Zombies were a plague upon humanity long before AMCs The Walking Dead staggered into their Sunday night time slot. And, to be honest, we gravitate toward the more tongue-in-cheek (or should we say tongue-in-brain) splatter-punk dark humor that was part of the genres DNA (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead) long before the cable networks controversially grim take on the zombie apocalypse premiered.
So, with that more playful tone in mind, we present a list of five must-have items to help fend off the undead hordes. Which isn’t to say that the zombie apocalypse is a laughing matter, unless you’re laughing because you’d otherwise be crying.
Hand guns are good. Shotguns even better. And machine guns might even be better. But they all carry a limitation, specifically bullets, or a lack thereof. If you don’t have a hearty cache of ammunition on hand, opt for a blunter object. An ax, bat, sword, or long pole ads a bit of much-appreciated distance from the gnawing maws.
Partner that with a knife, hammer, hatchet, or pretty much anything else that can inflict serious damage. Remember, zombies want to eat your brains, but their head is also their Achilles heel.
The thicker, stronger, and burlier the better, all the better to cave in that zombie head. But you also want a pair that’s waterproof and relatively lightweight, something with solid tread to deliver confident purchase while hiking, scrambling, and running like mad. High-water protection will also save you from any pesky ankle-biters.
A Water Filter
Make no mistake, when the zombies come, systems will fail. You can survive without electricity, but not without water that’s safe to drink. Don’t go cheap here. Get one that filters out almost all of the nasty bugs, including protozoa, bacteria, and viruses like hep A, Norwalk, and-possibly the zombie virus. Okay that’s paranoia talking, biting that transmits the zombie virus. Drinkable water just keeps you alive!
Layers and More Layers
Think of this less as climate protection and more as armor. A zombie can easily bite through skin and fabric. But if you add a few layers of fabric, it might be just enough to make the difference between an impression and a bite that breaks the skin. Go with big, insulated puffy jackets, hoodies, and base layers. Better still, consider a jacket a size larger than usual and wrap newspaper or magazine around your limbs to add a bit additional protection.
A Sleeping Bag
You probably won’t sleep a lot. But you’ll need sleep, especially once you’ve found an ally or two in the field to stand watch. Go big, with a solid temp rating-in the zombie apocalypse you want a one-pack-fits-all-temps solution because zombie migrations may force you to go further north than you might’ve planned.
All this stuff, as well as all the stuff you’ll scrounge, like food, ammo, and extra clothes needs a place to live. Go for a backpack over a duffle or messenger bag. You want something that sits close to your body, something that doesn’t sag or sway or encumber you in any way. And go with a pack that doesn’t have loads of extra straps.
Any point where they can grab and pull should be considered a vulnerability. And also practice slipping out of the pack at speed, should you ever get grabbed from behind.