Here’s a question you may have never asked yourself: do I know how to survive a zombie apocalypse? With zombies slowly creeping their way into every corner of popular culture, it’s a hypothetical situation that can put your survival knowledge to the test. Even the official CDC website has a zombie survival section. While today’s post is for survival with zombies in mind, these tips can be applied to any natural disaster or survival situation. Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or invasion of the brain-craving undead, basic survival skills and being prepared will always serve you well.

You don’t know when or where zombie outbreaks or other disasters will take place, but that doesn’t mean you can be ready. A little preparation can go a very, very long way in the face of disaster.

ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ ᴘᴀᴄᴋ ᴏʀ ʙᴜɢ ᴏᴜᴛ ʙᴀɢ.
The first step of survival preparation is having all your supplies packed and ready to grab at a moment’s notice. The ideal emergency pack has supplies that last at least 72 hours, or three days, in a backpack. The term “bug out” comes from military culture in where troops need to quickly move out of an area. Your survival pack should include most if not all of the following:

• Extra food and water.
• First aid kid
• Extra clothes and rain gear
• Extra socks & rugged footwear
• Sleeping bag
• Pocketknife or multitool
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Waterproof matches, lighter, or flint
• Medications (prescription and general)
• Rope
• Compass and local maps
• Sunglasses (the more portable, the better!)
• Cash

Another critical part of disaster preparation is having an escape plan. Have a per-determined destination meet up for you and your family to meet up in case of an emergency, and plan a few safe routes to get there. Keep in mind that highways, trains and other urban transportation areas will become parking lots with everyone trying to escape (aka zombie buffets) during an emergency, so plan your escape route accordingly.

Being fit can make the difference between outrunning a zombie horde or becoming lunch. Not only is staying in shape good in the event of a zombie apocalypse, but leading a health active lifestyle is beneficial to your everyday life as well, zombies or not.

After you’ve done all the preparation that you can and the zombie outbreak or other crisis occurs, it’s time to grab your pack and go into survival mode. Initially staying in your home might be a good choice, but you’ll want to move out of populated areas sooner rather than later. Before we get into specifics, every good survivalist needs to be aware of the Rule of 3. The Rule of 3 lists the most important factors of survival, and how long you can survive without them.

𝘚𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭 𝘙𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 3'𝘴
𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘦
• 3 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘪𝘳
• 3 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳
• 3 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳
• 3 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥

After you’re out of immediate danger, water is going to be your #1 resource. It’s recommended that you have 1 gallon per person per day, so hopefully you packed at least a day or two’s worth in your survival kit. If your shelter or initial place for survival is somewhere with plumbing, fill every and any container you can with tap water including bathtubs, sinks, garbage bags ,etc. The taps will stop eventually so get all you can. If you’ve already made your way into the wilderness, try and find a source of freshwater. Flowing streams or creeks are best, but always filter your water before drinking. Boiling water for 2-3 minutes to kill bacteria and parasites is the easiest and most effective way to purify it. If you can’t find a freshwater source, collect morning dew or rainwater until you find a water source.


Having shelter from the elements is critical in any survival situation. According to the Rule of 3s, getting caught in harsh weather for around 3 hours without a shelter can mean the end for you. Assuming that you’ve moved away from urban areas or man-made structures to avoid the zombie hordes, building your own shelter may be your only option. But fear not, constructing a simple debris hut is easier than you think. Check out the step-by-step guide here- How to Build a Debris Hut. Find a good source of freshwater first, then build your shelter nearby.

After you’ve found a source of water and built yourself a shelter, it’s time to find food (we know you’ve worked up an appetite). If you’re still near any urban areas, you can try to scavenge for food in stores, schools, and other buildings. But be careful: the undead will most likely still be in these areas, as will other survivors that may want to take your stuff. If you’re in a rural area, the best thing you can hope to find is an abandoned farm. Here you can hopefully find some resources and start growing some food of your own.

Foraging for eatable vegetation, berries, etc can also be a great option depending on your area. Take extreme caution when eating wild plants. All it takes is a few poisonous berries and all your zombie survival skills will be for naught. Acorns provide great nutritional value, provided you soak, boil or otherwise prepare them correctly. has tons of great info on foraging, including how to prepare and eat acorns.

Crickets: a crunchy and abundant source of protein.

Hunting small game can be helpful if you have the right tools and terrain, as can fishing. But by far the most abundant food source in the wild is… bugs. Insects can almost always be found in the wilderness (except for winter) and have great nutritional value. Many can be eaten raw, though most taste better cooked. Field & Stream has a few rules to munch by when eating wild insects.

Weapons for defending yourself against the undead may seem like a high priority initially. But your best method of survival should you encounter a zombie (or other hostile persons) is avoidance. We’d take a solid pair of footwear over a machine gun any day! However, should you find yourself cornered, blunt objects or large knives are preferable. Remember, blades don’t need reloading. After any combat, knives can be used for hunting and a variety of other things. Rifles are also great choice of weapons to grab for this reason. Any weapon that also doubles as a survival tool like a shovel or axe is preferable.

Having a fire is a key element for surviving in the wild. Boiling water to purify it, cooking, and keeping warm all depend on your ability to create fire. Ideally, you packed some waterproof matches or a lighter when you fled civilization. If not, then you’ve got some work ahead of you. There’s lots of different methods for starting a fire, but they all require knowlege and patience. WikiHow has an exhaustive list how ways to spark a flame and there’s plenty of videos to show you how to use friction to start a fire. One of our favorites though is the counter-intuitive method of starting a fire with water.

During a zombie outbreak or other natural disaster, seeking out other survivors can be a double edged sword. Finding a military or humanitarian controlled safety zone with supplies and shelter can be a lifesaver. But keep in mind encountering desperate survivors that may want to take your supplies is also a risk. When finding or seeking company, access the situation before making yourself known.

Our last tip may actually be the most important: stay calm. Being able to think and act is the most important part of any survival situation. It won’t matter how many techniques you’ve mastered or how much gear you packed if you panic and can’t use each tool properly.