You’ve been a good crewmember, done all of the necessary prep work. Your go bag is packed and next to the front door. A map with various escape routes and possible safe havens is sitting nearby. Your trusty shotgun is cleaned, loaded, and standing by. Heck, you’ve even taken up jogging to make sure you can outrun the zombies when the time comes. But I fear even some of your die-hard and supremely prepared ZSC commanders have forgotten a key component to survival in the Zombiepocalypse…
All the jogging in the world will not sustain you in the long run after the zombies take over. Feet can only get you so far. What if you find yourself trapped in a large city when the disease begins to spread throughout the population? Within days the undead to living ratio will be completely skewed, and not in the survivor’s favor. At that point the only option is to flee heavily populated areas for rural outposts.
Choosing a vehicle is much like choosing what items to include in your go bag or what weapon to use an extension of your arm. It is important to keep in mind personal comfort as well as utility. Obviously a family isn’t going to be able to travel and pack enough supplies into a Volkswagen Bug. Likewise, single people would make a huge target of themselves by traveling in a motor home, or something that massive in scale.
We should take a moment to note that if you do plan to relocate during the Zombiepocalypse, you need to do so within the first weeks. Gas supplies will likely run out quickly and it is doubtful that fuel tankers will be making a trip to your local station to top off the tanks while walkers are trying to gnaw on their arms. You can give yourself a buffer of sorts by storing gasoline in a safe place, but only by days, maybe. There are simply too many variables at play during times of crisis. Even the best-laid plans can go awry. Plan on traveling as early into the crisis as possible to ensure you have enough gas to get to your destination, with enough left in the tank to move in case of an emergency.
Back to vehicle choices… Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are ideal for our purposes. Generally SUVs have plenty of storage space and adequate seating for a family. A small family could even sleep inside, however we do not encourage making this arrangement permanent. There is enough sound dampening inside an SUV (or any car, really) to rob you of the ability to hear the undead closing in. Sleeping inside your vehicle should only be done in an emergency and in an area you’ve scouted and found free of zombies.
Mini vans, despite their bad rep as an ego killer, offer a little more space to sit in. They are tight on storage space, though. We do not recommend tying anything to the roof of your vehicle to make up for this lack of space. It is too easy dragged off if you find yourself surrounded by walkers. You are also left vulnerable while awkwardly balanced on the tire of your car and rooting around to get what you need. Make sure everything you plan to take fits inside with you.
Pickup trucks, while seemingly perfect for survival, are actually a huge liability. The cab space will only accommodate maybe three people comfortably and all of your supplies are out of reach. In order to get to anything you have to step outside of the safety of your vehicle. Not ideal unless you are traveling a short distance and have a safe haven to store all of your stuff in as soon as you get there. We suggest avoiding trucks if possible.
Is there a perfect vehicle for surviving the Zombiepocalypse as a nomad? You bet your Aunt Fanny! Unfortunately, it only exists on film. Dead Reckoning (as seen in Romero’s Land of the Dead) was made to barrel through zombie hoards. She’s equipped with enough guns to make even us jealous, is fully armored, and comes with a system to shoot off fireworks. Fireworks? In Romero’s films the zombies are so simple-minded that fireworks keep them completely distracted and unaware of what was driving past. A big vehicle like Dead Reckoning can sneak by without so much as a snarl. It became very useful when time came to head out to collect supplies.
Would it be great to have a vehicle like Reckoning? Totally. Reasonable? Only slightly. If there were a large city to help maintain, then the answer would easily be yes. But you become sitting ducks gathering together in one place. The sounds, smells, and lights from the people in the city would draw the attention of the undead eventually. It is better to be alone or in a small group than stuck in a large population of people who are a zombie horde waiting to happen.
So take a moment while you are planning your escape routes and decide on a vehicle that will best suit your purposes. Once you’ve decided, head over to GetFanged.com. The ZSC has started a discussion over there about which car you think would be key to surviving the Zombiepocalypse.