Logo Zombie survival guide Chapter 4 on the run
The undead
Weapons and combat techniques
On the Defense
On the run

On the AttackLiving in an undead worldBuy the book on amazon

During the course of an outbreak, you may find it necessary to flee the area. Your fortress may be ovemm. You may run out of supplies. You may become critically injured or ill, in need of professional medical attention. Fire, chemicals, or even radiation may be rapidly approaching. Crossing an infested area is generally the most dangerous thing you can do. You will never be safe, never be secure. Always exposed, in hostile temtory, you will know what it means to be prey.

GO TO SECTION : General Rules , Vehicles , Terrain Types



1. ONE GOAL: Too often, people who have been holed up in fortfied dwellings are seduced by the distractions of their initial freedom. Most of these people never make it to safety. Do not become one of these unnecessary statistics. Your mission is to escapenothing more, nothing less. Do not look for abandoned valuables. Do not hunt the occasional zombie. Do not investigate any strange noises or lights in the distance. Just get out. Every side trip, every pause in the journey, increases the odds of being found and devoured. If by some chance you come across humans that need assistance, by all means stop to help. (Sometimes logic must give way to humanity.) Otherwise, keep going!

2. ESTABLISH A DESTINATION: Where exactly are you headed? Too often, people have abandoned their fortifications to wander aimlessly and hopelessly across an area swarming with ghouls. Without a fixed destination in mind, the chances of surviving the journey are slim. Use your radio to discover the nearest haven. If possible, try to communicate with the outside world to confirm that this destination is indeed safe. Always have a backup destination, in case the first is overun. Unless other humans are waiting, and unless constant communication is maintained, you may anive to find a gathering of zombies waiting hungrily at the finish line.

3. GATHER INTELLIGENCE AND PLAN YOUR JOURNEY: How many zombies (approximately) stand between you and your destination? Where are the natural boundaries? Have there been hazardous accidents such as fires or chemical spills? What are the safest routes to take? What are the most dangerous? Which have been blocked since the outbreak began? Will weather be a problem? Are there any assets along the way? Are you sure they're still there? Can you think of any information you'd like to have before setting out? Obviously, once you are holed up in your fortress, gathering intelligence will be difficult. It may be impossible to know how many zombies are out there, if a bridge is down, or if all the boats at the marina are gone. So know your terrain. At least that factor will not change with an outbreak. Consider where you will be at the end of each day. Make sure, at least from the map, that it's relatively defensible, with good concealment and several escape routes. Specific gear will also have to be considered, depending on the chosen path. Will rope be required for climbing? What about extra water if there's no natural source? Once all these factors are calculated, consider the unknown varables and formulate backup plans around them. What will you do if a fire or chemical spill blocks your path? Where will you go if the zombie threat turns out to be greater than anticipated? What if a team member is injured? Consider all the possibilities, and do your best to plan for them. If someone says to you, "Hey, let's just get going and deal with whatever's out there," hand him a pistol with one bullet and tell him that it's an easier way of committing suicide.

4. GET IN SHAPE: If the previous instructions have been followed to the letter, yonr body should already be conditioned for a long journey. If this is not the case, begin a strict cardiovascular regimen. If there is no time, make sure the path you have chosen is within your physical abilities.

5. AVOID LARGE GROUPS: When on the defense, the advantage lies in numbers. But when traveling through zombie tenitory, the opposite holds true. Large groups increase the chances of detection. Even with strict discipline, accidents happen. Larger groups also impede mobility, because the slowest members have to struggle to keep pace with the fastest, and vice versa. Of course, traveling solo has its problems as well. Security, reconnaissance, and, naturally, sleep would all be hampered if someone tried to "go it alone." For ideal performance, keep your team at three members. Four to ten is still manageable. Anything above that is asking for trouble. Three members allow mutual protection in hand-to-hand fighting, dispersion of guard duty at night, and the ability of two members to cany an injured third for short periods of time.

6. TRAIN YOUR GROUP: Take stock of your team's individual skills, and use them accordingly. Who can carry the most gear? Who's the fastest runner? Who's the quietest in hand-to-hand combat? Designate individual jobs in both combat and everyday survival. When your team hits the road, everyone should know what's expected of him or her. Working together should also be top priority. Practice mock survival techniques as well as combat drills. For example, time how long it will take to pack up all your gear and move out in a sudden zombie attack. Obviously, time may be critical in your departure. In an ideal situation, your group should move as one, act as one, kill as one.

7. REMAIN MOBILE: Once discovered, zombies will converge on you from every direction. Mobility, not firepower, is your best defense. Be prepared to run at a moment's notice. Never pack more than you can run with. Never unpack all your gear at once. Never remove your shoes unless immediate security is assured! Pace yourself. Undertake high-speed dashes only when necessary, as they squander large amounts of precious energy. Take frequent, short breaks. Do not allow yourself to become too comfortable. Remember to stretch during each break. Never take unnecessary risks. Jumping, climbing, and anything that could cause injury should be avoided if possible. In ghoul-infested territory, the last thing you need is a sprained ankle.

8. REMAIN INVISIBLE: Other than speed, your next closest ally will he stealth. Like a mouse wing to crawl through a nest of snakes, you must do everything possible to avoid detection. Turn off any hand-held radios or electronic equipment. If you wear a digital watch, make sure the alarm is deactivated. Tie down all your gear, making sure nothing clanks when you walk. If possible, keep your canteen full (to avoid a "sloshing" sound). If in a group, refrain from talking. Whisper or use visual signals to communicate. Stick to areas with good cover. Travel through open areas only when necessary. At night, refrain from using fires, flashlights, or any other sources of light. This will restrict your mobility to daylight hours and your diet to cold rations, but these sacrifices must be made. Studies have shown that zombies with intact eyes can spot a glowing cigarette ember from over half a mile away. (It is not known whether this causes them to investigate, hut why take the chance?) Fight only when you have to. Delays brought on by battle will serve only to draw more zombies. People have been known to finish off one zombie only to find themselves surrounded by dozens more. If combat proves inevitable, use firearms only in the most desperate of circumstances. Firing a shot is no different than sending up a flare. Its report may attract zombies for miles around. Unless you have a reliable and very speedy means of escape, or unless your firearm is silenced, use a secondary hand weapon. If not, have an escape route planned and ready to use once your shots are fired.

9. LOOK AND LISTEN: In addition to staying hidden, you must try to spot potential threats. Watch for any movement. Don't ignore shadows or distant humanoid forms. During breaks and while on the march, pause to listen to your surroundings. Do you hear footsteps or scraping sounds? Are the undead moaning, or is it just the wind? Of course, it is easy to become paranoid, to believe zombies are around every comer. Is that bad? In this instance, no. It's one thing to believe everyone's out to get you, quite another when it's actually true.

10. SLEEP!: You or your group are all alone, trying to he silent, tqing to be alert. Zombies could be anywhere, hiding, hunting. Dozens could appear at any moment, and help is miles away. So how in heaven's name are you supposed to get any sleep!?! It sounds crazy, it sounds impossible, but it is essential if you're going to make it through this ordeal alive. Without rest, muscles deteriorate, senses dull, and each passing hour reduces your ahility to operate. Many a foolhardy human, believing he could load his body with caffeine and "power through" his trek, has realized too late the consequences of such stupidity. One advantage of having to travel by day is that, like it or not, you're not going anywhere for at least several hours. Instead of cursing the darkness, use it. Traveling in small groups, as opposed to solo, allows for more secure sleep because individual members can take shifts standing watch. Of course, even with someone watching over you, dropping off will not be easy. Resist the temptation of sleeping pills. Their effects could leave you unable to function if zombies attack during the night. Other than meditation or other mental exercises, there is no quick fix for getting to sleep in the middle of an infestation.

11. REFRAIN FROM OVERT SIGNALS: The first sight of a plane might cause you to try to attract the pilot's attention, firing your weapon, sending up a flare, lighting a signal fire, or by some other dramatic means. This could get the pilot's attention, who could radio for a helicopter or ground rescue team to head for your position. This act will also attract nearby zombies. Unless the helicopter is only minutes away, the zombies will undoubtedly reach you first. Unless the aircraft you see has the potential to land right then and there, do not attempt to signal it with anything other than a radio or mirror. If these are not available, keep going.

12. AVOID URBAN AREAS: No matter what your chances for survival are during an infestation, they will undoubtedly drop by 50 if not 75 percent when traversing an urban area. The simple fact is that a place inhabited by more living will have more dead. The more buildings present, the more places to be ambushed. These buildings also decrease your field of vision. Hard cement surfaces, unlike soft ground, do nothing to muffle footsteps. Add to that the chances of simply knocking something over, tripping over debris, or crunching over broken glass, and you have a recipe for a very noisy trip. Also, as has been and will be stressed again in this chapter, the possibility of being trapped, cornered, or otherwise surrounded in an urban area is infinitely greater than it is in any wilderness setting. Forget for a moment that your problem even comes from the living dead. What about friendly fire, other humans hiding in buildings, or armed bands of hunters that mistake you for a zombie? What about fire, either accidental or intentionally started by hunters? What about chemical spills, poisonous smoke, or other hazardous by-products of urban warfare? What about disease? Remember that bodies of both dead humans and dispatched zombies might be left unattended for weeks. The deadly microorganisms they cany that are spread by the wind will be as potent a health hazard as any other found on city streets. Unless you have some legitimate reason (a rescue attempt or impassable obstacles on either side, not a quick chance to loot), stay away from cities at all costs!

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The automobile is one of the most complicated machines on earth. On bad roads, without the convenient auto garage, this machine can quickly become a pile of useless junk. Consider fuel consumption. Gas stations may be few and far between. Chances are those you do find will have been drained long ago. And then there is noise. Roaring through an infestation may seem ateactive when things are going well. But any powered engine, no matter how good the muffler, generates more noise than the loudest human footstep. If you find yourself in a vehicle that for whatever reason cannot go another foot, grab your gear and run! Until this moment, you have been announcing your presence to every ghoul in the area. Now, with your mechanized mobility gone, good luck in avoiding them. Despite these warnings, the lure of motorized transport can seem irresistible. The following is a short list of typical vehicles and their advantages and disadvantages.

1. THE SEDAN: What is otherwise known as your basic "car" has thousands of variations. This makes it difficult to generalize about their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing, look for gas mileage, equipment storage space, and durability. If sedans have one major drawback, it is their lack of all-terrain capability.

2. THE SUV: With the off-road capability of a military vehicle and the comfort and reliability of a sedan, what could be better for fleeing the undead? The answer is: a lot. Despite their appearance, not all SUVs are equipped for all-terrain driving. Many were produced for a consumer who never even contemplated taking his SUV beyond his own neighborhood. But what about safety? Shouldn't the sheer mass of such large vehicles offer more protection? The answer is, again, no. Repeated consumer studies have shown that many SUVs possess safety standards well below that of many mid-sized sedans. That said, some of these vehicles are truly what they appear to be: rugged, dependable workhorses that can handle unforgiving conditions. Research your options carefully so you can tell these genuine models from the gas-guzzling, aesthetically engineered, irresponsibly marketed vanity pieces.

3. THE TRUCK: This class refers to any mid-sized cargo vehicles, from vans to delivery trucks to recreational vehicles. With poor gas mileage, limited offroad capability (depending on the model), and massive, ungainly hulk, these vehicles could be considered the worst choice in transportation. In many cases, trucks have become stuck in both urban and wilderness settings, transforming their occupants into canned food.

Motorcycle4. THE MOTORCYCLE: Definitely the best choice for fleeing an infested area. The motorcycle- specifically the dirt bike-can reach places inaccessible to fourwheeled vehicles. Their speed and maneuverability allows them to be ridden right through a crowd of zombies. Their light weight allows them to he pushed for miles. Of course, there are drawbacks. Motorcycles have small gas tanks, and offer no protection whatsoever. The statistics show, however, that these are small disadvantages. When compared to other motorists attempting to escape a zombie outbreak, dirt-bike riders have a 23-to-1 survival rate.

A. The Horse: No one can dispute the obvious advantage of an escape on horseback. Before saddling up and hitting the trail, however, keep in mind these simple warnings. As anyone who's even ridden a pony as a child will agree, horseback riding requires skill. The skills needed to ride and care for horses are difficult to master. Unless yon already how how, don't think you can learn on the go. Another drawback, specific to dealing with zombies, is that horses are notoriously spooked by the undead. Even the scent of a zombie, carried by the wind and maybe miles from the source, will be enough to send most horses into hysterics. This could be an advantageous early-warning system to an extremely experienced rider, one who knows how to control his animal. For most, however, the end result could be a catapult toss to the ground, injuries and all.

B. The Bicycle: In a class by itself, this vehicle offers the best of both worlds. The common bicycle is fast, quiet, muscle-powered, and easy to maintain. Add to this the additional advantage that it is the only vehicle you can pick up and carry if the terrain gets too rough. People using bicycles to escape from infested areas have almost always fared better than those on foot. For optimum performance, use a mountain bike, as opposed to the racing or recreational model.

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Every environment you encounter will have its own set of rules. These rules must be studied and respected at all times. This respect will determine whether that terrain becomes your ally or enemy.

1. FOREST (TEMPERATE~TROPICAL): The density of many high trees enhances concealment. Animal noises, or lack thereof, can provide warning of approaching danger. Soft earth will serve to muffle your footsteps. Occasional sources of natural food (nuts, berries, fish, game, etc.) will supplement and extend your packed rations. Sleeping in the branches of a large tree may permit you a safe night's rest.

2. PLAINS: Wide open spaces allow zombies to spot you at great distances. If possible, avoid them. If not, keep a sharp lookout for the undead. Make sure you see them before they see you. Drop to the ground immediately. Wait for them to pass. If motion is necessary, crawl. Stay down until you've cleared the danger zone.

3. FIELDS: For concealment, nothing works better than tall crops. The question is: Will this work to your advantage or to a lurking ghoul's? Noise will be a critical factor. Traipsing through dry crops will create enough din to attract zombies from far and wide. Even at their wettest, travel through fields slowly, listen carefully, and be ready for close combat at any time.

4. HILLS: Traveling through rolling terrain will limit your visibility. If possible, avoid high ground. Stick to valleys. Keep an eye on the surrounding hilltops in case the unexpected zombie should spot you. High ground can be useful for getting your bearings, confuming your route, and confirming zombie locations within the area. Approach high ground with extreme caution. Travel low, on your stomach, with eyes primed for a slouching figure and ears alert for that distinctive moan.

5. SWAMP: If possible, avoid wetlands altogether. The noise of splashing through water prevents any chance of stealth. Poisonous and predatory wildlife are as much a threat as the undead. Soft mud will impede your advance, especially with a heavy pack. Always stick to firm, dry ground. If necessary, wade through only the shallowest water. Watch for ripples or any subsurface motion. A zombie might have sunk through the soft mud and be trapped just below the waterline. Look for tracks and animal carcasses. As in forests, listen to the wildlife. Their physical presence will also act as an early-warning mechanism. Hundreds of different animal and bird species live in this ecosystem. Only the threat of large predators would be enough to silence them. If you find yourself in the middle of a swamp and suddenly hear absolutely nothing, you will know the undead are close.

House on the Tundra6. TUNDRA: This subarctic environment is the most human-friendly on earth. Long winter nights are safe for travel, as the extremely low temperatures freeze zombies in their tracks. The long summer days put sightdependent humans on equal parity with their omnisensed, undead pursuers. This allows for more time spent on the go. Ironically, this subarctic twilight has also proven to aid in deeper, more relaxed sleep. Escapees bedding down for the "night" have consistently reported the ability to truly rest without the fear of a putrid mob rushing at them from out of the darkness.

7. DESERT: Apart from urban areas, hot, arid zones can be the most dangerous environments on earth. Even without the threat of zombies, dehydration andlor heatstroke can kill a healthy human in several hours. If possible, avoid deserts altogether. Never forget that this environment can kill you just as easily as any walking dead.

8. URBAN: As stated before, areas of high population density should be avoided at all costs when on the run.

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