Post-apocalyptic survival: Lessons from The Book of Eli

Recently, I watched the movie The Book of Eli (I know, I know, you’re probably saying “Welcome to 2010.

” But I’m generally behind when it comes to watching grown-up movies. I’m a mom; it’s an occupational hazard.)

Anyway, while watching this movie I noted a few take-away lessons. Not the least of which is that if you have a religious book in your possession, that religion’s deity will protect you such that you become impervious to bullets. (Until your mission is completed, that is. After that, all bets are off.)

But not all of us will be so lucky.

For the rest of us, I noted the following:

  • Vehicles will still work, many years after nuclear war destroys the world (and presumably all the gas stations). A car could come in handy when traveling.

    If you can’t get one, a motorcycle would work, too.

  • Eating human meat will make your hands shake and make you go insane. Cannibalism is bad.
  • Be a ninja. Seriously, those ninja skills could come in handy during hand-to-hand combat.
  • Guns will be easy to find, but bullets will not. So I guess start practicing your poker face so you can bluff the other guys into thinking your gun’s loaded. It probably couldn’t hurt to try to find other bullet-like projectiles that can be shot from a gun. Or a sword.
  • Use women as bait. If you want to ambush the enemy and take their stuff, use a woman as live bait. This probably works for children, too.
  • Find underground sources of water now, while you still can.
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    Some of those underground streams might survive a nuclear holocaust. And being the only person who knows where to get water could be a strategic advantage.

  • Take wet nap showers. In the absence of soap and water, wet naps—those moist towelettes you can get at restaurants—are a good (and possibly the only) alternative to bathing.
  • Loot. Grab stuff wherever, whenever and from whoever you can. You never know when that stuff could come in handy.
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  • Be ready to use the barter system. Which is when looting comes in handy.
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These notes won’t guarantee your survival, but they might help. Which might then tip the scales toward you surviving the post apocalypse.

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8 thoughts on “Post-apocalyptic survival: Lessons from The Book of Eli

  1. Cannabalism is bad, if only for the fact that parasites that can liive in dead human flesh can move to live humans quite easily.

    Although, according to sources, Human Meat is quite tasty. Like sweet Pork. So if you were really hungry and there was nothing else, and no-one could see you do it…

  2. This is all good info, seriously, yet I am certain there will be other foods available. What this fascination with meat? I happen to be made of meat and am interested in changing the menu for this event. How about a nice salad?
    Anyway, I think it is important to remember that you must be able to carry all the stuff you plan to have. Like the cart in “The Road”. But then you have to worry about becoming one of “The Rich” who will of course be eaten first by the marauding bands of hooligans and nere’ do wells.
    Guns can be smelled. Gun oil gives away the presence of guns, anyone without a gun, in survival mode, will detect a gun by scent. Just as an added piece of info, you must keep a gun oiled or it will not operate according to manufacturers specifications. It may void the warranty if you do not use the correct lubrication, or worse, fail to operate when needed.
    Thanks for the article Char. Keep up the good work!

    1. I think the problem is that fresh veg doesn;t keep well and tinned veg is really really horrible. Ever had tinned spinach? Foul.

      As for Guns, I don’t know about to other girls, but I’m British. Guns are rare here, pretty much only in the hands of certain police officers and- in the case of shotguns- farmers. I can’t even shoot. (a gap I’m figuring out how to fill) However, I can use a sword and a knife.

      1. True, Ann. Also, based on the memories of my failed attempt at vegetarianism, there could be something about the meat proteins that’s important.

        As for the guns, I live in Texas. I’m sure I could find a gun somewhere relatively easily if I had to. *grin* Though I should still learn how to use a knife, sword, dagger, nunchuks, and pens. Or whatever.

        Good point about gun maintenance, RobtheSane. I’ve only ever shot airsoft guns, so I’m not familiar with maintenance and upkeep.

  3. @Robthesane, where I live you would starve to death very quickly if you tried to have a vegetarian apocalypse. Vegetation, other than pine trees, grows April to October and while we do have some beans and leafy greens, it’s mostly grasses and oilseeds that grow on their own. You would be extremely protein-deprived in the summer and you would have no food except tree bark, pine needles, and dead grass you dug out from under the snow starting in November. Without sedentary/climate controlled lifestyles, cultivated pulse crops, and healthfood store protein supplements, you need meat here.

    And thanks for the tip about guns. I don’t carry, but I do wear an oilskin coat. Would people presume I was carrying?

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