Sunday, January 13, 2013

Your Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit: Part 1 - Weapons (Ash's Take)

Hello, my highly prepared and equipped friends!

Sergei and I have been talking, and we thought it would be interesting to write a series of posts on what we feel like are the essentials for a zombie apocalypse survival kit. So here's what we're going to do: I'm going to write my list of weapons today and subsequent essentials over the next few days, and Sergei is going to write his list at some point in the future (currently, he's on a zombie patrol at Disney, because we figure that's the last place anyone would think to look for the start of the apocalypse). Note that I practice what I preach - everything here (with the exception of the AR-15, which I just sold last week) is currently part of my personal survival kit.

OKAY! Let's get to it!

The infamous AR-15. These guns have taken a lot of flak recently, but man, will they be important when the zombies show up. What is pictured to the right is the Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle, chambered for 5.56 NATO. With a magazine capacity of 30 rounds, and this particular rifle with an EOTech 512 optic on top, you'll be able to defend your position from an onslaught of zombies, assuming of course that you have additional magazines and plenty of ammo. These rifles are accurate and light, so they won't slow you down while you're on the move. Things not on the rifle pictured here, but recommended: a new rail that would allow you to mount a flashlight, flip-up sights in case your optic malfunctions, and a sling for carrying the damn thing.

A semiautomatic pistol. Absolutely essential to any zombie survival kit is a semiautomatic pistol. Not a revolver. Revolvers don't have enough capacity and the action would likely be too difficult to use in the heat of a zombie battle. Now, the one I have is pictured here: a Beretta 92FS pistol chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum. With a 15-round magazine capacity and incredible accuracy, the one drawback to this firearm in particular is its size. It's huge. I happen to like it, but hey, it might not be for everyone. But like I said, it's accurate and reliable, and this particular firearm has one hell of a service record: in the 1980s the military version (the Beretta M9) was chosen as the primary handgun of the United States military. Also, it's 9mm - that means when you're on the run and having to loot Wal-Marts for ammo, it's much more likely that you'll find ammo for this pistol than something like a .45 ACP.

A shotgun! I think this may be one of the first points where Sergei disagrees with me, but we'll see. I really like a shotgun for your survival kit. Let's face it: in the heat of battle, it's incredibly unlikely that you're going to be accurate. A shotgun (pictured here is a 12 gauge Remington 887 Tactical) significantly lessens the requirement that you be accurate, but it comes at the expense of having to carry a pretty heavy gun with a much lower capacity (only 6+1 rounds). But like I said -- lower accuracy requirement, and man does it look threatening. Also, as I mentioned earlier, when you're out looting Wal-Marts for ammo, 12 gauge shells are going to be literally EVERYWHERE. So you've got that going for you.

A knife. Arguably the most important tool in your kit. Knives serve endless purposes - you can stab zombies in the head with them, you can use them to cut through foliage when trekking through the woods, cutting rope... the possibilities are literally unending. Pictured here is a Smith & Wesson M&P 5LS with serrated drop point blade. Thought it's hard to see in the picture, on the butt of the grip is also a glass breaker! Because think about it -- you happen to get trapped in a store while you're looting supplies, and through the back room come a horde of zombies. You've barricaded the front door to keep them out, but now it's having the negative effect of keeping you stuck in there! Well, with your trusty glass breaker, you can break a window and get the hell out of Dodge. Sure, you could do that with your fist as well, but you risk cutting yourself and possibly bleeding out. Anyway, if you don't know why a knife will be useful to you on your journey, perhaps you should just keep some cyanide pills on hand for when the zombies do come and just end it right up front.

A machete. I won't spend a lot of time here, because it's obvious why this is important as well. Head chopping of zombies, whacking your way through branches and bushes in the woods, fending off animals. You name it, and the machete can help you here. Pictured here is a Gerber Gator Hunter machete. Serrated on one entire end, this thing is really awesome.

A tactical tomahawk. Because, really... why not? I mean look at it. It's a freaking tactical tomahawk. You can use EITHER END to smash a zombie in the head. Plus it is pretty versatile as a general use tool. So, I think this makes a good addition. It's a little heavy, but I think it's worth it in the long run. Plus, it's easy to use, so if you have members of your party who aren't good with guns, give 'em the tomahawk and they'll probably be able to do some damage. At least, that's my take.

Okay. So that brings us to the end of my list of essential weapons. Sure, you can find other stuff while you're out there. And I definitely recommend using what you find. But, if you want to be prepared ahead of time, I think this is the stuff you need to have ready to go.

Next up, I'll go through a list of essential tools and things that will be handy to have around.

Stay frosty,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

o hay. long time no see.

So yea, it's been a while since either of us posted here. Although Sergei remedied his fault a few days ago. In 2013, I'm going to try and be more productive on this website, because I feel that we have a duty to the people of Earth to keep you informed on the impending zombie apocalypse.

We all spent the last couple of months talking about whether the Mayans would be right in their prediction that December 2012 would be it. Personally, I think it's much more likely that whatever Mayan dude in charge of writing the calendar at one point said, "Okay, fuck it. None of these idiots are going to be around this far in the future, so I'm just going to quit writing this and go back to doing something useful."

Well, now it's January 1, 2013. Zombie awareness (and subsequent fear) has never been higher. Is this going to be the year that it happens? Are we going to wake up one morning to an eery quiet, only to look out our windows and see cars randomly stopped on the street, and fires vaguely burning a few miles in each direction? It damn well might be. So, in anticipation, I wanted to run through some of the top "Here's What I'm Going To Do When The Zombie Apocalypse Comes" plans that I've heard to date. Undoubtedly, there are more out there. But these are the ones I hear most commonly:

  • I'm going to lock myself (and my family, if I've got any left) in my basement. I think this is a natural instinct because of all the tornado, hurricane, and cold war drills that we did as children. No matter what horrible situation happens, you must always run to the basement! The sad fact is, this is likely a fatally flawed plan, because when your house does get overrun (and believe me, it will), you're stuck in a place that only has one way out, maybe two if you're extremely lucky. So, I'm voting "bad idea" on this one.
  • I'm going to a military installation. A good plan on its face. Military installations are generally hardened sites, filled with people with guns. Now, Sergei and I happen to live in the DC metro area, where there are tons of obviously hardened US Government sites (and many more that most people don't know about). But for the rest of you who don't live here - think about what perils you might encounter on the way. The roads are likely to be clogged with abandoned vehicles. The power might be out, making it difficult to get gas. This plan is fraught with things that can go wrong. I'm also voting "bad idea" here.
  • I'm going to the woods. This isn't a bad plan. The woods can be a great place to hide. It's hard to track you and your party, and there is lots around you that can make survival a real possibility. But let's face it - you're going to have to have some decent survival skills, and most of you wouldn't know how to function if The Voice wasn't on next year for its next season. So, I'm going to vote "eh, maybe" on this one, depending on how self-sufficient you are.
  • I'm going to the top floor of an apartment building. This, I think, is a good plan. You'll have shelter. You'll have the high ground. You'll have visibility. You'll have access to the other apartments so you can raid them for supplies, and maybe even guns. Solid plan. Security will be paramount. If you don't believe me, go subscribe to the podcast called "We're Alive." It's a good one.
  • I'm going to the roof of Wal-Mart. Ah, we've come to my personal favorite. The roof of Wal-Mart is a massive expanse that is the dream of any survivor of a zombie apocalypse. You've got the high ground, you've got a lot of room up there, and just below you, you've got literally shit-tons of supplies. And tires, if you need them! Thumbs up from me on this plan.
So, when it happens, you'll likely find me (and hopefully Sergei and his family) on the roof of a local Wal-Mart here in Northern Virginia. We'll paint signs on the side of the building and the roof, so you'll know where to find us. See you there.

Lock and load,