If you can see past the zombie gore, nail-biting close encounters with death (or un-death), and, well, more zombie gore, you’ll find that there are a few things to be learned from AMC’s hit TV series, The Walking Dead. Sure, the zombie apocalypse isn’t the most likely of events, but nonetheless, rules for surviving at the end of the world don’t really vary.
Of course, like normal people, the characters in the show do many things that are not advisable or are even flat-out terrible ideas, but that’s just the nature of it. Let’s learn from their mistakes, shall we?
Basic Skills Are The Difference Between Life and Death
Obviously not every spare moment is going to be spent fighting off would-be attackers, and in that down time you’ll need to know the more ‘boring’ parts of how to stay alive. Hunting, tracking, finding water, starting fires, and constructing a safe campsite are all essential to survival, as you see in the show. Without the bare necessities, you won’t last long against anything.
No Location is Perfect
Be it your home, an old farm, or in the case of the show, a jail, you have to assume that no matter how safe your location seems to be, something can and will go wrong. A false sense of security has been the downfall of many real-life as well as fictional survivors. You must be prepared to leave without a moment’s notice, and you should have a rendezvous point agreed upon ahead of time. If you are thrown into crisis-mode without a plan, your group is going to suffer for it.
They may be human, but that doesn’t mean they’re your friend.
Again, like I said, the world being hit by a human-turned-zombie epidemic isn’t really the future we’re trying to prepare for here, but it remains a good point. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but not everyone is going to interpret that the same way you do. While you may think this means eating only one meal a day to save food rations, your neighbor may decide it means looting your home for supplies (and doing whatever is necessary to keep you out of the way). What looks nice is not always nice, and whatever appears too good to be true, usually is. People will try to take advantage of you, and they will play you for whatever they can get. Remember, apocalypse = every man for himself.
Their Gun is Bigger Than Yours
Someone else will always have the upper hand when it comes to guns and weapons. You can and should count on that. Do not base how well you can defend yourself on how many weapons you have. I don’t care if you have enough ammo for all of them- don’t do it. Learn other methods and take other precautions that will render the bigger guns irrelevant; but until then, do not measure your safety with the size of your firearms. Everyone thinks they’re golden until the Governor shows up with a tank.
Train Yourself With A Different Weapon
Coming off of that last point, this is recommended for survivors of all ages. Anyone can pull a trigger with relative ease, but what happens when you’re at a stalemate? When you’re out of ammo? When your gun is damaged? Guns may be cleaner, yes, but they aren’t something you can count on to sustain you long-term at the TEOTWAWKI. Bows, slingshots, knives or daggers, any of these would be useful when guns are a thing of the past. Keep in mind that these are not just for show, you have to know how to use them well. Prefer a samurai sword over a crossbow? The walkers don’t discriminate. You do your thing.
Beware of Living ‘Walkers’
While it may seem a perfectly normal thing for you, remember that most people are not preparing for the end, or anything like it. They aren’t even thinking about it. Most people will be caught completely off-guard. These people will be desperate, they’ll be everywhere, and they’ll do anything. So be careful, and always travel with a buddy. Chances are these ‘walkers’ won’t want your internal organs, but they’ll take most everything else.
Always Be Prepared
In other words, always have together what you need in case you have to book it. It can be very dispiriting preparing for the world as you know it to collapse around you, but this is not a subject you want to lie to yourself about. It can always get worse, and you will never be completely prepared. Things will go wrong, and that is when you’ll need the skill and presence of mind we discussed above. Remember, the object isn’t to have any and every possible pre-apocalypse luxury item. The object is to survive.