It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves: How well would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? When civilisation collapses and the dead walk the earth, how long would you survive?
Here at Mpora we reckon the sports that you (and your friends) are into would have a strong bearing on your chances.
But you don’t just have to take our word for it. We brought in an expert, John Hornor Jacobs, the author of zombie survival handbook/novel This Dark Earth to help us work out how long you and your friends would last.
Estimated survival time: 30 minutes
Pros & cons: A skateboard’s quicker than walking, but you won’t be fast enough to escape being zombie lunch forever. You could use it as a weapon though – swing it hard enough and the trucks could take off a zombie’s head…
Our expert says: “After the zombie apocalypse there’s gonna be oodles of debris and gooey bits everywhere, on the sidewalks, in the streets.”
“Skating is gonna be a stop-and-go exercise in futility and you don’t want to face plant into the asphalt just because your wheels hit a bit of intestine. Better to ditch the board for something more practical.”
Estimated survival time: 6-8 hours
Pros & cons: You can ride BMX’s pretty much everywhere so you’re not limited to urban environments. The wheels aren’t very big though so you’ll have to pedal as if your life depends on it (which I guess it does…)
Our expert says: “If nothing else is around, a BMX would be a good, silent way of outpacing the shamblers. But if the zombies are runners (you know, sometimes they are: freshly dead, rage mutants, demon-possessed) you’re gonna have a hard time keeping ahead of them.”
“Zombies don’t get tired and they won’t stop until they’re using your body cavity like a bowl of spinach dip.”
Estimated survival time: 12-72 hours
Pros & cons: You could probably survive as long as you can go without fresh water, which for humans is 3 days. Assuming the sharks and vultures haven’t been zombified by the apocalypse too of course…
Our expert says: “This is interesting, I’ve never thought about escaping from zombies on a surf board. There are some folks who believe that zombies can function in water quite well, just shambling along on the bottom of the river, or sea floor.”
“If a living person has trouble standing up in the surf, a zombie will have no chance”
“They might be right, on the calmest of calm days, but if a living person has trouble standing in the surf on a normal day a shambler will have no chance.”
“Granted it’s not a permanent mode of transport, but if you’re trapped and the only way out of the situation is by surfboard, go for it. Get beyond the breaks, scan the shore, and look for the best place to find shelter, a boat, a pier, or a stretch of beach not teeming with undead.”
Estimated survival time: 5-7 days
Pros & cons: A motocross bike is a great way to escape. Until you run out of petrol…
Our expert says: “If you see a motocross bike after the dead rise and you don’t jump on that bad-boy immediately (putting on any Kevlar motorcycle gear in the vicinity – ARMOR!) you would do the human race a favour by getting eaten by zombies and taking yourself out of the gene pool – you’re too stupid to live.”
“The only downside is the motocross bike is loud and will draw zeds from all over. So good thing you’ll be hauling ass at 60 miles an hour through rough terrain. Make sure you stay close enough to places you’re likely to find petrol though.”
Micro Scooter Rider
Estimated survival time: 2 minutes
Pros & cons: There are no pros here. Unless you count the fact that micro scooter riders will be eaten quickly as a pro…?
Our expert says: “I don’t even know what this is. But taking these two diminutive words together – “micro” and “scooter” – I say your chances of living are slim to nonsensical.”
More expert survival tips
Assuming you’ve managed to find yourself a motocross bike and feed your scooter-riding mates to the shamblers to keep them busy, what else should you look for?
Here are John Hornor Jacob’s top tips:
1) Weapons: The drawback with guns are twofold: ammunition and sound. Eventually you’ll run out of rounds and the noise will draw more zombies. I’d be tempted by a katana, a real Japanese katana, forged of folded steel and wrought by the hands of a master that can cut through three humans with a single swing.
2) Clean water: Humans drink a gallon of water a day and it needs to be clear of brown stuff. You know what I’m talking about.
3) Food: You’re gonna be running and jumping and knocking off zombie heads. You’re gonna need enough energy to do that. Do me a favor, though. If you’re starving and start thinking about chowing down on your companions, picturing them as a nice steak, go ahead and eat a bullet, because you’re already half-zombie anyway.
4) Escape routes: Eventually you’ll have to stop running and rest. The key to picking out a shelter is making sure there’s more than one way to escape. Think of a rabbit warren – After the dead rise humanity will become more like rabbits than anything else. So, like rabbits, you need to be fast and have lots of escape routes planned out. Or they’ll end up fucking you like err… rabbits.
5) Redbuilding: You can run and run and kill and run but eventually you’ll need to find a home. And that means working with other people. Here’s the kicker: to get to the point where you can rebuild, you’ll have gone through a lot of shit. You’ll have killed the dead, maybe you’ll have had to kill the living. But go ahead and forgive yourself, only then can you move on.
John Hornor Jacob’s latest book, The Incorruptibles, is out now.