Escaping zombies in the wilderness: how to find your meat.

I’ve already told you how to find plants to eat.  Plants are a great source of carbohydrates, but as far as protein goes they’re less useful than a penny in Beverly Hills.  To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need you’ll want to add meat to your diet when you’re surviving.

This means you’ll need to be able to make fire for cooking in order to kill all the bacteria in the meat you find, otherwise you risk food poisoning.  I’m assuming that you’re already carrying a lighter on you at all times, in case the emergency hits while you’re not at home.  You should also be carrying matches in your survival satchel.  That will make building a fire relatively easy.

The hard part is acquiring meat.  Contrary to what Disney may have taught you, wild animals do not stand out in the middle of a field with big Bambi eyes waiting to be killed.  Wild animals, especially prey species, have evolved a sense of paranoia that make them remarkably difficult to find, let alone kill.  This is compounded by the fact that you probably don’t want to discharge a firearm if you don’t have to, since it would announce your location to every zed in the state.

I found this image in a folder labeled “Shit that will never, ever happen.”

The first thing you want to do when you’re in the wilderness is walk downhill.  This isn’t just to preserve your stamina, it’s because downhill eventually leads to water, which you need to survive.  Animals also require water to survive, so not only are you looking after yourself, you’re also putting yourself next to potential food sources.

So let’s go with the simple method of satisfying your body’s need for protein first: insects.  Yeah, it sounds gross, but get over yourself.  There are plenty of countries where people eat insects by choice like Peru, Venezuela, Botswana, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, Japan, and Mexico.  You’re here to survive, not to live like a king.  You’re here because the zeds aren’t.  That means that worms, grasshoppers, crickets, ants (all of which can be safely eaten) and all their relatives are your new caviar.  Bugs are readily available and most of them are edible raw, though cooking is always safest.

So let’s talk about cooking them.  If you can find a cooking pot of any sort it is a simple matter to fill it with water, put it over your fire, and start making a stew.  See a worm?  Toss it into the pot and forget about it.  See a roly poly?  Throw it into the pot and forget about it.  By the end of the day you have a stew and you’re still not a zombie.  Count your blessings.

You could also consider fishing.  Be careful about this as bodies of water are generally open, making you much more visible.  Add in all the splashing around and you’re taking a risk by fishing.  But if you think you’re safe, the first thing you need is a rudimentary spear.  Find a downed branch and get to carving.  If you can, make a spear with multiple sharpened tines on the end to give you the best chance to hit a fish.

Once you have your spear, you want to wade into the water no deeper than waist-deep.  You want to have room to swing your spear.  Wait with the spear raised overhead for a fish to come by, slowly move the spear toward the water, and strike.  Remember: water refracts the light, so you’ll actually want to aim lower than your fish if you want the spear to connect.

You could also dig around for bird eggs.  Many birds don’t lay eggs in a nest but rather in a hole in the ground, so as long as you can beat a coyote to them you have dinner.  It’s against the law in most states to eat bird eggs in the wilderness, but the police will either all be zombies or be occupied with the zombie menace, which means those eggs are fair game.

Of course, if you are an experienced hunter and trapper (beyond hunting frozen food in your grocer’s freezer), you should employ all those techniques.  But for most of us, we’ll need to keep things as simple as possible.

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