Over the years, we’ve shared a ton of tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy during an emergency. Here are some of our favorite clever survival tricks.
Okay, so these hacks aren’t exclusive to zombie-related emergencies, but let’s be honest: it’s the one disaster we all know is inevitable. Regardless of the emergency at hand, these tips can keep you alive when disaster strikes.
10. Know Your Knots
A strong knot can help you carry supplies, save a life, tie a zombie to a tree, and do a myriad of other things. If you only ever know one knot, we suggest learning the bowline, which is easy to tie (even with your eyes closed), strong enough to hold the most ravenous of creatures, and can be undone in about 10 seconds if you know how. Of course, it could never hurt to have a wallet-sized cheat sheet with a few other knots on it, either.
9. Keep Yourself From Drowning
Don’t be fooled: Zombies may not be very good swimmers, but they can’t drown. We humans aren’t so lucky. Learn to recognize the signs of drowning so you can save others when the time comes, and if you’ve made it to the cold winter months, you’ll definitely want to know how to survive a fall through ice. And, of course, if you’re making a quick getaway and end up in the lake, here’s hwow to escape from a sinking car.
8. Turn a Hybrid Car Into a Generator
You may curse the Prius’ popularity now, but when the world is deserted and you’re in need of some electricity, you’ll be glad you put up with them. With a simple inverter, you can turn a Prius into a long-lasting generator that’ll keep you warm, revive your phone, or keep your taser fully charged. Photo by Beth and Christian Bell.
7. Find Your Way Without a Compass
As you travel to the last remaining human city (there’s always a last remaining human city), you’ll need to keep your bearings. If you don’t have a compass, you can still find true north a stick in the ground. Alternatively, you can use your watch, or even make an impromptu compass out of duct tape and a cork.
6. Stick to the Rooftops
Lesson one for staying alive during the apocalypse: stay mobile and go where the zombies can’t. You don’t need to be Spider-Man to jump from rooftop to rooftop. Just make sure you stick the landing, and you can use it to get around when the planet’s become overrun by the undead. Photo by JB London.
5. Keep In Touch with Other Survivors
We all know you should have an “in case of emergency” number on your phone, but technology affords us many more opportunities. You can use Google Voice to dial multiple family members at once, or use a service like I’m OK to quickly notify a group of people that you’ve survived the most recent disaster. And, if worst does come to worst, you’ll want to make sure your loved ones can locate your important information, so an in-case-of-emergency everything document is a good idea.
4. Know Your Emergency First Aid
When someone gets injured, you don’t need a first aid kit around to help them. Cayenne pepper can quickly stop large cuts from bleeding, and you can make emergency bandages out of tree fungus. It can help to know a few first aid tricks, though, so we recommend reading the Ship Captain’s Medical Guide for non-doctors, and knowing some of the biggest first aid myths that won’t do you any good. Of course, none of these will matter if your teammate’s already been bitten by a zombie, but for normal injuries, some good first aid skills can save a life.
3. Start a Fire with Anything
When night falls and you need to stay warm, you’ll want a quick way to start a fire. You can make an emergency fire starter out of a t-shirt, or, if you don’t want to waste your clothes, a few egg cartons and drier lint. You can, of course, also make a more stove-like “Buddy Burner” out of trash, a soda can and some alcohol, or just make a lamp out of a tuna can and some string.
2. Forage for Food and Water
The zombies will have a very abundant food source, be we won’t be so lucky. As you forage through the wilderness, you’ll need to forage for your own food, meaning you’ll have to tell the edible plants apart from the harmful ones. Keep an eye out for safe-to-eat mushrooms and non-poisonous berries. You could even catch a few fish with a soda can tab, and make dirty water drinkable with a string, a bottle, and a lighter. Photo by Dominic Alves.
1. Put Together a Survival Kit
The above tips will get you by, but we all know the people that last the longest during the apocalypse will be the ones that had a plan. Make sure your home is emergency-ready with a 72-hour disaster kit, and when it’s time to hit the road, make sure you can fit a few survival items in an Altoids tin or in an old wristwatch. It may seem like a waste of time now, but when an calamity strikes, your life will be a lot less stressful for it.
Got any of your own great survival tips, zombie-related or otherwise? Be sure to share them with us in the comments.
Top 10 Survival Tricks for When the Zombie Apocalypse Hits