Since its inception, AMC’s hit television drama The Walking Dead has seen huge success. Doesn’t sound familiar to you? Well, if you’ve been taking a hiatus from television for the last 9 years, just know that the show follows an unlikely band of friends fighting to survive in a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world.

Okay, sure, there are some aspects of the show that aren’t all that “realistic” — it does feature zombies, after all — but we can still enjoy the show for what it is while appreciating some essential survival tips.

Tip #1: Use The Buddy System

You know the saying, “strength in numbers” right? Well, here’s the kicker — there’s truth to it. Think about it, how often does a member of the Walking Dead gang face a hoard of zombies coming at them, chomping at their face, only to be saved by their friend? Having a friend, or better yet a group of friends, to watch your back and pool resources and skills with will increase your chance of survival.

Tip #2: Be Prepared & Have A Bug Out Bag

I’m not sure any of the characters in The Walking Dead had a bug out bag when their zombie apocalypse actually began, but you can bet that if they had it all to do over again they would have had one one hand from the beginning. Because, when you’re talking about zombies, or apocalypse, or both, absolute chaos is guaranteed. Having a bug out bag in place and ready to go, will increase your chances of survival infinitely.

Want to ensure your survival in just about any scenario, even a zombie apocalypse? Take a look at this sweet infographic and our post on building a bug out bag. And if you wanna know what Rick might have packed, check out how to build a Walking Dead inspired bug out bag.

Tip #3: Find Shelter or Build Your Own

No matter what situation you’re trying to survive, walkers included, finding shelter is essential to survival. Think back over the last 9 seasons of The Walking Dead. Whether they were at the farmhouse, the prison, or Alexandria, they always had shelter. And if the didn’t, then they were actively searching for it.

Tip #4: Find A CLEAN Water Source

We all know that water is life. There’s no doubt it’s the most important priority when it comes to survival. Your body doesn’t need just any water to survive, it needs CLEAN water.

Trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse gives us other factors to consider. Do you remember the infamous Walking Dead scene where a bunch of walkers were trapped in a well? Frankly, it still makes me shiver thinking about it. Thanks to the zombies, you’re potentially facing contamination and disease-ridden water.

Don’t worry though. We’ve got you covered with this awesome guide on purifying water with iodine.

Tip #5: Tools & Weapons

Pretty easy and straightforward, right? Various tools can be used as weapons. Hatchets, survival knives or even a shovel if need be. Just make sure you arm yourself with your weapon of choice to protect yourself from those zombies because you’re bound to run into a few.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Michonne’s awesome katana mastery and Daryl’s precision accuracy crossbow skills.

Tip #6: Keeping Your Head On Straight

How often have we seen Rick Grimes go a little crazy and become delusional in The Walking Dead? Enough to learn that the psychology of survival is huge when it comes to fighting for your life. Survival experts say that if you can’t keep your cool as everything is going to hell, you’re putting your life and your friends lives on the line.

Sure, The Walking Dead is meant purely for entertainment. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a few things about survival from the show. While the chances of a zombie apocalypse are slim, natural disasters are very real and can cause catastrophic damage. Think back to hurricane Katrina and how many people’s lives were disrupted until help arrived.

It doesn’t matter where or how you learn your survival skills. What matters is that you learn them and when the time comes — know how to apply them.

After all those survival tips, what is your take on The Walking Dead? Do you have any survival tips of your own? Do you have any favorite survival movies or TV shows?

Author Bio: AJ is a proud Eagle Scout and lover of all things Sci-Fi.