Zombie Survival Guide: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Survival Guide

We keep talking about how to react and what to do in case of a natural disaster but we never seem to take into consideration a zombie attack; this would be the final last disaster (not sure if so natural) of our planet. As no one actually proved that zombies exist, this is a highly hypothetical situation, but it is still worth talking about it. We’re going to walk you through a zombie survival guide, just in case one day someone is chasing you down the street, trying to eat your brain.

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We saw tons of zombie Hollywood movies and the main image that comes in mind is a corpse on decay barely walking and looking for fresh human meat or brain to eat. In order to have the complete picture, it’s time to ask ourselves: what can we define as being a zombie?

The origin of this belief is in Africa, and it was brought to Haiti by enslaved Africans. The legend (because we are talking about a legendary creature) comes from Haitian folklore, where it is believed that a zombie is a corpse that was re-animated after burial using witchcraft. The witch who knows how to make dead people walk again comes from the Voodoo religion and the main reason for this action is to enslave the zombie.

After being death and all, the zombie has no will power of its own; it’s just the carcass of the deceased. Practically a dead person gets out of his or her grave in order to continue walking the earth and serving the master. As we’re talking about dead people, the natural body decay will continue even as a zombie.

The zombie legend spread throughout the world after the US entered Haiti and it was accelerated by Hollywood producers. The myth and the mystique that surrounds this creepy story led to the creation of many movies on this topic.


A more scientific approach of the legend discovered that zombies do exist but they are actually people that have been drugged with powerful drugs in order to induce a death like state. When the person awakens in its grave, the trauma is too strong and transforms the person’s personality.

The person knows it died and it doesn’t find its place in society anymore, which is why it lingers around cemeteries and has very unanimated reactions. There were experiments done to test this theory and they were quite successful. Still the mixture between African and Haitian legends is powerful and managed to keep the legend alive.

To continue the legend’s thread, we find out that even though zombies are dead and theoretically they should have no lust and no needs, they are hungry. Of course, their main and favorite dish is human flesh and brain. Apparently the brain is a delicacy. Also, the person bitten by a zombie is infected and transforms in one.

Tips on how to survive a zombie apocalypse

The zombie apocalypse is that end of the world scenario where zombies have taken over the world and infected most of the population. They keep looking for fresh meat and search buildings for the last surviving humans. It’s not quite clear what happens after they finish devouring the last human; are they going to die of starvation? They really can’t as they are already dead! The most possible scenario is that they are going to wonder the Earth, hands in front, until the end of days, the real apocalypse.

Leaving the skepticism away, there are world renowned zombie experts that say this can actually happen. We can be zombified by strange mutating diseases and we can actually wake up in the middle of a zombie plague. They say it’s like an earthquake, you never know when it is going to happen but it is definitely going to happen. This is why we also have to be prepared and know how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Zombified People

The “real” zombie apocalypse would be different from what we see in movies. There’s also a discussion over how a real zombie would look like. Scientists are convinced that we’re not talking about living dead here and no one is going to rise from their graves. It’s more like a disease that infects human brains and makes subjects crazy violent. This disease is the actual zombie effect and the violence leads to killing and eating other persons. As gross as it sounds, this is more likely to happen than the walking dead scenario.

The apocalypse is going to last for months, even years and the infection is not going to spread as fast as it does in movies. Of course, the movies only last about two, three hours and they need to move fast. Anyways, the zombie apocalypse for real is going to be (if) long and very difficult with bad news transmitted through all media channels, terror and lots of losses. Indeed, a scenario worth of an apocalyptic period.

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So, returning to our main problem: how can we survive a zombie apocalypse? Human race is known to be very persistent and we will definitely survive even through a zombie apocalypse; those of us who are prepared actually. Let’s see what rules we need to follow in order to help our race survive.

  • The first rule of survival is: make supplies. This is actually a good rule for any type of disaster and apocalyptic scenario. Try to find an isolated shelter where you can gather supplies safely. You are going to need food that is not perishable like cans, energy bars, dried fruits, instant soups and so on. Also, you need to add fresh water and other things you might need like standard batteries, solar batteries, flashlights, toilet paper, medication and so on. We have a great article on the best prepper foods to store and, even though zombies may never attack, it’s a great way to learn more about things to store in an emergency
    Make sure to get enough water. If things get nasty, water sources are most likely to be contaminated and there is not going to be anyone left to clean them.
  • Try to remain in the area you know best. If the zombie plague strikes it’s better to know the best hiding places and ways to avoid the undead.
  • Gather as much fuel as possible. If the zombies attack humans, fuel is going to be scarce up to the point it seizes to exist because there is no one out there producing it anymore. We have a great piece on how long you can store gasoline that may be of interest to you.
  • Try to avoid crowded places like malls and supermarkets. You might get killed by normal, desperate people over a bug of peanuts. Apocalyptical scenarios are the best moments to keep your distance from crowds. They have a mind of their own which where the phrase “crowd mentality” comes from.

Zombie apocalypse survival guide – rules and facts

Even if the zombie apocalypse seems distant and very hypothetical, people are very preoccupied with it. This is shown by the fact that there are books written on this topic and there are actual zombie apocalypse survival guides being put together by zombie experts. So, if you’re interested in a deeper approach of the matter you can find yourself tons of books that talk about how and what to do.

Zombie preparedness infographic

We made a summary of all that is out there and we want to present you the 7 basic rules and facts you need to know in order to come out alive from the fight with zombies.

  1. Put together a survival kit and make sure it’s in an accessible spot. Your kit should be light and packed with things that are strictly necessary to survive for at least three days.
    You should pack: medication (over the counter and prescribed recipes), fresh water, first aid kit, matches and lighter, candles, fire starters (you can learn to do them yourself), flashlight and batteries (standard and solar), small radio to get in contact with other survivors, canned foods and energy bars that are easy to carry, nothing heavy, can opener, water filtering bottle (when you run out you’ll have to find a water source), important documents, compass and map to locate roads and bodies of water, blankets and warm clothes, back-up footwear, ear plugs (it seems that the walking dead love to moan and you’re going to get tired of it at a certain point), binoculars so you can scan the area around you and be prepared in case of an attack, a pocket knife and a multi-tool, shovel, hammer and lots of good quality rope, sleeping bag, a comfortable backpack that will contain all these and be easy to carry on your back.
  2. Look for shelter. If you don’t have a shelter outside the city, already prepared, the situation can be a bit desperate. You’ll need all your surviving skills to get alive in the end. Anyways, stay away from cities and basements. Apparently zombies love going underground (d’oh!) and they will find you and eat you. Go to higher ground, they are not very good climbers.
  3. In the situation you have a shelter prepared, try to reach it and stay there. Try to contact other survivors using your radio and be a good host in case others come knocking at your door. Try to be as invisible as possible and don’t make fires outside. Zombies have a heightened sense of smell, apparently.
  4. If you don’t have a shelter prepared, head for the nearest woods. Zombies will be attracted by cities first, where they can feed (at least in the beginning). It will be a while before they’ll start hunting in the woods and you’ll be long gone by then. We have a great article that can teach you how to build a survival shelter.
  5. Learn to use the environment in your favor. Considering the fact that there are no jobs anymore and you don’t have anything else to do, try learning to live in the wilderness.
  6. Hunt and cook your meals using just the items you have on you. A very useful skill is to learn how to make a fire using just the items you can find in the woods. No matches or lighter. For this, you can read our how to make a fire with sticks tutorial.
  7. Find other survivors. If you managed to escape the plague, others have too. Try to find their camps and join them in hunting down the zombies up to the last one. Killing them is the only way you can consider yourself winners.

Zombie survival gear: how to become the hunter

The main scenario is that, at first stages of the zombie apocalypse, we are going to be the hunted but in the end, we will become the hunters. This is why you need to know which weapons are most efficient and how to actually kill a zombie. It may seem like a redundant thing to do, considering the fact that it is already dead and reanimated but, if we’re talking about walking dead, you will definitely have to kill all those infected.

The secondary scenario is the outbreak of a virus that makes all those infected extremely violent. In this situation the best solution might be finding a cure or a vaccine. Even so, this may take a while and you’ll still be in the need of a zombie survival gear to protect yourself and other survivors.

It seems that regardless of the situation, as a survivor, you must be ready to fight. So, how do you actually kill a zombie? The most effective way is to cut off its head; simple and efficient in both situations (walking dead or infected by virus).

Here are the basic items your zombie survival gear should contain:

  • Big, sharpened ax. You have to be able to swing it and hit with precision and power. If you don’t know how to choose one, take a look at our best survival axe article.
  • Rifle, assault rifle or shotgun with plenty of ammo (blowing their heads off is also efficient). A great shotgun is the Winchester Super X Pump Defender, but if you want to think about it, you should take a look at our best shotgun for self defense article.
  • Hatchet and/or machete (perfect for close fights) we put together a great list with the best tactical hatchet that may be useful when you go shopping.
  • Military or combat knife (easy to handle and really sharp) – we have a beautiful collection of models in our best tactical knives article.
  • Baseball bat

You don’t have to wear all that gear with you. You don’t even have to own all these weapons; one will be enough. Pick your favorite and take good care of it. When the time comes, it may be the only thing standing between you and an ugly zombie face.

When you hear the zombie apocalypse started, you will need to improve your fighting and survival skills. This will be your only way out and your only chance at surviving this black scenario.

Post zombie apocalypse life

The zombie survival guide should contain this part too: what to do after the apocalypse is over and you actually survived? This is even a darker scenario as life we knew it doesn’t exist anymore, all loved ones are dead, there is not going to be any economy, electricity or homes.

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After the zombie occupation everything will be destroyed and those who survived will have to try and reconstruct the world from scraps. This realization can be so dark and powerful that will blow your mind. Well, it’s no reason to despair (completely), you survived the zombie apocalypse! All you need is a good plan.

First of all, you’ll need to learn how to get by without electricity and other accommodations of the modern world. You’ll need to start cultivating your own food in gardens just like early people used to do. Of course, if you’re lucky, you’ll find some things still working but don’t count on that. You will have to learn how to make your own clothes, produce your own heat and build houses. It is going to be a slow start, but together you will manage to re-start the world. For this, we recommend taking a look at our piece on how to live off the grid.

All the zombie apocalypse survivors will get to be the fathers of a new world, the builders of a new era for the human race. With this thought in mind you can find the inner power to move on and start over.

In conclusion, a zombie apocalypse would only make us stronger. Sure, only a few will survive but they will have the opportunity to build a new world. If you want to be among the ones who survive, it’s time to pick up the zombie apocalypse survival guide today and start learning. Even if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen, you will have the necessary skills to survive any type of disaster, so it’s not a waste of time.

Learning about how to survive in the wilderness with basic items and learning how to fight and protect yourself from a violent, deluded person are valuable skills even in the world as we know it. Danger is lurking in the shadow and you can’t know when it will decide to come out and hit you. If you’re prepared, you increase your chances of survival.

Remember: zombies are not just a fantasy or a legend; they are a very possible scenario. World renowned experts see the zombie apocalypse possible and this should at least raise a question mark regarding our world’s safety. Ask yourself one important question: what if? Can you still sleep at night knowing that your worst fears have a small change to realize and you’re not ready to face them? Are you prepared to lose everything you love without even putting up a good fight?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.


  • The source of a zombie outbreak is still up for debate but it helps to know that you have what you need handy. The supplies and weapons listed here are not just applicable for a zombie apocalypse but it is also applicable to most SHTF scenarios.

  • Zombie Apocalypse is an interesting subject!

    I never quite understood why all those people in the movies simply don’t don a full body armor. After all zombies are not that intelligent and likely won’t have the brains to pull the armor off a human. Armor would protect against bites and a good long sword would go a long way. Might be time to put that shotgun down and go full medieval on them!

  • I like to think about possible escape scenarios while watching zombie movies.

    Especially if we see it as an outbreak of a disease, since it usually is a cause of an apocalypse in the movies. It would be terrifying to witness an epidemic of such proportions. I would personally quickly establish a bunker and only venture out to gather supplies.

    • well, in 2020, we have coronavirus and civil unrest peaking in the USA. I’d like to think that “zombie apocalypse” is simply a metaphor for what we’re dealing with now; now more than ever these survival guides are in danger of becoming VERY relevant.

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