I’m crouched amongst some trees, covered in dirt, not daring to make a sound. In the soggy field, meters to my left, are zombies. Well, not real zombies; People pretending to be zombies for the simulated outbreak on the last day of Zombie Survival Camp.
Even though I know there are human hearts still beating inside them, I’m terrified to make a sound, lest I crack a twig or rustle some leaves, alerting them to my position. The other survivors (or camp guests) are either finding supplies, already zombiefied, or in the safe-zone across the wet and slippery field. Do I run for it? Stealth my way to safety? Or let the zombie hordes feast on my brains . . . or in this case the ribbon tied to my waist?
This is just one of the many harrowing decisions you’ll have to make at Zombie Survival Camp, a camp run by a group of zombie-ready friends that prides themselves on making Canada the most zombie prepared nation. The camp covers just a weekend, but in that time you’ll learn wilderness survival, archery, fieldcraft, melee combat and Zom-jitsu, a martial art invented for hand to hand combat with the undead.
Overall, it’s a fun weekend to be had, especially if you’re into zombies, survival training (of any kind), or camping. The camp’s tagline is “You can’t enjoy the apocalypse if you don’t survive,” and using the lessons learned at the camp was enjoyable.
And I did make it to the safe-zone and survived the fake apocalypse by using what I was taught, so the lessons were of use. The next camp is scheduled for Spring 2014 and if you’re looking for advice before attending, or how to be ready if the zombie outbreak occurs before then, here are the three biggest lessons I learned:
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
This one is true for any disaster situation, but especially for a zombie apocalypse. Putting together a good bug-out bag and having a decent plan in place (with the ability to improvise) will go far in making you humanity’s last hope. Even small things like packing extra socks goes a long way.
Communication is Key
If you find other survivors after doomsday, working together is the only way you’ll survive in the long run. From big things like building shelters, delegating responsibilities, and finding and sharing supplies to minute things like having hand signals to communicate so you don’t have to speak (and make noise) when zombies are nearby, surviving is all about communication. As Eric Somerville, one of the survival trainers at the camp says, “People are both your greatest resource and your worst enemy.”
Don’t Just Focus on the Undead
Sure, there are zombies running around, but you have more pressing needs. Water, food, shelter, and more, are vital if you want to survive. If (or when) society breaks down, and you somehow make it out of the city, if you can’t find the necessary supplies, it won’t take a zombie to kill you. Remember the rule of threes. Your body can survive around three weeks without food, three days without water and only three hours without proper shelter in cold weather. So start getting those sticks together for that fire.
Photo courtesy of Zombie Survival Camp.