In a perfect world, your zombie bug-out bag would hold a little of everything.  But the need to keep your kit light and portable means that some tough choices have to be made.  One less obvious pick is a combination lock and length of chain.

Between roaming hordes of the undead and hostile humans, there’s no telling what dangers you’ll encounter when trying to move from place to place.  A lock and chain can turn almost any door or gate into a solid obstacle in just a matter of seconds, buying you precious time to make your escape.

ZRS Researcher, Mark Staten, packs his for another reason altogther:

“It’s a great improvised weapon.  Wrap the chain around your leather-gloved hand to make brass knuckles, or attach the lock to the end for a nasty metal whip.”

Though a chain and lock are heavier than most other survival essentials, all the water purification tablets in the world won’t help you if your supplies are stolen, or your life lost, because you couldn’t evade a deadly threat.  With zombies about security should always be a primary concern, and that’s why I strongly recommend adding a lock and chain to your kit.

What are some other items that you don’t usually hear mentioned in the standard bug-out list?


  1. You wouldn’t necessarily need a big and heavy chain and lock if you’re just trying to buy time!

    One option would be to wear it around your waist ala Clockwork Orange style.

  2. metholoated spirits – cleans water, gets you drunk, cleans you, cleans your clothes, and evaporates quickly (for drying clotghes) and is flammable

    can opener

    length of rope (probably stored as a belt)

    VERY BASIC tool kit (screw dying because you can’t unscrew the security screen)
    lol… “screw dying for lack of a screwdriver”

    as for the morse-code i plan to get it tattooed to the underside of my forearm… when i’m moneyed up

  3. I myself am learning Morse Code. I have a little print out sheet and everyone in my Z-Team has a copy as well. Weither we are together when shit hits the fans, or we get separated, Its a good, quiet means of comunication. The only problem is not to many people know it. Another useful one would be the get some sign language going.

    • fantastic idea! Morse code is simple and effective for communicated basics. I have a friend that was military spec ops and one day heard Morse code come over the radio (we work at an airport) it was funny watching him stop in is tracks listen to it and say ok we got a storm warning rolling in says it’ll be here in about 30 minutes. It took 15 minutes for the airport to issue warnings we already had them because he knew what was going on. I personally hadn’t thought about Morse code but definitely on my list now!

  4. shake to charge flashlight
    portible solar pannel
    military survival guides (SAS)(delta) / escape and evade/ sniper guidebook (the plastic ones)
    extra stuff for trading (optional)
    a bunch of shopping bags for improvised shower head (in event you dont have camp shower)
    nightvision/infrared device (50$-ebay) this will eliminate need for flashlight

    get a german surplus military rucksack and molle gear to hold all items so your hands can be free to carry your chain and lock

  5. Duct tape – To fix/make weapons/armor like Chuck Greene.

    Bleach – Add a small amount to water to saniatize it.

    Canned/non perishable food – Food that will last

    Water – To drink.

    Bar soap – To wash up

  6. Deck of playing cards. requires no batteries and useful for hundreds if not thousands of games. Even the simplest of entertainment can prevent insanity.
    Toothbrush and toothpaste. Most people wont worry about hygiene but you could get a serious infection from tooth decay and possibly die. But shouldnt be used 3 times a day like normal, but maybe once every few days.
    Crowbar as a melee weapon. This is a very strong durable weapon that can easily bash in a zombies brain and can also double as a handy tool to open doors and windows that are locked.
    Magnesium Fire Starter. Lighters arent always handy in windy or wet situations.

    I could go on and on with uncommon items but you know….

  7. Lock pick, looting might sound bad but if its your life or robing some abondon building what would your pick.

    Radiation meter and NBC gear, who knows what the goverment/military might do.

    Prybar, Screwdriver system, small hammer and nails, just in case you need to get in to something and stay in there.

    Seeds (Corn, Wheat, Potato, Beans) for the post ZA.

  8. Personal Body Alarm. It’s extremely light, small, and most importantly – loud. It will distract the living bejesus out of anything attempting to eat or kill you, provided it’s using standard sensory organs to do so.

  9. Bow and arrows. If you’re in a relatively safe area, it would be a good idea to hunt. It would also be easier to replace ammunition than any gun, whether it’s a .22 pistol or a howitzer. Another good idea is to use hobos as a rule. They have to survive off of what they can find. I think that when everything does go FUBAR, they would have a better chance at survival that the average citizen. An apocalypse is going to happen, whether or not it involves zombies. Either way, many, many people are going to die. And when that happens, you better be ready.

  10. LOTS of duct tape. If you have enough of it, you can make pretty much anything with it. (The Mythbusters actually made a boat out of duct tape and a steel frame, and it worked.)

    • super glue. can be used as a strong adhesive as well as a substitute for stitches.

    • Joshua Wiebelhaus

      I have found construction adhesive to be just as useful as duck tape and is a definite necessity for me, I can make armor, weapons, tools fix almost anything with it. I have been working on making armor that is light weight and cheep and flexible.

  11. Be basic and pack like a long camping trip,( not the ones with showers and T.V.s) The same gear is pretty much the staple of what you would need. Invest in the hand crank stuff( flash light,radio) cuz batteries go out and packin’ a years supply of batteries is a lot of extra weight. Just leave the tent at home, a bige nylone bag has little to no worth agains zombies. Think climbing deer stand. If you don’t know what it is look them up. You can scoot 30ft up a pine tree and spend the night up there, not sure if it’s safe the next morning? Look down.The basic mind functions of the zombie pretty much grant you a good nights sleep because the won’t even know you are there.

    • Yea the deer stand is actually a good idea but the only problem with that is if the zombies do find you and KNOW your up there (maybe your snoring or whatever) the zombies that find you WILL NOT LEAVE until they get you. so now your trapped in a tree and who knows how many zombies will gather up. Im not saying your idea is bad because its ALOT better then alot of others ive heard, im only just warning you because we all need to know the PROS and CONS of things…

      Much respect

      • Rigging up a tyrolean traverse to other trees would be advised if you’re going to stay in the tree long enough for zombies to gather below. Adversely, a zip line down to the ground would allow you to get away from a small herd, assuming it lands far enough away from the tree to get you a running start. Rope and knowledge are essential for this kind of plan to work though!

        Another thought is to make living in a trees more permanent! It would help to do this in a forest: desert/farmland is a bad place for a tree city!

  12. What about some form of motivation? A picture of your family or even a paper with your morals written on it, because that’s what will keep you from going completely insane when everyone you knew and loved is either dead or trying to kill you.

  13. A medical text, or field surgery book. The physicians desk referance is always handy.

  14. I think you could also substitute a bicycle cable in place of a chain, if the cable is sturdy enough. It’ll probably weight about the same if you’re going for a cable that’s just as strong, but it’ll be quieter and rust resistant since it’s covered in plastic/rubber.

  15. penny stoves and alchahol are invaluable. with a windshild and a coat hanger, it can and will save your live. weather it is boiling water or makeing ramin, they are invaluable. alchahol isint high on a looters list and denatured can be found quite easily. it also doubles as a cleaner

  16. Paper and Pen(s)- To jot down any important recon information or sketch maps of compunds or explored areas.

    Duct Tape- To help mend damaged weapons or to create newly improvised ones.

    Scissors- To help keep hair at the proper length; short. Longer hair may become entangled in a multitude of objects at inopportune times, and can become a problem when lice and other creepy crawlies inevitably move in, perhaps causing sickness.

    Animal Call- If an animal responds to the call of your whistle, then there is a greater chance of the area being safe. NEVER neglect to scout and survey, even if you recieve an answer.

    Flint- Fires may be seldom safe, but you will need flint to start one when you are able and have no lighter. Also can be used to start dynamite or any other explosives you may aquire.

  17. broad spectrum antibiotics. to escape bacteria from drinking river water (or worse), eating potentially spoiled food, even the common flu could be your worst enemy. anyone with kids may have unused antibiotics left around and a trip to a pharmacy should be one’s first stop after a zombie outbreak.

    • At the risk of sounding pedantic (it’s late, I apologise in advance), the only issue is is that no anti-biotic will help you with the flu. The flu is a virus (as is the common cold), and anti-biotics are not anti-viral. Which is also why no doctor prescribes anti-biotics when you have the flu or a cold, unless there’s an underlying infection that requires treatment.

      Given the fact that anti-biotic resistant bacteria is also becoming an increasing problem, there could be additional problems that arise from too much unnecessary contact with them. On top of medications becoming either less effective or potentially toxic after a certain shelf life.

      Just things to consider.

      • I agree completely with you. Alot of people are allergic to standard broad spectrums (penicillin), EVERYBODY and their goddamn dog will be trying to get a hold of them, and if you have them, and people know you do, you will die soon. I assure you this.

      • thank you! I carry them but never use them because you have to think long term survival. People use antibiotics to often, seriously suck it up…. In the zombie apocalypse you will want to use as little meds as possible. if you get cut use alcohol on the wound and watch it, treat your wounds when you get them and you wont get infected. Infections only come if a wound is untreated and packed with foreign debris, a clean wound is a safe wound. simple as that.

        • Joshua Wiebelhaus

          My biology teacher told me that penicillin is basically useless now because of overuse of antibiotics. We are the reason there is stuff like flesh eating bacteria because we don’t fully kill the bacteria just the week ones and the strong ones breed and get stronger.

  18. Gameboy & Batteries. Life’s going to get slightly more boring when there’s no one else to talk to.

  19. Soap and/or disinfectant… While hygiene may be the least of your worries in the post apocalyptic world; if you don’t keep clean, dysentery or infection could kill you just as easily as a zombie. If it doesn’t kill you, it will almost definitely slow you down, which is just as deadly.

  20. Your head. You must keep that with you at all times in the comming Zombie pandemic.

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