Thursday, 31 October 2013

Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse

(This one is just for fun to celebrate Halloween, please note, the guns you see in the pictures are air soft guns and therefore not real, except the air rifle....which is a real air rifle and under the UK legal limit of 12lb foot of air pressure and registered to me)

          Its finally happened, well something happened anyway and now the undead are walking the earth and feeding on those of us that can`t escape them or fight them off, we don't know what attracts them, sound, smell or vision.
          I`m one of the lucky ones I`ve managed to survive but it hasn`t be easy and now I want to pass some of this advise onto you.

          The first thing needed in this situation is to stay positive, even if you end up on your own, there is always something to be positive about, trust me on this. even if its only the fact that you`ve found somewhere secure to stay for a few days.

          The second thing to remember is the four priorities of survival,


          This means protection from everything, including protecting yourself from those...things, the weather and other humans, of these the undead is the main priority, there are at the moment at least four different types of zombies that we have identified and each needs a different strategy to cope with.

  • Undead, most numerous zombie type, these can be easily avoided as they move slowly and usually in packs, they are also easily put down
  • Fatboys, easily identified by bloated stomachs, these move even slower than undeads but have a deadly sting, they tend to explode when hit, spreading infected entrails everywhere, even easier to avoid, if you have to put them down make sure you are at a far enough distance to avoid the explosion.
  • Crawlers, as the name suggests this types crawls across the ground usually as the result of an undead falling over and not having the sense or strength to pick themselves up, this type is more dangerous as they are quieter than undead and being closer to the ground a little harder to spot. A kick to the head usually sorts this type out
  • Berserker, this is the most dangerous type, fast and agile, springing from nowhere and usually with little to no warning, they are the very devil to put down, not because they are any stronger but because they are so damn fast its hard to target them, the only people I`ve seen put Berserker`s down at any distance is the armed forces or armed police, the best tactic is to avoid, which is hard.      

  The easiest way to avoid all of the above is to simply stay away from them even if you have to go miles out of your original route but the best way is of course to arm yourself...

          What I have here is a Beretta 92, a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, a .22 rifle a machete and a knife...that of course is a lie, at least the 2 handguns are seeing that they are illegal in the UK, unless you`re in the armed forces, armed response unit of the police or a farmer it is highly unlikely you`ll come across any form of firearm and good luck trying to persuade any of them to loan you one, believe me I`ve tried. it isn`t all bad news though, with some bolt action rifles and shotguns still being legal, it is possible to get hold of some of these and if you are one of those people that are lucky enough to have one can I be your friend...please?
          So what can you do to protect yourselves from the undead? well at long range not an awful lot it really boils down to two things, bows and crossbows, I prefer bows simply because I grew up using them, they do of course have downsides they are slow, they can be unwieldy  and they do take a lot of practise to use properly and to be accurate with, on the plus side they are silent and its fairly easy to make more arrows, crossbows are easier to use and quicker to become accurate with but the bolts are harder to make. if you do manage to get hold of something like this LEARN HOW TO USE THEM EFFECTIVELY nothing worse than seeing someone who can`t use a weapon. 

          Thankfully close range weapons are easier to source and easier to improvise but it does mean letting them get close which has its own problems, remember one bite is all it takes, the list of things that you could use is almost endless from cricket bats and iron pipes through to knives and axes, of these try and use something that will keep at least a small amount of distance between yourself and them it`ll help believe me, I`ve even seen people improvise pikes and spears for this reason and remember whatever you use aim for the head.


          At some point you will have to move from place to place and this will more than likely mean that you will need to walk which inevitably means encountering different weather, dressing in layers will help with the differing situations, try to avoid cotton wherever you can as it holds onto water and and makes you colder, high collar or neck gaiters not only helps stop the wind coming in but can help stop them from biting you, especially if you stitch some metal plates into the collar... boots are better than shoes even if they are heavier, they are generally waterproof, you can use them for kicking and they give better protection from crawlers biting your ankles, for waterproofing use soft shell, if you can get hold of it, because although they are shorter and often not fully waterproof, they do not rustle and therefore decrease the chance of attracting them, you`ll also need to find some way of protecting your equipment, at one time plastic dry bags would have been the way forward and whilst these still are the best I have my doubts, they make a lot of noise when being opened and closed which could attract the undead, which is why I have bartered for heavy duty canoe dry bags, they do the same thing but make less noise, the downside to these is they are heavy.

Other people

          It may seem strange to have to protect yourself from other people after all we are all survivors...while this is indeed the case there are some that have become...not exactly the nicest around, the vast majority of survivors have chosen to stay in and around towns and cities behind walls and gates others have chosen to move around trying to make the best of what they can find, I fall into the later category, both of course have there issues, if you`ve chosen to stay in towns make sure you know all the exits are because when...sorry if the walls are breached you will need to bail out quickly whether that be through undead attack, bandit attack or something else, which leads me on to the next thing if you choose to stay in towns, have a bail out bag ready to go at all times something you can grab that contains a few days worth of kit to survive with including some kind of weapon, the good thing about staying in towns is that you have a lot of resources to go around and others to defend you, you`ll probably have to spend some time on the walls yourself in defence of the town but its not too much of a hardship, the downside to having these resources and defences is everyone knows where you are and they will inevitably want to take some of those resources for themselves usually without bartering or consent. 
           If like me you choose to go it alone you still have to be aware of certain things number one is the random undead, thankfully these are few and far between as they tend to congregate together in packs but there is always one, deal with these as you come across them, number two perhaps more importantly is bandits, these people are more dangerous, they only have one rule and that's to look after themselves, there is usually no bargaining with these people, they ambush, take what they want and leave you to your fate, if you`re on your own there is no defence other than being prepared and being suspicious of everything, this isn`t so much of a problem if you`re in a group.
          You may be lucky enough to come across a group of friendly survivors, if this happens you may be able to barter for things that you need, if you are really lucky you may even be invited to join the group that of course is your choice.         

           Its safe to say that most of you will be thinking that its best to stay in your houses and while this may be true for some of you, you have to think if you can defend it not only from the undead but from other people after all you`re going to have things that others want, stay there and help other survivors if they come along...if you can trust them, if you are forced out or decide to leave then use buildings as much as possible they have strong walls and are easily defensible but make sure there are two exits, needless to say what will happen if you get trapped inside. Also make sure that the building has good all round vision from all floors especially the upper floors, if you can, board up the ground floor windows regardless of whether they have glass or not it may buy you a few precious seconds, something I have found really desirable is a fireplace, its meant I`ve managed to light a fire in relative safety as the sound and light is hidden by the fireplace and the smoke has drifted above everything else, unfortunately thanks to a lot of modern buildings fireplaces no longer exist so this is becoming a rare luxury. If you do manage to find a fire place block all the windows into that room so that no light can spill out and gather all the combustible materials you can before night fall so that you don't have to venture outside after dark but also be aware of the downside to this you`ll have no idea about attack before it happens
          I can`t count the times I`ve been forced to sleep under canvas since this all started and I`ve learnt a few things, the first one of which is unless you are in a group don`t sleep in a tent, if you are attacked by a group of the fast ones (berserkers) you may not get out in time, I`ve seen it happen countless times so just don`t. Second try and have all round vision even if it means compromising your shelter slightly you will not regret it, third don't do your sleeping bag up all the way, this is for the same reason as the tent, forth keep all your weapons inside your sleeping bag , this will keep them dry, stop rusting if you`re lucky enough to have a firearm and in the case of my bow it will stop the string deteriorating, if you have a gun, unload it, remove any round from the breach and safety it, sounds obvious but better than shooting yourself. If you end up on your own don`t leave a fire burning overnight, this may attract them, but also attract anybody else in the area some of which will releave you of everything...

          You still need to know if something is coming your way, human or otherwise and its best to set up a perimeter, this doesn't have to be elaborate just a simple trip wire will do but it does need to make some sort of noise.
          I use some old tin cans with something inside to make it rattle.

         Again this is not needed if you are in a group but you will need to set up sentries to guard you while you sleep.

          Although I have listed both protection and shelter as more important priorities, both water and food are the things that people fight over and its pretty obvious why, having a clean water supply and an ample supply of food makes surviving this a lot easier.
          It stands to reason that you cannot create water but you can collect it, rainwater being the best for this, try avoiding plastic bags for this, the drumming may attract them and the rain will dull your sense of hearing, don`t collect more than you think you`ll need each litre of water weighs one kilo and the more weight you are carrying the slower you are going to be, I`ve found the best amount is 3 litres, 2 to drink and one as spare.
          As we still don`t know what caused the dead to walk the earth, avoid water from rivers or streams, the wildlife in them may spread or even be the cause of this disaster and may spread this to you, of course I understand that you may have no other choice but please only use this as a last resort,
          If you are near the sea you can use desalination methods to obtain fresh drinking water but beware they can be slow and might not yield much water, the method I`ve used for this are "can within can" this is where you have a smaller can inside a bigger can, boil seawater in the bigger can, steam rises hits a lid, condenses back into fresh water and is collected in the smaller can. The other method is to wrap leaves of trees in preferably plastic bags to collect water vapour overnight, although this does mean using plastic bags, some older buildings farms in particular may also have wells which is probably the best and safest way of collecting water although inevitably these will be guarded and if they`re not be suspicious, a reliable fresh source of water is getting harder to come by so think to yourself why is this well not guarded. whatever method you use make sure you boil the water for at least five minutes before drinking.


          Unfortunately most peoples minds have immediately turned to food and they horde what they can, good in some ways as it makes sure they have enough to eat but how long do you think fresh food is going to last with out refrigerators to keep food cool? and more importantly how long do you think you would be able to keep the fact that you have food from other people? the first thing I will say is this, you may have to give up on moral objections when it comes to food, I highlight may because if you choose to stay in towns or stay in a wood that has enough diversity to provide fruit and nut options you wont have eat meat or anything else you dont agree with.
          Firstly as with water don`t eat any meat you are unsure of, which should be everything, just like fish and such we don`t know what caused this but we do know fruit, veg and reared animals are not affected.
          Obviously the main food producers are the farms, the problem is everyone knows and so do the farmers and they`ve taken measures to prevent people helping themselves...usually in the form of shotguns. they are however often open to trading for food just make sure your intention to trade is clear as you approach the farmhouse and expect to come away with less than you were hoping for.
          The real issue with food is preservation, with no way to chill food and no fast transportation options people have had to resort to older methods, namely having live food, fresh food, salting and drying. out of all of these dried food is the best, its the lightest and easiest to pack, can be eaten straight away, has no smell (unless you cook it) and it can also be traded. having live food means that you not only have to feed yourself but also whatever else you have with you, it also means killing and butchering with its associated smell so unless you have a group of people with you don`t take live food.
          Wild foods are always available but you need to know where to find them and at what time of year, the best source of information for you is a book of wild foods and you need to ask yourself if its worth the risk collecting them particularly if it means concentrating on something long enough to be attacked.
          Some of you are probably asking why I haven`t mentioned canned foods yet, this is simple, they have become increasingly rare and more "expensive" if that`s the right term, most of the traders have what`s left and are asking for more in exchange, I only use them if I have to as they are also heavy and take some effort to open, on the plus side empty cans as you`ve already seen are useful as alarms but they can also cut up and formed into crude arrow heads.

Other tips   

          What other tips can I give you? if you do need to start travelling around, pick the right size bag, if you go too big you`ll be tempted to fill it with stuff, weighing you down and slowing you down, use an alpine style rucksack, these have less straps on them to snag and don`t stick out from your body, I use a 47 litre bag which is a little bit too big but as I don`t have too much stuff its never been a problem, I customised it by adding a couple of straps on the bottom to hold my quiver of arrows whilst I`m walking, my only issue is the colour being bright red I`m always concerned that I`ve been spotted by one of them, or a group of bandits.

          I said before but I`ll say it again, if you do come across any weapon spend time learning how to use it you wont regret it.

          If you`re going near towns hide some of your equipment somewhere outside the walls, if the people inside "borrow" your stuff you wont be completely helpless when you leave.
          some more clothing tips, don't use capes or ponchos, they are easy to grab when in a hurry and they snag, try and use natural fibres where you can, boots can sometimes be...adapted, always have a couple of hats and a couple of pairs of gloves and a couple of pairs of socks.
          You may have noticed the word barter mentioned a couple of times and this is because money has no value any more, although its still funny watching people try to use it, you will need to work on your bartering skills and be careful of what your bartering for check it over first, most traders will let you if they have nothing to hide.
          There are some groups that will let you stay with them provided you pull your weight, do so, nobody gets a free ride any more.
          Don`t assume you know better than someone else, especially if your away from towns if they`ve managed to survive this long without help, they are obviously doing something right.
          Some people will be willing to teach you new skills, let them, knowledge is a powerful thing and the only truly trade-able commodity any more, you may not need the knowledge straight away but you will at some time and you can always pass it on.  
          If you kill one of the undead don`t burn the corpse, it seems to attract others, just walk away.
          A strange occurrence has been noticed recently and has sparked some rumours in the towns, some researchers collected samples of truly dead zombies and whilst they were transporting them back none of the still animated ones bothered them...this has given hope to some sort of defence against them it isn`t anything concrete just yet but keep an ear out in case this changes.
We may never meet but if we do I will be friendly as long as you are 
Follow the link below to go to the Lone Wolf Mobile Bushcraft website. 


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