How To Survive the Walking Dead (or Anything)

The debate regarding what should be included in a zombie survival kit rages on. Tell us what you would include, and be entered for a chance to win your own emergency car kit.

This week’s sweeps has ended. Comment on the most recent zombie blog post to be entered in the ongoing sweepstakes.

With Season 4 of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead rapidly approaching (it premiers October 13), no fewer than 60 percent of Americans (not real stats) have one thing on their minds: the inevitability of a zombie apocalypse.

The internet is newly abuzz with tips for surviving a zombie attack, discussions on whether guns or melee weapons are more effective as a zombie defense, and much theorizing on whether or not a zombie apocalypse is nigh.

With zombie survival groups springing up all over the country, the oft-heated debate regarding what should be included in a survival kit rages on. And while literally everyone (not literally) has weighed in on the matter of survival kits, very few agree completely.

How to survive a zombie apocalypse

Most self-proclaimed zombie experts do agree that water, non-perishable foodstuffs, and some type of brain-bashing object are all essential to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Beyond these key ingredients, however, the suggestions become more varied and unpredictable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (yes, they weighed in) include prescription and non-prescription meds on the list. Seems smart. Wired recommends having a “strong grasp of neuroscience.” Also smart. And the Huffington Post rather thought-provokingly suggests that your survival kit should also include an object of affection (presumably giving as much consideration to your romantic survival as to your physical well-being).

But the point is this: whether you’re preparing for a zombie apocalypse or hurricane season, it’s essential to have an emergency kit of some kind. And, not surprisingly, the things you’d need to survive zombies are many of the same things you’d need to survive any other kind of major disaster.

Many Americans don’t have an emergency kit

Surprisingly, in spite of a growing preoccupation with zombies, most Americans don’t keep survival supplies in their cars or homes. According to an online survey conducted for CarMax, the nation`s largest retailer of used vehicles, 65 percent of respondents did not have a winter emergency kit in their car.

It seems we’re all more likely to debate what should be in an emergency kit than actually put one together. So, this month at Esurance, we’re encouraging both. Tell us what you think should be included in an emergency car kit for a chance to win one!  (Plus be entered for a shot at the grand prize: zombie survival training in Portland, Oregon.)

The Zombie Sweepstakes*

To help ensure that more Americans are well-prepared for anything — from a simple roadside breakdown to, sure, the zombie apocalypse — Esurance is giving away 100 emergency car kits. To win one, just leave a comment below letting us know what you think is the most important thing to have in case of a disaster (aside from food, water, and some type of weapon … for the zombies).

That’s it. Your answer will help us end the debate on what is and isn’t important when it comes to the end of the world, and it’ll also enter you for a chance to win a premium, all-inclusive emergency kit for your car. We’ll be giving away 25 kits each week during September, so be sure to come back to the blog each Monday and comment on any of our 4 zombie-themed posts.

Plus, by commenting, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for 2 to zombie survival training in Portland, Oregon, with a 2-night hotel stay, and $2,000 travel money.

Comment to enter the sweeps

Are you ready to be ready? Just leave your comment below. (And don’t forget to come back next Monday to try again.)

Sorry, New Yorkers! You aren’t eligible to win due to regulations in your state. But we encourage you to create your own emergency car kits to be prepared for anything.

Stuff our legal team makes us say:

*No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The “Sweepstakes Period” begins 9/3/13 at 12:00 p.m. PT and ends 9/30/13 at 12:00 p.m. PT. This Sweepstakes consists of four (4) independent weekly sweepstakes (each a “Weekly Sweepstakes”) beginning 9/3, 9/9, 9/16, and 9/23 and ending at the start of the next Weekly Sweepstakes. Subject to full Official Rules. Open to all of the U.S. (excluding New York) 18+. Limited to one (1) entry per person, per email address per Weekly Sweepstakes. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. 650 Davis Street, San Francisco, CA 94111. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received.


190 Responses to “How To Survive the Walking Dead (or Anything)”

  1. ellen beck
    September 6, 2013 #

    Besides essentials I would want to have plenty of first aid pain reliever on hand because it's going to hurt running all the time!

    • Magnus Leask
      September 9, 2013 #

      A backpack, lightweight, with a collapseable tent, you'll need a place to sleep.
      Or maybe a moutain bike for transportation.

  2. mary kean
    September 6, 2013 #

    I don't think most people read the rules about what not to comment on, i.e: weapons, food, etc.. so….anyway, I'd have to say I would have to admit I personally would include sunscreen in my survival kit. I burn easily and I still plan on living a long time even after the zombies take over.

  3. Linda C.
    September 6, 2013 #

    A multi-purpose knife

  4. jennifer weltz
    September 6, 2013 #

    Deodorant, don't want the zombies to smell you, and a good pair of running shoes.

  5. Dustin
    September 6, 2013 #

    A flashlight and plenty of batteries.

  6. Amy
    September 6, 2013 #

    I'd definitely need a portable blu ray player and the following movies on hand- Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Warm Bodies and World War Z-so I could compare actual Zombies to their movie counterparts and see which movie was the most accurate.

  7. Hancock
    September 6, 2013 #

    One sharp samurai sword and bunch of Twinkies

  8. Troy Funk
    September 6, 2013 #

    Some kind of raincoat or other protective gear to keep off the blood splatter when you have to kill one in close quarters!

  9. Grace
    September 6, 2013 #

    Probably good to have some basic medicine and sanitation products… would suck to successfully escape zombies only to die from an infected wound you got while jumping over a rusty fence

  10. Jon Henry
    September 6, 2013 #

    I'd echo the need for a crossbow.

  11. firestarter2014
    September 6, 2013 #

    yay camp and online survival class!

  12. Teran
    September 6, 2013 #

    A change of clothing, or two.

  13. Sidney Cook
    September 6, 2013 #

    Street smarts. and if you don't have that, maybe the SAS survival handbook?

  14. K Mac
    September 6, 2013 #

    Some good running shoes and clean shorts…those zombies are pretty darned scary!

  15. Preston Payne
    September 6, 2013 #


  16. joshieruss
    September 6, 2013 #

    All I would need is a large knife and a flair for accessorizing and a strong fashion sense. If you can wear a zombie as a shawl or even a backpack, their smell would mask yours and zombies would take no notice. Oh and maybe a nose plug too in the kit.

  17. Chris Huynh
    September 6, 2013 #

    Aspirin/go phone with extra batteries and go phone minutes/wallow talkies!!

  18. Amy Pence
    September 6, 2013 #

    Well I think I would need a who not a what. I would bring one of the guys from Swamp People because they know how to live of the land, they have plenty of guns and we would be in the swamp so not a lot of people or zombies out there.

  19. 1tennesse
    September 6, 2013 #

    I would include fresh worms, maggots or leaches for a quick pick-me-up, can opener. Large machete, machine gun, wrench or pliers to cut off utilities, maybe some garbage bags for travel in-a-pinch.

  20. Jacob Nowak
    September 6, 2013 #

    A aluminum bat. Because wood breaks. Aluminum will simply dent. A ranged weapon like a bow as well as a pistol with spare mags just in case. MRE's and water filtration tools. Collapsible containers for storing water in.

  21. Meaghan Del Real
    September 6, 2013 #

    I say a map and a compass, so you always know where you are going and have a sense of direction. Being able to mark off zombie dense areas so that you can avoid them will be helpful. Also, knowing where things like rivers/streams are for water and possible food will help you survive. All this can be found using your map and compass for direction.

  22. Bob Morris
    September 6, 2013 #

    Ham Radio!!!

  23. Lisa Gibson
    September 6, 2013 #

    Road flares, matches, multi-tools always come in handy

  24. Joshua Grzegorzewski
    September 6, 2013 #

    A mylar "Space blanket" for heat retention and reflective signaling purposes

  25. Rebecca Copenhaver
    September 6, 2013 #

    Full body armor :).

  26. Kelley
    September 6, 2013 #

    Plywood, nails and a hammer. Wait the zombies out.

  27. Rebecca Coltrane
    September 6, 2013 #

    i'd have some flint to start fires

  28. Dana Rodriguez
    September 6, 2013 #

    A flashlight,tool kit and something waterproof to store important or valuable things

  29. Leslie Fox
    September 6, 2013 #

    A first aid kit, and a shovel to bury something or get someone unstuck..

  30. Susan Hanna
    September 6, 2013 #

    I need training. No idea how to combat a Zombie!

  31. Caleb Alexander
    September 6, 2013 #

    A bottle of water is one thing, but iodine pills/droplets or a purifier are great. In lieu of a purifier, a small camper stove for boiling water and others is essential. A sturdy knife–bonus if it folds so it is safer to carry–with rope is also a good idea. Other emergency gear such as a flashlight (a shakeable light or solar charger is a must) and radio to keep up on bulletins is a good idea too.

  32. Greg Riemersma
    September 6, 2013 #

    Leave the big city and head out in the woods with loved ones and friends.

  33. Dan St. Ledger
    September 6, 2013 #

    Every kit should have a chainsaw.

  34. FeedThePiggy
    September 6, 2013 #

    It's important to have a member of the opposite sex, so you can procreate and repopulate the earth with brains for the zombies… I mean people.

  35. Salvatore Maranzano
    September 6, 2013 #

    Don't forget to include in your kit a deck of cards for a solitaire:boredom could be more dangerous of zombies :D

  36. robin nashwick
    September 6, 2013 #


  37. robert nashwick
    September 6, 2013 #

    Bazooka, gas mask, and flame thrower.

  38. Christian Samora
    September 6, 2013 #

    Fuel and a shelter that can be fortified and easily defended.

  39. edward monroe
    September 6, 2013 #

    i would take shelter in a jail house

  40. melvin monroe
    September 6, 2013 #

    i would take a big bottle of katup i love katup i cannot survive without katup i put katup on everything.

    September 6, 2013 #

    I think having a plan ahead of time for the zombie apocalypse (or any disaster) is key, but as far as after the disaster i think that the most important things to have are the bare necessities something to eat, to keep warm, to have water, and protection. other than that how much are most of us able to carry anyways? start with the basics and work up. of course flashlights and matches would really come in handy!!!! and i would definitely not be opposed to a poncho!@!

  42. Kathy Snyder
    September 6, 2013 #

    You always need batteries and can never find one. Maybe Zombies can be zapped. I would also want a warm blanket, food, water and flashlight. A few small boards to hit a zombie away or put under your tires if stuck.

  43. Jaime Romero
    September 6, 2013 #

    The don't stand a chance!!!!

  44. Scarlett
    September 6, 2013 #

    Antibacterial and/or baby wipes! I don't want nasty zombie fluids on me, nor do I want to consider the places potty breaks happen and be without some way of getting clean. Also, ouchies are bound to happen, and staving off infection is crucial to survival. They're good for a quick B.O. solution (temporarily, obviously), and they could pprobably be used as makeshift bandages or tourniquets.

  45. wyrd1
    September 6, 2013 #


  46. Glenda Jackson
    September 6, 2013 #

    I would say, some clean underwear and if your female….feminine products (pads, tampons, etc)…hey just stating the obvious. Mom says to always wear clean underwear! Zombie apocalypse or not!

  47. Colmaw
    September 6, 2013 #

    I would make friends with Daryl from the Walking Dead best way to stay safe next to someone with experience..

  48. keyr vandevere
    September 6, 2013 #

    the best thing to is have a tight layer of clothes.. cover parts of your body with zombie blood and earth so you smell like them and carry slient weapons.. you can blend in and attack zombies if need be, stay in the shadows and disappear. thats how you make it out alive

  49. Harry Omwake
    September 6, 2013 #

    A solar powered radio.

  50. betty n
    September 6, 2013 #

    Squirt Gun and a face mask