Tag Archives: Zombieland

Rule Number 32: Enjoy the Little Things

Hostess is going bankrupt…..which means you better stock up on Twinkies now, before they all disappear.  Woody Harrelson’s worst nightmare may have just come true.

 

As an estimated 18,500 Hostess Baking workers join the unemployment line, CEO’s are pointing their money-stained fingers at their former employees, who they claim “ruined” company productivity after a nation-wide strike, even though they were paid “far beyond” what they should have been earning.  Just my two-cents: it’s kind of hard to blame it on the workers when Hostess has been in and out of bankruptcy court since 2004, factory workers have been taking pay cuts to help the company stay afloat, and higher-ups have been giving themselves massive raises throughout the whole debacle.  Poor management wins again.

Hostess will be liquidating their “assets”- namely, the delicious Ho-Ho’s, Sno Balls, and afformentioned Twinkies- to various rival companies.  With American lunches built on baloney and Wonderbread since the 1950’s, we can only hope that all of these tasty creations will be reincarnated under the guise of different, and hopefully more responsible, brands.

For tips on how to survive a possible flesh-eating apocalypse, click on the related links below:

[Surviving the End of the World Part I] [Surviving the End of the World Part II] [Surviving the End of the World Part III]

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Surviving the End of the World Part III: Choosing your Melee-Weapon

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored or paid in any way for these reviews.  I am merely rather zombie-obsessed.  Some of these products are ones I own and have tested myself, while others are ones I’ve heavily researched in anticipation of buying them.  I also only advocate the use of these weapons against man-hungry corpses, not living human beings.

In the zombie apocalypse, it’s a kill-or-be-eaten kind of world.  Sadly, human beings are not yet equipped with built-in claws or cyborbtronic laser-swords- we must depend on using manufactured tools in order to defend ourselves.  While movies like Zombieland prove that almost anything can become a highly-effective weapon in a pinch (carnival strength-guage sledgehammer, anyone?), it pays to be prepared with actual products designed for the express purpose of killing adversaries and aiding in other survival activities.

Okay, but how useful would that sledgehammer be in building a shelter?

I’m pretty clueless when it comes to guns.  The closest I’ve come to firing a (non video game) weapon the tactical games of paintball I used to play in highschool, though I’m proud to say I now have experience shooting zombie-actors from my latest prepping escapade.  Now THAT was money well spent.

My area of “expertise” (and I’m using that term pretty loosely) comes with manual weapons.  And honestly, that doesn’t bother me too much.  In a true extinction-event, guns are a finite resource.  When the ammunition runs low, hand-to-hand combat will be the way to go, and my years of camping and chopping down trees on the family farm will definitely pay off.  I’ve spent a lot of time researching prospective additions to my B.O.B.  Here, I’ve rounded up some of the best zombie-killing weapons on the market:

 SOG Specialty Knives F01T Tactical Tomahawk:

The SOG has a 2.75 inch stainless-steel axe head that’s coated with oxide to reduce reflection from the sun, useful when you don’t want to be seen from far away.  Side-hammered checkering allows the axe to be used as a hammer-like tool as well, great news for the survivor who needs to pack light, and a steel ferrule (bracelet-like clamp) around the handle for added strength.  The glass-reinforced, ergonomic nylon handle is bolted to the axe head for secure chopping and a no-slip grip.  Weighing in at just 24 ounces, this packable weapon is great for younger warriors who want some security in their back pockets.  Reviewers stated that the tomahawk was amazingly sturdy considering how lightweight it is, slicing easily through cinder blocks, tree limbs, and even a truck hood (I cannot question the bad-assery of that particular reviewer).  Sure, a higher-priced axe head will give you more chopping power, but at only twenty-six dollars, this weapon is a true bang-for-your-buck quality zombie-wacking machine.  Purchase one on Amazon here.

RATING: High-quality back-up weapon AND a great builder’s multi-tool.

 Smith and Wesson Bullseye Search and Rescue Fixed Blade Knife:

This Smith & Wesson fixed blade is 5.88 inches and made of solid stainless steel, also coated with the same non-reflective black coating as the SOG tomahawk, a matte-finish which improves wear.  The most important feature of this knife is that it’s full tang, meaning that the blade travels all the way through the handle, resisting breakage much better than a cheaper knife.  I was a little bit iffy about the rubber/aluminum handle, but it seems to hold up well against heavy use.  At 9.4 ounces, this blade is solid, yet easy to wield.  In my opinion, a modest sized knife will do you much better in a survival situation than a huge, heavy weapon.  If you want to go big, go with a katana or a machete- the point of a survival knife is to have something sharp and sturdy that can be used as a weapon, yet kept on your person at all times.  The included sheathing is reinforced with steel and a hard inner liner for serious durability, and the knife even comes with a free sharping stone.  Priced at twenty-five dollars, it’s a little more expensive than other options, but definitely worth the extra money as it performs just as well as even pricer knives.  As a Smith & Wesson product, I wouldn’t expect anything less than good quality.  You can buy yours on Amazon here.

RATING: Cannot leave your side.

 M48 Ranger Hawk Weapon:

This.  This.  THIS.  When I think of the one, trusty blade I would have to have by my side at all times, the ranger hawk is my perfect weapon.  Zombease.com reviewed it as an excellent melee weapon: lightweight, sturdy, and easily wieldable, good news for all those zombie-killers on the smaller side.  At 1.9 pounds with a 4 inch frontal blade and a 3.5 inch back spike, the stainless steel edges hold up well against a variety of test surfaces.  The para-cord handle outdoes the SOG Tomahawk’s glass-reinforced nylon handle in my book for durability, and it even comes with a nylon sheath and built-in compass, always a useful addition to a multi-tool when you often have to leave possessions behind a la end of Walking Dead season 2.  The only thing I don’t like about this particular tomahawk is the absence of a full tang blade (a blade that continues all the way down through the handle to prevent breakage).  However, Zombease assured readers that the 3.5 inch tang was securely bolted through their most rigorous testing.  All-in-all, the pros MAJORLY outweigh the one small con on this weapon.  You can get your own M48 Tomahawk here.

RATING: Absolute must-have in a B.O.B.

These are only the creme-of-the-crop products I’ve found in my prepping research.  Some weapons, like the highly-recommended Innovation Factory’s Trucker’s Friend multi-tool, didn’t make my cut, because they seemed too heavy or too hard to wield in a close-quarters fight.  While some of these longer, larger multi-tools seem like a good idea in theory, they are more useful for certain body-types, namely taller and burlier warriors than my tiny 100 pound self.  When creating your own personal B.O.B. and weapons arsenal, be sure that the products you chose reflect the physical strength and skill level you yourself possess.  It doesn’t matter how many weapons you have if you can’t use them effectively.

It’s also highly advised to (carefully!) practice your kill stroke on non-threatening objects like pineapples.

playing this game does not count as zombie-killing practice.

[related links: Surviving the End of the World Part I: Getting out of Dodge means being Prepared][Surviving the End of the World Part II: Defending Against the Other]

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Surviving the end of the world Part I: getting out of dodge means being prepared

As the zombie-like attacks continue to pop up in the news, I’ve been forced to consider (not for the first time) what a probable end of the world would be like.  And while I’m certain a flesh-eating infection is probably one of the most unlikely ways humanity will meet its doom (thank goodness!), it’s also the most fun to talk about.  Besides, many of the situations we would face in a Zombieland society would still exist in any other post-apocalyptic world- desperation for ownership of resources, the letdown of modern technology, the need to pack up our easy, familiar lives and start over somewhere new.  Whatever the reason, self-reliance and quick-thinking will always be key.  In homage to one of my greatest fears, I’ve decided to post a several-part series compiled of survival and thrival tips for when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

Along with my many years as a GirlScout, where our motto is “be prepared,” I’ve been turning to my favorite survival movies and shows for inspiration.  Whether you’re concerned with becoming a Walking Dead Daryl or avoiding a widespread government breakdown, please enjoy the first installment of surviving the end of the world: being prepared for the worst.

Sexy-ass Daryl from the Walking Dead

The first, and most important thing to remember about being prepared is, well, you have to be PREpared.  Seems like a “duh” comment to make, but clearly a necessary one.  Unsurprisingly, the largest downfall of most of our favorite horror movie characters; and indeed, of most people in real-life disasters, is their last-minute approach to survival.  Yes, it’s true that no one likes to think about unpleasant things.  We would much rather focus on the good things in life- if you’re like me, passing your exams and having enough money to still buy drinks after paying rent is a cause for celebration.  I’m one of the last people who wants to spend time and money setting resources aside for a possible future.

However, ask any one of the richest and most powerful people in the world (not those fifteen-minute reality stars, I’m talking Bill Gates and Michael Symon here), and they’ll tell you that their success stems from hard work and saving for tomorrow.  In the recent economic downturn, we all saw the free-spending McMansion owners lose their houses and their credit-bought possessions to foreclosure and debt.  Every theater-major college coed knows that Mommy and Daddy will eventually cut off the gravy train, and their student loans will have to be repaid.  Even Aesop told us that being prepared means copying the ant, not the grasshopper.  The idea of using the present to better secure your future is a tactic passed down from the first human to drop from the evolutionary tree.  Sadly, many of us Americans reject this time-tested wisdom and chose to live in fantasy land, a place that tends to come crashing down once its support systems are taken away.  After all, if there is no more government to run the delivery trucks (or the drivers all get eaten by voracious zombies), where will the groceries come from?  The tools? The life-saving medications?  THE TOILET PAPER?!?!

With that thought in mind, surviving ANY disaster depends on what you do NOW to prepare.

1. Get in shape.  This is probably the most important rule of surviving.  No matter how many weapons or cans of food you’ve stashed in your bug-out-bag, if it’s too heavy for you to lift and you can’t run more than a minute without being in danger of a heart-attack, you’re boned.  As a violently addicted foodie with a jam-packed schedule, I understand that it’s hard to find time to exercise and avoid those chili cheese fries.  But with two-thirds of adult Americans classified as obese, this is a point that needs to be made: start taking the stairs and packing your lunch.  If you’re so fat you can’t get out of bed, there is no way you are going to survive any situation where McDonalds is closed.

2. Be able to survive at least three days off the stuff in your house.  This means you need to have enough canned or dehydrated food and bottled water to make nine meals without stepping out your front door.  If the government declares marshall law, riots ensue, or a flu-like disease begins running rampant, you won’t be able to stop at your favorite restaurant for dinner.  As a farmer’s daughter who grew up in a family of six, it amazes me whenever one of my friends admits they have nothing but butter and Red Bull in their fridge.  Speaking from a place of practicality, it just makes logical sense to have basic supplies lying around.  Rivers flood, blackouts happen, and snowstorms abound every single year.  It is just plain stupid not to stockpile some canned food.

3. Brush up on basic first aid and survival skills.  Does a high-powered executive living in New York need to know how to skin a rabbit and climb a mountain?  No.  Should he know how to tread water, build a fire, and dress a light wound?  I sure think so (especially in New York!)  In today’s modern society, we are all WAY too dependent on our technologies and conveniences.  Making yourself more self-sufficient will only help you to survive.

4. Have an exit strategy. This entails several different things:

a. Identify at least three different ways to be able to leave your place of residence and high-tail it out of your town or city.  A big SUV won’t help much if all the main roads are jam-packed with other panicking citizens.  Consider another method of travel, or map out a back-roads route that will be less populated.

b. Build a Bug Out Bag (or B.O.B.) and always have it READY TO GO.  Massive hurricanes and roving bands of looters won’t wait for you to gather supplies.  You may not have more than a few minutes to grab your stuff and run to safety.  This is where my dad fails in his “just-in-case” planning- for all his Y2K paranoia, he never had any supplies packed up and instantly portable.  My folks may have massive amounts of canned spam and plenty of other tricks up their sleeves, but when it comes to being able to leave the family farm in under five minutes, I highly doubt they could do it.

This is where the handy Bug Out Bag comes into play.  Also referred to as a 3 day or 72 hr. kit, the point of a B.O.B. is to keep you alive until you can get somewhere safe.  Everyone’s kit will be different to reflect their environment, level of skill, and personal needs; however there are a few basic items everyone should have.

-Three ways to gather water.  You’ve heard the saying: an average human being can only survive three minutes without air, three days without water, three weeks without food.  It is a good idea to not only have some water already stored, but to be able to collect it in at least three different ways, in case one method fails you.  Drinking straight from a pond or stream can be a bad idea because of those pesky, invisible viruses and bacteria that can lay you up with diarrhea, vomiting, or worse.  Hand-pump filters, water-filtration caplets, and even a light-weight kettle for boiling water will get rid of most pathogens.  A refillable canteen is also a must.

-Three ways to start a fire.  Are you noticing a theme here?  The preppers cardinal rule of three- ensuring you always have a backup.  Magnesium fire starters are a great resource because they last much longer than matches.  However, it is always a good idea to have waterproof matches stored in a film canister or small jar.  Old egg cartons filled with flammable candle wax and stored in a plastic ziplock bag are great, inexpensive, portable tinders we used in GirlScouts to start our fires the lazy way.

Magnesium fire starter

-Food: dehydrated and freeze dried are the best because it’s lightweight and lasts longer, though canned foods are usually cheaper and easier to find.  Don’t forget a can opener.

-Cooking supplies: you can usually get nestled camping pots and pans, which fit inside each other and take up less space.  A collapsible bucket takes up less space than you’d think and is invaluable after a few days.

Seattle Sports Collapsable Camping Bucket

-Shelter and Extra Clothing: a warm, mummy-style sleeping bag, a foldable rain cover or tent, and most importantly, a waterproof tarp or mat to put underneath.  Nothing sucks heat out of your body faster than lying on the unprotected ground.  Gloves, a hat, and extra socks and underwear are the minimum.

-First Aid.  This is one of the most important things you can take with you.  Traveling without the help of modern conveniences will always put you in danger of hurting yourself.  Bandages, scissors, a cloth brace, a sewing kit, activated charcoal- all these things are relatively cheap and can be put together for a personalized first aid kit.  Pain and prescription medications are also a must.

-Lights and tools.  Consider two forms of illumination: a battery-powered LED light and a crank-powered light.  Imperative tools include survival knives with a full tang (the blade goes all the way down to the end of the handle), fishing line and hooks, rope, and a lightweight axe.  Simple plastic bags take up almost no space and are always useful.  Duct tape can be used for anything from keeping bandages clean to repairing tools.

Smith and Wesson survival knife with full tang

Energizer crank-powered LED flashlight

-Weapons.  This is really much more of a personal preference, but a strong knife or machete wins out over guns in my book.  They’re quieter, require less maintenance, and don’t use any finite ammo.

c. Lastly, make sure you run an evacuation drill or at least discuss with your family or friends ahead of time where you would meet and what you would do in an emergency situation.

I know this was a long article, but it doesn’t even begin to cover everything in a “get out of dodge” plan.  Though recent movies and shows like “Doomsday Preppers” definitely over-hypes rather unlikely situations, they all provide an undeniable kernel of truth.  Those who are prepared will survive, those who are not will have to rely on the mercy and kindness of others.  History has proved again and again that society is not immune to total anarchy.  And if there’s one thing an un-serious comedy like Zombieland proves, when the rules break down, humanity often goes with it.

Click here for the next installment of survival planning.

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