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.



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Anti-Zombie Weapon Review: SOG FastHawk Tomahawk

You may need to get yourself a tomahawk for serious zombie fights.  Here's why:  if Zombies ever do come your way, they may get up close and personal.  They'll want to sink their gnarly rotten teeth into you and rip your bowels out with their bony fingers.  You can shoot them, but the noise will only attract more.  In a big city, most civilians will run out of ammunition before they run out of zombies in a shoot out.  That's why you need a close combat weapon like a tomahawk.


My personal choice for a tomahawk was the SOG FastHawk.  It's made by SOG Specialty Knives & Tools.  It's a small, fast, little tomahawk with a 2-inch blade with a spike.  It's a lethal little tool.  The spike looks like it could easily penetrate a zombie skull and the blade could do some serious damage.  For weapons geeks, the blade and spike are made out of 420 RC 51/53 blade steel.

This is a good time to pause and note something very important:

A TOMAHAWK IS NOT A TOY!  DO NOT "PLAY" WITH IT!

A mistake or accident with a tomahawk can kill or seriously maim someone. You can injure yourself with the blade on the front swing and with the spike on the back swing. If you are looking for a tomahawk for mock combat or training purposes, this is NOT it. You'll need to look for specialized  training weapons made from rubber or foam.

A dry season nose bleed makes for a scary photo opportunity with the SOG FastHawk

At 19 ounces and 12 1/2 inches long, the SOG FastHawk (F06TN-CP) is about the size of a hammer.  It has a glass reinforced nylon handle and a nylon carry sheath for your belt.  It weighs about 19 ounces.  By comparison, a typical Stanley nailing hammer weighs 16 ounces and is 13.3 inches long.  At this small size and weight, the SOG FastHawk will let you land multiple blows against an adversary in quick succession.



If this tomahawk breaks while you are knee deep in zombies, it will be small comfort to know that your FastHawk is covered by a lifetime warranty.  Since it seems pretty sturdy, I don't that you'll need the warranty anyway.

If you scour the internet, you'll find people using the SOG FastHawk for all kinds of macho camping adventures.  However, I used it to beat the crap out of some cardboard boxes.  It made short work of them.  Both the blade and the spike penetrate thick cardboard with no problem.  I'm pretty sure the SOG FastHawk will work on zombies, too.  Overall, it is a great deal for less than $30.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Creating a First Aid Kit for Your Car

It's common knowledge that every family should have a first aid kit.  But, few people realize that every family should actually have more than one.  When thinking about the threats that we actually face on any given day, I realized that the most immediate threats we face are encountered outside the home.  Outside the home, we face the threat of being injured in a motor vehicle accident or due to criminal assault.  We can be more prepared for these threats by having a first aid kit with us in our vehicle.  That's why I put together a first aid kit for our car.

Foundation for a First Aid Kit


My local Rite Aid drugstore had a special where you could get a free first aid bag simply by buying three Band Aid brand first aid products.  The empty bag served as my foundation.  However, it quickly grew.


Minor Wound Care


First, I added to it a large number of Band Aid brand bandages and some Neosporin that we bought.  The bandaids were part of the purchases I needed to make in order to get the bag for "free."  The cleansing wipes were from an earlier small first aid kit.  These items seem like a good start for handling minor cuts and lacerations.

 
I added some un-opened anti-itch cream that I had on hand, a rolled gauze bandage, and I picked up a pair of new tweezers from Dollar Tree.



Stop the Bleeding- Tourniquettes


Perhaps the most important thing that I added to my first aid kit was a pair of tourniquettes.  These TF Essentials tourniquettes were available on Amazon.  


Whether it's a Zombie apocalypse, a high speed crash, or a workplace shooting, some disasters can cause a lot of bleeding.  A tourniquette can help stop that bleed until first responders can take over.  The drawback to tourniquettes is that if left on for an extended period of time (say a couple of hours), the patient might end up losing their limb.

Stop the Bleeding-Bandages & Pads


To stop less severe bleeding, there is always direct pressure.  So I threw in some non-adherent pads to help with other cuts and lacerations.


Medications for Pain & Minor Medical Issues

Finally, not every first aid kit situation is life threatening.  I added some medications that will help with headaches, sprains, allergic reactions, upset stomachs, and diarrhea.  I chose brand name medications from the Dollar Tree for these situations.  I trust Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, Imodium, and Pepto-bismal.


Hopefully, the most explosive situation that I'll need to deal with will be overindulgence in Mexican food.  But, I'll be ready.


Next Steps in the Evolution of My First Aid Kit


I'm not completely done with my first aid kit.  I'll plan to add some additional items.  So far, I plan to add the following:


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Zombie Defense: Waiting for Z Pizza

I'm waiting for a last minute pizza at Your Pie--one of my favorite brick oven pizza joints.  It's calm now, most of the customers are gone, and the place is just about to close.  Since I have a few minutes until my order is ready, I can't help but wonder what would happen if Zombies showed up at the door.

What if Zombies lurked outside?
If Zombies did show up, we'd have to barricade ourselves in.  There are plenty of stout wooden tables that we could use as barricades.  They might slow Zombies down a bit.  Plus there are hand rails to guide the crowds into an orderly line up to the counter.   The rails are all made of big heavy metal pipes.  If you could take the rails apart, the pipes themselves would be awesome weapons. But, if the Zombies were here, now, there wouldn't be much time for that.  Instead, we'd have to retreat and look for other protection.

The Brick Oven at my local Your Pie pizza joint
The middle of the restaurant is where they make the pizza.  The huge brick oven has huge oar-like wood and metal spatulas hanging off to the side side.  They would make fearsome pole arms if the staff was forced to make a last stand.  

Pizza Parlor Pole Arms?
The service counters are also protected by thick plexi-glass breath shields that help protect all the fresh ingredients from infectious customers.  I wonder if the staff would let me back there.  They wouldn't sacrifice me to the Zombie horde would they?  I've been a good customer.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Can You Help Others During A Zombie Apocalypse?

One of the big practical and philosophical questions raised in shows like The Walking Dead and Fear of the Walking Dead is -

Can you / should you help other people during a Zombie Apocalypse?

 
Zombie Photo By Scott Simmons [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In a world where energy and supplies are scarce and risk of Zombie exposure is high, it's a very tough question.  I think a survivor has an obligation to save life when it is immediately threatened.  There is no question that you should kill a Zombie that is just about to bite one of the living.  However, sharing limited supplies is an entirely different matter.

The supplies that you and your group have gathered are precious and should be used to preserve your own.  Group supplies should only be given when some return on investment is expected.

Everyone Contributes After A Zombie Apocalypse


The old van bumper sticker of the 1970s is germaine to this discussion.  "Gas, Grass, or Ass,"  it read.  "Nobody rides for free."  During a Zombie Apocalypse no one rides for free either.  If a survivor group shares supplies, then the recipient is expected to contribute to the group in some way.


In exchange for help, a recipient should be able to contribute by fighting Zombies, growing food, building fortifications, assisting the wounded, or providing other goods and services.

If you have extra supplies, you can use them shrewdly to build your own power, prestige, influence, and safety.  This is probably how warlords and new civilizations get started.