Tuesday, April 4, 2017

How Can I Hide From Zombies?

Can You Hide From Zombies?


You can fight Zombies.  You can run from Zombies.  But, can you hide from Zombies?  It's a good question.  On AMC's The Walking Dead, you can hide from Zombies both visually and by disguising your human scent with the scent of zombies.  However, as with most things Zombie, your mileage may vary.  In fiction, authors and scriptwriters have a variety of mechanisms for Zombies to sense living humans and home in on them.  Can they hear you breath?  Can they smell your living scent?  Can they somehow sense your vital life force?  If you ever find yourself in a real life Zombie Apocalypse scenario, you will have to conduct Zombie Recon missions and observe real Zombie behavior to find out.


Personally, I like the way the Zombies on The Walking Dead operate.  They do not seem to have supernatural powers.  They primarily use their eyes and their ears to detect humans.  However, the scent of smell comes into play in several episodes when the characters were able move through large groups of Zombies by covering themselves in the smelly, rotten, entrails of the deceased.  This convention makes logical sense in that the Zombies do not have reasoning, conscious minds, and don't make fine distinctions or use tactics.  Since they don't eat each other, the sense of small must be at play.

Tips for Hiding from Zombies!


Here are six tips for hiding from Zombies:

1. Hide from Sight.  Use camouflage, terrain, and artificial barriers to keep out of sight and be hard to see in the open.  Since sight seems to be the primary scent that Zombies use to acquire targets, it would make sense that camouflage would make it hard for zombies to see you.

 2. Extinguish Light Sources.  In The Walking Dead, Zombies are attracted to light and flame.  As early as Season 1, characters learned to keep lights dim and shielded lights in order to avoid attention from Zombies.  They hung heavy blankets over house windows to keep light from escaping.

3. Minimize Sound.  Noise attracts Zombies.  Louder noises attract even more Zombies.  This is one reason to use knives and axes whenever possible instead of firearms.

4. Remain Still.  People notice motion.  Therefore, it makes sense that Zombies would also notice motion and be attracted to movement.  If you see Zombies and they don't see you, you should avoid any sudden movements that might attract their attention.

5. Keep smells to a minimum.  If Zombies can sense humans using their sense of smell, it would make sense to keep all smells to a minimum.  Cooking odors and smoke from camp fires might attract Zombies as well.

6. Disguise your smell when in close proximity to Zombies.  If the Zombies are really close to you, it might make more sense to smell like a Zombie than a human.  The characters in The Walking Dead might well be onto something.  Maybe you could disguise your smell with the scent eliminator used by hunters?  Maybe you should cover yourself in Zombie guts?  On the other hand, Zombies might be able to distinguish between the living and dead using their eyes.  The big question:  Do you feel lucky?  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Agility Drills for More Zombie Kills

If you are going to fight Zombies, you are going to need to get up out of your chair, step away from the computer, put down your cell phone, and develop some basic fitness and agility.  Agility is crucial to fighting Zombies because you will have to elude their grasp, maneuver around them, and move quickly to make a kill.  To be successful, you are going to have to get in shape, be able to move quickly, and be able to change direction on a dime.  Here are some basic sports agility drills that will help you either escape from Zombie or get close and kill Zombie.


Until the Zombies actually shuffle over to your house, these drills will also help you play better on the football field, soccer field, or basketball court.  One word to the wise, stretch well before undertaking this exercise and move at a pace that is comfortable for you.  Over time, you can get faster and faster with these drills.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Can You Get To Your Emergency Gear When You Need It?

If Zombies come shuffling your way, you will need to grab your gear fast.  It's a lesson I was recently reminded of while packing for an upcoming cross town move.  In the process, my wife and I are consolidating our stuff and getting rid of things we don't need.  I recently came across a "bug out bag" filled with emergency gear like weather radios, flashlights, fire starters, a mini lantern, etc.  All of which was dutifully wrapped up from our last household move.  It hadn't been touched.  This got me to thinking about a few things:

None of my gear was doing me any good packed away in the back of a closet.  Emergency gear can't help you in an emergency if you don't have it readily accessible.  The very first thing I did was pick out the best of the flashlights (a Mini Maglite), put batteries in it, and move it to the center console of our car.  Now, if I have car trouble or an accident, I have a flashlight close at hand and ready to go.  If your emergency gear isn't available during an emergency, it is a waste of money.  The Zombie Apocalypse isn't going to start when you are ready.  It will start when the Zombies are ready and where they are ready.

 

Some of the gear was deteriorating due to age.  When you pack away your gear, you have to check on it from time to time because it may deteriorate over time.  In this case, I had a radio and a lantern that had fashionable rubberized surfaces.  Over time, these surfaces get tacky and messy.  I tossed these two items and will get better quality equipment in the future.  If I wanted to preserve them a good wipe down with isopropyl alcohol might have done the job.

Vintage Solid-State Transceivers - photo by Joe Haupt from USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Some of the gear would probably not help much in my urban environment.  I found two compasses in with my gear.  Compasses are cool and would enable me to stay on course over long distance land navigation.  However, as a city slicker, I could probably just rely on familiar roads and road signs.  Even in an emergency, long distance land navigation through heavily forested terrain is pretty unlikely.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Is Your Car Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?

Is Your Car Ready To Take On Zombies!

From World War Z to The Walking Dead, Zombies have shuffled into popular culture.  But, if Zombies actually shuffled into your world, would you be ready?  Is your car ready to get your family out of a Zombie Apocalypse?  When the Zombies are close at hand and you turn the key, will it start, will it run, will it roll over some Zombies and keep going?  This quiz will help you assess your vehicles ready to get your family out of trouble during a disaster.

The Zombie Hord is Coming!  Are you going? - By tangi bertin from Rennes, France (La HORDE progresse  Uploaded by paris 17) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Take the Zombie Apocalypse Vehicle Readiness Quiz! 


1. How Does Your Car Start?  You can't escape anything if your car won't start.  What's going to happen when you turn the key?  Assess your situation, pick the closest, and give yourself 0 to 3 points.

0 - Won't start at all.
1 - I'll need a jump start or a push start so I can pop the clutch.
2 - Will start on the second or third try.
3 - Will start consistently on the first try.  Let's go!


2. Is Your Car Even Running?  Does your car run?  If it doesn't run, you better have good shoes on when the Zombies start pushing on your garage door.  Assess your situation and give yourself 0 to 4 points.

0 - Not running.  My cousin Earl says he'll come by and take a look.
1 - It runs.  But, it stumbles and conks out due to engine or drivetrain issues.
2 - It runs.  But, it has some minor issues and sounds funny.
3 - Runs like new!
4 - It goes like hell!  Fastest car in the neighborhood.

The Last of the V-8 Interceptors - Photo By Sicnag (Ford Falcon XB Mad Max Replica) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


3. Is Your Car Gassed Up?  Starting is one thing, but you won't go far without gas.  How much is in your tank right now?  If the Zombies come, you may have to drive for miles and miles or idle along for hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If the Zombies come and your ride is sitting on E, your wife will kick your butt.  Be honest about how much is in your tank and give yourself 0 to 3 points.  If you plan to evacuate, it's important to have gas in your car!

0 - Low Fuel Warning Light is on.
1 - Less than a 1/4 tank
2 - Less than a 1/4 to 3/4 tank
3 - Fully gassed up

Abandoned Gas Pump - Photo By Andrew Filer from Seattle (ex-Minneapolis) (Conoco, Nebraska  Uploaded by xnatedawgx) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

4. When Was The Last Time Your Got The Oil Changed?  Within a few months of the Zombie apocalypse, the world is going to be dirty, dusty, and generally falling down all around us.  You are going to need to keep your cars engine lubed up and running smooth.  Don't quibble about conventional or synthetic when Zombies surround your local quick oil change place.  Just give yourself 0 to 3 points for the scenario closest to your current situation. 

0 - Many miles passed oil change time
1 - Oil change needed in 500 miles
2 - Half way through current oil change mileage
3 - Just changed the oil

5. Is Your Car Good on Gas?  Northerners, how is your Fuel Consumption?  In the midst of a world-wide Zombie Apocalypse, stopping for gas every 225 miles is going to get old.  Stopping for a 30-minute electric charge in a world where the grid has gone down will get even older.  So, assess your situation and give yourself 0 to 4 points.

0 - It's electric.  Boogie woogie woogie.
1 - 10 - 15 mpg
2 - 15 - 20 mpg
3 - 20+ mpg
4 - It's electric and I have a generator with extra fuel!


 
6. All Terrain Features.  When the Zombies come, there is a good chance you might have to turn off the paved road and drive cross country.  Is your car ready?  Does it have any off-road capability that might help pull you through a Zombie apocalypse?  Give yourself 0 points if you don't have any off-road capabilities.  Give yourself 1 point for each of the off-road features listed below:

0 - None.  Keep the pavement smooth.
1 - Off Road Tires
1 - Brush Bars
1 - Roll Bar
1 - Winch
1 - Spotlights
1 - Lift Kit
1 - Snorkel Kit
1 - Low Range Gearing
1 - 4x4 or AWD

Jeep Wrangler with Off Road Package Photo By JamesHenry (Flickr: Jeep Wrangler JK) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

7. Preps On Board.  Do you have anything in your car that will help you in an emergency situation?  Have you prepared for a bad day on the road?  A pristine car won't help much during a zombie apocalypse.  But, give yourself a point for each of the additional emergency preps that you have in your car already.

0 - Clean and pristine like I just bought it new.
1 - Roadside emergency kit
1 - Toolbox
1 - First Aid Kit
1 - Fire Extinguisher
1 - A warm blanket or sleeping bag
1 - A day of food & water



Vehicle Zombie Readiness Assessment


If you got 0 points on questions 1 or question 2, give yourself 0 points.  You are done.  Quiz over. You aren't ready.  In a Zombie Apocalypse you aren't going anywhere, you'll get overwhelmed by an undead horde, and you will end up mindlessly shuffling around in your own garage until someone comes along and puts you out of your misery.

If your car can run, add up all of your points and let's see your totals.

2 to 9 Points - You're car is marginal and is going to add to the drama of your escape.  There is a good chance you won't survive the Zombie Apocalypse due to a problem with your vehicle.  It's time to make some upgrades to make sure it runs and has some basic equipment.
10 to 14 Points - You've got a running car and you have just as good a chance to live as anyone else.  But your vehicle isn't giving you any advantages.  You might want to think about making some upgrades for an emergency.
15 to 20 Points - You've likely got a running car and some additional emergency equipment.  You are well positioned for a clean escape.  But, there is always more you can do.
21+ Points - You have a well equipped bug-out vehicle.  Congratulations for being ready!  You can take on Zombies, Hurricanes, or anything else that forces you to evacuate via car.

No matter how you did on the quiz, there are always things you can do to be more prepared for an evacuation by car.  For example, here is how I put together a first aid kit for my car.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What Should I Wear To Fight Zombies?

The zombies are coming, the zombies are coming, and you have nothing to wear.  It's a common problem.  Most people don't dress around the idea of participating in a Zombie Apocalypse.  But, when you expect Zombies as house guests, it is very important to dress for company.

Zombie Flash Mob - photo by http://www.cgpgrey.com [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are a few winning wardrobe ideas that will serve you well when zombies are expected for dinner:

1. Shoes for a Zombie Apocalypse.  In the world of business, men are often judged by their shoes.  Do they shine?  Are they finely made?  When the Zombies come, all such pretentiousness will be swept away.  You'll want shoes that allow you to move quickly, that are thick enough to stop a bite, that can kick or stomp on an opponent, and that don't hurt your feet on long marches.  Ultimately, you are going to want some sort of combat boot for your climate or, if you are a runner, some kind of trail running shoes.

2. Pants for a Zombie Apocalypse.  You don't want to be sitting around in your underwear when zombies come clawing at your door.  (It's o.k. now.  Don't get up.)  But, you are going to want some kind of heavy duty pants.  There are a couple of options.  You can go cowboy or commando.  If you go cowboy, you are going to want to get some heavy duty denim jeans that are thick enough to resist a bite.  If you go commando, you are going to want to get some tactical pants.  Tactical pants give you scratch and tear resistance, the ability to move around and jump, and extra pockets to carry all your survival gear.  If you are looking for tactical pants, you might check out these 5.11 Tactical Pants.  5.11 is a well respected brand in the prepping and police communities.




3. Shirts and Jackets for a Zombie Apocalypse.  When it comes to shirts, I think you are going to want a plain colored T-shirt covered with some sort of army jacket.  You'll have to pick the camouflage pattern that is best suited for your environment.  You'll think you look bad ass, but you'll probably look much like the late great Bob Hope in this picture.



4. Gloves for a Zombie Apocalypse.  When you are grappling with zombies, you are going to need some tactical gloves.  You'll probably want to get multiple pairs in case one gets Zombie gristle, brain goop, or blood on it.



5. Glasses for a Zombie Apocalypse.  If you are going to war against zombies, you are going to need to summon every ounce of bad ass in your system.  Kick ass Oakley sunglasses will definitely help.  Plus, they'll help you avoid getting stuff in an eye (shell casings, zombie bone fragments, kudzu vines, etc.).


 
6. Hats for a Zombie Apocalypse.  Finally, you are going to need some sort of helmet for a zombie apocalypse.  We've put out some guidance, but you are going to have to decide which kind of helmet is best.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Shopping before a Zombie Apocalypse

I know how I will probably perish in the Zombie Apocalypse.  It will happen at the grocery store.  The place will be mobbed with crazed shoppers trying to get food for their families before the zombies get to their neighborhood.  I'll probably be cut down in the produce aisle by someone trying to get the last oranges.

What will I be doing?  I'll trying to open one of these stupid plastic produce bags.
Plastic Produce Bags are Annoying
On a serious note, I took this picture while shopping just before a little snow and ice storm that recently hit Atlanta.  The grocery store was cleaned out of important items like eggs.  Can you imagine what it would be like if an emergency of apocalyptic proportions was headed towards your town?  It would be pandemonium.  It might even be dangerous.  Plus, there is a good chance that your grocery store would totally run out of food before you got there.  That's why it is a pretty good idea to stock up food and water supplies well in advance of an emergency.  There is no need to call it prepping.  You could just call it prudent.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Selecting Terrain

Zombies only have one tactic. They mob their targets.  If they can see you, hear you, or smell you, they will advance on you.  All Zombies that sense you will shuffle directly towards your group in order to satisfy a primal hunger.

ZombieWalk photo by tangi bertin from Rennes, France (La HORDE progresse  Uploaded by paris 17) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are going to fight Zombies, it's best to fight on ground of your own choosing.  If you want to prevail, make the Zombies cross difficult terrain.  If you put a steep ravine between you and them, many may fall and break legs, ankles, or hips.  If you put a swift flowing river between you and zombies, many may be swept downstream when they attempt to cross.  Zombies will fall into pits, impale themselves, and damage themselves in an attempt to get to you and eat you.  You also want to channel zombies into approaching from directions where you can hit them, but they can't easily hit you.  As in all warfare, the high ground provides defenders with an advantage.  For example, clumsy Zombies might have trouble navigating the steep rocky slope of Little Round Top at the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park.

The Steep Rocky Terrain of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Little Round Top photo by Jan Kronsell, July 2002 {{GFDL-self}}


Since Zombies will damage themselves trying to get at a food source, it just makes great tactical sense to put damaging obstacles between you and the Zombies.