With the zombie craze pretty much hitting its peak, it can sometime be hard not to think about what the world would be like if some sort of apocalypse actually happened and how one might survive. One of the most important things about survival in a zombie-infested world is knowing who to surround yourself with. Whether you’re trying to survive in a gang-ruled desert wasteland or a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies and man-hunting machines, here are eight extreme survivalists form science fiction you’d be lucky to have by your side.
8. Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead
Even though everyone still alive on The Walking Dead could be deemed a pretty savvy survivalist, Daryl Dixon is still a cut above them because he had already developed the skills before the zombies rose. He can track, hunt with a crossbow, hold his own in fight, and, perhaps most important in a zombie apocalypse, he has the stomach to kill someone who needs to be killed.
7. Dr. Robert Neville – I Am Legend
Living alone in a city devoid of humans and hiding from killer mutants that emerge at night, Dr. Robert Neville is able to survive this apocalyptic nightmare by scrounging food from supermarkets, fortifying his home with explosive-laced barricades and relying on his trusty german shepherd. He also manages to stave off extreme loneliness and insanity by tending to his parking-lot-grown corn and talking to mannequins in the local video store.
6. The Postman
Rather than being well prepared for a coming doomsday disaster, The Postman is on a mission to stockpile resources after the worst has already happened. But, in the process, by wearing a USPS uniform, he unwittingly fosters one of the most important and most overlooked means of survival there is — hope.
5. Burt Gummer – Tremors
Gun enthusiast, doomsday prepper, monster hunter, Burt Gummer is all of these things, but most importantly he’s a survivalist. In addition to his cache of heavy firearms, Burt can transform almost any common household item, including a pair of panty hose, into a useful weapon for hunting super-sized subterranean man-eating predators. By using a combination of local knowledge, intuition, and firepower he’s managed to cull the deadly graboid population and keep them confined to the northern hemisphere.
4. Eli – The Book of Eli
Post-apocalyptic wastelands are typically ruled by gangs who like to use violence and oppression to keep what’s left of the population in check. To deal with this situation, Eli is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant who also carries a blade and pistol. But the ability to fight off thieves and raiders won’t do much good if you don’t have water to sustain you in a desert climate. Which is why Eli is constantly trading a lot of useful goods just to get refill his canteen. Bartering is actually one the most important survival skills a person can have when the world goes to hell since money and precious metals won’t do you any good if you can’t feed yourself.
3. Sarah Connor – Terminator
After learning of her son’s destiny to become the leader of the future resistance against the machines, Sarah Connor spends the time between Terminator and Terminator 2 setting up supply caches and learning all sorts of survival skills she can pass on. Sure, she might seem a little paranoid with all her talk about judgment day, but she’s the toughest most no-nonsense taking female action hero of all time.
2. Mad Max
Mad Max is often overlooked as a real survivalist since, in the movies, he’s really only seen taking on gangs and ripping through the badlands in crazily modified desert vehicles. But in order to survive to do those things he had to be extremely well prepared. Some of the survival lessons you could learn from Mad Max include:
a) Always Be Wary of Strangers – The downfall of civilization produces a lot of unsavory characters. When push comes to shove, humans will go to great lengths to survive, and when society has crumbled, there is no telling what others could be capable of.
b) Always Have a Trustworthy Vehicle – It doesn’t always need to have giant spikes and shoot flames but, at the very least, it should be powerful, fast, and durable. Having enough gas on hand at all times is also just as important.
c) Always Be Ready to Hit the Road – Apparently everything Mad Max owns is either on his person or in his car. He’s pretty much ready to bug out at the drop of a hat.
d) Never Show Your Emotions – This one seems easy for Mad Max since, after he lost his family, he more or less lost all emotion. But regardless of where you lie in the sentimentality spectrum, the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t let emotions get in the way of surviving.
1. Mark Watney – The Martian
In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney finds himself alone on Mars with little oxygen or food and no means of communication. Although he’s able to utilize the crew’s small habitat, he’s forced to use his wits to come up with a means of surviving for multiple years on the desolate planet until the next mission team arrives. After performing life-saving surgery on himself, Mark attempts to grow food and create water to sustain the crops. He keeps moving from one problem to the next, coming up with a number of ingenious makeshift solutions along the way. Sure, he didn’t have to fight off any marauding gangs, zombie hordes, or killer robots, but when it comes to buckling down and finding a way to stay alive against all odds, it’s pretty tough to find a better survivor in fiction than Mark Watney.