Whenever I read a book or see a movie or TV show set in some historical period – the US Civil War, the Crusades, Ancient Rome, whatever – I often wonder how I would react if a time portal opened up before me and I ended up in that time. (Hey, I’m sure your random thoughts make sense.) As I think through options on ways to keep from being killed when stumbling into, say, a Viking village, I figure it would be good to have a kit with a few modern items to help me survive. So here’s a few ideas for anyone who wants to put together an emergency time travel kit. A downside would be having to carry this kit with you all the time since you never know when a random time portal will open up.
1. A first aid kit. Just in general having aspirin and anti-diarrhea medicine would make spending time in the past more livable. Included in this would naturally be any medicine you’re taking, as well as other odd items like toilet paper and condoms.
2. A pistol. If the time portal drops you off in a time before gun powder, being able to make a loud noise – not to mention kill people at a distance – will probably get you labeled as a wizard. While it may not be ethical to allow this deception to continue, it may keep you alive. Of course, if movies have taught us anything, there will probably be a bad guy who will try to take your “power” so that they can rule. A way around that would be to have a smart gun. These are guns that can only be fired by a person who wears a special watch, has a chip implanted in their hand, or who has the right fingerprints. Such guns are not common, or are still being developed, but would be perfect for the accidental time traveler.
3. Some gifts and other trinkets. Depending on how far back you go, the people you run into – if you run into people – will probably be led by some form of chief. It may be useful to have some trinkets to show your good will. For example, a folding knife with a six inch blade or longer. The folding ability may intrigue them, and the quality of the blade will probably be better than anything they have. Something else that may interest them is a bottle of vodka. If nothing else, it can be a disinfectant part of your first aid kit. Other simple trinkets that may amaze the people of the time could be things like a mirror, or a slinky.
4. An electronic gadget. Most things today have a built in camera, which would be amazing even up to a few decades ago. There could be other useful items, but one issue is that there would be no access to the internet. So all of them would have to be stored on the device itself. Maybe some music videos (Van Halen, perhaps?) to further amaze the people. One thing to keep in mind as you select your music are the lyrics. It’s possible that if you’re stuck in the past long enough, you may teach some of the people there English, and do you really want to explain the lyrics of “Baby Got Back?”
5. A recharger. Your electronic gadget – and possibly your smart gun – is good only as long as it has power. So having a way to recharge it with solar cells or a hand crank – preferably both – would be necessary.
So there are a few ideas for your emergency time travel kit. One note on this, I am a male. So in general I’m probably “safe” traveling through time. Women, I’m sure, would have a much harder time of it, but I think in general such a kit would still work for them. Maybe. If not, let me know what items would improve it.