Between the premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead last night, and Halloween coming up, people are sure to be talking about zombies once again. While the undead have been a part of popular culture since George Romero’s Night of The Living Dead, it has only been recently that people have bridged the gap between prepping and a potential zombie apocalpyse.
Are Zombie Preppers Legit?
Due to the fantastical nature of a zombie apocalypse, zombie
preppers are looked down upon by many members of the prepper community. PostCollapse, the largest prepper related section on reddit, is strictly anti zombie for example. It’s possible that zombies have become very chic recently with the rise of nerd culture in the mainstream, and are experiencing some push back from more entrenched members of the community. But to dismiss something that would bring more people into a state of being prepared would be nothing short of elitist.
Zombies: The Gateway Drug
Authorities as high up as the US government has gone so far as to endorse zombie survival plans as a great way to prepare, launching a social media campaign earlier this year. Due to the trendy nature of zombie content, it was an easy way to get people to start talking about what they had prepared. Their rationale? Being able to prepare for a zombie apocalypse would translate very well to a more mundane disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake.
The basics on the bug out bag list would be more or less the same: food, water, purification tabs, medicine, and tools to create shelter. If anything, the supplies would be more geared towards dishing out pain on the shambling legions of dead. But with the reality of the difficult to predict human element of a disaster, being more armed than necessary would translate to more people being
prepared to protect themselves and their family from would be looters. In the scenario of little food being available, someone wanting to eat your supplies is just as deadly as a zombie wanting to eat your brains.
Innovation from the Zombie Prepper Scene
Zombie preppers have developed their own set of innovative techniques to meet the particular demands of their apocalypse of choice. Suited to the defense of zombie bites, there have been some interesting developments. One of the interesting preps I found while browsing a zombie survival forum years ago was duct tape armor. Originally created in prisons to protect from shivs and other attacks during riots, duct tape has been used for years to keep people alive. Used by itself or in combination with plating ranging from lunch trays to phone books, it provides a lightweight form of armor than can turn a blade or even stop a bullet if thick enough.
The effect of zombie preppers can be felt on weapons from practical to borderline ridiculous. Some have even taken accessorizing weapons to an almost fetishistic level. Regardless, this sort of experimentation is teaching people around the world skills when it comes to self defense.