Hey, kids — Saturday, and you know what that probably means…
Your handy dandy tip that’ll hopefully help you survive in event of a zombie apocalypse or, honestly, in any other kind of catastrophic freak-out.
Today’s tip is about your ZAS kit. Y’know, it’s always a good idea to keep some items at the ready for any kind of scariness, whether it’s an evacuation because of a natural event or a mass panic flee-fest in event of an unnatural event (i.e. zombies). And once you have your kit, it’s a good idea to check on it every couple of months to make sure the stuff is still good/hasn’t expired (like any meds you put in there).
YES! Prepare me!
So get yourself a backpack that can take a beating, is waterproof/water resistant, fits you well and is reasonably comfortable (you’ll be wearing it for long periods of time). Now, I’m a gearhead and I’ve done a lot of camping and backpacking in my day, and I’ve had good luck with Gregory and Arc’teryx brand packs. I’m short, and I thus have a hard time finding packs that fit me that are comfortable. These two brands have proven that they can take a beating in a lot of different situations, they keep my stuff dry, and they’re comfortable for long periods of time. But my advice? Go to a store like REI or Eastern Mountain Sports and try a ton of packs on. Stores like this also have mini sandbags on hand to load the packs up so you can find out what it feels like with weight in ’em. There are lots of excellent brands out there. Just stick with earth tones. Brown, tan, olive, forest greens. If you have to be out after dark and your pack is a lighter color, cover it with a black sweatshirt or something else that’s dark and cloth. Plastic rustles too much.
Or, if you’re a military-type and prefer that kind of equipment, military surplus stores are great places to get yourself a backpack that you like. But remember–the more gizmos and straps hanging off it, the more things a zombie can grab onto. So stick with a streamlined design. Preferably internal frame, and not something big enough to stash gear for K2. You want to be lightweight, remember. Something like this:
That there is the MOLLE long range assault pack. Molle = Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (Molly). Now THAT sounds like some sexy zombie survival equipment. And it’s pretty much what you want. Remember, you have to stay mobile for a while. Maybe a long while. It’s streamlined–not many options for zombies to grab onto. Plus, it’s camo, and you can blend in with various landscapes.
Stuff to put IN your pack can vary. You can buy pre-made survival kits. Just do some comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting the best gear for your situation. Here’re some links to see what I’m talking about:
Survival Metrics (military grade thigh-pocket size survival kit)
And check out books. Here’s a link for some decent ones on survival.
Keep in mind camping outdoors is probably a bad idea. We’ll talk about that in a future tip installment. In the meantime, here’s what I recommend you put in your pack:
1) First aid supplies. Remember, you can’t go running to the doctor and going to a store is going to be a major pain in the ass. So here’s a list of some BASIC medical supplies: small nalgene bottle of alcohol, cotton balls, gauze pads, first-aid tape, band-aids, antibiotic ointment, small bottle of aspirin/acetaminophen/ibuprofen (or a mixture of all three), moleskin (for blisters), small pair of portable scissors (like these), antiseptic wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Don’t forget your pocket knife/leatherman utility tool, a flashlight (I’m partial to Maglites), light nylon string, bug spray, and duct tape. Oh, and holy crap (ha ha), a small roll of toilet paper in a plastic Ziploc would be a good idea. Throw in some empty Ziplocs and a couple of plastic garbage bags while you’re at it, too.
2) Personal hygiene items. Small bottle of liquid body soap (hint: Dr. Bronner’s is a great choice; you can wash anything and everything in it, including clothes), small bottle of bleach, 2-3 pairs of underwear (either cotton or the kind of blend you buy at camping stores — you need them to dry quickly), 2 pairs hiking socks, 2 T-shirts, 1 dark sweatshirt, rain poncho (make it a dark color). Small plastic tarp (you may need to sleep on something). Women, stash some tampons and/or pads. I know. I hate thinking about that, too. Sucks.
3) Food n’ drink. Water purification system, whether it’s iodine tablets or a camper’s water filter. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). Remember, you’re not going to have cooking options for a while, if at all. So you need stuff you can eat on the run that doesn’t require cooking. Add a bag of jerky to your gear, too, or dried fruit and some nuts. Food with protein and a bit of carbs to keep you moving. Oh, a mess kit is a good idea, too, but not imperative since you won’t have time at the outset to cook. But it is something to think about.
4. Weapons. Small hatchet (maybe a claw hammer instead) and a baseball bat. You’ll be carrying the latter, but it’s good to have a silent weapon at the ready. If you have a pistol, okay, take that, but read my blog on why guns might not be a good idea, even if you know how to use ’em.
There you go. Some basics. Something else icky you need to think about is medication. If you’re on meds, do your best to heal up and get off ’em. Because pharmacies are a thing of the past come the zombie apocalypse. This is why maintaining good health in general is important. Any kind of disaster could hit, whether natural or unnatural, and as we’re seeing in Japan, even in the most civilized of countries, people are going for weeks without access to basic services. So good health isn’t just about feeling good. It’s about ensuring your long-term survival in all events. Yeah, I know. I’m weird. I think about stuff like that. But you owe it to yourself to get healthy and stay healthy, whether there’s a scary event or not. There. That’s my lecture for this time. I know. It ended up being a little more serious and pragmatic, but events in Japan just got me thinking, y’know?
Anyway, happy Saturday! Oh, and here: