Do Not Rely On Unsustainable Resources

Many people have seen movies such as Zombieland, I Am Legend, Mad Max, and The Road. If you have not, I suggest you stop reading this and rent them before you no longer have the electricity (due to the inevitable zombie apocalypse) to power your DVD player. In these movies as well as one of my favorite series, The Walking Dead, you see the survivors driving around in cars and using guns. That is all good and well if the breakout has just recently happened. And if cars and guns are what you need to make it through the initial event, then by all means do so. However, there is going to come a point where you will run out of the resources we as a civilization have become accustomed to over our history on this planet. Continue reading


Colder versus Warmer Climates

Zombie on a skating rink

Ice skating rink = not cold enough!

If you are one of the lucky few who survive the initial zombie outbreak, do not pat yourself on the back yet. Yeah you might be good with a hatchet and maybe you dispatched a handful of walkers with a shovel, but by no means does that make you a battle-worn veteran. Your main objective is to stay alive and not just minute to minute or hour to hour. You want to maximize your chances for long term survival. Most people concern themselves with what supplies and weapons they need and not necessarily where they are going to setup their base camp.

There is only so much ammo that you can find as well as supplies such as clean clothing, food, and fresh water. With the scarcity of these resources the best thing you can do is put yourself in a position to use the least amount possible. That is why the climate you choose to setup shop is so critical. Let’s say for example you are located somewhere in middle America when the you-know-what hits the fan. Heading north into Canada or west to the Colorado Rockies will greatly enhance your chances of making it through alive.

Besides food spoiling faster, flesh rots faster, you sweat more, and smells all around are much stronger in warmer climates. If you find yourself in Miami during the summer and come across a group of walkers, they are going to smell you out in a heartbeat. You will be the needle they find in the proverbial haystack. If you manage to find a way to cover up your human-smell, there are other things to be worried about such as dehydration, heat stroke, and fast moving zombies.

You are going to go through water quicker in warmer temperatures than you would in colder weather. Most of the bottled water will be gone shortly after word spreads of the outbreak. Water is the most essential thing we need to survive, so why put yourself in an area where water is even more scarce? I think you might be able to find sun-tan lotion on the shelves in the stores you ransack, but between the lack of water and heat you face, you are setting yourself up to be someone’s snack.

Now let’s say you take our advice and head to colder weather. For starters you will use less water. If you need to find water there is a much better chance at melting some snow or finding a mountain stream. Now if you go up to higher altitudes, say 5,000ft+, you will need to consume more water than if you were at sea level. However, with the access to more possible fresh water sources, the higher altitude should not play a major factor.

One might argue that you need to have more survival clothing and than you would in warmer climates. This is definitely true, but if you are reading this we know that you have been preparing and stocking up. The extra clothing that you have on and the cold weather will significantly reduce the olfactory glands rotting in the zombie’s face. Zombies that cannot track you by their sense of smell is a very good thing.

There is another benefit to the colder temperatures and that is slower moving zombies. The rotting flesh of the zombies will be exposed directly to the bitter cold, which will cause their festering muscles to tighten up and not be as flexible. Slower zombies means better chance at getting away or taking them out with your shotgun. Your chances of survival long term are increased since many cold weather locations have a lower population. Less people equals less zombies. If you can get to higher altitudes with rockier terrain, that will give you another one up against the zombies since they are not known for their climbing skills.

So right after reading this I will assume that you will be breaking out your maps to search out the best cold climate locations and heading over to the local outfitters to pickup an extra pair of thermals.

The Alpha Strategy

If you have ever read about financial planning that will stand the test of time, maybe heard some of Dave Ramsey’s stuff, or spend any time on, you have probably heard of The Alpha Strategy, by John Pugsley.

This book, which is only about 100 pages long and which has become far more relevant these days for explaining financial strategy to even a young audience- used to be available online, distributed for free by John Pugsley himself at the Unfortunately though- it has recently come to my attention that this link is no longer valid. That is why has decided to continue to host this book for free download for as long as we are able:

The Alpha Strategy

Weighing in on Ammunition

So you are planning to survive the necropocalypse, huh? Do you have enough ammo? Are you tough enough to carry it? If you want to keep your thoughts from being food for zombies, here is some food for thought:

Ultimately, the game plan for anyone in the zombie apocalypse is pretty simple: Keep from joining the undead. So when it comes to planning the ammo in your field pack, there are 3 main considerations that must be *weighed* when loading up your zombie kit:

1. Weight- you need to make sure that you are not wearing yourself out carrying huge loads of ammo that may wear you out faster than you can shoot it- making your carcass a looter’s ammo cache.
2. Quantity- On the other hand, you want to make sure that you have enough ammunition so that you don’t make the classic ‘last man standing’ move that is so popular in Hollywood zombie movies.
3. Quality- Lastly, you want to make sure that you have the firepower to stop any large game or cleanly remove the medula oblangata of any zeds that may be thinking of inviting you for dinner.

I have compiled a small list of ammunition that you are most likely to use and encounter in your struggle for survival, so here is a simple table of rounds per weight ranging from lightest to heaviest with a few observations to help you on your way to better packing:

138rds/lb 22LR – lightest
38.25 rd/lb .223
38.25 rd/lb 9mm
28rds/lb 7.62×39
28 rds/lb .40 S&W
21rds/lb 45ACP
21 rds/lb .308
11 rd/lb 12 Ga OO –heaviest

Here are some interesting observations: You may have noticed that each rifle cartridge generally had a corresponding weight in a pistol cartridge. So according to this, .223 and 9mm may be the best value in what is considered combat loads for weight/round count.

As you will also notice, the larger shells are not taking you as far, with 12 Ga buckshot being your least weight-effective round with lethal ability. More on that later. So here is where the hard questions start coming in. How much weight can you realistically carry, or should carry in your time of need?

Tired or praying? Maybe both?To answer for that, keep in mind that most soldiers in field operations in Iraq carry 6 loaded mags into combat(along with a lot of other gear that gives them backpain, according to NPR). That is 180rds of 5.56, and approximately 4.5lbs. Less than you thought? Well, you also need to keep in mind that they are carrying at minimum 40lbs of other gear with them including food and water, and that you likely will be too- so while carrying more than 10lbs of ammo with you at any given time is not impossible, it may reduce your ability to outrun a horde of hungry brain-eaters.

Make sure that you choose wisely in your decisions on how much of what ammo to carry, and hopefully we will see you on the other side of the Necropalypse. On second thought- probably not.


Zombie Combat Technique: Slicing the Pie

Slicing The Pie

Zombie combat techniques are key to surviving the coming necropocalypse, so we at are starting a new series of articles: Zombie Combat Techniques.  Today’s technique, like many, will be adapted from well-established techniques used by tactical teams and armies around the world.  In a tactical or survival situation, every move you make must provide you the maximum protection while giving you the maximum ability to dispatch your enemy. 

 “Slicing the pie”, also referred to as “pie-ing” or “(to) pie the corner” is a technique that refers to how you walk around a corner in a dangerous situation.  Slicing the pie provides a safe method to round corners with the least exposure to the unknown situation around that corner.  It gives you maximum flexibility and cover as you execute the technique.

The Wrong Way to Corner

The easiest way to describe the right method to take a corner is to first describe the wrong method.  This is almost certainly the way most of us round corners in our everyday life.  Essentially many of us take corners by walking into the next corridor and then making a 90-degree angle turn abruptly when we’ve passed the corner.  This is ok in everyday life, but in a zombie survival situation it could turn you into a tasty meatsnack for a lurking Zed.

Let’s use some diagrams to help us understand what is wrong with taking a corner at an acute angle.  We’ll use SWAT team members in our images.  Let’s call this guy Marcus.  In this scenario, Marcus is approaching an intersection and he doesn’t know what’s around the next corner.  Marcus is going to make the mistake of executing a standard 90-degree turn.

Marcus is staying very close to the wall because he thinks this will offer him the best cover.  In fact, staying near a wall offers better protection when moving down long corridors, but not when rounding corners.  In our example, here’s what Marcus can see from his position:

To Marcus, this intersection might look safe to cross or to round the corner.  He may even peek around the corner to see what’s there.  Let’s see what is really around this bend waiting for Marcus.

That’s a pretty serious threat, and the worst part is that Marcus won’t know about the enemy’s position before they know about his, due to his chosen method to round the corner.  As Marcus moves into the corner, he’s going to expose first his weapon and then his self to the enemy before he can see them.

 Let’s see what happens to Marcus:

By the time Marcus is ready to react to the new threat, it is almost on top of him.  He’s exposed himself unnecessarily and now must rely on his reflexes to catch up to the unfortunate surprise.  Things don’t look so good for Marcus.

The Right Way to Corner: Slicing the Pie

In order to maintain execute proper tactical cornering, first you’ll have to master a step called “strafing”.  Essentially to strafe is to step to the side while rotating your body gradually.  This is a popular technique used in video games, and that’s for a reason – it allows you to fix your focus while being able to change your path.

 Slicing the pie is essentially strafing around a corner one “slice” at a time.  The apex of the corner represents the center of the “pie”, so essentially 3/4ths of the pie is visible while 1/4th is occupied by the corner.  As you approach the corner, you begin to strafe around an imaginary circle (the outside edge of the “pie”).  With each step around the perimeter of the pie, you can see a bit further into the intersecting corridor.

Confused?  Yeah, it’s hard to describe, but easy to show.  This picture should explain it for you.  Click the picture to view an animation of Slicing the Pie.

As you can see with our friend George here, circling the corner one slice at a time is a great way to see what you’re going to encounter.  As you round each step, you are able to see more of what you’re getting into while exposing yourself to any threats only slightly more with each step.

If you perceive a threat and decide that discretion is the better part of valor (that is to say, you want to retreat) all you have to do is reverse your strafe around the circle and with a step or two you’ll find yourself back in cover.

Will slicing the pie prevent being noticed by a horde of zombies?  Maybe.  Even if it doesn’t, it provides critical extra moments that you can use to react to whatever nasty situation you find around that corner.

Your Homework

Yep, homework.  You get to play GI Joe, or if you prefer, La Femme Nikita or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Your assignment is to practice slicing the pie as you approach corners.  Do it at home, at work, as you walk through your neighborhood.  Practice this maneuver with your zombie survival partners until it is an intuitive habit.

Your most important survival tool is your brain.  Stay smart and stay alive!  After all, you never know what is around the next corner…

Survival Basic #1: Water

Yes, everyone knows they need water to survive, but aside from getting it from the tap or a mass-produced bottled water, many people don’t know the first thing about how to get clean water in the wild.

In any zombie-survival scenario, securing clean water is a key need that must be addressed early and frequently. In a Phase 1 zombie outbreak, you’ll probably be just fine drinking water from your tap as the situation develops. But as society breaks down, even that tap water might not be safe to drink without processing. Microorganisms and particulates can make you ill in a matter of minutes, and dehydration from diarrhea caused by water-borne illness is the leading cause of death after a large-scale natural disaster.

As part of my path to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse, I’ve decided to study up on methods to purify water in order to find a solution suitable for my family. What follows are some of the key points I’ve learned and my thoughts of the benefits and drawbacks of each water purification method.

Boiling water – Almost everyone knows that boiling water will kill most nasty microorganisms. Simply strain the water through cloth to remove large particulates, like algae, and then heat the water until it reaches a full, rolling boil, and you’ll be able to use it for basic drinking needs.

  • Pros: Simple to perform, kills heat-sensitive microorganisms, suitable for larger-scale water cleaning in camp or at home
  • Cons: Time-consuming, requires the time and capability to build a fire (a convenience you won’t always have if you are on the run from a horde of the undead), requires equipment suitable for high-heat such as a pan (although I did find this article which explains how to boil water in an everyday plastic water bottle, a neat skill for unexpected survival situations).

Iodine – Iodine tablets or crystals provide a safe method to kill even the nastiest microorganisms causing waterborne illnesses. Simply add tablets or crystals to the water in the quantity specified by the instructions, and in about 30 minutes the water will be safe to drink.

  • Pros: Low-cost, long shelf-life, compact and easy to transport
  • Cons: Many people complain of a bad taste from water treated with iodine
  • Example product: Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets

Chlorine – Much like iodine, chlorine provides an effective method to clean water. You can use simple household bleach (2 drops per quart of clear water is the standard) or tablets or crystals that provide a more portable solution.

  • Pros: Provides a better tasting water compared to Iodine, low-cost (from household bleach), tablets and crystals are very portable
  • Cons: household bleach has a shelf-life about 6 months and is not very portable, whereas the more portable tablets and crystals have a long shelf life but a high cost-per-dose compared to other solutions.
  • Example product: Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets

Water filters – There is quite a large market for outdoor pump water filters, especially appealing to backpackers for their ability to quickly produce clean water. The filters typically are made of up a plastic housing, replaceable carbon filter, a plastic tube which is submerged in water and may have a pre-filter to remove large particulates, and a pump or crank to move water through the filter.

  • Pros: Provide a very fast method to produce clean water, designed to be portable, trail proven by backpackers who put these devices to use, can treat large volumes of water if spare filters are available
  • Cons: Generally a high up-front cost (though the cost per quart is lower than most other methods), mechanical in nature so more likely to break down than previously mentioned methods, require replacement filters
  • Example product: Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter

UV light water purifiers – The newcomer to water purification, UV light filters kill microorganisms by submerging the light source in water for about a minute, and the bottle will be safe to drink. Business travelers are using this method now to avoid common illnesses caused by drinking tap water in other cities and countries.

  • Pros: Destroys or disables 99.9% of all waterborne microorganisms, portable and fast
  • Cons: Many UV purifiers are electronic and thus more likely to break, usually requires a power source like batteries (although some are manually or solar-powered)
  • Example product: <SteriPen AdventurerOpti Water Purifier


If you’re like me, you want redundancy in your zombie survival kit. To me, this means combining two methods, like using a water filter as your primary method, and iodine tablets as a backup method. I think I’ll also outfit my wife’s kit with a second filter and tablets. Boiling water is the most effective fall-back method, and should be used in addition to other methods for maximum protection when time allows.

Best option: SteriPen Sidewinder

This device offers the benefit of UV light purification without the dependence on an external power source. The device is hand-crank and will purify a liter of water in about 90 seconds.  This is the option I’ll be ordering for my own survival kit, and I’ll probably order a Katadyn hand-pump filter for my wife’s kit.

Let us know your thoughts on a water purification solution in the Comments section, and which method above you think is the most reliable during a zombie outbreak.

Stay smart, stay strong, and stay alive!