Arming yourself for a zombie encounter requires careful consideration, a cool head, and a practical analysis of all factors involved… No matter what weapon you choose, from a simple machete to a semi-automatic rifle, it must become an extension of your body.
–Max Brooks, the Zombie Survival Guide
In the fight against zombies, your three chief weapons will be agility, cunning, and brains. Brains also happen to be the one thing the zombies are after, so it is fair to say that brains are your most prized asset.
Most plans fail because of lack of preparedness. You will survive the zombie apocalypse by preparing now, before the threat arises. Your plan should include five things: weaponry, food and water, trusted allies, a means of escape, and a safe house. Like putting money into savings for retirement, you should be stocking up on supplies now and procuring a safe house. If you wait
Steinbeck once said that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, so having a plan B in place is logical, practical, and often necessary. A plan C, D, and E wouldn’t hurt either.
Weapons of Zombie Destruction
The only way to kill a zombie is by destroying their brains. Bittersweet irony? I think so. Luckily for us, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Err, figuratively speaking, that is.
You can accomplish this by decapitation, bashing, or explosion. I will break down the best weapons to accomplish this.
Stabby things: the best thing about a sword is that it needs no ammo. The worst thing about it is that it requires close contact, which is always problematic when going against the zombie hordes. Also, it requires strength, and sooner or later, your arm is going to get tired. Simple logic. Swords are best for one on one fighting, while scythes and longer weapons will carry you through the hordes.
You should also take into consideration the style of swords. You should avoid anything heavy and unwieldy, as they will tire you out faster. Lighter weapons and two handed swords are your best bet.
Best: Machete, Katana, Wakizashi (a Japanese short sword), Ax, Shaolin spade, scythes
Worst: European long sword, Knives, throwing stars
Shooty things: Firearms can be a godsend or an annoying hindrance depending on the weapon and circumstances. When choosing a firearm, you should consider, size, weight, availability of ammo, practicality, and accuracy. You can have the best gun in the world. It shoots awesomely, it’s lightweight, you can hit a rabbit from a half a mile away. Perfect!… but it was discontinued a hundred years ago and no one carries the ammo. Great Rambo, now you’re stuck with a useless hunk of metal.
Machine guns, and sub-machine guns sound like a great idea—I’ll take them all out in a hail of bullets! Yea, machine guns aren’t the most accurate of guns. And seeing as how zombies feel no pain, the best you’re going to do is slow them down. The worst, absolutely nothing. And you just wasted a ton of bullets.
Also, firearms are noisy. If you’re not careful, they can alert your position to more zombies, so silencers will be your best friend. Crossbows are a great alternative, but only for sniping, as they require time to reload.
Best: Rifles. Any kind. Preferably German made. Crossbows, long bows (but only if you have Robin Hood like skills)
Worst: Handguns, machine guns, sub-machine guns, shotguns
Explody things: I know what you’re thinking—explosion! I’ll blow them all up with grenades and C-4! Hold on there pyro, remember what I said about zombies feeling no pain? Unless you plan on using a nuclear bomb (which isn’t a bad idea, now that I think about it. well, except for the nuclear fallout), the most you are going to accomplish is separating the zombies from a few limbs. And who needs limbs when you have a mouth full of sharp, pointy teeth?
Explosives should only be used to by time, scatter the hordes, or creating barricades. Unless you have bombs of mass destruction (with a timer, or course), they should be used only as a last resort.
Flamethrowers seem like the perfect choice. I’ll set them aflame! Except flamethrowers are not only illegal, but hard to find. Plus, they are weighty and require refueling. Do you really want to lug around a can of gas everywhere, when that space could be used for more important things, like food and water?
Best: large bombs with timers
Worst: flamethrowers, grenades, Molotov cocktails
Hitty things: in a hand to hand combat with a zombie, short of decapitation, bludgeoning is the best way to kill one. You want to look for something that has the weight to puncture a skull (not an easy task!), but won’t wear you down.
Lead pipes and sledgehammers can be fantastic killers, however they are wieldy and unless you possess super-strength, they will wear you down.
Best: maces, hammers, crowbars
Worst: powertools, chainsaws, bats, batons
My last bit of advice is obvious: practice, practice, practice. You don’t want to be caught by a horde of zombies and have no idea of how to use your shiny, new weapons.
Accuracy is key. Headshots are essential.
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss survival tactics, and the remaining 4 points of your plan.