How to thrive after the ApocalypseWe’ve all thought about an endgame survival plan after watching an episode of The Walking Dead. But are you really ready?
“An average family has a three-day supply of food,” says former Army intelligence officer, novelist and survival blogger Jim Rawles. “I have a three-year supply.”
Rawles lives on a self-sufficient ranch in an undisclosed location. “I’m known as someone equipped to survive the apocalypse,” he says. “So if that day comes, I don’t want 1,000 people arriving, looking for a leader.” We’ll make do with his essential tips, then.
1 TOOL UP
“Learn a martial art like Krav Maga, and how to use the best weapons available. In the States, I have a lifetime supply of gun ammunition. But if guns aren’t easy to come by, then aim for an air rifle, a simple recurve bow, a survival knife (I’d go for a tanto, a Japanese samurai blade) or even flares.”
2 BE PREPARED
“Always have a neutral-colored backpack filled with outdoor clothes of a similar color ready to go. Don’t stand out. It should be light enough to carry all day, day after day. Also pack sleeping gear appropriate to the climate, and survival basics—from a fire starter and an LED flashlight to fishing and first-aid kits. A water filter is crucial.”
3 GET OUT OF DODGE
“When full-scale disaster strikes, the city is the last place to be. Because of the volume of a year’s worth of food, it’s important to pre-plan. Stay with country cousins, or rent storage space. If you’re lucky enough to have a holiday cottage, hide your supplies so it doesn’t get cleaned out. When social collapse is imminent, having a well-stocked rural retreat is the only sensible option.”
4 STAY IN TOUCH
“Equipment isn’t nearly as important as a trustworthy friend. But choose friends wisely—pick doers, not talkers. Get a ham radio license to communicate over long distances. You can buy a walkie-talkie-sized, multi-band transceiver cheaply, and the ham radio repeater network should stay up, as many of the devices are now solar-powered.”
5 GET INTO A PICKLE
“Storing food without power can be tough. In hot climates you can dry as much food as you like with no electricity. But elsewhere you’ll need other low-energy techniques to prevent decay. Pickle food, make sauerkraut or use lye to cure fish, called lutefisk, like the Norwegians. But be warned; it’s an acquired taste.”