By Brian Meyer
The Walking Dead is one of the most popular post-apocalyptic shows ever seen on television, and while the gripping story focuses on the characters and their travels through the ruined world, there are some lessons to be learned by us along the way.
Sure, not everything the characters do is spot-on correct for survival, and honestly much of what they do is the opposite of what you should do in a survival situation, but even bad actions can be learned from, just never repeated. We’ve rounded up seven lessons to be learned for survival from watching the Walking Dead and listed them below. The show does a great job at showing us what average people will do in an EOTWAWKI situation, and thanks to their many mistakes, we can learn and be better.
1. Beware of Other Survivors, No Matter How Nice They Seem
If there’s one thing this show has taught us, it’s that you need to be just as scared of your fellow survivors as you are the enemy. While someone might seem nice, they could easily be playing you for a chump so they can steal your supplies or just so they can do you harm.
The Governor seemed like a really nice guy and we saw how that turned out. The same goes for countless others in the show that lead people on just to take advantage of them later. Don’t even get us started on the “people” at Terminus. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
2. A Secure Location is Great, But Never Perfect
This is best shown with the example of the jail in seasons 3 and 4, but can be applied to just about any refuge taken in the show. It doesn’t matter how secure you think your location is, something can always happen to make you have to bug out.
Keep your eyes open and no matter how safe you feel, always have a plan to get out quickly and to meet up after you bug out. As we saw in season 4 when the survivors were pushed from the prison, not having a plan to meet up after an emergency can leave your fellow survivors scattered to the wind and in constant danger.
3. Someone Always Has a Bigger Gun
It doesn’t matter how big your gun is, or how many guns you have, there will always be someone out there with something bigger. Don’t rely on the size of your guns or the amount of ammo you have to protect yourself.
Learn how to survive and make sure you have other methods of defending your camp that aren’t guns. If you think you’ll be safe because you have the biggest guns, you’re destined to fall. Just look at The Governor and his tank for a great example.
4. Basic Survival Skills Will Save Your Life
When it’s all said and done, at the end of the day it’s basic survival skills that will keep you alive. All the guns and gadgets in the world won’t replace the basic skills like building a fire, tracking prey, and building snares. At the core of most episodes is the innate skills of the survivors.
Finding water, catching dinner, and setting up a safe camp are all core necessities to keep the survivors in the Walking Dead alive. Without these, they’d be zombie bait pretty quickly.
5. “Zombies” are Everywhere
While the chances or real zombies being everywhere is pretty low, in a survival situation you’ll have to deal with a different sort of walking dead. While you might be prepared for most of what the world might throw at you when the SHTF, most people out there won’t have the slightest bit of preparation ready.
These people could be considered zombies, since they will be wondering around, ready to pounce on anyone who is prepared and take what they want. While you probably won’t find one that wants to munch on your brains, most of these real-life zombies will want to take everything you have.
6. Learn Weapons Other Than Guns
Guns are pretty useful tools. While you’d rather not think about having to use one against another person, especially when a major disaster may have wiped many people out already, sometimes it’s a necessary evil. If things have gotten so bad that there isn’t any real law enforcement, your gun might be the only thing standing between survival and death.
This doesn’t mean it will be useful forever. Ammo manufacturers are not likely to be pumping out rounds to buy at your local gun shop in a major survival situation, and finding a gunsmith to fix a majorly broken firearm will be nearly impossible.
Learn how to use and fight with weapons that aren’t guns. This includes knives, bows, and heck, even a samurai sword if that’s your thing. Don’t just carry these, learn how to use them and use them well. You’ll be glad you did when things go bad.
7. Always Have Your Bug Out Bag Ready
The last tip is very much a summary of all the tips above. The basic idea here is that you never know when things will go bad. It doesn’t matter if you’re behind walls of wire and cement, it doesn’t matter if you have a cache of rifles and handguns, and it doesn’t matter if you have the best-trained group out there. Things can go bad quickly and easily get away from you.
Always keep your bug out bag handy with all the supplies you need to get out of dodge quickly. Whether it’s a tank rolling over the fences surrounding your compound, or some “zombies” overtaking your camp, being able to pick up and run at a moment’s notice is vital to your survival. Keep this in mind and you’ll be far more likely to escape the hordes and make it to another season.
Brian Meyer is a technology nut who loves craft beer. Still a Boy Scout at heart, he believes in always being prepared. Brian believes the most important tools you can have when the SHTF are your brain and the ability to keep a level head, no matter what the situation is.