Making a list and checking it twice
My interest in the coming apocalypse has inspired the creation of a survival list. I’ve compiled a combination of essential and good-to-have items enough for two people plus a few extra items for stragglers (because you just frickin know there’s gonna be hangers-on and ne’er-do-wells who have no clue; I won’t hold it against you if you instead get all Malthusian on their asses, kill them and roast their man-flesh over your fire pit). Apart from one or two items, everything may be carried for travel (via backpack or sled). Furthermore, I compiled the list with extended apocalyptic-level survival in mind, not just lost in the woods for 15 minutes. We’re talking zombification of the populace, mass extinction of the ‘soccer mom’ population, proliferation of atonal music, and the collapse of central and local governments.
2x hiking frame backpacks. You want to be able to carry as much as possible, plus your comics. They’re not going to be making any new X-mens or Galactus Annuals after doomsday, so pick wisely.
1x sled. Think about it. Rubber wheels wear out. Air-filled wheels go flat. Solid wheels break off. A sled has none of these problems and is, if you will permit an abuse of language, ‘surface agnostic.’ We’re gonna have to head into the woods at some point to hunt for food, and a sled is good for rough terrain.
Food and water
14x MREs (meals ready to eat). Two weeks’ supply. These are emergency rations. Get ready for the gamey taste of squirrel burgers.
2x two gallon water jug. According to Science, the human body is made up of 752% water.
1x Katadyn Pocket Filter (good for 13,000 gal.) $199. This is a top of the line water filter. It filters out bacteria and germies. Why not splurge? After the apocalypse, all that paper money is gonna be used as toilet paper anyway.
1x box coffee filters. Fine, here’s your cheap-ass version. Coffee filters are a cheap substitute for water filtration systems although they do not remove or kill bacteria. Enjoy your pathogen stew.
1x Katadyn Micropur MP1 30ct. (expensive) or Portable Aqua Tablets (cheaper but slightly less safe) 50ct.
1x Mess Kit stainless steel pan with cover. Need this to cook the squirrels (and hopefully your barely filtered water).
20x plastic bags. If you don’t know why these are listed under ‘food and water’ then you don’t know how to gather water from the wild. Congratulations, you are dead.
1x fishing kit. I’ve seen a few of these around. They generally include several hooks, 2x split shot, 1x snap swivel. Then uh…you attach a piece of wood as a float…and…yeah, I don’t have much confidence in this either.
Shelter and storage
2x emergency survival blanket (84″ x 52″). These special blankets help you retain your body heat more efficiently than normal blankets. Those two stragglers you picked up…they don’t get one. After the first night, one of them will gut the other and sleep inside his carcass for warmth. Remember the number one rule of survival, kids: Preparedness avoids ickiness.
2x ponchos with hood. Now your straggler buddy is both icky and wet. To bad he didn’t read this article, eh?
1x painter’s bucket with lid. This will be an invaluable water-tight storage unit.
1x silicone-nylon tarpaulin 8′ x 10′
2x waterproof container. You’ll want to store important things in here, such as matches, maps, and a print out of this list.
1x tent. I’m not sleeping on the forest floor. I’m just not.
Light and fire
1x Survival Radio. I’ve seen this thing. It’s pretty awesome. It has a radio and built-in flashlight. Both are powered by a handcrank and solar cells for less than 30 ducats.
12x NiCD AA batteries.
1x large solar battery charger for AA rechargeables. Well, look, maybe I want to listen to a little Bon Jovi on the ol’ iPhone while the world burns around me. (Note to self: steal iPhone before apocalypse.)
2x multi-use long-burning candles. These things burn for more than 20 hours. And they usually come in a waterproof container which you can reuse.
5x cartons of matches. On second thought let’s make that…
5x cartons of stormproof matches.
1x striker strip (for the matches)
2x packages of tinder. Because, seriously? matches?
1x Spark-Lite Firestarter (sparker – 1,000+ sparks)
1x magnifying lens. Because as a lifelong New York Jets fan I’ve learned to appreciate the many forms of pessimism and I can just see something going wrong with the matches and/or sparker. Let’s hang on to the magnifying lens and pray for sun. Bonus: One of the dangers in survival situations is psychological. Boredom is your enemy, friends. With a magnifying glass, you’ll have many hours of joy crisping ants and beetles during any downtime.
2x fixed blade knives (knives are all-purpose utilities and aren’t just weapons).
1x knife sharpener. You can go block or rod. I say block. If I’ve got room in my backpack, I want to bring along an axe, and the block can sharpen both. Otherwise a flat rock will have to do.
1x mother humping, fear-of-god-sounding pump action shotgun *ka-chunk*
crapload of shotgun ammunition
1x compound bow. During a prolonged survival scenario, that ammunition is gonna run out. Let’s be ready with the bow, eh? (Also learn how to make your own arrows sometime soon…like next week.)
1x bat or club. Because it’s fucking armageddon!
1x signal mirror
1x Leatherman multi-purpose utility tool
2x rescue whistles
4x heavy duty, leather padded gloves
1x first aid kit. Consider including a trauma pack and possibly a small kit of surgical tools. Er, are you sure you still want to help out those stragglers? You only have so many bandaids.
2x small shovels or folding shovels
2x compasses. How’s your Google Maps looking now?
1x 100′ rope braided nylon cord (at least 165+ pound test)
1x 30′ rope as above
2x roll thin black nylon thread (fishing line and for various tying tasks)
4x heavy duty sewing needles
2x rolls heavy duty sewing thread
12x safety pins
1x roll duct tape. The one thing Nature wished she made herself. Suck it, Nature. We got one up on ya. Ha!
1x pad waterproof notepaper. For leaving messages or writing down really, really important stuff. Please note: poetry is not really, really important stuff.
1x #2 pencil or other writing implement
1x pry bar. Because I’m gonna be prying the shit outta any lock I see. The world is over and I needs your stuff.
1x ratchet set
1x hammer (heavy duty, not one of those prissy hollow-tubed jobs)
1x wood saw
1x sunscreen, insect repellant, chapstick (this stuff is gonna run out quick, so get ready to loot a Wal-Mart or else plan on using natural alternatives or nothing at all)
2x shade hats. This will protect us from the sun once the sunscreen runs out.
2x pillows in waterproof bags. I mean, hell, it’d be sweet if you can swing this. We’ll need our beauty rest because I suspect the end of civilized society will be pretty stressful.
1x splint. Although I’m guessing any sturdy, straight-ish branch will do–assuming your companions don’t leave you for dead. Bastards.