Monday, November 03, 2014

Zompocalypse Base

And now for something completely different ...

It's a daft thought really but where would you target as your base to fall back to if The End Times came ? We'll go for the standard Zombie Apocalypse type end time because stuff like nuclear war, asteroid impact (which also fries all the electronics) or biological stuff that passes in the air is a bit too nasty to think about.

So zombies. How come the thought's come up ? 1 - I been watching The Walking Dead again. Pretty good series, the first season was fantastic but it kinda lost its way for a while. This season has started well.

I've also been re-watching the play through of The Last Of Us by our ever adorable, ever wonderful Kim. (Linky). That game is set in a world (oh my, I just heard those words in That Movie Trailer Voice) where spore infection turns people into varying degrees of zombies. The longer they've been infected, the more dangerous they are. It's a fantastic looking game with an amazing storyline. This playthrough also tells us a lot about Kim as she's narrating her way through. (It's where that "interesting" tag got well and truly applied to our Pocket Lioness)

Yeah - go watch it. It's not just a great series that will truly tug at your heart, it's showing the emergence of a great youtube talent who I hope will stick around in that business for ages. If she doesn't get a nervous breakdown from all the horror games. (That's a point, I need more hug pics !)

Where was I ? Zompoc base.

I wouldn't want a static base. Too easy to assault. If you go high, then you get swarmed from below. If you go low, then they just pile in on top.

A moat is handy. Some way of isolating the base from the rest of the world. Being able to move around from place to place would be handy too. That suggests caravans and motorhomes but they're a bit too easy to get to. There's no moat with those.

So what would I choose and why ?

The idea starts with the narrowboats. They're self contained units with everything you need to keep a decent standard of living going. Plus they're mobile and have that moat protecting them. Zombies on the side of the canal ? Just move on down the canal. Locks and swing bridges might be an issue though.

But I wouldn't go for a narrowboat. I'd go for a Dutch Barge :
That's a luxemotor style barge. They're wider than a narrowboat and have that wheelhouse near aft. They're descended from coastal trading barges but the live on board dutch barges of today are of immensely luxurious standard.

Zompoc survival is all about ticking off the essentials :

Power - rig the roof with solar panels and wind turbines to supplement the generator. Fuel will be scarce, so avoiding using it will be critical. Also have as many batteries as will fit to power things like freezers and fridges to keep the food good for longer.

Food - the odd run into towns would be needed to supplement this. Or there's fishing from over the side of the boat. The drawback is that with no permanent base, there's no potential for organised farming, although you could be picking from bushes while going up and down the canals.

Water and sanitation - there's usually enough tankage to hold a fortnight of fresh water. That could be supplemented by a reverse osmosis (water maker) plant or there's stills to catch rainwater. There's similar tankage for the loo as well.

Cleaning - there's a thought. You could use the washing machine that these barges usually have but I doubt you would due to saving : power consumed + noise made. But ... there's all that water over the side ...

Consumables - you'd want everything running off electric eventually as you couldn't guarantee gas bottle supplies. But a wood stove also has potential for heating. Wonder how long you could keep a cooker or a microwave going on the batteries ?

Stealthy exits and entrances - hybrid power is coming into the narrowboats and dutch barges. Normally, there's an engine that goes directly to a propeller shaft. The hybrid powerplants can use electric motors to move the boat. So ... to avoid attracting all those Zombles, just turn the engine off and motor in there in silence.

Security - it's a boat ! Hopefully those zombies can't swim ...

Getting places - the dutch barge's big advantage over the narrowboat is that they can go on open sea. Narrowboats don't have the stability for that. There's also the potential for rigging sails, although that might get in the way of the solar panels.

You'd want somewhere you could do repairs and fix up the boat too if it got damaged. I take inspiration from a certain Bear Grylls there. He lives on a Dutch Barge moored up in London but he also owns an island where he can take his boat. So if extra room is needed for a machine shop (highly likely) or just places to store Stuff, then it can go on the island.

So - there's my thoughts on where I'd see me living out the Zombie Apocalypse. Dutch Barges are pricey though, they're the ultimate of the canal barge world.

There's only one thing more I'd want. Someone to act as sentry, as second pair of eyes, as person to help me keep my sanity in a mad, bad world. Someone kick ass who'd have my back as I'd have their's.

I wonder who would be Tess to my Joel ?

Perhaps it could be a new Empire ? Clear the Isle of Wight, Isle of Man or Anglesey and turn it into a farm, then send out scouts in Dutch Barges. Sign me up :-)

Oh - another pic. If the worst comes to the worst :

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