A Guide for On-The-Go Zombie Apocalypse Survival Gear (only 5 items)

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tips

When just relegated to 5 items, sets or kits, one must make them versatile for survival situations directly caused by the infestation (direct confrontations, fleeing, etc.), but also the indirect situations that posit a threat to one’s life when the infected are not present, which, depending on how one deals or avoids the direct Zombie threat, may become even more life-threatening than the infected themselves.

However, one kit does not suit all, and must be tailored to one’s survival plan, this gear is tailored towards the general idea that most Zombie-Doomsday preppers plan to stay away from urban centers and large populations, and flee and hide rather than fight the horde of Undead. 

This is my general plan as well, with the more specific goal of, if possible, traveling north, above the Mason-Dixon line, (I myself live in Atlanta) keeping to the rural, cold areas of Appalachia. Whatever nature the Zombies have, an undead corpse or an infected individual will not be a threat in cold winter. The water in the moving corpse will freeze and be neutralized, and an infected individual will not have the sense to seek shelter/make a fire and freeze as well.

This gear is not listed in any particular order.


  1. Portable Water Filtration system- an infestation at this level will quickly render water pipes and sewer systems contaminated and non-functional, especially in an urban setting where one has little hope of accessing well water. Water is crucial to survival, but also very heavy, and in this situation, keeping light on one’s feet is crucial. Filtration on the go is key. This system could be a few things: emergency water filtration straws, (each one can filter up to 20 gallons of water and weigh about an ounce), iodine tablets, or bleach. 
  2. Proper Clothing- Any clothing one has other than the set they are wearing is extraneous and not immediately necessary for survival, so the outfit one wears is more important than one would think. Dressing in layers allows one to be versatile in changing temperatures, weather and environment. Dress in fabrics like wool and stay away from synthetic fabrics like polyester (it burns easily and melts to the skin) and cotton (It dries slowly, and if you’re going to be traveling in the outdoors, staying dry is key). The outermost layer should be water resistant or waterproof; a rain poncho is highly recommended.  Shoes should be comfortable and durable; hiking boots are a good choice. Color of clothing depends on the environment, but a camouflage patterned jacket is recommended, or dull, muted, neutral colors. The outfit should have lots of pockets to more evenly distribute the weight of gear around the body. Most clothing that would offer a mild to significant protective element against a Zombie confrontation is too heavy or cumbersome to deal with; staying mobile, silent, and unseen is your best defense.
  3. Portable tool kit/multi-tool- This item/set of items is very vital for many reasons, depending on what one gets and what tools are present. The most important piece is the knife, for use in cutting rope, gutting animals, prying things apart, etc. (A knife makes a poor item for defense, however, because it entails getting close to the target when keeping distance from the infected is best) I consider this set to be a single piece of gear because most tools can be very small and still be useful, or easily combined into swiss-army knife styled multi-tools. With the right set one can:

Pick locks. Abandoned structures abound in a post z-day world. One might want to enter such structure while still leaving doors and windows unbroken, as one might need a door present to keep out intruders, dead or alive. The sound of breaking glass could also attract unwanted attention.

Start a fire. Many kits contain a small magnesium bar that, when scraped with a knife or other metal, leaves fine shavings that make excellent tinder for starting a fire. A flint bar could work with the magnesium or on its own; when scraped this bar produces hundreds of sparks to light tinder. Fire starting items in general are very small and range from the time consuming magnifying glass to just bringing a lighter along (though the lighter has limited fuel).

Disassembly/salvage/repair. With a knife or most any metal implement one can easily take apart small machines to get to useful batteries and wires, cut fabric out of cars- the functions of salvaged odds and ends are limited only by one’s ingenuity with the proper tools at hand.

Making more tools. Cutting lengths of fabric or natural fiber can easily be made into rope, which can be made into traps. Sharpening and straightening branches makes spears to hunt and spearfish (but don’t trust them too much for melee with the Undead). Again, the limitations on what can be done are limited by how nice of a kit you got and your knowledge of how to use it.

  1. Tarp/Tent- This lightweight tool for shelter has a few uses: keeping one and one’s equipment dry, keeping one hidden, and shelter from the elements. A premade collapsible tent is easy to set up and take down, but a simple kit of a large tarp and some rope could prove to be more adaptable to whatever environment you end up having to make camp. A tarp can be set up in multiple ways; suspended higher up to allow a fire underneath, a more open set up to allow one to always keep watch on the surroundings (unlike a premade tent that encompasses room for one or two sleeping people), or could be made to be more like the enclosed pre-made sleeping tent. On the go, the tarp can be wrapped around goods that need to stay dry like tinder, firewood or food.
  2. First Aid kit. Even minor injuries render individuals unable to travel, defend themselves, or function at their best, and can kill once infection sets in. A good first Aid kit is one that that is advanced and deals with non-fatal wounds without being too heavy. Certain items can also double as survival gear. Petroleum jelly and alcohol pads can be a fire starting aid, surgical suture line can be used to fish (please do not use the string as a suture after it has been used as fishing line.) I recommend most if not all of the following for a single advanced kit:

Bandages and dressing and gauze pads of varying sizes, burn dressing (even a small blister on the ankle can cripple), all sterile.

Petroleum jelly

Pack of Single use gloves


Various sterilizing chemicals; rubbing alcohol, soap, antiseptic wipes or spray


Saline solution (eyewash, washes out wounds)

Swabs and sterile wipes

Hemostatic Agents (to stop bleeding of more serious wounds)

Painkillers: Aspirin, and the anti-inflammatory ibuprofen or naproxen, and codeine

Chemical cold packs

Aloe vera gel (minor burns, keeps bandages from sticking)

Surgical suture (can double as fishing line)

Note: My terms for Zombies fluctuate from referring to infected individuals to the actual Undead, I contest that the exact nature of the Zombie infection will/is not known and one must prepare for all varieties of Zombie, be it an infection or the dead actually rising, or both.






What do you think?

Warm Bodies: The First Four Minutes


Minecraft Zombies!