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Zombie survival tips?

By Dawn1113 · 51 replies
Jul 26, 2012
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  1. What would you do -- and where would you go -- in the event of a zombie epidemic?

    Would you shoot your best friend if he or she was bit? Stay put or hit the road?

    A TS friend of mine sent me a zombie survival guide recently. It was a a fun, goofy read. I asked a few friends the questions posed above, and the answers were equally fun and goofy.

    As to shooting my best friend, my answer is a resounding Yes. And I'm not even sure I'd wait until she's bit before I shoot her.
  2. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +48

    Oh my, Dawn is busting out the ole Zombie "what would you do" thing!

    Well, personally I've never had to go to war with a gang of bite hungry Zombies! But if I did, I would probably resort back to my military combat training and use some tricks of the trade I learned in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield and the three months I was there for the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. Also I would absolutely utilize my Martial Arts training and I would bust out my katana. The next logical thing would be to rally my close friends and family, make sure their okay. Also I would try to arm them the best I could with what I got. Next after making sure everyone or as close to everyone as I could find is okay and armed, I would tell them to escape the big city, and via the Sierra Nevada's back roads, I would advise to make their way up the hill, near Lake Tahoe, where my family has a medium sized retreat cabin. I would tell them that the cabin should be their final destination and going there would increase their odds at survival against bite hungry Zombies. Plus in the cabins basement our family has a small weapons cash, our family has always thought the cabin to serve the purpose of a "dooms day place", so on a small level the cabin has always been stocked with what we would need to survive for a while.

    As far as the question, if I would shoot my best friend, the answer is a stone cold "yes"! I'm not very proud of it, but due to previous occupations killing came with the territory. In Iraq it is safe to say that I got a lot of "been there, done that and got a whole lot of t-shirts and key chains"!

    And personally, the question if I would stay put or hit the road? I would stay put, after ensuring that most of my closest friends and family were on their way up to the hill to our family cabin, I would stay behind. I would figure that for every Zombie that I dealt with, that would be one less Zombie that my friends and family now escaping town would have to deal with.

    And Dawn you said "And I'm not even sure I'd wait until she's bit before I shoot her."

    Stone cold Dawn, that's going strong! Just remind me if ever I'm around you during this so called Zombie epidemic, to keep my safety off and keep one eye on you! If in the event of a Zombie over run, and it looks like I'm losing the fight, you might shoot me before I get bitten, and then you will high tail it out of there to safety.

    "No one is shooting me before being bitten, no one, I'll have one eye on you"! :)
    Marnomancer and DragonMaster Jay like this.
  3. DjKraid

    DjKraid TS Guru Posts: 544   +21

    well...that's nice of you xD

    Personally I would go total kick *** on the zombies and be an epic pack rat with food 'n' ****...most probably I would steel a buss...oh no, it wouldn't be stealing...anyways, I would rebuild it to a semi tank-ish thingy and then I would GTFO...and when I find a nice little harbor with a nice sailboat I would permanently borrow it and then go and invade some nice little tropical island in the middle of nowhere :)

    And yes, I would shoot my best friend...survival of the fittest you know ;)
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  4. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    I'd stay put, too. I wouldn't hole up in a Walmart, like the guide suggests. I'd take your strategy, Zen, and probably pick a rural spot somewhere. I don't know about food and water, though. That would take some work. :oops:
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  5. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,282   +49

    Hehehe...I'd use my training too to bust some zombie butt. A little bit of Scooby-Doo action, if you will.

    For shooting my best friend...sadly - my best friends would deserve it. Now, as for meaning to hurt anyone...the zombies would take the beating. Mainly to knock them out. Then, throw them a bar of soap and a note saying "take a shower...you stink!"

    I've heard good things about that Zombie Survival Guide. But, anyway, these answers are pretty fun and goofy. Especially you, Zen: keep it on the edge. :D
  6. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    To those wondering who, I'm the paranoid conspiracy nuthead! :p
    Dawn1113 did the link work correctly? I ask because it came from by Dropbox, and I wasn't sure.​
    Those interested, here's the file: Download

    Well, as I said, I shall willingly donate my blood if anyone can successfully create a vaccine from it. As I told Dawn, you have to find me first (no-brainer, eh?). For that, broadcast an SOS message with the tag VAR57, non-Morse (Zen will know what I'm speaking of) over a channel I will later inform you of . Applied for a personal radio license, with the tools to be DIY. I take inspirations from hacker movies. ;)

    Truly, I agree with the author on some parts. If he/she is bitten, and just an acquaintance, I wouldn't hesitate planting a round from my 9mm SD into their head. If I can't bring myself to free them of their torment, I'd just tie them up. And if they try to bite, shoot them in the head without looking.

    Easier said than done, I wouldn't be able to shoot my best friend (not that I'll have to, he's as good as me), but

    Teamwork is of absolute importance in such an event. Not only you will need a future generation, but have to hold out long enough for that! So I'd strive to all people alive as far as possible.

    As for my strategy, it would be complexly straightforward.

    Since my mum says I drive like a maniac (which is why she refused to buy the Camaro even later :mad:) and I (Team Sparta, I usually play sniper) always win at Paintball during College Fest, I'd just grab a heavy SUV or Muscle GTA-style -can't hotwire- (if empty, else keep the driver alive of course), hit the road with all my equipment (which I carry in a bag similar to Matt Farrel's from Die Hard 4.0), cruise for survivors-
    following the same strategy. Once all my dearest are with me (sticking to rules set in Section 1 of Buddy System), I would further cruise to find people who I'm not sure are my friends or not and if I don't care for dead, and get them with me if alive and willing.

    My training back at Israel didn't include field combat (I left mid-way, so I'm good at mostly only hand-to-hand and long-range defense), so I'd stick in the city as long as possible, in a large place such as a mall, searching every day till all survivors found or supplies near exhaustion.

    And Dawn you said "And I'm not even sure I'd wait until she's bit before I shoot her.":eek:

    Not sure if I'd want you on my survivor team.:p

    Zen, katana for chopping Zombie meat, aye! :D How about a hack-saw?

    I will eventually run out of weapons (no one to manufacture bullets, FTW!), so as the guide suggests, primitive tools are inevitable in case of a Resident Evil-style fallout.
    Dawn1113 and DragonMasterJay like this.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Will definitely be having a read of this later this evening. :) Got the PDF downloaded and ready to view. Its funny timing actually, as curiously looked into this not long back after coming across what was described as a zombie-proof house built by someone in Poland (I think!).

    After which I went to Google and looked a little more into suitable properties, before finding this converted Atlas F missile site for sale! Think a nuclear bunker underground (with suitable safeguards outside of course!) would be ideal!
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,503   +3,500

    I would go here, in one of these, and defend it with this.

    Now, if I didn't have unlimited funding, I'd just make a b-line for my grandparent's place in BC Canada. Plenty of guns, even more ammo, and far away from any metropolitan areas. The trip there would be quite the journey, though. Lots of terrain to cover (I live in Atlanta) during the apocalypse!

    As for shooting my best friend... Yep. You either have the choice to let them die human or spend the last few moments of their life turning into a vicious monster. Of couse, that's always an easy call on paper. Who knows how I would react in a real situation?
  9. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Haha, looks like uploading the PDF was a good idea. Maybe we can all TechSpot members Zombie-ready! :D
    But being far away from Metropolitan areas doesn't necessarily mean safety. People from rural areas, specifically farmers, are physically more fit, and thus stronger than city-dwellers even as Zombies, with usually not a great difference in numbers. Plus, chance of finding modern, effective weapons is tougher.
    On the other hand, the self-sustaining survival strategy is far more easier to execute in rural settings in the long term.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,503   +3,500

    This is where you've got a trade-off. In an urban environment you've got a lot fewer options when it comes to escape. For instance, roads can be blocked (if you're in a car) or you can easily get yourself trapped by running around the wrong corner. In a rural setting, although you'd probably be up against stronger foes, you've got space to move without having to worry about trapping yourself between a hoard and an impasse. I like my chances running from 10 or 12 barrel-chested zombies in the woods better than my chances with 7 or 8 urbanite cannibals in a (relatively) tight space.
    DragonMasterJay and Marnomancer like this.
  11. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    You the Man!
    Just my point, you elaborated better. :)
  12. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +48

    Don't worry Dawn, you can still stick by me, but don't be alarmed that I keep looking in your direction often, as I said, I've got one eye on you!

    Oh don'y you worry yourself my friend, there will be plenty of meat to go around! ;) And a hack-saw, no, I'll leave that for you, I rather like laser precision when I slice through things, less fuss and less worry's! Plus with my katana I've been training for years in the art of decapitation, instead of beheading rubber training dummy's, I'd actually get to feel what it feels like for real, for I've always been slightly curious to know! :)
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    If I were you I'd protect zen, he would make for the worst kind of zombie. He already has training and a slight desire for killing which would be worse as a zombie.
    Marnomancer, Dawn1113 and Zen like this.
  14. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Well, assuming I made it to a long-term survival situation and I exhausted local resources, I'd steal a boat and start a colony of survivors on a small island. The right island would make it easy to manage who comes and goes -- zombies can't swim (or can they? I didn't read the document). It would also be more defensible against malicious groups of survivors.

    Guess that depends on the circumstances. Do I have to kill the infected person to ensure the immediate safety of myself or others? Can they be quarantined inside or ejected from the living area? Do they want to be put down or join the horde? If I was locked in a house surrounded by zombies and my buddy was bitten, well, desperate times call for desperate measures.
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Go to deep water port > find cruise liner > board > pull in the gangway > go exploring.
    Benefits: Onboard desalination, onboard generators, satellite communications, large reserves of food, oil/gas, living space, duty free stores, swimming pools and deck areas easily modified for hydroponics, ready supply of consumer items nearby (shipping container parks)
    Disadvantages: Stewards probably wouldn't help you with your luggage - though you could lop off the hands and lower jaw/teeth of a few zom's and harness them to cart (or flatbed truck if you're mean) and dangle a small animal - maybe a rat- just out of reach in front of them- carrot and stick!...Now, I'm sure everyone would have candidates that they'd like to "put to work".
    Marnomancer and Dawn1113 like this.
  16. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Well, they can't swim, but they can walk underneath!

    You editing out the tongue makes it look weird. :p Same here, but I can't keep an eye on her all the time! There are people I'd trust less. Who knows when you'll decapitate me? :p lol

    Nah, me the sniper. I always prefer precision to power. Watch me playing Dead Space someday.;)

    Well, you do need a new generation to execute the strategy I and Matt forsee... ;)
  17. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    Yup, I'd shoot a friend if I feel that eliminating him or her would help me survive.

    I wonder though, what I'd do if I get bit.

    While I'm sure my best friend will probably volunteer to put a round of buckshot into my brain pan -- for the old times' sake, I don't think she'd survive long enough to do that. She moves way too slow. She'd be an item on the buffet within the first two hours of the outbreak. As to Zen being by my side with pistol in hand, well, I don't think you can outrun me, friend, even with your training.

    But I would not want to become a zombie, either. Never! Decomposition is just way too unattractive. Zombies stink, have bad breath and very poor posture. Their fashion sense is way off, as well: the tattered outfits are sssooooo 1985. :D

    So what to do when one is bit? One final act of heroism, just so the eulogy makes me look good? :D
  18. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Well, considering the recent arrival of zombies in this fiction we're painting, I imagine we wouldn't know much about them beyond their insatiable appetite. Seems reasonable that if you're bitten and with other survivors, you'd donate yourself to science for observation and testing.
    Marnomancer likes this.
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    I don't know about donating my body to "science" - the chances of being in a group of survivors who included someone with a scientific disposition might be mighty slim. I'd look at my own situation and think that maybe the best survivors would be fast movers with reasonable athletic ability, quick reflexes, good endurance and a prior knowledge of physical confrontation/combat...I've been in bar fights around people who either just switched off/froze or gave up the fight immediately- those that react and don't blank out when their social construct is put on hold are going to be your buddies.

    Bearing that in mind I'm pretty sure the only scientific analysis my zombie body would undergo by the people I know that would likely initially survive, would be to prove/disprove whether Zombie Me had the ability to outlast them on a beer bong.

    I love how movies portray hitting a head sized target from 20+ yards with a handgun...there are going to be a lot of (momentarily) disappointed people if a zombie plague ever broke out
  20. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    We're slower and weaker with less natural defenses than practically every other land predator, yet we're still around. You can largely thank ingenuity for that, not an athletic physique per se, so I wouldn't discount the survival rate of scientific types.

    As for whether you'd donate your body, I mean, we're all speaking about different fictions here. I'm rebuilding civilization on an island and you're exploring on a cruise liner haha. Hard to debate such decisions when we don't have common circumstances.

    Perhaps someone would like to outline a basic scenario for everyone to discuss?
    Marnomancer likes this.
  21. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    I would definitely make a bee line for a rural area. As Matthew touched on briefly there is bound to be survivors who are not so good natured. When the poop hits the fan even nice people will rob you blind to survive and may even kill you to steal your supplies. If you're in a urban area I would guess that at least near the beginning of the outbreak you run a bigger risk of getting attacked by uninfected people. In rural area it would be much easier to hide out not to mention there would be a smaller population to be infected. Also, eventually food would run out. In that case you would want to be somewhere where you can grow and/or hunt your own food and that aint gonna happen in the city. Also, you can only go a few days without fresh water and you cant carry much water as it typically weighs something like 8lbs per gallon. In a rural area you could much more easily find fresh water. Also, there's the problem of disease. People living in a city with no running water or electricity are going to create and spread diseases rather rapidly much like they did in medieval times when people started moving into large cities again. All in all I think the most rural place you can find is probably going to be youre best option.
  22. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +48

    Who said anything about running? Oh no, no, no, I wouldn't run until it was absolutely necessary, energy conservation! And why worry about my training and how far I can run, I'm not worried about it, anyone who has tuned Zombie and try's to run away, that's fine, no sweat, it's alright. For the time someone takes off running to the time I squeeze off a round from my Desert Eagle, that monster or person would have to run approx. 55 to 60 yards away from me, to be out of my effective kill zone.

    .41 Magnum Desert Eagle! (my personal choice in side arm weapons)

    I just love this gun! Loved it in Iraq so much and after some "behind closed doors" talks, I was able to keep my military issue Desert Eagle.
    davislane1 likes this.
  23. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,503   +3,500

    How’s this?

    Scenario 1:
    You wake up at 5:00AM for work (if you don’t get up that early normally, you do now! :p), you’re going through your morning routine when you turn on the news and hear that your state/territory/province has been quarantined due to an infectious disease outbreak that’s turning people into unstoppable killing machines. Your chances of escaping are effectively zero because the military is killing anything and everything that penetrates their designated perimeter. You’ve no clue whether friends/family are aware of the situation. The only information you have is that a zombie outbreak occurred 12 hours ago and anything on the border of your state/territory is being lit up like a cheap cigarette. The types of creatures you will be facing are those from the 28 Days Later universe. (Fake edit: you wake up in a hospital.)

    Scenario 2:
    The whole world has gone to Hell in a hand basket. The infected are as diverse as the victims in the Resident Evil universe (everything from lethargic scenery creatures to gruesomely mutated predators & “super humans”). Anywhere you go you are likely to encounter some type of infected life form both in the forms of the people AND the local wildlife (if applicable). For example, choosing to remain in the city may mean easy access to supplies at the cost of having to constantly evade slow-moving flesh-eaters, while escaping to the mountains means greater general safety but the off chance of being chased through the woods by a mutated grizzly with a people problem. In short, every decision you make will have substantial risks.
  24. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    True enough...but physical force allied with communication allowed the human to gain that foothold. Urbanization has largely made humans a specialized species. Look at any "escaped zoo/circus animal runs amok", or "a wild animal walks into a bar (human conurbation)" story- doesn't it usually play out as the animal turning unprepared people into steak tartare while the majority run away and wait for a specialist to turn up with a gun ?
    That same mentality that stops the majority of people tackling an armed (and sometimes unarmed) assailant to save themselves would surely come into play. Is there a difference between a horde of zombies and one guy with an assault rifle ? Without training/preperation/reflex I'm pretty certain most peoples initial (and possibly last) thought would be "This can't be happening"

    I'd think the biggest factors to take into consideration would be shock and social conditioning, so no, physical or mental strength wouldn't be an overriding requirement - an advantage to be sure, but the ability to react quickly in a high stress fluid situation where problem solving is likely to require physical confrontation. From what I've read, everyone must either be already armed to the teeth or live next to an arsenal- that isn't the case where I live. A lot of households have guns, but most are locked in gun safes, the ammunition is a finite commodity -and usually hidden/locked away from the weapons. Depending on the zombie/survivor ratio and population density, survival might depend on having to act in a limited time,with limited resources on a less than ideal battleground ...I.e. UC&P.
  25. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,313   +100

    Agreed to an extent about us being domesticated and specialized. Frankly, I think just about anyone without a strong local community or a billion dollar bunker would be done for. There's only so much one person can do on their own. I maintain emergency rations of food and water because I'm in rural PA (~30 minutes from a major grocery store that's open late enough for me to shop) and power outages are common here (no water when the power's out in my apartment). I wouldn't say I'm armed to the teeth, but I have over a thousand rounds for my 12 gauge and I intend to pick up a .38/.357 revolver in the near future.

    Even with that, the odds are reasonable that I'd be dead in a matter of weeks or months. I think people grossly overestimate their abilities in a survival situation. So, someone flees to the wilderness like a hotshot mountain man and they plan to rough it in the woods or whatever. They'd likely be doing a zillion things they've either never done before or they've only done a few times -- chopping wood, traversing unfamiliar terrain, hunting and foraging, consuming untreated water and so on. It'd take one sprained ankle, one slip with an axe, one contaminated sip and they'd be screwed without assistance and/or medical attention.

    It should also be noted that most firearms would likely be useless in your common zombie defense scenario. The horde's greatest strength is, well, being a horde. The last thing you'd want to do is kill one zombie near the perimeter of your encampment and attract dozens or hundreds more. The only worthwhile firearm I can think of having is a .22LR with subsonic rounds. Cheap and compact enough to obtain and carry in bulk, quiet enough to keep a low profile, yet powerful enough to puncture a rotting skull. And again, even with this weapon, I don't think you'd make it very long without a group of dependable people to lean on.
    dividebyzero likes this.

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