Beginners Guide to Wasteland Survival #2: First Steps Outside

So you’ve decided that you’re sick of all the home ‘comforts’ and that its time to leave your Fallout Shelter and go out into the big bad world, a risky proposition but one you could well reap the benefits from IF you’re careful.

So what do you need to consider and plan for before you step outside several hundred years after the apocalypse occurred? Sure you could simply assume that other survivors have already built a fantastical civilisation who will welcome you with open arms as long lost cousins, or maybe you think it’s going to be an empty paradise. If you believe either of those two options then you are deluded. In fact if anyone thinks these two options are viable you should give them a good slap to knock them out of it. Its going to be dangerous out there and it’s going to be better for everyone if you plan for a worst case scenario.

For starters lets just begin with the environment. You have spent your life inside, surrounded by walls, in rooms that are lit with artificial light, you know everyone by name, who’s sleeping with who, who hates who etc etc. (If you’re leaving because you’re sick of all the politics then I have bad news for you, any human society you found will be the same, you’re just going to have to accept that and learn to deal with it.) Sure you’ve probably seen pictures of what its like outside, heard the tales passed down, about this mythical object called the sun, and fanciful places where you can see for miles.

No matter what the outside is like, whether its waste land and skies still full of dust or green grass and blue skies, its going to be a huge shock to your system. (I’m working on the assumption here that you have a way of knowing what time it is outside. Hopefully your shelter was built with an atomic clock and you’ve kept the same sleeping and waking pattern as you would have done if you lived outside. If you don’t know the time and you first step out when its dark, then it is perhaps advisable to wait until it’s light. This way you will be able to see what the nearby vicinity is like, you really don’t want to go bumbling around into things in the dark.

It is advisable to explore the surrounding area to your shelter’s entrance, especially make note of any major land marks. It is important that you know where you live!

However there are a few things we need to cover here before you leap off into the unknown.

Firstly the Sun, the giant burning ball of fire in the sky, no don’t look at it, you might blind yourself, or at least certainly damage your eyesight. Now the Sun gives off radiation, this radiation burns our skin and you have lived your entire life inside. Advice? Cover up. Long sleeves, hat. We had a thing called sun tan lotion once, cream we rubbed on to help protect us from the Sun, you won’t have that. Trust me when I say sun burn is nasty, sun burnt skin is incredibly painful, and you really won’t want to even have clothes pressing against the skin (this means it will be hard to carry around all that gear you’re going to need in the wilderness). Sun burnt skin eventually leads to the skin peeling, which fascinating though it is is not worth the hassle. To much Sun can lead to skin cancer, although if you’re emerging from what was a nuclear apocalypse it’s likely that most things are irradiated to some extent so really you’re probably screwed anyway. (Or maybe you do have something equivalent to what is used in Fallout: e.g. Rad-X, which prevents you from absorbing as much radiation or Radaway, which does what it says on the tin.)

Another thing you need to be aware of is that out here, in the big bad world, the temperature isn’t going to be regulated. The nights can potentially get quite cold the days very hot. Dress accordingly! This is especially important as while covering up to avoid sun burn is good, cover up too much when it’s hot and don’t drink enough then you could well get sun stroke, which can make it seem as if you have a fever and really knock you out of it. Also as it gets cold you will want to wrap up, layers are important here, and its particularly important to cover your extremities. Cold toes and fingers are unpleasant and it could, if its cold enough lead to frost bite, which you really don’t want.

So before you venture too far from home you might want to get a feel for what the local weather is like.

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