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How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, REI-Style

Halloween is fast approaching and if you’re like me, you’re starting to think about zombies and, more importantly, how to survive a global zombie apocalypse.

Essential to survival, of course, are a hefty crowbar and a no-nonsense mindset.

Once you have those, however, you’ll need a safe hiding place (e.g., a cabin in the mountains) and the right gear to get you through a potentially long period of pursuit and siege by a horde of ravenous walking corpses.

REI has just about everything you need to hold out until rescue arrives.

I’ve combed through and assembled what I call the Zombie Apocalypse Pack. In this post, I’ll introduce essential items and my rationale for selecting them. To see all the gear you'll need to survive, view the Zombie Apocalypse Pack wish list I created using REI’s new Wish List feature. Best of luck and see you in the safe zone!

Zombie Apocalypse Pack Essentials



Hand-Crank Radio
With a hand-crank radio, you can convert muscle power to survival power. Keep abreast of all the garbled news that crackles in and out through lengthy bouts of dead air. You’ll hear repeating government broadcasts providing instructions on how to get to safe zones, wacked-out pundits spouting paranoid hypotheses, and of course paramilitary propaganda.

Tip: Survivors believe only half of what they hear.

Night Vision BinocularsNight Vision
When you’re heading out on nighttime provisioning forays, it just makes good sense to scan the shadowy supermarket aisles for lurking shamblers. With luck and practice, you’ll be able to spot them before they smell you.

Tip: Stay stealthy, stay healthy.

Signal Mirror
Be ready to flash some sunlight at the pilot when you hear the roaring rotors of a rescue chopper.

SkilletCast Iron Skillet
Well-prepared food keeps morale high. Skip the lightweight pans and go for an iron skillet. These spread heat evenly for crisp bacon and delicately sautéd squirrel. Don’t worry about the extra weight. At close range, a deftly swung iron skillet has nearly as much zombie-stopping power as a crowbar.

Tip: A survivor marches on her stomach.

Freeze-Dried Ice Cream Bar
Just because it's the zombie apocalypse doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Have an ice cream bar and turn that frown upside down.

One blister is more dangerous to you than ten zombies. Tend to hotspots immediately by applying moleskin before they blister and bring you down.

Tip: A blister is the survivor’s Achilles heel.

Indoor/Outdoor Mini Playing CardsPlaying Cards
Keep your mind off the ravenous horde by playing poker with your buddies. When your friends are gone, solitaire will stave off the existential horror of being the last human on Earth.

Tip: If you’re bored, you’re food for the horde.

All-Purpose Liquid Soap – Travel Size
Just because you’re surrounded by zombies doesn’t mean you have to smell like one.

High-Powered Tactical Flashlight
You’ll need to see where you’re going when exploring dim office-building corridors, cobwebby basements and abandoned amusement parks. A blast of powerful light to the eyes could temporarily disorient an attacking zombie. If it still has eyes.

Pack Axe
Handy for chopping up wood and the occasional zombie.

Down Vest
Insulates your core while giving your arms ample freedom of movement for essential activities such as frenzied axe swings.

Sahara Cargo PantsREI Sahara Cargo Pants
Sahara Pants are survival pants. Big pockets securely hold essentials such as signal mirror, survivor knife and playing cards. Water-resistant treatment repels splatters and dries quickly. Gusseted crotch gives you excellent mobility for kicking in doors and throwing your leg over the landing skids of the rescue chopper.

Utility Cord
Utility cord has 1,001 uses in the post-zombie world. The most important is that of a trip line perimeter defense around your campsite. Attach empty tin cans at regularly spaced intervals to create a zombie early warning alert system.

Tip: A survivor sleeps with one eye open.

Survivor KnifeSurvivor Knife
Hack, saw, slice and sever your way through all kinds of dicey situations with a well-designed knife. Skillful use of a steel blade is separates the walking wounded from the walking dead.

If I missed any essential zombie apocalypse survival gear, please let me know in the comments. What’s your favorite zombie survival gear? Make a Wish List of your own and share it with friends and family. Remember, knowledge is the best defense.


Posted on at 6:14 PM

Tagged: apocalypse, halloween, rei, survival gear, survivor and zombies

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Awesome advice--especially about the playing cards!

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if you want more information on how to survive the zombapocalypse check out a.k.a zombie squad. you should also consider adding a water filtration system to your list. preferably an anti viral one . food other than icecream and toberline bars.

ZRS Seattle

A Zombie Outbreak Survival Kit or Z.O.S.K. Is not much different than a good 72 hour bug out bag. 
One simple point that often gets overlooked, is that in order to survive anything, whether it's the coming zombie plague, natural  Disaster, or civil unrest, you must first Survive. Which bring us to the rule of three: 
Without shelter ( proper clothing, tent etc..) you may only survive three hours.
Without water, it's three days.
Without food, you have three weeks.
With that in mind, REI can greatly increase your chances.

In order to carry the gear you will need, you'll have to have a good BAG. Something durable with adequate storage, and convenient pockets. Remember, there is a difference between what you can fit into a bag, and what you can comfortably carry. Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain.

Now for SHELTER, you should consider the environment in which you are going to be in, and dress accordingly. Also a small tarp, or space blanket can be used with utility cord to make a tent. There are emergency bivysacks that are very light and easy to carry.

WATER, is the next thing to deal with. Not only can you find everything from filtration and purification to the containers in which to carry it,  but expert advice on how to do so. Remember that three quarts of water a day is recommended. You should carry at least one days supply, and the ability to treat at least three days worth.

Nonperishable FOOD does not have to be tasteless. There is a wide variety of meals made for hiking that rival home cooking. Things like Clif, and Powerbars, even small gel packs can give you the energy you will need.

Another survival staple is FIRST AID. It is a simple task to take a pre made kit and add a few extra items. Dermabond can often be used in place of stitches, and Sam splints have many uses (taped to the forearm it provides extra bite protection).

FIRE. One of the most valuable tools ever harnessed! Heat, light, water purification, the ability to cook...the list goes on. In the camping department you can find; tinder, firepaste, and the foolproof blast match.

Need to get out of dodge? NAVIGATION is key. When the satellites start to fail so will your GPS. Buy a good compass, and maps for the areas you may have to be traveling to. Many REIs offer classes on orienteering. 

 Often the call traffic immediately after a catastrophic event is enough to make COMMUNICATION impossible.  It is best to have a backup plan already worked out. This may include hand held radios, a series of ham or cb relays, or even a simple whistle can be used to signal other survivors. A crank and/or solar powered emergency AM/FM radio is also highly valuable. 

TOOLS. Like a crowbar, there are many items you will want to have. Duct tape , a sturdy knife, multitool , flashlight and headlamp, even a hatchet may make the difference between life and death.

Some things will become invaluable commodities. TOILETRIES, wet wipes, soap, and a small towel. A toothbrush and paste, Chapstick, and toilet paper are all things we may currently take for granted. However when the time comes, you may be surprised what you'll be willing to trade for a little comfort.

lastly there is a wide array of TRAINING that you will need to have in order to survive. Not only physically, but you must be ready mentally ready. Water treatment,  edible plant identification, wilderness and urban survival, navigation, self defense, fishing/hunting, basic construction, first aid, the list is almost endless. Knowledge is power, and knowing what to do will help you keep a positive mind set. Ultimately, what is in your head is what will keep you alive. You'll have to want to survive in order to.


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