This week, reader Vince from Texas writes in with his plan and pack details. I encourage my readers to send me their tips, objectives, plans and local information from around the US and the world.
Not every zombie plan will work in every situation; one must factor land, environment, urban density, weather, supplies, infection rate and more. If you’re in the north, bring warm weather gear. If you’re running across Texas, you’ll need a lot more water, varmint hunting gear and sunscreen.
Escape Austin, TX during high infestation period
Solitary travel 380 miles on foot through countryside
Reach family at end of journey and fortify
If family gone or dead Go to plan B.
- Paul Tawrell’s – Camping & Wilderness Survival 2nd edition
- plastic bags X4, box of 20 zip lock bags
- hunting knife, diving knife, fillet knife, pocket knife
- sharpening stone
- 100 ft. polyethane rope
- magnesium flint striker
- 300 yd. 10lb. fishing line on spool
- single lense binocular
- 2nd pair hiking boots and clothes in waterproof bag
- cotton gloves, leather gloves
- composition notepads X2, pens X3
- camouflage body paint
- canteen X2 with distilling tablets X10
- maps- Austin streets, Texas highways, Texas topographical/landmark, hiking trails of Texas
- windable LED flashlight
- MRE X12
- 20 Gauge shells X120
- 20 Gauge Remington
- And next year when I turn 21 a handgun.
- Gun cleaning kit
- First Aid Kit- needle and thread, gauze, ace bandages, Neosporin, alcohol pads, small bottle of peroxide, etc.
- Night vision goggles with extra batteries
- Two way radio, with extra batteries
- Sharpie X3
I highly suggest reading Paul Tawrell’s survival book. It covers predicting weather patterns, how to interpret a river’s current, how to hunt, how to trap, what to pack, identifying plants and animals, maps and compasses, navigation, how to build a cooking fire, how to build a campfire, how to start a fire with no tools, first aid, cooking, kayaking, surviving the elements, how to build a shelter, how to build a boat, how and when to travel, improvised bug repellents, and everything in between.
Always carry multiple knives as well as a way to sharpen them. Always be able to tell the time, and KNOW WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN. Darkness is never your friend. Keep guns clean or they will eventually stop working, or jam at the most inappropriate time. Carry plastic bags to use for collecting wild edibles, or keeping bugs off of meat you may get from game. Keep zip lock bags for the same reason. Magnesium flint strikers have about 3,000 sparks in them, work when they are wet, and the sparks are hotter than a lighter flame. Invest in a windable flashlight. When the battery dies down, just wind it up. I would suggest a normal flashlight over an LED only because the brighter the light the easier you are to see, but its preference really. I don’t plan on using it much so I use an LED.
I only packed 12 MRE to save a little weight. The MREs are like emergency food for when I can’t find wild edible or game to eat. I am an experienced deer, duck, and squirrel hunter, and I am a good fisher so I should survive.
Night vision and flashlights are for emergency only. You never know what the future holds so save batteries. Say I use the night vision to travel at night instead of the day, then when I get to my family and they are all gone and took the supplies or are dead then an emergency happens at night and I need them? I’m fucked because I wasted the batteries.
Never assume you can figure out a map and compass. Know how or else you will be lost in the woods, or limited to road travel which can be risky. Knowing how to use a map and compass lets you know how far away you are from resources like natural shelter, food, water, or dangerous areas like cities.
I chose a 20-gauge shotgun because the combined weight of the guns and ammo is substantially less than a 12-gauge, but retains a good kill range. It is also somewhat quieter than a rifle or 12-guage, and easier to handle because it has very little kick to it. On the downside the ammo is harder to find, but in my case I never plan on returning to a city, where the gun would be really needed, once I escape it.
Occasionally flip on your two way and scan all the channels. During an apocalypse communication with military personnel or reclaimer groups could be useful. Always carry a sharpie especially when in the cities. Write on walls, doors, highways, sidewalks, or street signs. Write down useful tips for other wanders. If you want to join groups leave notes of where you are going, were supplies are, if the city up ahead is gridlocked, warn of over infestation, warn of bridges out, or point to good safe zones for others to take a break. I would appreciate finding helpful suggestions every now and then, and am more than happy to leave some for others.
When fleeing an infested area you will more than likely have to kill your fair share of zombies, which means you will probably get blood on you. So, wear gloves, long socks, glasses, hat, long sleeves, and handkerchief around your neck. Carry a second set of clothes so when you are done fleeing you can dump your blood drenched clothes and have something clean to wear. Also, carry soap. A clean body is a happy body.
Morale is a huge factor in survival. If you lose the will to live you will lose your life. One way to keep morale up is to keep a journal, draw pictures, maps, or anything with pen and paper. Keeping track of everything you do will keep you going, as well as help discover patterns. If you document every zombie encounter and read them all over once in a while you may discover things about them or yourself you didn’t know. Such things like you should watch your back more, zombies are sneaky, zombies have bad eyesight, zombies have bad hearing, or zombies only live for about 2 weeks. Since no one knows how zombies are actually going to act or function, having a detailed psych analyses, habit analyses, physical analyses will help you determine exactly the enemy you are facing. We cannot rely on stereotypes in modern entertainment to accurately display zombies. It will be up to us as individuals to determine these facts. Also, if you complete a composition, memorize it then leave it behind. Hopefully your 50 pages of observations will aid others who come across it. I would suggest buying brightly colored ones and leaving them enclosed in something until done with it. That way other survivors who happen through the area can easily identify it, and always label it. I chose ZOMBIE ANALYSIS: IF YOU FIND ME READ ME. So when the apocalypse happens and you find a bright yellow or green composition book with that title, you’re welcome.
Lastly I suggest going to a library and reading books on how to sew, tie knots, detailed instructions on first aid, and any other miscellaneous info that you may need during an apocalypse and practice it all. Knowledge is life, and repetition is the father of learning. Suggested reading: Boy Scout Handbook, Air force pilot handbook(kind of hard to find), Sewing books, Nursing books, Plant Identification books, Animal Identification books, Tracking animals books, Nutrition & Diet books, Psychological Analysis books(how to observe mental stability in others, yourself, and zombies), Physical therapy books, and lock picking books. If you come across a locked door there is probably something useful inside. Remember PRACTICE!
First Outbreak (nation) – pack goes from closet to truck, within 100ft of me at all times.
First Outbreak (Local) – This is a single account in the city. Something small that could be controlled. If it is not controlled then it moves on to the next step in the plan. I call in to work, fortify 2nd floor apartment, and warn everyone of the disaster to come!
City Overrun Begins – Set out on foot during next available sunrise. Leaving midday could leave you in the suburbs in the dark, and that is obviously a bad idea. I will have gun in hand, but any local law enforcement or survivors will understand why I have a gun by this point, if there are any left. Stay on small neighborhood roads, and make no attempt to contact or recruit. Going through backyard would be safer until a scared survivor misjudges you and boom your dead. Once out of the city head away from civilization toward family.
380 mile travel – I will travel on small highways, no interstates, stopping only for water or the occasional game I may use for food. Travel stops 3 hours before sundown. First hour is used to head away from the highway. Second hour is used to cook and move further away from the highway, and where you cooked (smoke as well as food smell could give you away). Third hour is used to camouflage a sleeping spot. This continues day in and day out until I arrive at destination.
My Apocalypse Theories
I highly doubt that the actual “undead” zombie could function. My research leads me to believe that a “rabid” zombie is more likely. They will have lower intelligence levels than normal, but can still understand basic concepts like doors, noise, urban vs. rural areas, and other easy concepts. My theory on surviving them is hiding. If they can’t see me or signs that I am around such as fire, backpack, etc. they will not find me. That is why I suggest the Air force pilot’s handbook. It is for when a pilot ejects over hostile territory and goes into great detail on natural camouflage and improvised equipment. If they do find me I will treat them as any other person attacking me. One to the chest, and if that doesn’t work then one to the head.
Check on no one. Help no one. Any help I have to offer is done during the first local outbreak, if they didn’t listen the first time their screwed not me. Avoid everyone no matter what. People are too dangerous in a time like this. They will either steal from me or want to tag along. I have packed enough for myself to survive, not enough for me and the occasional straggler or looter. Tag alongs will ALWAYS get you killed. They are untrained, unprepared, and scared. Fear causes mistakes under pressure. Now having a plan with a group who are prepared, aware, somewhat trained is a different story, but I will be traveling alone so…
My Plan B: When things go bad
My plan B goes into action when either I arrive home and my family is dead or gone, or total overrun occurs. By total overrun I mean no military, no civilization, nothing.
At this point I will have come across a world map during my travel which I will then use to navigate to South America. Somewhere in Brazil probably where there are no people. I feel I could survive in a jungle better than any other type of terrain and maybe 4 or 5 years later head back to check on how the area previously called the US is doing. If my theory of the “living” zombie turns out to be true then each zombie could survive between 1 week and 2 months depending on how fast the virus degrades brain function or the level of brain loss, initial infecting wound size, and how much nutrition they take in via human flesh. These estimates are obviously a long shot, and no were near accurate. This is why I chose to remain in Brazil for about 4 or 5 years, but who knows how long it would take them all to die out before you can return to what use to be home.
Personally I would avoid any military personnel in the case of an outbreak. The military, in the case of a nationwide outbreak, would more than likely abandon survivors or exterminate everyone. Gather supplies in small towns only if you are 100% sure you will survive. Entering a large city alone or in small groups could be a devastating mistake. I believe zombies will roam, but only from urban area to urban area. With an instinct to hunt for humans they would probably stay in or near civilization simply because that is where most survivors would stay, and this is the reason I choose to flee the city. But, like I stated earlier this is all just guess work.