For four seasons, fans of AMC's The Walking Dead have watched Rick, Daryl, Carol, and their not-so-merry band of survivors fight for their lives in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. While the show's first season was about finding a safe haven, and ideally a cure for the infection that has transformed so many of the group's loved ones into flesh-eating beings, the current season sees them settling into the Kübler-Ross model's final stage of grief: acceptance. Take away all the zombies and what you've got with The Walking Dead is a story of survival. If you stop to analyze some of the key tactics the group has employed over the past 45 episodes, you might just learn a thing or two on the off chance you need to survive in the woods (or the even further off chance you come face-to-face with a reanimated corpse). Which is why we asked the Boulder Outdoor Survival School's program director Steve Dessinger and director of program development Laurel Holding to weigh in on the lessons we've learned – and the likelihood of enduring – on The Walking Dead.
Calories in a Can
Rites of passage into manhood come in a variety of strange ways (young men of the island nation of Vanuatu go land diving, for example). In The Walking Dead, manliness comes with the consumption of a 112-ounce can of chocolate pudding. At least it did for Carl, who proved he was no longer a boy when he ate what might be the most amount of pudding ever consumed on camera in season four's mid-season premiere. The most basic survival guides suggest that canned meats, vegetables, and fruits are the best foods to have on hand in case of emergency, especially those preserved in a liquid (which can be used to replace some drinking water). While Dessinger admits that he doesn't eat much canned food, he notes that, "If I found a stash of canned food and had to leave, I would take the stuff with the most calories per unit of weight." Note: Our estimates put that can of pudding at around 4,500 calories.
Credit: Gene Page / AMC