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Zombie Warfare Preparation: Zombie Apocalypse Attire

Updated on May 1, 2013
Riot gear for the zombie survivalist on the go.
Riot gear for the zombie survivalist on the go. | Source

It’s not Business as Usual

If I were writing for a publication like People or Cosmopolitan, the answer to "What to wear for the Zombie Apocalypse" would be “mauve”.

In all seriousness, what you wear after the zombie virus spreads to a worldwide outbreak can be the difference between dying of old age and becoming a walking corpse.

You have to remember the situation you’re in. All of your less intelligent friends have taken the chance that this was a virus and people would eventually get better. These people actually decided that even when the dead were walking the streets that life could continue like business as usual.

Here’s a word to the wise: when a large group of people become a contagious bunch of cannibalistic walking automations that have only the one goal of eating YOU, you may wish to postpone movie night at Loew’s.

Remember, these things don’t eat, drink, sleep, breathe, or go to the bathroom. They are on the job twenty-four/ seven/ three-six-five. And while they are quite mindless, the part of the brain that is working is the part that thinks you would taste just great. What’s worse is if you are lucky enough to destroy one of these things and get out without infection, your next door neighbor still has a pretty good chance of dying, reanimating, and following his undead brethren in their mission of eating you.

If you are going to survive in this environment, you have to be prepared. Just having an axe or a bat isn’t enough. You will need to have some amount of protection for every exposed body part.

Don’t be that guy.

You know that guy. He’s the guy who decided that just because he’s seen Shaun of the Dead a hundred and sixty-seven times that he can go out with a white dress shirt, red tie, and a cricket bat. He thinks that he’ll be just fine when he goes to his local pub to wait for this entire thing to blow over. Remember, these bastards have nails and teeth and a scratch mark or a bite will finish you.

So, let’s look at the possibilities.

Don't let their former mortal strength fool you.
Don't let their former mortal strength fool you. | Source
These boots are tough but the jeans need to be tucked in to them.
These boots are tough but the jeans need to be tucked in to them. | Source

What would you wear for a Zombie Apocalypse?

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What to Plan for

The object of the game is to not get bitten or scratched by these things.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you are a pretty tough durable guy. You’ve looked at your own arm and tested to see how far you can sink your own teeth into your own flesh. And try as you might, you can’t get your canines through your own skin. Oh sure, you’ll leave a nasty mark on your arm which will last for a few seconds; but on the whole, you feel that if you can’t do it some stink bag of a zombie certainly can’t.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

First, you’re not a zombie. I know, “So what?” Well, a zombie is a creature of no rational thought. You as a rational human being are trying to gage how much jaw pressure you need to break your own skin. At the same time, you’re really not thinking about that. You’re thinking, “I’m really hurting my arm. I’d better stop.”

Do you know that zombies use all of their strength all of the time – especially for attack?

Assuming that they haven’t done something to their teeth to make them jagged (like eating a metal pole), they will use more than the necessary force needed to bite something. It’s like preparing yourself to bite through a plank of wood and discovering that it has the density of pudding. A thinking mind would think “Pudding – that’s soft. I don’t need a lot of force.” A zombie mind is on one setting and that’s enough force to bite through wood.

It’s like a zombie assault. You think that a fresh zombie of an average woman won’t give you much trouble? When anyone attacks anything with all of their strength all of the time, it can be a challenge. Of course, the good news is that because a zombie is a dead corpse, they don’t have the luxury of having muscle fibers repair themselves after physical exertion – plus they are fighting rigor mortis.

A fresh zombie is very dangerous. An old zombie (a reanimated corpse that’s been like that for over six month), that’s child’s play. The older ones are stiffer and won’t have a lot of force left as the caloric fuel it needs to attack has gone and the muscles are cannibalizing themselves – along with the stiffness of rigor mortis.

Still, they will give it all they have.

You also have to worry about draggers. What is a dragger? A dragger is a zombie that has somehow lost its legs. Somehow, through either some kind of battle or accident, a zombie loses the ability to walk. That does not mean they won’t try to get around. They will use their arm strength to drag themselves to wherever they will wander.

What does that mean to you? That means if you’re going to walk through thick weeds or through a lake or anywhere a crawling body can’t be readily noticed, you better be wearing boots – thick leather boots. If you’re wearing sneakers, one of these rotten bastards can bite your ankle and infect you. Then in twenty four hours, you’ll be one of them.

The good news is that you can wear any color you want – that includes “mauve”. Zombies are not going to notice or care about bright colors in a field. They will be looking for things that move. A man in a pink tutu can pretty much remain unnoticed so long as he’s not moving behind a tree. They are looking for fresh animated meat.

It's light durable and will cover your midsection.
It's light durable and will cover your midsection. | Source

A Whole Closet of “Nothing to Wear”

If you are going to venture outside during a breakout, it is probable that you won’t have anything in your closet that’s appropriate to wear. That doesn’t mean you can’t find anything to wear, though.

The easiest thing to put together is something to slow down a biter or keep you from getting scratched until you can scavenge something more durable.

I recommend the following combo if you have nothing else: hooded sweatshirt (hood up) under a leather jacket, thermal underwear (long johns) under thick jeans – tucked into steel toed work boots with leather gloves (on hands).

That combo will protect you from bites and scratches and the boots will protect you from draggers. It is not ideal, but it will get you to where you will need to go.

If you can get to a Sears or a mechanic’s garage, or any place where working uniforms for machinists are made, try to get ahold of some coveralls. This fabric is used to keep shards of metal away from accidentally cutting workers – and it will certainly work against human teeth. It has the advantage of being lighter than wearing all those clothes and will protect your midsection which would be exposed between your jeans and sweatshirt. Continue to wear the work boots.

If possible, and this really should be on your list of places you should investigate, try to get to a police station. While it may have been overrun, if you are able to get in unnoticed, they may have riot gear.

This light body armor will have everything you need to keep an unthinking automation at bay. They will have a hard helmet with a transparent visor, neck protection, and solid light durable shields. You may even find steel batons to help you defend yourself – even if the guns and ammo have been taken from the station.

In any event, you really have to think of practicality and things that won’t make a lot of noise. Because attracting zombies by shooting off guns is always a bad idea.

Final Words

It’s like you’re playing a kids game. Don’t get bit and don’t get scratched – or you’re out.

The problem is that “out” means spending the rest of your existence as a walking corpse that’s trying to eat all of your friends and family. It’s not nice. It’s not cool. So don’t do it.

What you wear during this critical time is crucial. You’ll need to get about in order to get food, supplies, and water. Chances are you’ll be attacked. If any of these biters sees exposed flesh, you’re as good as lunch.

Perhaps I didn’t mention that the alternative to being a zombie is being a high protein snack for these moaning pieces of walking putrescence. Getting bitten is a vacation compared to being ripped apart by a hoard of undead. Hopefully, you’ll be well armored.

Or can run very fast.

Ideally, the only time you’ll need to think about wearing durable clothes is when you have to leave. In the meantime, you need to stay put and keep yourself occupied. Yes, there will be a time when you need to make a break for it – especially if your fortification has been overrun. You’ll need to suit up and get your butt out of there.

Always be careful. Always wear the right gear. And always check for draggers. Because a bite from a snapping disembodied head can really ruin your day.



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    Post Comment
    • cperuzzi profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      8 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      You're welcome. I neglected to say for people to not wear frilly dresses, either.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgie Lowery 

      8 years ago from North Florida

      I've never really considered zombie apocalypse attire. If I read Cosmo, I'd be screwed! Thanks fo rthe Hub! :)


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