portable format?

As discussed in the first article, most have decided to store their information on a flash drive or external hard drive. While this is a great option, these methods still rely on having another device, usually a computer, to access and view the data. For arguments sake, let’s say you decide to bug out; is your laptop a part of your survival plan? And if so, how do you plan to recharge the battery once the power is depleted? In a survival situation, we are in a calorie game, but we are also in an ounce and space war. Each ounce ads weight which causes pain and each item you pack in your Survival Bag takes up space which could be used for additional food and water.

Since I referenced charging your laptop battery, I should be fair since your tablet will also need to be recharged. Since most tablets are designed to be charged from your computer’s USB port, or by AC power, you can use a 12 volt compatible USB charger to recharge your tablet battery. This USB charger can be connected to any 12 volt outlet, such as your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. You do not need an inverter to charge most tablets.

Finding Documents

There are many great sources of digital information. Most survival and prepping websites have extensive downloads sections. You can even browse forums, as many users post their converted documents in the form of a PDF file. For those that do not know about PDF documents, or Portable Document Format, the PDF file format is used to represent documents in a manner free of application software, meaning that most computers, tablets, and smart phones can view the document regardless of the operating system. In some cases, you may need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewing software, and luckily most are free.  

When on a website, look for the documents or downloads section, usually on the main menu bar. You can also access our Downloads section. The great thing about most websites is that they screen the content for you, and generally only upload relevant material. Let us do the work for you.

You can also conduct a search using “PDF” in an internet search tool. Go to, or any other search website, and type Survival PDF or Dehydrating PDF. You can screen the document, and then download it to your computer. It is recommended to check for viruses before downloading. You can also go to a website that specializes in digital content downloads, check out Scribd.

The Libertarian is another great source for survival and preparedness PDF documents.

Purchasing Digital Media

There are a ton of survival and preparedness resources that can be purchased in a digital format. Again, this is why I went with a Kindle Fire, as Amazon has an extensive library. Another thing that I like about Amazon is that survival magazines can be purchased through the store, and uploaded directly to your Kindle enabled tablet. Survival magazines that we recommend: Self Reliance Illustrated (Dave Canterbury and Pathfinder, LLC), Survivalist Magazine, and Backwoods Home Magazine.

In addition to magazines, there are multiple books that are also in the tablet format. Again, these books are great and contain a wealth of information. But if these books are taking space in your Survival Bag; that space could better be used for more food and water. Additionally, we do not need an entire book, as we may only need certain sections of it. This is why a tablet is so important. You can keep the entire book, and for the size and weight of one small book, you can store hundreds, if not thousands, of reference materials. The only downside of choosing a tablet over a hard copy is that you are potentially getting rid of additional toilet paper. Books we like: The Disaster Preparedness Handbook, 77 Days in September, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag, and The Prepper's Pocket Guide.

Organizing Information on Your Tablet

Once you have collected a few reference materials, you are now ready to upload the content to your tablet. Since the process for uploading your information to a tablet varies, we will not cover this process. If you have a Kindle Fire, please send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and we can create a How-to.  However, whenever uploading information, ensure you keep similar information together. I have my reference materials structured exactly how our Downloads section is setup. Please look at our Downloads section for ideas. Make sure to click the categories, as there may be sub-categories.

Additionally, if you purchase materials from sources such as Amazon, purchased content will usually appear under your books or magazine portions of your tablet. Purchased Ebooks are not usually PDF documents, and the tablet handles them differently. 

As your document library grows, constantly evaluate how your information is organized. There is nothing wrong with creating additional categories or sub-categories. Organization is the key, since it will allow you to quickly access information in a time of need.


The main purpose for a Survival Tablet is to take your reference materials wherever you go. With a tablet, you will not need to pick only a few books, as your entire digital library can travel with you. Remember, the great thing about a tablet is that it will take up minimal space in your Survival Bag. Additionally, depending if you decide to print your materials, it would be a better investment to purchase a tablet (around $200) if you do not already have one. Please check back with us for Part 3: Reference Videos, as continue to make our argument for the Survival Tablet. Until then, Be Prepared. Get Connected 

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 18:08
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  • Comment Link Greg Friday, 11 January 2013 17:07 posted by Greg

    Good artilce so far. When will part 3 be coming?

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