Terrain and Zombie Survival

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This article uses an in-universe perspective.

Metropolitan CitiesEdit

One of the worst places to combat the undead. With very large buildings and skyscrapers, metropolis cities tend to have a very high population of the undead. Urban combat is one of the most tedious and repetitive forms of combat there is. Soldiers must enter the building, search every individual room, closet, and basement, and then move onto the next one. It is advisable to military units to lure the zombie population out of the city and employ Post-Yonkers tactics before entering it. Also, don't forget about zombies falling from low rooftops, for a fall will not stop a zombie from enjoying a meal. If in the early stages of an outbreak, there is also the chance that the military may bomb the city.


One of the best short-term survival places. Many suburban homes have weapons, and not all are close to major cities. A normal suburban home has everything needed for zombie surival for up to a few days. But, they are likely to be populated with the undead.


A terrible situation to be in during undead combat. Being underground during an outbreak is possibly one of the worst possible areas to be. It does not make you safe, only more vulnerable and susceptible to death. However, if you find a cave with a small river running through it, far from civilization, you may be able to effectively barricade the entrance. This will not prevent you from running out of supplies, and the remainder of the cave should be mapped and explored in the event that there is a back entrance, either for your own team to use in escape, or in order to blockade it as well to stop the undead. Lights are a must have in this sort of base. However, gas deposits may render firearms useless, there are no natural lights and the possibility of hitting a dead end during an escape are downsides. If this is the only option left, make sure that there are multiple exits from the tunnels, and head for it if the cave position does not seem tenable. If a system of tunnels needs to be cleared, either lure the zombies out, or seal off all entrances/exits so they cannot escape. Sealing off all entrances/exits is a short term solution, however, with the possibility that the seals will break or future generations will open them, unleashing the plague again.


If it serves practical to travel here then by all means go. Forests are very scarcely populated making it prime location for survivors. Forests have plentiful resources such as game, firewood, water ect. A temperate forest in the winter will snow, in the summer be warm, in spring will have desierable temperatures, and in the fall be cool. Forests are okay for short term, but long term you're better off somewhere else.


A bad location to survive in. The extreme moisture will breed germs, making disease common, especially with any cuts or bruises. It will also ruin clothes, jam guns, and attract bugs. There were reports of survivors having fled into the jungles of South America, and survived successfully by setting up a base on the Mayan pyramids. Zombies will rot much faster in these locations, and the wildlife will be a good early warning system, because when the normally noisy jungle suddenly falls silent, you know the undead are nearby. Due to the dense canopy of the rainforest, it is possible to set up a base in the trees far above the heads of the zombies, but don't try it unless you are an experienced tree-climber and know about any other creature that may already be living there.


Why not take refuge in the long rolling hills? Atop a nice steep hill, in a fortified Base, these conditions are ideal. The more altitude you gain, the worse the conditions are in winter, however there are also fewer Gs. It also varies by latitude. Hills often have fertile ground, allowing you to grow food more easily than some other terrains. A low average population density ensures you time to prepare for the small number of Zs (and anything else) you may find here. Another notable feature is that sound travels very well in hilly terrain, so unless you are actively attempting to lure zombies into the area, you should try to speak and act quietly. Tactically speaking, hills are a good choice for zombie survival.



Mountains can be among the best places to survive a zombie apocalypse, due to their remoteness, their moderately sufficient amounts of resources, lack of population, prevalence of game, fresh water, meadows, building materials and so forth. However these are best-case scenario conditions for a mountain. There are also many hazards related to mountains, such as the fact people will likely try to find refuge there, possibility of zombies in the valleys and so forth.


In temperate valleys growing food is no problem, which may help the population last longer than other locations, or if it grows enough, indefinitely. If you choose a valley, remember, the smaller the better. One downfall of valleys is that you may have difficulties escaping them in case zombies locate your position, however rural valleys are often ideal in a survival situation. The population of valleys can vary greatly.


Why is this even in here? Probably to tell you how bad you they are. If you manage to baricade a base and secure supplies (enough to stay alive for a good few months), you are still in your own grave. Most canyons are out of the way and away from major cities. However if most everyone in urban and suburban areas are infected or gone, Gs will wander down canyons and into rural areas. Canyons are often found in deserts, however they are also formed quite oftenly by rivers, providing a source of water. If it is a box canyons, you could barricade one main side. For the most part, you're better off somewhere else.


Stay away. Deserts are a difficult place to live in at any time, even without zombies. The lack of water, the burning sunlight, freezing nightly temperatures, and the fact that zombies will not decay with the dry air makes this one of the worst locations imaginable. The only good thing is that since so few people live in the desert, there will be a lack of the undead early on. If you insist on surviving out here, learn where all of the water sources are beforehand. If you have experience in deserts they can be great for survival. Main sources of food would likely include desert snakes and lizards (some of which are poisonous and in themselves are a danger), which may be tricky to catch. The open terrain can provide early warnings of the undead, however you should still refrain from entering desert unless you are adept at desert survival.


If you can survive here, then by all means set up a base here, but be careful of the low temperatures and harsh, unforgiving environment. In the winter, the temperature, snow, and ice will freeze zombies solid, however they can also easily freeze a person to death, and food sources are likely to be scarse - especially if you are a large group, or encounter other groups. Bring heavy clothing and high calibre rifles if you plan on setting up camp here, and much of your sustenance may need to come from hunted wildlife. Tundra is not recomended in a survival situation of this type unless you are a skilled survivalist with formal knowledge of the area.


Swamps are often wet, and full of decomposing material leading to high possibilities of disease, contaminated water and festering infections. Swamps are often also home to a variety of sometimes dangerous wildlife such as alligators and snakes. Constant moisture in footwear can immobilize even the hardiest of survivors with trenchfoot. Heavy foliage will make it difficult to determine what way you are heading and conceal possible threats, and the often moist, muddy ground will make construction tough. Though they are very scantly populated and wont attract many Gs, but there is a reason for their lack of population. In unfortunate cases, zombies may have fallen into water-filled pits or sinkholes that seem shallow, waiting for a misstep. If skilled in construction, the heavy density of trees could be used to build a base which would be effectively zombie-proof, however the collection of supplies will be a difficult venture.

Plains Edit

Plains give lots of notice before the undead reach you, although spotting them may be troublesome depending upon the height of the grass. There may be an abundance of rabbit and other small game, until the zombies eventually wander towards your direction. Other than hunting, plains are excellent areas to grow food in, often with very fertile soil and huge undeveloped areas just waiting to be farmed. Enough food could be grown to live in relative comfort, as long as you have some sort of walls to protect the fields; unfortunately sound travels well across the plains; a moaning Zambi could start a chain swarm, luring in zombies from large swathes of surrounding areas, although spotting them may be troublesome due to the tall grass. If you have enough survivors to construct such a base, it could be an excellent area to survive.

Bodies of WaterEdit

This is only advisable with a well stocked trawler, cruise ship, cargo ship, or oil rig.


In a savannah, you will be able to see zombies coming from miles away, depending on the height of the grasses, and snipe them accurately.  However, they will likely also be able to see you and approach you, possibly iniating a chain swarm.  Crawlers in the tall grass may prove to be deadly traps.  While you will be able to find game for food, savannahs are extremely dry and brushfires are common, which may or may not hurt the zombies, however it will certainly be deadly to humans. Overall the flat land makes an extremely good place to set up a base.


Although the dead are able to survive without oxygen, a deep, fast flowing river on several sides of a hill makes for a perfect base.  It also supplies you with fresh water, fish and waterfowl, as long as the water isn't polluted, by Zombies or otherwise.  They also make for easy transportation if you have a shallow-bottomed boat.


Lakes are one good way to to survive because zombies cannot swim (although, depending on some author's interpretations of zombies, some can walk the bottom of rivers, lakes and oceans, without drowning, being swept away, or eaten or decomposed by saltwater or its sea life. See White Zone).  But, there is limited amount of supplies on a boat and if you drift to close to land the zombies may be able to climb into your boat and kill you if you are not careful. 

On the Great Lakes, there are massive Container Ships, islands and a route to open waters.  The down side:  They're surronded by massive cities: Chicago, Buffalo, Montreal (St. Lawerance Seaway, which connects to the Lakes), Toronto, etc.


As zombies do not need oxygen, being stranded on a boat is one of the worst places to survive, with the wrong boat there is no escape and limited supplies.  However, the right boat can keep you alive for nearly unlimited time .

One of the pluses to the Ocean are islands, however this doesn't mean every island in the ocean is habitable (rocky infertile islands) however they are isolated. Unfortunately, thanks to some zombies being able to walk the oceans depths, you may have to deal with occasional wandering Gs happening to find your island.

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