Saturday, July 5, 2014

Should I Stay or Should I Go



I recently let loose another rant on FB about a current news item (sometimes I do this for fun and either take an unfavorable side or remain so ambiguous that no one really knows what I'm trying to say) that somehow turned into a discussion about the Zombie apocalypse.

Funny how everything seems to fall back to the Zombie apocalypse for me.

Anyway, someone mentioned how prepared I must be and that if the Zombie apocalypse ever happened, they were coming to my house. This leads to a critical question, should one travel during a Zombie apocalypse (or any other disaster?)

The answer-yes and no.

You should strive to be as prepared as you can to bug out. Spend some time putting together a bugout bag-something that can hold all the bare necessities without sinking you like a ten-ton anchor. And right there's the rub, isn't it? If the Zombie apocalypse were to begin right now, this very instant, the major of our population would be dead within a week. Our population wouldn't die from the Zombie hordes or by running out of bullets, most (even many that have a bugout bag) will die of dehydration. While one may survive for weeks without food, no one can last more that a few days without water. It you are on the run, your water requirements will be higher than one sitting in the shade at home. And, unless you've invested in a quality portable water purifier ($100-$400 dollars) than you will have difficulty carrying enough water to fulfill your own needs, let alone fighting off those you meet on the road that are less prepared but use your burden against you to beat you down and take all your crap. Yes people, as shown so many times during natural and man-made disasters, people will treat you with less respect than zombies.

Don't even get me started on that subject.

So, in the event you are walking to the mailbox to get your mail one day and happen to see a small group of undead limping your way, followed by a massive horde of thousands (or, in the case of my small town-roughly four thousand) it will be better to run back inside and katy bar the door then to grab your heavy-ass day pack and try to outrun the horde to ...where?

A household will always be much more secure then the woods or roads. If you own a home with property, a good fence can buy you some time. If you live in an apartment, you can secure the front entrance and move to higher ground. If you are in an urban apartment building, a little pre-planning can give you a reasonably safe and lengthy existence on the rooftop once all the entrances are securely sealed.

Now, although having a year's worth of food stored in some closet would be great, I understand that most people just can't manage this. I, myself ain't got that kind of room to devote to my fanatical and, others might say, fantastical underpinnings and weird beliefs.

From your homestead, what form that might take, is a great place to eventually venture out looking for food. I believe that your food stores should always be the last thing you should consider eating. With just a little bit of knowledge, one can use the bounty around them to survive quite comfortably. The only downside to this is your protein might have to come in the form of rodents and even stray dogs. I know what you're thinking, "eww" but if you are not willing to eat rover when nothing else is available you probably weren't going to make it anyway.

For instance, I have a few chickens in my back yard along with a large fish tank full of tilapia that provide nutrients for plants in aquaponic media-based grow beds. I will eat my dog before the chickens or fish simply because, if it came to that, the chickens and fish will provide me with eggs and vegetables for as long as they are alive. I mean, hey, we're talking survival here folks.

So, before you break open you second five-gallon bucket of survival food, consider what might be right in your back lawn or in the cracks of the sidewalk just outside. There are two plants that are abundant all over the world and are completely edible from root to flower.

Clover-although considered by most as a weed, this plant is a delicacy to deer and other foraging animals. While the roots are difficult to process and bitter, the stems and leaves work quite nicely to supplement a salad.

Dandelion-All parts of this weed are edible. The only thing on this plant considered not edible is the milky with substance that sometimes on the inside of the stalk. The roots can be boiled and made into a tea. The stems, leaves and flowers can be eaten raw.

The only thing one might consider in eating these plants is where they came from. Koreans consider dandelion salad a very tasty treat but I cringe when I see a group of Korean women picking these leaves from an open field on our local military reservation. Why?  Simply because just a few days before this I undoubtedly see these grounds being sprayed with fertilizers and insecticides.

If you live in an apartment and don't have easy access to plants of this kind, fear not, there is a solution. You know that guy living down the street who never mows his lawn and the weeds grow unchecked and unfettered. Yeah, that guy is now your friend. Don't waste your time calling the local authorities on these folks for ruining local property values. Be there friend so later, their unkempt lawn will become your food oasis. Just remember to share in your bounty and include them.

Now don't go getting all crazy on me here and thinking your just going to go out there and start pulling up everything green to put in your belly. There are some plants that are equally abundant to the aforementioned, that will kill you in very slow, embarrassing, agonizing ways. As a general rule, here are some characteristics of plants you want to avoid:

Milky, oily, or discolored liquid or sap.
Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
Beans, bulbs, or seeds that are inside pods.
Plants that look/smell like dill, carrot, or parsnip.
Plants that have an almond scent.
Plants with stalks or grain heads that are pink or purple in color or have black spurs.
Plant with three leaves, and some with five.

Yep, I know right now your thinking about all those veggies you buy in the grocery store and you're thinking I'm a liar. Remember, I you know for sure what these plants are, like they came from your garden or you can positively identify them, that's another story. I'm talking here about what you will find while venturing down the street or along those train tracks along the back of your apartment while trying to not gain the attention of any zombies or other people.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

Although you can forage equally well whether you are traveling or simply venturing outside your secure domicile, It is always better to travel only as a last resort. If you are going to get sick from eating something, wouldn't you rather be in a secure location rather than simply soiling yourself while running from baddies? I mean you might soil yourself anyway but that's another concern.

So, by all means, put together a go bag but the majority of your preparedness should go toward securing up your current location and hunkering down. Unless there is a hurricane coming and you're told to evacuate-then, do that.


4 comments:

  1. Or watch Zombieland and be glad you're Human!

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  2. I've been looking at my fences and thinking of reinforcing them with concrete walls :)

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  3. Score! The guy next door to me is THAT guy, the one who never takes care of his lawn. Yes, I may just survive the zombie apocalypse on weeds.

    Ooh, but do I want to???

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  4. For those of you living in the South, you'll be happy to know that Kudzu is also edible. I think it can be steamed like spinach but it tastes really bitter.

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