Archive for the ‘Zombie’ Category

Youtube video

Posted: February 17, 2015 by Cat Reyes in Zombie
Tags: ,

I thought this was a handy video to have as it shows the various types of zombies.

 

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Thoughtfullyprepping commented on my last post which made me think a little harder on it.

All playfulness aside, any of the weapons I have mentioned would take training to use as a weapon. People believe that they can just pick up a hammer and go at it, but that isn’t the case. You have to train for it, work at it, for any weapon to become useful.

I still believe that ammunition could become a problem in the zombie apocalypse and that it may be a good thing to move on to combat weapons, but thoughtfullyprepping brings up several good points. The fact is that many people who are faced with the undead images of their loved ones may not be able to raise a hand to stop them from taking a bite of them.

But there is one thing you need to consider when faced with the zombie version of the person you love: Do they want to hurt someone else? Maybe you can’t hurt them to save yourself, but you could stand up to them to save them. No one I know would willingly step up and hurt someone that they love. The same is true for the zombie version. Ok, maybe not, but the fact remains that if they were still them, would they want to hurt someone else? I doubt it.

If my mom became a zombie, I know I would make a point of making sure that she wouldn’t hurt someone else. Why? Because I love her. Because I know that she would never do anything to hurt someone else if she was alive. Because I know that she would want it that way. I may hesitate, I am human after all, because I love her very much. But in the end, I would do it. I would pray that someone would do it for me if I became a zombie.

Why would I ask someone else to do it for me? Because I am afraid of pulling the trigger myself. I would rather have someone take me out, make sure I couldn’t hurt someone else. I don’t know, maybe I could do it myself. I would hope that I had the strength to.

What do you think? Would you take your own life if you were becoming a zombie? Would you ask someone to do it for you? Could you take the unlife of someone you loved in order to prevent them from hurting others?

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I have noticed in my strolls through the net that many people rave about the weapons that they would use in a zombapoc. Sadly, I started noticing a pattern in these tools. More than half of the recommended tools are guns. Now, I have been thinking that while they are undoubtedly wonderful to use in the zombapoc there are a couple problems that will occur sooner or later.

1)      The sound will undoubtedly draw more zombies. So it’s fine to use a gun if you are already being chased by a mass of zombies but not for individual take outs.

2)      Bullets will eventually become extinct. Think about it. No one is going to make more, unless you are lucky enough to know someone who can make bullets. Sad fact: you will eventually run dry.

So if no guns, what can you use? Actually, there are a lot of things that can become a tool in the hands of someone who is a little creative and willing. So what are they?

machete photo: Machete Machete.jpg The Standard Machete – Ok. You probably know this one, it’s kind of a duh statement but still. This is a good tool for severing spines. Just remember that the head is still dangerous. Until the brain is destroyed, the zombie can continue to live. Its body may even still move until the brain is gone. So just remember that.

baseball bat photo:  baseball-bats.png The Baseball Bat – On its own, the bat can be a formidable tool. But if you want to spruce it up a bit for more damage, find some nails and a hammer. Yup, pound the nails in enough that they bite the wood and aren’t likely to come back out on flesh impact. You can do the same thing with a piece of lumber or a thick branch.

rake photo: Concrete Rake Concrete-Rake-002.jpg Metal Rake – You can use this bad boy as it is. Those tines can be pretty nasty. You may need to saw it down to a reasonable length for best force of impact, but otherwise, this is just as handy as a shovel.

shovel photo: Shovel shovel.jpg Shovel – Yup, this bad boy can sever the head clean off or it can be used for blunt object impact to the head.

axe photo: axe axe.png Pickaxe and Axe – Do I need to say more on these guys?

hammer photo: hammer darkhammerleft.jpg Hammer – Use the claw for the best results.

rope photo: Rope rope.jpg Rope – Yeah this can be used. Try stringing it across a doorway or between trees. It trips up the zombies for a few minutes and allows you the chance to dispatch the zombies or gives you time to get away. (If you are in a forest, this gives you extended time to get up a tree or to regroup so you can turn attacker instead of victim – in a house or building, allows you the extra moments to get out the window.) The rope can also be used to set up other traps but I will save that topic for another date.

For those weapons enthusiasts:

mace photo: Mace Heavy-Flanged-Mace.jpg Mace – Oh yeeeeaaaah. This baby can do some good damage.

sword photo: sword sword.jpg Sword – Nuf’ said.

flail photo: flail two_ball_medieval_flail_s3.jpg Flails – Also good for destroying zombies. But be careful, it is known to damage its user as much as its intended victim.

What tools can you come up with? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas!

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The mushroom cloud that started it all

The mushroom cloud that started it all

Colin Sumpterfeld breathed deeply of the fresh, scented mountain air. He’d always loved the way the Rocky Mountains smelled in the late spring, when the snows had finally receded. He sat upon the stump, looking southeast toward the city. Secretly, he was happy he couldn’t actually see the city, though in the distance, the swath cut through the fir forest for the power lines was visible and he wondered idly how long it would take nature to reclaim the scarred land, if left to its own devices.

It would happen if it could happen, Colin knew. Already, signs of the old equipment bunker were overgrown and invisible to anyone who didn’t know where it was. Decades earlier, the army had built the bunker into the side of the mountain, ostensibly to hold emergency supplies in case of a natural disaster, such as the ever present threat of the super volcano many miles to the southwest, erupting. Colin knew where the bunker was, but he didn’t know how far the army had gotten in stocking it. He’d never been inside and the hatch that led down into the bunker was padlocked. The hatch and warning signs were now overgrown, but Colin didn’t particularly care anyway.

He took another deep breath and allowed his eyes to fall to the ground near the stump. He was, after all, here to look for wild mushrooms. That was only an excuse, but it would be nice if he could find a morel or two to take back home with him.

Colin jumped when he heard a voice say, “Hello!”

He whirled, nearly dropping his rifle, his eyes fixing on the woman who stood a dozen feet away. He took her in with little more than a glance; athletically slender, shoulder length brown hair, pretty face, dressed in khaki shorts and a short sleeved shirt, with a knapsack on her back and a walking stick in her hand.

“Ma’am, it isn’t wise to walk up on someone like that,” Colin grumbled, half angry at himself because he’d not heard her.

“Sorry,” she said cheerfully, giving him a bright smile. She glanced distastefully at the rifle Colin laid back across his lap. “So were you going to shoot me, or is that reserved for defenseless animals?”

Her tone was mild, but her words irritated Colin.

“Ma’am, the rifle is just in case. There are hungry grizzlies in these mountains that would love to munch on tender flesh,” Colin said.

He felt a moment of satisfaction, quickly followed by a twinge of guilt, as the woman looked around nervously. Bears rarely attacked people without reason, and not to have a quick snack.

“Is there something I can help you with, ma’am?” he said calmly, hoping to remove some of the fear his last comment had created.

The woman blushed and said, “My name isn’t ma’am, it is Julie. I…um…got turned around somehow. I was hiking with a group from college and we sort of got separated.”

“Well, I’ve not seen anyone out here, except for defenseless animals,” Colin said, immediately sorry for the needless barb. He sighed, adding, “Maybe you can backtrack to where they were. I’ll come with you if you’d like.”

Julie blushed again, deeper red than before.

“I don’t know if that will help. I got separated from them yesterday evening and I’ve been looking for them most of last night. I think that I may have made matters worse because none of this looks remotely familiar,” she said, waving an arm to include the whole area.

Colin opened his mouth to chastise her for leaving a place the moment she knew that she was lost. The words never left his mouth, as a brilliant flash occurred in the southeast and the rumble of thunder could be heard as a tell-tale mushroom shaped cloud rose up over where the city had been.

He knew that there was only one thing that could cause such a flash, rumble and enormous cloud, and he knew what the results would be if they remained exposed on a southward facing slope.

“Come on!” he yelled, jumping to his feet and running. He noticed that there was no hesitation in Julie as she fell into stride with him, a half pace behind. It impressed him that she followed, though she was clearly bewildered, and also that she was able to match his stride.

“What happened?” Julie yelled without breaking stride.

“Atomics!” Colin yelled back. As the implication struck her, Julies pace quickened and she passed him though she clearly had no idea where they were going.

Shelter is supposed to be a sanctuary from anything that makes you uncomfortable, be it weather, insects, or zombies. Let’s say that you aren’t safely home when the zombapoc hits, then you will need to find some sort of shelter. The same is true if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere and it’s not because of zombies.

No matter the emergency, after you find a source of water, you need to find shelter. Sometimes a shelter cannot be easily found, or you wish to be closer to food and water, so your option is to build a place to keep you safe.

There are several things to keep in mind when thinking of shelter. You need to have access to a plentiful supply of water and materials for building it. Keep your eye on trees around your suggested shelter site, and remember to make it hard for enemies to get to without you noticing them. A wooded shelf would be a good place, as long as the shelter isn’t visible.

High ground is great for keeping your eyes and ears open for possible enemies or wild animals, but it also serves the purpose of keeping you out of reach in the case of flooding.

You will also need to keep in mind things like how much time you have to build a shelter, the adequacy of the shelter, and the amount of materials needed to make it. You may not have very much time, say if a storm was coming and it was the dead of winter. In the summer you would probably have a little more time. Adequacy pertains to how well the shelter will protect you from enemies, animals, insets, and the weather.

Materials and tools could be a problem. If you have a tarp or poncho, you can build a lean-to or tent to provide basic protection from everything. If not, you may need to build the lean-to or tent with poles that can be scavenged from the forest floor. To help prevent weather from getting to you, drape branches from trees over the wood, the thicker the pile the less likely weather will get inside. In places that do not have trees, your best bet is to find some kind of cave or a large rock to shelter you from the sun.

Your best bet in all cases is to find a natural shelter such as caves, clumps of bushes, heavy-limbed trees, or fallen trees with thick branches. These natural shelters will provide ample protection with a handful of additions.

For more information see The Ultimate Guide to U.S. Army Survival Skills, Tactics, and Techniques.  (BTW this book is totally awesome and well worth a purchase. It has everything about survival in it!)

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I recently learned that the man who is, for all intents and purposes, the godfather of the modern zombie and our understanding of the zombie apocalypse, Max Brooks goes to various government agencies to speak about the zombie apocalypse. One of the biggest issues that he promotes is the importance of water.

water photo: Water Water Water water.jpg

I have been toying with this thought ever since. If a zombie apocalypse, or any kind of apocalypse, were to occur, what would we do for water? This actually is an extremely valid question. People see water everyday and never really think about it. We get water from bottles at the store, or from the tap at home and we never consider the possibility that water could become a precious commodity in the event of some catastrophe. What happened at Katrina proves just how important water really is.

In the case of the zombie apocalypse, we may not know what causes the virus that creates the zombies. And if we don’t, then we have a serious problem. Once those precious bottles of water run out, we are pretty much left standing in the desert, even with a river raging nearby. Yes, there are things to do to remove ordinary contaminants from water, such as bleach or boiling (though for the best results you want to boil the water for at least one full minute, according to some sources, and up to fifteen minutes, before adding 2 drops of unscented, non-dyed bleach per gallon of water).  The problem is that we don’t know what bleach or boiling will do to the contaminant in the water. Bleach could cause the contaminant to mutate for all we know. Boiling may not even remove the contaminant at all. This could also be said for the radiation from a nuclear apocalypse.

The fact is that we will be in serious trouble if we do not start thinking outside the box and consider things that we take for granted. Water may be the next gold or platinum in the market. We need to consider things like this so that in the future we will have options in case anything happens. There are no answers now and, frankly, there may never be any need for those answers… but for those of us who prefer to be prepared, it is important to consider this problem as something that is truly valid.

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Catnip photo: Catnip Catnip.jpg

Catnip is usually used for our feline companions as a way to entertain them and ourselves. I have to admit that I use it also as a training tool to get cats to scratch their posts, play with new toys, and use the liter box. However, humans can find uses for this plant as well.

The awesome thing about this plant is that it does grow wild, typically in drier places. It has heart-shaped leaves with ‘jagged’ edges and is a member of the mint family, so often is used in teas alongside the other mints.

According to Annie’s Remedy, “catnip leaves contain considerable quantities of vitamins C and E, both excellent antioxidants.” Catnip can be used for a bunch of things, most notably insomnia. Now, we all know that if you are being chased by zombies, taking a sleep inducer probably is not the best idea. However, if you have trouble falling asleep when you are in a safe place (usually with others who can watch your back) then this little plant can do wonders.

It can also be used for anxiety, to calm the body enough to think rationally. This can be extremely useful when you have a person who is easily excitable, or who will not calm down after rescue. Frankly, if they keep it up, you will have zombies beating down your door. And this is an easier method of calming a person down without knocking them out or flat out killing them.

Other uses include treatment for headaches, stomach upset, colds, flu, fever, hives, and menstrual cramping.

To dry, cut the stems and hang in a cool dry place. After they are dried, take the leaves from the stems and throw the stems away. You can just crumble them up and wrap them in a paper towel or a small bag to steep. Remember to use only 1 teaspoon of dried catnip. However, you do not need to use only dry catnip to make a tea. Take three teaspoons of fresh catnip and steep in warm water for about twenty minutes. Do not boil the catnip, because it will destroy many of the good vitamins in the plant. Only add the leaves after you pull the water from the heat and let sit for a few minutes.

This plant is great for use with kids and the elders of our society, especially in times of high stress. And you can add things to increase the flavor of the catnip, such as mint, lemon, lemon balm, and even cuts of fruit.

Now, I personally hate using sugar in teas. I truly believe that the chemicals used in sugar will destroy the various helpful affects of anything used in a tea. So I use honey. I also feel that the honey increases the potency of the herbs. However, I don’t know if any of this is proven. It’s just a personal choice. And one that I very highly recommend.

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I was thinking last night about what would happen if a zombapoc really did happen and people weren’t as lucky as Cleo to have a nurse for a mom, or a doctor (no matter how crazy) on hand. Then I started thinking about some of the herbs I know that grow in a variety of places across the U.S. and their uses.

willow bush photo: Bush Willow 090311RevBushWillow.jpg

So. I decided to put it all up in a small collection of posts for people who would like to have a good idea of some of the plants that can be used for medical purposes, which grow in the wild.

The first plant to take a peek at is Willow. Now, I am not familiar with the use of Weeping Willow, so my suggestion, until you get your hands on a local wild/edible herb book for your area, is to avoid them.

The part of the willow that you want is the bark. I have had the sad misfortune of having a splitting migraine (we forgot the aspirin at home when we went camping) and forgetting to leave water where we could actually get to it. As a result, I had my first taste of willow through chewing on the bark. It definitely helped with the pain, but I can’t say whether that was because the bark tasted so bad it distracted me or if the medicine in the bark solved my problem. My suggestion, try not to think about how bad it tastes (extremely bitter is an understatement).

For those of us who are lucky enough to have water available: make a tea. Soaking the bark in cold water won’t help – mostly because it could take hours for the medicinal properties to seep into it. You would be better off chewing on the bark itself. So, if you can, try to get the water hot, warm if you have no other choice.

Willow will help with headaches and other various body aches. And lucky for us, you won’t have stomach issues like you do with aspirin or ibuprofen (common side effect for chemically altered medicines). But you will need to be careful if you are prone to stomach upsets and should only take very small doses.

To make the tea:

Boil 1-2 tsp of dried bark in a coffee cup (a normal one, not a honking one) of water and keep heated for about 15 minutes. Let the water cool for half an hour or so with the herbs in it, then drink. Though you can drink 3-4 cups a day, I would avoid it. Try to limit yourself to one or two cups, if at all possible.

If you can, before the zombapoc hits, get your hands on a mortar and pestle to put in your emergency kit(s). You never know when this little thing can come in handy. I have an earthenware set, which would be my suggestion for purchase. With a mortar and pestle, it will be much easier to measure out the appropriate dosage of plants. However, to get the best usage of the mortar and pestle, you need to let the plants dry

Big side note here: Avoid giving bark to young children. My parents gave it to me because of my migraine (I would have kept the entire campground awake through the night if they hadn’t). With this fact in mind, make sure you can get your hands on a nice amount of children’s aspirin which is specially formulated for a child’s needs. This recommendation is for children up to 16 or so, but I think you might be able to swing bark around after they hit 12. If you do, keep an eye on the kid and make sure it is a very small dose. Also, do not give willow bark to pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Even bigger side note: Some people are allergic to salicin, which is the chemical produced by willow. If you are allergic to aspirin, stay away from willow bark.

Some books for further research:

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America 

Medicinal Plants of North America: A Field Guide 

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places

A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs

Herbal Remedies from the Wild: Finding and Using Medicinal Herbs

The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants 

Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field & Marketplace

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There is one thing I have a definite love/hate relationship with: My hair. A lot of people have complimented me on how thick it is and how shiny, on down the line. More often than not, the times that I get the compliments I am on hate terms with my hair. Don’t ask me how that works.

Now, as I have been going through everything I can find on zombies to come up with my own stance on these interesting creatures, I have come across several recommendations about hair. Of these, the most common recommendation I have seen is to cut your hair off.

If you are like me, that is a near impossibility. So, I have been thinking along the lines of hair care during a zombie apocalypse. In all my time watching movies and reading books on the zombapoc, I have yet to see a zombie use a woman’s hair as a tool for dragging her closer, or keeping her in place. This may simply be because I have a) not seen enough zombie movies, or b) not read enough zombie books.

But my thought on this is that zombies don’t think. (Unless you deal with the ones that will come later on in Cleo’s journals.) They don’t realize that hair can be used in that way. However, if you are seriously considering cutting your hair, you may wish to consider some of the options below beforehand.

1. Braid it. Yes, braid it. Now, I know you are thinking that, “wouldn’t this just give the zombies something better to hold on to?” Technically, yes. But until we meet some intelligent zombies, it won’t matter. Besides, I’m not done yet. If you braid your hair, start with a french braid, this shortens it more than if you just do a typical braid. The next step, especially in cool weather, is to put the tail between your shirt and jacket/sweater. Another possibility is to tie/tape it to your neck to keep it from swaying about. Think of it as a zombapoc necklace if you decide to take this step.

2. Bun it. Yep, wrap it up into a bun on your head. This can be useful because you can hide weapons in it. If you come across raiders, the fact of the matter is that they won’t typically check a woman’s hair for weapons. This can be a total god-send in such a circumstance. Even things that wouldn’t normally be considered dangerous or useful can become a life saver depending on the circumstances. Bobby-pins can become keys. Chop-sticks can be used to stab humans and zombies. And if you are really creative, chop-sticks could be modified to hide a razor blade, kinda like those pen razors.

And don’t forget that what you use to keep the hair in bun (or even braid) form, could be a potential weapon. Take, for instance, a thin metal necklace or wire. If used functionally, then its just a matter of pulling it from your hair to use as a garrote or ligature. This may not be very effective against zombies unless your intention is to pull its head off, which would take a huge amount of strength, but it could end up being useful in other ways.

3. By cutting it, you are more likely to become cold or hot. This is something that guys don’t normally have a problem with. Most of the guys I know wear some form of hat to prevent themselves from becoming too cold or hot, so if you do decide to cut your hair, this could be a viable option. However, my point is that women with longer hair are used to having it as a weather barrier. For survival, sometimes even a little thing like hair can make a difference between life and death.

4. Long hair itself can be useful. Let’s say you’re stuck in the mountains in winter. No zombies are around and you need to warm up, but there is nothing dry nearby. It may smell foul, but hair can be used as a good fire-starter (if its not too oily). If you have no way to store weapons in your hair, or if the raiders actually think of checking it, then you still have one weapon left. You hair, itself. Sounds strange, doesn’t it. Remember my mention of a garrote? Well, hair can be used the same way if you grab a hank that is neither too thick nor too thin. This can be awkward, but it could be done.

I can’t remember now where I saw it, but there was a movie with a woman who had extremely long hair that she kept in a braid. For the truly creative individual, what she did, could be used as an option. The woman in question attached a weight to her hair and used her hair as a whip. Again, this could be awkward, but with enough practice, it could be dead useful (forgive the pun).

Now, let’s say that you wish to keep your hair. How do you keep it clean? Actually, that would be surprisingly easy. Anywhere you find sand and water, you have potential to clean your hair. It may be gritty for a while afterward, but sand can strip the oils from the hair. Use it the same way you use shampoo. Other things to use that you may already carry are acidic juices, baking powder (also can be used for deodorant and toothpaste), vinegar, and beer. Yes, beer.

If you decide that your hair could be too much work, then feel free to cut it. Just remember to consider all possible options before you do. 🙂

 

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