What does every single non-walker character in The Walking Dead strive to do on a weekly basis? Survive! Regardless whether their motive is noble, self-centered, family-centric, or with just a touch of megalomaniacal world-ruling intentions, every single person on the show works to survive another day.
And they use what they can do this. Yes, there are plenty of weapons to be had, but they also scrounge around deserted neighborhoods, homes and stores for supplies, hunt, and forage around the woods for ways to optimize this survival.
If it’s one thing they’ve taught viewers, it is never too early to start preparing for that zombie apocalypse.
Curious how you’d do? The official AMC Walking Dead site has a “How Long Would You Survive” quiz, and the site QuizFreak has a “How Long Would You Survive in the Walking Dead?” quiz. If you didn’t do too well on either, it is time to get better prepared for the Walker attack.
Okay, let’s come back to reality for one second. The real-world likelihood of a Walker of Zombie attack is nil (although it sure seems like people are headed that way, sometimes) but there are hazards and emergencies in this world, including natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes. There is also the possibility for extreme hikers or campers to wander from the designated trail and find themselves stranded.
However, it’s a lot more fun to pretend the zombies are coming, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has even hosted a Zombie Preparedness Campaign, as an interesting and effective way to get families to learn to prepare for real-life emergencies. They even created downloadable posters and a graphic novella to help.
It is never a good idea to hole oneself up like a paranoid hermit, but is always a good idea to be prepared for emergency situations, both at home and on the road. The start of an active summer season is one of the best times to do this.
Where to Find These Kits:
We’ll get the “official” item out of the way first. Yes, there is a commercially-available, officially licensed Walking Dead Survival Kit…and it is practical. Each kit contains enough items to maintain two people for around 72 hours. Available from the official store for $149, the military-style messenger bag includes emergency food and water, LED flashlight, work gloves, severe weather ponchos and blanket, first aid kit and more. Of course, it also has a nice little patch with Daryl’s “wings.”
This kit is also available on the Emergency Preparedness Company site, First My Family for 20 dollars less.
Since the general population of The Walking Dead is essentially nomadic, the best types of kits for a zombie attack would be a Bug Out Bag (or BOB). The Bug Out Bag is an easily, carried, pre-packaged back-pack with enough essential supplies to last at least 72 hours.
The sites Bug Out Bag Academy and PrepforSHTF, have some of the best lists on what to put into a Bug Out Bag. Both of the sites also have stores with various essential items. Some of the essentials include drinking water, purification tablets and water bottles, protein sources (like energy bars), cooking pots, can opener, essential cooking items, protective clothing for all-weather conditions, shelter and bedding items like tarps, sleeping bags or tents, heat source, first aid items, hygiene items from hand sanitizer to towels, tools and lighting, communication devices (both digital and “old school” such as emergency radio with hand crank), travel aids such as maps and last but not least, self-defense items. There’s even a suggestion for a Doggie Bug Out Bag, with items like water, pre-packaged first aid kit, collapsible dog bowls, a doggie jacket and booties, shelter, and food.
It’s easy to build your own kit, and this could even be a fun pre-camping activity for families to do together, with each member making their own.
There are plenty of retailers and online sources that have them available including a Five-Day Survival Backpack from BudK for $69.99.
One popular model, the ThinkGeek ZD-873, which ran for $229.99, is currently out of stock, but included a tomahawk, minichete, entrenching took, a flashing roadside emergency disk (aka F.R.E.D.), reusable water bottle, knife and flashlight combo, reusable battery pack, solar panel and 24-piece M48 Kommando survival kit. They do still have individual survival tools like the M48 Apocalypse Series including a Long Handle Tactical tool with axe, hammer and spear attachments, tomahawk, karamit blade knife, shovel and other items ranging from $19.99 for some individual pieces like the machete to $179.99 or more for sets.
The site Special Forces let customers pick and choose Bug Out Bag the items from their catalog individually. A fully-stocked bag from them runs about $495.95, but customers need to make sure they indicate how much their bladder holds.
Other great Bug Out Bags can be found at Echo-Sigma, Emergency Zone via Amazon, and Prepare Wise, at varying prices. Even if you don’t purchase one, these are all great to look at to get ideas for building your own.
Follow the lead of the well-prepared this summer to be ready to go with Rick Grimes and his crew, rather than being the wandering walker in the wilderness.
Post originally ran May 27, 2015.