Practical Advise From a Mother, Wife, and Zombie Fanatic on Surviving After an Extinction Level Event
Part 2 of 4: The Importance of Shelter
Soccer Mom’s Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Part 2
by Casey Rostorfer
Ok, you have your life sustaining fire. Things are looking good at the moment, as good as they can during the end of civilization anyway. And, just like that, Mother Nature decides to betray you once again as the heavens open up and rain begins to fall. You need to protect your fire and keep your wood dry at all costs. This brings us to our second basic need, shelter.
Everyone’s zombie situation is going to be different, there is no one set way to define shelter. You could be in a fortified house structure, (I should repeat here, DO NOT start a fire in your home in a closed in, unventilated area), the top floor of a high rise, roughing it in the wilderness, or camping in your modified RV. (The latter being my personal choice.) Shelter is another situation where a little preparation beforehand will pay off immensely. If you have to leave what you consider to be your permanent home base, due to fire or being overrun by a horde of your undead former neighbors and townsfolk, don’t leave empty handed or unprepared. You are going to have to think quickly and use your environment to your advantage.
Prepared soldiers will have already obtained lightweight, portable camping gear like pop up tents, tarps, poncho’s, duct tape, and possibly the most useful “roughing it” tool of all, the Swiss Army Knife. By choosing your area to camp wisely, and with just those few items, you can construct a temporary shelter from the elements quickly and efficiently.
Take a moment to decide which direction the rain and wind are blowing in from. If you have chosen to set up camp in an area with trees, unbutton or unzip or poncho, or take your tarp if you have packed one, and using the duct tape you were smart enough to bring, secure the plastic across the top to the two closest trees. Use other components of your gear to anchor the bottom of the plastic so that the wind cannot blow through. If you are not fortunate enough to be in an area with natural anchors, like trees, you can opt to make a debris hut, using whatever materials you can find. Car parts, animal hides, garbage, anything can get your hands on to stack against the wind and water and keep your fire going and yourself fairly dry.
In terms of shelter, do not underestimate the importance of sheltering your skin and body from the elements. Dressing in layers is of the ultimate importance if you are on the run. Leaving home base in a sweater and jeans on a cool morning may seem like an appropriate choice, but once the afternoon sun begins to bake you, you run the risk of heat stroke and dehydration. If you choose to strip all your clothes off and run around in your birthday suit, you leave your exposed skin open to sunburn, scratches and cuts from the environment. One bad cut that becomes infected can equal death in a world with no doctors, hospitals, or medications. Severe sunburn will not only dehydrate you, but inhibit your ability to move comfortably and quickly.
As well as protecting your skin, you must protect your feet. Comfortable, broken in sturdy boots are the shoe attire of choice during a zombie apocalypse, but in a pinch your comfortable running shoes will do as well. You need to be able to move fast when needed, through a multitude of environmental factors. Take breaks whenever safe and possible and air out those tootsies, keep those boots and shoes as dry as possible in order to avoid fungal infections and skin rot. A limping, whimpering sun-fried human with gangrenous foot rot will be considered a zombie delicacy of the highest caliber.