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18 Zombie Apocalypse Essentials All Survivors Have

Buyer's Guide 12 min read

So, it happened. At last, your prophetic cries have become a reality, and your worst fears are here—the dead walk among us.

It could have happened suddenly, or perhaps it was brewing for a long time. Maybe it began in a remote corner of the world, but it’s also plausible it kickstarted in a busy metropolis. It does not matter how, when, or why it took place—the only thing left is to survive.

And as it happens, those with a head start are making it through the post-apocalyptic mess that the world will become. As valuable items become scarce and society collapse, only the careful ones that prepared beforehand will stand a chance amidst the chaos.

Granted, this is just a hypothetical scenario: the end of the world as we know it by zombie bites has not happened. Yet. But if—when—it happens, you have to be ready to count yourself as one of the survivors, the prepared ones.

Enter your zombie apocalypse survival kit—a collection of items that are bound to be extremely useful against anything zombie, ghoulish, undead, or tangentially related.

These items are similar yet vastly different from those that you may find in a regular apocalypse survival kit list. Beyond having the items required for survival amidst the collapse of civilization, they also feature various weapons tailor-made for beheading good ol’ Zs, armors to protect your body and juicy brain from their undeadly bites, and many more.

Get a head start when the world collapses on itself, and let us give you a hand while at it.

Source: via Defender Xtreme

1. Trench Knife

Created specifically during the bloody trench combats during the First World War, trench knives have only two purposes—to kill in close combat and to be part of your apocalypse survival kit list.

This small-sized and portable weapon is undoubtedly your best option while on the go from zombies. It is easy to carry and maneuver and does not require a refined technique to be efficient.

Just keep in mind this should be your last resort; being up close with a zombie could end up with your undeath.

2. Machete

A good, old-fashioned machete can be one of the best weapons in your zombie apocalypse survival kit. Forget about old-fashioned swords or heavy axes—machetes are easy to yield, light to move, and efficient during the strike.

There are plenty of valuable machetes available in every corner and store. One of your best bets would be to go for a military-grade option, but we propose something else—The Zombie Killer.

Is it more efficient than other machetes? Not exactly; it is probably equal. However, you cannot deny the moral boost it gives to yield a weapon with such an awe-inducing name.

Source: via Cold Steel

3. Cold Steel’s Brooklyn Crusher

And hey, talking about weapons with names, does anyone remember Lucille?

Any zombie connoisseur feels some kind of way about The Walking Dead’s Negan. But regardless of what that opinion is, everyone agrees that his weapon of choice is nothing short of a statement.

Now, is a baseball bat a good weapon against zombies? It is. Granted, perhaps not the most efficient one, but if you purchase the right bat, you can undoubtedly crush a lot of brains with it.

Our suggestion? Cold Steel’s Brooklyn Crusher. Made of durable polypropylene, it can cause plenty of damage and, of course, would also look quite badass wrapped in spikes.

4. Mechanical Water Filter

Although it is undoubtedly the coolest aspect of preparing for an undead party, weapons are not the most crucial part of your zombie apocalypse survival kit. Water is.

I mean, surviving a zombie horde is certainly essential, but dying of dehydration on your third day on the run is an anticlimactic way to end your hero journey

Because of this, your best bet is a mechanical water purification system that is small, lightweight, easy to carry, and nonetheless effective at creating your own drinking water. It can save your life in adverse circumstances.

Our pick for your zombie kit is the Survivor Filter Pro one. It has a hand pump, making it analog and reliable in a world where technology may not always be at hand. Likewise, it has three different filters, a water cup, two hoses for ease of use, and a carrying case.

Source: via Augason Farms

5. Beans

After securing water, your next step in your zombie apocalypse survival kit should always be guaranteeing food sources. Whether you are planning on being on the run or entrenching yourself in your home bunker, you still need to eat.

Of course, you can always try to run to the forest and survive with what you hunt, but let’s be realistic—it will take some time to get there, and odds are you may grow weak before achieving your goal.

Solution? Dried beans and white rice. Canned food may be your go-to option, but it turns out that dried pinto beans or lentils can last indefinitely if stored properly, while white rice stored in an oxygen-free container remains edible for up to 30 years.

You can always stock up on cans and survival food as you see fit, but make sure to include beans and rice for the extra nutrients of freshly-cooked food.

Source: via Snow Peak

6. Cookset

Alright, you’ve got your beans and rice, so it’s time to cook them. Because you did pack a cookset, right?

… Right?

You can’t live on cans or rations during the remainder of the zombie apocalypse, so it’s essential to have a reliable cookset in your apocalypse survival kit list. You must aim for one you can count on at all times, and in every environment or situation you find yourself in.

Snow Peakl’s Ti-Mini Solo Combo is an excellent option if you plan on going solo for the Z day. It is lightweight, resilient, compact, and versatile.

Source: via Adventure Medical Kits

7. Advanced Medical Kit

Everybody knows that any self-respected apocalypse survival kit list includes first-aid items. But in a zombie apocalypse, we won’t be dealing with regular outdoor accidents—things will get dangerous and could even end up bitey. Very bitey.

In these circumstances, it would be your best bet to acquire an advanced medical kit—like the one by Adventure Medical Kits. It includes stethoscopes, thermometers, after-bite treatments, and many other things that will come in handy against the undead.

Keep in mind that this kit is bulky, so it may not be the best option if your strategy is to be on the run. Opt for it if you plan on staying in your bunker or team up with a large zombie survival group.

Source: via Bushnell

8. Binoculars

Hollywood has taught us that zombies move slowly and have a sluggish pace. But a true survivor plans for everything—what if the zombie outbreak brings fast ones that can put Usain Bolt to shame?

The answer is only one: be prepared and on the lookout constantly. Enter binoculars.

A mainstay in your zombie apocalypse survival kit, it will guarantee you maximum visibility of your surroundings and, subsequently, the ability to spot a threat from a distance and get some valuable extra time in preparing your course of action.

Likewise, binoculars can help you pinpoint potential scavenging spots, the general safety of an area, and assist you in distinguishing friend from foe. One or two binoculars should be enough if you have a large group.

Source: via Zebralight

9. Waterproof Headlamp

During the collapse of civilization, one of the first things to go will be the electrical system—after all, no one can run efficient energy companies while the dead walk among us, right?

This is an advantage of the ghouls, as they don’t need silly things such as vision—or eyes, for that matter. But you do. You need to be able to see, move in the dark, and distinguish any upcoming menace crawling its way toward you.

That is why the next item in your apocalypse survival kit list should be a reliable headlamp. Ideally, it should be resistant enough to withstand the elements and rechargeable. You may have to prepare an end-of-the-world charging setup, but we’re sure you’re already on that.

10. Fire Starter

Setting a zombie on fire is a terrible way to kill them. You need to destroy the brains, and if you choose to light them on fire instead, the odds are that you will just transform them into a walking torch, setting everything they touch on fire.

But just because it is not a weapon doesn’t mean it isn’t a survival kit item. Humans need fire to thrive—to boil water, cook food, keep ourselves warm, and make s’mores.

Enter the Bayite Striker Pro Fire Starter, a ferro rod kit with a paracord handle designed to be waterproof and weatherproof.

Source: via Sea To Summit

11. Survival Body Wash

If you are a gritty outdoors person, odds are that hygiene in a survival situation is not exactly at the top of your priority list. However, for a zombie apocalypse survival kit, including a hygiene cleansing item is a matter of life or death.

A world overrun by zombies is a world where rotting flesh abounds everywhere. With it come infections, disease, and other dangerous risks that could destroy your health before the zombies even get to your brain.

Keeping your skin clean and free of potential infections is utterly essential. Make sure to use soaps that require little water, last longer, and won’t contaminate any water sources. The Sea To Summit’s Pocket Body Wash fulfills all those requirements.

Source: via Givoust

12. Survival Radio

Whoever assumes they can be utterly self-reliant during the collapse of humanity is up for a rude wake-up call—even if you don’t wish to socialize with others that may be planning to betray you, getting information from other survivors is essential for survival.

That is why a reliable radio is not a luxury but an essential item in anyone’s apocalypse survival kit list. It will allow you to receive crucial information about infested areas, safe havens, and other things that will guarantee your life.

Our choice is the Kaito KA500 radio. It is 5-way powered, which means you can make it work with batteries, USB chargers, a wall plug, a hand crank generator, and a solar panel.

Source: via DEWALT

13. Tool Kit

You may have the safest bunker across the zombie-infested world. You can also have the most high-quality and durable tools on the market. However, one thing is unavoidable: things break down, and you will need to replace or fix them.

Replacing things from your zombie apocalypse survival kit will be much more complicated than just ordering another one from Amazon. You will next to fix them, and for that, you need a reliable and expansive tool kit.

The STANLEY tool set counts with 65 pieces designed in durable steel with ergonomic handles for ease of use while in a rush.

Source: via Columbia

14. Jacket

If you ever need to leave your safe bunker to scavenge for essential items, or if you are on the run outdoors, you need a jacket. Not only will it shield you from the elements and keep you warm yet not sweaty, but it will also serve as an additional barrier between you and the rotting teeth of the undead.

Any jacket is better than no jacket, so you can make do with whatever you have available. However, our suggestion is Columbia’s Bugaboo and its excellent 3-in-1 design.

It has a waterproof external shell and a thermal-reflective fleece liner. That means you can wear them separately or together, according to your needs.

Source: via Kelty

15. Sleeping Bag

If the zombie apocalypse forces you to leave the comfort of your home or shelter, you need to be prepared for when it’s time to sleep. The zombies got something right—your most valuable asset is your brain, and you need a good night’s sleep to use it fully.

That is why your zombie apocalypse survival kit always needs to have a versatile sleeping bag with you. It has to keep you warm and comfortable yet remain breathable and light enough to carry.

The best sleeping bag always depends on your environment and the conditions of your area, but a good all-rounder is any of the Kelty sleeping bags.

Source: via BigBlue

16. Solar Chargers

As much as you’d like to go completely analog in your preparations for the zombie apocalypse, technology won’t completely vanish because humanity is dying out.

The fact is that you could get a head start if you could manage to power up some of the rechargeable devices that make our life easier. This logic is precisely why an apocalypse survival kit list could benefit from a solar panel charger.

There are many options in the market, some smaller and more portable than others, but if you have a safe shelter with access to sunlight or extra space in your nomad bag, then BigBlue is an excellent choice. It is waterproof and efficient, even during cloudy days.

Source: via Coghlan

17. Signaling Mirror

After the zombie apocalypse hits, communicating with other humans across long distances will be a thing of the past. Mobile telecommunications will shut down, and sure, handheld radios can work—but for how long?

Any person serious about surviving the zombie doom day must have a signaling mirror to use during worst-case scenarios. It will allow you to send signals to your survival team or any potential survivors hiding around you.

Coghlan’s Survival Signal Mirror is small, highly reflective, durable, and incredibly easy to use.

Source: Max Brooks

18. Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide

Every zombie survival expert knows a single fundamental truth—you do not know it all. The key to survival lies in knowing where to look for information and who to ask.

The answer to both is just one: Max Brooks.

It should be mandatory by now—every zombie apocalypse survival kit shall contain one (1) physical copy of Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide. It features the most quintessential information to prevent you from dying on the first wave and includes tips and tricks for every situation you could find yourself in.

If you wish to further expand your knowledge through the experiences written by Brooks, then you can also consider World War Z—just ignore the Brad Pitt movie.

Do you consider yourself a zombie apocalypse expert? If so, leave us a comment down below with the items you cannot overlook when the world comes to an end.

However, if surviving undead ghouls that bite is not your thing, yet you still want to be ready for the unexpected, take a look at the 18 Wilderness Survival Items That Experts Need.

Apocalypse Survival