It’s been three years in that hole, with no instructions over the radio from the army, and nobody banging on the thick steel doors of your bunker. It’s probably time to face the world before you starve.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s safe out there.
Your planning was meticulous. Your neighbors said you were crazy planning for the end of the world, but when the apocalypse came you smugly waltzed into your survival den. Of course, that smugness eventually turned into a permanent crazy half-smile as you became best friends with a spork that you had long conversations with in the half-light of a flickering candle.
Now, deranged and without food, it’s time to don your gas mask, open the hatch and see what lies in wait. If you’re lucky, the rest of the world will be functioning as it always had.
If you’re not lucky, well … then survival of the fittest will be the rule. Here’s how to prepare:
Know the Terrain
We can’t all be like Rambo and clamber into the woods and survive a full-on attack from the town police, so you’ll need to comprehensively map and get to know the surrounding area. You’ll also need to know the location of any nearby natural springs, woodlands, streams, lakes and animals, as well as the densest areas of population before the disaster. It’s also worth mapping local farmland.
Watch Your Health
After a long stay in the bunker, you’ll be deficient in Vitamin D; your muscles may have wasted away too. A generous supply of various medicines and other supplements, along with a decent small-space workout schedule, will pretty much be the only help you can give yourself.
Learn How to Forage
Mother always told you to eat your greens. It’s important in a post apocalyptic world too. Find some foraging edible plant books and learn them well. Be especially careful with the mushrooms.
Learning bow skills is important, as is owning a decent crossbow. Also learn how to actually make a bow in case you get in a pinch! You’ll also need knives for finishing off the job, and cleaning and cutting the meat too.Trapping skills will be useful for snaring small birds and animals.
Pro tip: If you’re in a bind, worms and bugs provide quick protein hits.
Avoid People Like You!
Don’t kid yourself; if you survived, others did too. There may be quite a few wild-eyed ex-bloggers, car mechanics, bakery assistants, and Fortune 500 executives running around brandishing knives or clubs, hoping for the next meal.
At first you’ll need to try and stay as far away from the others as you can. Before you consider approaching another human, observe them and see if they’re hostile.Over time you may be able to start interacting, maybe even working and living in close proximity — but trust is something that must be earned.
Hone Your Animal Skills
If any domestic dogs survived then there will be packs of them running around. Assuming you don’t pick them off for dinner, it’s likely they’ll try to follow you around. Befriending a pup isn’t a bad idea and the company of something with lungs will do you good. Many dogs can also become a good hunting buddies, so learning a few Caesar Milan dog whispering skills could be worth your while!
Horses are doing well in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, so they may thrive in future unknown disaster zones too — so pick up some horse-breaking, taming and riding skills and the post-apocalyptic world may become your oyster.
Master the Art of Fire Making
It’s almost impossible to survive if you can’t make fire. Learn how to get a flame going by rubbing sticks together, banging together certain kinds of rocks, flint and steel, and even magnifying sunlight through a lens.
So why do I bother theorizing about all this crazy end-of-the-world stuff?First off, it’s fun — nothing wrong with that!Second, survival skills build character and are extremely valuable even in non-apocalypse scenarios.
At the very least, learning to forage, hunt, cook, and grow your own food are fun hobbies that can also be life-changing events. And having an appreciation of where stuff comes from is important too.
Starting a daily bedroom fitness routine, learning about self-healthcare, and doing physical activities like riding horses will do wonders for your general health.
Taking a general survival course and just learning more about being in nature and what you have available in your local area (even in cities) will grow your appreciation of the world around you.
Who knows? Preparing for an apocalypse that isn’t going to happen could be the most fun you ever had!
About the Author: Forest Parks blogs about frugal living, lifestyle, minimalism, finance and more over at FrugalZeitgeist.com.
Photo Credit: Aaron