Surviving the Apocalypse: An Extraordinary Guide
2012 Doomsday. Nuclear Winter. Global Warming. Global Cooling. Ice Age. Famine. War. Martial Law. Terrorism. Yellowstone Caldera Eruption. The Rapture. Super Virus. Zombies. Solar Storm. Computer/Robot Revolt. Methane Clouds. Asteroid. Rogue Black Hole. Particle accelerator mishap. Alien Invasion.
Above are just a handful of ways that people believe our world could end… or at the very least be drastically changed. And for those that do believe in the these scenarios, there is a sense that this doom is right around the corner.
So let’s suppose that something dramatic does happen on the planet, wiping out many if not most of the people. What would you do if you were still here? How would you survive?
The following is my list of ultra important items and skills to have as a Post-Apocalypse survivor. Some are practical, some are wishful thinking, some are creature comforts to maintain a smidge of humanity. The list is in no particular order.
Part 1: Items for your “Bug-Out Bag”.
It is said that each one of us should have a bag or backpack readily accessible filled with essentials that we could grab in a pinch if stuff hit the fan in an instant. A rule of thumb for a bug out bag is that it should contain the appropriate items to survive for 3 days on the contents alone. What you have pre-packed into this bag could save your life. Here are a few suggestions. Some obvious, some you might not have thought of.
Survival Food: High in Fat and Calories/Carbs to give you the energy needed while in flight.
Clothing: A spare pair of shoes, a rain poncho, a warm sweatshirt, hat.
Water: A few bottles of water and ideally a means to purify water. A container of bleach, iodine, or other purifying chemicals… or a commercial water purifier, as long as it is portable. My favorite is this one:
Shelter: A roll up tarp or tent and a sleeping bag will work.
First Aid Kit: Bandaids, antiseptic, gauze, aspirin tablets, etc.
Glasses: If you are vision impaired, it would be super important to have a spare pair of glasses in your bag in case you break your main pair.
Bandana: Why a bandana you ask? The question is why not? I would recommend throwing several bandanas into your bug out bag. The uses are limitless. For a handy reference, check out this article: london elite speed dating
You can even purchase a “Survival Bandana” that has Wilderness survival tips printed right on it. Purchase them here: BaseGear.com.
Important odds and ends:
sewing needle and thread
flashlight (and batteries)
matches (preferably the “strike anywhere” variety)
A book or two (this may be considered a luxury to some, but in my mind, having something to read for a small bit of entertainment or escapism might be the key to preserving one’s sanity in a hostile environment). Btw…
Part 2: Learn a Marketable Skill… NOW!
Once an apocalyptic event occurs, basics will be paramount. You secure food, water, and shelter for yourself and your loved ones. But as time goes on, it will be necessary to find other survivors. If you can become a part of a thriving group or compound, you’ve dramatically increased your chances of making it. In fact, this is ultimately how civilization will be rebuilt. One small clan at a time.
Now, you cannot assume that just because you happen upon an encampment of survivors that they are going to instantly want to assimilate you and yours into their group. This is why it is paramount to make sure you have a marketable skill that will make you an invaluable member of any tribe.
Currently you may be an accomplished pianist, a golf pro, an avid Star Wars fan, or a landscape artist. While admirable, none of these things are going to help you in post-apocalypse dire straits. What WILL make you a worthy commodity will be things like these:
EMT: Emergency Management Training (at the minimum you should learn CPR and other basics)
Farming/Gardening (learn the types of crops that flourish in harsh environments with max nutritional value)
Mechanic (if you know how to make a car run that has been sitting idle for an extended period of time, or if you can make a generator out of spare lawnmower parts… you just became a hero)
Hunter (tracking and trapping is harder than many think it is. Learn how and you will become a valuable asset)
Gatherer (you can’t just eat anything that grows on a tree or bush. Make yourself familiar with the local flora and fauna)
Security/Combat Expert (if you know the right way to secure an area or how to teach hand to hand combat skills, you will be a vital addition to a small group)
Get in Shape/ Bulk Up (This is an instance where being a “Meathead” might save your life. If you have no marketable skill, but you’re a bad lookin’ mother trucker, you’ll likely be accepted)
Part 3: Learn about Holistic/Herbal Remedies
After a cataclysmic event, medical supplies will be scarce. It will be vital to know alternative cures and remedies for ailments and injuries. Here is a brief guide. Some of these things you’ll want to keep on hand or maybe even in your bug out bag… just in case.
Almonds: Almonds are ridiculously high in protien. A human can actually survive on almonds for a long time. Almonds are known for keeping thought processes sharp, as their chemical compound enhances vital brain functions. When boiled, the outer skin comes off revealing the white meat which can be pressed into almond butter. The almond butter can be applied to irritated skin.
Blackberry: Aside from being nutritious, boiling blackberry leaves or root makes a very good diarrhea remedy.
Cranberry: If you are a woman or there are women in your party, cranberries are a wonderful thing to keep on hand as they promote urinary tract health, and can stave off bladder infections.
Cattails: Easily located anywhere in the world near lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, marshes, etc. The cattail shoots or stalks are edible and high in starch. The stalk can also be pounded into powder form and used as a flour substitute. Before it is ripe, you can actually eat the “flower” part of a female cattail like corn on the cob. Dried cattails are effective insect repellents when burned.
Cereus Cactus: Found primarily in the western U.S., the pulp of this cactus will serve as a source of water. Just break open the stem and scoop out the pulp. The fruits will work as a laxative. So… only eat if you are constipated.
Dandelion: Easily accessible in almost any grassy area, the dandelion is a miraculous plant that is often overlooked. It is very high in vitamin C and calcium. The roots can be ground to serve as a coffee substitute. The whole plant is edible. Can be taken as a liver and gallbladder tonic. The white sap inside a dandelion stem can be applied to sores and bee stings. Also beneficial for warts, acne, and calluses. Tea made from dandelion flower can actually be very beneficial for people with diabetes and low blood sugar.
Horseradish: Used widely during the middle ages as a cure-all, horseradish can be used to treat sinus infections because it has antibiotic properties. Can also be consumed as a possible treatment for kidney stones.
Juniper: Found all throughout North America in dry, open, sunny area, Juniper is a great item to get your hands on. Grind it up to use as a seasoning for meat. It is a powerful diuretic and can be used to cleanse the kidneys, ease effects of urinary tract infections. It is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, so may be very useful to have for swollen feet from lots of walking.. or if you have arthritis. Juniper will help with all kinds of gastrointestinal ailments, such as stomach ulcers, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even Crohn’s disease.
Marigold: Although not native to North America, the Common Marigold can be found in almost any modern flower garden. The petals of the common marigold can be used as an eye wash. Also can be applied to cuts and scrapes, it is a known anti-septic and anti-fungal. Particularly useful for athlete’s foot. Boil the flower and drink as a tea to soothe mouth ulcers, colitis and stomach ulcers. Cleanses the body of toxins. Important to know that it is the COMMON MARIGOLD that we’re talking about. There are other types of marigold that have different properties. Also, plant them on the edges of your survival garden to repel insects and pests.
Pine Tree: Very easy to identify conifer found almost everywhere. The inner bark is very sweet and tasty, also very nutritious. The seeds are high in fat. Pine needle tea is high in vitamin C, and can be used to aid scurvy. PINE TEA SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED BY PREGNANT WOMEN. All pine oil and tea should be consumed in moderation, but works well as a nutritional supplement in a pinch. You can use hardened pine resin as an emergency dental filling.
Reindeer Moss: Found all over North America and worldwide. Carbohydrates as well as vitamins B and C can be gleaned from this lichen. When boiled it works to ease diarrhea. The people of Iceland have been using this moss to treat digestive problems as well as the side effects of tuberculosis.
Sassafras: Once again, you can find this growing wild nearly everywhere in North America. It grows as a bush or a small tree. Known for having a “root beer” smell. Often found along the sides of roads or forests in sunny areas. Use the leaves and twigs in a tea or in soup. The tender twigs also make a great toothbrush. Native Americans long believed that drinking a tea made of boiled root bark could cure many ailments, especially sickness caused by drinking contaminated water. Also, drinking sassafras root tea can make you less susceptible to sore throats. It has general anti-biotic properties, and clears the liver of toxins.
Part 4: Luxuries to Obtain now, that you’ll be glad you have THEN.
Get your hands on some Body Armor
As difficult as it is to think about, a world that has been thrust into chaos is likely to be violent. Whether or not you obtain a firearm is your decision, but I cannot think of a reason why one wouldn’t want to be protected from the weapons of others.
When it comes to protection for your body from lethal weapons, you can’t go wrong with Kevlar. It is probably going to cost you a bit, which is why I recommend getting it NOW so you don’t have to find it somehow THEN. A trusted retailer that I would recommend is Safeguard Clothing. As body armor goes, the prices are reasonable and the quality is guaranteed. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a dire situation only to realize that your protection is sub par. Safeguard provides ballistic helmets, ballistic panels, and bullet and stab proof vests.
Body armor is a wise investment. Making the decision about how far you’d go to protect yourself and your family is not easy. But covering yourself with a protective layer of Kevlar would likely make you feel a lot more secure. Check out the items offered by Safeguard at their secure website here: Body armor made from 100% DuPont™ Kevlar® from SafeGuard Clothing™
This awesome gadget could very well become the center of your survival. It can be powered via USB, Batteries, Solar Power, or Hand Crank. This will be vital assuming that you could end up in a “no power” situation. The crank will allow you to use the device even in the darkest basement or remotest wilderness. It has an AM/FM radio, as well as being preset to tune in to all 7 channels of the NOAA weatherband. It has 3 White LED light sources and 1 flashing red LED. It also has a port to serve as a phone charger, in the event that phone lines are still open. AND it has rubber seals on every output/input area so it is waterproof. This item could provide you light, help you signal other survivors, keep you connected to any reports from the outside world, and if all else fails, you could get a good grip on the handy handle and smack someone over the head with it in a combat situation.
Let’s say you have a wilderness encampment, or a warehouse hideaway. One thing that will be at the top of your list of concerns will be security. But you can’t be everywhere at once. That’s where this handy little unit will be vital. This motion detector is wireless and can be placed anywhere. It works via infrared sensors, so it is virtually undetectable. When someone crosses the sensor’s path, the unit on your end will give a pleasant little chime, rather than an annoying screech which would surely wreak havoc on your already jangled nerves. The unit’s signal will reach up to 400 ft. allowing you freedom of movement and the ability to stay alert simultaneously. The downfall is that it will require batteries, but in the short term such a gadget may prove indispensable.
This expensive little unit might just be worth every penny. In a post apocalyptic setting, most likely one of the first things to go will be the power grid. The possession of a solar array will enable you to convert solar energy to electrical output, thus enhancing your ability to charge your electronics, batteries, lights, etc. This lightweight foldable variety is quite convenient, allowing you to roll it up and travel with it, with minimal effort. Some might say it is more important to acquire a portable solar powered generator, but if you realistically expect to be on the move, I feel this is more practical. Unless….
After the world comes crashing to a halt, money will be worthless. So while it still has some relative value, why not invest $100,000 – $200,000 in the vehicle that Jalopnik.com says has got “apocalypse machine written all over it.” From the diamond plate front bumper to the six swinging doors… this beauty has it all. It has giant diesel fuel tanks and on top of everything else, it is apparently rather fuel efficient. (Ok, I’m being a little cheeky here, but a healthy sense of humor will probably help you maintain sanity. Think about it.)
This has been my list of things to keep in mind should we find ourselves in an emergency survival situation. It is by no means complete as there are plenty of other things that will aid in your survival. But I do hope that I’ve helped you to consider a few things that just might contribute to your ability to thrive in a world that would otherwise be inhospitable.