Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How To Make A Zombie Escape Route...Before It's Too Late

If there's one thing I've learned after playing Left 4 Dead for three days straight, it's that the zombie apocalypse is coming and anyone without a plan is going to get their brains eaten. Luckily, with Google Maps and a little forethought, you too can make your own Zombie Escape Route. Now that I've made one, I can finally sleep at night, without the gun.


We'll assume the worst case scenario; one morning you look out the window, and there are zombies on the streets. The news is saying the outbreak is centered in your town.

The authorities may be telling you to stay inside your home. But! If your town is already infected, the zombie population will increase exponentially, and I wouldn't trust any governing body to know how to control it. Those zombs will come breaking down your door soon enough, which is why we're making these escape routes in the first place.

Unless you're in a rural area, your car isn't going to do much good. Traffic out of the city will be gridlocked, and bridges are likely to be shut down anyway. You'll have to assume a city-wide quarantine, and count on any public routes of transportation out of the city being closed.

In picking your destination, you'll want to go somewhere that's far away from your city and that has very low population. Remote areas are safest because even if the population has turned, they will have little incentive to stay put and will probably be moving on to nearest city. Thus, if you have any farmland or forest within traveling distance, that might be the place to go.

In almost all zombie lore, zombies aren't coordinated enough to swim. This makes a boat or an uninfected island some of the safest places to be. If you're near a coast, try to get on the open ocean; it's likely you can sail far enough to escape the infection.

As noted in tips #1 and #2, you are going to be doing a lot of RUNNING. You may be tempted to take tons of stuff from your house to fit every situation, but you're better off planning to pick up essentials from stores along your route. Use Google Maps to look up grocery stores close to your destination, and plan to get food and water when you need it and no sooner.

Getting out of a major city will be hard no matter what route you take, but stay off main roads at all costs. Since people will be trying to drive on these streets, and looting will likely take place in commercial districts, main streets will become throbbing veins of zombification. You're better off making a run through side streets and alleys; as scary as it will be to see a lone zombie blocking your path in a dark alley, you've got a better shot getting around him than a massive horde in the town square.

Be sure your route doesn't take you near any hospitals. Zombie victims will head to hospitals, turn into zombies, bite the doctors and...well, you know how it goes. Give yourself a several block radius away from these hot spots.

Zombies shouldn't be too hard to outrun as long as you don't get cornered; to this end, if you can ever take a route through a park, a vacant lot, even a construction site, do it. Maneuverability is key.

Despite wanting to stay out of populated areas, sporting good stores might be worth the risk. If you want to avoid melee combat and are not a gun-owner, a sporting good store might be the only place to get a long range weapon such as a rifle or crossbow. You can also pick up a raft or canoe here, if you're planning on making a run for the water.

Try to pick a relatively safe meeting place to join up with some local friends who you really, really trust. You can set a meeting time relative to the outbreak; for instance, you could plan to meet no later than three hours after the first presidential address on the crisis. If anyone is missing by the deadline, assume the worst and get moving!

You can get a look at these tips in action by taking a closer look at my route. And if you need some pointers on using google maps, here they are:


1. Go to the MyMaps tab in Google Maps (under the Google logo).
2. Click "Create new map"; title it Zombie Escape Route and click the "Public" tab so it can be easily accessed by those in your neighborhood.
3. Zoom in on your house, or where you expect to be when the invasion hits.
4. Click the "Placemark" icon to make your first landmark (your house). After you write the title and description, you can click the icon in the window to select a more visually descriptive icon, like the ones I used.
5. On the left side window, click the check mark next to "Places of Interest" under the Featured Content header. This will allow you to help plan your route and find places you might want to go (grocery stores, gas stations) as well as places to avoid (hospitals, graveyards).

Now it's time to figure out your route....find your first stop, make a new placemark, and use the "Draw a line" icon to connect the two. Continue thusly until you reach your destination.

Easy, right? Post a link to your map in the comments section, so we might all better prepare ourselves for the inevitable. Best of luck!


that jon jackson said...

Sage advice. i might add that obtaining and sawing off most of the barrel and butt of a shotgun (To reduce the weight) may be well worth the extra weight it adds to your trip.

AHR said...

Hey Jon - while I can't deny the innate appeal of using a sawed off shotgun to defend oneself from the undead, I'm wary of guns for two main reasons:

1. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't trust myself to fire a shotgun or an automatic weapon for the first time in a panic-situation without blowing my own foot/knee/head off. And that would be a hell of an anticlimactic way to go out.

2. I imagine that zombies would realize that gunshots=humans pretty quickly, and move in the direction of shots they hear.

That said, it works pretty well in Left 4 Dead, so what do I know?

LinkWolfgang said...

I have a problem with your ultimate escape plan:

1. All zombies need to learn how to cross water is one intelligent leader zombie.

2. In Land of the Dead the leader zombie was just going after one man because of a pre-undeath grudge so it's not like the whole horde would just try and kill you but i'm just saying there is no saying how many intelligent zombies there will be also zombie sharks. Get some motorcycles. Fool proof plan needs to be created Water is never a good place to be, especially if it's some crap tiny canoe that I assume will be available for you. it's all about the stealth and land travel. I say avoid water at all costs. If zombies are around who knows what else may have just awoken? I'm pretty sure that pretending you're a bush is a smart idea. GET A GRAPPLING GUN! Zipping from rooftop to rooftop should be the most effective way to travel. I'm going to assume that by the time zombies invade batman style grappling guns will be available.

3. My sister might as well be dead right now... killed by zombie sharks or NJ zombies.

4. Once zombies show up so do sharks.

5. Blade skills (I like those Zabuza swords)

7. Become muscly and gruff it's all about the attitude.

collect dead animals and rub them on yourself to blend in.

The action never stops zombie sharks are a sure thing.

AHR said...

Okay, first of all "LINK", if that's even your real name, I didn't say Zombies can't walk across the bottom of the ocean. I did see POTC 1 after all. But swimming zombies? No. Zombie sharks? Your talking crazy. First of all, what exactly would be the difference between a zombie and a zombie shark? A lust for blood? OH WAIT...

I contend that boats are almost totally safe from zombies - I agree a little canoe is not a long term option, but assuming the entire globe has not been taken over by zombies (in which case we should all just eat a gun), I think paddling somewhere uninfected is your best bet.

Also in re: rubbing dead animals on yourself; GOOD PLAN. Cause zombies are totally not going to want to eat something covered with guts and blood.

I would theorize that zombies would be most deterred by inorganic chemical smells - I would spray myself with air freshener or bleach (don't try this at home, kids!).

Francis said...

I highly recommend the knowledge of blade use (half length ronin swords are among the best) carry at least 3 knives with you.. I'm not talkin' swiss army knives.. full core hunting knives.. a blade sharpening stone..fire starters.. plenty lighters.. an aluminum case, easily attachable with strap, for ammunition(must not take humidity),
no big bags if possible: pouches around your waist that wouldn't impede your dexterity and size in case you have to run / enter a small angust area i.e. a cave.. it's hard to say: travel light.. you need what you need on the run. think as if you were going to spend the rest of your life in savage, hostile lands.. you need to be prepared for climate, emergencies, eventualities, aggressions, climbing, digging, constructing... and ready to run, little sleep .. if none at all.
Enhance your skills at improvisational 'surrounding-modification': If you are in the vicinity of foe and need to find refuge in a better spot than your moment's hiding place, find a rock .. cast it far in your opposite direction, obliquely.. breathe lightly.. pay attention to where your sweat drops.. think quickly, very much so.. do not hope to find any friends.. if you do good.. if you find someone trust them only when they prove worthy.. keep quiet and calm.. study the environment around you.. study the repetition of the enemies' actions and act accordingly.. do not walk in the open... must be good at building .. you might need a refuge in trees, or barricade yourself in a gulf-like stone surface using wood and metals.. just consider, they will smell your blood. Mind: what do dogs usually roll around in to camouflage their scent thus to move stealthily . : shit. at the least, mud. a bathe in eucalyptus, pine oleander extracts( according to their properties) I think might be ideal.. or perhaps citronella as well. they are repellent in nature.. this might work on their organisms as it does on certain mammals, reptiles, insects..we do not know zombies.. not even do we know if they will ever appear. If they do, no offense, the most of you all here might not even live 'till the third day. I mean not to discourage.. but to exhort you to preparing drastically for whatever, whenever.
Because something odd and uncomfortable just wight be about to happen.

good luck.

Brent Vermillion said...

You might want to map all locations of graveyards, hospice, old folks homes and retirement communities as places to avoid in your escape route.

Also avoid churches, police, military installations and community centers as the weak, defenseless, clueless and infirm would most likely congregate there for safety and draw/produce more zombies.

BiGSexY420 said...

Great Advice something that I have already done myself. One thing I would have to disagree with is the travel by foot. I just purchased a 3rd car that is 4x4 that I am outfiting for this specific need. Once done it will have containers for Ammo, Guns, Food, shelter, along with gas cans to hold an additional .5 tank of gas. Once the shit hits the fan Im gonna jump in that baby and head towards the hills. Maybe I'm just crazy but if the zombie apocalypse happens I will be fully prepared.

Oh and to the guy that said he was afraid of shooting his foot. I would recommend grabing your self a cheep glock and start shooting now. That way once the shit hits the fan muscle memory kicks in and the gun is pointed away from your foot.

Gabbi said...

In almost every zombie movie or book that I've come across, zombies don't need to be able to swim. They just sort of walk along the bottom of the body of water. It makes perfect sense, actually. They're not alive so they don't need to breathe.

So it's highly doubtful that you'd be safe on an island.

Maltanis said...

I hate to be critcal about your post, but some of the information your giving people is going to get them killed.
You say run don't wait, yeah sure, thats a great idea. Because every other panicked person isn't going to be running in every different direction. Wait in a secure location, people won't listen to the goverment when the dead are on there doors. And fleeing humans will draw zombies towards them!
You mention how zombies can't swim.
Fair point, but heading to the sea won't help you. Other people will be heading there in hope of boats and such forth. And just because a zombie can't swim doesnt mean he's not gonna sit at the bottom of the sea floor and reach up for any floating bodies above!
You mention wide open spaces, but they are no safer then a closed space. In a wide plain, if one zombie see's you, he moans an heads out towards you. A mile away another zombie hears the moan and heads towards the sound. Then another mile away another zombie hears, so on and so forth, in the space of under 10 seconds zombies can be heading towards you from all directions. When travelling you should take paths that are hidden, but where you can see anythin coming, wide plains shouldnt attract you.
Heading to a sports store is not a smart idea, how many people are actually trained with equipment such as bows and such forth, can you hit a bullseye or a head shot every time, the only way to kill a zombie is to take out his brain, hitting him in the chest won't get you very far.
You mention near the end places to avoid, hospitals i agree with, but graveyards?
The zombie infection has to be transfered to a living human, the rotting deceased will not suddenly rise from their graves. Also, how likely is it that a zombie buried under six feet of earth and has a wooden coffin in front of them, is going to manage to break his way threw and then dig out, not likely to happen.
Like i said, hate to be negative, but If the day arisis, id prefer you all to armed with knowledge to fight back.
Thats what sets us aside from the living dead, knowledge and the capacity to learn, logic is your most powerfull weapon against the undead, always keep your head, never panic, and never get over confident, always know your limitations.
Live on!

electronic cigarette said...

And by all means, don't take an injured person with you. Sure, you love them but it's just a matter of time before they 1. Slow you down when you're running from a horde of zombies 2. Get picked off no matter what you try to do to save them 3. Turn into a zombie and try to attack you despite your attempts to save them.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all fucking stupid.

Anonymous said...

Grow the fuck up people. Zombies are not real and never will be. You all are basing your whole strategy on VIDEO GAMES and MOVIES which we all know are TOTALLY ACCURATE! (if you can't pick out the sarcasm here then you are truly sad indeed).

Why not break out the laser swords to go along with your grappling hooks! Actually, do the rest of humanity a favor and kill yourself now and remove some of the stupid gene from the pool.

Fucking retards....

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" is a very funny guy. And great fun at parties.

From the members of the Brotherhood of Life said...

Anonymous let them have some fun. They know zeds don't exist now. They may never exist. With all the weird happenings in this world would this really freak you out as strange. We clone animals and use lasers to cut metals. Could some wacky person not make up some strange virus? We will never know. I'll just stick with the hope if anything does happen its not in my lifetime. I'll keep my plans to my area's group. A group made to fight an unreal set of creatures from our imaginations. Nothing more nothing less. If anything does happen the best of luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

lol a zombie attack would be awesome and frightening. though i seriously doubt the plausibility, it's quite an interesting topic to plan for. kudos to you guys and your vast knowledge of zombie-based apocalypse. if, say, this ever happens, you guys got it down! ^__^ for you bashers, chill the fuck out! it's just entertaining theory. what EXACTLY does it mean to you if a group of people are planning for a zombie apocalypse. if it pisses you off that much... why are you even reading the fucking page...? DUUUUHHH!! (donkey face appears) anywho, once again, kudos dudes! bring on the rotting fucking army! (fires AK into the air randomly) oh shit! i'm outta ammo...

Anonymous said...

This is all fine and good for a viral/disease based, "transmitted by bite" zombie outbreak. But if instead, it turns out to be a necromantically manifested "raising of the dead" type of scenario, the rules change completely.

AHR said...

Yeah Anon that's true, but that's why I said to stayed away from the cemetary on my map. JUST IN CASE.

PS I'm seeing a lot of big talk in this thread but so far no one has posted MAP ONE. Has no one actually taken my advice and made a map?! Share!

mrh208 said...

I agree with whoever said to stay put.

Truth be told, with either of the two kinds of zombie (rage and old-school), humans are much more dangerous. Humans panic, riot, shoot, distrust, and turn on you. I would say, unless you have absolutely no other choice, get to a defensible location, fortify, and plan your next move. Food and water should be FIRST on the priority list. As much as it'll weigh you down, ten pounds of food and water are way more your friends than the equivalent in any kind of ammunition; you can't eat bullets, after all.

For a slow zombie outbreak, as far as weapons are concerned, I'd say you'd be fine with a crowbar, a hatchet, and a heavyweight pistol. Maybe a hunting rifle if you're a good shot and can spare the weight. The first two are good as tools as well.

Also, ham radio for the win. Get your license (there are facilities in literally every country) and figure out your local repeater. In any sort of disaster situation, especially ones involving communications problems (which there will be plenty of in large scale outbreaks), hams are usually the ones who establish a communication network, which will be vital to your survival and the survival of others.

JHammer27 said...

There are more like 4 types of zombies if you ask me

1.Necromantic (not gunna happen)
2.World war Z type (we can win)
3.Left for dead type (oh god)
and last but not least
4.Mutant/Dead Space type (We're Screwed!)

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