Episode 297 – Looting

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Desperation

It’s hard to find a zombie story about someone who is actually prepared to survive. The reason for that is very simple: it’s a lot harder to put a prepared person into peril compared to a non-prepared person.

For starters, they have both equipment and know-how to help them get through most trials, so you either come up with ridiculously dangerous situations, or try to strip away their preps. Second, because they’re prepared, it becomes less necessary for them to take stupid risks to get what they need, meaning you need to come up with some sort of reason to get them out there in harms way.

There’s also the connection to the audience. The average person doesn’t have months of food in their basement, or a collection of guns and the knowledge to use them safely and effectively. The audience, by and large, is going to have a tougher time associating with someone who can calmly assess a problem, come up with a workable plan, and drawn from a considerable reservoir of experience and materials.

About this Episode:

This little mini-arc is something I struggled with a bit. I am very much anti-looting, but I also wanted to people my story with everyday people trust into the story with little but the clothes on their back.

Discussion Question: Dress Appropriately

We normally talk about the more exciting aspects of zombie survival: cool guns, awesome vehicles, and badass survival buddies. Sometimes we talk about the more philosophical aspects of surviving and living with yourself afterward. But then there’s the stuff that we just take for granted. Clothing, for instance. In a situation where you can only carry so much, and can’t count on washers and driers to keep you smelling nice, how do you cope? What are appropriate clothes to survive the zombie apocalypse. How much do you need, and how to you keep them reasonably clean?



Jeans will last longer, carry two and the one I am wearing. Shirts will come and gone. It all depends on how much I sweat that day and the amount of muck on it that will determine how often I will change it. This also applies to underwear, which I rather not go into detail.


Stuff for summer and winter would be nice. I would also pack soap to wash them with (and myself), and hopefully use a stream for water or something.
I would also pack a baseball bat for a weapon. Seems like the most natural thing to use for me. Or maybe a hatchet.
Other things might include food/water, some LEGO minifigs to remind me of life before the apocalypse, a picture of my family, and Molotov cocktails (muehehehehe). Oh, and a sleeping bag.
Most of my hygiene plans drone on a clean water source.


M for looting unless soneone already owns it and they’re in the same 5 miles.


Up here in the Pacific Northwest, clothing issues is one of the easier ones. First of all, since the weather is so unpredictable, Layering is part of our ethos. On any given day, you may need a sweater in the morn, sun glasses on our way to Starbucks’s, and a rain parka (we don’t use raincoats) in the afternoon.

In addition, we are Northface and REI chic. So more people than not could whip through the closet and ave moderately adequate survival clothing.

The flip side, however, is footwear. We are a sandal, flip flops, sneakers culture, so for the non outdoorish people, inadequate footwear would be a huge deficit.

As to the idea of adequate wear well . . .

Cotton or Synthetics?

1. Cotton is a gift from the gods kind of fabric: comfortable, durable, doesn’t retain human odors as much. If inactive, indoor or sedentary lifestyle, then cotton keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

2. Conversely, cotton is a sponge. It absorbs sweat and it retains ambient water BUT doesn’t dry quickly. In a cool to severe cold environment, or high humidity environment, cotton contributes to hypothermia. Bluntly, for extreme outdoor usage in the Northwest, cotton kills.

3. Synthetic clothing is amazing. Keeps you warm or cold when it needs to. Synthetic undergarments wick sweat from body, repels water (depending on variant) and dries quickly.

4. Conversely, a lot of synthetics, especially undergarments, retain and exacerbate human odor. In a nutshell, few days out camping and you start to stink. In my zombiverse, zees, like most mammalian scavengers, rely on their olfaction; they smell our smells, and are led to us.

I addition, a lot of synthetic, sporting clothes are brightly, gaudily colored. Hard to find cover and concealment in neon greens and reds.

One possibly would be clothing used by hunters; except that in the Northwest, 9 out of 10 people know where REI is, but only the small population of hunters know where to get their outdoor wear.


As a fellow PNW native, I agree with Luis. Even today, I am already wearing several layers that would work for most situations. Throw on a waterproof shell and pants and I could be good to go. Plus, layers are currently trendy so you’ll be zombie-smart and look cool. 🙂

I actually keep neatly organized caches of clothes in the garage. Hunting gear is in one bag while snowboarding clothes are in another. Fishing gear is hanging nearby (but should be in a bag, I’m thinking now). Grab a bag from the garage and my whole family is set for the season’s weather.

I second North Face and REI brand clothes. I would add Marmot as a cheaper, but still reliable, alternative. I also second Damage’s suggestion of Under Armor. And, for everyone who has mentioned “critters”, I highly recommend Permethrin-treated clothes. I spent the whole weekend hunting morels last season out in tick country and am happy to report my family and I didn’t bring any “friends” back home with us.


The situation isn’t much different here. It’s smart to layer up. I’ll often have capilene base underwear, with a wool sweater, a fleece over that, and if it’s wet at all, a waterproof windbreaker. That way I can shed layers in the afternoon.

The weather here can be really unpredictable. We often get spring snowstorms in late May to early June. I leave a set of filament-weight silk long underwear, tops and bottoms, in my primary go-bag year around. They are quite warm and both pieces will compress into a zip-lock sandwich bag. I think the set was around thirty bucks, and a bargain at twice the price.


Inez is about to learn that getting food from a convenience store may depend on whether the zombie who was the counter attendant will let them have any! 😀

Dave, I’m curious, is Murphy or one of the more experienced members of the group going to fill the rest of the group in on what a zombie is, and what behaviors they’ve observed? It would make sense to be sure everyone in the group is well-informed and knows where to hit the zombies trying to turn everyone alive into zombie chow! 😀

It sure doesn’t sound like the newcomers have learned what they would need to know in order to survive, and learning and surviving is essential for this group because the fewer mistakes the group as a whole make the better the odds are of them coming back with a decent amount of supplies and the members of the group.


Apologies for my lack of involvement in the comments of late; I’m recovering from a fun little bout of food poisoning.


Don’t worry Dave, I’ve had food poisoning, and it will make you want to forget everyone for a while! I’d appreciate it though, if you could respond to the comments backlog when you’re able to! Don’t worry if you can’t though, that’s life! 😀


I’m going to pick away at the backlog here today. Hopefully I’ll get to everyone.

Foolish Lego

Hmmm… To be short about it… I don’t think there will be much to choose by that time. And about the odor; will people really be bordered by odor after a Zomby-apocalypse? After the survival instinct kick in it will the least of the problems. Just hope that there is enough clean water to wash once in a while


My point about the odor is the concern of attracting zees, predators ‘n parasites. It’s bad enough to be running for one’s life under harrowing conditions; throw in parasites, rats, et al, and the blood-sucking kingdom will do the deed the zee is unable to.


In a world where all government and law-enforcement has broken down, is there even really such a thing as looting any-more? Or theft? Or even murder? There’s probably a whole discussion on lawful behaviour versus the right to survival right there.

If there is no food for days and winter has closed in, especially with no available electricity, even cannibalism is a defend-able stand-point. I’m not saying I’d particularly agree with any of the previous, but it’d be hard to argue against.


In a severe outbreak, you could probably justify scavenging from abandoned stores as salvage, not looting. Theft and murder are absolutes though, and not acceptable under any circumstances.

Silver Fox

In the wake of a disaster like a hurricane. Where we know people will be able to get back on their feet and recover… given time and aid. No it’s not good to loot.

In the event of the apocalypse and it is very clear that all hell has broken loose and there is no aid, no back up coming. Then you’ll have to loot as it were in order to survive.

As far as dressing appropriately, Luis hit them all very nicely and well done. I really wouldn’t have much to add other then to consider wool. Wool while it is scratchy, does repel water and would help retain body heat. And finding means to bath and keep the body odor down would be a must, especially if the zeds are hunting by smell.


Ah, Looting. Now what is looting to some may not be to others. Take for example of the Zombie apoco or even a flood, I’m not taking a 50 inch TV. Now if military or civil services have been rendered usless than yes I will take some food so that I and family can survive. Bill me later if it all works out.
Clothes though I was thinking a nice Tuxedo t-shirt and some fresh new corduroy pants to give myself away to the zombies. Footwear is my savior. I’ll get a pair of Heelys and out slide them as long as its a cleared form of pavement and downhill.
No. Me neither. Jeans, Tshirt, Hoody, Steel toed boots (Backup Tennis shoes) 3 pair sock and 3 pair underwear. Make that 4 because when it first happens I’m sure I’ll need that extra pair.


Like Luis said. layering is key, any experienced hunter will tell you that. First a good base layer, I prefer Under Armor Coldgear or Hotgear depending on the weather. Then some decent fleece, Polartec is my preference. In the backpack is my good rain poncho. I personally hate wearing ponchos, but they provide an advantage over conventional raingear in that the will keep your weapons and pack dry. The advantage to layering, other then flexibility for different temps, is that it keeps your body funk off everything but your base layer. I have been on remote hunts for up to a week where all I had to do was remove my base layer and rinse it out and hang it to dry by the fire at night to keep relatively stink free. I dont put a lot of stock in zombies hunting by scent, I dont see thier sense of smell being that much better then a living humans and for us all but the strongest smelling people are impossible to detect past 100yrds. Man is a sight based predator, our nose it too high off the ground for us to be effective scent based predators. Still, that being said, your best bet to minimize scent and still feel clean is a lot of unscented talcum powder. A simple “whores bath” with a wet washcloth or better yet baby wipes and a liberal application of unscented talc to the nether regions can work miracles.


Interesting discussion point… not something I had really ever thought about, as I have all the outdoorsy type of clothing I need.

As said above layering system of clothing is great, can keep it compact, lightweight, and customisable to any weather conditions.

In terms of “stinking”… I’m pretty sure that in an undead world, the smell of dead bodies is probably going to overpower any smelly armpit syndromes we will find ourselves facing… deodorant and all that jazz has only become “important” to humans in recent times.

I have done a lot of multi day tramping, going bush for 7 or 8 days with only what you can carry on your back. Normally have a day set, a spare set and a few extras of undergarments cos they are light etc. I’ve even cut the handles off toothbrushes etc to try and reduce the overall weight.

I guess whatever you do will probably work if using the layer system…. just remember to have lots of clean dry socks as possible… if you are on the move all the time this is sooooo important to keep your feet clean and dry as possible. Hard to even walk away from a zed if you got feet about to fall off.

legomaster 3700

Hey Dave, Can you recommend me some lego websites to find custom zombie heads? Plz?


Citizen Brick is the only game in town that I know of for custom zombie heads. Otherwise, hit up BrickLink. LEGO made a number of different zombie faces.

legomaster 3700

Thanks to all of you who helped me. Really appreciate it guys.

legomaster 3700

Sorry about your food poisoning Dave. Hope you get well soon!


Yeah, no kidding Dave. Seems like youve had a bid run of health related luck lately. You didn’t run over some old gypsy’s cat or something did you?


Hah. The big thing is that I have a baby. Babies mean less sleep, which means a weaker immune system. Also, they mean daycare, which means a nice little melting pot of disease that kids just love to bring home. The same thing happened when my son was a baby; we got sick about five times that year.


Citizen Brick is pretty good.
In an apocalypse, I would try to act ethical (as in only loot if no one else is using it) but not lawful (if they’re dead, take their stuff).

legomaster 3700

Thx but I already found stuff on Citizen Brick and almost all of the zombie heads are sold out


Shoot them an email asking about restocking. They’re really good people to deal with.


I’ve swam the mile at scout camp with my clothes on, i barley made it, but i got $50! I never got the other 25.


Shoes too? Because I typically wear work boots. That would be tough. Also, I’m out of shape.


well get this! i was 11 when i swam teh mile, and no one else in my group did. but i actually did wear shoes. they were weighing me down the most. after that i skipped all of my classes and took a nap.


Here in Michigan, we’ve been living in the single digits and negatives (negative 7 here this morning). So layering has been sort of crucial. For cold, I’ve got some really, really warm carharts and waterproof boots. I think I could probably sleep outside tonight while wearing them.


You should educate the newbs about the perils of cotton underwear in that kind of weather.


Up here in Michigan carharts are kind of the staple for outdoor work. But during winter I would also wear a wetsuit under clothes. Wet and cold good for no one. depands on how the Zeds feel about Michigan winters. Hmm?


I f’ing love Carhart, by the way.

And yeah, I like the idea that freezing temperatures could affect, or even stop zombies temporarily.


i’m wondering why some people think that they’re going to barricade an enitre 4 blocks in the apocalypse. my friend wanted to barricade all downtown Clintion. i think it’s better just to be prepared.

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