Ah, the irony! To be done in by a twisted ankle, sprained back or blistered hands. To be free of the groaning masses of flesh-feasting “Zombies” only to succumb to one’s own ego. It could happen to you. Unless, of course, you allow me to assist you in avoiding this embarrassing debacle of disaster preparedness by giving you several pointers.
1. Get to a safe place early. If you don’t want to be in a disaster either be somewhere else when it happens or at least be someplace safe once it arrives.
2. Unless you are a soldier, college athlete or experienced hiker you are unlikely to safely get very far, very fast, carrying that 40 pound bug-out-bag on your back.
Blisters, sprained ankles, pulled muscles, sore knees and a strained back will be your traveling companions. Or Maybe your gargantuan pack isn’t well balanced and you fall-down-go-boom. It’s hard to fight off zombies with broken limbs.
Water is heavy by the way. When you weighed your gear, did you include the 2 – 4 liters you’ll need for a single day? 1 liter = 2.2 pounds = 4-9 pounds per day.
3. Your First Aid Kit has a scalpel. Awesome! Playing with knives is fun. But only if you’re a surgeon. Scalpels are for cutting bits of people off. Ask yourself, “can I solve this problem by cutting off a part of my body?”
I know you think you need the scalpel. . . but do you? You may be more likely to do damage than you are to make things better (go ahead and replace “may be” from the last sentence with “are”). Unless you are a trained professional scalpels, needles, tracheostomy kits and other advanced medical items are probably not a good idea. If you really need these things in an emergency you probably need a hospital.
4. Sutures? If you NEED stitches to survive, then you also NEED to be at a hospital because you are probably bleeding to death. Maybe get some quikclot or trauma dressings for your first aid kit. How about some antibiotic ointment and a butterfly dressing?
If you decide to stitch something up: did you clean it adequately? If you sew up a dirty wound a life or limb threatening infection may ensue. Are you sure you have the knowledge needed to know when and how to use sutures? Do you have a local anesthetic to apply or are you John Rambo? It’s a tough call to be sure. Just don’t turn a small cut into sepsis, okay?
5. Let me axe you something. Are you nuts? Here come the blisters, severed digits and gouged shins. Not to mention those things are heavy. Are you trying to rebuild civilization out of logs or just survive without creature comforts for a few days? You can’t do either if you are hurt. So unless you are experienced with axes or a strapping lumberjack consider leaving “choppy” behind. A lightweight folding saw may be a good alternative.
6. Don’t get sick. We will lump this into rule #1, it’s not such a stretch is it? If you have medicine that you need to get by then you need to take it with you or have more than just a week supply of it around.
By the way, sanitation is the back bone of civilization. Plan accordingly.
7. Don’t be a Zombie. Brandishing weapons are we? Roaming about in fatigues and tactical gear, hmmmm? After all, it’s because you hate to see groups of thugs wandering around looking for trouble, that you decided to join a group of people who wander around looking for trouble. Do your plans involve “urban foraging” for supplies?
Man, zombie is as zombie does. And zombies get hurt.
By the way, your nation’s military is more badass than you. Yes, they are. Your local PD probably is too. So lets focus on civility and putting communities back together, instead of raging around inviting pain. Everyone understands the value of deterrents, just think carefully about how you plan to present yourself and to whom.
8. Go alone, die alone. Everybody needs help at some time. The lone wolves always have the same plan – disappear into the wilderness for a month. For most of us it’s just not safe. Nor is it helpful to the community at large. Once out of immediate danger, your bug-out (or shelter-in) plans should include gathering good people to do good things.
There you have it, an incomplete list to be sure. There are so many things to consider when trying to stay out of harms way. Please feel free to add comments or send your ideas our way.