They say it will never happen. But ‘they’ also said men would never walk on the moon and Guns n’ Roses would never release Chinese Democracy.Shockingly, both those things happened. Besides, we all know it’s better to have something and not need it, than need something and not have it. With that in mind, here’s how to survive a zombie apocalypse.
Know your enemy
There are, in fact, two kinds of zombies. Fast ones like in World War Z, and slow, shambling ones as seen in Walking Dead. Zombie aficionados highlight clear differences between the two groups. Fast zombies are people who have been radically altered by a virus or suchlike but retain their cognitive ability, sometimes even assuming heightened speed or strength. Slow zombies are essentially reanimated, rotting corpses, devoid of emotion and intellect. In both cases they’ll want to eat you. Your job is not to let them.
If and when a zombie apocalypse strikes, at first it will be sheer chaos. Panic will sweep the streets, and there will be blood and chunks of flesh everywhere. A bit like the aftermath of a Millwall v West Ham match. Most people will be caught by surprise. Who expects to be walking down the high street one night, minding their own business, only to be confronted with a crazed, flesh-hungry zombie coming at you like Louis Suarez at 1-0 down? Be different. Be ready.
If at all possible, get out of the city as quickly as possible and go live in the woods where there is natural shelter, plenty of food sources, less people and ergo, less zombies. Have a place in mind, and a means to get there. In the trade, this is known as ‘bugging out.’ The roads will probably be blocked and walking long distances will be too risky, so have a motorcycle or at least a knackered old pushbike on stand-by at all times. Do not engage the zombies unless acting in self defence. Stealth and, well, getting the fuck out of there is the name of this game.
You’ll need a selection of weapons, just in case. Believe it or not, guns are probably not a good idea. They are heavy, loud, and mostly illegal in this country, which may lead to problems when you are stockpiling. Instead, go for a heavy bludgeoning instrument and a selection of sharp knives and swords. Slingshots or catapults are good, and can be used for hunting later. Hatchets, cleavers and frying pans are other things that have practical applications. When you think about it, anything can be used as a weapon. In Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg and his dippy mate used their vinyl collection to fight off the zombie hordes. It worked, too. For a bit.
Don’t waste time scrambling around for things you think you might need. You’re not going on holiday. Instead, have all the essentials already packed into a handy rucksack and keep it near the door. This is known as a PERK (Personal Emergency Relocation Kit), and should contain some standard camping equipment, enough food and water to last three days, extra clothing, a first aid kit, waterproof matches, Swiss Army Knife, wind-up radio, rope or paracord, maps of the area, fishing kit, compass, survival manual, and a torch. With spare batteries. Alternatively, throw in some of those glowsticks left over from that festival you went to that time.
The ultimate aim is to leave civilization behind and become self-sufficient. Make a camp in the woods near a water source, erect a shelter, and place booby traps around the perimeter. If you can be bothered, dig a 4-foot deep trench for the zombies to fall into. At the very least, that will keep you fit and kill some time. You need to find some sustainable food sources or you’ll die of starvation, which is probably even worse than being eaten by zombies. So set some snares, some fishing lines, try to shoot birds with your catapult, and keep an eye open for edible berries, mushrooms and the like. Keep an eye open for zombies, too. Especially if they are fast ones.
Are to be avoided at all costs. They want what you have, whatever it is, and they’ll take it off you and leave you bleeding in the dirt. Or they might eat you, too, if there are significant food shortages. If you’ve ever seen a zombie film, you’ll know that fellow survivors pose as much of a threat as the actual zombies. Unless, of course, you happen to stumble across a group of hot cheerleaders. Then, obviously, all bets are off. Let them do whatever they want to you. It’s the end of the world, anyway.
An edited version of this article appears in the October 2014 issue of Forever Sports magazine. In shops now.