As if living in a post-apocalyptic world where modern day conveniences no longer exist isn't difficult enough for you, you're completely alone...well, almost.
Since the virus, everything's changed. 90% of the human population is dead and the survivors fall into two categories: Crazies or Genetic Mutants with new-found Abilities. It's a new world. And it's harsh.
Here are some tips we've collected along the way to help you continue to survive the world of The Ending.
Hikers and backpackers are well aware of the classic "Ten Essentials," items which all outdoor adventurers keep handy to avoid any untimely deaths. Though it varies slightly depending on the source, here's a generally accepted list:
3. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
4. Extra Clothing
6. First-aid Supplies
10. Extra Food
My husband and I are seasoned backcountry backpackers, but recently we learned the value of following this long-standing protocol. We headed out on a winter day-hike in Yosemite and, stupidly, brought only one of the ten essentials (sun glasses and sunscreen). Well, unless cell phones count as flashlights...then we brought two. The hike, it turned out, took several hours longer than planned and we had to skitter the final few miles down a snow-covered trail in the dark. Like, DARK dark. And COLD. At least the stars were pretty...
The point is, the Ten Essentials for outdoor adventurers are extremely, well, essential. Thus the name, duh. Should've known, right? At least we learned our lesson without dying the aforementioned untimely death.
So, what would be on the list of "Ten Essentials For Surviving The Ending"? Let's first consider the obstacles and dangers facing the survivors of that blasted virus:
1. Almost everyone is dead, so there's not a whole gang of folks with specialized skills to lean on. The survivors must fend for themselves.
2. ALL survivors are affected in one of two ways by the virus: a) they're totally nutso, or b) they've gone through spontaneous genetic mutation resulting in a preternatural ability.
3. Without humans to maintain things, the infrastructure we so readily depend on rapidly crumbles (i.e., electricity, gas, internet, phones, etc.).
4. Necessary supplies like food and clean water are no longer being produced or maintained, though with the drastically decreased population, plenty of packaged food is available for the taking. Shopping spree anyone?
Whether you're ex-military or ex-graduate student, you're going to need a few things to help sure you survive in the crazy new world, post-virus.
Ten Essentials (for surviving The Ending):
1. Water Purifier/Filter
2. Knife, Gun and Ammo
3. Stockpile of Packaged and Preserved Food
4. Medicine (antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, fever reducers, tetanus and rabies shots, EpiPens)
5. First Aid Supplies (especially for stabbings, breaks, and gun shots)
6. Portable Solar Panels and/or Solar-powered Generator
7. Maps (road and topographic) and Compass
8. Lighter/Flint & Steel and firestarter
9. All-weather Clothing and Boots
10. Tent (you never know when the crazies might run you out of your post-apocalyptic home)
(Bonus) Animal Companions!
Zoe's Ultimate Field Guide to Crazies
Survivors Beware! You may have been lucky enough to live through the H1N1/13 pandemic, but that doesn't mean you're safe. You can always run and hide in hopes of surviving, but it's better to know your opponent and how to defend yourself. What happens post-apocalypse is a crapshoot. Every world is different, except for the fact you don't know what you're in for (although, generally speaking, it's never fluffy bunnies and merry-go-rounds). Worst of all, you don't know what you're up against until it's running after you with crazed eyes and a pitchfork or screaming like a suicidal banshee. Our world is one of death, spontaneous genetic mutations, chemical imbalance and infection all resulting in some seriously disturbed individuals. Here's what to expect After The Ending... Crazies: [kray-zeez]proper-noun/plural - Individuals who survived DNA damage caused by the H1N1/13 virus resulting in an adverse reaction of psychological instability. Crazy: [kray-zee] root word/adjective/proper-noun - mentally deranged, demented, insane Classification: Clueless Wanderer Species: Homo Sapien Region: Global Origin: Infected by virus; Survived Symptoms: Appears unconcerned with the world outside their head; Frequently disregards need for shoes/clothes; Possibly experiences tactile numbness Dwelling: Anywhere and everywhere Weakness: Is easily defeated through most means of defense due to their incoherence and lack of strength as a result of malnutrition. Classification: Grunt Species: Homo Sapien Region: Global Origin: Infected by virus; Survived Symptoms: Mindless aggression; Compulsive breaking and entering; Seeks out violence Dwelling: Abandoned houses and buildings in towns and cities; prefer locations with larger populations of survivors (potential victims); Frequently under the leadership of a Megalomaniac (who provides a steady stream of people to hurt) Weakness: Noise -Loud, high-pitched sounds confuse them making it difficult to focus or follow orders Classification: Manipulator Species: Homo Sapien Region: Global Origin: Infected by virus; Survived Symptoms: Easily agitated; Conceals aggressive intentions and behaviors; Uses victim's psychological vulnerabilities to determine effective tactics; Willing to use sufficient level of ruthlessness and cause harm to the victim; Generally covert and sneaky. Dwelling : Groups of survivors (more targets to choose from) Weakness: Entitlement -They're greedy and moody leading to irrationality and unexpected outbursts that expose them for who they really are, often times giving them away and turning their followers against them. Classification: Megalomaniac [meg-uh-loh-mey-nee-ak] Species: Homo Sapien Region: Global Origin: Infected by virus; Survived Symptoms: Delusions of grandeur; Desire to rule the world; Finds excessive pleasure in dominating/hurting others Dwelling: Fortified facilities surrounded by their sycophants (usually Grunts) and prisoners (people with abilities) Weakness: Hubris -Their pride and arrogance affords them little to no patience when interacting with intelligent individuals. Intellectuals are threatening and unnerving so they often times reveal too much information resulting in their demise. Classification: Paraphillias [par-uh-fil-ee-uhz] Species: Homo Sapien Region: Globally Origin: Infected by virus, Survived Symptoms: Recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies; Sexual urges or behaviors generally involving the suffering or humiliation of one's partner (generally non-consenting persons) Dwelling: Abandoned buildings, submissive population a plus, tend to stay together Weakness: Lust -Easy to lure using the object of their affection Classification: Reclusive Kleptomaniac Species: Homo Sapien Region: Global Origin: Infected by virus; Survived Symptoms: Only goes out in full dark; Collects a specific item or type of item compulsively (i.e., shiny things) Dwelling: Dark, cave-like spaces
Weakness: Light -Bright light burns their eyes and confuse them presenting moments of temporary weakness
The Eight-Step Program: How to deal with having an Ability
Discovering (or even suspecting) that you have an extraordinary, virus-initiated Ability can be quite a shock. Remember, you're not the only one effected by this development. As much as it impacts you, you're ability has an effects the people who care about you. So, whether you can read minds, sense emotions, or manipulate other people's brain chemistry, it's important to have a plan for accepting your fate and telling your loved ones about your brand spanking new post-apocalyptic Ability.
Here's the official Ending Survival Guide recommended eight-step program to accepting and controlling your Ability:
1. Admit that you have an Ability--that you have innate skills beyond those of the usual, pre-Ending human.
2. Believe that this evolution of humanity could restore the stability and sanity of the species.
3. Decide to use your life and your Ability to the survival of humanity.
4. Look inside yourself and see what character defects might force you to use your Ability to harm your fellow humans.
5. Admit to yourself and another human being the exact nature of your Ability.
6. Make a list of all people you care about and be willing to use your Ability to aid them.
7. Tell each of the people you listed about your Ability, wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
8. Take a personal inventory whenever possible, and when you find you've done wrong, promptly admit it.
Above all else, having an Ability is far better that not having one...in the world of The Ending, if you're Ability-free, you belong to the new sub-species, "The Crazies". Best of luck to you, survivors...
Dani's Post-Apocalyptic Shopping Guide
Hey there survivors! So, I know you've been scrounging around in gross places looking for the things you need, but I'm here to help you find everything in slightly...cleaner...less rotten corpse-filled...safer places. I know, I know...you're thinking, "What places aren't corpse-filled these days?" I'm totally right, huh? I knew it! Anyway, check out my recs for finding the following things...you won't be disappointed!
Shoes and Clothing
Note to survivors: Keep in mind that you won't really be needing 5" stiletto boots and Armani dress shoes, guys and gals. Think practical. And comfortable. And durable. And absolutely NO crocks. That's just gross.
Outdoor recreation/sporting goods stores - Seriously. Everything you need in one spot, and nobody thought about it while they were vomiting to death.
Department stores - Avoid actually going into the interior, enclosed parts of malls...trust me. Just stick to the satellite department stores. It's WAY too easy to get trapped by Crazies without an exit in site.
Big value stores (i.e., Kmart, Walmart, Target) - Totally picked over. I kid you not, this is where EVERYONE went when they were running out of, well, everything.
Club stores (i.e., Costco) - Ditto. Besides, the selection is limited, unless you need a million fleece vests and pairs of fake UGGs.
Note to survivors: The same rules of food sanitation that applied before the virus wiped out most folks apply now. Chicken that hasn't been refrigerated for 5 days is going to kill you just as dead as it would have before the virus. Plus, now there aren't any hospitals to pump your stomach and fill you with anti-whatevers. Eat smart or die dumb!
Hotels - I cannot recommend this enough. They have huge stores of packaged food for the mini bars.
Small town grocery stores - Pretty much everyone died before they could ransack the places. Go for it!
Military bases - Tons of food that lasts forever, but WATCH OUT for soldiers-gone-crazy. Seriously. If you don't believe me, ask Zoe.
Club stores (i.e., Costco) - Think about it...it's pretty much a warehouse where regular people can buy things. CAUTION: You may be required to climb pretty high up on the shelves to get what you need. Also, if you have a gas mask, wear it...it smells nasty in there. All that meat and frozen food...
Hiking and Outdoor equipment stores - Freeze dried food...YAY! Way healthy and doesn't rot or require refrigeration!
Big town grocery stores - Picked over. Too many people. BIG waste of time!
Value stores (i.e., Wallmart, Kmart, etc.) - See above under Shoes and Clothes.
Medicine & First Aide
Note to survivors: Pretty much anywhere that fills prescriptions but isn't an actual pharmacy has a fairly good supply of drugs and bandages.
Club stores (i.e., Costco) - Way awesome find. Plus, you won't have to go searching for anymore for, well, ever.
Huge houses - More often than not, they've got fully stocked medicine cabinets. And cupboards. And drawers. And...
Hospitals and Doctor's offices - Totally disgusting. Don't even think about it.
Pharmacies - Everyone and their brother and their uncle and their second cousin and their...
Note to survivors: It can get boring out there without all the TV, internet, and video games you're used to. Unless you've got the greatest solar and wind array ever, or a gazillion generators and gallons upon gallons of fuel, you're going to need to figure out some more energy efficient ways to have fun. Think about what people did 100 years ago to have fun? No? Nothing? Okay...go read Zoe's recs for Keeping Busy (Outdoors).
Bookstores - You can get the latest (and unfortunately last) Sookie Stackhouse book AND a helpful guide to foraging edible plants. How cool is that!?
Amazon warehouse - Seriously, if you're lucky enough to be near one and you pass it up, your and idiot. Or a Crazy. Just saying...
Other people's houses - Sometimes snooping is fun and fulfilling all by itself! You never know what you might find! Downside: You never know what you might find.
Electronics stores - Really? What are you going to use it for? How are you going to power it? Right? Right.
Value stores - Didn't I already cover this like twelve times?
HAPPY SHOPPING (SCAVENGING) SURVIVORS!
Chapter 5 Keeping Busy - Outdoors - After The Ending
Surviving the end of the world isn't all it's cracked up to be. Survivors often experience guilt and displacement after being ripped from their homes, losing their loved ones and navigating an unknown world in the hopes of remaining alive.
One might find themselves entertaining desperate thoughts of loneliness and uncertainty, especially living within the unfamiliar ranges of Mother Nature. Emotional breakdowns are not uncommon among survivors post-apocalypse and thoughts of suicide sometimes lingers in the back of their minds, the invitation to ease struggle or suffering a titillating possibility.
But alas, there is hope! There's plenty to do After the Ending, so cheer up!
When you're not scouting the perimeter of your safe haven, foraging for food or killing off Crazies, you can pass your time agreeably by doing any of the following things if you're living in the wild:
Build a fort or tree house
Install a rope or tire swing
Find hidden shapes in the clouds
Go berry tasting - (Caution: this could result in death)
Swing through the trees like Tarzan
Establish a bug or animal hospital
Go rock climbing
Dig for gold
Skip rocks (if there's any sort of body of water)
Give yourself a tattoo using a bird's feather and black berry juice
Go on a bear hunt
Plan a safari
Tie-Dye your clothes using vines as rubber bands and berry juice as dye
Make mud pies
Make a broom out of pine needles
Whittle wooden sculptures
Search for the elusive Bigfoot and hope he's friendly
Throw stuff off a bridge
Keeping Busy (Indoors) Edition Coming Soon!
Chapter 6 Keeping Busy - Indoors - After The Ending
How to keep yourself busy after the apocalypse...urban style.
1. Throw stuff off the roof
2. Go cow tipping
3. Make a fort out of blankets and couch cushions
4. Play dress-up and talk with a British accent
5. Draw on the walls with Crayons like you always wanted to
6. Build a bunker under your house
7. Read all the books you kept putting off
8. Paint with food coloring
9. Spit polish the hardwood floor
10.Sing Celine Dion in the shower (don't deny it)
11.Convert your attic to a prison cell
12.Hunt for dust bunnies
13.Inventory your house's nooks and crannies in case you're ever in a pinch
14.Raid your neighbor's house
15.Climb the walls
16.Lock yourself in the closet
17.Come out of the closet
18.Practice yodeling in the bathroom
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