Transportation in the Land of the Dead

By Zombie Hunter Sam
Apr
09
2010

Killdozer zombie slayer

Gasoline won’t be pumping. Electricity will buzz out. You might have some sun. You’ll need to be on the move. Bikes, cars, trucks, trains, foot or boat, you’ll need to move around, carry supplies, and stay alert while attracting the least attention possible. Before you lay out your fantastic apocalyptic plans, there are several factors you must consider.

Magnitude of Disaster

Will you still have electricity? Gasoline? Are food and supplies readily available? You can’t carry much on your bike, but a car won’t go far once gasoline becomes scarce. Count on the highways being clogged with the dead and vehicles out of fuel. A boat will only take you so far without sail power, and even then, you still require rare fresh water, food and supplies.

Carrying Capacity

A bike is speedy, silent and reliable, hell it’s even endorsed by Max Brooks in his famous guide. However, don’t expect to pack more than a week or two’s worth of food and gear if you’re on a bike. Forget traveling cross-state with a bike, unless you have lots of time and zombies are in short supply. A motorbike is a bit more suitable for off-road use, distance and carrying capacity, but please note it is prone to fuel shortages and is a great attention getter.

Consider  bicycles and motorbikes to be supplemental transportation. You will need them for quick getaways around your area and for ferrying supplies, but attacking and moving are impossible with such a means of transportation. Whatever your gas-powered vehicle, you’ll want a bicycle in the trunk or on the roof, along with your guns, blades, ammo and food.

Practicality

Zombie Killer VehicleMany potential survivors, several on this site,  want to rig up a Humvee or light truck with armor plating, gun turrets, spikes, chainsaw ports and many other fantastic ideas they nabbed from  zombie movies. This ain’t Iraq folks, and an iron plated vehicle is slow, cumbersome, and eats through fuel. We can rule out the laughable idea of steel-plating a Prius, so let’s not consider that. Your best defense is evading Zack, and an offensive vehicle will still need to be speedy and reliable. If it can break down on you, it will.

Considered an armored vehicle as something for short trips to crucial destinations through very planned and re-planned paths with multiple routes.

Of course, you could always just build an iron-plated storm chaser in the name of science. Ben Anderson of the Examiner has put together a fine zombie apocalypse transportation article explaining just why tricked out visionary vehicles are a bad idea.

Most pre-zombies will spout off the name of some ludicrous military vehicle or giant civilian truck, some even fancy vehicular weaponry (tanks, etc.), as the optimal apocalyptic conveyance. The last thing you need is a damn tank leading an unholy army to your doorstep.

Yes, your armored truck sounds like a fine idea on paper, but it’s hardly executable unless you make a Killdozer, have access to heavy shop materials and posses a valid driver’s license.

Reliability

Elwood - My Chevy Impala 9c1 Zombie VehicleStick with what you know. If your car runs well, is reliable and gets good MPG, consider that your #1 Bug Out Vehicle or BOV. Keep it stocked with a good supply of food, water, radios, and perhaps even install a CB and keep some emergency illumination at hand. Flashlights and road flares are good to have anyway.

The vehicle to the left is Elwood, my 2004 Chevrolet Impala 9c1. It’s got a cop motor, a [3.8L V6 3800 Series II], it’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It’s a model made [after] catalytic converters, so it’ll run good on regular gas. He gets little upgrades every now and then to keep him as my reliable BOV. Currently, he has V-Rated General A-A tires, a CB Radio, USB hookups, 400W power inverter and everything the Chevrolet Police Package provides. Elwood is considered my primary BOV for getting me out of town when SHTF; not much but it’s a start. Throw a collapsible bike in the trunk and I’m ready for most any situation.

If you have enough external gas cans, you’ll be good to go with a longer fuel range, regardless of your MPG.

Mission

EM50 Urban Assault VehicleIf you’re going into an urban area, unless the roads are clear, you’ll probably want to be on foot or bicycle. Consider any attempt to enter an urban area to be for recon, SAR, or essential supply gathering. You’ll want to avoid these infested areas at all costs. For this reason, the suburbs and countryside are far better places to search and settle than a metropolitan area.

The Boy Scout Motto, “Be Prepared” also applies to vehicles as well — you’ll want your BOV to be swift, strong, and provide adequate fence-crashing, puddle stomping, and zombie splattering abilities. The usual 4-wheeled vehicle can accomplish most of these things, but consider specifics. A light truck is useful in supply gathering, while a swift car is more useful for speeding across infested areas.

Jalopnik has crafted a fine article of dreamy (if somewhat impractical) Zombiepocalypse vehicles.

Long Term

Red Witch, ChicagoIf the apocalypse is disastrous enough, there will be no more fossil fuels. Bikes, pack animals and sleds will be the only means of ferrying cargo. One often overlooked mode of transport is the humble sailboat.

A sailing vessel will get you places no car every could (assuming you can get to the ocean or a Great Lake).  With hydroponics, a wind generator, and water purifiers, you’re set for a life at sea or on the Great Lakes eating fresh caught, non-undead whitefish every day. Besides a proper skill to master, sailing could ensure your survival when roads are crowded, gasoline has disappeared, and the lands are poisoned.

Aircraft will be extremely hard to maintain, and without a qualified pilot, you’re risking death for yourself and your partners. On the rare occasion the opportunity arises, the advantage of  a long distance traveled is not worth the risk. Military pilots, passenger jet pilots and even civil air pilots depend on lots of fuel, good weather, ground and air crew for their operations. Stick to the surface.

Take the time, learn how to repair machines, sail a boat, and build a bicycle. These skills could save your life more than being a crack shot in your Killdozer ever could.

Resources

The Ten Best Post-Apocalyptic Survival Vehicles

Traveling in the Zombie Apocalypse

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Filed Under: Defense · Preparedness · Undead

20 million infected

  • 1 logan Apr 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Nice article Sam :D. Lol at the Killdozer picture…guy went on a whole ramapage with that. next to immune to small arms fire and even external explosions…airtight though, not the best vehicle. Sealed too. Pretty cool how he armored it up though. Good article, cool links. Got me thinking about what BOV I would use.

  • 2 PFC Unknown Apr 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    lol i have to say the picture of the killdozer has to be the most epic thing ive seen, the thing is more up-amored then our humvees.. but i agree, not a really good idea to joy ride in the Zed appocolypse, unless you got a nuclear reactor stuffed in the engine compartment for unlimited fuel supply, even then your playing with your own life. ill stick to my truck, isnt great on gas (28 mpg) but its a temp rather then for long useage. id rather stay on foot in my opinion, least after i ditch my BOV, bikes are great for silence, but if you get caught and your trapped its easy for the zeds to get the person off of it, but thats my opinion, ill ride them, but not into any area where my gut is telling me it isnt a good idea.

    good artical sam

  • 3 Wit's End Apr 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    K, now yr talkin’

    Give us useful stuff like this, thanx!

    Also too, would be how to deal with utter failure, ya never know.

    I already have a copy of “Final Exit.” Updates and elaboration would be useful.

  • 4 Zombie Hunter Sam Apr 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys. Yeah, Killdozer is pretty epic. And the pic of the green vehicle is the EM-50 — I suggest you watch Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in “Stripes”.

  • 5 PFC Unknown Apr 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    lol i remember stripes, the EM-50 was a government secret weapon and bill murray jacked it, classic, but if you want the uber killer id have to say Dead Reckoning from land of the dead is pretty epic in its own right. but, it resembles the research truck in jurrasic park: lost world, the one that got pwnd (ownd) by the 2 t-rexs, but thats a diffrent topic,

    it would be nice to either build a vehicle that is sturdy enough but also is solar powered, if only the tech was out there to do so. personally if solar powered cars had a better rep id say grab on of those, give it a little make over, say a roll cage, up-armor it a little more, and it would be a pretty good vehicle to get around vast distance, but driving it in a urban area still wouldnt be a wise thing, although quite, wouldnt take much for a horde of zeds to over turn it, maybe throw some mudd/swamp tires on it for some off roading, what do you guys think? as a concept rather then a logical thing

  • 6 PurpleEater Apr 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Volvos, baby!

  • 7 PurpleEater Apr 14, 2010 at 12:49 am

    @PFC: I like it! If you were planning to go offroading with it you might want to put a layer of plexiglass over the panels, though, just to protect against stray pebbles and such.
    The problem would be the horsepower on the thing. Solar-powered cars don’t usually have much push behind them, so offroading might be a stretch.

    Does anyone else think that gas stations would still be open for a short while after the apocalypse? I mean, if the people attending it are now zombies, the gas is still there, and if everyone is staying in their homes, or doing something else to that extent, then the gas is all yours. Your mobility (and thus your life) is more important than a few bucks to a non-existent company, even assuming that currency is accepted in the apocalypse…

  • 8 Necro Apr 29, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hmph, most impracticle…

  • 9 gman11 May 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    if this ever happens i am gonna high tail it to the ocean jack a boat fill it with food and water filters and go

  • 10 Zombie Hunter Sam May 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Gman — exactly why I encourage boating and sailing lessons. Also: Heavy machinery lessons? You never know when you’ll need to man a bulldozer. Or killdozer.

  • 11 TOPGUN777 Oct 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    there is a link that takes you to a website that allows you to buy a $14k apc tank that can carry 17 ppl and is also amphibious.60 mph and 5mph if you ease into water

  • 12 St.Raider Nov 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Yeah i agree, a vehicle would bring you faster and longer then you would on foot, a bicycle would only assist a little, considering the big amounts of things your carrying with you …

    While i dont have a driver’s license, i’ll try hot-wiring a car and reach the nearest harbor or sea-port and take a ship, it sounds like a great plan, in hope the fishs keep on living endlessly and not being infected its a good life time plan.

    But still, i do believe none of you even thought about forting a school and start gathring survivors and repopulate the world and kill all the undead ? oh wait, i forgot, we would never mange to repopulate the world and each day there is a bigger amount of zombies.

  • 13 qiee Dec 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    The amphibious assault vehicle would be the best for a ZA it not only runs over everything on land but it can also be in the water for over 7 hours the fire bower is good and it holds more than 16 people

  • 14 kokiris Jan 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    that over armored peace of metal is not a means of geting through an infected area unles it has an extra compartment for gas and a inside the vehicle way of refueling uhh and maybe …. maybe some machine gun holes and and some chain saw holes and and some ummmmmm ROBOT ARMS lol i am so stupid anyway thanks for the info i think all use my ford for meh bov (untel it runs out of gas then i’m useing my gas bicycle it has a good fuel consumption rateing it gets 100 miles to the gallon with me helping it (pedilling the hell out of my feet takeing breaks then pediling some more it could keep going for a long time as long as my feet pitch-in so its 100 miles to the gallon and it has exactly a gallon tank + 1000 pedils otherwise it would stop after 2 secounds it will only go if i propel it a little like a jump start then i wait 10 mins and jump start it again until it runs out of gas though you will all be skeptical

  • 15 AnnatehRawrasuras Mar 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Omgeee good plan XD but be kinda hard for a girl to b on a boat for along time getting female products will b a pain XD but overall good plan but whatif everyone have this plan or at night u land on a island filled with zombies n they get on bored n eat chu? Lol

  • 16 PurpleEater Apr 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Well, millions of women have survived without female products in the past.
    And who is Chu? Better him than me.

  • 17 Mr Bill May 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Dont forget tools such as srew drivers wrenches ect.. Cars will have gas even if they run out, punch a hole in the bottem of the tank to fill a can. One may not get a massive amount but it can get one out of trouble fast. Four wheelers are better than two wheels for carrying and are more stable less likely to kill one in a quick panic escape. Towers radio or such can save ones skin if no way is out and one is on foot exposed.
    Water towers are the best bet to look for in such times. Rope in a pack can help tie things down so they dont fall.

  • 18 The Moonlight Seedling Jun 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I normally would be all for the “I’m on a boat” route, however…

    When the zombie apocalypse happens, there will be blood. Lots and lots of blood. And if zombieism is a virus, or transferable in any way, it would be transferable through blood.

    Like I said, lots and lots of blood. Some of it *will* get into the water supply somehow, and make its way to rivers, lakes, oceans, etc…. therefore leading to infected fishies.

    Question is, how do you tell a fish is infected? What if the infected have no telling symptoms other than aggression? No skin lesions, no eye problems, nothing other than their actions?

    Well, when fishing, you hope the fish will attack the worm (or whatever)… that wouldn’t really be a good tipoff. When you pull the fish out of the water, do you check it first or just cut it’s head off? Well, if we’re in the zombie apocalypse, I’d hope you’d check everything for aggression before you ate it.

    How’s a fish, being held in the air, out of the water, going to show aggression? They don’t make noise, they don’t have teeth to bare… in fact, the only thing a fish would be able to do is wiggle around and gape its mouth open, trying to breathe.

    Wait, they do that already…

    Yeah, living on a boat, hoping and praying you don’t eat a zombie fish and then your family? No thanks. I’m heading for the most inaccessible mountaintop I can.

  • 19 TRUETH WILL KILL YOU May 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    The most effective way to stop a full outbreak would be to nuke the original contamonation zone and increase the raidous 100 miles per hour after patient 0 turned. Regardless of living casualtys.

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