From Make Use OfBy James Bruce on 3rd December, 2013 | Hardware Stuff | 8 Comments
Are you ready to fulfil your ultimate destiny? The apocalypse will need to be documented with Facebook updates and Twitter hashtags for future generations to fully enjoy – so how are you planning to do that with no power or Internet connectivity?
Joel already walked us through the basics of a emergency survival kitshould the worst happen – consider this list a geek upgrade with an eye to more long-term survival (and by long term, I mean being able to upload your post-apocalyptic meals to Instagram, because who’d want to live in a world where we don’t know what you had for dinner).
Decentralise your communications abilities by setting up a mesh network in your local neighbourhood. Rather than relying on your traditional service provider, a mesh Internet router connects everyone in a web of access nodes: the Internet itself is a mesh network (a world wide web of access nodes, one might call it if one was quite weird). Even without an Internet connection somewhere in that mesh, you could still set up VoIP communications and private servers for use within your community. The NSA will probably still find a way to watch you, though.
The best part is that you don’t even need new hardware – just grab some replacement firmware like DD-WRT or OpenWRT for a compatible router; or check out Serval Project for Android that does the same thing using your mobile device. Your first port of call should beCommunityWireless.org to learn more. Google’s Project Loon is a great example of mesh networking that might just be ready by the time the apocalypse arrives.
Goal Zero is the ultimate in apocalypse power gear, and this battery, power inverter, and solar charging kit comes in at a pricey $400. The generator stores enough power for 1-3 hours of laptop use or around 8 mobile recharges: I’m not sure how much post-apocalypse Netflix time that translates to. It can be refuelled either by a separate solar charger for 10 hours, or plugged into the mains for 2 hours if you’ve managed to break through the zombie horde and been fortunate enough to find a reliable source. Truly, you’ll be equipped to leech and provide power for all.
The Internet has made our generation the most knowledgable, ever: anything is just a search away. But you can’t search Google for the different types of poisonous plants when the Internet is down. For that, you can use an app. The Survival Guide for iOS is free, with a huge amount of useful information from working with fire, building shelter, and basic medicine. Get it while you can!
For more extreme survival situations like controlling a spooked camel, this offline collection of WikiHow articles for iOS might also come in useful, but I doubt it.
Be sure to check out these apps and equipment for a zombie apocalypse, too.
Solar panels are great as long as there’s sunlight around; what if a post-warfare thick smog of destruction covered the skies? Your only hope would be fire – and this $130 wood burning stove will both ensure the vital ability to roast marshmallows and charge your smartphone so you can still take selfies. Boil a litre of water in under 5 minutes; 20 minutes will charge your iPhone with 60 minutes of talk time.
In a post-apocalpyse situation, you’d be surprised how much of your activity involves getting big chunks of wood – whether to burn, make shelter, or fashion an impromptu thwacking implement. To that end, you’ll want one of these $23 pocket chainsaws. Infinitely more convenient than an actual saw, but you will need to supply your own chainsaw sounds.
No sunlight or woodland to chop down? No worries – as long as you have use of your hands (my sincerest apologies if a zombie bit them off), you’ll still be able to listen to emergency broadcasts with this $53 Eton hand turbine radio. And though it might take a lot of work, you can eventually charge your smartphone over USB too. Seriously though, just find something to burn, it’ll be so much less effort.
It does’t matter how many iPhones you’ve got if you don’t have access to clean water: you’ll be dead within days. The $20 LifeStraw needs no batteries and contains no chemicals: just a series of extremely small tubes (hey – just like the Internet!) that filters out particulates with 99.99999% efficiency. Good for up to 1000 litres, though it won’t desalinate or remove viruses, so you’ll still need to deal with the plague some other way.
That’s my apocalypse survival kit – what’s in yours?