How to Prepare For the Onslaught of Zombies


Photo by Ethan Wickman

Looting food is a crucial part of survival, but resisting the urge to take everything and shove it in a backpack is necessary. You don’t have room to be taking all the things.

What a day! You failed two tests, forgot your homework, found out that the girl you like is going to prom with your best friend, and failed your driving test. AGAIN. This day couldn’t get any worse, right? Wrong!

As you head up the road, on the way home, you see an odd looking man stumbling up the side of the street. Your dad honks at him, slamming on the brakes as he lurches in front of the car. “Stupid drunkard,” your father yells angrily. The “stupid drunkard” snaps his attention to the source of the noise. You see that this is no ordinary drunk guy. Baring his teeth, he begins shuffling quickly to your car, growling and snapping his jaws at you. The bloodstains on the front of his shirt become obvious as he leaps onto the hood of the car and begins to pound the windshield in. Panic overtakes you and your dad, and he shoots the car forward. The bloodstained man succeeds in breaking through before you get too far, and he sinks his teeth into your father’s neck. Congratulations! Your day just got substantially worse!

Welcome to the zombie apocalypse, a world full of fear, backstabbing, and loads of flesh eating people that you used to know! This phenomenon is widely expected to occur at some point, and some people even devote their whole lives to making anti-zombie bunkers and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on weapons, canned food, and water! What they don’t know is that they are wasting their time. Sure, having loads of guns and food is great, but someone with a plan and some simple information will go twice as far as someone who blows all their money and time on super expensive equipment that may even be obsolete!  So before you go blowing all of your money, consider the following:


Having the right kit is the key to survival. It will keep you alive and allow you to find a (temporary) safe place.

Recommended Kit:

  • Mid-size backpack
  • Crowbar
  • Magazines (both kinds) NOTE: the reading type should be fairly thick
  • Guns
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Bandages (cloth and Band-Aids)
  • Swiss army knife
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Painkillers
  • MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat)
  • If no MREs are available, have a few small, non-perishable meals
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaver/machete
  • Knife/dagger
  • Matches, lighters (important)
  • Running shoes
  • Tight clothes (2 sets)
  • Water bottles

In your backpack, you should keep everything well organized. Make sure you know exactly where everything is, so emergency you won’t be caught with your pants around your ankles, fumbling for the bandages that could save your brother’s life. Of the things in your kit, the duct tape, scissors, clothes (1 pair), bandages, fingernail clippers, matches, lighters, painkillers, alcohol, Swiss army knife, MREs (or other food), bullets, magazines (gun kind), and water bottles should be kept in your bag. Keep the alcohol isolated and pad it down so that it doesn’t splash around and make noise. Separate the cloth bandages and your spare clothes separate so that you don’t wind up accidentally using your shirt to staunch the flow of blood from someone’s missing arm. Attach the crowbar to the outside using a means where it can be easily removed and replaced. Keep the magazines (reading kind) close to your backpack, along with the running shoes and one pair of clothes. Your guns and blades need to be with your bag as well.

Why am I taking these things?

A mid-size backpack is the best medium for containing your kit. It will be able to carry all of your materials without hindering your movement. A crowbar is an invaluable melee weapon, and can also be used to open jammed doors and lockers. Magazines for your bullets will allow you for quicker reload, if you keep the mags loaded. Magazines that you would normally read have a far more interesting role in the apocalypse. You can use duct tape to bind them around your forearms and calves, thus giving you partial protection from bites. Guns are obviously for protection and gathering resources. Duct tape is invaluable. It can be used for a variety of purposes, from binding broken blades to sticks to make makeshift blades to fixing rips in your bag. Scissors bear the same usefulness. They can be used as makeshift stabbing weapons, and used for their intended purpose: cutting things. Bandages are for wounds, cloth for large, Band-Aid for small. The Swiss invented that knife for a reason. Survival. You are surviving. Therefore you need a Swiss army knife. Fingernail clippers because if your fingernails get too long, or you bust a nail, it could ruin your life, making you incapable of shooting or using tools. Painkillers are for killing pain. Having a few MREs will sustain you until you can locate a proper meal, or if you are stuck on the road. Water bottles for the same reason; they are refillable as well. Alcohol can be used as currency or Molotovs. Both can be equally useful. Carrying a machete or cleaver in your belt will be very good for cutting your way through zombies. A knife or dagger will be good for stealth kills, because they are easy to swing and maneuver. Fire is the essence of life, and having matches and lighters can save you, providing warmth, light, and a means to cook your food. You would want to go with tight clothes because the less zombies can grab onto, the better. Cut your hair short as well, especially if you are a girl. Short means short. Go for a men’s military cut.


Having a cleaver, crowbar, and knife should cover you in terms of melee. Guns are tricky. While very effective, they are also very loud and will run out of bullets quickly if you aren’t careful. One of the primary ways a zombie will track to you is via sound, as your dad found out the hard way. The golden philosophy when it comes to weapons is “Blades are silent and don’t have to be reloaded.” Guns are recommended to be used only as a last resort, and melee weapons are recommended as often as possible. Keep a pistol for sure, though. They are small, weigh little, and relatively easy to use. As for a bigger gun, attach a shotgun or bolt action rifle to the back of your bag in the same fashion as the crowbar, if you can handle the weight (5-20 pounds for a shotgun depending on the gauge, and 5-15 pounds depending on the rifle) and aren’t worried about the sound. But even with all these shiny armaments, you must not forget one of your most valuable assets. Your legs! There is no such thing as shame in the apocalypse, so there is absolutely no shame in running from the zombies. If you can avoid fighting them, then by all means do so! Zombies are dangerous creatures, and you don’t want to tango with them, much like you don’t want to tango with a tiger.


Be sure to keep everything in an easily accessible place! Ideally, you want to be able to grab the kit, and get going. Where to? Head for safety. Where that is depends on where you are. It could be mountains, the country, a lonely beach house, or open water. If you can survive the first hectic days, life will get slightly easier.