So, first, a scenario to illustrate my point:
I started a new Sandbox game, and it spawned me in the middle of the woods. No big deal, right? So I walked in large concentric circles, expanding out as I went. After an hour (real-time) of finding nothing, not even a berry bush or a single zombie, it begins to rain. Fifteen minutes later, at this point I'm wet, hungry, and tired - I realize my strategy isn't working. I decide to pick a direction and just walk. I head Southeast. Another 1/2 hr later (with my actual fingers beginning to fatigue) I'm now starving, soaked, and exhausted. I'm about to just give up. Suddenly, I come to a clearing, thank goodness. It goes in two directions; West & East. I head East. Another few minutes of this, and it curves northeast. another 10 min and it comes to a road; Northwest & Southeast. Hallelujah! There must be a town or structure around here somewhere. I go back to my strategy of heading Southeast. Half a freaking hour later, barely moving and unable to run, I am nearing total exhaustion (and my fingers are aching), and I'm desperate for food and water. Where is everything? I decide to try and find some berries, and head into the woods again. Some more time passes, fruitlessly. It's not looking good, I'm just wandering aimlessly in the forest. I'm completly out of options.
I die - alone, starved, and perplexed.
Is this a Zombie apocalypse? I wouldn't know... I never saw one in nearly 2.5hr of playing.
As far as I know, I just woke up in the woods, like an amnesiac dropped from the sky.
That just felt like a total waste of time, unexciting, and not engaging - but it doesn't have to be.
I love that you can get lost in the woods, and think being miles from civilization (as far as you know) really adds to the immersion. However, it's not very realistic that you can literally die of thirst while it's absolutely pouring rain outside, and reach exhaustion when you have plenty of trees to sit under (or simply stand still to catch a breath).
Suggestions from Observations:
1) Water Sources; There needs to be more access to water. While out in the woods, or even in rural areas, some streams or small ponds, or at least SOME kind of water source every now and then would be helpful. Realistic, even. If you've spent any time in the wilderness, or live in a small country town, you'll know water sources are much more plentiful than this game portends. Especially after a rainstorm. They may not always be GOOD sources of water, but at least they're an option. Heck, even being able to wring-out the water from the soaked clothing would be a nice option; it's a totally viable solution when you're desperate and dehydrated.
2) Resting; There definitely need to be more options for resting, especially when lost in the woods. I'm really looking forward to the new animations hopefully introducing some more methods for resting without beds or furniture. It's ridiculous that we can't lay down, or even sit down , and sleep for a while in the woods, to rest and regain stamina. It provides just enough cover to at least be moderately safe, to a degree, for a period of time, and rest up. Instead we just stand there, breathing heavy, with no relief, gradually dying of exhaustion. In the middle of nowhere.
3) Long Roads; The roads are just TOO barren. Walking for, what seems like miles, with no idea if you're heading in the right direction is not very fun - especially after an hour or more without seeing ANYTHING. That's not a game, and I'm not even sure it qualified as a walking simulator; at least those give you something to do. I'm not totally certain of how to solve this, though breaking up the monotony and adding some minor interaction aspects would be a start. Maybe placing some street signs that, at the least, let you know there's civilization somewhere; a speed limit sign, a mile marker, a billboard ad, a rest area sign, an 'X-Miles to Next City' sign, something. Also, maybe the occasional random item, pile of junk, wrecked/abandoned car, etc. Some way to possibly get some supplies, even if they may not be too helpful. Something is better than miles and miles of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Even seeing a few Zomboids would be a start.
Anyhow, that's my long-winded two cents.