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Survive An Apocalypse: Setting Up A Complete Emergency Survival Kit

James Bruce 03-12-2013

Are you ready to fulfil your ultimate destiny? The apocalypse will need to be documented with Facebook updates and Twitter hashtags for future generations to fully enjoy – so how are you planning to do that with no power or Internet connectivity?


Joel already walked us through the basics of a emergency survival kit When Disaster Strikes: Putting Together A Basic Emergency Toolkit Read More should the worst happen – consider this list a geek upgrade with an eye to more long-term survival (and by long term, I mean being able to upload your post-apocalyptic meals to Instagram, because who’d want to live in a world where we don’t know what you had for dinner).

Mesh Internet Router

Decentralise your communications abilities by setting up a mesh network in your local neighbourhood. Rather than relying on your traditional service provider, a mesh Internet router connects everyone in a web of access nodes: the Internet itself is a mesh network (a world wide web of access nodes, one might call it if one was quite weird). Even without an Internet connection somewhere in that mesh, you could still set up VoIP communications and private servers for use within your community. The NSA will probably still find a way to watch you, though.

The best part is that you don’t even need new hardware – just grab some replacement firmware like DD-WRT What Is DD-WRT And How It Can Make Your Router Into A Super-Router In this article, I'm going to show you some of the coolest features of DD-WRT which, if you decide to make use of, will allow you to transform your own router into the super-router of... Read More or OpenWRT for a compatible router; or check out Serval Project for Android that does the same thing using your mobile device. Your first port of call should be CommunityWireless.org to learn more. Google’s Project Loon is a great example of mesh networking that might just be ready by the time the apocalypse arrives.

Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Generator and Solar Charger

Goal Zero is the ultimate in apocalypse power gear, and this battery, power inverter, and solar charging kit comes in at a pricey $400. The generator stores enough power for 1-3 hours of laptop use or around 8 mobile recharges: I’m not sure how much post-apocalypse Netflix time that translates to. It can be refuelled either by a separate solar charger for 10 hours, or plugged into the mains for 2 hours if you’ve managed to break through the zombie horde and been fortunate enough to find a reliable source. Truly, you’ll be equipped to leech and provide power for all.



Survival? There’s An App For That

The Internet has made our generation the most knowledgable, ever: anything is just a search away. But you can’t search Google for the different types of poisonous plants when the Internet is down. For that, you can use an app. The Survival Guide for iOS is free, with a huge amount of useful information from working with fire, building shelter, and basic medicine. Get it while you can!


For more extreme survival situations like controlling a spooked camel, this offline collection of WikiHow articles for iOS might also come in useful, but I doubt it.

Be sure to check out these apps and equipment for a zombie apocalypse Apps And Smartphone Equipment To Take With You Into The Zombie Apocalypse Technology failing to work remains the most ridiculous genre trope of the zombie apocalypse. We've seen many disgusted protagonists sneeringly discard ominously "dead" phones: That's because people in movies do not know much about technology.... Read More , too.


BioLite Wood Burning Campstove and USB Charger

Solar panels are great as long as there’s sunlight around; what if a post-warfare thick smog of destruction covered the skies? Your only hope would be fire – and this $130 wood burning stove will both ensure the vital ability to roast marshmallows and charge your smartphone so you can still take selfies. Boil a litre of water in under 5 minutes; 20 minutes will charge your iPhone with 60 minutes of talk time.


Pocket Chainsaw

In a post-apocalpyse situation, you’d be surprised how much of your activity involves getting big chunks of wood – whether to burn, make shelter, or fashion an impromptu thwacking implement. To that end, you’ll want one of these $23 pocket chainsaws. Infinitely more convenient than an actual saw, but you will need to supply your own chainsaw sounds.

Survive An Apocalypse: Setting Up A Complete Emergency Survival Kit pocketchainsaw


Eton FRX3 Hand Turbine Emergency Radio with Smartphone Charger

No sunlight or woodland to chop down? No worries – as long as you have use of your hands (my sincerest apologies if a zombie bit them off), you’ll still be able to listen to emergency broadcasts with this $53 Eton hand turbine radio. And though it might take a lot of work, you can eventually charge your smartphone over USB too. Seriously though, just find something to burn, it’ll be so much less effort.


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

It does’t matter how many iPhones you’ve got if you don’t have access to clean water: you’ll be dead within days. The $20 LifeStraw needs no batteries and contains no chemicals: just a series of extremely small tubes (hey – just like the Internet!) that filters out particulates with 99.99999% efficiency. Good for up to 1000 litres, though it won’t desalinate or remove viruses, so you’ll still need to deal with the plague some other way.



That’s my apocalypse survival kit – what’s in yours?

Related topics: Buying Tips, Survival Technology.

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  1. Chris
    December 10, 2013 at 5:27 am

    a good full tang large blade like a BK7 or a BK9 or similar, crossbow, full sized medical kit, boots, layered clothing, 72 hour backpack and your good to go for just about anything that life throws at you, a gun is great but unless you have access to a trailer full of spare ammo, you are limited !, truth is , if things are that bad, you will come across a gun that someone has no use for sooner rather than later

  2. Peter Grynch
    December 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I would recommend a gun. Otherwise how will you hang on to your survival kit when someone who did bring a gun asks you to give it to him?

    • Jeremy G
      December 6, 2013 at 6:01 am

      This appears to be the mistake that gets made the most. A gun is reliant on bullets, whereas a knife is both a weapon & a tool. Personally, I'd have the latter.

    • woodsy
      December 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      You are the weapon, or you aren't. Most aren't.
      Knife and/or firearm can be useful tools.
      Ammo lasts a long time unfired, and you won't shoot much from self-defense models. PVC bucket could hold "lifetime" supply of ammo/cleaning supplies/parts, allowing bi-annual test-shoot/replace.
      In USA, guns are easy. Getting/keeping a good job is hard.

    • Diane
      December 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Jeremy G, good luck bringing a knife to a gun fight. And good luck to any imbecile depending on gadgets to survive. Sorry but it takes hard work, skills and preparation such as those taught at SurvivalBlog.com.

  3. Peter Grynch
    December 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I would recommend a gun. Otherwise how will you hang on to your survival kit when someone who did bring a gun asks you to give it to him?

  4. Gail H
    December 5, 2013 at 5:02 am

    The plague pathogen is a bacterium, not a virus. Just to clarify.

  5. Guy M
    December 5, 2013 at 1:20 am

    If anyone is interested in more details about emergency preparedness, I know this handsome, if rotund, writer who has a blog and podcast at CanadaPrepared.com. He might even guest write a few survival articles for MakeUseOf. ;)

  6. HappyBoi
    December 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Screw the apocalypse! I am staying at the Hilton until it is over. Call me when my Heli is fueled and ready.

  7. Shmuel M
    December 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm


  8. Jeremy G
    December 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    A simple enough introduction for the tech-needy survivor. For the more advanced, look up GTFO or Bug Out Bags. These emergency kits can be useful in any situation, be it a typhoon or a power outage, World War or a lost button.

    If you want to get serious, find a secure place to stash your tech, likely for the long term, as apocalypse type scenarios are unlikely to include the survival of satellites or telecommunication networks. Plan your access route to your secure position & look into solar powered generators, UHF radio, hard copy maps & survival guides, manual survival skills including self-defense, hunting, animal processing (every part, from skin to intestines to teeth can be put to good use), and the construction of shelters for any weather condition.

    Finally, stock up on Toilet Paper.
    Most large cities have about 4 days capacity before the sewage system blocks up or bursts.

  9. Dave R
    December 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Just goes to show you can always learn something new, great read & thanks for this.

  10. Mike Merritt
    December 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Wow -- the "Eton Hand Turbine Radio" looks exactly like the "Pocket Chain Saw" ... Wrong photo ???

    • MakeUseOf TechGuy
      December 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Good catch. fixed.

  11. Mike Merritt
    December 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Get a plug-in inverter for your car's power plug (cigarette lighter), and run/charge your laptop on the car's battery. Start the car when the car's battery itself needs recharging.
    180 Watt max, 90 watt continuous for $15.00

    • alt-power-pdx
      December 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Terribly inefficient use of motor fuel. Real danger of the start battery being unable to re-start the car. Car start batteries are thin-plate construction and will be permanently harmed by deep cycling without immediate re-charge. Get a deep cycle battery bank, consult with someone who knows what they are doing with power.