If you take a backpack (or any other type of bag) with you when you leave the house for the day, I recommend adding a deck of cards to your Every Day Carry. The deck won’t take up much room in your pack, weighs virtually nothing, and can provide you with many hours of entertainment for a couple of dollars.
Why cards instead of a book? A book can only entertain one person at a time, cards can comfortably entertain a group of four if you’re playing Twenty-One, Poker, or Euchre. If you’re stuck in a situation where you have time-to-kill (such as waiting for the “all clear” to proceed after a flood or bushfire), cards are an excellent way to do this. But make sure you don’t allow any gambling to take place, because this can lead to trouble if someone is a poor loser of feels they’ve been cheated. Bad blood and confined spaces are a bad combination.
Conversely; if you’re on your own or just don’t want to interact with the people around you, playing Patience or building a house of cards is an excellent way to pass the time.
I started carrying cards when I was in high school. I wasn’t much of a card player back then, and not much has changed. School rules prohibited playing card games, but most teachers turned a blind-eye when they saw we weren’t gambling (mostly because we were being quiet and weren’t causing trouble). One or two teachers took exception to our games, but the headmaster knew we weren’t gambling, so quickly dismissed their complaints.
You don’t have to buy fancy or expensive playing, cheap cards from a supermarket are ideal. Also, if you’re desperate for tinder, you have fifty-two pieces of cardboard in a small box in your backpack.
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