A knife is an essential tool
Credit: Gene Page / AMC

Guns may only be placed in the hands of the group leaders on The Walking Dead, but everyone has a knife. Most people carry one and with good reason: it can be used as easily for defending oneself against a lifeless cannibal as it can for hunting, eating, and picking the occasional lock. "As the old saying goes, ‘A knifeless man is a lifeless man,'" says Holding. "A knife (and the knowledge of how to use and maintain it) is the most important survival tool. We recommend a four-inch blade – ideally with no serrations – as being adequate for nearly every situation while also being easily carried. The handle should be comfortable and the tang, whether full or ‘rat-tail,' should run the entire length of the handle. High-carbon steel will more readily throw a spark when striking natural flint-type stones, and is typically easier to sharpen than stainless steel. High-quality stainless steel can also be a good option, especially if you found yourself in a marine or jungle environment."