Saturday, 25 October 2014

Apocalypse Hal - Bug Out Bag

So the zombies are scratching at the door and you realise you never did get around to making that survival kit/bug out bag/bunker. What do you do?

BZF presents The 30 minute Bug Out Bag*

A lot of household items can be useful in a survival situation so hopefully you can toss these items in a bag and head for the hills.

A brief overview:

Laundry basket

Don't have a backpack? Tie two straps to a plastic flexible laundry basket and presto, you have a improvised backpack. Line with a plastic garbage bag to keep your stuff dry and tie the top of the basket together to avoid stuff falling out. 


You need water, a few litres at least unless you are sure you can get more. Soft drink bottles are lightweight so fill a couple of them if you have them. 


Bleach is great for disinfecting things and trust me with rotting zombies wandering around you will want to disinfect everything you touch. Most importantly bleach will get blood stains out of your favourite party frock. Oh yeah you purify water with it too. 

Kitchen knife

Select the strongest, sharpest knife from your kitchen. While a survivalist may cringe, one of those stay sharp knives with the blade sharper build in the sheath would ensure you always have a sharp blade. Best to take a couple of knives in case one gets stuck in a zombie.


It is vital that you be able to start a fire or burn down your ex's place. Hopefully you should have some matches and cigarette lighters lying around. Having some tinder is also very helpful. Fire-lighters for the BBQ they are excellent otherwise a couple of tea candles are good too. 

Prescription items

By this I mean any items you really need for health reasons. Prescription glasses, specialist medicine, hearing aids, that sort of essentials. You seriously do not what to be half blind, half deaf and suffering an asthma attack in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Viagra does not count as an essential medicine so put it back in the cupboard right now. 

Plastic bags
Looks like rain? With a knife and a garbage bag you have a improvised poncho. With two bags and some duct tape you can make a tube tent. Grab some smaller bags for holding small items. Nine out of ten drug sellers recommend ziplock baggies for keeping your stash organised and dry.   


Outrunning zombies is hungry work so toss some food in your bag. Go for lightweight stuff as you may be carrying all this. Noodles, dried fruit, jerky, biscuits and pop tarts are all good examples. 

Metal pot

You need a metal pot to cook in and so you can boil water to make it safe for drinking. You can use a small saucepan or another option is a small metal meatloaf tin. Fold up a sheet of aluminum foil so you can use it as a makeshift lid for you pot. It helps speed up the heating and prevents cigarette butts form accidentally garnishing your two minute noodles. 

First aid kit

Get a ziplock baggie and throw in whatever you have that is kind of first aid like. Band aids, antihistamines, painkillers etc. Essential oils and crystals do not belong in a first aid kit. Grab some hygiene items too like soap, toothbrush, sunscreen etc. 


Get a flashlight but check it works first. If you are like me the batteries in the flashlight have probably never been changed and are corroded to buggery. If you have spare batteries on hand add them too.
Assuming you don't own anything as useful as a multitool, take any useful tools you may have. A can opener, small pair of pliers and small scissors are just the things. Hair dryers and TV remotes do not count. Good old duct tape has a thousand uses and cable ties are awesome. String and rope are useful too.

Smartphone and money

In the old days they would suggest taking a battery powered radio but who, other than antique collectors, have radios. So your smartphone is probably your best communication device to take. An important tip! Set your phone to silent mode and don't go wandering around glued to you phone.

Money may still be useful in the early stages of the apocalypse. Take some coins too as you may be lucky enough to come across a vending machine somewhere. While smashing it open with a brick is cheaper and more fun, using coins is quicker and quieter. 


If time gather your important documents. No not the TV guide. We are talking about insurance policies, phone numbers and your passport.

Chew off more than you bite (or vice versa)

Mr Rimsky

* Have no idea what the 30 minutes is for, I added it as a marketing ploy. Probably the amount of time before your cheap plastic laundry bag falls apart.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Lessons learned from survival day

My survival day was fun but I also learned a lot from it. Here are some of the sparkly pearls of wisdom I garnered from the experience:

  • Making water filters out of tampons, plastic bottles and sticks takes time. Avoid the whole thing and buy some coffee filters so you can strain the water when you collect it.
  • If you do build a water filter,  don't walk away while it's filtering water. Discovering that the bottle has fallen over and you have lost a liter of precious water is a real bummer.  
  • Carry string. It is way easier to use than jungle vines.
  • If you have no string, reusable cable ties are awesome!
  • In a survival situation coffee is great. Nuff said.
  • Triple bagging items in ziplock bags to waterproof them is overkill. It is a pain of get stuff out when it is dark. 
  • Your partner gets upset when they find out you have secured your tarp shelter to the Hills Hoist.
  • Those hand cranked radios seem like a great idea. No batteries to worry about and some radios include a torch or will recharge your phone. But it is a real hassle when you have to crank the radio half way through your favorite ABBA song.
  • Wood fires are classic but a pain to light and you smell like a nightclub for days. If bugging out use a camping stove. 
  • Thermal underwear can save your life. Or at least stop you from packing up in the middle of the night when it is freezing and banging on the door to be let back into the house.
  • Warm socks are important when it is cold. Very hard to sleep comfortably with cold tootsies.
  • The same goes with your head. Wearing my beanie to bed really helped.
  • Using a headlamp at night is great as it leaves both your hands free. However if you have one designed for cyclists make sure you cycle through the blinking red light mode. When you have a wood fire going you don't pick up that your headlamp has been blinking red for the last two hours. No wonder the planes flying overhead where altering course. 
  • Using the tap to wash your cooking pot is cheating. 
  • The neighbour's water fountain is very loud at night. It makes listening for prowling zombies difficult. 
  • Packing a backpack well requires a pHD in quantum mechanics.
  • Using a very lightweight sleeping bag to save space in you Bag Out Bag backfires when it is two degrees overnight. 
  • How the hell do you use a Dakota fire pit?  Which hole do you put the wood in to feed the fire?
  • The thickness of plastic bags is measured in "mil". A mil is equal to 0.001 of an inch and has nothing to do with millimeters. Know this! You could win a trivia night. 
  • People look at you funny when you are running around the yard with a garbage bag over your head.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Return of The Walking Dead

Hi Everyone!

So the entire planet was oozing with zombie juices as The Walking Dead season 5 finally made its debut.  Before you see episode 2, check out our Talking BZF review below and see if everyone's favourite zombie show hit the right mark!

Bite you later

Mr Vitamin G 

Apocalypse Hal - Spot the survivalist (Homesteader)

Homesteaders are not normally considered survivalists but they will be a valuable asset when the zombies arrive. Anyone who grows their own asparagus and raises chickens will be able to make a decent omelet after the apocalypse hits.

I really like the back to basic movement. When I was growing up, everyday I had to chop the firewood, milk the goat and bring in the rain water. My mum made wine and my dad home brewed beer (it kept the alcoholic neighbour happy). We had fruit trees, veggies, chickens and overweight possums.

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Friday, 17 October 2014

Survival Day

Everyone should get out and have a survival day (and night). It is an opportunity to practice your skills and gain experience. Especially if you're broke and can't afford to pay for a proper survival course.

My survival day started with some exercise. A hike up and a run down the local mountain while carrying a 5 kg backpack and scaring all the kangaroos. Didn't even see this one until it popped it's head up. If it had been an zombie I would have been a goner.

They say you can only last about three days without water (and the last day or so ain't nice). So water was a priority for the day. Luckily I have located a small dam not far away so I collected two liters of scummy pond water to drink. Naturally you have to disinfect the water first! Especially as I found a dead kangaroo nearby.

While I was out exercising I also collected tinder for starting a fire. Turns out dried roo poo is really good tinder. All light and fluffy when you break them open. Then back home to test out some survival ideas.

So first priority was to rig up a water filter using sticks, vines, cotton wool and an old plastic bottle. Then disinfecting the water using Aquatabs. I am really hoping those tablets work as I really don't want gastro for a week!

With the water aspect covered, time for the next vital survival task, coffee! For fun I started the fire with steel wool and a phone battery. It wasn't going too well as I had the wool too tightly compressed. Once I teased it out it lit up nicely. It was a well earned coffee.

Then for some serious fun with garbage bags. Everyone says plastic bags are an awesome survival resource, so time to test the theory. First an emergency poncho. A little tricky getting the styling right but I can see these being all the rage next season.

You can make emergency tents out of them too. Grab some duct tape, paracord and a few sticks and voila! Normally you would use two bags and duct tape them together but I just used one wheelie bin size bag. These are way too thin so need to find some thicker bags. 

Next was a poncho shelter. Just can't get the right type of poncho in Australia. This one only has grommets on the four corners so doesn't work well. One or two extra grommets along the side would have allowed it to be set up like a tarp shelter. It might just work on a balmy summer night.

A quick lunch break and then more fire lighting. Tried starting a fire using magnifying glass and a fresnel lens. Not successful. The roo poo smouldered but wouldn't light and I got nothing from the charcloth. Also if you try that trick of magnifying sunlight using a clear plastic bag filled with your urine, may sure the bag has no holes. I speak from experience.

Grabbed my Bug Out Bag and set up camp in my backyard. Looking pretty among all the Californian poppies. Used a heavy duty tarp as I and still trying to find a good hikers tarp. I also dug a Dakota fire pit to try out later. Told the confused neighbours that the whole thing was an art installation.


Then there was just enough time to forage some weeds and herbs to add to dinner. Hope I identified the plants correctly and didn't pick anything poisonous. That would be really embarrassing seeing I did four years of biology at university.

Cooking dinner on a Fancy Feast cat food alcohol stove. Now that it is warmer weather the alcohol was vapourising well and it worked great. Dinner was a pouch of instant Mexican Brown Rice with added jerky, weeds and some scummy pond water. Tasted bloody good so need to buy some more. Note cigarette lighter wrapped in duct tape - just like a real prepper!

Can never have too much pyrotechnics so for a bit of fun made a flaming torch and ran around the yard pretending to be Indiana Jones. Want do the same? The Dakota fire pit was also cool once I managed to light it (sorry no photo).

I learned a lot from my survival day. Like using a heavier sleeping bag as it got down to 2 degrees and I was pretty chilly. Also everyone thinks I'm strange. So embrace your inner nerd and have your own survival day!

Bite off more scummy pond water than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Bagging Bug Out Bag Bargins!

Preparing for the apocalypse is expensive. All that survival gear costs money. Paracord bracelets, dehydrated meals and machetes all add up. But if you are patient, and get a loyalty card for every camping store in town, you can make some savings.

Here are a few of the bargains I have managed to score:

Now Miss K will agree that shoes are an essential item. However I have gone for something more practical. The runners were cheap but the hiking shoes didn't leave much change out of $100 (my most expensive item so far). They were on sale but the main thing is they are called Taipan which sounds really cool.

I also got some base layers for $20 (base layers sounds so much classier than thermal underwear). Remember that dressing for the apocalypse is all about layers, especially when it is minus 6 degrees in the morning. Not only are they warm to wear but being black you creep around the house pretending to be a ninja.

Grabbed a sleeping bag for a mere $20 in the clearance bin. It has a great survival feature, the foot of the bag is zipped so you can walk while wearing the bag. Great for escaping zombies in the night or searching for munchies during an all night movie marathon.

After much fiddling around I finally put my Bug Out Bag together. The backpack was a $35 special at ALDI. I stripped off some of the features to get the weight down a bit. Also bought a first aid kit for $15 which I cannibalised for my bag.  

Here it is all packed up.  It weighs about 10.5 kg (3 kg being the 3 liters of water) which is not too bad. It still needs more work. Being a true nerd I have created a spreadsheet of all the items documenting their weight and cost. 

The total cost certainly creeps up even when trying to do it on the cheap. Seriously $5 for a plastic spork? But I did subsidise the cost by selling old junk we have lying around the house at the local markets. 

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The zombie girl collection

Have you been searching for the perfect zombie inspired makeup collection all of your life?? I certainly have, well for maybe the last 4 years at least!! BZF ladies I am happy to report the search is complete as I have just stumbled upon The zombie girl collection Concrete Minerals!!

The collection comes in a collectable zombie tin by artist Michael Cook and is filled with 6 pots of vegan and paraben free glorious eye colour. The zombie inspire colours include The living dead  
( mossy green), Graveyard ( deep taupe), Blood and guts (rusty red), Quarantine (medium pink), The Vaccine (steel blue) and Nightmare (electric purple).

The best news is that Concrete Minerals ships world wide for free for any order over $50!!! I don't know about you but with Halloween just around the corner this makes me feel like one very happy stylish zombie prepper!!!

So pretty up your peepers and don't get bit!!

Misd K

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Apocalypse Hal - Change Management

A few years back my work began a lot of internal changes. First it was an "alignment", then a "functional review" and after that a couple of "restructures". When it started we all had to do change management training and I attended about four sessions. At every one they showed a change management diagram which basically stated that staff were going to get pissed off and then finally accept the changes.

Finally I have found a use for that diagram. I present the seven stages of the zombie apocalypse.

If you ever reach stage seven, congratulations. You'll be part of the five percent of the population still left alive. Party on!

Bite off more than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Thursday, 2 October 2014

98.6 degrees

So what will be the biggest killers in the forthcoming zombie apocalypse?
1- Zombies (obviously)
2- Accidental shootings (if you live in one of those places that hands out shotguns when you open a bank account)
3- Exposure (hypothermia or hyperthermia)

Exposure is the number one killer of people caught in a wilderness survival situation. When the apocalypse comes and we no longer have central heating and/or air conditioning, death by exposure will be a major risk.

Luckily Cody Lundin has the answers in his witty book 98.6 degrees: the art of keeping your ass alive. 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees in Celsius) is your body's core temperature. If it goes up or down by a few degrees your body cells kind of liquify and you don't have to worry about zombies anymore.This can happen quicker than you think, it only takes a few hours.

As the title states, this book is all about keeping yourself alive in cold or hot environments. The first part of the book deals with hypothermia and hyperthermia and how to avoid it. There is a lot of technical stuff here with terms like "gluconeogenesis", "vasodilation" and "piloerection"  But Cody summaries it well (piloerection means goosebumps ok, nothing naughty). Turns out good clothing and lots of water are your main survival assets. So you have an excuse to go clothes shopping.

The rest of the book is all about putting a basic survival kit together. Not just a list of items but a overview of each item and what you use it for. There is also a The amazing "The drawings and photos are really cool but I'm too lazy to read this book" Cliff Notes section which summaries everything.

If you are not familiar with Cody, just do what I have and binge watch a couple of seasons of Dual Survival. Cody is politically incorrect, straight to the point and a bit of a hippy to boot. It is the same with his book which makes it more entertaining to read than most survival books. It also features rad illustrations by Russ Miller.

Overall this is an excellent book for beginners as it covers the main threat you could face in a real survival situation. It is entertaining, detailed and full of practical advice like having a "Party on!" attitude.

Drink more than your stomach can hold.

Mr Rimsky