If you watch The Walking Dead – and if you’re into zombies you probably have at some point at least – then you’ve more than likely had the conversation that revolves around this question. Who will survive the zombie apocalypse? Now speaking of the show, the character Daryl Dixon has led many people to agree that your so-called “rednecks” will have excellent survival odds compared to, say, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who never gets his or her hands dirty.
This makes perfect sense, really. Someone who is really good at running a business but spends more time in the concrete jungles and doing overtime is less liable to have any kind of know-how when it comes to trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.
On the other hand, look at the redneck. He’s used to the woods and outdoors, has more chance of having hunting experience, and may have at least some basic wilderness survival knowledge. That guy may not know shit about investing but he’s going to be able to find safe(r) drinking water and hunt down squirrels and rabbits for protein.
So we know this. The guy that hunts and spends a lot of times in the backwoods will most likely outlast the guy in the three-piece suit driving a Benz. But other than the rednecks, who is a little safer than the rest?
Who will survive the zombie apocalypse?
In no particular order…
The nerd or geek who plays lots of video games
Sure, I know that playing a game with a controller on an X box or PS4 doesn’t quite equate to real life experience. Just because you can wave around a virtual katana doesn’t make you a martial arts expert. But the gamers have hours of theoretical experience that someone else may not have. They’ve tries all those virtual weapons, they’ve determined which ones work best in which situations, and they have probably had conversations or even heated debates over those topics. Odds are they will automatically know when a knife is a better option than a gun and vice versa.
You’d probably think that a fast sprinter is better off in the zombie apocalypse. That’s not necessarily true. You don’t always need speed as much as you need endurance. Unless we’re talking zombies of the World War Z variety, you don’t need to be Usain Bolt (and if we do get that type of zombie breed it doesn’t really matter if you’re fast; they will still outlast you). You can make a lot of headway with a talent for distance running though. As long as you’re at least reasonably faster than the local zombies, being able to run for long periods of time will save you in the long run (no pun intended). It’s great for escaping and it’s also great for heading our for supply runs if you don’t have a vehicle. Just like in the game Zombies, Run!, an ability to cover a lot of area in a decent amount of time will make you invaluable and will help keep you alive.
The engineer will know how to do things that people take for granted these days. They’ll know how to purify water, how to hook things up in a MacGyver-ish way, how to create basterdized weapons, and how to make batteries out of coins. Whether they can fight off zombie hordes will depend on each individual, but overall the engineer will find ways to keep themselves and the people they care about safe and alive.
Military personnel and law enforcement
This is probably pretty obvious. Those who have been trained well in weapons use including heavy artillery will have a pretty decent chance at survival. On the other hand, in almost every single zombie movie, TV show, or book, the military has crashed and burned – often literally. I don’t think we can assume that military as a whole or an entire police force will make it through, but individuals will probably outlast someone with no training as well. Also, these are the people who will be beneficial to have on your team so you can have someone to train YOU.
The smooth talker
I know, I know, I hear you. You’re wondering what the hell someone who can talk a good talk, spin a few stories, is going to do in the zombie apocalypse. What are are they going to do? Talk to the zombies and convince them to leave everyone alone? No, of course not. But the smooth talker is the one who is going to bridge the gap between different groups of survivors to help everyone work together for the greater good (which would be living and thriving, in case you were wondering). This group will include lower level politicians (not high ups who have been corrupted), real estate agents who can talk you into a house you can’t really afford, and that guy down at the coffee shop who has everyone riveted while he tells you about the crazy shit that he was up to last weekend.
Criminals are tricky. You don’t necessarily want a sociopath murderer type in your group. But someone who’s been convicted of petty crimes, especially theft will be handy. That’s the person who’s going to be able to figure out how to get in and out of places you probably shouldn’t be. You never know when you’re going to need to steal a bunch of weapons or food from a rival group, and this is when the criminal is going to save your ass.
Again, this one falls into the obvious camp. These are the people who may or may not be helpful with hunting, killing zombies, and defending the home base from hostile groups. However, when one of your own gets shot, stabbed, hurt, or even just gets sick, this is your go-to person. You want someone who knows how to bandage up a cut, stitch a deep gash, figure out what antibiotics you need for the weird frigging infection you got wading through a swamp, and amputate your hand when a zombie bites you in the thumb while you weren’t paying attention.
Farmers will be the ones to provide food when hunting is scarce. They’ll be able to grow the potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots that will help you get through the hungry times. I know, you’ve been scavenging for canned baked beans and kernel corn, but the truth is that eventually you’re going to run out of food – the houses and grocery stores in your area will be stripped bare and you’re going to be hungry, and you can’t always wait for someone to shoot down a deer if you need to eat. The farmers will grow the food you need to keep going. Bonus: most farmers can handle a rifle so a) extra hunting help and b) defense.
These people are HARDCORE with a capital fucking H. They’ve got a cold cellar full of jarred foods and pickled vegetables. They have a bug-out bag in their car, under their bed, and by the back door. They know how to open a can without a can opener, how to tell what plants and fungi are safe to eat and which ones will kill you so horribly that you’ll wish for a zombie bite, and they’ll have multiple mapped routes in and out of every town in a 20-mile radius. They’ll know how to use basic weapons, how to get out of trouble, and how to fight for their lives. They may even have a secret bunker with access somewhere in an otherwise empty field. If you know of a survivalist in your community, do not make fun of that person – become friends. This is the person that may just save your life.
The obsessive fan
Yeah, that may include us. We’re the ones who watch the TV shows, curl up on a Friday night for the movies, and read Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide like it’s an actual training manual. We sit and have debates over the dinner table about what our preferred weapon would be and why it’s superior to everyone else’s choice. We’re the ones who sit quietly in the living room and suddenly burst out with, “if a zombie crashed into the room right now, what would you grab to kill it?!” And we’re the ones who look around the office, the mall, or an underground car park and wonder what our escape route would be. You know, just in case. Listen, we’ve practically trained for this. If a meteor hits the earth or nuclear war strikes, well we’re pretty fucked. But if it’s zombies, we’re as prepared as we can be at this point. We stand as good a chance as anyone.
Especially if we team up with the redneck and the survivalist.
Which one are you? Which one do you want on your team more than anyone else? And did I forget anyone? Let me know in the comments below.