Standing Back to Back


We stand together at the brink of December’s end. The year of 2017 is lurching, exhausted, to a close.  With a mix of relief and of trepidation I prepare to turn the last calendar page of 2017 to uncover January 2018.  I feel more than a bit hesitant to let another year in after the chaos we are preparing to sweep out the door.

I felt unprepared by any past experience or training for the rollercoaster of 2017. In spite of the fact that, secretly, for the last few years, I’ve been preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse .  I admit it.

This is a highly improbable future of post-apocalyptic Zombie Outbreak and the challenges of survival. In preparing for this unlikely outbreak I’ve haunted my local Ranger Supply store, read survival handbooks, and watched TV personalities survive extremes of weather and geography while eating raw sheep eyeballs, raw snake and (almost always) drinking urine. These super-extreme survivalist prepare viewers for the very extreme ends of disaster.

The Zombie Apocalypse has, so far, been a no-show. My, so far, unnecessary preparations are a bit like a smoke detector, you don’t want to need one.  Prepping for the unlikely Zombie Swarm has some unexpected bonuses in the same way that the smoke alarm is a helpful kitchen aid.

I know three different ways to start a smokeless fire, can identify and prepare several native and edible wild plants, and can, theoretically, build a shelter in just a few hours…if the helpful pictures in the guide can be trusted.

Daily life has its own challenges, but building a snow shelter, though, is easier and more exciting than figuring out how to pay regular monthly bills on too little income with a surprise car repair, and an unexpected doctor’s bill. Most of life is not as dramatic as trying to start a life-saving fire with wet wood and one remaining match. No reality show highlights the successful bill-payer or parallel parker. Maybe because neither of those challenges involves drinking urine; if it does, you’re doing it wrong.

In spite of all my practice and reading, I was entirely unprepared for the roller coaster ride of 2017. How could any emergency planning have anticipated any of that, all of that.  And, what can 2018 have in store for all of us standing here on the edge of the coming year?

Remember, though that Zombie Prep skills can be adapted.  Skills, tools, and attitude are important no matter what challenges we face. So, here’s a short list of tools to pack as we move forward.

Pocket US Constitution

Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife

Phone charger and spare external battery

Water bottle and purifier

Fire lighters


SAS Survival Handbook

Warm Socks (2 pairs)


and Cake (always cake)

What else should we pack for our next trip around the sun? It’s coming, ready or not.

We stand together; let’s be ready.



Photo Credit: Anita Bowen Photography


2 thoughts on “Standing Back to Back

  1. Ann C Andrex

    I am certainly not prepared for turning 65; but i will, in 6 more days. I feel more zombified every day. Grace and dignity, don’t abandon me now!


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