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Published on August 12th, 2012 | by Geneva Nemzek

Zombie Survival on a Budget

Preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse is easy. The hard part is trying to do it without breaking the bank. I could send you out right now to pick up all of the top-of-line gear, from guns to shelter to food and water, but who has that kind of money? I know I sure can’t drop thousands of dollars on something I may not ever get use out of (heck, I can’t even drop thousands of dollars on things I’d use every day).

There are a couple tricks to help you get more bang for your buck. First trick is to make sure you purchase lots of multi-use items – the more things a single item can do, the more money you save in the long run. The second trick is to take notice of what’s expensive because it should be and what’s expensive just because it can be. For instance, a person could go to the nearest Walmart and pick up a first-aid kit that costs anywhere from $10 to $50. The $50 one is probably pretty nice with a lot of fancy stuff in it – but you have to stop and think “do I really need all of this?” The answer is probably no – you really won’t need 10 finger splints in case of a zombie apocalypse.

Through a bit of research and browsing around Amazon, I’ve put together a list of things you might want for your own survival kit – all for around $25.

Bandana (Walmart, $1.50)
The great thing about bandanas is how versatile they are for so little money. You could use a bandana as a makeshift tourniquet, soak it in water and use it to cool off, use it as protection from the sun, or make a flag to use for waving people down. There are tons of things a person could do with a bandana, and for only $1.50, it’s a good idea to have one.

Purification Tablets (Walmart or Amazon $6)
Staying hydrated is the best way to stay alive, but at the end of the world, who knows how decent the water supply will be? Don’t get sick from contaminated water. This bottle will treat up to 25 quarts of water, making it safe to drink and letting you live another day.

Hunting Knife with Fire Starter (Amazon $7)
Knives are super important for any disaster situation. They can be used as weapons (though it’s not recommended) and they can be used for food or medical reasons. With so many uses in one item, you really can’t beat this price, and the fire starter is a nice added bonus, in case you don’t have (or can’t find) a lighter or matches.

Rubbing Alcohol (Walmart, $3)
It’s important to remember to keep things sterile. You just used a knife to cut the meat off a squirrel and now you want to use it as a can opener. Rubbing alcohol is perfect in this situation. It’s also helpful if you have deep cuts or gashes you’d like to make sure don’t get infected.

Garbage Bags (Walmart, $3)
When you’re camping out after the apocalypse (either in a house or on the run), running water exists no longer – which means you need to have a way to dispose of any waste you might have. Garbage bags are your best option here. They will help keep the smell trapped and can be buried easily if needed. Garbage bags can also be torn apart at the seams and used as a tarp, if needed.

Baseball Bat (Walmart, $7-$10)
Ninety percent of your survival likelihood depends on whether you can survive the wilderness on your own. The other 10% will be how you deal with zombie run-ins. Don’t be unprepared. A baseball bat is a great, cheap melee weapon that you can use to avoid bites from flesh-hungry fiends. Though a lot of people will prefer to spend more on weapons, if you’re on a tight budget, a baseball bat is a great place to start.

Moist Towelettes (Walmart, $2)
Keep yourself clean, even when the world is coming to an end. Infections can spread from being too dirty and if you smell too bad, your friends might kick you out of the pack.

Survival is all about being smart and making do with what you have. Building a budget-friendly survival kit is a great way to get started. You can add items you think you’ll need, take away the ones you think you won’t and you can change your kit as often as you’d like. Maybe you’ll start with this guide and continue to add more every time you pick up your paycheck.

Do whatever makes the most sense for you and remember: stay alive.

About the Author

Geneva Nemzek is a college student in Minnesota, studying psychology and sociology. She enjoys video games, reading and superheroes. She finds zombies fascinating, and people she knew pushed her into writing about the apocalypse – probably so she’d stop talking to them about zombies all the time.

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