Otherwise, you can stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye. You have no chance of surviving the apocalypse without preparation.
If you really want to survive and thrive in the hypothetical post apocalyptic world, you should ask yourself honestly:
Could you survive without running water, electricity or grocery stores?
This post apocalyptic survival guide is an overview of all the basics you should be aware of to be prepared for life after civilization. This couldn’t possibility cover every specific aspect of survival, and I am sure “internet survivalists” will take issue with some of my opinions. That is fine, I am just a man who is concerned about my family and the future. I am not Rambo and I do not get into pissing contests on the internet over survival topics or claim to be some high and mighty survival god.
Contained in this guide are the skills that I practice to ensure my families safety should society really collapse. All of this information is from my own personal experience and I hope it offers you some benefit. This post apocalyptic survival guide is meant to get you thinking about what you need to know how to do, and the gear you should have on hand; to stand the best chance of post apocalyptic survival.
Realistically, you and I stand a great chance of dying right away or in the ensuing chaos that follows. Practicing these skills and understanding these basic survival strategies does give us an edge however; it makes us more likely to survive for a greater period of time. We will not panic, we will adapt and that is the ultimate goal of this guide.
Let’s face it, we are all going to die one day, but our preparation and planning will prolong the inevitable.
Post apocalyptic survival is not for the faint of heart and it is not for the sissy feminized shell of a man that modern society has encouraged you to become. You must call upon those natural instincts that reside in some deep, dark place within your soul.
The ever quotable Winston Churchill said it best, in those dark hours of World War II:
“We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.”
We were not always living in vast civilizations; we were rough. Tomorrow was not guaranteed but we as mankind never curled up in defeat. We adapted, fought the elements, fought nature and fought our enemies to survive long enough to produce modern civilization.
We continued on as a species until we crafted these civilizations but we very well may see them come crashing down.
How to Survive the Apocalypse: Introduction
Surviving the apocalypse is such a vague subject that this post apocalyptic survival guide cannot begin to prepare you in the specifics. Every apocalyptic scenario would provide new challenges. Your geographic region or proximity to a disaster could also play a pivitol role in your post apocalyptic survival.
The information contained in this guide however is relevant to all situations in as wide of a net as can possibly be cast on such a grandiose topic. This guide will get you prepared on all of the major aspects of survival outside of the confines and safety of modern society.
No guide can fully prepare you, because you must rely on yourself and your instincts. The qualities that make you a man (or a badass woman) are more critical to your survival than anything else outside of shear luck. Humans are not the fastest, nor are they the strongest of natures beasts; but they are without question the smartest and this alone has led them to overcome their weaknesses and dominate. Post apocalyptic survival requires a certain wit that no post apocalyptic survival guide can provide. It is this wit and craftiness that separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. Our intelligence is our meal ticket.
I offer this guide as a benefit to society, especially people like you who realize there is a serious possibility that we may soon witness the collapse of modern society and I hope this site at least gets you thinking about how to prepare. Knowledge is power so before we begin always remember the following survival maxim:
The general rule to remember for post apocalyptic survival is called the rule of 3′s:
- You die in 3 minutes without oxygen,
- 3 hours without shelter,
- 3 days without water and
- 3 weeks without food.
If you are concerned about surviving a catastrophic or apocalyptic disaster you are not alone. We are all in this together and no matter what happens there are many of us that will still make it. Please subscribe to this website and share this information with your friends. Alright enough useless banter… Let’s dive right into the post apocalyptic survival guide.
Get yourself a gun for survival, or better yet get 10.
A gun is the single most useful and important piece of equipment after the apocalypse. Having a gun isn’t the end all be all but it is pretty damn close. No post apocalyptic survival guide would be complete without covering the possibility of gratuitous violence and there is simply no better weapon to kill without being killed or wounded than a gun.
Knives are incredibly important, in fact they are number two on my list and I know that may cause some debate amongst survivalists. The simple, unavoidable fact in my opinion is that a gun can get you anything you want from someone who does not have a gun. This is not only applicable to you as the prepared, post apocalyptic survivor, but the numerous other unprepared people who are armed and roaming around looking for supplies.
For example say you are hungry and walking through the post apocalyptic woods and you see Bruce Lee with no gun, wearing a backpack full of Big Mac’s. Do you want to try to knife fight him for the Big Mac’s? Hell no, he will probably kick your ass, disarm you and steal your knife. Then you will be watching him eat his Big Mac’s through your two squinty black and blue eye slits, as you nurse your broken ribs.
Now lets say the same situation happens and you have a gun. Wing Chun is cool, but it isn’t going to stop a bullet and he is not going to get close enough to you to get your gun. That means you just got a backpack full of Big Mac’s and you can decide if you want to give him a couple back because you like his movies. Now you are eating a Big Mac instead of eating a roundhouse kick, but most importantly you are one step closer to being prepared for apocalyptic survival.
Do I recommend violence? Hell no, but the point is; I have a son and if he is starving and you have food I am going to try and get your food to feed my son. I would ask you nicely first, but if there is no functional government and no food supply chain I really wouldn’t be asking you for food; I would be telling you. Survival after the apocalypse will force people’s moral systems to break down; thirst, hunger and extreme psychological stress seem to do that to people.
I can only imagine normally law abiding citizens like myself will react similarly in a post apocalyptic survival scenario and having a gun and ammo will give you a much better chance of getting something you desperately need to get.
When selecting the best post apocalyptic survival gun, what you want is to balance weight of ammo with the power of the gun. Since I recommend you do not leave your house unless you absolutely have to get out of your area for whatever reason, I suggest getting a big gun. Big guns are great for home defense, and the number one big gun for home defense is the shotgun.
Shotguns pack such an enormous blow that they are by far the greatest weapon for home defense. The noise of a 12 gauge pump deters more crime than any other security system. It is an unmistakable sound and an intruder knows that somebody has a cocked and loaded weapon that they barely even have to aim to cause catastrophic injury or death. If you are protecting your supplies at home, you want a 12 gauge shotgun. They are cheap, widely available and built like tanks. Any post apocalyptic survival guide, that doesn’t immediately suggest you get a shotgun, is as useless as tits on bull.
When it comes to brand selection, I am partial to Mossberg, any model in 12 gauge. The Mossberg 500 is the only shotgun ever to pass the brutal, US Army’s Mil-Spec 3443E test. They literally tortured the gun to death under what can only be described as post apocalyptic conditions, and the son of a bitch never quit. Just remember not buy a pistol grip shotgun unless you want to be an asshole. You are not the terminator and the pistol grip is so stupid with the amount of recoil a shotgun packs. Sure, you might be able to fire it no problem, but what if your wife or daughter needs to use it and she breaks her wrist because you bought a gun that looked cool. 12 gauge ammo is plentiful and parts for shotguns are very easy to find because there are so many in circulation in America. Apocalypse survival requires long term access to ammunition and using common types of ammo makes chances of running out much slimmer.
Should you be forced to leave your home (which eventually will happen for one reason or another unless you are completely self sufficient) you will want to have access to an accurate, concealable pistol and a solid rifle. Obviously there is a huge amount of debate over the models, calibers and utility of these weapons. I will give you my personal opinion but ultimately, whatever you decide is up to you.
For a pistol I recommend a 9mm or a 357 magnum. I admit I love semi automatics but I really think a revolver is much better to include in a post apocalyptic survival guide, because there are fewer working parts which means less jams. On top of that the design has lasted since the wild west which is the closest thing. Brand is up to you, and is heavily dependent on how much you are willing to spend. 9mm are great because they are pretty cheap to shoot, military and law enforcement use them and the ammo is abundant. 357 specials are great because again, wadcutters are very cheap to practice with and the 357 packs a hell of a punch. Ammo is less abundant, but ultimately you will not be hunting with this weapon; it will be for close range self defense.
A revolver carries a lot less rounds than a 9mm semi automatic (depending on if you live in America and then specifically which state you live in) but you are not going to be in close range combat for an extended period of time. Even now, most shootouts happen at very close ranges and are over in mere seconds. If you need to empty 17 rounds out of your clip to stop a would be attacker, you are either terrible at aiming or screwed anyway. In either case you probably won’t last, but hey that’s why you are reading this post apocalyptic survival guide isn’t it?
As far as rifles go, you have so many options that its really a just a personal choice depending on your situation. Big rifles are great for long range shoot outs and dropping large game. There probably won’t be many long range shoot outs (due to restrictions on and the value of ammo) but in North America it really helps to be able to bring down deer and large game. If you can only have one rifle, I’d say the best post apocalyptic survival gun, all things considered, is a .22 caliber rifle with a good scope. The ammo is incredibly cheap and light weight. You can easily carry hundreds of rounds and will have no problem taking down small game. On top of that it is cheap as dirt (and doesn’t raise suspicion) to stockpile large amounts of ammo. With practice, larger game can be killed with a well placed shot. Since this is a post apocalyptic survival guide, the ethics of wounding animals just went the fucking window, but you have to be a pretty skilled marksman to take down a deer with a .22 rifle.
Another major advantage of the 22 caliber as a survival rifle is how quiet it is when fired. If you shoot off a large caliber gun, people can hear you for miles. In practical terms for a post apocalyptic survival guide, that means they could potentially get the jump on you if they happen to be hungry, or looking for resources.
Bows and Crossbows are also awesome for post apocalyptic survival because the ammo has more than one use. They are very quiet and can be very deadly with practice. I mean shit if it is zombies we are dealing with and the bastards can still hear, I would rather pop them in the forehead with a crossbow bolt Walking Dead style, than fire off some loud ass shot. More realistically for the purposes of this serious post apocalyptic survival guide, you will actually encounter people who are a lot smarter than zombies and can definitely hear your shot and track you. Ultimately, long term post apocalyptic survival will benefit greatly from having a well made crossbow or bow and being proficient with it.
Post Apocalyptic Survival Knives
For the purposes of a post apocalyptic survival guide, no tool is more important to daily life and long term apocalyptic survival than a solid survival knife. Post apocalyptic survival will depend heavily on one of the oldest and simplest tools of mankind. The knife. A knife can be used to scrape tinder, split wood, build shelter, carve up or skin your food, defend yourself and virtually every other task that is necessary for post apocalyptic survival. It is easy to think a big Rambo survival knife will be your best bet, or some hollow ass tube that is full of shitty sweatshop survival items; but when you use a giant Rambo knife for a couple hours outdoors and realize how impractical it is, you will start to see how a smaller, full tang knife is far more efficient. It is also much easier to keep sharp and far more likely to be of high quality.
I am partial to the old time-tested USMC Kabar Fighting Knife. This knife honestly might even be a little to big for some of you small fries, and hell it is certainly not the best knife out there but I just love the way mine has held up through numerous primitive camping trips and daily use. I’ve split wood with it, built primitive shelters, finished off random animals, skinned game and thwarted a would be mugging in the ghetto when my gun was out of reach with this beautiful weapon. It is so easy to sharpen and it keeps a hell of an edge. The blade is full tang (meaning the blade is a solid piece that runs all the way through the handle) and very strong. I haven’t been able to break either one of my Kabar’s yet, they are truly USMC tough.
SOG seal pup is also an incredible knife as well and sort of blends all of the qualities I like in a knife into one, but hell I ain’t rich so if you wanna cough up the bucks for one, tell me how it works out for ya!
Post Apocalyptic Survival Fire Crafting
Fire craft is the single most useful skill for wilderness and post apocalyptic survival because it will keep you warm, cook your food, make your water safer to drink and have a great effect on your morale. Fire makes us feel safe. I cannot tell you how many times I have been out in the woods, far from civilization, trying to start a fire wishing I was better prepared due to wet conditions etc. Fire starting is challenging for a beginner and it increases exponentially without ideal, dry conditions.
You may watch survivor man on TV and think your gonna take your flint and steel out in the woods and make a bon fire, but if you didn’t bring or can’t find dry tinder you are up shits creek without a paddle buddy. Once it took me 2 hours to start a fire in the mountains because the conditions were abysmally wet, and I shit you not I was using a LIGHTER!
Never again would I not have a stash of dry tinder with my equipment. I got cocky about my ability to produce what I needed for survival from nature, but in all honesty you can’t be too prepared for any eventuality that could occur. So listen up, dry tinder and at least 3 ways to make fire are a must. I keep 5 ways to make fire in my truck survival kit, just in case. Here is what you need BEFORE you start trying to make a fire.
Gather more of each of these supplies than you need just in case.
- Something to make sparks
- Medium Branches
- Wood for fuel
Fire Starters come in so many shapes and sizes you may be wondering what the hell is best. My suggestion for this post apocalyptic survival guide is simple, have as many god damn ways to start fire as you can. It can be a major pain in the ass to start a fire even when you have the right stuff. For a post apocalyptic survival guide, I cannot stress this enough do not be cocky about your fire starting ability because it is not a simple task even with modern technology. Cigarette lighters are great for an instant flame, but they will not last long term. Keep a few in your gear because they are great for trade, work like a charm and will easily light dry tinder.
Be sure that you don’t get lured into some false reality that since you have a bunch of lighters you can start a fire under any condition. If the conditions suck, you will waste a ton of your precious lighter fluid trying to dry your tinder or get damp shit to ignite. Magnesium bars are also great and last a bit longer than cigarette lighters do. They are cheap and you can get them on amazon for a couple bucks and try them to see if you like them. I don’t like scraping a bunch of dust off a bar and trying to hit it with sparks to get something lit but maybe that is because I really have had the most success under all conditions with Swedish Firesteel.
Don’t get me wrong; I have created fires very easy with a magnesium bar, but it is definitely not my favorite. I just really am partial to Swedish Firesteel. These sons of bitches kick ass and throw a super hot spark very easily. They even spark when they are soaking wet, and if you have tinder that is half way decent you will be definitely be able to start a fire. The big advantage over lighters is that they last for thousands of strikes and the better you get with them the less strikes it takes to create a fire.
Water proof matches are a good idea too. The only problem with matches for this post apocalyptic survival guide is that they absolutely suck and I hate them. For example, once I was freezing cold, shivering my ass off and it was raining that shitty, misty ice cold rain that never stops but isn’t a downpour. I lit match after match and this stupid light-breeze/rain/mist/ would put each one out; to the point where I had spent an entire book of matches trying to light a fire near my crappy makeshift shelter. It took me 3 strikes of my Swedish Firesteel to get the damn thing lit when I eventually ran out of matches. My point is, fuck matches, I hate them for everything except lighting cigars. I still keep waterproof matches with my gear because the more ways you can start a fire the better off you are in my estimation.
For tinder, if conditions are dry you can usually use your knife on birch bark or other similar types of trees to make shavings that can be used for tinder. You want to scrape a large pile of shavings, the thinner the better, because you want to maximize the surface area that will come into contact with your sparks. Starting a fire is a lot easier said than done (and because you are reading this this site, I like you and want you to succeed) so please practice this.
Your best bet is to soak cotton balls in Vaseline, they take a spark and ignite very easy and they burn for a few minutes. Rip the cotton balls open to expose more surface area and put Vaseline on your hands. Rub the cotton balls around in the Vaseline and form them back into balls. Place these in a zip lock bag for storage. These are life savers when you need a fire.
Another great tinder is dryer lint. You throw massive quantities of this stuff away from your dryer, but it catches a spark so easy and it works wonders in a pinch. Collect a bunch of it in a zip lock bag to keep it dry.
Some ready to purchase tinder’s work amazing as well but I really hate buying something I can make – so you should too, naturally.
After tinder, the next step in fire crafting is kindling. Kindling is small pieces of wood and branches that are thin enough to catch fire from the tinder relatively easily. Understanding building a fire requires the knowledge that it is done in small, individual steps. The ultra lightweight, large surface area of tinder catches fire quickly, but burns extremely fast and you will need to try to get that fire to light your kindling before it goes out. Do not light a fire until all of the steps are complete. You will add the kindling around the tinder in a tee pee shape, keeping one side open to catch sparks. This prevents the wind from getting to your fire while allowing it to retain oxygen. Make sure to use plenty of kindling, you can’t really over do it unless you smother the fire.
Now you have tinder, surrounded by kindling like a mini tee pee with one side open. Around this tee pee you should place your medium sized branches and pieces of wood. Your tinder should ignite the kindling which will increasingly burn hotter which should burn long enough to catch the medium sized wood on fire. Be sure that you still leave one side of the “tee pee” open to ignite your tinder.
Have your large pieces of wood near by but do not add them until the fire is burning very hot and make sure you continue to place the logs in a tee pee like manner to keep your oxygen flow to the fire.
Lighting the fire, take your Swedish Firesteel and stick it into the opening you made in the tee pee above your tinder. If you are using Vaseline soaked cotton balls, this will be very easy. Strike your fire steel by pulling the steel up along the striker. Don’t pull the striker down the Firesteel. Also don’t ask me why, but in my experience it just doesn’t work nearly as well. Whatever method you use to light the fire, just make sure the sparks are aimed at your tinder and be sure to watch and make sure your kindling catches on fire. This should surely ignite your medium sized branches. If you have done all of this correctly, you will see an ever increasing fire burning up all of the fuel you have provided. When the fire gets good and hot and your little tee pee starts to fall in on itself making coals, start adding the bigger logs to the fire.
Now you have successfully made a fire and not only is this post apocalyptic survival guide a success, you have now finally become a man. If you open your flannel shirt and look down at your chest, you should have noticed that you have sprouted a couple chest hairs. This is normal, don’t be alarmed it is just the first sign of becoming a real man. Starting a fire without an accelerant is harder than you think, so continually practice it. In any post apocalyptic survival guide, preparation is key. You can have fun preparing and not take it all too seriously,but you will rest assured that you are developing extremely useful survival skills that you can ultimately use to benefit your friends and family.
Shelter: After the Apocalypse
Shelter is one of the most important of all survival needs. A person can die in as little as 3 hours of exposure to cold winds, especially if saturated with water.
That being said, if you are reading this I am assuming you have a home of some sort that will keep you sheltered after a catastrophic even with the caveat that it is not destroyed. I do not recommend leaving your home to “head for the hills” like most survivalists because you can’t carry half the shit you have in your house to your coveted “survival bug out location”. This severely limits your options when you have to improvise. You have tons of junk in your house that can be used in a situation where you need to barter. If all you have with you is a backpack full of post apocalyptic survival gear your chances of survival are severely compromised.
That is not to say that if your home is facing an immediate threat you should not leave. In fact you should prepare for the eventuality that you will have to leave, but the key is to ride it out at home as long as it is safe to do so. You can store supplies, stay warm, have a massive array of useful household items and collected tools and even an entire arsenal of weaponry at your house. You may also have neighbors that you are fond of to band together with and that will definitely improve your chances of post apocalyptic survival. Your home gives you the best shot at keeping your family safe because it provides not only morale, but options.
Unfortunately, this a post apocalyptic survival guide so staying home may not be plausible forever. Until staying at home becomes detrimental to your survival chances, I say hunker down, board up the windows and bug in. We have discussed some of the reasons why this is your best bet so far, especially while you still have plenty of supplies at home but seriously defend your castle. Help your neighbors and look over each others property while parties go out in search of food and supplies. Your neighbors may surprise you with their ingenuity, and you will definitely be stronger as a community or a group than as a lone wolf if everyone pulls their weight.
As terrible as the prospect may seem, a post apocalyptic survival guide must require advice when and if you must hit the road and get the hell out of dodge. This situation however is not a complete loss because your vehicle is usually optimal as a make shift shelter. It can get you far away from the center of the catastrophe; and with any luck, you can find or barter for more fuel should you run out. If you have a 4 wheel drive, you stand a chance of getting yourself and your supplies way the hell out of dodge and into the wilderness somewhere where you will face less threats from people who were less prepared then you were for the apocalypse. Plus, your vehicle is the next best thing to your house because you can pack it to the brim with supplies and prolong your ability to survive as you settle in and figure out your next steps after the apocalypse.
After your vehicle, the next best portable post apocalyptic survival shelter will inevitably be a tent. A good tent will protect you from the elements and be portable enough to set up camp as often a you have to; even if you are on the move. There is such a large variety of tents that it is hard to suggest a “best tent” because it is heavily reliant on your particular situation, the number of travelers, the climate in your area and a variety of other factors. Being sealed off in a tent gives you a sense of security and keeps most of the shit that will bite you out. This is a big plus for anyone who actually has tried to completely rough it in the wilderness. I know you think you could just walk into the woods after the apocalypse and build some super log cabin using only your axe, but there is something to be said about the peacefulness of life in a tent with no possible entry of bugs or small animals while you are sleeping. Don’t underestimate the effect this has for morale, I always have and I have always gotten the worlds shittiest sleep when I venture into the wild without a tent and build a primitive shelter. I can handle it, but really for the purposes of this post apocalyptic survival guide I have to acknowledge the fact that if something even remotely bothers me it will probably be a deal breaker for the average schmuck.
Next in our quest for post apocalyptic survival shelters, we come across one of my favorite pieces of equipment, the tarp. Tarps are extremely versatile. They can be not only be used to keep you dry but they also offer the major advantage of the ability to collect fresh water. They can be easily set up and taken down, and are comparatively pretty cheap to other forms of non-primitive shelter. Tarps are light weight and durable as long as you buy from a solid manufacturer, and they are a portable, versatile post apocalyptic survival shelter option.
Don’t think for a second life is pleasurable living under a tarp in the wilderness though. I set up what I thought was an amazing tarp shelter once on a camping trip in the mountains, only to wake up to my dog barking wildly at a bear that was bout 15 feet from our camp and as soon as I turned on my flashlight I realized that there was roughly 30-40 spiders on every square inch of the inside of my shelter.
Never the less, I was dry and the bear got spooked, but I found it hard to fall back asleep after seeing how many spiders were in my shelter and thinking of that statistic of how many spiders the average person swallows in their sleep during their lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, I’d eat spiders if my life depended on it, but I had a cooler full of bratwursts, hot dogs and beer,. Needless to say, until shit really hits the fan spiders are not going to be on my menu.
The least most desirable shelter is going to be primitive shelter. You know, that hole you dug with your shovel or shanty it took you 20 hours to build and still feels like it will be destroyed by a slight wind. Building a primitive shelter is hard work but it can save your life. Some of the survival books we will discuss later will give you plenty of ideas on constructing a wilderness shelter, so we’ll leave that there.
In a post apocalyptic world there should be plenty of abandoned structures for you to hole up in should you need to leave your home. Hopefully you can always find somewhere to sleep in a man made structure if you are near a city or in the suburbs. You must be prepared for all possibilities though to maximize your chances of post apocalyptic survival.
Water Purification After the SHTF
Water is your next major concern in this post apocalyptic survival guide. If you do not live in a cold environment where exposure is deadly, water trumps shelter in terms of actual post apocalyptic survival. You must maintain access to a constant fresh water supply no matter where you are trying to survive. Staying hydrated is key to keeping your body functioning correctly and running on small amounts of calories.
If you are alerted to whatever is going to cause the apocalypse beforehand, fill up all of the bathtubs and sinks in your house and collect as much water as possible. After the water system stops working it will be increasingly difficult to trust the water supply and any water you encounter will need to be filtered and decontaminated. Water borne illnesses account for large numbers of deaths in the more undeveloped regions of the globe and diseases not seen in the western world for ages will return with a vengeance. As far as a post apocalyptic survival guide goes, water is extremely high up on the priority list.
Stock up on iodine tablets. There are a number of reputable brands of iodine crystals or tablets that can be added to water to purify it. They are light weight and portable and you can rest assured that the water you have collected is clean enough to drink.
Filtration systems are great too. Some as small as a water bottle that can offer an advanced way to quickly filter water you have gathered and make it safe to drink. Some of them are expensive and some are inexpensive. If my life depends on it, I am afraid I’d rather have the expensive models over some cheap Chinese piece of crap. I have both the cheap models and the expensive ones but I have yet to try the extremely cheap filtration straws I bought of amazon.com. They were cheap enough for me to take the risk and I figure in a post apocalyptic survival situation if my expensive ones break or stop filtering, I’d rather have the Chinese junk models over nothing.
Boiling water will kill most or all of the pathogens present and is the best way to make water safe to drink in post apocalyptic scenario should your other methods of filtration fail. Make sure you have a good pot or canteen cup to boil your water supplies in and ideally you want some method of filtration to catch anything else that is harmful and not destroyed by the boiling temperatures such as certain toxins.
A very useful method of filtering water is to use sand, charcoal and cloth. Take an old pair of jeans or some other durable fabric and tie off a leg. Fill the bottom of the tied off leg with as much charcoal from a burnt out fire as possible. Pour sand on top of the charcoal to form another layer. Layer more charcoal on top of the sand and then complete the filter by putting a second layer of sand on top. The charcoal will bond to many of the toxins and its porous nature makes it an extremely effective filter, especially in tandem with sand which will naturally trap any of the larger particles in the water. Pour your water before or after boiling through the filter and what drips out of the jeans will be pure drinking water.
Surviving after the apocalypse will be extremely difficult without a steady supply of reliable food. All supply lines will stop in the immediate aftermath and local stores will be ransacked and their cupboards stripped bare. It is a good idea to stock up on a long term supply of canned and non perishable goods for emergencies.
You don’t have to go out and spend $1,000 dollars on canned goods and get weird looks from the cashier when you tell her its not for a food bank. You can buy an item or two here and there whenever you go shopping. It quickly adds up to a nice stock pile and it doesn’t go bad. If financial markets don’t collapse or a meteor doesn’t hit the earth and destroy all infrastructure, you’ll still be able to eat this food.
The first stage in the post apocalyptic world will be to acquire as much non perishable and other food sources as quickly as possible. There will surely be riots and looting and if you have prepared before hand you shouldn’t have to be a part of this dangerous and morally repugnant chaos. If you did not prepare, you better get your ass out there and get whatever you can it isn’t going to last long.
Scavenging as much supplies as you can from your surrounding area shortly after the disaster could be the difference between life and death. And this is a survival guide, not a guide on moral etiquette.
In the beginning stages of the reality of post apocalyptic life, before any sustainable agriculture and livestock production can be reliably maintained, survival will depend on what you can scrounge from the vestiges of society. Specifically, what you have stock piled for the apocalypse and how creative you can get with your food choices. Going from eating microwave dinners to being a hunter gatherer again is not an easy undertaking, you must get creative.
There are a number of foods you can buy in bulk for disasters that have a shelf life of over 20 years. There are also freeze dried and other preserved foods that you can purchase in case of emergency which will make a great source of food in the aftermath of the apocalypse. Stocking up on these won’t hurt.
Buy seeds. Buy a variety of seeds of different kinds of crops in case you have the opportunity to begin a garden at some point. Whatever you can grow, you won’t have to find which severely increase your chances of post apocalyptic survival. Another thing that is not well known is that you can grow a survival sprout garden in a mason jar. You can simply continue to sprout beans and eat the sprouts with no light and little water and they have a surprisingly high nutritional content, much higher than the actual beans or seeds themselves.
There are many great books you can find over at amazon on your particular region that show the specific types of plants in your area, which are dangerous an which are medicinal or edible which can be immensely useful after the apocalypse. You should know your local flora and fauna.
Hunting and fishing will also become primary methods of survival as mankind remembers its roots in the post apocalyptic landscape. Small game such as rabbits and squirrels can be taken down very easy and larger game like deer can also be taken. A small manual on cleaning and gutting animals and fish is recommended although the SAS Survival Guide I often recommend does a pretty good job of covering the basics for someone with a little more experience in field dressing, gutting and cleaning game.
There are also numerous methods of trapping and types of traps mentioned in the SAS Survival Guide that are beyond the scope of this basic guide.
Post Apocalyptic Survival Gear and Tools
Your mind is more important than any sort of gear in a post apocalyptic survival situation. That said, your gear will greatly increase your chances of post apocalyptic survival. So get gear that will last you until you die! Post apocalyptic survival gear consists of mainly the same things you need to survive without electricity or running water today.
Your gear will greatly increase your chances of post apocalyptic survival and knowing what gear to have access to can help you prepare for any disaster, not only complete apocalypse. The following is a list of post apocalyptic survival gear that you will want at your house.
Some of it you will be able to carry should you be forced to leave, but remember the more useful equipment you have the more likely you will be able to barter. You should have a survival bag (bug out bag) ready to go in case you have to leave your home, but having more than you need gives you options and gives you the greatest chance of survival.
Machete – Don’t bother with hatchets a well made machete can do everything a hatchet can do and more. Machete provides brush clearing, self defense, aids in making kindling and appears very threatening to other would be marauders. Cold Steel makes some excellent machete’s and I am partial to Cold Steel’s Magnum Kukri Machete because the weight distribution towards the front of the blade allows for more cutting power with less effort. Machete style is really up to you and how it feels in your hand. I like a larger heavier machete that is capable of cutting down small trees and chopping semi thick branches, I am more confident it will penetrate a zombies skull.
Axes, Saws and Chainsaws – A solid axe may well last you the rest of your life and makes tree chopping (although it still sucks) much easier. A large axe may be heavy to carry on your back but it can also be the difference between you chopping enough large pieces of wood to fuel your fire through the night. While you still have access to gas, nothing beats a chainsaw. It saves you an enormous amount of labor at the cost of relying on fuel supplies that you may need to fuel your vehicle. If the apocalypse happens due to a pandemic however, you may have access to fuel for a very long time and having access to only an axe can cripple your ability to survive. I recommend having access to both although if it is cost prohibitive, get yourself a well made axe and practice chopping wood. It is WAY harder than you may think to chop down a tree and then chop it up for firewood if you come from the city or suburbs and have never done so. A good hand saw is also an extremely useful utility tool that can give you more precise cuts for cutting your fire wood and building primitive shelters.
Shovels – Shovels are an extremely useful tool that can help you build shelter or trenches, bury supplies for later use, they can be sharpened to make a formidable melee weapon and they can help in your fire crafting to dig pits to cook in, put out fires, transfer coals and numerous other useful applications. I like the Spetsnaz military shovel for its portability and strength, as well as the U.S. military entrenching tool. The Chinese military shovel is also awesome because it is a variety of tools in one and is the veritable Swiss army knife of shovels.
Crank Radio – A radio/flashlight that does not require batteries is essential for emergency updates in the beginning stages of the post apocalyptic disaster. Eton makes a series of crank powered radios that are amazing. I have the Etón FR160B Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger and it is a godsend. AM/FM weather band radio, complete with a flashlight and the ability to use solar power to charge. It also has a USB charging port so you can charge your cell phone and other devices with solar power or by cranking.
Flashlights – No post apocalyptic survival kit would be complete without a flashlight. Your crank radio can provide a good reusable flashlight but you should also have a good solid battery powered maglite.
Crowbar/ Bolt Cutters – A crowbar can help you break into anything to get supplies you need. It can help you pry, be used as a weapon and give you leverage to lift objects much heavier than you could do on your own. Every man should own a crowbar. That being said, do yourself a favor and get yourself some bolt cutters. There may be stores or supply stocks that are locked and bolted that you can cut your way into to get supplies.
Rope - You need good rope for so many tasks that it is essential you should have access to a fairly large supply. From wrapping the handle of your knife to making shelters and traps, para-cord is a super strong lightweight rope that is affordable and extremely durable. Keep at least 100 feet at your disposal.
Duct Tape – You know what they say, if you can’t duck it, fuck it. Duct tape has so many uses that its impossible to even begin to list them. Keep a good supply of duct tape or Gorilla tape for that matter and as soon as you have anything to fix get creative with duct tape.
Thermal Blankets – Cheap and surprisingly effective at beaming your own body heat back at you. Keep a stash of thermal blankets on hand because if you are forced to leave your house, you can carry these super light weight blankets and have a much better chance of fighting the cold.
Clothing – Make sure you have access to warm dry clothing. Fleece is great and anything water repellent is a plus. Make sure you have a poncho or other form of rain gear because nothing will kill you faster than hypothermia if you are soaking wet in a cold climate and on the move. Ponchos can also be used in many of the ways a tarp is used and can also help you to collect water. Check out my post on post apocalyptic clothing for some ideas, or check the post apocalyptic gear list.
Work Gloves – Don’t overlook work gloves! You can’t touch anything hot without them, and you’ll be spending most of the time nursing your blisters if your hands aren’t already calloused!
Boots - Good boots can save your ass if you have to hump a long distance. A man is only as good as his boots. If you have to run away from civilization you will be glad you aren’t wearing your flip-flops. Boots protect your feet, keep them dry and if they are a good make they will last a very long time. Don’t over look footwear when planning for post apocalyptic survival. For brands you want Bates, Danner, Matterhorn, Magnum or Redwing, they will last till you kill over!
Medical Supplies – Get yourself a pre-made hiking medical survival kit if you do not know what you are doing. This area alone could be an entire post. Some things to think about are bandages, snake bite kits, gauze pads, medical tape, scissors, butterfly closures, cotton balls, latex gloves, tooth picks and cotton swabs. Ready made kits are the cheapest way to get all of these items together but if you have the money you should buy them separately so you have larger quantities of each.
Backpack – Get a backpack that will last until you die! Army surplus alice packs in either medium or large are great, Kelty, High Sierra, Arc’teryx and Gregory are the toughest names in backpacks. You may need to fit all of your shit into a square on your back and head for the mountains, do you wanna rely on some cheap piece of shit! Hell no, do yourself a favor get a real damn backpack.
Survival Guide - Get yourself a comprehensive book on survival. My favorite guide is the SAS Survival Manual. For a bunch more post apocalyptic survival books check here.
This post apocalyptic survival guide will get you well on your way to surviving the apocalypse. Survival is a state of mind and a will to succeed. Never give up, never give in just keep on going. Any comments on items that you think should be added to this list are much appreciated, what are you doing to prepare for post apocalyptic survival?
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