The Top 5 TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons for the Apocalypse

Fail to plan and plan to fail.

Today I am frantically packing to go to New York City. I will be speaking on a panel at Thrillerfest, and all I can think is, Gee, I hope the Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t start when I’m in NY and away from Hubby, Spawn and all the guns. I know normal people don’t think things like this, but you guys are writers, so you totally understand.

Come on! If it hits NYC, then I need a plan to get out of the city, which likely will involve going by water—only suckers try to get out of town on the highways—or the underground tunnels. Then I have to make it cross country, and who knows if the outbreak is contained to just NYC? And then I have to figure out how to ride a dirt bike and we all know how well that went last time. Then I have to find gluten-free-dairy-free food (I am SO screwed) and stay alive long enough to make it all the way home to TEXAS to rendezvous with Hubby because he is NOT doing this without me!

Hubby & I have waited for this day…

Am I wrong to be a little freaked out about leaving home? In Texas, I HAVE a plan. We have weapons, ammo, a fallback point and lots of GF food. We can also raid the burned out shells of Central Market, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s as we flee to the ranch. But to leave out of town? I can’t bring nail clippers on a plane, so this presents a new challenge.

This is what always happens in the movies. The protagonist leaves for some innocuous business trip, and that is precisely the moment that some corporation trying to create a new kind of permanent Botox screws up. Then the protagonist is in for a cross-country zombie-fest with only the hope of being reunited with loved ones to cling to.

YES, I do have an overactive imagination. It is why it was better I become a writer than an accountant.

I am a really odd duck. Yes, that’s a nice “shocked face.” Thank you for being polite. No, seriously. I think these things through. I am the person who gives SAS Survival Guides as Christmas gifts. But I am in a bit of a conundrum since the terrorists ruined travel FOREVER. What can I pack in case of the Zombie Apocalypse?

The people in the movies are never prepared, which is why I am then required to shout expletives at the screen to make-believe people who can’t even hear me.

Anyway, since my life is not a movie…yet :D…I’ve had to get creative. Here are my Top 5 TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons. Make it through airport security and rest assured that you will be prepared should the Zombie Apocalypse strike when you are on vacation or business travel, because you just know that an apocalypse never strikes at a convenient time *rolls eyes*. I think AAA and the airlines should give these kinds of travel tips, stuff we can actually use.

Top Five TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons for the Apocalypse 

1. Justin Bieber CDs

Being attacked by a horde of brainless freaks? Play some Justin Bieber and they are guaranteed to start dancing and crying and believing that Justin like seriously like looked right at them! SQUEEEEEEE! This method is guaranteed not only to distract the zombies, but it might even attract some Justin Bieber fans to give the zombies a snack so they aren’t busy chasing you.

The TSA isn’t crazy about Justin Bieber CDs, but they aren’t yet officially listed as weapons of terror.


2. Cheap Hairspray

I would go for the industrial size can if you check a bag, but also at least 40 bottles of the travel size. They are under 2.5 ounces, so the TSA can’t exactly stop you, and if you wear big Texas hair they might not even bat an eye.

Hairspray, of course, is easy to make into a flamethrower, and also to do your hair. Duh.

Everyone has camera phones these days so it is a pretty safe bet that people will be taking pictures of the Zombie Apocalypse. And on any footage captured? Naturally, you want to be looking your best.

3. Bubble Wrap

To the TSA, bubble wrap just looks like you are OCD about packing your stuff and making sure it doesn’t get jacked up. What they don’t realize is bubble wrap can serve as a Zombie Early Warning System. Scaling fences and cars running from mindless monsters can be tiring, so you need to get your rest. Just use the bubble wrap to form a perimeter. When they step on it? The noise can wake you up and then, when they are distracted playing with the bubble wrap–because, seriously who can resist freaking BUBBLE WRAP?—you can bust  cap in their @$$. Not exactly a weapon, but the zombies end up dead–er, so who cares? Close enough.

4. Lady Gaga Meat Dress

It’s like a Ghillie Suit for slaying zombies. Just make sure you wrap this in the bubble wrap to keep it from leaking on your other stuff. And I might advise freezing your meat dress.

Not only will freezing your meat dress keep it fresh for the flight, but wearing freezing cold meat can a) help you stay cool while running for your life b) serve as a cold compress for any injuries you might sustain c) makes excellent body armor d) will keep anyone of the opposite sex from remotely hitting on you, thus preventing the sexual distraction that normally comes before a zombie rips your skull open.

The TSA might be iffy on this one. I know we can’t transport produce across state lines, but no one at the airlines would answer my questions about the meat dress. And now my phone is clicking. I think it’s been tapped.

5. A Bag Full of Legos

Need to trip up a pursuer? Toss a bag of Legos on the stairs and listen for the scream. To the TSA agent, you look like a loving family member bringing a child a toy, but little do they know Legos have a dark side and sharp edges.

The Spawn claims he “Zombie-Proofed” his room.

Well, those are the Top Five TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons.

For me? Back to packing and finding pantyhose. Haven’t worn those since Christmas! I’m totally bringing my Batman shirt, this way if the Zombie Apocalypse does ensue, when rare footage makes it out of Manhattan, I can be captured slaying zombies dressed in style. Though I am a bit out of shape, so that same footage might at least have me mindlessly searching for brains in style. You guys will know me by my poofy blonde hair and Batman shirt.

Any TSA friendly weapons you would like to add? I have to pack for the potential Zombie Apocalypse Thrillerfest and right now, to be honest, I can’t think much past great shoes for running and hair utensils that can be sharpened to kill. I’d love some additional suggestions to add to the bag.

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of July, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

***Changing the contest.

It is a lot of work to pick the winners each week. Not that you guys aren’t totally worth it, but with the launch of WANA International and WANATribe I need to streamline. So I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners will now have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of July I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.


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  1. Kristen,
    That was too funny!

  2. You forgot about packing BLING! Seriously, it lets you channel your inner Liz Taylor while packing the equivalent of brass knuckles. And that sparkly bitch pin? Hey, it’s sharper than Dracula fangs-you-very much. Just sayin…

    See you there!

  3. LOL – great post. And I’m heading up to Thrillerfest, also — hope to see you there!

  4. Terrific tips for thwarting Zombies!

  5. You sure made my Monday morning a whole lot brighter! Thanks for the laughs.

  6. This is the most practical post I’ve read in a while. So many articles talk about the Zombie Apocalypse but this is the first one to give practical advice.

    I would add stilettos to your list. They can be used as a distraction for TSA agents who might then overlook your meat dress as you’re slipping your shoes off and on as you go through airport security. Plus, they can be your most dealy weapon against Zombies who won’t see the head shot coming.

  7. Wow Kristen – I LOVE the bubble wrap idea! It’s genius! i’m extra bummed now that I couldn’t make this year’s Thrillerfest, because I could have met you 🙁

  8. LOLOL! I am traveling tomorrow, but thankfully I’m going to weapons dense region (state and family). LOL! The bubble wrap could come in handy, though….

    thanks for the great, Monday smile and have a great time. Wish I could hear the talk.

  9. Best ever TSA-friendly zombie decimating weapon: The shoulder bag. Loaded with a brick. You can look stylish with you tri-color leather D&G bag dangling from your stylish Batman-shirted shoulder and the moment the living dead shamble toward you, you can slide it from your shoulder and swing its brick-loaded body at their heads. Just make sure that you get a bag with a decent strap length to achieve the perfect amount of centrifugal force. As a bonus, should the TSA-ites question your lugging a brick along in your bag, you can give them a made-up sob story about it being a brick from your ancestral mansion that recently burned. You just ::sniffle:: wanted a :::sob::: momento from the :::wail::: old home place. They’ll feel so sorry for you if you tell this story correctly that they’ll put you to the head of the line!

  10. A local homicide detective suggested wasp spray as a useful weapon. I think it works as a hair straightener as well. Wish I could hang out with my favorite Thriller authors and you!

    1. Wasp spray works as a hair straightener? Really?
      I’ll have to Tweet that one, Cindy!

  11. Aqua-net will make a fine propellant for your impromptu flame-thrower, but don’t forget to pack a lighter or matches. (Can you get these past TSA now a days?) You need some kind of ignition source to flambe a couple of zombies, so that the others will turn and feast on them. You’re actually doing them a kindness by using a flame-thrower during the apocalypse- everyone deserves a hot meal now and then. Even Zombies.

    (And just to pick nits, it’s “Legos”, not “leggos”. 😛 )

    1. Legos + Eggos = Leggos. Far more dangerous, since the enemy doesn’t want to let them go :D.
      …and yes I changed it cuz I’m OCD that way. Thanks for the catch!

  12. I have always been successful in warding off a threat of any kind (including zombies…yes, they are out there) with a picture of my ex-mother-in-law. I’d post the photo with this comment, but I can’t be responsible for the outcome.

    1. LOL!!

      1. Thanks.

  13. Too bad you’d need to travel east to west, since the prevailing winds would leave out balloon travel though a dirigible would work. Wouldn’t want to be shooting off hair spray flames. I’d avoid those tunnels, too many places to be ambushed; and if you go the water route, maybe a sail boat with an engine so you’re covered in event of a fuel shortage. Just be REALLY sure no one is in early stages of infection before you take them on board.
    For the gluten free dairy free issues, your meat dress is already a help…you want to go low carb for these kind of emergencies. More energy, less bulk. Maybe stock up on those foil packets of salmon or tuna, and grab good lettuce from the salad bar. Zombies aren’t going to be looking at the rabbit food end of the buffet.
    Not that I’ve thought much about this myself!

    1. Brilliant! I didn’t even think about using my meat dress for FOOD? Who uses meat for food, not fashion?

  14. LOL! You are so funny. And your imagination rocks! Gluten free and no dairy? Poor thing. You’re just like my oldest daughter. Her diet is so darn challenging. Have the time of your life (haha) at Zombie Fest!

  15. I wonder how many of your readers actually know what a “Ghillie” suit is? This Colorado gun toting, camo wearing, outdoor diva sure does. Great post!

    1. I’ve played enough Ghost Recon, and read enough sniper books to know what a Ghillie suit is. 😉

    2. My son makes Ghillie suits, but not out of meat.

    3. Are you kidding? I wear one to church every Sunday!

  16. Is this part of your master plan for more Zombie Klout? lol Great post.

    1. 😀

  17. Kristen, you can’t take a lighter on the plane to light said hairspray… Might I suggest a striker? You know, one of those scritchie things that you use to light a propane torch?

    I love reading your posts, you crack me up and the cats think (again, and rightly so) that I have lost my mind

  18. Legos…bwa ha ha! Laughed so hard at that one that the baby looked away from her Elmo dvd and gave me a LOOK. *snicker*

    The first thing I thought, before reading your list, was hand tools. You’d have to check them of course, and put them through the special scanner, but you can, in fact, bring hand tools on a plane with you. A nice hammer will do an excellent job on a zombie’s skull, and with proper aim a long screwdriver can be shoved right through the eye socket and into the brain. XD

  19. I thought I got rid of you survivalist freaks? Now I’m following one?!?

  20. Haha! This was awesome. If the zombie apocalypse hits while you’re in NY, just hop the border into Canada. It’s closer and any farmer you come across should be able to give you a spare shotgun to defend yourself while heading home.

    1. Actually, Canada has strict gun control–not as bad as the U.K., but bad enough, particularly in Quebec.

  21. Oh Gawd!!!! you have found out my plan for the Zombie Apocalyspe! Nice addition to supplies. HAIR SPRAY! Bawhahaha

  22. Gotta be the biggest can of White Rain they make….super hold!

  23. The Justin Beiber CD reminds me of how they killed the tomatoes in Attack of the Killer Tomates, and the cheap hairspray classic Buffy The Vampire Slayer Movie, the classics never lead you astray!

    1. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a classic!

  24. I’m an expat Aussie living in Britain, where we’re not allowed to carry guns, knives or other weapons in case we have defend ourselves against crooks, who apparently have human rights, something I keep reminding myself every time I throw drunks off buses. But we do know how to improvise. Keys held in your hand, (with the keys poking out between your fingers) are deadly to eyes and probably distracting to zombies. Steel capped boots aren’t really fashionable but can bust a knee cap or head. Perhaps you can pick up pink steel capped boots for a fashion statement? Once in New York you might be able to buy a glass bottle of Coke, don’t drink it, just have it in your bag ready to smash. As for music, hmm, Richard Marx might just have them running for cover, he certainly makes me cringe. Perhaps bagpipe music? Because it sounds like two cats being strangled in a bag. Good luck with your trip and don’t forget to blog when the zombies attack, we like to make sure you’re doing okay 🙂

  25. I’ll definitely add bubble wrap (GENIUS! Why isnt Rick and his gang ransacking UPS stores along with pharmacies down in Ga?) and Legos to my Zombie apocalypse tool kit. Brilliant!!
    Some of my own favorites are:
    1) A sword. Amo may be hard to come by, so swinging a blade as long as your arm is a perfect alternative. You can stow it in a back scabbard for easy travel and use it to sever brain muncher’s melons with ease. A machete works just as well. Now, you can’t take these things on a plane, but they’re still 2 of my favorite zombie killing weapons. And since I’m not lucky enough to be flying to Thrillerfest with you, I’ll keep em.
    2) Shampoo. Spill a few travel bottles of Nexxus on the floor and watch those walkers slip and slide into an undead log jam. Once they’re floundering on their backs you can use the sword to take off their heads. (If you’ve flown and don’t have access to your sword…run)
    3) William Hung, She Bang, cd. Justin Beiber tunes will make them dance, but American Idol’s season 3 break out star will make those walkers groan. They’ll be so busy jamming their bony hands over their ears they’ll forget all about the potential meal that’s swiftly leaving them in the dust.
    4) Cayenne pepper. When on the open road an apocalypse surviver can use this fiery spice to add flavor to the possum they just bagged. Maybe the racoon they’re eating is bland and needs a kick. Cayenne can help, making any campfire cookout more special…but when a zombie disrupts that hard earned meal, the pepper can also be used as a weapon. Throw a handful in the walker’s gooey face and while he’s sneezing body parts off, withdraw your sword and start hacking (If you’ve traveled on a plane refer to #2)
    I have many more Zombie apocalypse tips, but I will leave them for another time. Until then, horde guns, knives, water, spices, hair care products, and toilet paper.
    Kristen, you make me laugh out loud. I loved this post.
    Keep the humor and the wisdom coming.
    Have a fabulous time in NY!!
    Tamara 🙂

  26. Bwahahaha. I love the bubble wrap perimeter. *takes notes for zombie apocalypse WIP*

  27. Pistachio for a food source when resting, the shells are great for a perimeter alert when the zombies step on them. The meat dress can also be used to feed to the zombies as a diversion that can also disable them from the meat-sweats…

  28. Love it! I totally watched the Walking Dead Season 3 sneak peek last night and they toured the set and interviewed the cast and producers. The kid who plays Carl picked a flame thrower as his weapon of choice. Niiiice.

    Have an amazing time at Thrillerfest!

  29. Awesome! I have got to share this with a friend of mine on Facebook, that is, if the zombies haven’t gotten her already….

  30. Thanks Kristen for a very useful post!! I’m off on holiday in a few weeks so this will come in very handy! Having said that I don’t think I can bring myself to carry a Justin Bieber CD, no matter how useful it may be when the zombies attack!!

  31. So, of course, I’m leaving Dallas for LibertyCon 25 in Chattanooga, TN, on July 19… flying for the first time… Guess I’ll have to rustle up some good ol’ boys from Tennessee and get them to drvie me to Texas so I can recover all the equipment I need… and the dogs… and the cats… and the guns… and… and… and…

    Wow, thanks for reminding me I need to get ready now in case something happens while I’m gone.

  32. You need to have a really smart person. It is that smaller picture person that can save the day today, but it is that bigger picture person that will save tomorrow. Based on the zombie training films I have seen, there is always a scientist, doctor, or someone around who is pretty dang smart. You have to keep them alive long enough that they last to the end of the movie, and can come up with some type of plan.

    You really have to get used to the idea that your family will likely not make the journey with you. In the movies, it is always a group who does not really know each other that comes together. Really only the smart person can get you through this. Trust in him or her.

  33. Forget about packing stuff with you, it’ll just weigh you down and when the big moment comes you will have forgotten it in your hotel room anyway (go ahead, ask a maid about all the stuff people have or leave behind. That’s good for a story right there). Do a few minutes of research of the places you will be spending most of your time. Sporting goods store nearby? Museum (they have all those nice spears, swords, mammoth bones, etc.)? Know your terrain and where you can scavenge stuff from. If you have a smart phone, it should work for at least the first few days of an outbreak. You can use it to search for the stuff you need.

    Love your idea of using the river, make sure you scout ahead for best locations to obtain a boat.

    You are totally SOL about the food (sorry) but at least it’s summer and you can raid gardens, fields, and farms as you work your way across the US back to Texas. Last I checked most whole foods are gluten free.

    Why yes, I also think about these things. Not in the, “She should be committed because she’s crazy and paranoid,” way. It’s second nature and training from the 80s when some people were SURE that the Russians would attack at any moment and we really should have our own fallout shelter to store the armory in.

    • DeeAnna Galbraith on July 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm
    • Reply

    Doesn’t matter who’ s on the CD. If the zombies attack on the plane, break it in half and slice off those icky fingers and opposable thumbs. Most of the big hotels in NYC are near Central Park where the gun dealers hang out. (You should have brought ammo in your suitcase.) Oh, and on the plane, sit next to the window and try to look unappetizing. Have a great trip.

    • Sandra Allan on July 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm
    • Reply

    Bubble wrap – genuis! A must carry is the SAS survival guide and Chris Isaak’s mirror suit. (they’ll turn back after seeing only themselves). Thanks for another thought provoking post. ;))

  34. Hilarious!! I’d add marbles to the list — throw them on the floor and watch those zombies tumble. And M&Ms, because, (a) who can resist? (b) you might need a sugar rush. And if the zombies don’t attack, you can mail the M&Ms to me — and the marbles. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost mine. Have fun!

  35. High-Heeled Shoes!!! Seven inchers if you have em! I can’t walk in anything taller than a hiking boot, but I sure as heck could drive that spike right into the rotting eye socket of a brain-sucking walker!

  36. you like totally made my day! thank you 🙂

  37. It doth appear that many of your commentors didn’t take you seriously, but you and I know better. I have no wish to travel to New York, precisely because that state doesn’t recognize my carry license. Don’t go to New Jersey. That state’s gun laws are even worse. Conventional wisdom (i.e., zombie movies) holds that a good thump on the head will slow the creatures down, if not kill them, so when cars run into parking meters, you can grab a meter and use it as a club. That should get you to a hardware store, where you can find all manner of implements that can act as weapons in a pinch. Once you make it to Pennsylvania, you’ve crossed back into the United States, and a whole army of country gentlemen and ladies will have your back.

    1. I’m told ten minutes of Sponge Bob Square Pants will reduce the IQ of anyone. Wouldn’t that take zombies to a catatonic state? Being then cringing non moving target, it should be fairly easy to remove the heads and/or incinerate

  38. You forgot about the superweapon… One Direction. The only thing that can thrawt a zombie horde is teenaggedon. The stampede of teens charging to see One Direction would surely tear the zombies to pieces. You would lose some teens that faint from hysteria or stupidity… but surely that would be strengthening the human population/resistance?

  39. I LOVE this!! You are da bomb!

  40. You’re right about the terrorists sucking the joy out of air travel. Don’t let the zombies take your enjoyment of a well-deserved trip as well! Your tips are great. I would suggest that you store one of my sons in your luggage because a tween or teenage boy is naturally designed to make a weapon out of ANYTHING. I marvel at the sharp edges on the toast they chewed, the way a Nerf dart becomes deadly, and the contraptions they build with a “mwahaha” that could, if used, cause a different kind of apocalypse. But I suppose an extra kid on a NYC trip would be a whole other bag of crazy.

    Enjoy Thrillerfest!

    • Marcianne Miller on July 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm
    • Reply

    Waaaay too hilarious!! On a serious note, you might enjoy As Texas Goes by Gail Collins about, well, what the title says, how Texas goes so goes the country. Insightful, intelligent and yessir, sometimes hilarious! Enjoy! And Enjoy Thrillerfest – you’re certainly already in the mood for it!

  41. Ha ha! We live in Beijing, which is surely home to the worst traffic in the world. Sometimes, when stuck in that traffic, I wonder what would happen if the zombie apocalypse arrives at that very moment. What would be the shortest route on foot to my kids’ school, what is in the car I could use as a weapon (no hairspray or legos unfortunately), and how the hell is hubby going to get from his office in midtown to our house. Strange but true 😉

  42. Terrorists are such killjoys.

  43. Be grateful you’re going to NYC. You must be bringing a pair of comfortable shoes. You ARE bringing comfortable shoes, aren’t you? 😉 Be your awesome self and those pesky New Yorkers (I mean “zombies”) won’t bother you a bit. Oh, try to stay out of the subway. Only dead people should be underground. 😉

  44. The most hysterical blog I’ve read for ages!! Thanks, Kristine! Have fun at the Thirllerfest! And try not to be too paranoid!!!

  45. Being writerly here, don’t forget your business cards.

  46. This is the kind of thing that bothers my brain on a weekly basis. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to save a 16 month old, 3 cats and a puppy but I’m working on it.

  47. Kristin I know that you get a lot of comments. I understand that you likely cannot read all of them. But if you do see this, it would be AWESOME, because you’re really big. Actually, my language arts teacher went to high school with you, and she referred me to your blog. See, I started something on my blog very recently, and its purpose is to get bloggers together. These bloggers would be specifically movie bloggers. I would post a link to the post, but I don’t want to risk this going into your trash automatically. I know that your voice is heard, and if you were interested in getting involved, or getting you viewers involved, it would help a TON. The post is titled, “A Big Idea: Bloggers, Listen Up.” It is on my home page, you’d just have to scroll down a bit. If you would like me to send you a link please let me know. I can’t go too in depth for the sake of extreme length, but I need 1 movie bloggers from every state. If you could check out the post and spread the word, I would be a really happy guy. Thank you Kristen, and keep up the great work. You truly understand writing, and that’s all one can ask for

  48. Hi Kristen:
    I have nominated you for the VERY INSPIRATIONAL BLOGGER AWARD. Please read my newest post to check out what you need to do.
    Thanks for your great posts….

  49. I think maybe a great thing is bringing a bat and checking it in the bag, and I can’t think of other good stuff but I do love your list. The zombie apocalypse wouldn’t do any damage in Texas, what with all of the guns you can keep with you and all you need is a big truck with big tires and you could just run those zombies over. 🙂

  50. LOL too funny Kristen! These were great tips, I took detailed notes for my next travel occasion. Might I also suggest sneakers (gotta be able to run from those zombies), pen and paper (so you can keep a zombie journal and self-pub it after your survival to much acclaim and success) and some Twinkies (in case you run into Tallahassee roaming the country in search of the last supply). Enjoy your trip and thanks for the entertaining read! 🙂

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