5 Survival Skills The Walking Dead Taught Us

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Electricity is out. Gas lines are down. You are held up in your home with only your family and a few close friends. Staying there will not be safe for long. As any zombie enthusiast knows, you need to find higher ground. But maybe you’re not an enthusiast, just an ordinary person living day-to-day with no concerns about an apocalypse. Or maybe you just don’t believe it will happen, at least not the zombie variety.

With the idea of a zombie apocalypse hitting mainstream, we see zombies everywhere from books to movies even on clothing in stores. Preparing for the end of days, whether it comes via a deadly virus, hellfire, or zombie outbreak  is a way of life for some, as can be seen on the television series Doomsday Preppers, where we get a firsthand look at how some people go to the extreme while waiting for that day to come. If you’re not taking precautionary measures yourself, you may still get enjoyment out of watching movies like World War Z or the ever popular AMC series The Walking Dead.

Surely, you haven’t missed seeing the band of followers The Walking Dead boasts. Our social media news feeds are often riddled with posts such as “#DeadSunday” or “#teamDaryl.” Even if you don’t watch this series, you probably know exactly what’s happening in recent episodes through office chatter. Not all of the followers that watch TWD are expecting for the world to end with zombies taking over; if you happen to be one that watches for amusement, you may have learned a thing or two without even realizing it. Take a look at these five useful life hacks used in TWD by Rick and the rest of his group.


Regardless of the name, this can stove can come in handy for a of person from any walk of life. From episode one of TWD, we see Morgan, his son and Rick sitting at the dinner table while a can of food is heating up on this makeshift stove. Not only is it a perfect way to stay warm but it’s also a great way to warm up food at night while staying out of sight from the living dead; as the flame is contained within the walls of the can. Grab an empty tin can and punch a good amount of holes all around the edge with your ever trusty knife, for venting out the smoke. Next, get yourself either a candle or some plain old wax, stuffing it inside of an empty tuna can with some corrugated cardboard and you have yourself a genuine hobo stove. The slow burning wax mixed with cardboard will last long enough to make you and others a delicious canned meal.


In case you didn’t get it from the title: DUCT TAPE! You do not need to be in the middle of an apocalypse to know this is pretty much man’s best friend. It’s extremely durable and can be used for just about anything. In episode five of TWD the hose on Dale’s RV goes out…again. Rick asks if he can’t rig it, Dale responds :”That’s all it’s been. It’s been more duct tape than hose.” We cannot blame the duct tape for failing, the hose was just spent. We’re able to see that the duct tape gave that hose more life than it should have had.

Not only can duct tape aid in mechanical repairs or as a bandage, it can be used to make clothes, shoes and more in times of need. Discovery Channel’s MythBusters showed us that it’s even durable enough to make a small sail boat! Stock up on this precious silver, you never know when it’ll come in handy.


Which is better: to die of starvation or dehydration while handcuffed to a roof, or to go through a zombie apocalypse with only one hand? That didn’t seem to be tough decision for Merle Dixon to make. As his brother Daryl said about him “Toughest asshole I ever met, my brother…Nobody could kill Merle but Merle.”, proving very true in season one. Merle may have bled, a lot, but he sure did not die after cutting off his own hand with a dull hacksaw. But HOW did he stop the bleeding?

By cauterizing the wound. It is something most of us have seen in movies or on television, but the word “cauterize” may not sound familiar to most of us. Cauterizing a wound first involves tying a tourniquet just above the wound, and cleaning the exposed area with a (hopefully) sterilized object. You then heat up a metal object until it burns red hot and press it to the open wound, thus sealing it off from infection and blood loss. This is extremely dangerous and is for informational purposes only! Of course if an apocalypse happens and you need to do so, know this: it is VERY painful and it WILL stop the bleeding, preventing death; as long as the utensils used are clean, you are good to go.


You have done a great job stock piling on all sorts of canned goods; peas, beans and SPAM. Yummy! You and your loved ones have had a glamorous feast. You do not have anywhere to go, you have boarded up all the entrances to your shelter but one. Who is to say that those pesky zombies will not come and rush your only door? Well if you don’t want that to be your last supper, get those empty soup cans, soda cans even beer cans (because we all know you drank those before they got too warm) and tie them up with a sturdy string or rope and hang them up a good distance away from your entrance. As soon as you hear them clinking and clanking together, get those guns and knives ready because you are about to go on a bit of a killing spree.


If you take anything away from “The Walking Dead” it better be this one: walkie talkies are a must. We’ve seen most if not all of the characters on the show using a walkie talkie or CB radio at one point or another. This will be the only form of communication that will exist in a post-apocalyptic world. Yes, the cell towers will be down. Power will be out as well, so power them down when not in use. Make sure your walkies are fully charged, or better yet; grab some battery-operated ones In episode one, Rick came up with a great idea on the spot to communicate with Morgan: Every morning, at dawn they were to turn on their walkie talkies in order to give each other their location so as to be able to find each other.

Whether you believe an apocalypse is coming or not, there are a few survival skills we should all know. These five are just a few of many that we have learned from the ever popular television series The Walking Dead. As long as the series is aired, we will continue to learn more from Rick Grimes and the rest of the group as they continue to try and survive.