March 23 shall, in some very small, fanatical circles be known as "Katniss Day" or "Everdeen Day" (or even "EverDay," maybe!). These weird The Hunger Games clans probably meet in caves, dressed in character, to discuss the book on a fort-nightly basis. But, even if you don't celebrate The Hunger Games in a clandestine cave, the movie adaptation is hitting theaters tomorrow, too.
For those of you that have not read the books: SPOILER! Everyone dies! (We mean that in the general, given-enough-time-everyone-dies sense, of course. The characters are only human after all. But only a few characters die within the confines and scope of the narrative in the books. Which ones? — NO SPOILERS!) But, seriously, we plan on dancing around any real spoilers like some fleet-footed, non-spoiling Fred Astaire zombie.
For those of you who have read the book, you'll know that a certain backpack plays a certain role in certain scenes in this certain movie. At least, we're mostly certain this backpack matters ... we've only read the book, not seen the movie. They might have taken huge dramatic license with the narrative and changed the backpack to a pizza and the Hunger Games to a sewer, making this way more TMNT than was ever intended by Suzanne Collins.
Since we're a website all about deals, there's not much we can really say about this potential blockbuster movie ... OR IS THERE? See, we've taken the bag that Katniss receives from "The Cornucopia" and dissected it just like the frogs in high school, but with less gore — wait, this is a story about kids fighting to the death, so scratch that last bit. Here's the lowest total price you can expect to pay to put together your own "Katniss Bag" (which is like a disaster preparedness "Go Bag," but for very violent children):
If you plan on running for your life, you can't expect to be able to carry everything in your pockets and arms. A bag, like the K-Cliffs 17" Backpack in Orange ($17.50 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $5) makes it oh-so-convenient to transport your life around. It's also maddeningly visible to other kids who are looking to put a spear through your carotid artery. Cover it in mud ASAP.
Compact enough to fit inside the backpack, the Emergency Zone Survival Bag ($6.49 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $2) is still warm enough to keep you from freezing to death. However, since it's made of mylar, it might not be the most quiet way to sleep (again, remember, there are people looking to KILL YOU!). But this one of the problems with not living in the future where they have developed "stealth sleeping bags." Sure, you'd get super-thin, noiseless sleeping bags, but at what cost? The Hunger Games! (Actually, I think that was the elevator pitch for the books.)
Pack of Crackers
Even though we're pretty sure name brands didn't make it into the dystopian future, in our mind's eye, we envision Katniss's pack having a sleeve of these Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers ($2.29 with $5.49 for shipping, a low by $1) — or something similar. Had we been the ones in the Hunger Games, we probably would have spent our first night seeing if we could whistle with seven of them in our mouth ... then starved to death the next week.
A Pack of Dried Beef Strips
If we had to estimate — based on nothing but scientifically "making it up as we go along" — we believe that 3.25-oz. is about how much beef jerkey Katniss found in her bag. And it just so happens that jerky is often sold pre-packaged in this quantity! What a joyous coincidence (that we certainly did not force) that Jack Link's Original 3.25-oz. Beef Jerky ($3.99 with $5.49 shipping, a low by $2) is jerked to perfection! We hope your hunting and trapping skills are good because 3.25-oz. of beef doesn't last very long. (At least it doesn't when we're watching sporting events on TV ... and by "sporting events" we mean "extreme eating competitions" and by "watching" we mean "participating in" and by "on TV" we mean "in our basements, with the curtains drawn, softly crying." Those are the real Hunger Games!)
Bottle of Iodine
The evil creators of the Games probably wouldn't have included much of this vital element, but, like Dub Step, a little goes a long way. So this 1-oz. Iodine Bottle ($5.92 with free shipping, a low by $3) is probably about what Katniss got. Besides being a good, albeit painful, tincture to put on cuts, it's also effective in staving off thyroid conditions. Hey, just because a bunch of pre-teens are out for your blood, doesn't mean you should ignore your goiter. Wouldn't it be terrible to win the Hunger Games, only to fall victim to the ills of an iodine-poor diet? Worst. Ironic twist. Ever.
A Book of Wooden Matches
Just remember, kids: Unless you're in a terrifying game, fighting for you life while blood-thirsty onlookers get excited about your demise, don't play with matches. (So, the Republican primaries and the Hunger Games only, 'k?) But when handled responsibly, matches, like these Coghlan's Waterproof Matches ($2.99 with free in-store pickup, a low by $1), can create a little bit of light to see by, start a fire to keep you warm, or cook some meat you've caught — or ignite the torches you'll use to lead the villagers on an assault of Dracula's castle. They're a very useful tool, no matter your end goal.
A Bit of Coiled Wire
In the book, Katniss uses the wire she has to set snare traps. You could use this Artistic Wire 10-Yards 24-Gauge Bare Copper Wire ($3.42 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $2) to set traps, sure, but it would also come in handy if you had to rewire an old-timey radio you find in the arena — or get that hand-made jewelry business you've been dreaming about off the ground. "This ring? Oh! It's made from copper wire ... and a finger-bone from Foxface!" Etsy glory awaits.
Night Vision Glasses
In the book, these are described as looking like regular 'ole sunglasses, but alas (and again), this book takes place in a dystopian future and our night vision / sunglass technology sadly hasn't gotten there yet. The best night vision googles our current world has to offer are the Spy Net Night Vision Infrared Stealth Binoculars ($39.99 with free shipping, a low by $4). Sure, they might not be able to double as a prop that David Caruso can use to open every episode of CSI: Miami, but they certainly are (pause to put on glasses) illuminating. YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
1/2-Gallon Plastic Bottle
A human can survive for 40 days (give or take) without food, but will expire without water after just three. Fun facts! You're gonna need something like this WaterU 64-oz. Water Jug ($4.99 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $3). Sure, it comes empty (just like the one in Katniss's bag — you guys are so similar, are you sisters?!), but you can fill it from any convenient stream or with rainwater. Just remember to use that iodine to purify it, lest you get amoebic dysentery and cheat your competition out of a kill — Hunger Games faux pas!
All together, Katniss's bag would cost a total of $98.56 in today's, not-as-horrible society's money. Which, now that we think of it, is quite an expensive gift to bestow upon someone from District 12, where you have to scrabble and beg for food. You'd think Katniss would be a little more grateful for such a lavish gift. Instead, all she does is plot the destruction of The Capitol, Panem, and President Snow. Sheesh! Just goes to show you, right?