Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s difficult not to think about all of the scary things that go bump in the night, drink your blood or kill you with a chainsaw and wear your face. My personal demon is the traditional zombie – slow-moving, dim-witted, carnivorous, relentless, and whose advantages rely on surprise, dread, disease and numbers.
I think that being eaten alive is one of the primal fears that all human beings share, and being eaten by another human being – or at least something that looks like a human being – only heightens the dread. In this age of instant gratification, many horror fans don’t have the patience for shuffling zombies, but what makes zombies so satisfying is knowing that you can outrun zombies, but, given a long enough road with no shelter, the zombies win. And since we can all agree that the zombie apocalypse is inevitable, we might as well start preparing for it.
If I had a choice, I’d like to face traditional zombies, but we can’t know for sure what zombies will be like when they rise. Will they be an incessant, shuffling wave of doom? Will they be running, acrobatic, parkouring zombies? Will they eat our brains? Can we fight them with plants? It’s hard to say. And where will you be when the dead rise? Will you be in the city, the suburbs, the desert, the ocean? Will you be alone or will you have to protect others? You don’t know, and neither do I, so don’t take this blog post as a comprehensive guide. But take heart in knowing that Newegg has the tools to give you a fighting chance.
Unless you’re already living in a militia compound or you have the most forgiving home owners association in the history of mankind, you probably don’t have a living space that you can fortify adequately before The Man Comes Around. That means you’re going to have to bug out sooner or later, once defenses fall and/or the supplies run out. It’s important to have a prepared bag that can hold your gear while you move on to the next shelter. Tactical backpacks make for a good choice, because they usually have a lot of storage space and MOLLE webbing for attaching pouches and other peripherals. If your survival takes you outdoors for extended periods, then a hiking pack might be better suited. These packs usually feature a sturdy frame designed to carry camping gear and distribute the weight.
Food and Water
It’s back to basics when society falls, and that means providing sustenance for yourself. Hopefully you’ll be near a supermarket when things go pear-shaped, and you’ll be able to horde bottled water, canned food and beef jerky. But if not, then having Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) isn’t a terrible option, especially on the go. They aren’t gourmet, but they’ll kill the pain.
Water will also be an issue, and it’ll be important to stay hydrated when you’re forced to cross a lot of ground quickly. The problem is your choices for clean water supplies will diminish the longer the catastrophe goes on. That’s why it’s important to have some kind of water purification system. Tablets are great for purifying small amounts of water, while a hand pump can help process larger amounts. These are, of course, only temporary solutions since tablets run out and pump filters need to be replaced. Also, keep in mind that these methods don’t make all water potable; they just make water bacteriologically safe to drink.
Having a couple of first-aid kits isn’t a bad idea to have with you too. You’ll probably have to get through a couple of windows, and being able to patch up cuts goes a long way.
When you’re on the move it’s best to travel light, so dragging along a tool box is not ideal. Instead, consider a multi-tool. These compact devices will give you enough options to handle most delicate situations. And you can get them in black oxide to prevent “glint” from giving your position away when you need to scavenge something in the dark of night.
Sooner or later you’ll also have to force your way into or out of something. In those cases, it’s important to have a crowbar or pry bar. Long bars are not ideal for travel as they can weigh 10-lbs or more, but they’ll definitely make moving heavier objects easier. They can also double as a blunt weapon in a pinch. So while you may not be able to move the world, these levers will at least bust some stubborn doors and zombie heads open.
For the somber task of burying your friends, loved ones, pets, supplies or treasure; a tool for digging is a necessity. Consider a spade with a D-handle for the work – and make sure it has a pointed blade tip just in case someone you’re burying needs convincing to stay dead.
The power grid is going to go down eventually, or you just may find yourself taking shelter in sewers, tunnels or caves. In any event, you’ll need your own light source, unless you want to risk feeling your way with your hands. Get a flashlight; just make sure it integrates well into your loadout. Tactical flashlights offer high intensity beams that can blind human attackers, but don’t expect to find the necessary specialty batteries just anywhere. Larger flashlights that use D batteries might also work as a club when you’re caught flatfooted. A headlamp will also be valuable when you need both hands for work or fighting.
When dealing with melee weapons, destroying the brain is the optimal way to dispatch the walking dead. Short of that, detaching the brain from everything it controls will also work. You just need to do it as quietly as possible. That means carrying some kind of heavy pipe, bat, axe, really, really sharp sword or some other implement of death. Many times, however, you’ll be in an environment that doesn’t allow room for swinging around a weapon. In those situations, a knife through the eye socket will be your best solution. You may be tempted to pick up a folding knife, but a fixed blade will be more reliable in the long run.
Unfortunately, as movies and video games keep telling us, the biggest threat isn’t the hordes of zombies roaming the land, it’s our fellow survivors. When it comes time for dog to eat dog, getting up close and personal is a last resort. Whenever possible, a long range firearm – preferably suppressed – is the way to handle another human. Keep your firearms clean and make sure they’re modified to your liking with scopes, light attachments, bipods and more. It’s important to be as comfortable as possible with your weapon when you need to make a critical kill shot.
Pockets are the name of the game when scavenging enough nails or carrying enough ammo is the difference between life and death. Tactical pants are a great solution since many offer pockets inside pockets, rip-stop construction to keep tears from spreading, and sturdier seams that can withstand more punishment. Likewise, tactical vests offer the same functionality, with many featuring MOLLE webbing for all of your accessory pouches. Protective eyewear, like goggles, is also important when monsters are clawing at your face or when viscera blow back after a headshot at close range. Comfortable footwear is also important in this situation. Consider tactical boots for general use and hiking boots for wild terrain.
These are just some starter ideas to get you in the right mindset to survive the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Hopefully, the entertainment industry has zombies all wrong, and in reality, all zombies want to do is take to their computers and defend the one game console they could afford to buy, get into flame wars over political stances, and stand in line for 10 hours to buy a phone. But just in case Hollywood got it right, Newegg’s got you covered. When all else fails, there’s always this Zombie Survival Kit.
Or you can just try to fit in by dressing up like one. Eating brains is optional.