June 1, 2012

The Ten Essentials For Surviving 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:

1. Map
2. Compass
3. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
4. Extra Clothing
5. Headlamp/Flashlight
6. First-aid Supplies
7. Firestarter
8. Matches
9. Knife
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!


  1. I have a survivalist son, so I would swap the lighter for flint and steel, and a knife is a must! OMG, I love this blog...so showing it to my son...he's a zombie buff too.



  2. Yeah I totally see your point with the flint and steel...except I'm hopelessly useless with the dang things! And duh...knife...I totally blanked on that one. I may make a wee amendment :)