Friday, July 20, 2012

The Apocalypse: A Long-Term Survival Guide

by Megan S.

via SantiMB
So, the apocalypse happened. There was a zombie outbreak/ World War III/ an alien invasion Will Smith wasn't able to prevent/ a worldwide blackout/ an artificial intelligence that gained sentience and civilization collapsed.  Whatever it was, you made it out alive.  Now you have to start thinking long term survival strategies. But how do you do that when the population has been decimated and everything you once depended on like electricity and factory-made goods are no longer available?

Well, I've got the basic instructions to surviving the apocalypse covered.  Just make sure to print these tips and tricks out before the internet is destroyed.

How to Preserve Books, Comics, and Documents

via covs97
First things first.  Knowledge is power and, when the electricity is out, the printed word will be your best bet for accessing and distributing information.  It could be years before power is restored so it's time to start treating your books with care and mending them when need be.  Good thing the Library of Congress and other organizations have detailed how to do just that.

Now, use those techniques to preserve all the print outs you'll be making from this guide.  It's not like you'll be able to access the internet AFTER the shit hits the fan.

How to Barter in an Economic Collapse

via mogmismo
Most of us buy our groceries from the store and throw out broken goods, but those aren't viable options after the apocalypse.  There's also a good chance money will be worthless and you'll have to resort to trading goods and services with fellow survivors.  In order to do that, you'll have to learn how to barter.

Hunting and Fishing

Not only will you need something to barter with in your brand spanking new post-apocalyptic society, you'll need to be as self-sufficient as possible, so it's back to the basics for you: fishing and hunting small game.  Luckily making a primitive bow is pretty easy and making fish hooks is even easier.  Start scrounging around for old soda cans because you'll be converting the pop tops into hooks.

Growing a Victory Garden

The term victory garden may only date back to the early half of the twentieth century, but the concept predates that by millennia.  Victory gardens are small plots of plants grown for and tended to by individual families in order to produce a modest but varied harvest of fruits and vegetables.  Planting them will help ensure you and yours stay healthy and may even produce a surplus you can use to trade.

Root Cellars

via Skanska Matupplevelser
No electricity means no refrigerators.  Food spoilage can cause all sorts of problems including making you sick.  So, how do you help prolong the life of your veggies and other perishable goods?  By building a root cellar to keep food cool and at a more appropriate humidity

Building a Rocket Stove

Unless you want to eat game tartare, you'll want to make a DIY range, aka a rocket stove.  You'll have to cook outside but the rocket stove's design significantly reduces the chance of starting unintentional fires or burning yourself. 

Cooking in a Cardboard Box

Don't have access to all of the materials you need to make a rocket stove just yet?  Thankfully, you can cook in a cardboard box and no, you don't set the box on fire.  How's that, you ask?  Using aluminum foil, black construction paper, and plastic, you can transform a cardboard box into a solar powered oven.  It'll take longer to cook the food but it will cook.

Water Collection Systems, Chicken Coops, and Solar Panels

These are pretty self-explanatory.  You'll need a way to collect water, a place to raise chickens if you want eggs, and solar panels to help generate heat.  The editors over at Instructables have collected their favorite DIYs to make several different version of the three.


via dipfan
You'll be one popular survivor if you know how to make alcoholic beverages.  Fermented drinks like cider, mead, and various fruit wines are probably the safest and easiest alcohols to make.  I actually made it for my final group project in Advanced Chemistry in high school and, if a group of 16 year olds can do it, so can you.

Electricity is Possible!

You don't need to plug into the national power grid nor build a gigantic wind powered turbine to generate electricity for life-sustaining equipment.  You can use pedal power.  With a stationary bike and a handful of other necessary pieces, you can plug in your iPod and tune out.

DIY Pads

Look, I'm just gonna say it.  If getting your period sucks when civilization's up and running, guess how inconvenient it's gonna be in a post-apocalyptic world.  No one's gonna be mass-producing feminine hygiene products anytime soon which means you're gonna have to get your craft on and DIY some reusable pads.  Start hording flannel now, ladies, 'cause that's what you'll be using.

What to Do When Medical Help Isn't on the Way

Speaking of health concerns, what the hell are you going to do when you're hurt and there are no more hospitals?  Family and emergency room doctor James Hubbard has you covered.  The Survival Doctor site has loads of tips on how to deal with medical issues ranging from lack of diabetic medication to how to treat burns.  Hubbard also has two eBooks on wounds and burns available for purchase.

Just Because It's a Post-Apocalyptic World, You Don't Have to Be Dirty

Sure, it's the end of the world as we know it but you'll feel fine (or at least much better) in clean clothes.  Using a plunger, homemade soap, and a couple of five gallon buckets, you'll almost forget the zombie apocalypse happened.  

Any other basic survival tips to surviving the apocalypse you wish to include?  Share 'em in the comments!
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  1. In case you don't live where it rains...

    It also looks like the laundry bucket could also be used to churn butter, but where the cows and milk would come from I don't know.

    Learning how to make rabbit snares might be helpful too.