While weapons are important, the right protection can be just as important. When your undead foes close the gap and make your high-powered rifle impractical to use, or when they get the jump on you, you will be thanking your lucky stars you brought along the right armor to protect from infection-spreading bites and scratches. This page will tell you everything you need to know about what to wear, and what not to wear.
Of course, one can use common sense and these simple general guidelines:
- Does it cover all of the skin it can?
- Is it durable?
- Is it designed for the area I am in?
- Is it baggy, loose, or heavy?
- Does it provide storage space?
- Will provide protection without compromising movement or senses?
- Will it be easy to navigate inside?
- Can you find It easily?
Undergarments are definitely one of the most important aspect of one's armor, as they provide both multiple layers as well as protection from clothes rubbing against the skin. For males, a t-shirt is definitely a must, regardless of temperature. Boxers are an option, but are rough and tend to bunch up around the legs, so skin-tight, softer options are by far the best. For women, panties and bras are a must, and tee's are highly recommended. Weather also had an effect on the choice of undergarments. In cold weather, men should have thicker, but still skin-tight longer underwear, coming to the knee or above, and an undershirt, and in hot weather, boxers/briefs are a must, though undershirts are optional. For women, in cold weather, longer thick underwear coming to the knees or above are a must, as well as a sports bra and a long undershirt, while in hot weather, thinner and smaller panties should be worn as well as a thinner, tighter, and smaller regular bra. Undershirts are optional, but highly recommended. Don't wear underwear that is too small, too baggy, or lacy, as these are uncomfortable in the long run. Try to find the perfect fit: snug, comfortable, and on the smaller side.
It's likely that, when Z-Day comes, most people won't have access to anything resembling tactical military gear. All they have is what's in their closets. Therefore, it's important to go over what clothing will be good to wear in a zombie apocalypse.
Thin shirts, be they cheap T-shirts from a Chinese sweatshop or hand-woven woolen sweaters, provide almost no protection from bite wounds. Zombie teeth can easily tear through the fabric holding them together. Therefore, the type of shirt you should pick out depends on what your local climate is like. If you live in a colder area, long sleeves are a must, and if it gets particularly cold, wear layers. Warmer areas, meanwhile, call for short-sleeve shirts and tank tops. Either way, make sure your shirt, like all your clothing, is nice and snug - a zombie will have an easier time grabbing hold of loose clothing.
Your jacket will be your real upper-body protection. The two best choices available to most people are jackets made of leather or canvas, as both materials are fairly resistant against zombie bites. What you choose depends on the climate. If you live in a cool, wet area, or if you're riding a motorcycle, go with leather, as it more easily resists the rain and the effects of road rash. Warmer, drier areas call for canvas, due to the fact that it breathes more easily than leather. If you live in a particularly cold area, you might want to keep a ski jacket handy. The thick lining can easily stop a zombie from biting your arm off, and it will keep you warm during the tough winter months. Another good choice is a synthetic fabric such as Cordua and its generic counterparts. These materials breathe well, are extremely tough and are readily available in the form of motorcycle touring jackets. Either way, it's important to make sure that what you're wearing is thick enough to resist zombie bites. Jackets not from outdoors stores, military surplus stores, and other such places that sell high-quality leather and canvas will generally be designed for fashion, not protection or heat retention. But remember to zip or button it or zombies might grab onto loose flaps.
It's been argued as to whether or not a trench coat provides suitable zombie protection. Supporters point to the fact that items can be carried within the coat, and that it protects the wearer from getting wet when sitting down. Its detractors point out that a zombie can grab hold of the loose bottom part of the coat. Take both arguments as you will. If you do use a trench coat, however, make sure it's made from a tough canvas, and is not a "fashion" trench coat made from soft leather or similar materials. Also, make sure to keep the coat tightly closed so that a Zombie will have a harder time grabbing it (this applies to all long jackets).
Long pants are a must - shorts expose too much leg to a zombie bite. Again, make sure they're snug. The absolute ideal would be a pair of Iron kneecaps, used by ancient warriors. But because the kneecaps alone weighted more than 10 lbs, and these are very uncommon, the most ideal in this day and age would be a simple pair of blue jeans. These pants were invented for mining work, and are the best at stopping a zombie bite, though they are heavy and absorb and retain water easily, due to their cotton construction. They also offer little useful heat retention and expulsion. Cargo pants are also a good option. Although the pockets can be grabbed by a zombie, they can also hold valuable items. As with jackets, make sure you're getting a rugged pair of pants, and not a pair that's meant to make the wearer look good. Nothing with holes in it. Also, make sure your pants fit tightly, to prevent the likelihood of a zombie grabbing them. The best pairs snug the legs, but are not skin-tight. For fantastic protection, put these on in this order:
- Long underwear. Suggested only for cold weather. Make sure they reach to, the very least, the knee.
- Athletic/military pads (waist, groin, thigh, skin, ankle, and knee armor). Make sure they are tough and hard, but no thicker than half a centimeter, and make sure they're consistent. Transparent plastic lining works well.
- Waterproof, sweat-proof lining such as spandex or other skin-tight material. This will hold all of your armor together on your legs, and, although it will leave you almost completely exposed visibly, will at least leave you safely (if minimally) covered should you have to strip off your outer clothing.
- Cargo pants of your choice or jeans. With the leg armor, the choice of protection won't matter too much.
Most skirts offer little to no protection against a zombie. Consider wearing something else. Easy to grab or get tangled on underbrush. Also, most are flashy, decreasing your attempts at stealth. Kilts are the same way.
You'll be doing a lot of walking through rough terrain during the zombie apocalypse, so it's important to pick out some footwear that can stand up to it. The best footwear solution would be a nice pair of boots. It doesn't matter if they're work boots, hiking boots, or Doc Martens, as long as they're nice and tough. In addition to bite and debris protection, almost any practical boot improves one's kicking and stomping impact. Avoid steel-toed work boots--not only can they cause foot problems (especially bunions) they can suck heat out of an already frostbite-prone region of your anatomy. Avoid any "urban combat" footwear that may look threateningly cool but are often shoddy-quality, ankle-turning, and fatigue-inducing monstrosities. Finally, avoid "speed-zippers"--these accessories will break under severe or sustained wear. "Speed laces" are a much more practical fast-donning option. If you don't have a pair of boots lying around, then sneakers may make for a good short-term solution. Leave the loafers and dress shoes at home - they'll fall apart in no time.
Socks are extremely important. In times of war, soldiers have considered them just as valuable as food rations and ammunition. Socks (and for some, proper orthodics) prevent blisters, sores, bunyons, shin splits, heel spurs, and other foot ailments. In cold weather, socks keep frostbite at bay. Over warm, wet terrain, a supply of dry socks fends off swamp-foot or trenchfoot, which can lead to gangrene. Comfort and warmth are the key considerations.
See also Footwear
It's important to keep your hands protected from both the elements and from bites. Therefore, it would be a smart idea to pick out a pair of gloves that offer quality protection, while still allowing you to move your fingers. Work gloves do this job nicely, although some other types of gloves can do the trick. Just remember that your gloves have to completely cover your hands. Finger-less gloves may look cool now, but not when you're missing three fingers. Additionally, there are type of weighted gloves ( also known as sap gloves ) that are filled with lead pellets. They are somewhat cumbersome, but they pack a wallop when you punch. A few blows to the face will make a zombie swallow their own forehead.A worthwhile mention are food processing gloves. These gloves are made with stainless steel thread, and are designed for people who work with sharp blades. These will stop all but the most determined zombie from biting your hand, while still offering you reasonable mobility and dexterity. These gloves are not recommended in cold climate areas as the steel can easily cause cold based ailments like frostbite to one's hand once chilled by the atmosphere. They also do not offer the warmth that work gloves do.
Carbon Fiber Military gloves would also be useful. You can buy them online for under 20 dollars, so they are affordable. Since they are made up of carbon fiber, they are very protective.
This form of protection was first used during the middle ages to protect against sword blows, and later used during the American Frontier in the early 20th century to protect against cuts during skirmishes. Medieval gauntlets are generally found with larger sets of armor in museums or blacksmith shops and should be worn with the armor for maximum protection from Zombie bites & scrapes.If you consider these, they should be steel*. Said gauntlets should fully encase your forearm and hand, should be thick, and should lace-up or clasp for the most protection. Try to stay away from cheap replica gauntlets, as the cheap metal/leather can tear, and cause injuries/chafing. Leather gauntlets do not provide the protection metal gauntlets can, but are much lighter and offer somewhat ample protection. Although, do not expect them to last forever as they will eventually wear out and may develop holes or loosened seams depending on the quality, care, and frequency of encounters with the undead. Leather gauntlets can be modified with flat metal studs or canvas to add even more protection, but most will agree that metal is your best bet for maximum protection against the undead. All gauntlets generally will protect the area between the wrist and elbow, and most steel gauntlets have built in gloves. Steel gauntlets can be used to pummel an undead in last-ditch melee combat. Just one square hit to a zombie skull will heavily incapacitate it, allowing you to swiftly escape.
Also if these options are not readily available you can improvise with thick gloves (garden, work, motorcycle/motorcross, etc) and a peewee or youth sized shin guard strapped to your forearm.
Take it off. All it does is present something for a zombie to grab or a vain bandit to rob you for. If it's something that you can't part with (like a locket with a picture of a loved one, or a religious item), then keep it in your pocket or under your shirt. The only exception is watches - it's important to keep track of time, for both tactical purposes and to keep from going insane. Even then, make sure it's something tough, like a G-Shock or a Rolex, rather than something you bought for ten bucks at the mall. Another great choice is a waterproof watch, just in case you have to swim. If it's a heavy but smooth ring that will increase the effectiveness of your punch, hide it under a pair of gloves.
Keep your head covered with something. In warm weather, it will keep you cool by allowing sweat to build up under there (the principle behind turbans), while in cold weather, it will keep you warm by stopping heat loss. Your choice of protection depends on what you're looking for. A brimmed hat (like a baseball cap, a cowboy hat, or a fedora) will help keep the sun out of your eyes, while a bicycle or motorcycle helmet will protect your head and face from an undead bite or if something falls on it. Balaclavas are excellent at keeping your head warm, but is a common piece of clothing for thieves (and spies), so you may be mistaken for one, and can inhibit your hearing. (Your chances of being mistaken for a spy while wearing a balaclava is greatly increased if you're wearing red or blue clothing.) Another good choice is a paint ball mask to protect against blood splatter from a melee weapon. It is also advisable to have access to medical safety masks and safety goggles, to protect from blood splatter, as well as any other potentially harmful chemical or biological hazards one might come across. Preferably, make sure your headgear covers your entire head, while protecting your nose, eyes, ears and mouth. The eyes and the ears, as the tools of your two main senses, will be especially important. One must weigh protection with visibility and hearing ability when choosing proper head gear. When confronted with zombies, you must know your role and direction as well.
Masks are somewhat effective, but only to an extent. It is hard for a survivor to get into a situation where they have the risk of their eyes, ears, nose, or mouth in danger of being bitten, since they would presumably have to fall or trip onto one and be face to face, or hold back a zombie at close range, and allowing oneself to be caught in this type of situation is highly unprofessional and unlikely. More prominent zombie apocalypse masks include welder's masks, ballistic masks, gas masks, hockey masks and paintball masks (Note: It is very easy to get paint through the vents near the mouth of a paintball mask, thus, it is unlikely that blood would be kept away from your mouth should it splatter on the mouth vents.) All of these masks provide an ample job of covering the face and mouth from zombie blood at close range strikes with melee weapons which can prevent infection. Although, they hinder vision considerably (except for hockey masks. Make sure you get a real one, not a flimsy plastic Halloween costume accessory). Welder's masks are built to resist the intense light of a blowtorch, which (unless you are using one to kill zombies which is highly impractical and costly) is like wearing very strong sunglasses. Due to the use of a filter, a gas mask is very difficult to breath in, and is not an option for someone who will have to run constantly. However, wearing a mask may prove useful if you are planning to go into close-range combat, as it may protect you from infection via the 'splatter' effect- zombie blood that splashes on the face due to a particularly heavy strike.
Are you going into melee combat with zombies? Will you be scouting the neighborhood? Venturing out into the unknown for supplies, riches, glory? Do you want max visibility, movement, hearing, at the expense of protection? Or do you want maximum protection against the infection whilst giving up the best of hearing and visibility? Do you want to remain covert and unnoticed, or crash in as a savior from heaven; a knightly warrior endowed with the fury of god determined to save all of humanity? The way you answer these questions may save your life, or jeopardize it.
Many choose to risk it in the face of an undead apocalypse, and wear cloth covers for max movement, baseball caps out of habit, or paintball masks/breathing respirators for the "cool" effect. And that is ok, if you don't want to live very long.
Others prefer heavier headgear, such as improvised combat helmets/riot helmets for rugged durability, skate-helmets for the close-fitting, relatively light protective shell, or even full-plate replicas of the closed-helms of the Knights of old for the impressive hero look.
Note: Try not to use closed-helms, as used in old times. They decrease your hearing, lower your peripheral vision, and can make you overtly confident, Which can be good at times, but is usually not a good idea.
In conlusion, the most desirable headgear should not hinder senses or breathing, should be able to withstand the bite of a zombie, and not trap heat or add too much weight.
A good pair of goggles will not only keep the sun and sand out of your eyes but they will also keep the blood splatter and gore from a zombie from getting in your eyes and possibly becoming an infected^. Military goggles are much better than swimming and other goggles in the fact that they are shatter resistant. The only down side being that they affect peripheral vision.
^Full-face respirators, gas-masks, and many visored helms obviate the need to wear goggles.
Always have one with you. You can use it as a tourniquet to stop bleeding, for tying down baggy clothing, for holding your gun, and most importantly, for holding your pants up. Make sure it isn't a designer belt, try to get a solid leather, synthetic, tough fiber, or canvas belt. Studs may help, but make sure they aren't able to catch on things easily. Don't have gaudy belt buckles, but a good heavy metal one (the style that most belts come it, just a simple hollow rectangle) will be excellent. In a pinch, these can also be used as makeshift flails or whips, but remember that those are difficult to wield, so it's best to use it as a slapping weapon, folded once, against bandits or human hostiles.
Athletic clothing is designed for lightweight, speedy movement, and well as reasonable protection against scrapes, or in this case, bites. Basketball shorts or loose 'gangsta' pants are not recommended. Wearers of such ridiculous clothing will be the first to die. Try to find a fit that hugs your skin snugly, so that it cannot be easily grabbed. If one decides to use athletic clothing as their wear, be sure you engage in a survival tactic that includes not encountering many zombies and that the weather where you are is moderate to temperate. Here are good athletic options. Because athletic clothing is made very much genderwise, the recommendations will be split into two sections.
- Simple undergarments. Not too baggy, not too tight.
- A tight tank top for hot weather, and a UltriDri waterproof hoodie for cooler/wet weather.
- Skintight shorts that come to about just above your kneecap. For cooler/wet weather, a pair of looser zippered jogging pants. Make sure they're not too loose since some men will be less inclined to fight off an approaching zombie.
- Comfortable, warm, and thin socks. Preferably no-show toe-socks.
- Durable, light running shoes. Lower profile for quicker dashes and more traction, and made of tough, waterproof material so they can last you a very long time.
Note: Your cold weather clothes can be worn over your hot weather clothes, due to their nature as athletic clothing.
- Simple undergarments. Not to tight. A comfortable sports bra for long runs.
- A tight tant top for hot weather, and a light zippered waterproof jacker for cooler/wet weather.
- Athletic tights that come about your mid/low calf. As the name suggests, make sure they're skin-tight. This will save the ladies that little extra weight and give the zombies less to grip onto, since some women might be less inclined to fight off an approaching zombie.
- Comfortable, warm, thin socks. Preferable no-show toe-socks.
- Durable, light running shoes. Lower profile for quicker dashes and more traction, and made of tough, waterprood material so they can last you a very long time.
Police and military equipment
The following covers the types of protection available to police and military forces. If you want access to this equipment, you may have to seek it out before Z-Day, as it will be nearly impossible to find when the zombie apocalypse is in full swing.
Boonie Suit/Survival Suit
Survival suits, also known as boonie suits, are types of suits designed for overall speed, agility, comfort, and protection with as many assests a possible and as little drawbacks as possible. A boonie suit consists of long underwear and a black t-shirt for starters. A pair of foliage green camo print style pants are also included, which are designed to be temperate, but watertight, and give the wearer the maximum amount of agility without getting too hot, stiff, or muggy. The boonie pants are weaved from integrated microcarbons that allow air mollecules through, but acts as a one way to water. Pockets include two cargo holds on the side which are sealed for item preservation, two sealed back pockets and two sealed front pockets. They are also soft and comfortable. A pair of steel toed hiking boots of a beige color is included, which you attatch the boonie pants to via zipper and water seal. Like the boonie pants, the boots are watertight, allowing for wading in water up to below one's waist. The boonie suit also includes a waterproof jacket identical in color to the pants. The jacket it easily zippered and buttoned down the front and has a relatively snug fit. Pockets include sealed side pockets and two chest pockets as well as and arm cargo hold on each arm. It has a hood. Also, a boonie hat in its respective color is included complete with drawstrings and ventilation. Also, a black bald cap is included. The Boonie suit will keep the wearer alive in forests, secluded homesteads, and swamps, and will aid in hunting, and staying relatively undetected by humans, but it will not provide any aid to the wearer in urban areas, other than weather protection. Boonie suits will not withstand Zombie bites for very long, so take extra precautions when entering populated and/or urban areas with such an outfit.
Tactical Vests are normally very good. They are made of thick cloth and most have space for a pistol, combat knife, grenades, magazines and a small personal pocket.When using one wear it over a jacket or long sleeved shirt to maximize protection and prevent chafing.
Concealed vests are worn primarily by law enforcement officers, and typically consist of a kevlar weave that is sometimes supplemented by metal or ceramic "trauma plates" that provide additional protection to the torso. These are not as protective as a tactical armor rig, and would not provide much protection against zombies, as they do not wield firearms. These vests are intended to protect the wearer's center of mass against gunfire, but most zombies will typically attack everything BUT the chest, such as arms, legs and the head. If you're fighting against Bandits, remember that (depending on the model) your vest may only protect you against several types of gunshots. Also, when a bullet impacts body armor, it often causes blunt trauma injury to the tissue beneath as the vest transfers the energy of the gunshot to the wearer. However concealed vests are almost always "soft armor" which means part of the blunt trauma will be absorbed for you. Concealed and ballistic vests(although not meant for it) can also provide some protection against slash wounds, but not stab wounds. It must also be remembered that most lighter vests are incapable of stopping high-powered rounds, point-blank shotgun blasts, and rifle fire, as well as close-combat weapons. These vests, uncomfortable if not fitted, potentially noisy (velcro), and aren't meant for combat with an undead assailant.
All-in-all, Concealed vests can actually be a lifesaver in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Although its protection is suited only for bullets and you will be injured, anyone can agree that a bruise and/or broken ribs is preferable to being dead.
Most ballistic vests also have plate pockets for the front, back, and sides for extra protection from rifle fire and stabs(if the plating is of the metal type) or pistol and blunt force protection(soft trauma pads). As the vest can be hidden, it will ensure that bandits wont see it(otherwise they may just aim for your head or legs). Trauma pads hard plates and soft plates can sometimes be all put in for max protection. An overt vest(non hidden) can be worn over hidden vest.
Ballistic Vests and Plate Carriers
During the event of a zombie apocalypse, ballistic vests may not be as rare as one may think. Governments will most likely send police and military forces to combat the zombie threat during the early stages of the infestation. This means zombie soldiers wearing vests may be found in certain areas, unless they have already been killed and looted by other survivors. Be warned: Ballistic vests were designed to protect the wearer from gunfire, making them mostly useful for encountering humans armed with firearms. While the vest also provides torso protection, zombies are more likely attack the wearer's limbs due to it being easier to reach. People who have never been trained with ballistic vests may also become stunned or injured from the shock and impact of a gunshot. Body armor is generally heavier and bulkier than jackets and other clothing.
Heavier ballistic vests intended as outerwear, over normal clothing, are generally very heavy, and incorporate not only layers of kevlar capable of stopping most handgun and shotgun munitions, but allow for steel or ceramic trauma plate inserts that can stop rifle fire.
Riot gear was made popular in many zombie films, shows, and books, including The Walking Dead. Riot gear usually consists of a ballistic vest worn in conjunction with a padded or hard-shelled polymer panels worn over the arms and legs. It is usually worn in conjunction with a helmet with a durable visor, and a clear polymer riot shield. The nature of the material the armor is constructed from makes it difficult to bite, chew, or cut through, but its bulk and weight may make it difficult for an inexperienced wearer to move quickly or maneuver in tight quarters. This protective equipment would also be difficult to acquire, as it is usually only found in the inventories of law enforcement and military police agencies.
A ghillie suit, or yowie suit, is designed to resemble heavy foliage. Typically, it is net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of cloth or twine, sometimes made to look like leaves and twigs, and optionally augmented with scraps of foliage from the area. Snipers and hunters may wear a ghillie suit to blend into their surroundings and conceal themselves from enemies or targets. The suit gives the wearer's outline a three-dimensional breakup, rather than a linear one. When manufactured correctly, the suit will move in the wind in the same way as surrounding foliage. A good thing to have in the woods. If you're entering a building or an urban area, forget it though. The long strips of whatever hanging off will serve as handholds for the undead, and things to rustle, make noise, and catch on things. Use these only when sniping in a wilderness. They also will be made of incredibly durable fabric. Also note that physical camouflage is useless against the undead, as they are able to use other senses in order to locate the wearer.
Rugged clothing is worn as a utility or battledress uniform by most countries. Licensed military uniforms are usually very durable, designed to withstand wear and tear in a field environment. Combat uniforms may be difficult for a zombie to bite through, and could be used to boost morale and a sense of unity among a group of survivors. A complete uniform usually consists of a long-sleeve button-up top and pants, as well as a pair of boots, and often a cover. The top and bottom usually feature a number of pockets, and usually some kind of camouflage pattern. Authentic military uniforms can readily be found in military surplus stores, and clothing in similar styles is a staple in outdoors and hunting stores. Fashion-oriented clothing found in retail outlets that feature a camouflage pattern are generally not as durable as legitimate uniforms, and should be avoided.
See: Gas Masks
Other clothing and armor
These types of protection are not used by modern police and military forces, but they are fairly uncommon for civilians to come across. Like with the police and military gear, you may have to obtain this stuff before Z-Day.
Carpet coats are a type of upper body protection that is widely accepted as an effective armor against Zombie bites. Made from torn and cut up carpeting, a carpet coat should be a relatively easy thing to find materials for and make. During the Zombie Apocalypse, looting old abandoned housing will be an easy method of aquiring materials needed. The Carpet Coat is a more easily obtained type of armor than Chainmail, Scalemail, or Plate armor, and although it is uncomfortable, it is lighter in weight, quieter, and easier to maneuver in.
The Carpet Coat is best used in cooler climates, as the thick fabric in carpeting covering the entire upper body traps in a lot of excess heat. Relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver in, the Carpet Coat doesn't make any unwanted noise to attract the Undead. Carpet Coats are most effective against "Shambler" type zombies, a.k.a. the slow moving Undead with no ability to use real weapons or true brutish strength besides being overwhealming in numbers.
The Carpet Coat does not prevent injury or death from true weaponry, be it firearm or sturdy baseball bat. Even a Zombie biting down at full force can cause injury, although should not spread infection unless biting is prolonged or continues. A pressure wound may occur from the sheer force of a strong Zombie jaw biting down, and break skin, even leaving an apparant bite mark, but the thick, course texture and heavy duty fabric of the common carpet should be enough to to keep infectious agents from saliva out of the open wound for some time.
While other methods of Zombie protection armor seem great in theory, in a realistic Zombie Infection, (not Video Game or Movie based) Carpet Coats are one of the most reasonable, realisic methods of armor protection due to is wide availability, maneuverability, protection against cold and infection, and availability during the chaos of a Zombie Outbreak. Choose this type of coat wisely, and be sure you have a durable carpet to start with.
Zombie suits are a Neutral
They may not fool a zombie if they rely on smell. Also humans may think you are a zombie and shoot you.
But if there are barely any other survivors around and the zombies rely on sight and hearing it is a great idea as the zombie hordes will be searching for prey that is living and not for each other so you may trick them.
Sadly this idea highly depends on the zombies intelligence and the way they determine living and undead (Tests will be needed).
Most high-speed motorcycles require their wearer to wear full-body jumpsuit-like outfits made of leather or synthetic materials and a thick protective helmet with visor. The main advantages of such an outfit are the fact that the suit is close to the skin, allowing the user to remain speedy, while offering moderate protection against Zombie bites. The helmet is thick enough to resist impacts at 60 MPH, and thus is quite suitable for resisting the teeth of angry Zombie. However, while it's closeness to the skin allows it's wearer to be more mobile, it also does not allow heat to easily escape the body. This can cause quick exhaustion and dehydration. The helmet only adds to these issues and also restricts the field of vision of the wearer.
This may seem strange and weird at first (unless you are that type of person.) But this does have tactical advantage. If you are a woman then dressing and looking like a man, bandits will be discouraged from attacking an entire group of tough looking men. This could also could work the other way, Men dressed up and looking like women could essentially make a bluff to bandits, allowing to lower their guard, thus making an ambush easier
There are definitely has some disadvantages though, one is it doesn't work on zombies, they don't care if you look like a man or a woman. Two is that if you meet other survivors, that might be one awkward meeting...
In conclusion, cross dressing may act as a kind of camouflage or trick to bandits. But is advised to only use it when dealing with bandits and is not necessary anywhere else.
Built for protection and maneuverability, these can be a lifesaver. Examples include: football pads, lacrosse helmets, baseball helmets, and hockey equipment. These items can be found in most houses or schools in America. Since movement is required for sports, these are easy to move in, and since made of hard plastic, these offer great protection. One of the most common and easiest to find type of sports gear is the typical football gear: the helmet, shoulder and knee pads, and the main piece, the chest and shoulder padding. This can be used as an excellent source of protection and does not lower speed or mobility. The gear also is durable and will protect against infected bites and scratches. Sports jerseys, like basketball and soccer jerseys, are unacceptable when worn alone, as they reveal too much skin and makes you more susceptible to bites or scratches. However, jerseys are excellent as an extra layer of clothing, which can and will save your life at one point or another; if the first layer is destroyed, at least you will have the second.
Chainmail consists of iron or steel links connected to form a protective suit-like covering. Originally designed as far back as in the B.C. era to protect the wearer from slashing strikes, this form of armor lost favor with the advent of the firearm but is still used today to protect wearers against power-tools and wild animals. It has little effect on preventing crushing blows.
Chainmail can be effective against Zombies, can not chew through the tough metal links that cover the skin and it is unlikely for them to tear open or off. However, the pressure of a zombies bite, coupled with their inability to feel pain, can still break the skin and cause internal damage. Most chainmail, is heavier than either riot gear or full plate armor. However, there are a few cons. If the links are loose, it will not only make noise but may also be easier for a ghoul to grab onto. This can be deterred by purchasing or making chainmail that is bound by rivets instead of pinch cut. Few people are capable of making high-quality armor today though rings can be both purchased or made with a jig. Also, chainmail can be pierced between the links by thin sharp objects like stilletoes or shrapnel. As chainmail can pinch, one should always wear clothing beneath it. Chainmail gloves can sometimes be found in hardware stores, and some aquatic recreation stores may sell "shark-proof" full-body chainmail SCUBA suits for a conceivably large sum. A great place to find a suit of it is in a butchery, where they're required to wear this in case the knife slips. Also, specialty companies sell battle grade chainmail items for reinactment purposes.
Scalemail ArmorScalemail is much like chainmail and is constructed similarly except the weaving of small scale-like plates into it. Adding a minute amount of weight, the scales add to the efficiency of plain chainmail by taking away the largest disadvantage of chainmail: the holes in the rings. This makes is nearly impossible to penetrate with thin sharp objects like shrapnel or stilletos. It also boasts having the same manuverability bonuses as chainmail. However, like chainmail, there are some detractions. The scales can make noise when moving which, again, could be a deal breaker for the armor. While the scales could probably be grabbed onto, pulling off a scale would not permanently damage the chainmail underneath or expose you to any more harm than if you were wearing chainmail as often the scales will break off before the chainmail will break, especially if it is rivitted chainmail. Scales can be made with a metal punch or purchased from specialty groups. Some have even made scalemail using soda tabs, though these are not as durable and have holes. Like chainmail, it can also pinch so do wear something below it.
Similar to splint-mail armor, which was originally used by those in the middle east and Asia, the effectiveness of plate-armor in an undead apocalypse is debatable. Plate mail can be 40 to 50 lbs, and it is a common misconception that it is bulky and hard to maneuver in. If worn right, it will not impede you at all, and it is very resillient, being near impervious to arrow strikes and sword slashes, much less a zombie's bite. However, the confidence brought on by wearing armor can also cause a person to take un-needed risks. Imagine wading into a zombie mob, the monsters pulling at the plates, while not allowing you to move swiftly or even see your enemies well. This armor may lead to the user being crushed by a mountain of zombies. It contains strips of metal woven over chainmail in most Asian variants, and full metal, inter-locking "plates" in the European variants. The intuitively connected and expertly fitted plates detract very little from manuverablity. The plates of the breastplate do not cover all of the shirt, however, and mainly cover the chest and back. Again, there are disadvantages to this type of armor. The same noise issue as pointed out about chainmail still applies though plate-mail is much less noisy as the free-hanging scales on scalemail. Generally, in Asian/mid-East and Russian varieties, the plates are woven down into the chainmail below but if not made where it is woven on the top and bottom of the plates beyond just the sides, the bottoms and tops can be grabbed or hooked onto. In Western-European plate armor, most of the replicas are of full, interlocking plates, devoid of chain-mail as it is redundant and not needed. Also, it is more or less difficult to find this kind of armor as it is not found widely for sale within the reenactment subculture, as it is expensive and difficult to make correctly. This kind of armor would have to most probably be made by the wearer* which requires skill, resources, time, and tools someone might not have in such an event. However, this armor, if skill and material, or the armor itself, is already present, could be most benificial. Like chainmail and scalemail, it can also pinch so be sure to wear something under it.
- There are many museums, curiosity-shops, and medieval fancy stores that sell medieval armor. Some even house full-sets of mentioned armor copies. Do not pass up a chance to loot these.
Lamellar armor, another armor from ancient times, is much like plated-mail but instead of being connected by metal rings, it is woven together overlapping the small plates called lames. This kind of armor was found mostly in Asia. Lames can be made from rawhide, metal, or plastic. (See Home Made Armor for plastic) Lamellar, if made from metal, can make some noise and metal quickly wears the chording holding it together. Metal will need restrung fairly often making it nearly inefficient unless using something very durable such as military grade parachute chording to hold it together. Otherwise, as it implies, weaving the lames together takes some time and may not be worth it for metal. Much ligher is rawhide lamellar. Rawhide, which is hardened leather, will not wear through chording nearly as often. While it obviously will not stop some things that metal will, it's hard thick overlapped construction only makes it slightly less effient than metal while being much lighter. The problem with leather is that if not treated properly when made or if not taken care of, the leather can rot. All armors are not perfect however and have disadvantages. A Lamellar armor is only as good as the chord that holds the lames together. If the chord breaks, it can unravel and come undone. Also known to those in the middle ages, the kind of lamellar pattern you use can have a dramatic effect on its effectiveness. There are two overlapping patterns: the kind used by cavalry and the kind used by those on foot. Which kind you use should depend on if you plan on riding a steed, motorcycle, etc or if you plan on being on your feet for most attacks. The cavalry overlapping pattern makes it so that each lame overlaps the lame above it. This effectively causes hits to slide off the armor in an upward manner. The overlapping pattern for those on foot is just the opposite making the blows fall downward. This is critical to know as if a blow goes against the overlapping pattern, it will catch on the armor. Lamellar might also be easier to grab and claw onto than chainmail depending on the pattern.
More On Full Plate Armor
Due to full plate armor's renowned weight (often more than 40 pounds), there is a misconception that it's girth is stifling and oppressive. In actuality, the weight was distributed over the whole body, and designed to contour to the wearer. It is easier to move in than chain mail due to is being supported by the part of the body it protected. Wearers have said that it is far more comfortable than a suit of chain-mail. This, however, depends on the full plate armor fitting on the wearer very well. This type of armor will considerably restrict your ability to move or fight if it doesn't fit you.
Full plate armor offers unparalleled protection from the undead. Good quality (thus expensive) modern replicas are often made of (sometimes stainless) spring steel, which makes them 25-30% lighter, without lowering their protection, however, it is unlikely you'll find a full suit of plate armor as well made as they were back in the 13-1500's. They are difficult to make, but require little maintenance to be battle fit. If you find one during the apocalypse, DO NOT take it. Plate armor must be fitted more preciscely than a bespoke suit, and armor designed for someone else probably won't fit; if it does then it will probably be extremely uncomfortable and restrictive, and can also cause injuries. There are also many design flaws that can cause restriction and reduced mobility that the uninitiated may not recognize, such as full-length chestplates (seen at right), non-shaped greaves, and thin-guage metal. And though it's not saing much when considering the other options, even the best Renaissance-style plate armor, designed by a master for a twin that you didn't know you had, will do almost nothing to protect against bullets. So don't loot these.
Leather was first used in the early 4th century. It was first used as actual armor, but then developed as a underpart of plate armor. Leather is known to chafé so be careful when using it. Leather is also a bad heat insulator. Leather offers exceptional agility and reasonable protection. It also comes as being squeaky. If you can't find leather armor, then just use a leather jacket and pants.
Pressurized Diving Suit
Designed for repair work at extreme underwater depths, the pressurized diving suit is its own self-contained personal environment. With a large battery, lights, a temperature control gauge, an air filter, communications up-links, and mechanical grasping claws, it is arguably the best type of personal protection from Zombie while underwater. The outer casing is designed to withstand the crushing pressure on the ocean depths, which means no ghoul (or group of zombies) will ever have the strength to bite through it, and it's servo-powered claws are more than powerful enough to crush a zombie's skull like a grape! Unfortunately its bulkiness means that it's only practical to use underwater, and even then it's better to work with someone on the surface manning an attached tether line. Although they won't break in, several zombies will still be able to hold you down and render you unable to escape on your own, though the power supply will likely last long enough for someone on your team to come rescue you. You may want to get a close-range sonar upgrade, because once you crack the first few zombie's heads, the water will be far to clouded with brains and organic matter to see anything that isn't pressing right against your viewport.
Relatively easy to make: just get some PVC about an inch thick, mold it into bodyform shape and punch some holes in it for straps so you can attach it to yourself, and you're all set. Other sources could also be thick plastic barrels used by the food, chemical, and farming industries. Make sure to thoroughly wash all chemicals from said barrels if you use one. A heat gun or torch can help shape the PVC around your body. Strip scale, and Lamellar armor, especially within the Society for Creative Anachronism subculture where these are used in battle reinactments.
Alternately, and by taking more time, by cutting the plastic into regular plates and threading them with nylon rope they can be made into a suit of Lamellar armor; more flexible and still proof against the same dangers but can less sturdy against a determined assailant without good construction. Even better than nylon rope is parachute chording. Make sure you study the pattern before lacing as lacing wrong can affect the movement, safety, and durability of lamellar. Chord and rope will wear eventually so make sure you keep extra to restring occasionally.
By utilizing even more time, one could create a suit of zombie-resistant plate-pattern armor. By shaping and molding the plates to fit the wearer's body, and by fastening duelly fitted metal plates over the PVC plates, one could create a suit of plate armor much lighter and almost equally as effective as real plate armor. This suit of PVC/Metal plates is more-so effective than the Lamellar version, but as stated above, takes longer.
In a zombie apocalypse, one must remember that there is often a shortage of projects to keep you and others occupied. Without these projects, a shaken group of people will easily fall apart. Therefore, projects that last longer and produce better results are essential to a lone-wolf as well as a group of people, whatever the size. They need something they can do to keep their mind off of the ensuing chaos. Practical projects, especially those that stretch over longer periods of time are vital in a survival environment, and must be utilized for a group to remain healthy. Armour construction abides by these same principles, so a suggestion is to make the zombie-resistant plate-pattern armor, takes longer and produces better results.