Whenever I think about the apocalypse, I can’t help but be reminded of the old joke about the new youth pastor who fell asleep in a meeting of the church board. Everyone grabbed some old clothes out of the lost and found, laid them out their chairs and then blew a trumpet as they shut the door. There are many popular depictions of the apocalypse beyond the Biblical rapture, and most are horrific. Zombies, aliens, nuclear war, anarchists, politicians… you name it. It’s easy to scoff at these theories, but then you watch the news and it all seems a lot more real. Elements of society seem to be breaking down, and violence seems to erupt from every angle. That’s the reality we face right now. Things could turn south in a hurry. How will you get through it all? Preparedness is key. There are many things you may want to have on hand if society breaks down, and here are five things you need to survive the apocalypse.
Let’s start off by saying that we’re going about this from the idea that you have to leave your home, so we’re looking at being mobile. You’re going to need a backpack, but you really need to pick out the pack that suits you best. I know what pack I would pick, as it is one I’ve been using for a while now. What works for me may not work best for you. Let’s take a look at five things you must have, which may seem obvious to some. We all can stand to be reminded of a few basics every so often.
Gun sales are at record high numbers right now and with good reason. People realize that they need to have the ability to defend themselves and their families. A firearm is also a great way to supply you and your family with fresh meat from wild game. If you don’t have a gun, get one, along with some training on how to properly and safely use one.
If I had to pick one gun to cover everything, I’d get a shotgun, most likely a pump-action. A pump is easy to use, hardly ever fails and is usually more economical than a semi-auto. A shotgun can take any game animal to provide much needed protein, and is a great defensive firearm in case of serious issues. Load it up with some 7- 1/2 shot shells and keep it handy.
When things fall apart, if the hospitals are even open, they will be inundated with patients, making getting treatment right away nearly impossible. You simply must have a good, complete first-aid kit and know how to use it. I’ve had a few instances where I’ve needed first aid and my wife has always come through. If she didn’t know what to do, she’d Google it and watch a YouTube video. However in a breakdown of society, there may not be any service, so a handbook is a good idea.
As for the kit, make sure it has enough supplies to treat injuries not just for you, but everyone traveling with you. The bigger your family, the bigger the kit you need. As long as you’re not squeamish, a suture kit is also a good add-on for your first-aid supplies. Include a lighter and/or fire starter with your first aid supplies. You never know when a good, warm fire is needed to save a life. Plus a fire can be a great way to signal for help.
There are really two edged items you need in your survival kit, a knife is obvious for many reasons, but a good hatchet/axe is pretty close to being just as vital. There are so many excellent knife companies out there, but if I had to pick just one that can meet both needs, I’d have to go with a Gerber Gator Combo Axe. This is a short hand axe with a Gerber knife that comes out of the handle, giving you both edged tools you need in one package. If you haven’t tried a Gerber axe yet, you should. These axes stay sharp and are extremely tough for brutal conditions. They are lightweight too, with a composite handle that I have yet to break. The weight makes it easier to cut, and one of these will make short work of your firewood needs.
The knife is very simple with a shorter blade, but it’ll get the job done. It’s sharp in typical Gerber fashion, too. Of course, it would be better to have a longer axe and a different knife, but if space is a concern, this is a good two-in-one option.
No matter what, you cannot survive any ordeal without clean water to drink. It may not be as simple to just walk over to the sink and pour a glass, either. What if the power is out everywhere? If you’re trekking across the country in search of safety, you will be forced to drink whatever water you can find. The easy solution? Carry a water filter with you.
There are several really excellent water filters on the market. One that I’m pretty happy with is the LifeStraw and in particular, the LifeStraw Go water bottle. It has a built-in filter so it is easier to carry a supply of safe water with you. Get the bigger one-liter size so you can share.
It’s not something you can buy, but it is one thing you simply must have in order to survive the apocalypse – common sense. My buddy’s dad used to always give us one piece of advice every time we went off on some adventure. “Keep your head about you,” he’d say. No better advice can be said and taken when it comes to serious situations.
Regardless of what happens, don’t panic. If someone gets hurt, keep calm and deal with the injury. Think things through and don’t rush in if at all possible. Do your absolute best to avoid confrontations, especially if you’re traveling with your family. Remember that the best way to get out of a bad situation is to avoid it altogether.