What are the best defenses against the zombies? Against individuals versus a full on hoard and everything in between?
-Dying for a good night of sleep.
Dfagnos, we all crave that night of sleep you’re talking about and I can’t say that any of us are getting it. Even as secure as my enclave is, I still have trouble finding the sandman each night when my head hits the pillow. Against singletons or small groups of zombies, a sturdy door or fence will be sufficient, so long as you’re not being a doofus and attracting the hoard you mention above. A hoard is a horse of a different color and once one starts moving, they are a force to be reckoned with. The problem is that they overwhelm most fences, fill up moats (or even small rivers) and pile up to the point where they can breech most walls. As I have mentioned before distracting a large group of zombies away from your defenses is a great strategy. I’m not saying NOT to have walls/fences/pits in place: you need those too! But if you see a hoard a comin’, well you best scramble your fastest vehicle, put a set of speakers on it and have them blaring dubstep at top volume to change the course of the zombies before they hit your defenses. Your defenses can handle the odd few that still impact them, but I can’t think of any (practical) location that would withstand ten thousand zombies at this stage of the war.
Sure, I hear you saying, “But WarriorOne, we have a bomb shelter from the cold war, a converted missile silo and the zeds can’t get through the meter-thick concrete door when it’s closed, it’s impregnable!”
Yes, and good luck growing your food underground. And I hope there’s water and electricity down there too, not reliant on piped in energy. If a hoard lands on top of you they will stop at the last sign of activity, which means on your doorstep, and your group can’t win that kind of siege.
Back to the answer though, use your local resources as best you can: Pits, if you can dig them, rough ground if you can’t manage a pit, zeds aren’t great with jagged terrain even. If you can’t build a three-meter-high wall around your hideout, use logs for a palisade, no logs? Scavenge chain link? No chain link? Trip wires or ropes set about a third of a meter off the ground. No wire or rope for tripwires? Ya’ll better relocate to a place with some resources… I am in favor of multiple layers of defense myself. I’ve advocated for it extensively in my town with good local support, so here we have rules in place that each block of five houses is walled off from everyone else, this compartmentalizes the damage a loose zombie can do. So, on the outskirts you have pits, some trip wires and the odd set of walls to divert or channel zeds into kill zones. Closer in you have your main wall at least 3 meters high, with a walkway behind it to provide room for fighting. Behind that you should have another space, a few meters between the walls and the nearest structure, which better also be a wall, the wall of the compartmentalized family units. Inside each of those mini-forts the individual houses need to be fitted with stout doors and a ‘safe’ room if possible, for a final defense. I’d like to say we came up with these plans from the start, but we really were lax in our defense and this is what we’ve evolved to. A lot of people died to get to this point.
Our group has a weird mix, probably true for most groups that survived, but one couple was big on hot air balloons and we have their equipment, their hot air balloon, fuel and even the trailer and truck to haul it around. We’ve thought about tethers the balloon and sending it up and down, as a look out. Do you think we’d drawn more zombies doing this?
~Hot Air Afficianados Want to Fly Again
I’d test this in a location well away from your encampment, Haawtfa. Well away. My gut says zombies will see it as a beacon and head right toward it. Let us know if that’s what happens. If that is the case, then that’s excellent! Why? Because you can use it to keep the zed’s attention in a last-ditch effort to get away from a hoard. Put the ballooners up in it with a radio and some mirrors to draw the zombies away from everyone else, then they can cut loose from the ground and you can collect them later.
We have a bunch of dirt bikes collected from a dealership and we love them for scavenging, but they are too loud, is there a way to muffle the noise on them down a notch or three?
We’ve had similar concerns QR an there are things you can do. Now you may have two stroke bikes mixed in with some four stroke, two stroke bikes are quieter in general, so use those for your scavenging if possible. Then it’s a matter of science, sound reflects and bounces off of things and your bikes have mufflers on them to help keep the noise down in the first place. Repack the mufflers, hopefully you have a guy who can help with that, if not, you’re going to have to take a chance and do some experimenting until you learn how to do it. If that’s not an option, then wrap the muffler as best you can with metal screen of some sort, and then wrap fiber glass over that a few times and secure it with light metal or duct tape to improve the sound absorption. Another trick to try is adding an extension to your exhaust that points more directly to the ground, a forty to ninety-degree angle with 20 cm of pipe should be enough to get the vast majority of the noise angled into the dirt. Noise directed into the ground is better than noise shooting out behind you in a cone, right? Hell, we’ve had good success with just using old radiator hoses taped onto the exhaust, good luck riding quiet!