I know, I know; outside of zombie walks and haunted houses, how could you really practice for the undead rising to gnaw the flesh from your bones? Not easily, I’d imagine.
However, there are various things I mean to try out as partial practice. Because I have this nagging idea for a monster apocalypse – not just zombies! – and I want to get some insight into the kinds of things a character would really have to know, do, and improvise in order to survive it. A character has to feel real to me if I want to write them. I can study all the parkour, survival, and aquaculture books I can get my mitts on, but if I don’t try some of it out hands-on, even just a little, the idea is never going to come together.
One of the first things I think would help someone pull through when most people are screaming and dying horribly? Decluttering.
…Yes, go ahead and laugh. Sure, you have your survival kits, go-bags, weapons, food, etc. Can you find them?
As someone once said, “If you can’t find it, you don’t have it. If you don’t have it on you, you don’t have it.”
So the first step in being the kind of person who might pull through a zpoc is to get rid of clutter.
Sort out the important stuff; both for physical survival and for emotional, mental health. I guarantee you if I end up in a real bug-out situation I’m bringing at least one fiction book. The mind needs shelter, too!
I’m not going to try and live like a diehard prepper or solitary monastic. But I am planning to sort and pare down stuff, to see how much time and effort that takes, and how that might shape the character of someone with enough guts, luck, and smarts to survive and apocalypse.
…And hey, if nothing else, I might get my desk cleaned off. Win all the way around!