Top 8 Essentials for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

In honor of last Sunday’s return of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, this week we will be counting down the top eight essentials for surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  Keep in mind that I only have EIGHT slots for this list.  There are numerous items that would prove beneficial for surviving a zombie attack and/or dispatching said living dead.  To make this a little easier on yours truly, and give us all the greatest chance of survival, I will be utilizing some all-encompassing categories.  With that said, if you don’t want to end up zombie chow, take notes as I now count down the top eight essentials for surviving a zombie apocalypse.



#8. Disinfectants- The living dead are everywhere.  That means an incredible amount of rotting flesh, bodily fluids, and just plain gore.  The smell has got to be awful!  That probably also means a substantial amount of bacteria.  Whether you need to clean the viscera left by some now dead…again…zombies, or your current abode has the stench of death permeating every corner, you’re going to need some disinfectants to take care of it.  My personal suggestions would be bleach, Lysol, Pine Sol, even vinegar if you can’t find the others in your already ransacked super center.




#7. Heavy Clothing- Let’s assume that this particular zombie apocalypse isn’t transmitted by some air-borne viral outbreak and just the good old fashioned bites and scratches from the already infected.  If that is the case, you’re going to need some heavy clothing.  You can’t be infected if the zombie can’t bite or scratch you, right?  Ideally, you would ransack the local police department and grab yourself some riot gear.  Although, if you need to resort to layering up on all those hideous sweaters that grandma has bought for you over the years, or grabbing that leather biker jacket you bought instead of the Harley you couldn’t afford, protective clothing will be a must.  While you’re at it, you better make sure you have a good pair of shoes.  Assuming these are the slow-moving zombie types, you’re going to be doing a lot of running and those Crocs that you secretly still wear around the house are NOT going to cut it.





#6. Tools- Here is one of those all-encompassing categories I mentioned earlier.  You are going to need a plethora of tools to survive this outbreak.  Grab yourself a good hatchet, a multi-tool or Swiss army knife, flashlights, batteries, and especially duct tape.  A hatchet, in addition to its obvious tool-like uses can serve as a wonderful impromptu weapon if caught unawares.  A good multi-tool or Swiss army knife can contain more tools than I could list here, especially a fire starting implement.  There probably isn’t going to be electricity for very long after the country-side is overrun by zombies, so you’re going to need flashlights.  In my experience, flashlights that don’t run on good old fashioned batteries just don’t compare to their voltaic cousins, which is why I suggest grabbing some of those while you’re at it.  Finally, duct tape.  Quite possibly the most versatile tool in the world.  If you can imagine it…you can do it with duct tape.  Just watch the Mythbusters episode where they survive on a desert island with just a pallet full of duct tape.




#5. Backpack- How did you plan on carrying all of your supplies?  Were you going to chuck it all into one of those big Tupperware tubs we all have under our beds?  It might be nice, but you can’t grab it and go if you are beseeched by the walking dead!  You’re going to need a bug-out bag.  Get yourself a nice heavy duty backpack that can hold as much of all these essentials as you can manage without it becoming cumbersome.  Obviously if your bag is slowing you down to the pace of the Walkers, you’re going to become a zombie’s next meal, so don’t overload.  I would suggest a MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) bag.  They are incredibly versatile as well as comfortable and you can attach any number of items to the outside due to its modular design.




#4 Medications/First-Aid- The world as you know it is coming to an end.  You are going to get hurt and sick.  Hopefully you just nick yourself with the aforementioned hatchet or you’ve contracted some venereal disease from the last time you hooked up with a fellow (hopefully cute) survivor.  If it’s a wound from your last tussle with the living dead…you’ve got bigger problems.  Namely the fact that you are possibly hours away from one of those scenes from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, where you look at someone and all you see is a nice oven-roasted turkey.  So as long as your affliction isn’t zombie related, you’re going to need some medicines.  There’s no need to even make a list here.  Grab everything you can get your hands on.  From aspirin to penicillin.  From bandages to a splint.  You can’t fathom the dangers you will face and they will ALL probably find you, so be prepared!




#3. A Defensible Position- Most likely, your home is NOT a defensible position.  You need to get yourself…and your loved ones, if you insist on burdening yourself with those layabouts, to someplace SAFE.  Preferably, a location with as few entrances as possible.  A location built out of brick and mortar or concrete.  Your vinyl siding is NOT going to hold an oncoming horde of walking dead off forever.  Get to a school, church, government building, even someplace like a power sub-station.  Anyplace that can be easily fortified and defended from the throngs of ghouls you are hopefully going to avoid attracting.




#2. Weapons- This is probably the biggest of my all-encompassing categories.  Everyone has their preferred zombie killing method.  Obviously, guns are great.  Although, ammo can get very heavy.  Not to mention, unless you’ve silenced it, shooting your gun is basically ringing the dinner bell for every zombie within earshot.  Crossbows are nice.  They’re quiet.  You can recover your projectile.  Yet, they look (I’ve never personally used one) to be a bit unwieldy.  If you’ve placed all your skill points in the melee category, then you’re probably going to want a nice sword or large knife.  A machete or katana would be a good choice here.  When the going gets rough, and those aren’t available to you, grab yourself a classic baseball bat or crowbar.  I’d suggest an aluminum bat.  No danger of it splintering when you hit your first homerun with your neighbor’s undead skull.  A crowbar also has a nice pointy end that can easily penetrate the rotting flesh of a zombie skull and destroy that brain with ease.  Not to mention, there’s no danger of it bending or breaking, it’s a crowbar for goodness sake!




Finally, we’ve reached number one.  If you haven’t figured out what it will be by now….then you deserve to be zombie breakfast.  Even if you have an unlimited supply of everything else on this list, an ability to destroy zombies like a fat kid destroys cake, and a fortitude saving throw that would make the great game master in the sky quiver behind his screen, you are not going to survive any amount of time at all without…..





#1. Food and Water- Is this a surprise to anyone?  It sure as heck shouldn’t be!  Spending your days and nights battling your way through a post-apocalyptic hellscape is going to make you parched.  Not to mention, burn quite a few calories.  First and foremost, you need water.  Preferably as much of the bottled variety as humanly possible.  Although, if you don’t have access to it or just don’t want to carry the weight.  You better at least get yourself some water purification tablets.  Hey!  There may even be some in the first-aid kit you put together.  Smart thinking!  You assuredly don’t want to go drinking from the local water source without purifying it in some way or you might as well just walk up to the nearest zombie and give him a lick.  As for food…if you are the stay at home type of apocalyptic survivor, stash away as many canned goods like soups and canned meat or dry foods like beans and rice, as possible.  If you are more of the survivor-on-the-go, you should raid the local grocer for as many of those delicious energy bars that are so en vogue today as possible.  They have lots of calories and are lightweight.  Remember, you can only survive three to five days without water and even with it you will probably only survive a month with no food.  So plan accordingly!



There you have it, folks!  My list of the eight essentials needed to survive the impending zombie apocalypse.  Did I include everything you think is needed?  If not…are you SURE you really need that item?  If you’re sure…and I didn’t include it…you’re probably just wrong.  Although, I’d love to hear about it!  You can comment below, email me at [email protected], or find me on Twitter @SeanMLScott.  Until next week….if the zombies don’t feast on us first!  Allons-y!

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