Welcome to our zombie survival guide.
First thing’s first: It’s never too early to start preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Survival is no easy talk when hordes of undead zombies are coming at you from all sides. We’ve compiled some of the best zombie survival tips for staying alive as long as possible when the apocalypse happens.
As soon as you start to hear about an outbreak, you’re going to want to build a heavy stockpile of non-perishable food items. These shelf-stable items don’t need refrigeration and can last months without spoiling.
Things like granola bars, canned food and dehydrated items can keep you alive for months. High calorie, non-perishable foods like granola bars have a long shelf-life and can give you the burst of energy needed to outrun zombies.
Types of food
- Canned fruits
- Canned vegetables
- Canned meats
- Canned soups
- Canned or dried beans
- Whole grain foods
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter
- Baby formula
- Ready-to-eat meals or snacks
- Beef jerky (or any dehydrated foods)
Using a dehydrator
Dehydrating perishable food items such as meat and fruits can prolong their shelf life. It is best to completely cook your raw meat items before dehydrating. The USDA recommends cooking meat to 160°F, and chicken to 165°F.
A good quality dehydrator doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find one on Amazon for around $40 plus shipping. The Presto 06300 dehydrator is the one I personally use for dehydrating. It has BPA-free racks, is easy to clean, and great for beginners.
One skill that a lot of modern people lack is knowing how to start a fire from scratch. In the apocalypse, luxuries like an electric stove or a microwave won’t always be available. You will need to know the different ways of starting a fire in the worst case scenario.
How to start a fire from scratch
Below are some methods to producing the initial spark you need to start a fire. All of these methods require either some sort of tinder, or kindling.
- Flint and steel
- Hand drill
- Bow drill
- Fire plough
- Glass lens
Field & Stream has more detailed information on these methods here.
Storing potable water should be one of your first priorities. This is key to zombie survival, or any type of survival. If the outbreak can spread through the water system, you will need to collect as much clean drinking water as possible.
Your body depends on water to function. Water helps bodily processes such as urination, perspiration and bowel movements to dispose of wastes. It also helps regulate your body temperature and protect vital organs.
A general rule is to store one gallon of water per person, per day. Remember that thing about drinking 8 glasses of water a day? This is equal to about half a gallon of water. Add another half gallon of water for cooking and hygiene.
Making potable water
Contaminated water can often be made safe to drink by boiling, disinfecting or filtering. Be sure to sterilize your water storage containers before using them for potable water.
CDC’s steps for making water safe
According to the CDC, adding a little bit of bleach to water helps make it safe to drink. Follow their instructions below for the best results.
- Add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon of a 5-6% unscented bleach product per gallon of water
- Mix well and wait at least 30 minutes before using
Read more about making water safe on the CDC website.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Having basic lifesaving resuscitation skills can help when someone goes into cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross both offer CPR training throughout the United States.
Keep a first aid kit
Below is a starter list for the things you should keep in your first aid kit.
- Nitrile exam gloves
- Adhesive bandages
- Gauze dressing pads
- Gauze roll bandage
- First aid tape roll
- Alcohol cleansing wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn relief ointment
- Antihistamine cream or tablets
- Sterile eye dressings
- Finger splint
The American Red Cross sells first aid kits, among other things, on their website.
Other first aid skills
- Heimlich maneuver
- How to stop someone from bleeding out
Clothing and Attire
You are going to need shoes and attire that can keep you safe in the elements. A good pair of running shoes or a pair of boots that you can run in will be very important. Hiking books are a versatile option for apocalypse footwear and will last you a long time.
Get yourself a good jacket or coat to keep you warm. A leather jacket is ideal and will get you through all types of weather and protect you from the elements.
Establishing a Stronghold
You can fortify your existing home against zombies or find a great spot that you can hunker down in. Having a place where you can sleep and keep your stockpile safe is important for zombie survival.
Choosing a stronghold
If your home isn’t an option for an apocalypse stronghold, you should begin scouting for potential locations. Office buildings, large retail stores, and even your neighbor’s house are possibilities.
Things to keep in mind when considering a stronghold:
- Location: You may be safer in the outskirts, but further away from resources.
- Perimeter: A fence or wall that wraps around the property can provide a layer of protection.
- Visibility: How many storeys high is it? The further up you are, the farther you can spot incoming zombies.
- Layout: Is it easy to navigate? Are there a lot of blind spots?
Reinforce windows and weak spots
The easiest way to reinforce windows is to board them up completely. This method helps prevent zombies from taking advantage of your home’s weakest spots. It also prevents zombies from being able to spot you inside, and discourages looters.
Making a defense plan
Whether you decide to stay in your home or find a stronghold elsewhere, develop a strategy in the event that your stronghold is breached. Your strategy should incorporate the four things from the list above.
Having tools at your disposal for real world navigation is one of the most important skills to have during the apocalypse. The last thing you want to do is get stranded in the middle of nowhere, or completely lost. If you know how to use a compass, a map, and read the stars, you can make smarter decisions when getting around.
Using a compass
Knowing how to navigate using a compass is a great skill to have whether there’s an apocalypse going on or not. Get familiar with compass reading now. There also may be classes near you on map reading and navigation. Watch the video below to get a taste.
How to Use a Compass
Keeping a topographical map of your area is always a good idea. Topographical maps are two-dimensional representations of the Earth’s surface that show elevation levels, and natural and manmade features like roads, lakes, and vegetation. These maps can help you plan the safest route. Used together with a compass, you can figure out your location on a map as well.
If you don’t have a compass at your disposal, it is possible to navigate using the constellations. Celestial navigation involves knowing the different constellations in the sky. There are 58 different navigational stars that celestial navigators use. The main benefit to celestial navigation is that it isn’t reliant upon tools or technology.
It’s not a question of if you’ll encounter a zombie, but when. You should never leave your stronghold without a weapon to fight off zombies. You don’t need a complex, military-grade weapon for the apocalypse.
It is recommended to have a variety of weapons at your disposal. An important factor in choosing your weaponry is range. In close encounters, a melee weapon like a hammer is useful, as opposed to a long spear which requires a bigger range of motion to use.
- Baseball bat
- Bow and arrow
- Throwing knives / axes
- Throwing stars
- Hand grenades
- Molotov cocktails
Close combat, hand-to-hand fighting skills are the ultimate fallback skills to have for zombie survival. These defensive skills can be attained through martial arts classes and will teach you how to safely defend yourself against zombie attackers.
Martial Arts types for the apocalypse
- Jeet Kune Do
- Krav Maga
- Muay Thai
- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Start looking for classes in your area now, or take an online class. Chris Pizzo offers an online class called Close Combat Training: Military Hand-To-Hand Combat Course on Udemy.
It’s time to start thinking about what types of transportation will be viable during the zombie apocalypse. A vehicle not only provides transportation; it can provide shelter and protection.
Gas or electric?
Most of the vehicles on the planet run on gasoline, a finite resource which will be in high demand during this time. Gas resources will either get depleted, or overtaken by other survivor gangs.
If your city’s electrical grid is still functional, electric vehicles will have an edge here. You can power up your vehicle at home or at a charging station.
Once you have your apocalypse vehicle, you’ll want to add upgrades to ensure that it can withstand a zombie attack. Adding extra armor, reinforced windows, and upgrading tires, are all highly recommended.
Recommended vehicle modifications for zombie survival:
- Extra armor
- Upgraded tires
- Reinforced windows
- Spikes and weaponry
- Vehicle-mounted flamethrower (Optional)
Read more about how to zombie proof your vehicle.
You’ve reached the end of our zombie survival guide. These should be some of your number one priorities at the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. Do you have any tips on zombie survival that we missed? Let us know in the comments.