How to load out like Joel and stay prepared in a post-apocalyptic America.

Based on the immensely popular video game series, HBO’s The Last of Us has effectively revived the zombie takeover trope drawing over 4.7 million viewers during the premiere episode and providing actor Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian and Game of Thrones fame with another outlet to capture the attention of Americans everywhere.

Portraying Joel Miller, an Austin-native forced into a world of chaos after an immeasurable loss and must learn to evolve his skills to make it through the mushroom apocalypse and accomplish a mission he never asked for. While you hopefully won’t have to face off with any fungus-fueled adversaries in the future, taking a lesson from Joel’s handbook and balancing experience and instincts with the proper gear may prove essential if it ever truly hits the fan.

BENCHMADE - Infidel Auto Knife (GovX Exclusive)

In Joel's world, the focus isn’t so much on self-defense as it is on self-preservation. With infected hordes, cannibals, and hostile government entities hot on his trail, knowing what and when to deploy during life-or-death moments is crucial. That’s why a damn good knife is always a solid option for stealth actions and close-quarters combat. Trusted by police officers and tactical enforcers, the Infidel’s fast out-the-front action makes for an instant and effective threat neutralizer.

LEATHERMAN - Raptor Multi-Tool with MOLLE or Utility Sheath

Desperate times call for desperate measures. With that fresh in your head, we’d like to loop you in on the Raptor, the all-in-one lifesaver for rendering emergency aid. Need to make an improvised tourniquet? The stainless-steel shears quickly shred through fabric with ease. Gotta break some glass? There’s a tool for that. In fact, there’s a total of six tools, and they’re all capable of getting the job done under duress. Much to Joel’s satisfaction, the Raptor clocks in at just under six ounces for quick and easy transportation.

ROTHCO - Concealed Carry Flannel Shirt

If you’re familiar with the first game in the series, you’ll know that the story is told not in chapters, but in seasons. From the onset, you can feel the characters leave the brutal bitterness of a Boston winter and make their way across the country as spring blooms and the weather warms. A reflection of hope in a hopeless land? Maybe. But regardless, a trusty flannel serves a man like Joel well when he’s on the move. Rothco’s concealed carry edition is no different. Durable, comfortable, and outfitted with multiple mag pockets and pouches, it’s everything a man needs to keep his weapon well within reach.

VIKTOS – Men's Bersherken MC Jacket

When you’re busy dodging exploding spores, brand loyalty is just about the last thing on your mind. What we’re trying to say is that If you need to cross brands to complete your kit and carry out your mission, absolutely do it. And do it proudly. Submitted for your approval, here’s The Bersherken, a pure tactical powerhouse for a cold and unforgiving world. Vet-designed and developed (a fact, that Joel would appreciate), this crusader of cruel conditions features a Sherpa-fleeced inner lining for unbeatable warmth, Gunvent™ sidearm access zippers to accommodate your arsenal, and a 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell ideal for outlasting the storm.

VORTEX OPTICS - Viper HD 12x50 Binoculars

Though a case can be made for keeping your head on the proverbial swivel, it’s advisable to keep a tool on you for surveying the surrounding areas for the first sign of trouble. Offering up 12x magnification over a distance of 288 feet/1000 yards, Vortex’s binos are a staple amongst their nation of loyal outdoorsmen, hunters, and range warriors. Highly durable and surprisingly lightweight, the extra-low dispersion glass ensures that whatever you’re looking at doesn’t come in fuzzy and unfocused.

ROCKY BOOTS - Men's Coronado Waterproof Military Chukka Boots

Full disclosure: I had to research exactly what type of boots Mr. Miller wears in both the game and the show. For some reason, I had it in my head that the creators wouldn’t put a lot of thought into his footwear. Boy, was I wrong. Turns out Joel is a Chukkas man. Which works out just dandy, because we happened to sell some choice Chukkas on GovX. Take for example these ground pounders from Rocky Boots. Breathable, waterproof, and quick to dry, they’re built to serve you well whether you're making your way through bombed out cities or scampering across some slick terrain.

READYWISE - Emergency Food Supply Ready Grab Bag

Obstacles always feel less daunting on a full stomach. With hearty meals hard to come by, our respected smuggler could do worse than hauling around a variety pack of solid dehydrated eats he can enjoy during his downtime. Boasting an impressive 60 servings of tasty macaroni, pot pie, granola, and more palate-approved entrees, Joel has his pick for staying nourished and ready to take on the day. To top it all, this pack has a 25-year shelf life, just in case one needs to wait out the worst.

ROTHCO - General Purpose First Aid Kit

Something tells us that the local urgent care clinic isn’t exactly well-equipped to handle minor injuries when there are clickers on the loose. As such, Joel must have a method for administrating solutions to the nicks, cuts, sprains, and pains that come with the territory. With over 60 essential items packed into a convenient waterproof case, there’s everything you need to keep a minor injury from turning into a major issue. Not to mention, avoiding infections.

OLIGHT - Baldr Pro 1350 Lumen Pistol Flashlight with Green Laser Sight

What? You thought the only thing you had to pack was lunch? Ascribing to the fact that you can’t shoot what you can’t see, Olight’s lumen-powered weaponlight comes ready to mount onto any handgun with a 4’’ or longer accessory rail. Suited for dark, dank areas or night ops, this light contains a green laser sight for faster target acquisition and a nifty strobe mode for disorienting would-be attackers.

FOX TACTICAL – Medium Transport Pack

End of times or not, we weren’t going to recommend all this killer gear without supplying you with a contender to carry it in. Enter the Medium Transport Pack by Fox Tactical. Heavy duty, built-to-last, and offering plenty of room for all your EDC gear, this bag dominates the travel plans with essential compartments for everything. Including, the indispensable hydration bladder.


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