Every day could be the last for humanity. After the United States launched a barrage of missiles into a Syrian military base Thursday, the nations of the world are closer to full-out military confrontation than ever before. I’m betting on a nuclear holocaust.
But by whatever means fate chooses to do away with the human race, whether it’s a zombie invasion, a viral plague, or nuclear war, I’m ready for it. I’ve read all the guides, watched all the movies, subscribed to all the newsletters, and gathered all the weapons and supplies. I went on hiking trips every summer with my LARPing buddies in college. I know what I’m doing.
Of all the survival equipment you’ll need, there’s nothing more important than the very thing in which you’ll be carrying them in.
Your backpack for survival.
Choosing your backpack to survive the end of the world
When you think enough about it, there’s seemingly no end to the supplies I could carry. It’s like in the The Legend of Zelda games, where you can carry three swords, hammers, bottles, hookshots, shields, ruppees, and so much more right in your very tunic. It doesn’t make any sense physically, but the games were also pretty old, and the designers were aiming for fun, not realism.
Or what about a storage device that you don’t even need to carry? Just like the thousand-footed Luggage from Terry Pratchet’s Discworld series, a magic treasure chest that walks and stores at a virtually unlimited capacity.
Let’s not forget the magic satchel in the Harry Potter books. It would seem that there’s even more space inside of it than there is outside of it, defying the laws of physics.
Ah, but I’m prone to tangents. None of this is possible, and none of it will aid you in your survival.
The collapse of civilization, whether by nuclear strike or a viral pandemic, will most likely occur swift and suddenly. When you choose your backpack, you’re going to need to do so in a hurry.
Features of Backpack for Survival that you should consider
Whether you’re purchasing the backpack ahead of time, or raiding your nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods, here’s what you’ll need to look for:
Plenty of space
Of course, we’ll begin with the obvious. You’re going to want to carry as much as you can. A simple school backpack or shoulder pouch just isn’t going to suffice – a tall hiking backpack could make the difference between living and dying.
Lots of compartments
This goes along with lots of space. You’ll need as many compartments as you can find, large ones and small ones. It helps massively when organizing your supplies – medical kit in one, food in another, grenades in another, so on and so forth.
A metal frame
Driving will become impossible very quickly in a post-apocalyptic world. Cars will build up on the highway. Drivers will abandon their vehicles and run. Gasoline will run out.
So you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.
That’s where the frame will come in. The metal frame lends support, so that there’s less pressure on your spine and you can travel much farther in a day without back aches, which could inhibit your ability to defend yourself if you happen to run into bandits, zombies, or irradiated mutant monsters.
The metal frame will also allow you to store more supplies, since it keeps the space in the backpack open. They’re also great for preventing the inevitable snag against a branch or rock. You’ll be a much better climber if your pack has a frame. Considering how dangerous the roads could become, you will ideally want to make your encampment in high, secure places.
A water pouch and tube
The human body can only survive two days without water. It’s incredibly convenient to be able to drink with both of your hands available.
You never know when danger will spring up from an alley or the brush. The speed with which you can draw your machete or gun will mean the difference between whether you live or die.
TLDR: Water tubes save lives.
Last, but not least…
A zipper that works
So now you’re finished loading up. You go to close up your pack and sling it over your shoulder, ready to embark on your journey, when…
…what’s this? My zipper is stuck?
How awful! It’s either you can’t open your backpack and get to your supplies, or it’s hanging open, and you can’t walk two feet without food and weapons tumbling out behind you. Truly, a distressing situation.
Even in my everyday life, there cannot be anything more annoying that a zipper that does not zip. What good is anything if it doesn’t perform the very function for which it’s named?
An additional precaution: be sure to find a lock for your zipper, or tie it up with a shoe string while you’re walking or when you go to bed. In a lawless world, there are sure to be bandits. You want the very things you need to survive to be safe.
Quick concluding list
So let’s review. What are the qualities that you are going to want in your post-apocalyptic backpack for survival?
- Plenty of space, because there’s a lot to pack
- Lots of compartments
- A frame for support, and it’s easier on your spine
- A water pouch for hydration and efficiency
- An efficient, lockable zipper, so you’re not hassling with stuff falling out and thieves taking your supplies