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Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse Series: Basics

Updated on May 28, 2012

Are you as sick of the idiots in zombie flicks as I am? The idiots always run to the nearest mall or wander out into some secluded backwoods cabin. It is inevitable that most of the characters die. Do you know why they die? Because they are MORONS. (Of course, some people I know will say, “because it is in the script” – don’t do that. Just hush.)

We’re going to talk about real ways to survive a zombie apocalypse and maybe a natural disaster. You know, just in case zombies don’t come shambling to the door. They will, though. Trust me…one day the horde will be infesting your local mall and backwoods cabins before you can blink.

I’m a little on the ‘eh’ side when it comes to real walking corpses. I do believe that there’s a possibility of humans becoming infected with something – virus, bacteria, microbe, or a cocktail of something cooked up in a lab – that can cause the host to go bonkers.

Now, going bat-spit crazy doesn’t make you a zombie. What it does do is make you a threat to others if your psychosis includes violent behavior. It is all over the Internet about the dude in Florida who chewed the face off of another guy. His behavior was (supposedly) due to drug induced psychosis. But why did he choose to eat human flesh?

I do not think that he ‘became’ a flesh eating zombie. What I do believe is that people who are exposed to or are ‘into’ the zombie phenomenon are more likely to think they are a zombie and then try to simulate the behavior of such a being. What happens if many people become infected with a disease that causes this type of behavior? What if there is a drug that causes side effects of mental distress which in turn lead to people believing they are zombies?

What if…just what if…there is already a lab that has a virus similar to the Rage Virus in 28 Days Later?

There are countless situations that could happen. At the root of it all sits one question: Are you prepared? Preparation can lead to survival, even if only for a short time.

Everyone has their own idea of how to be prepared. Some people are okay with having a fridge full of beer in case of an end of the world scenario. Others prefer to be armed to the teeth with a squad of Marine-worthy friends. Guess who is going to live longer.

I’m of the opinion that the more survival wisdom you accumulate, the better off you will be when the zeds attack. If you end up stuck without power, heat, or food it’s going to be really hard to eat. Who is going to bring you pizza, a zombie? Yeah, not likely.

So, let’s talk about what you need to know to survive. We’re talking along the lines of Survivor Man, not Bear Grylls. Practical knowledge that can keep you alive in multiple survival situations, including the zombie apocalypse.

1. Survival Supplies

Skip all of the high tech gadgets. They may be pretty, but unless it is made well and has little to no moving parts – skip it. Even the Swiss Army knife is included in that. Most people aren’t going to get their hands on a real Swiss Army knife, they’re going to go cheaper and pick up a knock-off. We all know what happens to knock-off items, they break just when it is most important NOT to break.

Keep a well stocked bug-out bag. Your bag should include everything you need to stay alive for at least 3 days. Do not rely on the dehydrated or freeze-dried food in your bug-out bag to keep you alive for longer than that. Place a field guide to plants in your bag that is for your region. The guides will include edible, medicinal, and potentially fatal plants.

A first aid kit is essential for every bug-out bag, every survival kit, every glove box in a vehicle, and every bathroom. You need a comprehensive kit for your bug-out bag ad your bathroom. Smaller, pocket sized kits can go in other areas, including a pocket survival tin.

(If you have a safe room or bunker, outfit it with medical supplies. Everything you can get your hands on that is legal to own. Don’t overstock with drugs – many plants are just as beneficial and unlike regular medications, they are sustainable.)

Buy plenty of water filtering supplies. There are water filtering straws that last about 3 months each and will filter any water. These straws can be carried anytime, anywhere, in nearly any container. A large supply of these will outlive any bathtub water container. Sure, you can save water, but water is heavy and if you need to move, it will be left behind. Straws will go right along with you. Desert area residents will need to learn how to capture water and should consider running to less dry ground when the SHTF. (shiznit hits the fan)

Don’t forget seeds. Open pollenated, heirloom varieties can bring you years of valuable food. In warm areas, try dropping seeds in secluded places and letting the grow wild. Don’t do this with exotic strains, keep it to native plants. Squash, corn, tomatoes, and certain grains do well. You can find seeds that will last in storage for years.

2. Know Your Survival Skills

This one is a no-brainer. Okay, so it should be a no-brainer. Many people buy all sorts of survival books and think – Hey, I’m covered. Sorry, Skippy, you’re wrong. Having a ton of books and never practicing any of the skills within can have you end up with a severe case of the dead.

Read the books, then try out the skills. Learn to build a fire in your area – you would be surprised at how much difference terrain makes in firebuilding. Build a few shelters – then sleep in them. Set a snare and catch something during legal hunting season where you live. (I wouldn’t try this in the city, but if you have to eat a rat, you have to eat a rat.)

Learn to hunt and fish. Fishing is less labor intensive than hunting. You can get a great amount of the nutrients you need from fish and spend minimal time cleaning it.

3. Weapons

Your choice of weapons for zombie killing is limited to things that can take out the brain. While the movies make it look easy, the skull is designed to take a lot of pounding. The bone is thick in order to protect that grey matter we want to knock right out of Mr. Zombie’s head.

Some good weapons include:

  • Shotgun (works best at close range for destroying the head)
  • Bow and Arrows (re-useable, but you will need a strong arm and great aim)
  • Crossbow (better than bow, better than a gun)
  • Slingshot (medium range, unlimited ammo if you are in a rocky area, good damage from a strong slingshot)
  • Melee weapons (everything from a machete to a hard, sharp stick)

Personally, I like the idea of melee weapons. A gun runs out of ammo, so does a bow and crossbow. Yes, the arrows will last longer than bullets, but they can be lost or bent. Handmade arrows may work for zombie killing – as long as you have excellent aim for the eyes or temple.

Melee weapons can be made on the fly from any long, hard piece of wood. Heck, you can grab a long metal rod for use, too. Anything that can be swung and will crack a skull is awesome. If you are going to buy something – my favorite site for drooling over weapons is Zombie Tools. These guys make some serious zombie ripping weapons. My favorite is The Reaper. That thing is my dream weapon and from the description, it is well worth the price.

4. Safe Haven

To put it bluntly, there is NO safe haven when the dead begin to wander about the countryside willy-nilly. You can create a bunker and test it often for security. There is always, always a weak point in every single plan. Have high walls? Zombies can attack and pile up high enough for the others to crawl over your wall. Bunker underground? You will need to open the door eventually to go out for supplies. Sometimes the weak link in a plan isn’t your haven, but the people with you which leads us to…

5. Your Crew

Every apocalyptic survival team has some sort of crew. You probably have your own in mind. You, some family, or some friends. You’ll take on the shamblers and wander off into the sunset.

Hate to break it to you, but the best planned crews are just as likely to have a weak link as do plans. Think about each member of your theoretical crew carefully. Can you live with them for an extended period of time in a survival situation? Will you be ready to sneak a bullet into the annoying one during a zed attack – if so, leave that person off your team. Make sure each person has something to offer in order to keep the entire group alive.

Not everyone is going to be able to contribute. The elderly and very young will need to be protected. When I say ‘Your Crew’ – I mean the members of your group that are responsible for the care and protection of others. Every single person has something to offer a group – entertainment from stories and jokes, cooking skills, first aid skills, gardening skills, and more.

When you create this crew, make sure you all know who is in charge. There should always be a hierarchy in your group. There has to be someone in charge, someone to look up to. Without a clear leader, people get antsy. As much as people claim they do not want or need a leader – without one a group will fall into chaos.

In the end, the fate of you and your group will depend on each other.

So, are you ready? Have tips? Killed a 'walker' recently? What do you think will happen?


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    • profile image

      Barbara Mullen 

      6 years ago

      I was very intrested in the atticle about the zombies... It was very imformative.... There were also a lot of intresting things to know about survieing...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      AWESOME POST. Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Interesting.

    • Julie Fletcher profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie Fletcher 

      6 years ago

      Dana - maybe you could bug-in?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I will not have a bugout bag as long as I have my cats... 'cause I can't bug out with all of 'em and I won't leave 'em. Otherwise... Yeah, I'm prepared.


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