Blame the Bible. Blame Hollywood: (We're looking at you "X-Men: Apocalypse.") And, of course, blame the hit series "The Walking Dead."
Or skip the blaming altogether and begin to prepare for the apocalypse.
When that dark day comes, the wealthier among us —with their white-collar, dirt-free lifestyles—will be at the biggest disadvantage.
Fortunately, there is a place where the essential skills needed to ward off a zombie attack are taught—under the guise of a five-star vacation-- at Montana's own Paws Up resort. Rates start at $1,420/night per person during peak season. It’s expensive, but it’s a wise investment.
Dr. Ali Khan, former director of the CDC says, “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.”
At Paws Up, you'll hone skills to survive whatever awaits at the end of the world.
1. A life-saving location.
According to a 2015 simulation at Cornell University, the safest place to be during the apocalypse is the Northern Rockies. That’s exactly where one finds the 37,000-acre Resort at Paws Up. Its nearest metropolis, and airport, is the college town of Missoula, pop. 69,000. Researchers agree zombies will first attack the most densely-populated urban areas. For that reason, Big Sky Country is one of the best places to retreat to. Paws Up allows the well-to-do among us to familiarize themselves with things in nature—like stars, trees, and silence—they may encounter when they flee their penthouse apartments and suburban mansions.
2. Discover alternative light sources.
The lights flicker. Then they go out. That’s how every horror movie starts and it’s likely how the apocalypse will begin. At Paws Up, each of the 30+ glamping tents is equipped with a flashlight. There are no overhead lights in the well-appointed luxury tents so guests must practice adjusting their eyes to the dark. The resort has also hosted beeswax drip candle-making workshops and its Gettin’ Primitive Wilderness Workshops teaches guests how to make flames the old-fashioned way-- with tinder and friction.
3. You have disconnect.
Learning to live without WiFi is essential for staying sane during the end of times. Communication systems will most likely crash—probably from an EMP attack. Paw's Up primes its guests for a state of being offline by not providing a signal to its glamping tents. Guests are forced to either hike to a common area or live without checking email, Facebook, Instagram and the Dow Jones online. If you don’t know how to disconnect, you may as well be dead.
4. Target practice for preppers.
Most rifle ranges don’t feature targets set in a realistic ghost town. Whether it’s traditional archery and going "Hunger Games" style against 3D animal targets or even skeet shooting at airborne clays, there are plenty of opportunities to practice marksmanship at Paw's Up. The Gettin’ Primitive workshop even includes tomahawk throwing.
5. Stockpile those swanky supplies.
The resort’s new 25,000 square-ft. Wilderness Outpost hosts trunk shows and one of the most popular returning artisans is James Behring with his custom made knives—handy for everything from hunting to cooking, shelter-building and self-defense. The retail space also includes work gloves, designer casual clothes and boots. No one wants to be caught in a three-piece suit and heels during the apocalypse.
6. Foraging and fishing.
If real life plays out like The Walking Dead, access to calories will be a concern. At Paws Up, guests learn the true art of forest to table. The Gettin’ Primitive Camp includes a workshop in edible plant identification and cookbooks in the Wilderness Outpost offer recipes. When they’re not out foraging in Flathead National Forest, guests are fly-fishing the Blackfoot River, the same river fished by Brad Pitt and Robert Redford in the Academy Award-Winning film, "A River Runs Through It."
7. Survival of the fittest.
During the rapture, it’s not survival of the richest. Zombies and/or the Antichrist will have no use for money. To hone those climbing and balancing skills, Paws Up guests take to the Grizzlyman Fitness Trail, a one-mile-long forest obstacle course featuring 12 manmade stations including swinging ropes, ladders, monkey bars and bridges. The resort also has a new Sky Line Aerial Adventure Course where guests rely on their athleticism to see them through adrenaline rushes including a 40-ft.-high free fall.
8. A paw-calypse for dogs.
Serious preppers will want to get their pets ready for life in the Northern Rockies too. Paws Up welcomes dogs of all kinds—from the pedigree purebred to the pampered mutt. The spa menu includes a complimentary tail-wagging dog massage, and the resort’s main restaurant, Trough, hands out artisanal dog treats. The miles of groomed trails and backcountry dirt roads are the perfect practice grounds for agility and, off leash, obedience.
9. Keep calm-- then carry on.
Panic is a surefire way to perish in times of crisis. Paws Up familiarizes guests with a tranquil state of mind in its outdoor semi-circle Spa Town. Every treatment is performed in private tents opening up to endless mountain views. The menu includes an Altitude Adjustment head and neck massage (the Northern Rockies climb up to 12,972 ft. so acclimation is key) and even a Montana Gold Rush Massage where guests are rubbed with oil and real gold flakes.
10. Sharpen your Senses
Emergencies have a way of requiring us to be on point across the board. Having keen eyesight won’t be enough. Paws Up’s blindfold yoga is a game-changing class that sharpens the other four senses we tend to let stagnate. It also increases internal awareness and self-trust. It requires Pratyahara—Sanskrit for mastering our senses so we can act and not just react to external forces, especially the chaos the end times will incite.
Katie Jackson is a travel writer. When she's not working, she's chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus.