The zombie survival kit is different to the bug out bag in the sense that it can contain more things, and its focus should be on the long term survival of the zombie apocalypse with the absolute best equipment you can find. Of course, it’s going to be impossible to start with the perfect survival kit; there is too much stuff here for you to carry around on a daily basis which is why you’ll need your bug out bag to being with. You should browse this list of kit and consider the order in which you’ll want to acquire these things and the time it will take to do so. You never know, you may strike it lucky during the first few weeks of the zombie apocalypse and come across some or all of this equipment by chance, but the more likely scenario will be that you will have to start actively seeking out these items in order to add them to your bug out bag and turn it into a survival kit.
It’s important to note that we’re going to be looking at a survival kit for one person because you should not be loading yourself down with additional equipment on behalf of others – do you want to get eaten by zombies because you’re the slowest? If you must consider a few people then think about making suitable sized bags for them too.
Your location is really important; does it get incredibly hot or cold, or are there regular floods or monsoons? You should be adapting your survival kit to the climate that you’re in and also thinking about carrying the right kit for any extreme conditions. For example, if you’re going into the winter season, do you have enough warm clothing in your kit bag, and do you own a decent jacket and boots?
Where are you going to keep your survival kit? Some people choose to have a bug out bag at work or in the car, and then keep a fully stocked survival kit in a more remote location. If you’re an urban dweller then the chances are that you’re going to have to build up your survival kit as you go because only the extremely prepared and lucky will have their kit on them and will already be gone when the zombies come.
Lastly, you will also have to think about protecting the stuff that you have already collected – keep it safe, in an accessible place should you need to exit your location quickly, but also keep it hidden from other survivors (strangers to your group, if indeed you have decided to form a group) since it is all too tempting to steal another person’s survival kit if you don’t have one of your own.
So, once you’ve bugged out and are looking at surviving for more than a few weeks this is the Zombie Uppercut list of kit you should absolutely consider having in your possession no matter where you are if you want to ensure your maximum chances of survival:
1. A blade.
These will vary depending on your situation, preference, and available choices. It’s widely accepted that a big difference between the zombie apocalypse and other disasters is that there will be the included element of zombie combat. We have covered off an extensive list of weapons that you may need to use during the first few days and weeks of the zombie apocalypse, but in this instance your choice of blade should be based on survival practicalness first and protection second.
A sword is the ideal zombie defence weapon. However, the sword should be treated with care, regularly maintained, and only used for protection against zombies and other people. Don’t go around trying to cut firewood with it or you won’t last long. If you’re looking for a bigger blade then we’d suggest an axe because it’s perfect for chopping much needed fuel for fires and doubles up as a formidable weapon against hostile survivors and zombies.
Since you’ll be on the move fairly regularly what with the collapse of society and all that, you will need to take care of your feet. Flip-flops, sandals and trainers are all out. Having the proper shoes will go a long way in keeping you sane. If you have a bulky pack on your back and you’re having to walk A LOT, then having a good pair of shoes will be a life-saver. We recommend a pair of Danner boots (or similar), so long as they are durable, waterproof, and designed for hiking you should all set.
3. The Bag.
You’re going to need something tough and waterproof. Remember that survival isn’t a fashion show and so long as it’s functional and comfortable you’re going to be much better prepared. Think about choosing a bag that will easily contain all your survival kit items, is not going to be too heavy to carry for long distances, sits comfortably on your back, leaves your hands free for carrying other items or climbing, and is not brightly coloured and going to act as a beacon to any unsavoury characters. We’d suggest a Naos pack.
4. Water filter and container.
On average you’ll need 1 gallon, or 4.5 litres, or 8 pints of water per person per day to survive so make sure you’re either carrying enough or have adequate means (such as a water filter or purification tablets) to carry on drinking enough every day. Think about getting a decent sized water canteen that you can drink from, if not then there will doubtless be an endless supply of cheap plastic bottles that will have been left over from the collapse of society.
An obvious one, but as the weeks turn to months you’ll soon realise that you won’t be able to rely on that stash of tinned and non-perishable food forever. Energy bars and so on are excellent but the shops they come from will be raided long ago and you should be looking at ways to grow your own. Seeds for tomatoes, peppers, wheat, barley, corn etc will be incredibly important if you’re going to survive long term, and it’s even worth thinking about keeping livestock such as chickens in a safe location to provide you with eggs and meat once you’re ready to go into long-term survival. Similarly, and depending on your location a fishing hook and fishing wire could become invaluable.
Depending on the season you’re not going to survive for more than a few weeks without being able to make a fire. You’ll need it to boil water, dry your clothing, keep warm, cook, and so on. It’s one of the most basic requirements for survival and you’d better learn how to make a fire from scratch using a flint. In addition, several waterproof matches, spare flints, lighters as a backup will all be very useful.
7. First aid kit.
Same as the bug out bag, fill this with the basics: sterile bandages, butterfly bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, needle, antiseptic lotion and wipes, safety pins, aspirin, antibiotic cream, antacid. But also this should contain more general items such as: a basic first aid book and any prescription medicine, soap, a sewing kit, a mess tin, knife and fork, duct tape, insect repellent, sunscreen, pen and paper, feminine hygiene products (if applicable), and any baby supplies (again if applicable). Get clued up on basic first aid and go on a short course because you’re going to look like an idiot if you fall ill just because you scratched yourself on some jagged metal and couldn’t treat the wound before it became infected, or if you caught a fever from swimming across a river and didn’t have the time to dry off your clothes properly.
8. Sleeping bag.
A warm camping sleeping bag or blankets are essential once you’re without the modern luxuries such as central heating. This should be light enough to carry and not too much of a burden that you cannot fit other items in your kit bag.
9. Spare clothing.
Unless you’ve headed straight for the mountains, you should be able to find more spare clothing as you move around. The most important thing to remember to dress appropriately for your climate, and to adjust to nature. If you find yourself in the middle of winter carrying out some really physical work, do not dress in cotton clothing that will get wet with sweat and then cool you down very quickly. Keep your clothes dry by storing them in plastic bags / rubbish bags in your survival bag.
A few basic tools such as a wrench, pliers, a screwdriver, a tin opener, a multitool, and duct tape will all come in useful during your mid to long term survival as you’ll find that when stuff breaks it will be down to you alone to fix it.
11. Survival book.
No joke, you’re not going to remember everything so if you get a chance then get a hold of a survival guide book and use it to learn new skills during your down time. These books usually contain emergency reference material such as basic first aid, how to hunt and kill animals for food, and how to build survival structures in the wild.
Personal hygiene is a must, and it will help to keep a clear head if you have at least a few elements of routine from your previous life if you can brush your teeth every night before going to sleep.
13. Local maps and a compass.
Learn how to orientate yourself on a map and don’t become reliant on the maps on your phone because you won’t be using any electronic equipment during the zombie apocalypse (no power will mean nowhere to charge any batteries). Map reading will make you an essential member of any team and will help with planning your next step.
Additional items to add that might not be considered immediately essential:
You should only move around during daylight and be acutely aware that making any kind of light at night will draw zombies and other survivors / scavengers to your position. A wind-up torch or simple LED light should be used sparingly and could come in useful should you have to go into a dark building.
15. Wind-up radio.
Keep updated on the disaster and learn about any evolving situations that could help you from walking into trouble. Also useful to listening out for any other survivors.
For the record, this is considered more as a hunting tool than zombie control. Generally speaking we advise against firearms of any kind. They are noisy, require training, are heavy, limited to the ammunition you can find, and most importantly they are designed to kill humans, not zombies. If you’re going to go for a projectile weapon then we recommend a crossbow. However, if you insist on hunting with a firearm, then this is the kind of rifle we would recommend.
Always think ahead. The majority of people will be tempted to board up their windows and doors and try to wait it out. However, one wrong decision during the zombie apocalypse could be your undoing so always think one day, one week, one month, or even one year ahead. If you’ve not thought about zombie survival yet, then check out our survival guide.