I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my arsenal will comprise of when the Zombiepocalypse comes. You will notice I used “when“, not “if“, and that is because I firmly believe it will occur… under one caveat, and that is in the definition of a zombie.
This is what Websters defines as a zombie, the first being the quintessential image we’ve all been force-fed by movies, novels, comic books and games. These are the rancid, jaws hanging from a few strands of tissue, moaning, groaning, barely able to match the pace of a geriatric using a lawn chair as a walker, types of zombies. While I love hacking them in games, and watching them swarm hapless victims in movies and comic books, I do not believe they will be the focus of the upcoming Zombiepocalypse.
Because they don’t exist. Sweet Jesus, do I really have to go any further than that? Probably not, so let’s move on.
I also don’t believe that we’ll be attacked by West Indian and Brazilian snake gods, however interesting that may be.
I’ve been attacked by Zombie drinks, though only the morning after… and I doubt we have to worry about any Canadians in the Zombiepocalypse.
Which brings us to Websters’ second definition… the heart of the Zombiepocalypse. I am referring specifically to 2a, as I’m really not worried about a swarm of eccentric people… we may as well get attacked by those Canadians. (Irony: I’m Canadian.)
“A person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automation.”
Thems your zombies, folks. The real kind. Nowhere does it define what led to this state, but rather just that it exists.
It is, of course, an informal definition. However it is the one in which I put the most stock.
Let’s be honest, we are at a stage in our existence where we are on the cusp of really fucking things up for the world’s population… in a very big way. We’ve got scientists working on different strains of virus that can kill you before you’re even infected. We’ve seen the movies and read the books that describe such a global epidemic, and I believe that will be the birth of true zombies.
What I’m describing is a virus that turns folks into brain-dead zombies. Their bodies will remain alive, though their minds will be destroyed to the point where all that will remain is the primal instinct to survive… leading them to cannibalism. Injuries will not be tended to, and will eventually lead to infection, blood loss, or outright death.
Some of you may argue that this is just a viral apocalypse, however I’d argue that this strain of virus will turn the living, into the walking dead… brain-dead, that is.
As with all strains of virus, there will be some people who are naturally immune. There will be select others who may have access to immunization serums. The logistics of who gets to be a survivor (as if that’s even a prize) aren’t important. The end result is still the same. There will be pockets of the living, fighting for survival, and the hordes of zombies, trying to kill and eat them… with any luck, in that order.
As there will be so many zombies, and so few living, the zombies will see us as easy prey. Their bodies will need food, and their instincts will tell them to hunt. That said, I don’t believe baser instincts will allow them to hunt effectively with weapons… so basically, wildlife will be safe from these zombies, save for those who get surrounded by groups.
Any uninjured zombie will be able to move at the same speed as they did when they were still living. The notion that they will suddenly slow to a crawl, arms extended, spittle dripping from their open mouths, is preposterous. Let’s be serious here.
So here’s what we’ve got. Brain-dead zombies acting on instincts able to run at you as fast as they could when they were living, looking to kill and eat you.
What’s in your arsenal?
He later said he’d probably go with the tried and true crowbar in actuality.
This troubles me. Because I like Steve. He’s a good guy. And it saddens me to know that he’s going to die fairly quickly in the Zombiepocalypse.
A crowbar? Really?
This isn’t Half-Life. A crowbar will not save your life against a mob of zombies. It will get stuck in the first one’s head, and while you work to free it, five zombies will take the first bites out of your ass, back, neck and legs.
Steve Jones. RIP, my friend. You were a good guy. Dumb as a Vegas nickel slot machine, but still a good guy.
There are a lot of things to consider before choosing your arsenal. Folks just want to dive right into the weapons of choice, but they don’t actually consider the logistics of each choice, and the impact that it will have on their lives. Likewise, they don’t consider all of the other aspects of your life which will impact upon the weapons selection.
First off, unless you already live comfortably in the country, odds are you will be travelling. Most people live in cities, and when the zombies figure out that they can’t open cans of tuna with their teeth, they’re gonna start coming after your sorry ass.
This means that when that outbreak hits, get the fuck out of Dodge… fast!
Most of us aren’t outdoors experts. We’re not the types of folks who can be dropped in a forest and expected to survive on our wits alone. As such, careful preparation will be required before taking off on your journey.
You will need to carry supplies with you, however which and how many depends on your mode of transportation.
Let’s be honest, though the idea of heading out on the highway in an abandoned pick-up sounds good in theory, the truth is, it will run out of gas before you can make good use of it. Before you know it, you’ll be stopping at every abandoned car and sucking on a hose like a two-dollar whore in the hopes of syphoning out a few drops for your gas-guzzler.
This leaves motorcycles as another option. They don’t use as much gas and should you run out, it is far easier to push a bike. Motorcycles are also very good off-road, and for swerving through abandoned traffic.
They do break down however, and unless you know how to fix one, you’re screwed. More importantly though, not everyone knows how to ride one. I have only ever driven one once, and I will openly admit to almost crashing it into the goalposts at my high school football field.
I’m certain I could learn. It’s not rocket science. I can drive a stick shift quite easily. Still, when planning a fast getaway, you don’t exactly have the luxury of time to “figure it out”.
(Note to self: learn to ride a bike now. It will save time later.)
One final point regarding the motorcycle; it does not offer much protection against the elements. Sure, it’s not that bad in a light rain, however you really don’t want to be taking a chance on slick roads? Why? Because an accident can lead to infection and death. And forget about riding it during the winter if you live where it snows.
So what about just plain old bicycles? Having spent many countless hours riding bicycles in my youth, training to bicycle across the country, I can honestly say that I will not choose one as my means of transportation in the upcoming Zombiepocalypse. I say this not just because of my bad knees, but also because I know from experience that someone running after you will catch you, unless you are already in full motion, clipping along. Plus, any hill will slow you down, making it far easier for a zombie to catch up to you. And lastly, it is far to easy to take someone down who is on a bicycle. You can’t dodge an attack or tuck and roll. You fall over, tangled in the bicycle, easy prey for the zombie… and then you’re dead.
Which leaves us to the tried and true; walking.
Now, for someone like me, that is not a very comforting thought. Still, the thought of being made into a ham sammich is even less comforting. As such, I will just make certain to strap on the ol’ knee braces and move as fast as possible.
That said, knowing that I will be on foot has a huge impact on my survival kit and arsenal. The fact is, I can’t carry a ton of weight. Nor will I want to. I need to be as fast as possible, which means carrying the least amount of supplies.
My wardrobe will consist of two changes of clothes, and one spare set of shoes (light hikers). My meds will be restricted to anti-biotics, which, having absolutely no medical knowledge, I will consider as my cure-all. I may consider some pain-killers, however as they make me drowsy, I will probably pass. Soap and toothpaste aren’t heavy and don’t take up a lot of space. I will make certain to have a bit on hand at all time.
Food is a tough one though. The fact is, I will need to learn to hunt, skin and cook wild prey if I am to survive. I’ve never hunted, so this will be a challenge. That said, I’m not a fool either, and so will figure it out.
The hardest part will be learning to hunt with a bow and arrow.
The Walking Dead had one thing right; don’t make noise. You do not want to attract swarms of starving zombies. So kill quietly, and effectively. And that’s a lot harder than it sounds. I’ve shot arrows before. It’s difficult to hit a target from any distance. Much less a moving target. So I will also have to learn to trap.
As for the bow, I will also need arrows. This, I’m not crazy about. Thankfully, arrows are very light, however they are also fragile, and easily lost. This will make hunting far more difficult, as every arrow will have to be accounted for after the kill. I will carry extra arrowheads, as well as kits to craft my own arrows, should the need arise.
Taking this all into consideration, I will not want to use the bow as a ranged weapon. It’s one thing to go hungry because your aim was a little off on that running jackrabbit… but it’s another thing entirely to become someone else’s late-night snack because of that bad aim.
Which leads us to my ranged weapon of choice; the sniper rifle.
(This may be a fake gun, but it looks cool and represents what I’d want: light, accurate, and powerful enough to take the top of a zombie’s head off from a distance.)
I know I said you don’t want to make much noise, however this is when survival takes precedence over noise.
It must be very light, accurate and easy to craft bullets for. That’s something that people typically don’t consider, though it is very important. You will need to know how to make bullets if you are to survive the Zombiepocalypse. This means keeping a good supply of the materials needed in your backpack. They will account for a lot of the weight on your back, however it will ensure you survive.
I’ve a good friend who makes his own rounds for hunting. Before the Zombiepocalypse, I will have to get him to teach me. And if he gets zombiefied, I’ll steal his equipment.
See? Plan ahead. It’s important if you want to make it out alive.
So, I’ve got a bow and a sniper rifle. Both will be very light, stored in soft bags which I can strap to the sides of my backpack.
A small handgun, strapped to my thigh does not add a lot of weight, and as I will already be carrying around my buddy’s shell making equipment, it will last a while. That said though, I will not want to waste ammunition regardless.
Which leads us to what will be my preferred weapons of choice come the Zombiepocalypse.
Unlike traditional swords, Katanas are far lighter and easier to carry, swing and slice. That last part is particularly important. Much like a crowbar, a sword can get stuck in a zombie. A katana however, if kept razor-sharp, and swung with power, is more likely to slice through an opponent.
There is a fantastic documentary from National Geographic on katanas that I have watched several times (as research for a novel). They are amazing swords, that when properly wielded, can cause an insane amount of damage.
This isn’t to imply that I can properly wield one. But I will learn. I studied swords briefly, years ago when I studied various martial arts. A skilled swordsman could turn me into a chicken caesar salad, but a zombie won’t be as challenging, I’m certain. I will just have to make certain to keep the blades exceptionally sharp, and will have to practice when not chased.
I know some folks who’d argue that a chainsaw would be far more effective, and to them I say; nice knowing ya, buddy. Your chainsaw will run out of gas and when it does, you will be left with an awkward, heavy hacksaw on your hands. Good luck to ya.
There are those who think a baseball bat would be better, as there is no chance of it getting stuck in a zombie. This is a valid argument, however it doesn’t take into account the fact that zombies will still be able to fight back. They will be able to hold onto the bat when fighting against you.
Let them try that with a katana blade.
Also, the blade will be able to sever limbs, and that’s where the real value of the weapons will come into play. Without legs and arms, both easily sliced through, zombies will be simple to dispose of. Or you can always just leave ’em to die like the Black Knight.
So there is my Zombiepocalypse arsenal. In order of importance; katanas, compound bow, handgun, rifle. As a last resort, I’ll have a solid cane with which to walk, and club zombie who get through the rest of my defences.