Being a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I often ask myself. “If things go bad, what outdoor gear in my closet do I have to survive the Zombie Apocalypse”? First let me say, I have a ton of gear! I can barely fit anymore into my closets. But is it “survivable” gear? I say YES! Backpackers would definitely be survivors, and we would survive well. Here are my top ten reasons backpackers would survive:
10: We are already packed and ready to go. Most of us have it all packed, compressed, and sorted out. We have closets dedicated to all the crap we’ve bought over the years. If it all went bad in a hurry? Most people would be running around the house deciding what they would take. They would probably panic. We would throw on our packs, like we do every weekend, and BOOM, hit the door. Only difference, we would be packing more food. But, we have a box of that stuff to.
9. The first night out, we have shelter, food, water, fire, maps and compass. Why? We are Bakpackers damn it! That’s just how we roll. Our first night we could assess where were and where we needed to go. To survive, we go live where we play. The Wilderness!
8. Clothing & Boots. Yep, that’s right! We have our synthetic, polyester, and down clothing to keep us warm and moderate our body heat. (we could be running…..a lot) AND, we can keep warm WITHOUT a fire. Fire could attract Zombies. Hypothermia alone could be fatal. We have our boots to cover long distance miles, and ford streams. Hopefully you’ve invested into GoreTex.
7. Weapons! What? Backpackers don’t carry weapons… Yes we do. The Swiss Army knife or hunting knife could be a key weapon. We may not have bullets. So in case one get’s close, we use the Rick Grimes Doctrine. “Save Your Bullets”. Not to mention the fact, we may have to cut bandages, make kindling for fire, or the most important one: You may come across a bottle of good Micro Brew, gotta have a bottle opener.
6. Backcountry Roads: We have traveled every backcountry gravel road there is trying to find a trailhead. How many times have “maps” been a little off? A lot! So we know how to get there. While most people will be jammed up on expressways, we will be on a National Forest Road where clearly the road has changed names a dozen times. We know, how to drive the winding sometimes treacherous roads. At least when the Apoloypse is over, we know where are car will be.
5. Being Stinky: We where the same clothes all weekend, sometimes longer if we are doing a thru hike. We don’t care about being stinky and smelly. We are used to it. It may even help us camouflage in. I mean, dying human flesh is pretty stinky, but ever smell a thru hiker? I rest my case.
4. Duct Tape: Six ways to use Duct Tape in a Zombie Apocalypse is a great article. But, Backpackers ALREADY know this. We’ve used Duct Tape for everything on the trail. We’ve used it to patch, hold, blisters, make hats’. We are the Duct Tape Guru’s of survival..
3. Water Filtration. Who know’s what could happen to the water supply during a Zombie outbreak. But who care’s, we get our water from Mountain Springs. And we have a water filtration to at least get clean drinking water from streams. That would suck after getting away from the Walking Dead, you have a cup of water and you die from Giardiasis.
2. Cooking Food. If there were ever a group of people that knew how to use cook Ramen Noodles, Rice, or Couscous, on the trail, it’s us. We are miracle backcountry gourmet chefs when it comes to cooking in the Backcountry. Give me a Tortilla Shell, and I’m good. Not to mention. We have eaten Freeze Dried Food for so long, we don’t give it another thought. All of us probably has a box of Freeze Dried Food, noodles, rice, and other stuff ready to go at a moment notice. I mean, normal people don’t have that right?
1. Adapt. Backpackers can adapt better than anyone. Terrain, weather, hitching a ride. We use the outdoors as part of our gear. It’s a natural recourse that we have become to partner with instead of fight. That is our biggest advantage of surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. For many, they would run and hide, fight, and be eaten. For us, it would just be another backpacking trip. Well, minus the Walking Dead.