Blog | The Scouts' guide to surviving a zombie invasion
Here’s our guide to surviving a zombie invasion – Scout style. It might save your life one day...
To survive an invasion of flesh-eating zombies or world-dominating aliens, you need to think like a Scout, and there’s no better place to start than with the Scouting motto: be prepared. While the rest of civilization crumbles, pack your Scout survival bag with these essentials and live out the apocalypse in relative comfort:
You don’t want to be stumbling about in flip flops when the world has gone to pot, so lace up a pair of sturdy walking boots and ramble your way to freedom.
- Maps and compass
Your smartphone will die – to make sure you don't, get yourself some maps and a compass and navigate your way past the army of the undead.
- Water bottle
The essential survival tool – if you’ve got water, you’ve got a chance.
- Water purification tablets
When clean water is scarce, these bad boys are essential.
- High-energy snacks
Surviving the apocalypse is a tiring business, so you need to keep your energy up. Fruit and vegetables are perfect high-energy snacks, but they perish easily. Nuts are a great source of energy and can be found in numerous places.
- First-aid kit
A zombie bite is fatal, but a first-aid kit will sort out most other bumps and scrapes.
You’ve seen the movies – a lot of the time it’s really hot in a post-apocalypse world. A good factor 30 should do the trick.
- Bag of disposable lighters
During the apocalypse, there isn’t always time to be clever with fire-lighting. Keep it simple with a waterproof bag of disposable lighters. Get yourself a tinder kit too, so you can start a fire quickly for vital warmth and sustenance.
- Wet wipes/antiseptic handwash
Just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean you have to be unhygienic. It would suck to survive a zombie invasion only to be struck down by a stomach bug.
A staple in Scouting survival. A good length of paracord has a hundred uses, from rigging up an emergency shelter to tying an improvised sling. Don’t leave home without it.
- Swiss army knife
A survival classic – it’s like carrying an entire toolbox around in your pocket. Order yours from Scout Shops now and stay ahead of the game.
Defend your camp
Scouts are the perfect guides to the great outdoors and some essential Scouting skills could one day save you from an alien invasion. First things first – get out of the city and set up camp in the country: you’ll have a better chance of survival with these Scout camp defence tips:
- Pioneer a look-out tower
Keep watch in style and pioneer your very own watch tower. Not only is this useful for spotting the enemy, but you’ll also be a safe distance from those pesky aliens and zombies at ground level.
Pioneering requires rope and sturdy wooden poles. You’ll also need Scouting teamwork, especially when embarking on more ambitious projects. For pioneering basics, see the Discovery Pioneer Badge activity pack.
- Build a wall
When bricks and cement are in short supply, defend your camp like a true Scout to keep those zombies and aliens at bay and make your wall out of wood and rope.
To make your defence wall, push two large logs vertically into the ground and leave a distance between them (at least the thickness of one log). Fill the gap with logs laid horizontally and fill in any gaps with earth. Lash the upright logs together to keep everything in place.
- Set traps
Though a hole trap is the ideal way to capture wild animals for food, a bigger hole makes a perfect zombie catcher.
Employ the help of your fellow survivors and dig a hole on the outskirts of camp, deep enough for an adult male (this may take some time so make this a priority when first setting up camp).
Cover the opening with sticks, debris etc and check at regular intervals for captured prey. Thankfully, zombies are terrible at climbing out of holes.
- Make a DIY alarm
Aliens are trickier to trap, but at least you can be alerted to their attack with the aid of a Scouting-inspired alarm.
Use a Scout’s electronics skills to create a campsite security system that will keep you safe from trespassers.
In the latest issue of Get Active!, Scouts have used a Raspberry Pi (a tiny computer that uses chip technology) to create pressure mats that set alarm bells ringing when someone steps on them – the perfect campsite alarm system.
Alternatively you can simply rig some empty cans or bells to some trip wire. If an alien should stumble on it, the whole camp can start running!
Survive on the move
You’ve had to flee your camp and in your haste you have left your map and compass behind. Don’t panic – remember, a Scout shows no fear in such circumstances. Use your surroundings to help you navigate your way to safety.
- Navigation by sun
Every Scout knows that in the northern hemisphere, the sun rises in the east, sets in the west and is to the south at midday. To get a clearer idea of which way is east for example, push an upright stick into the centre of a flat surface and mark the tip of the stick’s shadow. Wait about half an hour and mark the tip again. A line between the first and second point will provide a line of direction from west to your desired location.
- Navigation by moon
Use this old Scout trick to get your rough bearings at night. If there’s a crescent moon out, trace a line from the top horn to the bottom and continue that line towards the ground. This general direction is south (or north if you’re in the southern hemisphere).
- Navigation by tree
In the northern hemisphere, trees and all green plants enjoy more sun on the south side (the sun spending more time in the south). So, look around and if a big oak tree for example has a denser, fuller growth on one side, that’ll be the south side.
- Tracking signs
So you’ve managed to navigate your way through hordes of the undead while staying out of sight of low flying saucers. You need to let other survivors know the path to safety but you’re out of paper and there’s no phone signal. Thankfully, tracking signals are second nature to Scouts, and are the key to subtle communication amid the apocalyptic anarchy:
Direction: Use sticks to create a simple arrow pointing to sanctuary.
Not this way: A simple ‘X’ using twigs will prevent anyone stumbling on enemy territory.
Water in this direction: Three zigzag horizontal lines and an arrow could save lives.
- Leave no trace
When on the run, remember the words of Baden-Powell: ‘leave no trace’. Remain invisible and those monsters won't know where to find you.
When your town has been overrun by shuffling zombies or an army of body snatchers, you won’t be able to simply pop into your local corner shop for a chilled bottle of sparkling. When the taps run dry, follow these Scouting tips to find that precious H2O:
1. Catch the rain
Grab any piece of waterproof material (the bigger the better) and lay this out over a low point where the rain water can filter down into a container of some kind. Wait a while and you’ll have drinkable water.
When the sun’s out the leaves from a tree can be a great source of water. Wrap a polythene bag or bags around a leafy branch or a bundle of branches. Place a large stone into the bag and tie it securely. The bag will then lower the branch and the moisture will eventually fill the bag with water.
Hunting, fishing and looting the odd supermarket are all very well, but Scouts have a far more civilised way to stay alive: hedgerow foraging.
When the fruit trees are bare, hedgerow foraging is the best way forward and provide a source of tasty berries and nuts. The tastiest and most readily available berry is the blackberry, which grown at the side of roads and on the edges of forests, while a nearby forest can be a rich source of hawthorns, chestnuts, hazelnuts and even walnuts. Elderflowers, dandelions, sorrel, nettles and ramsons (wild garlic) are also useful supplements to the forager’s diet.
You could look for edible mushrooms like field mushrooms, Chanterelles and the Giant Puffball, but make sure you can identify them positively – the side-effects of toxic fungi can be just as unpleasant and even as deadly as a zombie bite.
- First aid
If you’re infected by a zombie virus or your brain has been replaced by an alien robot’s, there’s not a lot Scouts can do to help. For less extreme injuries, however, a Scout’s resourcefulness will definitely come in handy:
1. Make an arm sling
Cut a piece of cloth about 100cm square. Fold the square diagonally to make a triangle. Slip one end of the bandage under the wounded arm and over the shoulder. Bring the other end over the other shoulder to cradle the wounded arm. Tie the ends together behind the neck and fasten the bandage near the elbow with a safety pin.
2. Make a stretcher
The quickest way to improvise a stretcher is to use two poles and a couple of zip-up coats or fleeces. Zip up the coats and place them with their hems touching. Feed a pole through both arms of both coats and use two people at each end to lift the wounded.
3. Make a leg splint
Use a sleeping mat or some thick cardboard for the base of the splint and lay it out flat. Place some folded up t-shirts or soft materials on the base for extra cushioning. Lay the injured leg on the makeshift splint, fold it around and fasten tape, string or rope.
Live by these Scouting tips and you might just survive the end of the world...