Civilized society has imploded and it’s just you and your 4x4 in a chaotic world. There’s no electricity, cell phones are useless, and supermarkets are stripped bare.
But you’re healthy, eating well, and able to travel at will. This is because you’re utilizing the items you collected prior to civilizations crash (darn zombies). You had the foresight to gather key items (along with several hundred gallons of fuel for your 4x4) to ensure that you will survive the end of the civilized world.
What do you have in your cadre of survival gear? Let’s have a look. There are things you need to take care of your body, because ultimately that’s the number one priority. There are also things that will make your post-apocalyptic quality of life better.
Since the civilized world has ended, you can’t saunter into the meat department at the supermarket, which means you have to hunt for meat if you want it. For this you’ll need a rifle. One of our favorites is the Henry U.S. Survival AR-7. This U.S.-made .22LR-caliber rifle can be disassembled and the pieces fit inside the waterproof ABS plastic stock, which will float in water. When stowed, the rifle is only 16.5 inches long and when assembled its 35 inches long. The AR-7 includes a pair of eight-round magazines.
Contact: 201/858-4400, www.henryrepeating.com
If hunting game isn’t an option you may need to fish. You could lug around a fullsize fishing rod, but you may want to consider something like the Daiwa Mini Systems Travel Kits. Available in both Minicast (shown here) and Minispin Systems, they come with everything except terminal tackle. All of the components are housed in a hard case with built-in tackle compartments.
Contact: 562/375-6800, www.daiwa.com
It is said that the human body can only go one week without water. Naturally, this makes getting clean drinking water a priority. There are a number of water filters available, and one that has a good reputation is the Swiss-made Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, which is part of Katadyn’s Endurance Series. This hand-operated filter weighs only 20 ounces, removes/destroys protozoa and bacteria, and it makes one quart per minute. Katadyn also offers hand-operated and 12-volt desalinators.
Contact: 800/755-6701, www.katadyn.com
First Aid Kit
If you’re injured you can forget about the immediate care clinic or calling an ambulance. End of the civilized world, remember? You are now responsible for your own first aid, and things like a simple infection can totally ruin your apocalypse. Adventure Medical Kits is one of the companies that offer an incredible range of medical kits. This is the Fundamentals kit that is part of the company’s Mountain Series and it features a wide array of medications as well as contents for treating everything from bleeding to blisters/burns to fractures/sprains. The kit features Easy Care organization that arranges the contents by injury along with specific instructions to enable anyone to administer first aid quickly and confidently.
Contact: 510/261-7414, www.adventuremedicalkits.com
When hunting, there are times when a situation calls for a bow and not a firearm. Like if zombies or other nefarious adversaries are lurking around. You can’t go wrong with a quality traditional or compound bow, but if you want something that’s designed for easy transportation and quick assembly, you’ll be wanting a take-down longbow like the Bear Archery TakeDown recurve bow system. The three-piece riser is made of black Dymondwood or exotic Bubinga wood, the limbs are fascor powered; backed and faced with high-strength black fiberglass, and the tips are handcrafted and layered.
Contact: 812/467-1200, www.beararcheryproducts.com
Another survival essential is a saw. When the saw is on the back of a machete that’s even better. A saw has a variety of uses including lopping firewood into smaller pieces or cutting limbs to create a shelter or shelter frame. The Gerber Gator 25.7-inch, 18-ounce machete is forged of high-carbon stainless steel, has a serrated edge on one side and a fine edge on the other. It comes with a riveted nylon sheath.
Contact: 800/950-6161, www.gerbergear.com
Solar Charger (For Small Electronics)
Small electronics can be a big help (or pleasant diversion) after the apocalypse. Stuff like iPods, iPads, two-way radios, LED lights, cameras, night vision goggles, and games need to be recharged and that can be impossible if the electrical grid is down. However, if you have access to the sun’s rays you can charge these types of items with the cool JOOS Orange portable solar charger. This 1½-pound unit is waterproof and submersible and uses the highest efficiency commercially available, monocrystalline solar cell and a replaceable lithium-ion polymer battery. You can capture solar energy to charge your devices immediately or store the energy in the replaceable on-board battery for later use. The JOOS Orange can also be charged from any USB power source.
If the hunting and fishing doesn’t go so well or if that’s not your thing, freeze-dried food is great to have around. One of our favorites is Mountain House. The company offers a wide variety of food including over 20 entrees. The list includes everything from beef stew to seafood chowder. You just open the entrée’s pouch, pour in boiling water, and zip it shut. When the contents are hot you can simply eat them directly from the pouch. Best of all, most have at least a seven-year shelf life.
Contact: 800/547-0244, www.mtnhse.com
Like a toolbox in your pocket, a multi-tool is an item that you definitely need after an apocalypse. The Leatherman Surge is 21 tools in one, including needle-nose and regular pliers, wire cutters, electrical crimper, 420HC serrated and regular knives, scissors, wood/metal file, large and small bit driver, can opener, and even a bottle opener for the end of the day.
Contact: 800/847-8665, www.leatherman.com
Good luck finding petroleum fuel for your camp stove after the apocalypse. This is where the unique BioLite CampStove comes in. Why? Well, this small, light stove doesn’t use liquid fuel; it’s powered by renewable biomass like twigs and pinecones. Quite simply, it converts heat to electricity that powers a fan to make the fire ultra-efficient. As a bonus, extra electricity can be used to charge small electronics like iPods and two-way radios via the built-in USB port.
Solar Charger (For Your Rig)
You may be able to use and charge your electronics using your 4x4’s electrical system, but eventually you’ll need to start the engine to charge the battery. This creates noise and uses precious fuel, both of which may be a bad idea in a post-apocalyptic environment. This is where the foldable PowerFilm solar charger comes into play. One of the options of the PowerFilm is to connect it directly to your rig’s battery and charge said battery using solar power. We installed a 60-watt panel (PowerFilm offers a wide range of panels from 5-watt on the low side to 120-watt on the high side) and charge controller (required for 60-watt and higher panels) on our Jeep JK and we love it.
Contact: 888/354-7773, www.powerfilmsolar.com
Even with a snorkel our 4x4s are limited in the depth of water we can traverse. So if you need to cross a river or lake or if you need to get out on ’em to fish, you’ll need some sort of watercraft. One option is the inflatable SeaEagle 370, which weighs only 32 pounds but has a weight capacity of 650 pounds. It has a polykrylar hull, I-beam construction floor, and removable inflatable seats. You can just stow it in your rig and inflate it when you need it. Best part is, zombies hate watersports so you’ll be safe on the water.
Contact: 800/748-8066, www.seaeagle.com
Tire Repair Kit
A flat tire on your rig can really ruin your day, especially if there is a roving band of lunatic zombies eyeballing you. A quick and easy way to get back on your way is a Safety Seal repair kit. We don’t go anywhere without ours. This is the Auto and Light Truck Deluxe Tire Repair Kit and it has everything you need including 60 4-inch repairs, metal T-handle insertion tool and spiral probe, lube, and lots more, all in an impact resistant carrying case.
Contact: 800/888-9021, www.safetyseal.com
You never know when you’ll need a length of super strong military-spec paracord. From lashing together a shelter to quick repairs, paracord is a great thing to have around. Paracord bracelets are a novel, handy way to always have some of this cord at the ready. Survival Straps offers these bracelets (as well as paracord woven into everything from key chains to rifle slings) in a slew of styles. To use, you simply pull the ends of the cords that are woven into place and unravel the product one weave at a time.
Contact: 800/971- 3360, www.survivalstraps.com
Oh, and …
In addition to what we listed here you should prep for the apocalypse by having a tarp to collect rainwater and/or serve as a shelter; compass and topo maps of your area; foldable shovel; binoculars; candles; sleeping bag; fire starter tools like waterproof matches or a windproof lighter; a 12-volt air compressor (or even a manual pump) for tires and other inflatables; and a quality pair of hiking boots.