- "Surviving post-apocalyptia" was a paper written by John Turner, one of the survivors of the Great War. It was meant to aid his children in survival once he was dead.
There are multiple ways to survive. Even before the war, I had to use a few of these techniques in emergencies, and for the most part they still apply now. Some things have been modified, but it mostly still applies. This is only the basics of survival. I could go write a dreadfully long book on all the ways and methods of survival, but I'm only outlining the very basics here: preparation, food, water, fire, and shelter.
A cornerstone of survival is being prepared. It sounds simple, and it is. Just get all of the things you may need:
- A multi-tool. Not one of those single-blade things, but get a multi-tool with as many useful attachments as possible: a straight blade, a serrated blade, two screwdrivers (phillips and flat-head). Another good multi-tool is a single-sided hatchet with a detachable handle.
- A tarp. Preferably clean, but way I see it, within ten years all the new, clean tarps will have been pilfered. Tarps will prove to be one of the best things you can have at your disposal -- they can make a shelter, or a coat, or they can help you collect water when there seems to be none around.
- Tape. Tape is very precious, and very utilitarian. Try to find some duct tape. It can seal leaks, patch holes, hold down lighter items, and a whole lot more.
- A backpack. Try to find a sturdy, big, interior-frame one, because they last longer than the exterior-frame ones. This is important because your backpack will hold everything you own. A good one will spread weight along your whole body so it doesn't seem quite as heavy.
- A small firearm. Don't go for a rifle, get a handgun. Not only is ammunition vastly more available in general, but replacement parts for the handgun will be very easy to come by. An M1911 or one of its variants will be very useful, as they are sturdy, reliable, accurate, and powerful. Not to mention they can stay out of sight easily.
- Rope. Lots of rope. like 30 feet's worth. It will come in handy very quickly as you try to move a stubborn pillar from its perch or set up a makeshift lean-to.
- A couple bottles. It doesn't matter what type, but the different types DO have benefits and detractors. Glass is easy to break, but can stay clean and easily lasts for a long time if not rough-handled. I suggest using glass if you decide to settle down. Metal can rust if the paint gets chipped, but also lasts long. It's vastly more sturdy than glass, so that might be a good choice if you plan on staying on the move for a while. Plastic is very good, but can easily tear and bend and weaken. It also decays comparatively rapidly, and can cause your water to taste unusual. Normally it would be non-sequitur, but because you will be using the same bottles for months on end, you can get poisoned by the decaying plastic. It's especially dangerous for men, because some chemical in the plastic stimulates estrogen production, which can A) make you fat, and B) make you sterile.
- Keep an ample supply of RadAway.
Finding and obtaining waterEdit
There is plenty of water. It's everywhere. You just need to know how to get to it. There are two main ways of getting water: you can retrieve it straight from the source (IE, a river), but be warned that if it is not a spring source, it will be HEAVILY irradiated. Secondly, you can dig a hole a bit deeper than the height of one of your cans, and a bit wider. Place your can in the center, and place a tarp over the hole. Place rocks sparingly along the hole's edges atop the tarp, and then place another rock on the tarp above the can. While it takes much longer, the water is also less irradiated and free of natural contaminants. I prefer finding a spring source and drawing water from that, because it is already pure and rad-free.
To purify dirty water, you have to go through several steps: firstly, build a fire. Place a can above the flame. Pour the dirty water into the can, and allow it to boil. That will kill any bacteria and other small animals within. Then, pour it through a filter (it doesn't matter what type) multiple times or at least a minimum of ten times. This will get rid of unwanted minerals and other non-biotic contaminants. This water will still be radioactive, however, so you should drop two or three pills of RadAway into the water.
Be careful in storing water. Only store it in clean containers, and keep them sealed tight. Water is necessary, but you have to make sure that you can carry the amount needed to make a trip.
Before the war, you would've just hunted a deer for meat and eaten wild cabbage for vegetables. You can either domesticate and grow your own food if you're settled in, or scavenge and hunt. In this area, there are multiple animals you can hunt and domesticate. Be warned, these are mutated animals, so treat them with RadAway and cook them before consumption.
- Dogs. Dog meat is easy to come by, and has very little detractors. However, it is also radioactive and not very filling.
- Gecko meat. Geckos serve multiple roles. Firstly, you can domesticate them as attack dogs. Secondly, you can butcher and eat them. The problem is that raw Gecko meat is tainted, and can cause you to feel weak and lethargic. This toxin is within Gecko blood, and can only be removed by thoroughly cooking the animal. Just slow-roast them.
- Brahmin. This is the easiest animal to domesticate, as they are already semi-domesticated. They make great steaks, with no downsides apart from radiation. They also make great pack animals in the absence of donkeys and horses. As an added bonus, they yield milk. Domesticate them. They can be great companions.
- Bighorners. While Bighorners can be feisty, they also make great steaks. They taste quite similar to Brahmin, but are a bit more chewy. Bighorners are not much good except for food.
- Fishes. Fish are a great source of clean water and protein. They have literally no downsides apart from lengthy preparation times (thanks to the scales)
- Molerats. They CAN be domesticated, but it is difficult to do so. Just eat them raw; there is no benefit to cooking them.
Scavenging is another way to get food. It is more dangerous, believe it or not, than hunting. Keep your handgun at your side and be quick in and out of the scavenging place. A market can easily yield some good, untainted pre-war food -- salisbury steak is especially good -- as well as water. However, if another scavenger is on the prowl, you could get killed quite easily.
You can make bread biscuits easily with enough know-how. Take some grains -- preferably wheat -- and grind them up between two stones. Try and make the powder as fine as possible. Then douse it with water in a bowl and cook it. While not too appetizing, the makeshift "bread" is your best source for grains.
Finding or building a shelterEdit
It is easiest to simply find an abandoned Pre-War shelter. However, on the fly it is possible to build a basic lean-to shelter. Find two, solid places to tie your rope. Lace a segment of rope between the two and them toss your tarp over. Find a way to keep the tarp splayed out -- be that stones or spikes -- and simply climb in. This is a simple and effective shelter for survival in the wilderness.
If you plan on living in a Pre-War built shelter, do a few things first. Make a scan for any signs of another owner. Then, if you find nothing telling of another recent owner, simply move in and bar the doors and windows when night falls.
Making a fireEdit
There are three ways to make a fire. The first way is the easiest: Steel wool and a fission battery.
- First, place some steel wool in an area bordered by rocks. A fireplace.
- Then, surround it by some tinder -- wood shavings and small twigs. Make sure you have larger food for the fire ready -- a few longer sticks. Gradually build up the size of each piece of fire food.
- Place both the negative and positive diodes to the steel wool. You should get the steel wool to glow red hot.
- You need to make it go from hot steel to fire. Do this by slowly, fanning oxygen onto the flame, or douse it with alcohol. The latter is flashier and will produce a nice tongue of flame, but is also less forgiving, and can waste all of your steel wool.
- Build the fire gradually.
The second way is somewhat harder. If you have steel and flint, you can use some leaves and small twigs. The process is mostly the same as the steel wool method, but takes longer. Just scrape the steel along the flint and you'll get a spark. Once a small flame is going, the process is the same as the steel wool method. It can take several tries to get a good spark.
The third way is tedious and definitely not my favorite. It's called the "bow" method.
- Make sure you know how to disassemble and clean your weapons and tools. If you don't, don't bother with them.
- If you plan on settling down, get some Brahmin, crops, and an attack Gecko. Settling down also makes it easier to keep a "long" firearm.
- If you plan on having a family, make sure you can trust the person you devote yourself to protecting. Make sure your kids like you, too. Otherwise they may kill you for what you own.