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There has been a great deal of debate in zombie survival communities regarding what is the most useful form of transportation in a zombie apocalypse. Some, such as Max Brooks, argue against the use of motorized vehicles, citing fuel and maneuverability as concerns, and believe that travel on foot or by bicycle is the best option. Others take comfort in the protection and capability that trucks and other large vehicles provide. Still others have argued in favor of the horse as the best method of transportation. This page will go over the various methods of transportation that will be available in the event of zombie related civil unrest. The feasibility or wisdom of traveling depends on many factors unique to one's scenario.
Whatever mode of transportation one decides to use, be very aware of its potential to attract the undead.The noiser the vehicle, the larger the chance that it will attract zombies. However, attracting zombies is not always a factor of noise. Bright or flashing lights can be a beacon on a dark night that can be seen for many miles. On motorised vehicles, be sure to remove as many lightbulbs as possible if you are likely to be in an area with zombies. It is vital to remove the tail lights, brake lights, and reversing light from the rear of the vehicle, to disable the horn to avoid accidental loud noises, and also to remove the orange turn signal bulbs. It is inadvisable to remove the headlights as the will be necessary for safe sriving at some stage, but be very wary about bumping the stalk accidentally and activating the headlights while stationary.
Walking/RunningEditThe most versatile method of transportation that one can find is his or her own body. It can be brought up stairs, into tight spaces, and other areas that cannot be readily accessed with any vehicle. In addition, this method of transportation requires no fuel other than food and water, and is available to almost anyone. Perhaps the most obvious disadvantages that come with walking are that it is slow, and that cargo capacity is limited to what you are able to carry on your person. Also, long walks may be quite tiring for most people, especially when carrying supplies. So travel as light as you can while on the road. Fitness level and footwear are also major considerations. Even the healthiest of travellers will notice wear and tear, and the potential for injury increasing if they do not occasionally take a day to hole up and rest. The biggest disadvantage is there is nothing to protect you when you are cornered or surrounded by zombies.
BicyclesEditMany people learn how to ride bicycles at a very young age, making this method of transportation available to almost everybody. Riding a bike is faster and less strenuous than walking, although not as fast as a motorized vehicle, and they can be taken almost anywhere that the human body can. They are relatively easy to fix, they are fairly quiet, and the only fuel needed is the food and water consumed by the human body. Disadvantages include the fact that they provide no protection, and that cargo capacity is limited to what the rider can carry although small trailers are offered by some manufacturers. If one is not going to drive and must travel long distances then he or she should consider seeking out a bike as soon as possible. When selecting a bicycle you should make sure that you are getting one that is of high quality (with a carbon fibre frame instead of steel or aluminuim for instance), is in good condition, and is rugged enough to last in a survival situation. Also, make sure that it is not too big or too small for your body - this can make riding quite uncomfortable. Above all, make sure that it is suitable for the terrain: if travelling offroad discount a racing bike; if going by road, favor a light-framed bike with solid tires in order to avoid punctures from glass and metal from wrecked cars.
These are some of the types of bicycle available.
Mountain bikes are incredibly sturdy machines, built to climb tough trails and go over large rocks. This should be your first choice when looking for a general-use bike, as you will probably be spending a lot of time going over dirt, rocks, curbs, and damaged roads.
If you know how to ride one properly, then these can offer an incredible mix of speed and agility. They're smaller and lighter than other bikes, making them easier to store and ride in tight locations. Keep in mind however that this is a high-performance bicycle designed for professionals; it can be easy to crash one of these, especially if you try anything flashy.
These bikes are very fast and light. However they are not nearly as rugged as mountain bikes, and their tires are easier to puncture unless you have solid intubes. If this is the only bike you have available then go ahead and take it, but unless you know that you will be travelling on a level surface it would be best to consider switching over to a mountain bike as soon as possible.
Other human-powered transportationEdit
There also exist other methods of transportation that are powered by the human body. All of them have a number of benefits and issues. Remember: like bicycles, they provide no protection and little in the way of extra cargo space.
SkateboardsEditThere's something to be said for a vehicle that you can use to bash zombies over the head with. In the right environment you can save a great deal of energy when traveling, making you less vunerable to exhaustion compared to traveling by foot while carrying your supplies. However they are made of a thin piece of wood, which can break, especially if exposed to moisture or used as a weapon. Due to their small wheels, skateboards can't be used in grass, dirt, or rough terrain, and the smallest bump or piece of debris can cause you to fall. Unless you're in the right environment, and experienced in skateboarding you're probably better off walking. Wear a helmet and pads if you can.
These incredibly stable and manuverable boards are usually bigger than skateboards, and can go through grass and dirt if you are already going fast. These will run over bumps, cracks, pebbles, and debris easily without throwing you off. Longboards are perfect for any road or city environment, but have many of the same drawbacks of a skateboard.
These two-wheeled skateboards are incredibly manuverable, if you know how to ride one. However, they have the same drawbacks of skateboards and less effective as an improvised weapon.
In use scooters basically fill a similar role as a skateboards, they are portable platforms with basic steering systems that help urban travelers coast on pavement by either kicking off against the ground or using gravity on down hill straights. Scooters are typically more practical than skateboards especially for less experienced users. However they have similar disadvatages, and the metal frame can make a lot of noise when the scooter travels over a crack or uneven strip of pavement
Skates present similar problems and advantages as skateboards and scooters. The fact that you wear them in place of shoes means that switching from shoes to skates or vice versa is a slow process, so making a quick getaway on roller skates is virtually impossible.
There emerged in the late 90s a brand of inlines named "Hypno Skates". These pieces of kit are sturdy protective roller boots, with a completely detachable chassis. It takes about five seconds to remove them (after all removal is going to be the scenario where time is of the essence). These chassis are strong, made of steel and are heavy, making a very efficient melee weapon, but take up much needed space when not on your feet.
Skis (and to a lesser degree, snowshoes) are for long distance travel and hunting. The armies of all the Scandinavian countries have ski-trained infantry (which Finland used to great effectiveness during the Winter War), which says a great deal about the usefulness of skis as transportation. The most obvious problem with these is that they can only be used on snow. However, if you are in an area that has a lot of snow, then these may be an effective method of cold-weather transportation instead of riding a bike. Also, if it's cold enough for heavy snow, it's cold enough to freeze zombies in their tracks, which means that one might not even have to deal with zombies.
See more: Animals
In addition to conventional vehicles, Animals can also be used for transport. Depending on your location, the availability of suitable animals ranged from extremely common to nonexistent. Be aware that all animals are susceptible to infection from zombies. To avoid injury or accidents, only use animals if you have had experience with them before. However, don't forget that these animals are survivors just like you, and you may end up creating bonds with them. You may, and probably will care for them, so know what you're getting into.
Humans and horses have a long history of cooperation. Horses are a truly domesticated animal, and are quite plentiful in most countries (though less so in many cities and suburbs). Their fuel consists of grass and water, they can carry or pull a lot of supplies, and they can be quite fast and can usually maneuver around traffic jams. Some zombie survivalists have proclaimed Equus caballus to be the superior mode of transportation for the end of the world. However, there are some serious problems which strictly limit the use of horses. The first major issue is that it takes a lot of skill to ride one, and even then, the horse also has to be well-trained, and in a situation where farms and stables are being abandoned, many horses may starve or go feral, leading to a lack of replacements in case something happens to your horse. This leads into the second, and more important, point: they're animals. They have to sleep when they're tired. They can make noise when you're trying to be quiet. If they get badly injured, unless you or somebody in your group is a trained veterinarian (or otherwise knows how to care for a horse) with access to the required medicine, you won't be able to do much to help, as basic human first aid can only do so much for a non-human creature. They can be attacked, by both zombies and bandits looking for food or transportation. And if a horse gets spooked, which could very easily happen if it confronts a zombie mob, it could panic and throw the rider from its back, which could cause a debilitating injury or even death. Finally, thanks to automobiles and tractors making them obsolete, many horses today are bred not for farm work or pulling carriages full of cargo, but are purebreds, bred for horse racing and beauty contests. Thanks to this focus, as well as the consequences of inbreeding that come from breeding for specific traits, modern horses are not nearly as rugged as their ancestors, and will wear out more quickly and get sick more often.
Other Beasts of BurdenEdit
These animals, which include donkeys, mules, goats, oxen, and llamas, are an excellent alternative to horses for people who don't want to rely on gas-powered transportation. To give some idea of how hardy they are, they brought the wagon trains into the Western United States, and were used for manual labor for centuries - and in many parts of the world, they still are. They are a great way to carry large amounts of supplies, and can be used as riding mounts. Also, unlike horses, many of these animals are still bred for labor rather than for show, which means that they are not as likely to suffer from the diseases that purebred show horses suffer from. The only disadvantages are those that all animals have (getting scared, targets for zombies and raiders, noise, etc.).
Dog sleds have the same big problem that cross-country skis have - they are only useful in cold, snow-covered places. Also, like any animal, dogs have to be trained, fed, and given special Z-shock training. However, if you live in a cold place, then this is a very useful way of getting around. Unlike horses, sled dogs haven't had as much selective breeding, as all of them wind up becoming rather strong through their work. Also, dogs are easy to maintain, and as long as you continue to show that you're in charge, they are always willing to please you (just make sure that they have proper Z training if you expect to encounter the undead, otherwise it doesn't matter how loyal they are normally). They will eat almost anything, and as long as they're well-fed and staying active (which they will be, what with pulling a sled and all), they will be healthy. Finally, a group of healthy sled dogs can pull a great deal of stuff, almost as much as a small car. If you're planning on surviving in a cold place, then have some dogs trained.
These animals can only be used in the non-polar deserts. Other climates, even moderate ones, can weaken and kill an animal from being too cold, too wet, or other environmental reasons. They are specifically suited to the desert environment. That said they are excellent for desert travel. The can go long periods of time without water and food. The downside of this is that when they do get food and water after long periods of dearth they consume a lot of both; it is recommended that you do NOT keep food or water from them unless necessary. Fortunately in the United States the only camels are on camel farms which means they are used to people and some are already trained to have riders. They are hard to learn to ride well, but even if you can't ride them they make amazing pack animals. They are surprisingly easy to shock train as they will naturally stomp and "chew" on perceived threats making them valuable combat animals. Their biggest problem is they are naturally stubborn when it comes to being ridden. It is recommended to not waste time getting them to allow you to ride, but instead use them as walking bases(they can carry all your supplies easily) and for support when engaging zombies (They are fiercely loyal once you spend time with them- in WW1 the Bedouin people rode them through artillery attacks and gunfire into the Turkish defenses-, and their massive weight should easily turn any heat mummified zombies into shattered corpses.)
Note: always have a rope tied to them so you can keep a hold so they aren't tempted to run to your destination, leaving you behind accidentally.When stopped tie them to a large rock or pole as the rare sudden occasional desert rain can startle them into running away.
Ah, pachyderms. Who wouldn't think that this would be an awesome animal to ride? Man has been using Elephants almost as long as he's been using horses, either in warfare, as the ancient noble's version of a H1 Hummer, to simply as load bearing animals. An elephant is strong enough to drag a bus, and smart enough to be trained to do a variety of things. Elephants are excellent swimmers, can walk over a pile of dead leaves without making a sound, their dung (gross as is sounds) makes for excellent kindling, and have both excellent senses of hearing, touch, and smell over incredibly long distances. If used as an offensive weapon, an elephant possesses formidable weapons, such as its tusks and feet. And from on top of a elephant's back, you could presumably spot ghouls from far away. So why not take Jumbo for a little cross-country road trip? There are plenty of reasons why, and I'll get to the ones that involve zombies later. Firstly, elephants have never been truly domesticated in the way horses and dogs have: Any zookeeper will tell you that these large creatures are among the most dangerous animals in captivity. Males are particularly dangerous, since they occasionally go into musth, or their mating cycle, where they can experience unexpected bouts of rage, and can be vindictive. Elephants in circuses and zoos (the most likely place you'll even see one) also tend to have numerous stress disorders, increasing the chances of one turning on its handler. Elephants also require enormous amounts of food and water, with the average adult eating 300–600lbs per day. Trying to find that much food and clean water is going to be a real challenge, even in the wild. The problems only get far worse when you add the undead to the mix. Due to their long-range senses, elephants will detect zombies from much farther off, and as a result will become agitated far more frequently. Their large size simply means that there is more of a chance that a ghoul will land a bite. And considering just how intelligent they are, he'd probably lob you at the zombie hoard as a distraction if he doesn't like you. So all in all, its probably better and far safer to just ride a horse.
OstrichesEditGranted, riding a giant bird sounds like something out of a fantasy video game, but the ostrich is large and strong enough to carry a human for a long while, and ostrich racing has become a popular sport in some areas of the world. There are a number of advantages to using ostriches as a mount. Despite being goofy looking, Ostriches are surprisingly tough birds, able to tolerate a wider range of temperatures and able to traverse a much wider variety of terrains than horses, from the chilling winters of Finland to the scalding heat of the Sahara. They are also very fast, able to carry a human rider at speeds of 35 m.p.h. The birds feed mostly on insects and plant matter, such as grasses, seeds and shrubs, and can go without water for up to 3 days in desert environments and can fast for up to two weeks. Thanks to their long necks, large eyes and good hearing, the bird can detect predators from a long distance off, which could serve as a good early-warning system against zombies for the rider. And in a pinch, the ostrich can fight, able to disembowel or smash a skull in a single kick, and have the power to peck through car windows. And if worse comes to worse, ostrich meat tastes like lean beef, its feathers make for good bedding and insulation, and its hide makes possibly the toughest leather available...assuming you have access to means to either cook the meat or remove it in such a way that it prevents bacteria contamination, the necessary tools to successfully and effectively extract feathers, and the skills and tools of a leatherworker, respectively. Which, if you're being forced to eat your ostrich-mount, you probably don't have.
Unfortunately, there are some problems. First, ostriches are difficult to ride, due to the irascible temperament and the difficulties encountered in saddling the birds, and it takes considerable skill to stay on. Second is their notorious habit of eating anything, and while they know enough to refrain from consuming zombie flesh, it still means you have to make sure they don’t suffocate trying to swallow a discarded beer can. Ostriches are not pack animals, so trying to carry too much equipment and supplies will quickly tire the bird. Also, unless you raised the bird straight from the egg, it’s very possible the bird might try to knock you off and kick you to death, and they can also turn around and peck your eyes out even if you’re on its back. Finally, as with all animals, unless given considerable Z Shock training, the big bird is likely to bolt like a frightened chicken at the first sign of the undead (and no, they ‘’won’t’’ stick their heads in the ground). Or, if you're unlucky, it will try and kill you in a fit of fear-induced frenzy.
Motorcycles may somewhat resemble bicycles, but there are a number of differences between the two types of vehicles. For one, they are as fast as cars, while getting exceptional fuel economy, usually 50-70 mpg (21.2572-29.7601 kpl) More importantly, they are also more maneuverable than cars, capable of fitting into tight spaces that can only be accessed otherwise by walking or riding a bicycle. However, they can be quite tricky to ride for somebody who does not know how to use one, they provide no protection from zombies and the elements, and a single crash may spell doom for the rider. Maintenance is also more difficult than with a bicycle, although the same can be said of automobiles. Finally, like any motorized vehicle, the engines on motorcycles require gasoline to operate, and can be quite noisy, attracting zombies.
There are many different types of motorcycles that one can find. Be sure to pick the one that is most suitable to your needs.
MopedsEditOut of the various types of motorcycles, mopeds are the most like bicycles - in fact, the name moped comes from the fact that these bikes are started by pedaling. They are incredibly small, low-maintenance, and can often go about 220 miles (354.056 kilometers) on a single tank of gas. However, mopeds are also very slow, with most mopeds incapable of going much faster than 28miles per hour (45.0616 kph). Also, their cargo capacity is very limited, being little more than what the rider can carry on his or her person. There are better choices than a moped - bicycles are better suited for traveling short distances, and the larger motorcycles and automobiles are better for moving longer distances.
Think of scooters as larger mopeds. They typically are larger and more powerful than the smaller mopeds, and most models have a top speed of 60-70 mph (96.5606-112.654 kph). Fuel economy for most modern scooters is in the 80-110 mpg (28.3205-38.9407 kpl) range. Some larger models, known as maxi-scooters, are faster, have bigger engines, and can carry almost as much as some motorcycles, at the cost of a slight hit in fuel economy. Scooters may be a good choice for long-distance travel if fuel is a particularly pressing concern.
These are the types of bikes that Harley-Davidson is famous for making. They're quite big, they're very comfortable, and they can carry plenty of supplies. Also, cruisers are big enough to have sidecars attached, which allow for increased passenger room, cargo capacity, and stability, at the expense of decreased maneuverability.
A chopper is a type of motorcycle that was either modified from an original motorcycle design ("chopped") or built from scratch to have an authentic appearance. The main features of a chopper that make it stand out are its longer frame design accompanied by a stretch front end (or rake). They may look cool, but that's really all they're built for. They are high-maintenance, and not very capable in rough conditions.
Sport bikes are incredibly fast, and are often based on racing machines. However, the forward riding position can be uncomfortable over long distances, the cargo capacity is limited, spare parts may be difficult to find for higher-end models, and performance suffers when the bike is taken off-road or onto rough roads.
Dirt bikesEditThe polar opposite of sport bikes, dirt bikes are built for off-road use. Some models, known as on-off bikes or dual-sports, have been tuned to make them street-legal. The main advantage of a dirt bike is, obviously, its off-road capability, although they typically get good gas mileage as well. However, limited cargo and fuel capacity is an issue. The range of a trail oriented dirt bike is around 45-65 miles (72.4205-104.607 kilometers) and track oriented race bikes are around half of that. The type of fuel used by some is also a problem as many are equiped with a two-cycle engine which requires a special oil to be mixed with the fuel. Heat my be a problem as well, most are air cooled and aren't designed to run far or long without stopping so long distances can be a problem if you don't know basic maintenance. The film Deep Impact showcases the advantages of dirt bikes in a traffic crunch.
They're comfortable, reliable, and can carry lots of supplies, they have big fuel tanks and engines tuned more for torque than horsepower, they're fast (though not remarkably so), they're rather fuel-efficient (although, again, not remarkably so), and they can have sidecars attached. One type of touring bike, the sport tourer, is also built with performance in mind, at the expense of being less comfortable.
Other powered transportationEdit
These vehicles aren't motorcycles, but they can't be classified as automobiles either. Therefore, they get their own classification.
UTVsEditA cross between a golf cart and an atv, a UTV or side by side vehicle is a 4x4 four wheel drive of road vehicle that can seat from two to six people. As its name stands for UTV or Utility Task Vehicle is mainly used in large ranches, border patrol, racing, extreme sports and the military. They are made for different purposes, in different sizes and shapes. They have a payload of about 1500 lb and in the trunk it has a lot of space for guns, food, gear etc. Some UTV are made for racing and extreme sports reaching over 70MPH but they require maintenance and do not have a lot of space to carry gear. They come in gas, diesel and electric configurations. In all they're a good choice.
ATVsEditAs their name (an initialism for All Terrain Vehicle) suggests, ATVs are very capable off-road. They can also be repaired easily, as they often use the same parts as dirt bikes. Finally, with their wider stance and two extra wheels, they are more stable than motorcycle, can reach speeds of over 75mph and have greater cargo capacity. The only disadvantage is that they are one-seaters, although even then, some ATVs are two-seat vehicles, and others can be customized to have passenger room. Overall, this is an excellent choice for somebody who wants the fuel economy of a motorcycle, but is unsure of his or her skill at riding one, or wants greater cargo room. However, they are very loud.
Basically ATVs for the snow. They have many of the same stability problems, but they also possess the benefits of high maneuverability and good fuel economy. Though special wheel kits can be purchased, there will be no internet in a zombie apocalypse which will hinder snowmobiles in anything other than winter or in a cold climate.
The Segway is a self balancing two wheeled electric scooter. It can carry a single person with very little additional weight. It is not impossible to find some uses for this unlikely piece of equipment in a desperate post-apocalyptic world. It has a top speed of twelve miles per hour (20 kpm). The sole redeeming virtue of the Segway is that it requires almost no effort on the part of its' driver to function, thus making it ideal for use by those injured or temporarily immobile (for those permanently immobile, there are more suitable alternatives) in order to be of use in light work duties in a camp while they heal. There will always be a shortage of beds in the medical section of a camp, after all, and no-one can afford to be laid up for longer than absolutely necessary.
If you manage to find an abandon one in working order, you might be able to use it to give you a break from traveling by foot, your saved energy will increase you combat effectiness for engagements, but you shouldn't go through any unnecessary trouble to keep it, and obviously you should dismount before engaging in combat.
Not a smart choice. They're not very fast, loud and they have very little cargo room, often being limited to seating one or two people and the handling isn't very good in wet conditions. The positives - that they're exceptionally fuel-efficient and can zip in and out of tight spots - doesn't change the fact that there are better vehicles available.
These motorized wheelchairs/symbols of American sloth will be among the first vehicles to go in the event of a zombie apocalypse. They are too slow and too limited to be of any use whatsoever, what with their lack of anything resembling cargo capacity, their nonexistent off-road capability, and their reliance on an external power supply for charging. For a disabled person, a standard wheelchair will be a much better choice.
The automobile is an incredibly common vehicle, second only to bicycles. There are few-to-no places where cars will not be present Thus, it makes sense that it would appear on a list of various modes of transportation that would be used in a zombie apocalypse. Cars hold a number of advantages over motorcycles. The biggest is that they are safer and more stable than motorcycles, offering protection from zombies, weather, and crashes that motorcycles lack. They are also easier to drive, can take more damage, and even the smallest cars have a greater cargo capacity than the largest motorcycles. However, cars are larger and less maneuverable than bikes, and have much lower fuel economy, with the average being in the 20-30 mpg range. Like motorcycles, the problems of maintenance and noise come up as well. Many cars will clog up roads and highways when their owners abandon them (dead or alive!).
There are a number of different types of cars, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. When selecting a car, try to look for a four-door model, due to the increased versatility. One should also pay attention to cars with diesel engines, as not only do they have superior fuel economy, but they can be modified to run off of vegetable oil and other biofuels that can be manufactured in a post-apocalyptic world once gasoline starts running out (a fact that is also true of trucks).
SubcompactsEditThese tiny machines have the highest fuel economy (often close to, or over, 40 mpg), and can fit through tighter spaces than their larger siblings. However, they have very limited cargo room, making them suited only for a lone survivalist, and they will suffer in a bad crash. Their top speeds are not that high, but with fuel scarce and the roads covered in debris and wrecks, there won't be much temptation to go fast. Examples include the Smart Fortwo, the Toyota Yaris, the Ford Ka and Fiesta, the Honda Fit (also known as the Jazz), the Hyundai Accent, the Chevrolet Aveo, the Peugeot 107 and 207, the Citroen C1 and C2, and the Renault Clio.
Larger than the subcompacts, but still rather small, compact cars trade a bit of their fuel economy (around 40mpg/17kpl) for a slightly increased cargo capacity and crash protection. Examples include the Honda Civic, the Ford Focus and Escort, the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Hyundai Elantra, the Toyota Corolla, the Peugeot 308, the Citroen C4, Volkswagen Beetle, Jetta and Golf (also known as the Rabbit), the Mini Cooper, the Mazda 3, and the Ford Focus
Mid-size cars are usually quite large, while still getting respectable gas mileage (often in the 20-30 mpg range). The large cargo capacity and increased protection easily makes up for their decreased maneuverability. Examples include the Volkswagen Passat, the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, the Ford Fusion, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Chevrolet Malibu.
These vehicles offer a lot of protection and cargo space. However, fuel economy suffers with the increased weight (usually around 20 mpg, and often just below that), and the large size can make it difficult to get through tight spaces. Examples include the Ford Crown Victoria, the Chrysler 300, the Toyota Avalon, the Ford Taurus, and nearly anything made by Buick.
Station wagons, also known as estate cars, are cars in which the interior cabin is extended all the way to the back of the car, absorbing the trunk. Most wagons can be classified as mid-size or full-size vehicles, although some, such as the Saab 9-3 and Subaru Impreza wagons, are small enough to be considered compact cars. The wagon's increased utility over its sedan and coupe brethren should make it appealing to zombie survivalists who are willing to ignore the vehicle's "frumpy" image, especially when one considers the number of station wagons that have all-wheel drive, making them suited for bad weather and light off-roading. Examples include the Subaru Outback, Honda Accord and the Volvo V50 and V70.
Although they're fancy, it's generally a good idea to stay away from luxury cars, especially the more high-end models. The advanced electronics that these vehicles rely upon are tough to maintain in a survival scenario, their big engines are not particularly fuel efficient, and their cargo capacity can easily be matched by a conventional large car. Exceptions can be made, however, for diesel-powered vehicles. In the United States, passenger diesels are largely the domain of European automakers, most of whom (with the notable exception of Volkswagen) aim for the top tier of the American car market. It is not uncommon to see a full-size luxury sedan that gets 30 mpg thanks to its diesel power, greatly increasing its value in a survival scenario. Examples include anything made by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, and Bentley.
Some say they're usless, but you can use them in some ways. The main attribute of the sports car is its speed, something that won't be very important in a zombie apocalypse. In addition, they gulp down lots of gas, they are complicated to maintain, they're not very reliable(unless its designed too, like the Honda/Acura NSX), and due to their large engines and small bodies, they have little room for cargo. Don't use them for road blocks and scrap. Examples include the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Corvette, and anything made by Ferrari or Lamborghini. If desired, carry one in a 18wheeler if you can. Stashing one of these cars as a last ditch escape plan from a fotrified area in case of being overrun by zombies or Marauders might save your life.If you live in a very low populated area, and you can carry lots of fuel in passenger seats, than you might be able to use one, such as a reliable, durable sportscar such as a lamborghini gallardo or BMW M3.
The open top may make it a bit easier for you and your passengers to attack zombies, but it also makes it much easier for zombies to attack you and your passengers, eliminating one of the major advantages of having an automobile. Also, the retractable top takes up a very large amount of cargo space. Examples include the Lexus SC430, the Ford Mustang convertible, and the Volkswagen Eos.
These cars combine the worst aspects of full-size cars and luxury cars into one useless package. Fuel economy is pitiful, usually comparable to a large truck (only without the utility). The increased length also makes limos extremely cumbersome to drive, and the high-maintenance electronics that are commonly found in luxury cars are also found in limos. They are really only good for two things: making road blocks, and providing great Romero-style social commentary about greedy rich people whose luxuries couldn't save them from the zombie apocalypse.
This seems like an obvious choice - at first. Fuel economy comparable to that of a motorcycle combined with the cargo capacity and protection of an automobile? What could be the problem? The problem is, even nowadays, it can be incredibly difficult to find a mechanic or parts for a hybrid in rural areas. Imagine how hard it would be to do so when the world is falling apart. In addition, despite their reputation, the fuel economy on most mid-size hybrids is comparable to that of a conventional compact car - most of these vehicles are simply regular cars that had electric motors crudely slapped on in order to cash in on the hybrid craze. Hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight that get over 50 mpg are the exception, not the rule. Finally, the battery pack can take up valuable trunk space. Don't be tempted into using a hybrid as your primary survival vehicle. If fuel economy is your main concern, then use a motorcycle or a normal compact car instead. Toyota Prius's can be very good as they have great mileage and have things like solar airconditioning.
Vans are vehicles built primarily for the purpose of moving people and cargo. They are about as long and wide as mid-size or full-size cars, but are much taller. Like station wagons, the interior cabin stretches to the back of the vehicle. The increased size, lessened maneuverability, and lower fuel economy of vans limits their utility for lone survivors or small groups of less than four, who won't need to carry as much. It is with large groups of people (five or more) that vans come into their own. For fortified groups, vans can make for very efficient supply vehicles, and for traveling groups, the increased cargo and passenger room may be necessary to carry all of the survivors and their gear.
As the name suggests, minivans (also known as MPVs and people-movers) are the smallest types of vans around. In America, most minivans are quite large, although some, particularly those originally made for European and Japanese markets, are much smaller. With the smaller size (compared to other vans) comes better fuel economy (often in the 20-25 mpg range) and greater maneuverability, at the expense of reduced cargo space (although still far greater than any car). Examples include the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Honda Odyssey, and the Mazda5.
Full-size vansEditMany different types of vans fall into this category - cargo vans, commuter vans, conversion vans, short buses, delivery vans etc. Since they are all built on the same platforms, they will be described together. Full-size vans are larger than minivans, and are often built on truck platforms (minivans, meanwhile, are usually car-based). They are usually more bare-bones than their smaller counterparts, although some vans, known as conversion vans, have been customized with myriad luxuries. Two major problems come up with full-size vans. The first is poor fuel economy, which is typically in the mid-teens. Another big issue with these vehicles is their tendency to roll over easily, owing to their increased height as opposed to the pickup trucks whose platforms they are built on. A tight turn taken too fast, or even a large zombie swarm on one side of the van, could cause a nasty rollover. With these problems in mind, it may be a better idea to use a pickup truck for transporting large amounts of supplies or people that can't be moved with a minivan. Examples include the Chevrolet Express, the Chevrolet Astro, the Ford E-Series (also known as the Club Wagon and Econoline), and the old VW Microbus.
Light trucks (pickups and SUVs)Edit
The definition of a light truck, according to federal regulations, is a vehicle weighing less than 8500 pounds that is designed for the purpose of transporting large amounts of cargo (or is derived from such a vehicle), is built for transporting people and has a passenger capacity less than twelve, and/or is built with off-road use in mind. SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans are all considered light trucks under American regulations. Since vans have already been discussed, this section will cover pickups and SUVs of various types.Pickup trucks are identified by the open bed that they have in the back. SUVs, meanwhile, replace this bed with an interior space, and often resemble very large station wagons. Both are often built on body-on-frame platforms resembling miniature versions of heavy trucks, although recently, there have been a growing number of exceptions in the SUV category. The two main advantages of a pickup or SUV are its high cargo capacity and its off-road capability. This latter point gives these vehicles a significant advantage over vans for the purpose of moving large groups of people or bringing supplies back to base. They also come with the same disadvantages as vans, namely the limited maneuverability and the poor fuel economy, which limits their use for small groups or lone survivors.
Compact and mid-size pickupsEdit
These are the smallest types of pickup trucks around, and are usually outfitted with four- or six-cylinder engines (some mid-sizes have V8s). They have been lumped into the same category due to the high number of similarities between them. These smaller trucks benefit from increased maneuverability and better fuel economy (in the 20-25 mpg range for compacts, while most mid-sizes get around 17-20 mpg), but can carry less cargo than their full-size brethren. For a supply vehicle, a smaller truck should be one of your first choices. Currently, the only light trucks being sold in the US are the Ford Ranger and the Mazda B-Series, which are built on the same platform. North American mid-size trucks include the Toyota Tacoma, Dodge Dakota, and the Chevrolet Colorado. Outside of North America, it is possible to find highly fuel efficient 4 cylinder compact and mid-sized trucks like the Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, among others. However, in areas such as Western Europe, pickup trucks of exceptional reliability can be found, the most impressive of these being the Toyota Hilux being (arguably) indestructible. Please note however, pickup trucks in any area carries a large risk from open carry compartments and can be vulnerable to both the weather and raiders. One thing to note is you can install a topper.
Full-size pickup trucks represent the ultimate in utility, being able to tow five tons, haul several thousand pounds of supplies, and conquer almost any terrain. However, this incredible utility comes at a steep cost: they are extremely bulky, and the fuel economy, usually in the low-mid teens, is appalling.One Exception being the Ford F - 150 which can get 19 - 21 mpg. Unless you need to move a lot of stuff, stick to the smaller trucks. Examples include the Ford F-Series, the Dodge Ram, the Chevrolet Silverado, the GMC Sierra, the Toyota Tundra, and the Nissan Titan
Compact SUVs have limited cargo space, but they make up for this with superior fuel economy (often in the 20-25 mpg range) and maneuverability. Many also take a hit in off-road capability, although some, particularly those made by Jeep, are fully capable off-road (coming at the expense of fuel economy, which is in the high teens). With their small size, respectable fuel economy, limited off-road capabilities, and large cargo capacity when compared to cars, compact SUVs are perhaps the only trucks that can really be viewed as useful for lone survivors or small, traveling groups, filling a niche similar to station wagons. Examples include the Honda CR-V,the Toyota Rav4, and the Jeep Liberty.
Mid-size and full-size SUVsEditThe only reason that these vehicles ever became popular was because gas used to be cheap. Thanks to the spike in prices over the summer, few people are buying them anymore. This should tell you something about the usefulness of these things. Fuel economy is a horror, with even smaller, more efficient examples getting in the mid-high teens, and bigger ones sometimes sinking into the single digits. On top of that, most of these vehicles are absolutely gargantuan, while lacking the utility of their pickup truck counterparts. Finally, some of the larger examples, even those sold under entry-level marquees like Ford and Chevrolet, are filled with the same kind of high-maintenance electronics that luxury cars have. Bottom line: don't even bother with these, unless its a good SUV, like a Jeep Commander. Examples include the Chevy Suburban, the Ford Explorer and Expedition, the Hummer H2, and the Cadillac Escalade. The best to use are the Toyota Landcruiser (in the US) and Landrover Defender (in Europe) due to their simplicity and ease of maintenance, while also achieveing a decent gas millage (the Defender TD5 can do 26-28mpg and can even come as a pick-up version). The Landrover Defender or Toyota Landcruiser are your best choice in Africa. Both are diesel, and will run on virtually any oily fuel source. An engine oil/ kerosine mixture will even keep it running for a while, and vegetable oils can also be used for long periods. The Landrover Defender with the 300Tdi engine is arguably the easiest Landrover to maintain and repair, and spares are available all over the continent. Look for tyres with an aggressive tread pattern because these will give the best performance on surfaces that might be covered in slippery zombie blood and gore, or body parts.
The label "crossover" covers such a broad spectrum of vehicles that it cannot be lumped into either the car or light truck category. In general, crossovers are marketed as having the cargo capacity of sport-utility vehicles, but in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package. Also, they are generally less off-road capable than their larger counterparts. After that, however, all sorts of vehicles can be found lumped into this category. Some, such as the Toyota Matrix and Venza, the Honda Accord Crosstour, and the Kia Rondo, bear more resemblance to station wagons and small minivans than traditional sport-utility vehicles. Others, such as the Nissan Rouge, the Honda Pilot, and the Ford Edge, resemble larger SUVs. Many compact SUVs are also lumped in on occasion. Whether or not you should use a crossover as a survival vehicle depends on the type of crossover you are looking at. The smaller ones offer a great deal of versatility when compared to the compact and mid-size cars that they are based on, while providing comparable fuel economy and maneuverability, and should definitely be considered. Larger crossovers, however, are trickier. They lack much of the off-road capability of the SUVs, but they exchange this for superior fuel economy (typically in the 20-25 mpg range). In this sense, they can be viewed as minivans with better handling and some off-road capability.
In the midst of a crisis, one is bound to find a number of police cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles scattered about. For the most part, emergency vehicles are not well-suited for use as zombie survival vehicles, for various reasons. Also, the very nature of emergency services means that these vehicles are most likely to be found near large numbers of zombies. However, they can be great sources of supplies, be they weapons, medicine, or other important items.
Police cars are basically large sedans, with all of the benefits and drawbacks that this entails. However, they have some critical advantages over their civilian brethren. They are very rugged, they're fast, and they can hold their own in the dirt and on rough roads. Broken-down cop cars can also make for wonderful sources of high-quality spare parts. Finally, nothing screams "badass" like taking the lights from the top of a police car and sticking them on your car. Leave the siren behind, unless it's your plan to act like the Pied Piper of the Living Dead.
If you encounter an abandoned police car, always investigate the interior. Even if you can't drive it due to a lack of a key, etc., basic interceptors carry such vauable equipment as radios, portable and otherwise, the latter useful in the event that police signals are still being broadcasted, as well as fireams and ammunition. Most police cars in the United States have some form of mount for a shotgun or rifle. Look for the mount: if it's empty, forget it. If it's full, take it, and collect any extra ammunition you can find. Odds are you'll have found either a shotgun or an accurate (assault) rifle, both of which are probably superior to whatever you might've had access to already.
SWAT vans have many of the same problems as regular full-size vans: they are difficult to drive in tight areas, they guzzle gas, and they are top-heavy. They are, however, filled with valuable civilian inaccessible weaponry, tactical equipment, anti-personnel riot gear, and since they are heavily armored, they can make for very effective road blocks. Also, these can be used as a mobile base, as several people can fit inside, and you can store supplies in the back. While the gas mileage may be low, you can siphon any gas you need from the packed highways. Keep in mind, though, that riot gear is intended to inflict nonlethal damage to subdue targets. Tear gas and riot-truncheons are woefully useless, and riot gear tends to be quite heavy and, again, designed to protect against things like thrown rocks, punches, melee weapons, etc. SWAT gear is significantly different from riot gear in function: be able to tell the difference between the useful former and the largely useless latter.
Ambulances are more trouble then they are worth. They are very large and cumbersome; the only reason that they can make it through traffic is because people know to get out of the way when they hear a siren. Wrecked cars and zombies don't have that ability. Also, despite their size, ambulances have little room inside for passengers or cargo, what with most of that room being taken up by medical equipment and cabinets. Finally, ambulances are most likely to be found in and around places that are filled with zombies - namely, hospitals and other hotspots. An abandoned ambulance may even be filled with the walking corpses of the paramedic team that picked up the infected victim. However, while they are not useful for driving, ambulances can act as invaluable sources of medical supplies. Also, since modern ambulances are designed to act as mobile hospitals, a fortified group may keep an ambulance within its walls to use as an emergency room.
Exercise caution, however, while you and your companions may be overjoyed to find the plethora of medical supplies within an ambulance, keep in mind that unless one of you has some sort of professional medical experience (an EMT, if you're lucky), quite a few of those could prove more dangerous than helpful. Syringes are worse than useless if you can't find suitable veins or keep them clean, defibrulators do not revive the dead, and tying off limbs with tourniquet might stop bleeding...and dramatically speed up a much more life-threatening infection, just to name a few examples.
A fire truck is probably the worst choice for a zombie survival vehicle. It's the size of a bus, with the kind of fuel economy and maneuverability you'd expect from a vehicle that big. Buses at least make up for it with an outstanding cargo capacity, but in a fire truck, this space is taken up by pumps and other firefighting equipment that can't be easily removed, leaving precious little room for passengers or supplies. Loot it for fire axes, hooligan bars, battering rams, other weapons and extinguishers, and whatever medical supplies it can and will carry, assuming it's not already picked clean, then use it to block off a road. Another option for the desperate is to load it with gasoline and drive straight into a horde as the vehicle is incredibly powerful and, if ignited, would burn away most of a zombie's rotting flesh, as well as allowing you to joke about the irony of the situation.
Emphasis on large. 18-wheelers, buses, and other such vehicles can carry several times the cargo or passengers that the largest trucks and SUVs can hold. Also, unlike most smaller vehicles, these can easily run over zombies without suffering any serious damage. And when they do... well, have you ever seen a deer carcass on the side of the highway, missing a leg and with its innards hanging out? That was probably a semi truck. And human beings weigh about as much as deer, and if anything, will actually wander ‘’toward’’ an oncoming semi. On top of these abilities, large vehicles are usually tall enough for passengers to climb on the roof in case they get swarmed by zombies. Unfortunately, this power and capability comes at a huge price. Vehicles this big take massive hits in terms of fuel economy and maneuverability, often getting in the low teens or single digits and struggling to get through city streets even on a normal day. Needless to say, most of these vehicles are for use either on the open road, or for when the situation has gone beyond the "survival" stage and entered the "kick zombie ass" stage.
Farming equipment can be an effective zombie killing transport. A wheat thresher or a combine, for example, can tear through a small zombie horde like there’s no tomorrow. However farming equipment can require a lot of fuel, they are high maintenance, and are very slow moving. This equipment also needs a good deal of training to use, if you happen to have a vehicle like a wheat thresher and someone qualified to drive this (maybe you should join 4H just in case) have the rest of your team stand on top of the vehicle picking off zombies while your driver quite literally mows through them. Unfortunately, there is little to no protection for the exposed driver if the tractor breaks down or stalls. The wheat thresher will also cause a huge amount of infected body matter to go flying all over the place, so you’ll not only need to wear some sort of protective suit, you’ll also need to burn down any and all areas you’ve driven through to sanitize it. These vehicles are not recommended for a survival situation but are very useful for a makeshift offensive against zombies. Also make certain that the vehicle you choose is sufficiently unsafe. This may sound (and rightfully so) quite contradictory to regular decision making regarding vehicles during an undead apocalypse, but many modern farm machines are altered to prevent, or at least reduce the number of, things such as brutal mutilations in the whirling blades of a combine harvester. Make sure that your harvester is free of these pesky safeguards; you're out to turn Zach into a few flying limbs and a spray from the rear-port of your harvester, and you probably won't be running the risk of hitting any friendly farmers in the process.
They are slow, fuel intensive and have high maintenance. Although they can smash zombies with their tracks and the large front blade that gives these monster tractors their name, they generally have even less protection than the farming tractors (no windshield for example) meaning that a zombie can climb in and bite you. They have an unmatched ability of cleaning a path of rubble (debris, wrecked cars, etc.), so if you aren't planning to clear up a road it is better just to forget it. However, if you are a badass jew survivor in your homeland of Israel look for a IDF Caterpillar D9, an armored bulldozer used by Israel Defense Forces. Some of them are fitted with machine guns, smoke projectors, or grenade launchers.
Call them what you want - tractor-trailers, semi-trailer trucks, articulated lorries - these things have one purpose, and one purpose only. Moving massive amounts of cargo. For that purpose, they are unmatched. However, they exemplify the most important rule of large vehicles: do not use them in any areas that other, smaller vehicles cannot maneuver through. Also, 18-wheelers have a number of problems that severely limit their usage in a survival situation. First, the trailers are not well-suited for carrying passengers. Flatbeds are too vulnerable, tankers are meant for carrying liquids and powders, and box trailers, while offering protection, don't have easy escape routes for those inside (one door in the back, and it's tough to get out through the roof). Also, 18-wheelers require a great deal of skill to use, or else one runs the risk of jackknifing, which can be deadly.
A good semi gets about ten miles per gallon (4 kpl) when not burdened with a trailer, and, though this is rather low compared to other forms of transport, it's got the strengths to make it worth its while: it's sturdier structurally, it has the ability to haul heavy loads if need be, it's stable, slightly elevated, and you are able to make your own fuel. Most have remarkably spacious interiors for long-distance truckers who practically live out of their cabs while working, and, possibly most importantly, it's hardy. Semis are designed to perform at near optimal levels even in poor conditions like rain and snow, and have countermeasures to prevent damage from dust, sand, and other particles. It might run out of gas well before even larger SUVs, but it'll easily outperform virtually any non-military competition when it comes to maintaining its ability even in harsh conditions. Plus it makes a great battering-ram!
For large fortified groups, buses may make for great emergency escape vehicles in case the fort is about to be overrun. They can also make a temporary fort in the case that yours has been compromised. For one, they can carry dozens of passengers and a very large amount of cargo. A school bus is built for impact; because it carries children, it is engineered to be one of the safest vehicles on the road. They have the power to push through a zombie horde that may overwhelm a smaller truck, and if they do get overwhelmed, most buses have easy-to-use emergency exits that lead up to the roof. Finally, although the fuel economy is admittedly crappy, using one bus is still more efficient than using 5-10 cars or trucks to move survivors and their gear. If you can find the fuel, you can fortify the bus and make it an efficient method of transport for your team and yourself.
Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are like fire trucks - they are basically buses with most of the good parts stripped away. Most of the cargo and passenger room is taken up by all of the luxury items that have been installed, which will assuredly break after a few months of strenuous usage. RVs are less appealing as a transportation option, and better as an addition to a large base or camp, or as a target to scavenge supplies from. Many come equipped with sources of electricity, water, beds, or propane.
Used by U-Haul, Ryder, UPS, FedEx, and other delivery and moving companies to move lots of goods. They're like smaller versions of 18-wheelers, with most of the same advantages and disadvantages. Roof access is difficult, limiting their use as vehicles for moving survivors. They don't jackknife, but they can roll over easily. They're more maneuverable and fuel-efficient than 18-wheelers, but they can't haul as many supplies. Bottom line: delivery trucks don't really fit into any niche. 18-wheelers beat them for moving very large amounts of stuff over the open road, while pickup trucks beat them in areas where maneuverability and fuel economy are important. Raid these for supplies and scrap, then use them to make road blocks.
Military transport trucksEdit
These vehicles are quite capable off-road, owing to the fact that they were made for the military. They are best used for moving supplies, as they provide no serious protection for those riding in the back - zombies can easily tear their tarp weather coverings to pieces.However, in both the old (M923, M925) and new (M1083) 5-ton trucks, the bed of the truck is usually quite a jump to get up to, this being the case, offers additional protection. Fuel consumption is a downside, although, with the near 40 gallon tanks, you still have the ability to drive longer distances. I recommend the newer version, (Stewart Stevenson) over the older version, because they have a far better turning radius then the older 5-tons. The new 5-tons have a removable gunners area in the roof, when removed, adds to the possible firepower of your vehicle. The older 5-tons have a large steel bumper that is about chest to head level, that could be useful in ramming vehicles or zombies out of the way. Neither of these vehicles have air conditioning in them, but they have heaters. This can be a downside, as environmental factors will be against you.If you must use these trucks for moving survivors, try to modify them so that zombies can't easily get into the back, while at the same time, allowing an easy route for the survivors to escape through.
Chances are, if you have access to one of these, then you've already moved past the survival stage of the zombie apocalypse, and are working to re-establish human society. These vehicles generally aren't all that useful for zombie survival, due to their size and fuel economy plus they are difficult to start without the proper training. However, when taking the fight to the zombies, they do have their uses.
Tanks in a zombie outbreak will largely be used by the military and in a Class 1 or 2 outbreak you will likely be unable to obtain one. In Class 3 or 4, tanks will likely be surrounded or occupied by zombies of the former crew or those who fought the tank. If obtainable, tanks provide firepower, mobility and protection. Tanks also have a psychological effect and you will likely have peace from raiders and bandits with one in possesion. However, tanks are loud, which will attract zombies and their weight increases fuel consumption, they also tend to be designed for ranged combat and you will need people to keep your sides clear as the majority of tanks are unable to fire at anything closer than 5 -10 feet. Tanks are divided into 2 categories:
MBT (Main Battle Tank)
An MBT is slower-moving (though some can reach speeds in excess of 40mph), but less vulnerable and with larger weapons. An average MBT will have a large cannon (probably 105mm or 120mm) firing shells with the capability to neutralize a large group of zombies. Coaxial machine guns are also likely finds, and a group of four humans can operate all weapons on the vehicle, though ammunition will be burnt through fast. However, tanks are cramped and unpleasant. Spending too long in one will probably result in cabin fever.
Tank drivers and gunners typically receive a few months of training, but the electronics are harder to master. Viewing is generally through periscopes. Modern tanks usually have laser targeting and infrared cameras. The best view is still achieved by actually sticking your head out of the cupola (the top bit). however. They are designed to maximize the survival chances of crew in case of a hit, which is typically an instant mobility kill despite the tank's thick armor. If the zombies can climb, they can completely block your escape from the hatches, however.
It would be easy to assume that MBT's are low-economy, but typically they have very high ranges. Most also have affixed diesel tanks on the turret or sides. Diesel is better in some circumstances as it is started with spark plugs, meaning that cold nights pose no hazard. Caterpillar tracks allow great versatility and are low-maintenance (though land-mines are a big threat, as always).
Light tanks are faster, sometimes reaching 60mph, less massive and with lighter armament (probably 85mm or a 90mm cannon). They are more maneuverable, can batter most obstactes out of the way, have lower fuel consumption than MBTs and can be crewed by less people. They have less storage space and lower ranges than MBTs however. Unless in an area of human vs. human fighting, a light tank will able to fit most purposes.
While it's not exactly a type of vehicle, a mine flail is an attachment used on a few armored vehicles for quickly clearing landmines. A mine flail consists of a many flails made of heavy chains with fist sized steel balls on the ends attached to a wide and fast spinning rotor that makes the flails violently strike the ground to detonate buried landmines, just as easily the flails could mutilate zombies in front of the vehicle. A working vehicle equipped with a mine flail and with enough fuel for use will most likely be extremely rare to come by, but the potential carnage it could create makes it worth mentioning.
Similar to SWAT vans, in that they have many of the same problems with fuel economy, bulk, and rollovers. They also tend to carry fewer weapons and supplies than SWAT vans - most armored cars are used for transporting money, gold, diamonds, and other things that are of little use in a post-apocalyptic world. Like SWAT vans, the only purpose for these vehicles is to raid them for whatever useful supplies they have (fuel and guns, usually), and then to set them up as roadblocks.
APC's (armoured personel carriers) are probably the best millitary vehicle to use. They are usually designed to deflect 50.cal giving them the protection of a tank and many come with their own weaponry (gennerally at least one 50.cal and occaisionally a 20-30mm canon or 40mm grenade launcher). They are also a good source of supplies as they are meant to be able to support teams of 6-12 soldiers in the field for up to 48 hours.
While steam locomotives were once commonplace all across the world, barely a handful of countries still use them in mainline service. In most Western countries, you are more likely to find them on a Heritage Railway. If you do obtain one the operation of a steam locomotive is complicated, requiring regular maintenance and refuelling. The basic fuel ingredients are coal (or wood) and water. Steam locomotives require intensive maintenance, lubrication and cleaning before, during and after use. Preparing a steam locomotive for use can take many hours, especially if the locomotive is being fired from cold. At least two people are required to operate one, with at least a basic understanding of pressure, water levels, etc. Being exempt from the electronic failures and protocols of some diesels and electric engines, are one of the few advantages of using steam.
Diesel locomotives offer significant operating advantages over steam locomotives. They can safely be operated by one person, they have a fully enclosed cab enabling the operator to be shielded from the environments and zombies, plus they can be shut down and started in a short amount of time. A diesel engine can be left idling unattended for hours or even days, especially since practically every diesel engine used in locomotives has systems that automatically shut the engine down if a problem such as a loss of oil pressure or coolant loss occur. A steam locomotive, by comparison, may be kept in readiness between uses with a small fire to maintain a slight heat in the boiler, but requires regular and frequent attention to maintain the fire and the level of water in the boiler. Some diesels can also use the same power sources as Electric Locomotives.
An electric locomotive is a locomotive powered by electricity from an external source. Sources include overhead lines, third rail, or an on-board electricity storage device such as a battery. These should be avoided during an invasion because electrical supplies would be limited greatly and could quickly become out-of-control speeding coffins if you were unlucky enough to be caught during a black-out.
All in all, rapid transportation is probably one of the worst types of vehicle to pick. Incapable of movement once an electric current is off, susceptible to default safety protocols and with a low capacity backup generator; it isn't an overreaction to say that trying to commandeer a subway or elevated train means a death sentence. Zombiewise, the large number of people using a rapid transit system can spread a possible infection quickly. There is normally just a flimsy plastic door protecting the driver from any passengers; or worse.
Trains as semi-mobile fortressesEdit
Do not write off the defense-capability of many locomotives, whether they be city-specific transport lines or cross-country railroads. Assuming (should be consulted before attempting) that the train in question has an internal power source, shutting down a well-stocked subway atop an elevated track in a city can often present a strong defensive position, already being on a difficult-to-access area, and being able to move if absolutely necessary. Similarly, 'parking' a long-distance train in a nonpopulated area can quite often provide passengers/survivors with a safe zone largely free of zombies. Supplies are an issue, but either stockpiling beforehand or maintaining the ability to move between (preferably instead of cities) towns to resupply can make this strategy work if the tracks stay clear and intact. That being said, that's a big 'if.'
In the event of a zombie outbreak, one of the safest places to flee is open water. Although zombies don't need to breathe, they lack the coordination to swim, which will leave them stranded at the bottom. So long as your boat is even a foot out of a zombie's reach, you'll be perfectly safe. However, you still have to take into account the conventional dangers of water travel first, and take into account that most watercraft you might find were never built for travel for anywhere besides the specific harbor or marina for which they were designed.
Although they completely negate the need for fuel, the major problem is that humans will eventually tire. Also, most of these cannot travel in moving bodies of water due to their low rate of speed.
Why not just let the wind do all the work for you? And they make no noise, which is good if you want to go ashore. Although this is generally how mankind used to travel on water before the advent of fossil fuels, sailing is generally more dangerous and takes far more skill and experience. What if there is no wind? What if there is a storm and the sail is torn? Or the mast breaks? Do you even know how to navigate without using GPS and radar?
Essentially any improvised raft falls under this category. Not the highest recommendation
Although using sails completely negates the need for fuel, it still takes years of experience in order to operate a sailboat. And even experienced sailors wind up dead all the time from the conventional hazards of life at sea. Better start learning now.
These are generally more recommended than the previous two, but there are problems, the primary being fuel. Where are you going to find gas in the middle of the ocean when your tank runs dry? Even at ports that aren't infested, will their pumps have any? And if the engine breaks down in open water, do you have an alternate way to move the boat if you can't repair it?
A catameran is a medium-large ship consisting of two empty hulls that are used for bouancy. These are held together with main netting or a cabin of some sort. Often power by both a sail and outboard motor, these offer the best of both worlds in propulsion. While travelling near land you can use the sails to avoid detection from Zombies by being almost silent. And while at sea you can the outboard for quick transit. As for storage, these ships often have a semi-large store for equipment and while being a two hulled ship, if one gets a puncture, you can shift major supplies to the other and break away from the wreckage.
As a rule of thumb, use these for medium length trip in either time or distance, you can usually carry two to five people depending on the type, so it is recommended for peaceful gathering and not for raiding and transport. A trimaran is another option, being similar but with three hulls. Many modern desighns are considered unsinkable as even if two hulls are punctured, the third oftern has the boyancy to allow the ship to remain afloat. They are also more manouverable and faster than single hull ships as they have less friction from conact with the water.
Can carry up to eight people depending on the size of the boat and power of the engine and a not unconsiderable amount of cargo. Its engine is loud so it will attract zombies near the shoreline whenever you try to land. These craft are also fuel dependant but can be paddled or rowed (slowly). If the boat is small then the engine can be shut off as it approaches the shore; out of earshot of any zombies and then the boat can be paddled to shore. This would only work in a lake or slow moving body of water though.
Even worse than motorboats, speedboats are designed for racing, not for toughing it out on the high seas.
Great gettaway from your mobile boat fortress.
A small rowboat. For obvious reasons, not recommended for long trips.
Too small to hold any cargo beyond a backpack, are loud and can only hold two people, not the best choice. Usually used by raiders as a fast attack system, be wary of loud noises while at sea. This could be a good choice for island hopping if you are located on a string of islands.
Many of these are built for spending an ungodly amount of time out in some of the worst conditions Mother Nature can dish out. With a fuel tank that can hold six months worth of fuel, advanced fish-tracking sonar, massive cargo space, full quarters for fishing crews, desalinizers for fresh water, and the fact that they can catch far more food at sea than you could possibly consume, commercial fishing trawlers are a prime choice for evacuating to the great blue.
These are essentially luxury boats. Ranging from a normal size to the megayachts(essentially a small cruise liner) of today's rich and famous, these boats are not a good choice. They are meant as land dependent party barges and pleasure vehicles. Some may stock their boats for a good amount of time, but these things are only good for raiding. You may use it as a shelter while keeping it docked, and use a bit of fuel to move it about. However, if it is a sailing yacht, you need not worry about fuel, though there will still probably be a small engine at the back to move it through a marina. However, an engine-powered yacht has more defense capabilities, with infinitely larger structures and stronger mainframes. However, an engine will need maintenance, an activation mechanism( a key or the code to the onboard computer, which will need a battery recharge in time), and knowledge of sailing to use effectively. Use these things for temporary transportation hops when you need to move large amounts of people, then strip it down and leave. It should have nautical survival gear, some food, and a variety of navigational and radio/communications equipment that you may be able to scavenge.
Cruise ships can be either terrible or excellent places of refuge, depending upon several factors, such as the intended population, the supplies aboard, and the physical location of the initial docking. With the crew and passengers either meeting or being less than the recommended encumbrance, a fully-stocked cruise ship can set out to waters relatively close to the shoreline and drift, safe from the possibility anchor-climbing zombies from the deep water or their land-based brethren, and be self-sustaining for months before even needing to consider needing to refuel or restock. Like with all larger-than-average ships, sufficient countermeasures are necessary to avoid piracy (which can be avoided in part geographically, with, for example, the Pacific Ocean just west of the US being safer than the Ivory Coast), whether it be displaying enough force or other means to dissuade potential attackers, or simply possessing the firepower to repel those that do attack.
Pleas note that as with all ships of any size,unless you have a trained cheif engineer and a few sailors you are unlikley to be able to move the vessel. Although you will end up looking rather silly (and dead) if you attempt it.
Black Gold. If you find one, first check the ship for zombies, then drain it of as much oil as you can take. Afterwards, leave and use almost anything else as transport. If you have this at sea or at dock, pirates will specifically come after you and take all the oil from you. If the tanker was coming to/from a dangerous country, the tanker may be armed.
If you know about the Somali pirates, you may think this is a quick way to supplies. After checking the entire ship for zombies, check ALL of the cargo. It is possible that there are zombies in the cargo containers, and it has happened before. There could be anything in the cargo, from zombies, to tanks, to clothes, to poorly-made knick-knacks from China. However, these ships are huge and can't defend themselves at sea against pirates, or outrun them. Either arm yourself heavily to fend off attacks, or make a great enough show of force to ward off potential pirates.
Depending on the vehicle, you could have anything from a patrol boat with a .50 caliber machine gun, to a battleship with 9 406-mm rifled guns, to a Nimitz-class super carrier. These can be useful at sea, and even as homes. An aircraft-carrier can be loaded with tents and used as a sea hotel, and a battleship could level entire cities if necessary.
A hydrofoil is a boat with wing-like foils mounted on struts below the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils develop enough lift for the boat to become foilborne - i.e. to raise the hull up and out of the water. This results in a great reduction in drag and a corresponding increase in speed. This may seem cool, but you're not going for speed, remember? They also need jet fuel, so forget this one.
A hovercraft, or air-cushion vehicle (ACV), is a craft, designed to travel over any smooth surface supported by a cushion of slowly moving, high-pressure air, ejected downwards against the surface below, and contained within a "skirt." Hovercraft are used throughout the world as a method of specialized transport where ever there is the need to travel over multiple types of surfaces. Because they are supported by a cushion of air, hovercraft are unique among all forms of transportation in their ability to travel equally well over land, ice, and water. Small hovercraft are often used for sport or passenger service, while giant hovercraft have been built for civilian and military applications to transport cars, tanks, and large equipment into difficult or hostile environments and terrain. Since they hover above the water, submerged ghouls can't knock you over. You can also make limited travel over land. Unfortunately, they are loud, complex to operate and repair.
Airboats are essentially flat-bottomed vessels propelled in a forward direction by an aircraft-type propeller and powered by either an aircraft or automotive engine. Airboats are a very popular means of transportation in the Florida Everglades, and Louisiana Bayou, where they are used for fishing, bow fishing, hunting and eco-tourism. The operator/pilot/driver and in most instances the passengers, are seated in elevated seats that allow visibility over swamp vegetation. The improved visibility permits the operator and passengers to observe floating objects, stumps animals, and even partially submerged ghouls in the airboat's path. The characteristic flat-bottomed design of the airboat, in conjunction with the fact that there are no operating parts below the waterline, permit the vessel to be easily navigated through shallow swamps and marshes, in canals, rivers and lakes as well as on frozen lakes. This also means that you won’t have to worry about damaging a propeller on underwater zombies. The wide, flat bottom also means that an airboat is going to be very difficult for zombies to capsize. Steering the airboat is accomplished by swiveling vertical rudders positioned at the rear (stern) of the vessel. The propeller produces a column of air that produces forward momentum. That column of air passes across the rudders, which are directed through the forward and backward movement of a vertical "stick”, located on the operator's left side. The "stick" is attached to the rudders via Teleflex cable or linked rods. Overall steering and control is a function of water current, wind, water depth and propeller thrust.There are several downsides that need to be considered, and knowledge of operational safety is a must when operating an airboat. There must be a forceful airflow in order for the vessel to be steered. Airboats do not have brakes and are incapable of traveling in reverse. Stopping and reversing direction are dependent upon good operator/pilot/driver skills. The average airboat produces a 150-mile-per-hour (241 km/h) prop wash behind it and if a tree branch gets into a propeller the spray of material could be devastating, causing damage to the vessel and injury to the boat's occupants. The deck is low to the water, so and zombies in shallow water will be able to drag themselves aboard. Anyone who has ever taken a swamp tour will tell you that the biggest problem with airboats is the noise: even with modern noise-reducers like mufflers, the noise produced by the propeller blades will practically deafen anyone sitting next to it without some form of hearing protection. This means that not only will you alert the undead for miles around; you won’t be able to hear them approach. And airboats are not suited for sea travel or travel on especially choppy water, due to the flat bottom.That said, airboats are generally recommended for travel in zombie-infested waters. If you do use one, try to aim for one powered by an automotive engine block instead of an aircraft engine; although you sacrifice some speed and maneuverability, car engines are easier to repair, replacement parts and automotive fuel will be infinitely easier to find in a zombie outbreak than aircraft parts and fuel, and the automotive engine will have an easier time powering it’s way over tall saw grasses.
Ferries are large ships meant to transport cars and trucks between islands and in cities. The large capacity make it good for homes, however, it wasn't meant to go out to sea, so you'll have to keep it close to the shore. The capacity to hold other vehicles means you can drive a land vehicle onto without having to abandon it on shore. Also, it means you can store a lot of food in the bottom hold. Make sure to check ALL the floors of the ferry for zombies, including crew cabins. Ferries are large and an easy target, so make sure to be heavily fortified when using one.
The decision to use a flying vehicle in a zombie apocalypse is a very significant one. If you are planning on flying, then you must have not only a knowledge of how to fly a plane or helicopter (or somebody with you who has such knowledge), but as with any vehicle you must also have a very good idea of where the hell you are going. If you take off without having a destination, or if your destination is in a condition that makes it impossible to land there, you will quickly find yourself up a creek without a paddle. On top of that, aircraft are very complicated pieces of equipment, and it's likely that they will be in no condition to be used. Unless you are planning something big, and know exactly what you are doing, it would be wise to avoid these.
Commercial jets, cargo planes, heavy bombers, and other aircraft of similar size. These usually require a very large, flat, clear area to take off and land in (think airport runways), which will be something of a rarity in a zombie apocalypse, due to the fact that most of these areas will be filled with debris. It's best to steer clear of these. The only exception that I would make would be the C-130 Hercules transport plane, which is known for its ruggedness and its ability to take off and land on short, unprepared runways, be they dirt or tarmac. It only needs 3000 ft to take off. Its track record in the militaries of dozens of nations speaks for itself. Even then, however, you have to know how to fly it. Aircraft like these could be flown to far, rural areas where there is little chance of zombie presence in the area. They are good for getting supplies, and if you get into one of the two Air Force One airplanes... well, they are meant to stay live in case of nuclear war, so fuel that sucker up and get rolling. All you need is a runway.
As an alternative use, larger aircraft can often be used as fortresses in themselves. They have their entrances elevated above ground-level, small windows, power supplies, and, perhaps best of all, the ability to take off if need be. Landing gear presents a security problem, as their deployment usually means open (and accessible) wheel-wells that can allow tenacious zombies passage into the bowels of the ship, and the plane's ability to take off is entirely dependent on the landing gear's functionality.
Their smaller size means that they can take off and land on shorter runways. However, they are still not very rugged, and the landing areas still have to be flat, clear and long. Don't bother.
General aviation aircraftEdit
Planes like crop dusters and Cessnas fall into this category. These are probably some of the most useful aircraft in that they are simple to fly and can easily take off and land on just about any flat surface. A plane like this that was used to fly from Helsinki to Moscow, so that should give some idea of their range. Probably the best choice for a fixed-wing aircraft. Some piston engine powered aircraft (as supposed to turbine powered craft) can be fueled by high octane gasoline which further increases these aircraft's versatlity. They can be used for air-to-ground support as well, be it rescue, surveillance, scouting, bombing using improvised bombs, or just plain old shooting out of the back window. Refer to WWI airplane tactics in this case.
These Seaplanes, the same as any other small aircraft, with the exception that these can only land on water. These are generally only good for Island Hopping between bases, and making mainland raiding trips. As with any plane you will need to make sure you have an adequate knowledge of aviation before attempting to fly these. These need special attention when they are out at sea, they are subject to the elements much more than a regular plane. If your plane is docked at sea it will also need to be kept in a special sea-hangar to prevent them from being washed out to sea during storms.
As a rule of thumb, only keep these planes if you are a solitary island base user. And even then, you will need to be willing to put in extra effort to keep these planes well maintained and running.
These aircraft are like a cross between floatplanes and normal light aircraft. These incredibly versitile aircraft can land on both land and water. They range in size from small Cessenas equipped with pontoon-like floats to jet powered aircraft the size of a small airliner. Smaller amphibious aircraft can be used to land in a myirad of locations and can assume the roles of both a floatplane and light aircraft
Unless you are engaging other survivors with air travel capability, fighter planes will be largely useless in a zombie apocalypse. They are difficult to learn to use, unless you already know how, have large fuel consumption, require a runway to land, have little passenger carrying capability and their ammunition is designed for use in rapid firing, high caliber weapons, which has less value in a zombie apocalypse, although one aircraft equipped with some bomb like explosives (means air to land) can be good at fighting a massive amount of zombies. If it crashed, it likely ran out of fuel or the crew became infected so should be avoided. If you have the knowledge to fly one of these then they can be used for incredibly rapid transportation, you could simply activate the ejector seat once you reach your intended destination, though the aircraft will crash and explode, becoming unusable. Most likely they will be in use of governments for bombing overrun cities, gathering surveillance and tracking zombie movement and/or presence of survivors.
If you are a trained helicopter pilot, then these will probably be the easiest aircraft to take off and land with, as they don't require as large an area as an aircraft does. They are very loud and will attract all zombies from far around if you land in or even fly low over an area. They can land on almost any flat surface. However, you must know how to fly them, attempting to fly one without any training would almost certainly result in you crashing. Helicopters are also much more complex and prone to failiures than their fixed wing brethren. Piston powered helicopters can run on high octane gasoline further increasing thier versatility
Hot air balloonEdit
While balloons require far less fuel and are much quieter than any other aircraft, they have little to no directional control, and are at the mercy of the winds. Unless your outbreak is highly localized and you don't care where you go, as long as it's away, don't use a balloon. In fact, they are better off used for surveillance of any imminent threat in the area.
Airship, Dirigible, or BlimpEdit
Thanks to the Hindenburg disaster and advances in airplane technology, chances are that the only one you will ever see will have the words "GOODYEAR" or "FUJIFILM" on the side. However, if you do manage to find a working one that hasn’t already been taken, then you have an excellent anti-zombie air platform. While they require fuel for propulsion, the usage is dramatically reduced thanks to the lighter-than-air gases sustaining level flight. As an added bonus, they can sustain flight for much longer than helicopters, and sustain simple floatation for much longer than helicopters. Be wary, though, that attempting to use an airship the same way as one would use a helicopter can end disastrously. Save for very low-mounted rooftop helipads, winds increase significantly the higher up you go, and leaving a blimp with inadequate (or even normally adequate) moorings on a mid to high level building's helipad can lead to it being taken by the wind. Their size, too, is substantial, and especially so when one considers how few people they can carry, and require professional crew members to pilot, navigate, and maintain.
As with a regular helicopter, You must have an understanding of the controls before you attempt to use one of these. However there is a major difference between a civilian and military helicopter. While the civilian helicopter can land and fly for a time, the Army Helicopter was developed to be used for medium-distance troop transport or Firing exercises. You will have to use each for its intended purpose, you cannot carry large number on a fighter helicopter, but you can on a troop transport helicopter. Another danger with an armed helicopter is of a weapon failure, trained personnel will know how to handle a problem in the air, while a civilian will not. So as a basic rule of thumb, if you are trained you use one, by all means take it, if not, strip it for usable resources and leave it for some other soul to tinker with.
Largely useless at best, and a liability at worst. The only time you ought to be using a parachute is for bailing from an otherwise fatal plane crash, and even then, the chute renders you a slow moving and brightly colored target that could drift for quite a distance before finally settling down, attracting the attention of dozens, if not hundreds of zombies. Even then, the possibility of snagging in trees and other ecological features can prove fatal either by outright impalement, or death by subsequent assault by zombies on what has become a fleshy piñata. Only keep them as safety equipment in case you have to ditch your aircraft.
Also included in this section are Powered Paragliders which are portable and offer a great means of escape if there is an open field near by. Although has many of the hazards of the parachute and can only be flown in light to medium winds.
Improvised vehicles consist of civilian cars, trucks and buses fitted with added protection and mounted weapons. Such ad hoc conversions can be made on the road, in a vehicle garage or by using scraps of material found en route. Note that many require welding, cutting, bolting or other such tools to ensure actual effectiveness of materials found, and any additional weight added to a vehicle can and will reduce its gas mileage.
Battle BusEditThe battle bus can be a converted bus, van, or truck fitted with armored plating, barbed wire, and hardpoints for firing weapons from. The size of such a vehicle can allow onboard large amounts of people and supplies, providing added protection from threats. These make excellent escape vehicles, since they are easily constructed inside large buildings and are capable of smashing through roadblocks, obstructions, and zombies. If constructed durable enough, they can even be used to escape from gun-wielding raiders and bandits. However, they are generally not a good choice for any long trips. Buses have poor gas mileage and maneuverability, make a lot of noise, and are prone to rollovers. Adding armor plating, cow-catchers, and other features are only going to make these drawbacks worse. One can alleviate these problems by removing non-vital components such as rear seating and air-conditioning. When driving a battle bus, be aware of its size, and avoid risky maneuvers or quick turns so as not to cause a rollover or crash. In addition, beware of running over too many zombies or obstacles, since even a large and powerful vehicle is not immune to getting stuck. A disabled battle bus is a sitting duck.
Technicals are typically a civilian or military non-combat vehicle, normally an SUV modified to provide an offensive capability. This can be done by adding a mounted machine, light anti-aircraft guns or any other support weapon. The term "Technical" is thought to have originated in Somalia, from the Red Cross. "Gunwagons" and "Battlewagons" are other nicknames for such a vehicle. The size and maneuverability of a technical greatly depends on the vehicle it was constructed from. When constructing a technical, the most important thing to keep in mind is fields of fire. The ideal turret rotates a full 360 degrees, and is placed at the highest point of the vehicle, allowing it to cover all angles. If the turret does not rotate a full 360 degrees, you may want to consider adding additional turrets, or have armed passengers riding in the technical to assist in combat.