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12 Gadgets to Survive the Apocalypse


Now is a good time to ponder the apocalypse. Iran and North Korea are going nuclear, the wonky weather is a harbinger of catastrophic climate change, and end-of-the-world blockbusters abound. (Tim Burton's '9' came out last week and '2012,' 'The Road,' and 'Zombieland' are all coming up later this fall.)

In that dismal spirit, the Switched team has gathered its first choices for last-chance gadgetry -- a collection of 12 must-haves if society is in peril, whether it be by fire or ice, zombies or aliens. Using our handy "What Type of Apocalypse Will It Be?" chart below, you'll be able to find the right gadgets for the right disaster and the ensuing fallout. We've prepared for all possibilities (Needs for speed, power, disease prevention, water sources, and survivalist entertainment, among others, are all accounted for.), but have left out weapons -- that's a whole other enchilada. So as icebergs melt and horsemen ride, gear up and get ready.








ACR Electronics Microfix Personal Beacon

Good for: Zombie Attack, Rapidly Spreading Virus, Aliens, Floods
With an internal GPS, this little guy signals satellites to identify your exact location, as well as your name, address, and medical info. For floods, it's water resistant. The beacon is great for keeping track of scavengers, or seeing someone's health records. (Are they sickness resistant?) We do wonder if alien spaceships can track it, though. [From: Wired.com. $600, at REI.com ]


Scope Ford F-650 XUV

Good For: Zombie Attack, Rapidly Spreading Virus
According to Jalopnik, the F-650 has a diamond-plated bumper, which is ideal for getting away from infected folks or mowing down the undead (or the living that want to kill you, take your car, and get the heck out). While it isn't bullet-proof, it does get good mileage, so fewer dangerous pit stops are needed. (From: Price unknown, Jalopnik]




Eton American Red Cross Solarlink FR360 Radio

Good for: Robot/Computer Revolt, Nuclear Fallout, Zombie Attack, Rapidly Spreading Virus
Not only is it pretty, but the Eton can also do practically anything. Capable of charging via USB (not good if your computer wants to kill you), hand-crank, solar power or AC power source, this Red Cross radio will keep on running even in the darkest of places. The FR360 tunes into NOAA weather channels or regular AM/FM, so you can stay informed. Lastly, the little LED lights on the side? Powerful enough to be used as flashlights. [$50, at REI.com]


400 Ft. Range Driveway Alarm

Good for: Aliens, Zombie Attack
Set this sucker up outside of the encampment, and any source of movement will send it into a frenzy. For the truly paranoid, the alarm can be fitted with up to three sensors and linked to several receivers -- perfect for setting up perimeter. Also, it's equipped with two-way capability for those "Honey? Is that you, or are you a zombie now?" moments. [$99, at GadgetShack]


Therm-A-Rest Tech Blanket

Good for: Nuclear Fallout, Floods
A blanket can be more versatile than a sleeping bag during long, dark nights when either the sun or the power is out. Though this isn't technology, per se, its ventilation and compact size (The comforter can be rolled into a small bag.), is pretty advanced for camping bedding. [$40-$50, at BackCountry.com]

LIFESAVER Bottle

Good for: Nuclear Fallout, Floods/Ice Caps Melting, Zombie Attack, Rapidly Spreading Virus
Filtering out water as it's being used, the LIFESAVER produces ready-to-drink H20 on the spot, cleaning out bacteria and viruses in contaminated fluids. Using a pump to literally push water out of a carbon block with microscopic holes, filtering the molecules associated with contaminants, and hopefully stopping the spread of illness, this smart bottle will keep survivors safe when water filtration has failed. [From: Wired.com, $150 at HTIStore.com]



Jetboil Personal Cooking System

Good for: Nuclear Fallout, Floods/Ice Caps Melting, Zombie Attack, Rapidly Spreading Virus
To be honest, the best morale boost in any scenario is a warm meal. A sturdy, small stove can help heat up Spaggheti-os and also boil (and thus purify) water. The Jetboil comes with its own aluminum cooking cup, and claims to boil in two minutes. Thankfully, no eating out of tin cans. [$80.00, at ThinkGeek]



Orange Solar Concept Tent

Good for: Robot/Computer Revolt, Zombie Attack
While still a concept, this tent's panels convert solar light into energy, which is then used to heat and light the tent, and charge gadgets. Additionally, it looks pretty neat, making sure you'll be the most stylish camper in the established "safe zone." Produced by Orange and made for Glastonbury Fest attendees, the tent should be out in 2011. [From: NewLaunches via Greenlaunches]


ATN Viper Night Vision Goggle

Good for: Nuclear War, Robot/Computer Revolt, Zombie Attack
On top of making the wearer look like he or she (or it) means business, these goggles enable the user to see in the dark, which gives us night-sight-disadvantaged humans an edge when trying to evade killer zombies or robots. The Vipers only have one lithium battery, making them lighter than the average pair of night goggles. [$263 at Amazon.com]



Voltaic Solar Bags

Good for: Nuclear War, Robot/Computer Revolt, Aliens, Zombie Attack
Not only does the Solar Bag appease the eco-friendly businessman, but it's also ideal for those apocalypse-era travelers who want to charge on the go. Available in backpack, messenger, and laptop sizes, the Voltaic is the first portable solar bag powerful enough to charge a laptop, and includes batteries to store the extra energy when the sun sets. The solar panels are affixed to the back -- towards the sun if being worn -- and generate up to four volts an hour. That means it needs about three hours of charge time to power an iPod (so you can listen to REM's "It's End of the World As We Know It," of course). An added plus: Solar panels come in customizable colors. [$199 for messenger bag, $249 for backpack, $499 for generator/laptop bag at Voltaic]

Petzl Tikka Plus LED Headlamp

Good for: Nuclear Fallout, Robot/Computer Revolt, Floods/Ice Caps Melting, Divine Intervention, Zombie/Human Attack
The campers at BoingBoing gave this lightweight headlamp a solid review, even praising its night vision-preserving low setting. Tikka claims that the lamp is also inclement weather-ready -- a trait most night vision goggles lack. If the power goes out, this easy-to-carry gadget allows work to be done at night. After all, if something is out to hunt, it's best to assume it can see in the dark, too. [From: BoingBoing, $35 at REI.com]


Sony's 65-Inch GXD-L65H1 LCD TV

Good for: Floods/Ice Caps Melting, Divine Intervention
Basically, if the Four Horsemen descend, or warring aliens appear in the sky, there isn't a tremendous amount to be done. So sit back, relax, and watch the virtually indestructible Sony GXD. Claiming to be freeze-proof and water resistant, this high-priced LCD doesn't make a lot of sense during an economic crisis. But it would be crucial if everything else were destroyed (save our love of the Boob Tube, of course). [From Wired.com]

Tags: 2012, 9, apocalypse, features, humor, survival, the road, TheRoad, top, zombieland

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