Given the current trends in disease, chemical warfare, and terrorism, there is no doubt in our minds that the zombie apocalypse is coming, and if you’ve got your wits about you…there’s no doubt in your mind either. The zombie war is inevitable, and if you’re to survive this war, you must have a strategy!
There is never a simple answer to where you should go when the zombie outbreak hits or how you should get there. It is largely dependent on where you are when the zombie apocalypse begins, who you’re with and/or rendezvousing with, and what you’ve done to prepare for that moment.
Before we give you the tips you’ll need to plan your zombie escape routes, evacuation points and destinations, we must first give you the tools to utilize said tips. For those of you new to the inter-web, Google Maps is your friend…and possible savior, when planning your zombie escape route(s). Start by going to Google Maps. Click on ‘My Maps’ and ‘Create New Map’. Title your map Zombie Escape Plan and enter in any information you may need to reference in the Description area.
You’ll want to create several possible escape routes with several variations each, as to increase your chance of escape and survival. Mark your escape route with Placemarks for any points of note or importance as you go (i.e. water sources, population numbers, natural borders and fortification, vegetation, and wildlife). Don’t be discouraged, as this may take several attempts with several edits.
One last thing – when your zombie survival escape plan is finished, you must periodically return to it (a survivalists work is never done!) to memorize each of the points and routes to keep it fresh in your mind. Remember, your escape route may be easily accessible now, but you never know how long you’ll have access to your map when the zombie apocalypse comes knocking!
TIP #1 Plan For Multiple Routes
Consider how you will be travelling; by car, truck, bike or boat (a boat or 4 wheel drive that isn’t too much of a gas guzzler is recommended). Either way, despite your knowledge of the terrain and area you will be traveling, a handheld gps device (with A LOT of extra batteries) will be critical when you have to leave the roads behind.
Remember, people will be in a panic – stay off the main roads when possible. More people = more zombies. Roads are a risk – not only from zombies, but from those who intend on taking advantage of the chaos for their own personal gain.
Now take into account the challenges you are faced with when high-tailing it out of your current location, whether it be a major city or suburb. Each possible route lends itself to it’s own challenges, some of which you will be able to predict…and some you won’t.
Your main objective: to find routes that will take you as far away from civilization as possible (or as far as your survival gear will take you).
TIP #2 Water / Vegetation
Does your zombie escape route take you near a lake, river or ocean? Taking advantage of natural water sources along the way will give you the opportunity to replenish your supply (fresh water only), and given a real knowledge of the local vegetation, the opportunity to stock up on any edible plant life.
Another advantage of being near a large water source is that you can swim – zombies cannot. This will buy you time if you find your location compromised – how much time is dependent on the depth of the water and number of zombies.
Zombies are far too uncoordinated to swim. That said, they will not stop. Once a zombie has a target, they are determined to reach it. Because zombies don’t need to breath, they will keep coming…and depending on the water depth, pile and climb on top of each other until their goal has been met.
If you find yourself along a coast with ample supplies, try to get on the open ocean. This will increase your chance of survival, especially if you can find an isolated area to drop anchor, only coming ashore for supplies when absolutely necessary.
Islands are also excellent destinations, but keep in mind that others may also come to the same conclusion.
TIP #3 Terrain: Natural Borders / Fortification vs. Wide Open Spaces
Maneuverability is key. Natural borders are great, as long as they don’t compromise your ability to leave that area (in case of attack or the need for supplies). Despite the level of decay of the zombie(s) (more decay = slower, more uncoordinated movements) and the stage of the zombie apocalypse, natural borders affords you time and a means of defense.
When comparing natural borders and/or high ground to open spaces, having a geographic advantage and a means of defense with natural borders is the better option, but only if you have a Plan B – an escape from your escape destination.
TIP #4 Timing
If you’re in the the city or suburbs, the answer to this is simple – LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!
Obviously, there’s no way to predict how quickly the zombie virus will spread, but it’s better to act quickly than risk possible infection. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of your becoming a zombie happy meal and/or starving yourself in the process.
Unless you have a house already prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse (fully equipped with bomb shelter room(s)), able to feed and fully sustain your every need for the years to come, get out while you can! The longer you wait, the longer you give the every-increasing horde of the undead to grow in numbers, and the more difficult it will be to escape. It is for this reason, that you must have a zombie escape route already prepared (tactically and logistically thought through) – to act immediately, with confidence.
TIP #5 Wildlife
Remember, zombies aren’t the only threat you’ll be facing in the apocalypse. Be aware of your surrounding and destined ecosystem and the dangerous animals that inhabit them. Keep in mind, however, that where there are dangers, there is also game.
TIP #6 Population
Obviously, a remote area is a safer alternative to a highly populated, most likely or soon to be, infested one. The lower the population of any given area, the lower the numbers of the undead – simple, right? Cities may serve as a possible surplus of food and supplies, but if properly prepared, that dependency on the misleading advantages a city has to offer can be overcome.
By preparing your Bug Out Bag & Survival Gear adequately, you will avoid unnecessary risk in a populated area.
TIP #7 Travel Light and Efficiently
As you can never fully plan for everything that will be thrown your way, apocalyspse or not, you must do your best to plan for as many situations, obstacles, and means of travel as possible…and most likely, you will be doing a lot of travelling.
Dress yourself with comfortable, yet snug-fitting clothes (limiting the possibility of being caught or snagged) that offer some level of protection (See Protective Clothing), and a good pair of boots – suitable for all terrains. We can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of your feet.
You should always have a Bug Out Bag in wait so you can grab and go in a moments notice. For information on preparing your BOB, see Bug Out Bags and Weapons.
TIP #8 Choosing Your Destination
Remember to select several destination points – each in varying directions, and each general direction in varying distances. As your zombie escape route should take you near locations of interest (as you keep in mind all of the above variables), so should these locations offer some degree of protection in case they become (at least temporarily) your destination point.
When choosing your destination, look for a water source and a minimally populated area with natural borders to accompany your structured (man-made) defenses.
Avoid hospitals (why would you willingly walk into a disease-infested, zombie factory?) and supermarkets. Costco may sound like a perfect location – lots of space, decent defenses, all the supplies you could ever need…but unless you’re there to lock it down when the z-pocalypse hits, locations like these will be swarming with people – and with people, come zombies.
A decent alternative to Costco, for example, would be a private warehouse.
Of course, you’ll have to do your research to find a warehouse that would actually be beneficial to you and your survival. A diaper warehouse probably won’t do the trick.
Military complexes and islands/the open sea would also be ideal zombie apocalypse destinations. Just make sure that your supplies allow for long periods of time between restocking if you’re planning a sea voyage.
TIP #9 Coordinating with Other Survivalists
When forming your survivalist party, consider personality (they NEED to be trustworthy) and
what each individual is bringing to the table (strength, knowledge / trade, leadership skills, etc.).
Are the possible members of your survival group (and their most likely location when the zombie apocalypse begins) offering a realistic rendezvous point given population and land barriers? You may need to, at least initially, give them a hearty “Audios muchachos!” and wish them all the best. Taking risks WILL lead to your demise, not to mention putting the rest of your party in harm’s way.
TIP #10 Test Your Escape Routes
There’s only one way to really be sure your zombie escape route is a viable one; do it. Becoming physically familiar with your escape plan will not only take a source of anxiety out of the equation, but depending on weather and other possibly choatic conditions and influences, help to get you out safely and in a timely manner (because it WILL BE a time-sensitive situation).
You cannot trust a route you have not already experienced for yourself.
Note: Familiarizing yourself with the means to hunt, fish, trap, as well as how to grow your own food, will ensure your survival and help sustain you when the zombie apocalypse is upon us.