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We already covered the first things you should consider when facing impending doom. This time I’ll be going a little more in-depth into some of those things as well as covering a few other things that I consider essentials for survival.
Number one on my list of must haves is a good knife. It doesn’t need to be a “Survival” knife, but it does need to be durable and sharp. A flimsy paring knife will do in a pinch but isn’t suited for what we need our knife to do. Your knife should be comfortable in your hand. Stainless steel is better suited for my purposes since it resists rust. I have a hunting knife made of stainless steel with an 8 inch long blade that will be with me when the apocalypse comes. Take good care of your knife and it will take care of you. A good knife can defend you, feed you, shelter you, clothe you and help you with improvisational medicine. Never ever underestimate the importance of a good knife. Give me a good knife and I’ll get everything else I need.
Alongside your knife you should have a sharpening tool of some kind. A whetstone, butcher steel or something. You can get by with sandpaper or a small flat rock if you have to. Keep you knife SHARP at all times. A dull knife will cause accidents faster than a sharp one.
A good pair of boots. I don’t mean something that is just comfortable, I mean something that will last a long time. Your boots keep you on your feet, they keep you moving. There are many good reasons why the military forces of the world issue combat boots, follow their lead. Comfort is important, nobody wants their feet to hurt. Leather is a good choice for boots, but you need to take care of it. Ballistic nylon is a decent choice for boots as well. Nylon means less maintenance but less durability in the long run. I still own a pair of combat boots from my days in the Army, they have a ballistic nylon upper and leather lowers with vented sides. They are often called “jungle boots”. I’ll be wearing them when zombies pound on my door.
A good coat or jacket. I recommend something with a removable liner or something that is easy to insert a liner substitute into. I use a flannel hoody as a liner for my coat when the weather turns cold. You’ll also want a coat that is water-resistant. If water soaks in as soon as it hits, it isn’t resistant, get another one. Very few things are as misery inducing as a wet coat. Try to get a coat with pockets big enough to hold a paperback book, you’ll thank me later. If you can’t get a coat with pockets, get used to an extra shoulder bag. This means you men out there too. You need to be mobile in the aftermath. A good coat doubles as a shoulder bag, blanket and zombie bite armor.
Extra clothing. At least one full set of clothing should be kept with you. This means underwear, socks, shirt, and pants. Roll them up and keep them sealed up in a plastic bag if you can. Without a doubt you will get wet and/or filthy and you will need an extra set of dry, clean clothes to wear. Choose clothing that breathes well and is durable and easy to clean. My recommendations for clothing would be denim, leather, cotton, wool and hemp. Skip the pretty lingerie ladies, it might look good but it won’t be easy to care for. Satin, silk, polyester and similar fabrics might breathe well but they are not durable.
A shoulder bag or backpack to carry things in. You might not always have access to a vehicle so be ready to carry your essentials. Just like everything else, it should be sturdy and easy to clean. Water-resistant or water proof is good, just like your coat. If you don’t have a water proof bag, line it with trash bags. You will want to keep your supplies clean and dry. Keep small sealing plastic bags in there too. They will help you organize your bag so you don’t have to dig through it to find a small item. On a side note, a full backpack makes a nice backrest or pillow.
A good book or two, not just reference books. Zombies and survival are not the only problems you face after the apocalypse. Sitting in the dark with nothing to occupy your mind can be just as detrimental to your mental health as anything else. Reading or singing can help you keep your sanity in an insane world.
A good first aid kit would be something you should try to get your hands on. Preferably something with a manual or guide. It should also have Gauze, band-aids, scissors, surgical tape, an antiseptic for cuts, tweezers, and possibly burn cream or painkillers. If you can’t find one, them put one together yourself and keep it sealed up in a hard container. I will go over creating a first aid kit in a later article.
Paper and pencil. Yep, that’s right. You’ll want to keep notes of where you saw supplies, make basic maps, and make calculations and technical drawings. That’s right boys and girls, math skills will help you survive. If you don’t have pencil and paper you can use a charred stick to write on nearly anything.
Candles and matches. You will want and need a source of light and fire out there. Keep your matches in a water proof container like an old sealing pill bottle or film canister. A lighter might seem like a better choice, but they run out of fluid. Then again, matches run out too. Carry a piece of flint or get your hands on a camping firestarter. They are generally a lump of magnesium with a piece of flint attached. You’ll need a knife to use one. Just strike a piece of metal ( like your knife ) across the flint to get a spark.
Good luck out there fellow survivor!