Sunday, July 2, 2017

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Using Firearms Against Zombies

When it comes to fighting Zombies, it's natural to assume that you'll prevail if you have a firearm.  You'll reason that you can use a firearm to deliver precision shots to the head that will put Zombies down permanently.  Firearms also offer a powerful advantage in that they can be used to dispatch Zombies from a distance.



Key Numbers to Know When Using Guns Against Zombies


However, the advantages of firearms in a Zombie fight can be deceiving.  You have to consider firearms use by the numbers.  Here are some of the numbers that you'll want to consider:

1) Your firearms magazine capacity.
2) The number of accessible and loaded magazines.
3) The number of Zombies in sight.
4) The distance to the Zombies.
5) The effective range of your weapon.
6) The time it takes to bring your weapon to bear.
7) The number of accurate head shots that you can make per second.
8) The time it takes for you to reload your weapon.
9) The number of Zombies within earshot of a gunshot.

A Zombie Horde - By Martin SoulStealer from London, England (The Horde) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Firearms Use Scenario - Zombie Apocalypse


Let's say you are in a developed urban area.  You have a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol with 15 rounds load and two additional loaded 15-round magazines.  You encounter a group of 30 zombies who are about 100 feet away from you.  Each zombie can cover 50 feet in 5 seconds.  It takes you two seconds to change magazines.  You can get off one accurate head shot per second.  In ten seconds you can kill 10 zombies, but 20 remaining zombies reach you.  If you double your rate of fire, you kill 20 zombies, but 10 zombies remain to kill you.


Zombie Math  - Why People Lose Against Zombies


The math gets even worse.  Once you start shooting, you might attract the attention of all the zombies in a 1000 foot radius.  Even if you attract 90 more zombies from 1000 feet away, if they move at you, they can reach your location in only 1 minute and 40 seconds!  Even if you survived the first assault, you now have to face a second wave with less ammunition.  Each shot is a beacon for more zombies to come your way.



Firearms Tactics Against Zombies

Here are a few tactics that may help you avoid being overwhelmed by Zombies:

1.  Concentrate Firepower.  When using a guns against Zombies, it doesn't pay to take on Zombies alone.  If you have multiple shooters, you have a higher rate of fire and a better chance of dropping the Zombies before they reach your firing position.

2. Shoot and Scoot.  Once you start shooting in an urban or suburban area, you are going to attract more and more Zombies.  To avoid getting swarmed, have a plan to rapidly exit the area to avoid being ovewhelmed.

Spartan APC SWAT Team Vehicle - By Jamesw007 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Fire to Redirect Zombies.  Since Zombies are going to be attracted to the sound of gunfire, consider fighting them at a location away from your home base.  If you are going to shoot at Zombies, pick a battle location that will draw Zombies away from your camp.

4. Use Sound Suppressors.  Anything that you can do to minimize the sound of your firearm will help to minimize the number of Zombies that will be drawn into the fight.  You can pay the applicable taxes and get the permits needed to own a sound suppressor or you can improvise by sound proofing shooting positions.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

How to Escape Zombies using Three Dimensions

When you are outnumbered and on the run from a horde of mindless Zombies, you need to think your way to an escape.  While Zombies have a drive to close with you and eat you, they aren't good at predicting your next move.  Zombies also aren't good at performing complex functions like climbing, crawling, or squeezing around obstacles.  If you can think about escaping in multiple directions and get out of the box, you can elude Zombies.

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

Up to Escape Zombies


Sometimes, you can climb to escape Zombies.  For example, you can use a ladder to climb to a roof, pull the ladder up after you, and then escape from the other side of the building.  Similarly, you may be able to use a fire escape or steep cliff face to get up and away from Zombies.


Fire escapes in Cincinnati. Photo shot by Derek Jensen (Tysto), 2005-August-09 {{cc-by-2.0}} 

Down to Escape Zombies


In The Walking Dead, Glenn famously hides under a rolling trash dumpster to elude a horde of zombies.  Earlier in the series, Rick and his party crawled and hid under a tank.  Zombies may not immediately grasp that their prey has executed a complex move to exit from an area.  Instead, they will tend to mill about where they last saw their prey.  Unfortunately, they can mill about for an uncomfortably long time.

By Paul Sableman (Blue Sewer Lid) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Squeezing Through Obstacles


Zombies also do not seem to search exhaustively or methodically for the humans they seek.  You don't see them looking into dumpsters, searching closets, slithering into crawlspaces or climbing into attics.  They typically seem to push into obstacles to find humans when they are attracted by movement, light, or sound.  If you can squeeze through a gate, under a fence, or through an open window, they may take quite some time to figure out how to follow you.

A gap in a fence might be an escape! Photo by David Lally [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you are on the run from Zombies, a tool to cut through obstacles can prove worth it.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Inexpensive Weapons for the Zombie Apocalypse

Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse is not the highest priority in most households.  When it comes to the family budget, money spent on prepping can be hard to come buy during an average pay period.  If you are like most people, you have to think about prepping on the cheap and you have to think about building your supplies up incrementally.  Every pay period, you buy just a little something that makes you more prepared than you were the prior week.  Here are just a few things you can do to get ready and get ready cheap.

During a Zombie Apocalypse Any Club will do!


When it comes to Zombie Apocalypse (ZPOC) weapons, it might seem impossible to get a cheap and effective weapon when you are on a tight budget.  However, you can get a weapon for less than $10.  Harbor Freight Tools usually has an 8-inch survival knife for only $8.  It has a compartment in the handle with matches, a fishing line, and a couple of hooks.  You can find what appears to be the same knife here online and even save money on gas.



Another inexpensive weapon for the Zombie Apocalypse is the baseball bat.  You can likely find well-used baseball bats for less than $10 each at your local thrift store.  I have found baseball bats for less than $5 at a variety of thrift stores in my area.

ESPN Anchor Mary Rivera -photo by Elba Maldonado (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Once you've got your weapon situation sorted out, don't forget to stock up on food staples for the long siege.

 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Impaling Booby Traps

Zombies are dumb.  They will fall for nearly every kind of booby trap that the living can devise.  You don't even have to hide a booby trap from a zombie.  You don't even need to use explosives or firearms in Zombie killing traps.  Large quantities of zombies can be stopped or killed using gravity and pit traps or falling rocks.  Since they aren't conscious, thinking, beings, Zombies can't reason their way out of a simple trap or think ahead to avoid traps and obstacles.  While they may follow the path of least resistance when they roam, Zombies in single-minded pursuit of humans can easily be led to fall into pits or impale themselves on spikes.  This is a big advantage that humans have over zombies.



Impaling Trap.  One easy way to stop Zombies is to arrange angled spikes in their path.  People can easily navigate their way through a spike obstacle, but Zombies will move mindlessly forward and impale themselves on the spikes.

While the actual construction of a spike trap is beyond the scope of this blog and is probably a very bad idea, the earthen fortifications at the Yorktown battlefield in Virginia are a good illustration of a spike trap.


On The Walking Dead, the character Morgan Jones is initially driven beyond the edge of sanity by the loss of his family.  For a time, he lives in a fortified area of a small down that is surrounded by impaling booby traps that regularly snag Zombies who wander into his living space.

Finally, in our modern society, wrought iron fences with spiked fence posts regularly impale drunken burglar-Americans who attempt to trespass.  After a Zombie apocalypse, such fences will likely immobilize some portion of Zombies who attempt to get over them.

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.