Gear you need to weather the apocalypse (pictures)
Shelter in style
While NASA might not agree, some think we're inching toward the end of the world. When the apocalypse hits, it's important to be ready so you don't end up an hors d'oeuvre for the mutant killer sloths, an irradiated fallout fritter, or whatever could be worse than that. Fortunately, I've gathered up a list of everything you'll need to survive, starting from day one of the end.
If you're convinced disaster will soon visit your neighborhood (or all neighborhoods), and you have the means -- which should include a friend with connections in Japan -- it's probably a good time to order an EDV-01. Basically, it's a two-story shipping-container-size shelter that comes with enough water, communication and electricity supplies to let two people hole up for a month without a resupply. That's plenty of time to watch "The Road" over and over again to prepare for what lies ahead.
Photo by: Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET
Zombie target practice
It's not too early to start honing your skills for the onslaught of the walking undead. California artists Chris Stever and Jane DeRosa are happy to oblige with these fake-blood-oozing Zombie Gnomes. Reenact Season 2 of "The Walking Dead" or take up some serious target practice, it's your choice.
Photo by: Chris Stever and Jane DeRosa
Stay wireless in the End Times
Remember, it might not all end in one day. The lights might go out where you are, but broadcast and cellular networks might stay up for a while until zombies start eating their operators. With that in mind, the first much-needed gadget in our apocalypse gear gallery will come in handy for that critical period. The Eton FRX line of hand-cranked (or battery-powered, if you can find AAAs) caught my eye with its ability to keep you informed and charge your devices, and there's even a light and a solar panel. The End Times were never so convenient.
Photo by: Eton
Print your way out of crisis
When the infrastructure begins to fail, you might have trouble picking up your orders from Staples' 3D-printing service, so it'll be a good idea to have your own object-printing rig like the Makerbot. I recommend extruding anything you can think of to use or barter later and then push hard for the adoption of plastic Legend of Zelda-themed chess pieces as a new form of currency.
Photo by: Eric Mack/CNET
Upgrade your bladder
If water gets hard to come by, you'll be glad you had that artificial bladder installed. Japanese design-engineering firm Takram has a whole line of organs that make more efficient use of precious resources. But before you schedule an appointment with your organ-retrofitting specialist, keep in mind that this bladder is a concept originally designed as a work of art, not a working prototype. Then again, duct tape is supposedly only for ducts. In any case, always remember to sip, not gulp.
Photo by: Takram
Hide in this ostrich pillow
Creature comforts like 2,000-thread count linens might be a little hard to come by around the time we all start eating cat food to survive. But one smart piece of gear that will travel well and let you sleep easier is this ingenious ostrich pillow. Not only does it make it easier to rest your head on a wet log, it also doubles as zombie camouflage and a backpack.
Photo by: Kawamura-Ganjavian
A zombie arsenal
Speaking of the walking dead, with so many social-media accounts to manage these days, it's hard to find time to assemble a complete zombie survival kit. Fortunately, OpticsPlanet has done it for you. For just $24,000 the Z.E.R.O. (Zombie Extermination, Research, and Operations) Zombie Kit provides all the gear you need to survive and even conduct experiments in search of a cure for the virus that's turning your neighbors into extras from half the shows that were on TV when society ended. A little rich for your still-uninfected blood? Try this budget option from ThinkGeek that even includes a spork.
Photo by: OpticsPlanet
Personal evacuation lemon
If the apocalypse involves massive, Himalayan submersion-scale floods, a la that ridiculous "2012" movie, it'll be a good idea to have your very own evacuation lemon. Japan's Cosmopower makes the Noah personal evacuation unit that can survive impact, long drops into water, and keep you afloat until whatever comes next... comes next.
Photo by: Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET
Nuclear holocaust? Have a drink
If society meets its maker at the hands of a nuclear blast and you manage to land a hazmat suit that allows you to roam around the irradiated remains of wherever, reach for the surviving brews first. Government research has found that beer and other canned or otherwise well-packaged beverages exposed to a nuclear blast remain relatively safe to drink. Heck, it might even make PBR taste better.
Photo by: Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET
Heat up and juice up at once
When it all hits the fan, many folks may be more focused on staying warm, fed, and alive than on not getting lost. When our alien overlords arrive, it'll be important not only to survive, but also to make it to humanity's rendezvous point to join the resistance and take back our planet. Enter the BioLite campstove, which utilizes a thermoelectric module to convert heat generated by burning twigs, leaves, or zombie flesh into electricity to charge your GPS while making coffee and staying warm. Nothing like a caffeine boost to make it to the rally point and save your species.
Photo by: BioLite
Bleeding internally? Foam it!
When society collapses, accidents can happen. Whether taking a crossbow bolt in the shoulder after being mistaken for a zombie or enduring a nasty run-in with barbed wire while escaping invaders, stopping internal bleeding fast will be key. Since the aliens nuked all the hospitals, surgery is out of the question, so you'll need a backup in a pinch. DARPA's injectable polymer foam can do the trick. Shoot the expandable foam in your gut to stanch bleeding and buy yourself some time until you can find a non-zombified physician.
Photo by: DARPA
Sweet wheels for End Times
Ever wonder where the folks in all those post-apocalyptic shows get all the gas to drive around so much? I used to think it was stashed in one of the giant plot loopholes until the Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force closed that big narrative gap. This rugged vehicle collects water on its roof and converts it into electricity to power the rig via a hydrogen fuel cell. With one of these you could drive forever, even if there's nowhere left to go.
Photo by: Mercedes-Benz
Retire to a missile silo
Not one for going it your own and living off the land and on the run after it all falls apart? Head to Kansas and settle in for the final act of the mankind, which you can enjoy in this old missile silo that's been hardened and converted into apocalyptic condos. Wait, I thought the upside of the apocalypse was not having to worry about neighbors anymore?
Photo by: SurvivalCondo.com
Stay entertained with Woven
Sitting around and waiting for society to reconstitute itself can take some time, and you can only play so much solitaire until you need to burn your last deck of cards for warmth. But if you're lucky enough to wind up hiding out with the Dutch designers who created Woven, you won't need to fear boredom. It's a game system that's -- you guessed it -- woven into a shirt and runs off a smartphone. You might have so much fun you'll hope the end of the world never ends.
Photo by: Woven
A real Mayan calendar
After this Friday, one last thing that could come in quite handy -- for settling bets if nothing else -- is the real Mayan calendar. According to NASA, it doesn't end, after all. Then again, NASA also didn't warn us that all those cute little pugs running around were really killer robots just waiting for the right time to strike. Or did it? Thanks for nothing, NASA.