There are so many unknowns with the apocalypse, it’s foolish to overlook the need to survive for a substantial amount of time on the water. Even if we don’t end up in “water world,” there’s a good chance that some serious super storm or global warming flooding might have us parting ways with dry land for days, weeks, or even months at a time. So the simple answer is “gat a boat,” right? True – but like any prepping, there are some more complex factors to think about when you strategize the design and layout of your small survival watercraft. Take a look at this shortlist of some of the “must have’s” when it comes to surviving on the water.
Let’s assume that you actually won’t be having to survive in a “water world” where global inter-ocean long distance sea travel will be necessary. This means that you will be able to live with a small craft that skirts coastlines, or floats in flooded cities with the bare essentials onboard. Furthermore, it will be essential to have a small craft as you’ll want to be able to maneuver to the many tight landing spots you’ll need to get to as you gather supplies, and escape enemies (zombies can swim!) So let’s start here by envisioning a 15-30 foot skiff, catamaran, or raft that can access tight docking spaces, yet pickup descent speed for a getaway.
I’m not going to block out the idea of a motor here – both because fuel salvage is never an exhausted option – and motors rock! However, it would be quite foolish to have a doomsday watercraft that doesn’t include wind powered sails. These can be ordered online along with a descent mast that can be applied to several modified boat designs. Note: even if you’re not an East Coast dandy like Ralph Lauren, you might want to practice some sailing sometime. This will help you understand the working of a sailing boom – which is as valuable as any other survival skill.
No doubt, the easiest way to catch some food on a boat is to fish for it. Think about what your local waters carry, and stock the proper non-live bait, fishing poles, line and nets to catch these buggers. Another nice touch is the fishing pole mount for the side of your craft. This will allow you to work busily on other projects like mending clothes or manning sails while your bait dangles tantalizingly from the side of your craft. They even make them with little bells so you can tell when a fish strikes the line, or is caught. Also remember some good knives to clean the fish.
You’re going to need a way to cook all that fish you catch, and what better way than a small onboard oven? Solar ovens are essential when all the wood, propane, and charcoal are lying at the bottom of a large body of water. They take a bit longer, but can cook meat thoroughly and just as tasty. Remember to engineer a nice little mount for this baby on the back of your craft so it won’t fall into the water, and can always stay nice and hot in the bright sun. Note: might not hurt to grab some potent spices that will give you lots of flavor while taking up minimal space. Cooking is a health necessity, but also one of life’s best treats.
Rainwater Collection System
While it may be easy to forget; water is the essential ingredient of life – and without it, we’re dead. You will undoubtedly need a method for collecting rainwater when you’re living for weeks at a time out on the water. This would apply whether you’re out on the ocean (you can’t drink saltwater) or in a flooded freshwater plain, where the water you’re floating in will no doubt be to contaminated to simply dip in a drink. Collecting rainwater out on your watercraft is the best way to accumulate fresh water. There are many unique and adaptable systems out there to trap, channel, and store rainwater. Many current models are developed for organic gardens, etc. – but are easily adaptable to a boat. This is one thing you’re not going to want to forget – as the human body can only survive for about 3 days at a maximum without fresh drinking water.
A good anchor is completely necessary when you can’t tie off to a pier or beach your craft on land. You’ll need to sleep on the water, and it can be dangerous to simply float adrift at sea waiting for the water to bash you against a rock and ruin your custom craft. For a boat this size, the anchor doesn’t have to be very large – probably 50 – 60 lb will do. Of course you’ll need the anchor line rope to make the anchor effective. Depending on how deep you would expect the water to be, that will define how much anchor line you need to have. Of course you can never have enough, but think within reason about how much space you have – and how far out to sea you could really survive, where you would even need more than 100 feet of anchor line.
A compass is essential – you need to understand where you’re going and where you’ve been to get where you need to go. Even if you’re a Magellan level astro-navigator, you can’t always rely on the stars to get you where you need to go. Overcast skies can leave you In the dark, literally – and you won’t be able to utilize your ancient navigation completely. Printed maps are helpful as well, as they will let you know how far you’ve gone, even if the coastline of the world has changes somewhat.
Author Bio: Tyler Watkins is a online blogger and web contributor, his content can be found across many website genres.