A zombie apocalypse is unlikely, but there’s something oddly enjoyable about planning for the end of the world. A recent contest centered around zombie “safe houses” proves this with the winning entry. As you may know, a “safe house” isn’t always a “safe” house. Those pesky undead always seem to find a way in and, before you know it, your brains are now a zombie buffet. The 2011 Zombie Safe House Competition had users submit their own ideas of a truly safe refuge from the undead menace, and the winning entry is a very unique, if simple-sounding, idea.
When an armadillo, for example, is threatened by a predator it will roll up into a ball, its armored plates making it a difficult and unappetizing snack. You too could do the same with this portable safe house, dubbed Vagabond by its designer, Austin Fleming. Sure, you might be safe on the second floor of a home with the stairway removed, but how do you resupply? A concept like this allows survivors to travel into zombie-infested territory to obtain food, water, medicine, or whatever else is required without the risk of becoming a snack. Work on the back, the Vagabond can be unfurled when those empty streets suddenly swarm with undead, forming a protective dome that one or two can hide under until the threat passes.
The outer layer of the Vagabond shell is reflective and made of solar cells. The former makes it so the refuge is camouflaged while the latter provides power to the inside of the shell, necessary for powering devices (so you can radio for help) or supplying heat and energy for cooking or other survival tasks. A tube with what appears to be a turbine called a “tornado” circulates fresh air so one doesn’t suffocate inside their little, domed safe house. Anchored into the ground, the sturdy structure should provide safety from zombies that do somehow sense living (tasty) humans inside, although it would no doubt be a terrifying experience nonetheless. The biggest flaw, though, might be how little it protects against other survivors. While zombies may eventually pass you up, less ethical survivors might view Vagabond domes as an easy source of supplies at your expense. If that sounds like a risk you’re not willing to take, check out some other great zombie survival ideas we’ve covered, such as the Zombie-Proof Home or a Machete Slingshot.