Tourist Season and the Apocalypse
I live in a large city that spends the summer doubling as a playground for tourists. Although the crowds have been building for a while, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to full-blown, children screaming, cheesy-souvenir-hawking, tourist season.
While tourists may strike you as an irritant (unless you are one) and nothing more, their behaviors offer several good tips to incorporate into your survival plan. Here are a few of the most useful actions to follow and avoid:
1. Prepared for everything (Good)
Tourists, particularly those with small children, often look as if they have brought an entire apocalypse survival kit with them, no matter where they are. Of even more interest, tourists provide a very good study in preparation for short-term survival. Armed with buckets of SPF 50, snacks, water bottles, toys, maps, and everything in between, well-equipped tourists are prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw at them before they manage to get back to their hotel room. Take note.
2. Snails walk faster (Avoid)
The downside of carrying around everything that you could possibly need is that it’s heavy and it slows you down. This is further exacerbated by tourists’ tendency to move at the slowest pace possible whilst still maintaining forward momentum. Being overburdened at slow-moving is an excellent way to make yourself vulnerable for attack, from either your rival survivors that are desperate to get their hands on your kit, or a large wild animal. Make sure you can move yourself, and more importantly the slowest members of your party, at a good pace if an event requires you to bug out.
3. They get lost easily…(Avoid)
As they are always found in unfamiliar territory, tourists have a well-known trait of getting lost. This is particularly dangerous when the leader has made a wrong turn, but is positively convinced he can get the group back on track without a map or, even worse, certain that he isn’t wrong. Relying too heavily to your sense of direction alone and refusing to double-check your route are dangerous traits that can get you into lots of trouble in a post-apocalyptic world. No one wants to accidentily wander into the part of the city that was hit by a nuclear bomb. Or end up wandering for days lost in the woods. Which leads to our last tip.
4. …But they tend to ask locals for directions (Good).
At least the smart ones do. It is highly unlikely that there will be “locals” for you to ask directions from if lost in a post-apocalyptic situation, but smart tourists offer additional insights that are also useful. First off, the most alert tourists tend to plan their trip ahead of time, thus reducing the reliance on a map when they hit the streets. This speeds up the trip and reduces the chances of getting lost. Smart tourists (including myself when I travel) also employ a landmarking technique to familiarize themselves with a strange area in a short period of time. You may not have street names to memorize (or even streets to follow), but this can easily be adapted to the “large abandoned building on the left”, as well as natural landmarks.
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Have a safe holiday and don’t be an idiotic tourist.