How I Got My Gear


Photo by Alexa Newsom!

On my 15th birthday, after I’d read The Zombie Survival Guide numerous times, my uncle presented me with a life-changing gift: an olive colored Cordura duffle bag with the words “zombie survival kit” painted in red on the outside.

Inside were various zombie-killing weapons, such as a baseball bat with “zombie killer” inscribed on it, a golf club, a crowbar, and a machete. The tactical vest I still wear today in almost all my shoots, complete with a first aid kit in the back pouch, as well as the Blackhawk tactical gloves. Later that year, for Christmas, he would give me a Blackhawk thigh holster.

A few years later my other uncle would give me a shotgun shell bandolier. I’d also begin buying my own real weapons, like my Kahr CW9 and Bear compound bow, and gear like my Rocky Mountain boots and load-bearing suspenders.

A shot from my first photo shoot in about '09.

A shot from my first photo shoot in about ’09. Photo by Alexa Newsom!

But back to the first gift on my 15th birthday! After Joe gave me that gift I became obsessed. So obsessed my aunt and uncle were a bit disturbed. I was already deeply into zombies, having read TZSG so many times, and was just starting to write my first novel. But the zombie-killing gear put me over the edge. One night when the power went out, I came into the hallway with my bat and said, “This is my time,” convinced the zombie apocalypse had started.

My aunt and uncle were definitely frightened.


But I always give credit to Joe for where I am today. If he hadn’t given me that gift and got me manic about tactical gear, guns, and survival, Cyrus might not have been the same character. If I hadn’t been so obsessed—and I hate to admit this—the zombie thing might’ve been a passing fancy. At 15, most things are.

And the moral of the story is, dear readers, be sure to remember those who helped you get to where you are today!

Photo by Dominick Barbero!

Photo by Dominick Barbero!


About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp is an author and designer living in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in Humor, Life, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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