Monday, February 28, 2011

Fitness: Healthy not Husky

Some people think that stocking up guns, ammo and other supplies will get them through a real crisis.  And then they fortify their homes and think that all's well.  

Those people are wrong.  

Its quite unfortunate that many survivalists overlook the care of their bodies.  We need to be in really good shape to ENDURE.  

We need strong backs to carry our loved ones.  We need strong arms to bash the living dead into smithereens.  At the very least, we need strong legs to run away from the hordes of walking dead!  Mother nature is counting on us to prevail, and we'd better play by her rules. 

How fit should we be?  

I. Know the basics

With the proper motivation and discipline, you won't need fancy equipment or a personal trainer.  You can succeed if you can track these three items aside from your waistline.  
  • body mass index - Is a formula for measuring a person's level of obesity using measurements of height and weight.  This is important for setting your goals.  There are many charts that can tell you where you want to be depending on your age and gender. 
  • muscle mass - The more muscles you have, the faster you can burn calories.  Try combining cardio exercises with strength training to increase your muscle mass.  Running ain't enough.  You will need to carry heavy stuff when on the run or when engaged in combat. 
  • fat percentage -  A lot of weighing scales at fitness clubs or clinics measure this.  There are also other methods such as special tape measures or calipers.  The goal is to decrease this, not necessarily your total body weight.  It may be that you've gained weight but mostly due to muscle.  This is a sign of progress.
There are more such as the Base Metabolic Rate (BMR), Bone Mass, and Metabolic Age, but we can stick to the first three as the basis of measuring your performance as you progress with your regular exercise.  By the time you're looking for more info, you're already on the right track. 

II.  Why do we need to be strong?  

Owning lotsa guns ain't enough.

When TSHTF, you'll need to accomplish all sorts of strenuous stuff to stay alive. You can be called a real Zombie Hunter if you can handle this scenario:

a. carry a loved one or two on your back
b. with your combat gear, weapons AND survival bag
c. while being chased by a horde of zombies
d. and running at a decent speed for probably a few kilometers to escape your overridden neighborhood
e. and then pausing for a while to smash your way through the zombies that happen to stand between you and your family's emergency safe house

Zombies don't tire.  Can you keep up?

III. Active people are healthier

A study from the University of Oulu in Finland correlates a person's overall health with cardiovascular fitness and body weight management.  The study also connects the positive health benefits of a person later in life because of the athletic activity done during adolescence.  

Here we could see how everything is connected to each other.  Our goal is to improve our health, and the table clearly shows what we need to work on to get there.  

IV. Family involvement + regular measurement = SURVIVAL!

Measure your progress regularly.  Stick a simple graph to the family fridge so you can get them involved!  This will give you tangible results of everybody's hard work. This is motivating stuff and the long-term benefits are innumerable.   Make it fun.  A team effort and sharing ideas from even the youngest family member could be the ticket. 

Its your duty as the protector of your family to initiate these things. 

Stay vigilant!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cuban Cinema: Juan of the Dead (Juan de los Muertos)

Director Alejandro Brugu├ęs can wear the title of independent filmmaker with pride. He leads a new generation of Cuban filmmakers who are out to make their mark with or without government subsidies.  So after four years of hard work, we'll finally get to see Cuba's first zombie apocalypse movie!  Its already making a lot of positive noise at the Cannes Film Festival, so it looks like we're in for a treat.

Juan de los Muertos (Juan of the Dead) stars Alexis Diaz de Villegas and tells of the story of Juan, a malingerer turned entrepreneur who puts up a zombie-busting business. They specialize in helping people take care of zombiefied relatives and other loved ones.  He's really trying to make an easy buck since most people have a lot of emotional baggage when trying to eliminate their undead family.  

As the zombie apocalypse spirals out of control, Juan's schemes eventually goes awry. He soon finds himself contemplating his own self-preservation. Will he find his inner hero in time to save us all?

We've heard about how the island nation deals with the crisis in other books and movies, so I'm looking forward to finding out how native Cubanos make a movie about how things go down WTSHTF.  I'm eager to catch the sights & sounds of Havana.  The local color will definitely be a draw for zombie buffs and "regular" moviegoers.

Stay vigilant!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Games: Last Stand 2 & Zombie Trailer Park

Zombie Hunters need to chill out sometimes.  It can't always be about fortifying the home, staying in top shape, or buying stuff for your bug out bag.  Once in a while, we gotta kick back and relax. 

I sometimes go fishing or pump iron, Mrs. Zombie Hunter cross stitches or goes cycling.  We sometimes hit the firing range once in a while.  But when I'm stuck at my desk, I like to play a few zombie apocalypse video games. 

Check out the stuff I've been going nuts with when my mind needs some stretching:

Last Stand 2

Your goal is to get your survivor to a place called Union City.  Its some kind of headquarters for the human resistance.  Along the way you will need to defend your safe house against the undead, search for fellow survivors & supplies so that you can make the trip across the country to get there.  

You will be fighting for your life each passing day.  And your time will be limited for for repairing your barricades, setting traps, and searching the various buildings in each location.  I appreciate how you can go through this game either conservatively or aggressively.  

 "Should I risk a few hours looking for better guns in the police station in Glendale?  Or do we escape now to that smaller town to catch a breather..."

You can take your time or just gun it all the way.  How you choose to make it to Union City will affect each battle!  The action stars among us can go all-in and just focus on combat, this will result in really intense battles.   On the flip side, the resource management will yield satisfying rewards for the more cerebral zombie hunters.  Check out Zombie Games to start your journey to Union City!

Zombie Trailer Park by Warockworld

Its a real-time strategy game where you command the residents of a trailer park settlement against a massive horde of zombies. You start out by constructing resource buildings to generate cash every few seconds.  Getting enough cash will buy you soldiers that will charge off and meet the undead head on.  You have the freedom to build your army as you see fit. If you are able to fend off the initial zombie waves, you can then push your forces to destroy the enemy base.

Your typical solider carries a shovel and is strong enough to take on two or three walking dead before dying.  If you save up more cash you could buy advanced buildings to unlock specialized combatants such as a shotgun-toting farmer, a dude who chucks moonshine firebombs, and even a priest.

Flooding your enemy with one type of soldier won't do in the long run.  You'll need to rely on combined arms to defeat the many kinds of undead that will be thrown at you.  When your power-up meter reaches full, you'll get the "YEE HAW!" special ability that unleashes a vengeful mob to crash into the enemy lines.  

Its really quite addictive.  And I love the music and sound effects.  It helps capture the whole atmosphere of shotguns, trailer parks, moonshine, and tons of zombies. 

When you're done, compare your score to the online leader board to see who's the top zombie hunter!

Feeling better?  Now get back to work!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weapon Debate: AXE VS MACHETE

People have been arguing about this for ages, and it remains a hot topic for fellow survivalists who are preparing for the zombie apocalypse.  

You'll be counting on it to fight the living dead within arm's reach! This could be one of the most important weapons in your entire armory.  And please don't forget Rule #7: Buy Quality Stuff!

Let us now examine the two most popular melee weapons for destroying zombies: The Axe & the Machete.

I. Why do we need melee weapons? 
  • guns will run outta ammo, these won't
  • they can be stealthy (gunshots will attract the zombies to your location!)
  • relatively simple to maintain
  • cheaper than guns, easy to replace
  • some can serve as handy tools for daily survival
Every survivor mush be equipped with at least ONE melee weapon.  There's no harm with carrying another one for backup as long as it won't slow you down.  

Train your loved ones to handle these in a SAFE and effective manner.  These are not toys!

II. Know your stuff!

these are the military variant

A. The Machete (and its many sisters)

These are slashing weapons with blade lengths between 33 to 60 centimeters. It is likely that these were short swords adapted to farming or agricultural purposes mostly for tropical cultures.  Its great to have one of these for cutting a path through the jungle or for harvesting various crops. This and its many wonderful incarnations have proven to be deadly weapons throughout history.  The Nepalese Kukri, Indonesian Golok, and the Ginunting from the Philippines are popular examples. 

B. The Axe

porn... for Gimli and Paul Bunyan

Its interesting that the axe may have the opposite origin compared to the machete in that it was originally designed as a tool & then adapted later on to warfare. When early man saw how well axes could mess with trees, it didn't take long for the humble wood chopper to join the sword as a weapon of war.  

III. How do you kill a zombie with these weapons?

With the AXE, you deliver a powerful blow to the top middle area of the zombie's head.  With the right swing, the impact of the heavy axe head will split the skull & destroy the undead gray matter inside.  I endorse the overhead swing to destroy zombies.  Its easy and you can practice this maneuver all day long.  

A MACHETE can destroy a zombie by cutting the head off.  You need to swing the blade in an arc towards the neck.  You can sever the head with enough practice.  The body will go down without the nasty undead brain controlling it, but you will still need to permanently solve the problem by taking destroying the brain with a second blow.  This is important because the head will still try to bite.

IV. Comparison

1. Which can do the job most efficiently?
The Axe seems to be the more likely of the two that can destroy a zombie with one hit if used properly.

2. Which is more durable?
In an undead world, you'll be doing this a lot.  Bone & tissue are tough things, especially if its on a rotting corpse.  Repetitive use will damage the machete more because the blade is long and narrow.  Some machetes are more durable than most, but even the most common hand axe was built to chop into hard substances such as wood.  

3. Which is faster and easier to use?
Speed is important, time is life.  You will certainly be outnumbered so getting things done with a faster weapon will be essential.  

Since most people do not battle with the living dead on a regular basis, it will be hard to compare both weapons.  What I do know is that the axe requires less specialized training for the average person to become proficient with it.  

With an axe, I can train your grandmother into a cool zombie hunter with only a few lessons.  Getting her to take out a zed with a machete will certainly be more complex.

V. My choice:

I must conclude that the simple one-handed axe comes out as my preferred melee weapon. Its cheap, durable, easy to obtain, and the simple training course I've been developing can give many ordinary people the edge against the living dead. 

Stay safe & vigilant!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Survival Strategy #10: Long Term Essentials

Zombie Hunters need to go green.

Not the sickly-colored rot of the living dead.  I am referring to the fresh vibrant colors of Green Energy and recycling.  Pay attention, this is serious life & death stuff.

Most of us are fortunate enough to live in a first-world economy where everything is served on a silver platter.  We take many modern miracles for granted: the internet, electricity, cable TV, groceries, health care, WIFI, Facebook, your fancy little iPad, etc. Thinking about surviving is nonexistent because we're all too busy chasing our diversions.

Kiss all of this goodbye WTSHTF.

You're in for one salty pickle if you've never been outdoors,  learned to hunt or fish, learned how to collect & sterilize water, build a proper shelter, or planted & stored your own food.

And we're not just talking about you.  Think about your family.  If they're cold, hungry and without shelter, you have failed as a survivalist. 

Being prepared is more than stocking up on a few days of guns, ammo, food, and water.  You need to be capable of supporting yourselves for many years to come.

The essentials for long term survival:

I. Green Energy
When the power grid goes down, we'll need to learn new ways to harness energy.  With it, you could cook, stay warm, communicate, and do other things that would improve your chances for long term survival. 

Here are a few handy favorites from the Green Energy Insiders blog:
  • Waste-to-Energy - Fertilizer and energy from your refuse?  Free energy is always great.
  • Doggie Poop = Energy - In some cultures, you've got the family cow, pig or chicken.  Now your dog can help fuel your kitchen gas stove and contribute to the war effort!
  • Solar Powered Homes -  If every home had these, the post-apocalyptic world won't be so uncomfortable! Take that Meralco.

Mr. Davis is a wizard.  What more would you need?

And I've found the wonderful Mike's World of Mike Davis.  Go check out how the untiring pursuit of his hobbies has materialized into real-world energy solutions.

And the man's also done some mighty fine cooking!  Wins big groovy points with the ladies 'coz of all his talents, I'll bet.

II. Rainwater Harvesting
The average human needs about a gallon of of clean drinking water per day, and about double the same amount for cooking and maintaining one's hygiene.  Water collection and conservation techniques will be a must.  Especially if you want to be a responsible parent and look after the needs of your family.

III. Food Preservation and Gardening
These will assist your family's daily need for nutrition.  In an extended crisis, foraging for food will be one of your primary tasks.  So knowing how to properly store what you've found and augment it with growing your own will be of paramount importance to your survival. 

Warning: Learn how to sterilize your food properly to avoid posioning.
There are serious health risks if you get this wrong!

IV. Summary
All of this may be too much for just one person.  The good news is that teamwork will go a long way.  You'll be amazed at how the different talents of each family member could attain sustainable survival.  

All we want is to never get caught unprepared.  There are more disasters other than a zombie apocalypse that are waiting to happen! As the head of the family, its your duty to make concrete preparations for their sake.

Get them involved today!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jungle Survival Training Camp (JEST), Subic Bay

Fellow survivalists, I need to cram a very important fact between your ears: our objective is to ENDURE the coming crisis.  The zombie apocalypse could last years, or even decades.  Prepare for the long haul.

Perhaps the generation after ours may be the ones who'll clean up the mess.  It may be that our children would be the ones who will finish the war against the living dead.  That is if we live long enough.  

If knowledge is ammo, then Survival Knowledge is golden diamond-tipped ammo. Thank goodness there are some places outside the military establishment for ordinary folks to gain a degree of competence when it comes to outdoor survival.  

The Jungle Survival Training Camp (JEST) located at Subic Bay in Olongapo City is one such place. The camp has been sharing the traditional survival knowledge of the Aeta people since the Subic Naval Base was returned to civilian control in 1992.  When the base were still under the ownership of the United States, it was here that American troops learned jungle survival & combat from the Aetas who were the primary instructors during the Viet Nam War.  

The Aeta are an indigenous people who have lived in the Philippine islands for thousands of years and are perhaps its earliest residents.   It was their skills that served as the basis of modern jungle combat and survival.  Eat it John Rambo.

the real deal

To many of our American readers, the Subic Bay Naval Base remains a place that evokes a special meaning to the generation who fought in 'Nam. Hard training, a strange foreign land, San Miguel Beer, Malaria, and home to the best & worst experiences of their youth. That silly tattoo uncle Jesse has on his back? He probably got it there. The unsavory rash that he don't like talking about?  Same banana.  He did however make it back because of the things he learned from his Aeta jungle warfare instructor.  'Nuff said.

JEST offers flexible programs for both the casual & serious survivalists.  This is a wonderful opportunity to let your  kids earn extra merit badges, or serve as an introduction to junglecraft to Mrs. Zombie Hunter.  Take the overnight advance courses when they are ready.

I heartily encourage everybody to meet and get to know the Aeta instructors.  And when you're there, be thankful of the precious time that they're spending with YOU.  If you pay attention & respect their skills, perhaps you could learn how to keep your family alive for the duration WTS finally HTF.  

You heard me city slicker, head on over to there & learn from real survivalists!