This weekend I went to see World War Z with Ethan. The movie got me thinking, again, about survival techniques in a zombie apocalypse. One thing I had not previous considered was armor. Rarely in zombie movies/tv shows/games is armor worn. Now, I get that in the early stages of a zombie apocalypse, you wouldn’t necessarily have time to find or put on armor of any kind, but if you survive long enough to find longer term shelter, have food and weapons on hand, and are generally surviving, armor might be your next bet.
I think there are two types of armor that would be best in a zombie situation, because both are designed to protect you against being bitten. The first is chain mail for shark divers. I recently saw a PBS program where they analyzed the bite of a shark and they found that the biting force of a shark was pretty similar to that of a human. The reason that sharks are so deadly are that they have much more dangerous teeth, and they slam into you at speed while biting you, adding a lot of impact to the bite. The important thing to take away here is that when a shark is biting down, it does so with similar force to a human, and this mail is made to hinder their ability to break skin. You could still suffer pinching or bruising, but if they can’t break skin, or get pieces out of you, you’re much safer.
The second type of armor you may wish to consider in a zombie survival situation, is an attack dog bite suit. Again this armor is designed to stop biting things from injuring you. A large dog has better biting force than a shark or a human, and they have a tendency to latch on a shake their victims (dogs sound really scary, suddenly). People and animals attacked by dogs usually have complications with their bites because they suffer from tearing injuries. With these padded suits, a dog, or zombie, can bite you without being able to get a mouthful of skin and bone. While a zombie is distracted with how to get through this strange new material, you have a few extra seconds to bash their brains out!
There are downsides to both of these armors. The chain mail is heavy, at roughly 20 lbs for a suit, but it is described as easy to move around in. The bite suit is much lighter, but hinders movement (how would you run in that thing?!), and is very warm. Both could potentially slow you down, and speed might mean the difference between escaping and being taken down. Another downside to both armors is the rarity of both. I don’t know of stores you can go into to buy these things, and the chances you’ll happen to find either in a size that is suitable for you in a post apocalypse is pretty low.
I have to say, though, that if you’re a shark diver and you already have the chain mail, you’re in an especially good place in a zombie apocalypse. Chances are you have or have access to a seaworthy boat as a shark diver. If you can make it to your chain mail and your boat, you just need supplies to last a week or two, and then come on shore in your mail with a harpoon (come on, if you have a boat and a shark diver suit, you have a harpoon, right?), re-stock on supplies and return to the boat.
It won’t be the survivalists and hunters that win in the zombie apocalypse, it will be the dog trainers and the shark divers.