10 Survival Essentials to EDC in a Zombie Apocalypse

…or to prepare for the return of The Walking Dead

10 Survival Essentials to EDC in a Zombie Apocalypse

In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what would you carry? The hypothetical question comes up here and there in the EDC world. It’s always a fun conversation, but it can be enlightening too. When preparing for the worst, you’re bound to pick up some useful survival tips from the discussion. With help from fellow EDCers in our forums and some inspiration by the upcoming television return of The Walking Dead, we've assembled a list of gear (with some picks straight from the show) designed to get you through even the worst of zombie-infested survival situations.

EDC Knives in The Walking Dead and More

Image title

Stanley Fubar

Suggested by many in our forums, the Stanley FUBAR is an excellent upgrade to the standard crow bar. Able to pry, demolish, split boards, and—of course—strike, the FUBAR adds some utility to an already useful tool.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

Spyderco Endura

Fans of the show might remember this capable folder as part of Lori’s EDC in season two. The Spyderco Endura makes for a great EDC knife, zombies or not. The lightweight handle, sturdy lockback, and four-way pocket clip result in a knife that’s easy to carry and use.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

Gerber DMF

If you’re after the knife Rick Grimes carries as his go-to for most of the show, this is it. The Gerber DMF makes several appearances on the show thanks to its versatility. There's a heavy-duty handle for grip, a metal pommel for striking, a serrated tanto blade for piercing and slicing, and minimal moving parts for increased reliability.

Buy on Amazon

Image title


Whether you're tying up a tarp for some shelter or securing gear to a vehicle, cordage always comes in handy. It's easier to use and lighter to carry than regular rope, and it's just as strong. In the event of a zombie outbreak, you can fashion a makeshift alarm by surrounding your camp with strung up cans to get a heads-up when walkers trip them. But for everyday purposes, there’s always these 5 handy uses for paracord.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The last thing you want to be doing is drinking from a water source with a few dead walkers up stream. The LifeStraw is the easiest way to ensure you'll have clean drinking water as fast as possible. Its simplicity and portability make it an easy add-on to your outdoors or survival kit too.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle

It's always good to have some water on hand, as you may not know when the next safe time to get some will be. This Klean Kanteen is optimal for survival situations because of its single walled stainless steel construction. While insulated bottles are great for keeping things hot or cold, they can't be placed in a fire to boil water!

Buy on Amazon

Image title

Solar Powered Flashlight

No, really. Irony aside, the only thing worse than worrying about battery life in a zombie apocalypse is getting stuck in the dark. These 100% waterproof flashlights charge up via sunlight and will stay charged for up to three full years.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

Casio GW7900B-1 G-Shock Solar Watch

There are several scenes throughout the series that revolve around watches. Knowing what time it is and how many days have passed is a way that the survivors keep in touch with their humanity. Instead of the hand-wound mechanical watches seen in the show, something like the solar powered G-Shock would do much better in a survival situation.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

LightMyFire Swedish FireKnife Firestarter

Ditch the makeshift battery and gum wrapper “fire starter” Eugene uses in season 5 and opt for something a bit more reliable. This fire starter is built into the handle of a knife made by respected bushcraft brand Morakniv, killing two birds with one stone.

Buy on Amazon

Image title

Multifunction Tarp Shelter

Most of The Walking Dead is people looking for a place to settle down. Sure, they found a farmhouse, a prison, and even what seemed like the perfect little zombie-free town, but there were a lot of nights roughing it in the woods in between. This lightweight tarp is easy to carry, waterproof, and makes an excellent layer of protection between you and the elements.

Buy on Amazon

Did the cast of The Walking Dead forget anything crucial? Let us know in the comments below what your go-to gear would be in the event of a zombie apocalypse! Hypothetically speaking, of course.

#survival #pop-culture #the-walking-dead #buying-guides #zombie-edc #edc-zombie #gear-for-zombie-apocalypse #edc-apocalypse-mean see all

Who Likes This (85)

76 others

Discussion (9 total)

Why don't we ever get articles on how to survive a dinosaur resurgence or a vampire epidemic? Both are just as plausible as a zombie issue. :-)
Don't watch the show but "Lori in Season Two" needs to put that knife on the inside of her pant's pocket.
Does not comply with corporate protocol. Will not fly.


The thing nobody talks about is never carry anything you can't replace. The other thing is maintenance.

You don't need a G Shock (a PX special for 20 bucks does the same shit you'll ever use: time, timer, stopwatch) or a really expensive knife. You will need pliers and a couple types of screwdriver, and a shitty blade so you can save the nice(r) one for other stuff. Gerbers are great for all of those. Also hammering things in, or prying things out, not just with the pliers but the flathead screwdriver too. Lifestraws are kinda neat, especially their whole charity thing, but Camelbak makes a better (i.e. longer lasting) in-line filter for their stuff. Filters also don't purify--you still need to add a bit of bleach or some iodine.

Going back to maintenance. Carry a knife sharpener, or know where it is anyway--that Lansky one is good. Carry a TufCloth and their oil to guard against rust. Carry a simple gun cleaning kit--a solvent and a rag and a dust brush. You can add a bore snake and patches and finishers if you want, but those first ones are essential.

The mini hooligan tool is actually a useful thing, but it's heavy. You *really* wanna cart it around? After the first 90 days we'll see. Not saying it's not useful, but why not have a bigger, better one in the BOV if you actually need it? http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000VSSG3O/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&%3Bcolid=2D0UPFL6SSYWJ&%3Bcoliid=I1EXSK6RJ4QA89&tag=bg999-20

Think about the *neon orange* for a second. http://smile.amazon.com/Stansport-Reinforced-Brown-Rip-Stop-12-Feet/dp/B00O6HI4JW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&%3Bqid=1455423236&%3Bsr=8-1&%3Bkeywords=brown+tarp&tag=bg999-20

Firestarters suck. Really suck. Fire eggs--paraffin wax and sawdust--along with your basic stick lighter work loads better. Hexamine too, but it stinks and the edges crumble to powder if you don't protect it.

I actually sank a lot into my headlamp, because having that shit go out when you need it=no bueno, I'll agree. Keep in mind if it has a red lens, and it definitely should, that shit won't go as far as the white light, but only relatively speaking--a 120 lumen red light still goes farther than an 80 lumen one, so pay attention you're not blithely broadcasting your position because "oh well, it's a red lens, it scatters the most, no one will see it, haha". I have never once used the strobe, just saying.

Never had a use for a real fire. Really. Too much light, too much smoke, and digging a pit the Ranger Handbook way is a lot of work. You need to purify your water you use chlorine or you use a teeny bottle of iodine. Hexamine stoves look like a great idea, but they take forever to boil and are really sensitive to wind. If you really want hot chow, a Whisperlite could work, but I dunno where you're gonna keep getting white gas from. Course you could do this https://etrike.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/msr-whisperlight-alcohol-mod/ and make it burn alcohol, but that's something to do *now*, not later. Ideally just bring a fuckton of bottled water, but if this is a real societal shutdown you probably can't count on that.

Only thing that's really on point is 550. Always have 50 ft of 550. Everyone should have that much, every time you do something. Uses are innumerable. Strap a few bungies to your ruck somehow too, or if you can find them get the nice green tie-down straps. I have a few, but not enough.

shit they missed (and everybody misses):

Carry a waffle top in the bag. And a beanie. And a couple sets of extra socks, and use them. And wear more durable clothes that can get rained on and fucked up, not thin cotton tank tops. Holy shit. "Cotton kills" is real. I'd say bring suntan lotion but more realistically just keep yourself covered and be cognizant of sun exposure.

Pen and paper. Pen and paper. Pen and paper. Sketches, notes, figure out what you're gonna say on the radio before you say it. Give a piece of paper with a complicated message you don't trust your runner to commit to memory so you know it gets through. Make a list of the shit you need and physically check it off. Note your frequencies, if you're using radios. Note your time hacks, where you want to be at a certain point, where you can find supplies later that you can't take now, if you HAVE to leave something behind (don't), note where you left it. If you see someone else and can't let someone know, describe them, where and when, what they were doing, who they were with. If you have particular SOPs make notes of them. This makes your notebook extremely sensitive. Do not lose it. You don't need a space pen or Rite-in-the-Rain or Field Notes or whatever, a Bic and a memo pad works, and the way you're gonna go through them you'll know exactly why you're going to agree with that after about ninety to 120 days.

Already mentioned it but: lighter, Burn the ends of your 550 so it doesn't come undone or have flappy ends asking to get snagged. Use the metal bit to put it out, or you'll eventually melt the bottom. Burn notes if you have to. Burn the end of your knife to sterilize it. Also some duct tape on an old ID or credit card. Some people carry super glue--for people, not things--and I did for a little bit, but I never used it, so back in the abyss it went. Chemlights are good if you have an SOP for what they mean, otherwise they're just kinda confusing.

A compass is good but only if you get a good one and know how to use it, and have an accurate map. Maps change. Make sure it's accurate, not just recent. Accept that you'll probably get lost anyway, because who on god's green earth actually knows their pace count and how exactly it changes with the specific terrain you find yourself in, and can adjust on the fly for how tired you are and are progressively getting? It's supposed to be so you don't have to handrail, but everyone handrails. All the more reason for an accurate map. But again accept you will be lost at some point. A one degree divergence, even if you only fuck up once and don't keep drifting to one side slightly, over the course of three, four kilometers? Yeah. GPS is great. I love it. I rely on it too much. But in a really bad oh shit situation, you can't really count on it.

Snacks. I hardly ever see anybody snacking in these dumb shows, comics (ayy I read the comics, what up), whatever, unless it's a DIRE EMERGENCY for drama's sake. You have to have something to keep up your energy, because walking around with a ton of stuff and being on edge all the time really takes it out of you. I fucking hate them now, but Clif bars are the go-to example. If you take energy drinks--which are useful, but dangerous--note how much caffeine you're consuming and know that you are dehydrating yourself.

and lastly, if we're really talking "zombies", then all bets are off, but if you can find it a camo compact is great if you know how to use it. All that tiger-stripe stuff that looks really cool doesn't work. The idea is to reverse the contours of your face and fuck up anyone looking at you long enough for them to be the second one to react. because their brain goes "is that a face? that's not a face. is that a f--" Short version: draw a big "I" on your face with a line in the middle for your cheekbone line, a line for your eyebrows and a line for your jaw, and fill the rest in with green. Get your hands too, and all of your neck. It sucks. It blocks the pores. You sweat a lot more. But it's harder to see you.
I see you put some thought into this.
Yes he did put a lot of thought in to his comments. I picked up a few good ideas from him. Thanks Kamerad buddy.
Love it! I bet Rosita, Glenn, and Tara wish they had more than some rocks and sand:
The episode was PHENOMENAL. Always been a fan of the comics, and this episode hit a strong note to staying true to the storyline. Can't wait for the rest of the season.
The aforementioned kit seems to have covered most zombie contingencies, but a Glock 19 with a 30 round mag would be a fine addition.
No está mal la selección. Sin embargo, creo que solo necesitaría dos cosas: mi Tomahawk, y mi Casio Solar Radiocontrolado AWGM100-1A. En cualquier caso, habría que recordar que los solares no son la panacea, puesto que el acumulador también se agota.