A Road Trip with BOB

“This is a guest post by Frank B and entry in our non-fiction writing contest – where you could win $100 cash. (This contest ends on June 5 2011 so get busy)”

My sister called me last year concerned about getting to our retreat. She was one of the many motorists who got caught out in a snow storm and had to overnight in her car. Fortunately, she had put her BOB (bug out bag) in the car just a day earlier.

It had been sitting in the ready near her front door for months. She had water, a blanket, and food enough to be comfortable throughout the ordeal, but she realized this was just a one-night stand out in the world and the real event was most likely going to be much worse.

Our retreat is 360 miles from her home/work in the city but she has other options that are closer to her location, just in a different direction. I have always put pen to paper to figure out the facts and did so for her as well.

After reviewing all of her options, we determined that she needed to be better prepared. My wife took this a step further and pointed out that we needed to be better prepped for a similar event. We travel cross-country a great deal and could very easily be caught on the road when the SHTF. So, our BOBs just got heavier.

For debate, let’s consider that we got stuck in a traffic jam 360 miles from our retreat. Here is the method I would use to figure out our steps to get home.

We might choose to sit tight for a while, allowing for the possibility the traffic flow might continue, but at some point we’d realize that the jig was up. Some cars may break down or run out of fuel and be abandoned in the roadway (just what happened to my sister in the snow storm). This would be a clue that a foot trip may be in our future.

A map would be a must have item. A good map would be even better. A tritium compass would be a must as well (earlier post). As our truck’s GPS would not last long without a power source, we’d leave it behind rather than add more weight to our packs, but several routes could be explored and written down before we lost its use.

Determining how many miles you can walk a day can be difficult at best, and perhaps nearly impossible, given the endless variations in conditions. This being said we need to start off somewhere. It has been said that an average walking speed on level ground is 3/mph. Having a 60lb pack and being off the straight and level will also slow you down.

Again, for debating this example, let’s say we can travel an average of 2 mile per hour. We might do better on some days and maybe even worse on other days, but on average let’s go with 2/mph.

Before we have left the truck, we have determined that we must travel 360 miles and that we feel good about traveling at 2 miles per hour. We are also going to set a goal of traveling at least 8 hours a day for the days we travel.

At face value this could translate into a 23-day trip (360 miles divided by 2mph=180 hours of travel divided by 8 hours a day equals 22.5 days) if we didn’t take any time off; but since we do not have food enough for two people for 23 days, we know we will be stopping. Plus, neither of us are Superman so a break or two might be in order as well.

Heck, even Superman took a break now and then. Seeing these numbers would tell me right off that the walk home is going to be, at best, one month or so but you can see that bad terrain, foul weather, a twisted ankle, or any number of other issues could make this journey last much longer.

Based on what we have in our packs right now, we can plan this out. Renee and I carry two loaded packs everywhere we go. They don’t take up a lot of room in the back of the truck and are ready for what we hope would be the worst case we would encounter. Let’s see.

Getting an inventory of food on hand would be one of the first things to do. This would allow us to start out with a ration plan to allow what we had to go the farthest. Combining the food from both packs we come up with the items listed here.


8 packs of Mainstay 3600 Food Rations 6×3 (1200 cal/day)=10 days for two.
12 Millennium Bars 400 cal 3×400=1200cal = 2 days for two
8 packs Honey Stingers used as needed
6 MRE entrees = 3 days for two
4 MRE (complete) = 2 days for two


30 bullion cubes = 15 days for two
6 12-packs NUUN (72 16oz drinks) = 36 days for two.
38ct of Folgers instant coffee packets = 19 days for two

Seeing this list has me a bit worried. To be safe, we shouldn’t travel more than 17 days walk from home. As it has happened though (in our example) we are at least 23 nonstop walking days from home and have only 17 days of full rations. This is a bit better than I had expected to find but we still fall short.

We could cut rations by half and go 32 days with stops, hoping to supplement with what we hunt, fish, beg or find along the way. This might be the best idea. We do have electrolyte drinks in full rations, and bullion and coffee for alternate days. In my opinion, this would be a bold move to do.

It would take finding lakes or rivers to fish as we go as well as foraging from the flora along the way, but I think it could be done if the weather held for us. A good day of fishing would afford us a day off from walking.

Rationing for 32 days would get us the 23 with food to spare. We could also chose to go with straight rations of 875cal/day (73% of the full 1200 cal/day) to walk the 23 days straight. Without going into the other ways we could cut our rations, I think either of these would be a good plan given that good weather was with us.

If the SHTF in the winter, the calorie requirements could be twice what the plan uses in just staying warm. Winter would certainly put an interesting spin on this example. It might mean setting up camp somewhere so we could fish and hunt. We may need to find like-minded folks that would allow us to work for our winter keep. We may choose to make our way through the season anyhow.

If we choose to continue in the winter, our 17-day rations would last only about 9 days. We would still be hunting, fishing, foraging and begging along the way and only God could say how long the trip would take.

Clearly, having the ability to consider these issues before it happens can help with the happy outcome of such an event. Looks like I’ll be adding more lightweight food rations to the BOB. What do you think??:-)

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. riverrider says:

    on your way out you could leave caches ,maybe in sealed buckets, along the way. mark them on your map. if nothin happens, just stop by n pick them up. could be in the ditch or in a bus station locker, freinds house, whatever. main thing is keep aware. my humble opinion, the event won’t be a sudden thing. you’ll have time to head home before the masses with their head up their butt get wind that something is up. then they won’t know what to do for a while, then they hit the road enmass. i know folks that never watch the news or ever check the weather before they walk out the door. you’ll be 150 miles closer to home b4 they even hang up their cell phone:)….my question tho, if it takes you 23 days to get home, will any of your stuff be there? and by about day 7 the zombies will be hungry. you’l have to travel at night to avoid looters/ robbers , adding days to your trip. just a thought on the food, you could pack a duffle style or sling style bag w/ extra food and as you use the food up toss it. thats kinda my plan. i carry GHB with 5 days food and essentials. then a patrol pack w/ more food and clothes. then a small roll bag w/ more food/ ammo etc. if far enough from home. if i’m close, i just leave the pack and bag to the looters . enjoyed your entry, it got me thinking about beefing mine up, pun intended:)

    • Frank B says:

      We had thought about leaving caches along the roads, maybe at certain mile markers and 12 paces in from the marker. This sounds to me like a good thing to do for such an event. We already have cashes about the property to resupply ourselves with guns and ammo to re-take our home if it had been invaded (so to speak) in our absence. The extra duffel is a good idea too. I just don’t know if I can convince my wife to carry it on top of all my other stuff she lugs around.

      • Bad idea caches can be robbed. Image depending on a cache and it has been stolen by a hiker and destroyed by animals. I know because I have a cache of books, puzzles, and seeds and fire extinginer that was stolen out of my pop up camper that was at my dad’s property. (And he is away from it at his NJ property.)

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Bury your cache in a watertight container like an ammo box. I’ve buried several of them throughout the past year. It’s not hard, and if done properly they will remain safe and sound for years. In fact, caching was very common within the mountain man era.

        • riverrider says:

          that wasn’t a cache. caches are hidden, often buried, or secure in some other way by definition. you place it off the beaten path, out of sight, camouflage it, whatever. then you make multiple ones in case one is discovered in spite of your precautions. works for special forces and guerilla fighters as well.

      • riverrider says:

        great idea. i need to stash something nearby to retake my house if needed.the list just keeps getting longer………i was talking about a small duffel,like a gym bag, maybe w/ the fd food in it which are light but bulky. wouldn’t put anything in it that was critical since its easy to grab and run for a badguy. when its empty, toss it.

  2. idahobob says:

    Get rid of the MRE’s. Too heavy and take up waaaay too much space.
    Pack freeze dried meals (Mt House, Richmoor, Alpine Aire). Have a water filter, like a Katadyne. Don’t forget a stove, my choice, and what we use is a JetBoil.


    • Frank B says:

      You are right. They weigh too much for the return they give. I’d really like to know if anyone has tried/used the survival Tabs?
      If they are what they say… maybe something to pack.

      • I vote forget the stove too, pack a little bit of tinder and a ferro rod. I have never had trouble starting a fire with one of these, If you need a fail safe throw a couple trioxane bars in there. They are super light and you only need a little so a how bar (about three inches ling) can start several fires. If you are hoofing it, fuel should not be hard to come by. Maybe just pack a lightwieght aluminum or titanium pot (i love rei for these). I too would ditch the mre’s for a lother wieght option. If you ditch the water in favor of a filter like a katadyne, the wight you save could easily translate into a keltec su16 and a small supply of rounds. Or a compact 22 with rounds. Worth the trade if you ask me, a small ling gun would be better than a pistol for this scenario,l better to have both, but if you have to choose, long gun for sure.

      • riverrider says:

        we used survival tabs on long field problems. they are good as long as you supplement them w/ real food. your stomach won’t be used to not being full, and the nutrition is at “survival” level. you will be in “combat” level humping a pack for miles and will need more protien etc. they do make your rats last longer and give quick evergy in between meals and are easy to eat while moving. i carry millenium bars. they taste great, take up little room and make my stomach feel fuller. we ALWAYS stripped the mres down to the foil packets. i don’t even order the mre anymore. i get the entree and the bread and cheese. weighs alot less than complete ones, cheaper too.

  3. Well this another great “food for thought”article. In Sheri (in) article I expressed my fear that I had said a little to much about my level of preparedness to my elderly neighbor. In Tom the Yonkers article I expressed my fear of that a financial collapse would occur before I finish paying off my house. Now this article forces me to admit one of my greatest fears. My wife and I are truckers and we spend 3 weeks at a time running a dedicated trip from Houston to lis Angeles and back to Houston. We then have 3 weeks off while another team of owner operators do the run. So we have exactly,a 50% chance of being home if teotwaki changes over night. I have no doubts that if it where to occur while we are on the road,then we are officially screwed. I’ve mentioned my wife’s arthritis before but I’ve never mentioned that she is also many years my years older than me and it didn’t matter when I was 30 and she was 40,but now that I’m in my fiftys I know there isnt any way we could get back to our home. I have at least hidden a cheap pistol and 50 rounds of ammo in my truck but that won’t get us home,just give as bit more of a chance to stay alive for a while longer. I guess all I can hope for is that the decline is slow enough that my wife and I recognize the signs early enough that we can make our way home before it’s to late.

    • Frank B says:

      I saw a dog with two broken legs, make it home, three weeks after being taken away by a tornado. Don’t give up before it even happens. You both can make it if you prepare as best you can, pace yourselves, and keep your faith. I believe that we are never tested beyond our abilities. We fail because we failed to see the signs and prepare. Keep your tanks full.

    • riverrider says:

      like i said above, keep aware and head home when your gut says go. you’ll be hours or days ahead of the zombies. remember there is a time line of zombie reaction to disaster..first disbelief, then “okay, we’ll wait for the gov to tell us what to do”. then “where the heck is the gov” and ” i can’t believe the gov isn’t here yet” to “i’m hungry, lets go find some food” to “theres no food, lets get the heck outta here”. depending on your gut, this gives you 24to 72 hours to get gone. maybe a week before things get REAL bad.

  4. Sorry Tom. My iPhone corrected my spelling to read Yonkers instead of tinker

  5. Auntie_Em says:

    Clearly you have given this much thought and planned with wisdom. It is also clear that this BOB and bug out plan was wisely made with geographical and climate-specifics in mind.
    BOB’s and BO-plans are a distinctly local situation. If one lives in the southwest desert or the great plains or the northwest mountains it will have to be a plan and BOB distinct to that region’s climate.

    I live in southern AZ and have had many misgivings about bugging out in summer. It’s pointless, IMHO, to bug out on foot/ bicycle/ motorcycle in the low elevations in Az in the summer. You just can’t carry enough water on your person/BOB to survive daytime temps of 105-115 degrees and nightime temps of 80+ degrees. The idea that you can survive on 2 gallons of water per day does not hold true if you are in 112 degrees and on foot with a back pack! In very hot climates either you are prepped to bug out by car or truck, or not at all….and you better know roads that will be less-travelled/unknown (to reach your BOL) so you don’t get caught in gridlock AND summer heat. (In evacuation situations, there are invariably the vehicles that run out of gas or break down and clog the roads for everyone else.)

    • If you need any confirmation of what Auntie says about AZ, just check the news for how many illegals have died or nearly died.

  6. Lake Lili says:

    Interesting to read. Not sure so many have broken it down so well, we certainly have not and should. A recent revew of our physical capabilites made me look at our BOBs again. I also put our fold-up stroller back in the truck again. I must clarify that this is a solidly built stroller dating to the late 1960s/early 1970s. The seat is wide, it has a huge basket underneath and the frame is light (unlike the “quality” strollers that have come out in the past decade!) Monkey is now six and well able to walk a couple of miles in an hour – for an hour. But kids have a short limit and unless you want to be alternating walking an hour on with an hour’s rest, you are going to need to be able to let the kids sit/sleep and keep moving. For those who are older, a stoller mght enable them an alternate means of carrying their BOBs while keeping moving. The obvious disadvantage is that you have to stick to roads although changing tires to all-terrain (amazing what is available) might give you more flexibility.

  7. solotex says:

    ditch the car,get an old pickup truck,carry some road worthy bikes with no flat tires.be home next day.how about a bikr built for two.very stronger frames on those.

  8. NC Mike says:

    Good topic.

    One thing to consider is the amount of effort hunting and fishing takes in a SHTF situation. Remember it isnt like fishing now in a known location. You dont know the water (where the fish are hiding or if there are even fish in the water), you wont have a normal set of fishing supplies and survival fishing takes a ton more energy than enjoyment fishing.

    You may be better off just reducing the ration intake and driving on.

    One other thing to consider is the strain on your body carrying a ruck that long every day. I am in the Army and carrying a 60lb ruck for 23 days, 8 hours per day is going to put a tremendous strain on your shoulders and back. If you arent used to doing it and train at it, you wont be able to sustain it for more than a couple days before you have a significant breakdown.

    • Frank B says:

      I agree, we are what we train for. I really need to hike more with a loaded pack. I also carry three pairs of snares (different sizes), one Cuban reel, 2 “snap hooks” and 5 automatic fishing reels along with a variety of artificial baits in my BOB. I think that finding a fishing spot in the afternoon, I will be able to set the auto reels before I pitch camp and then return for my booty. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

      • riverrider says:

        yeah, you and 300 million other folks all lining the banks:) talk about competitive angling! not me, i’m making tracks. no time to fish unless i absolutely am starving. carry a tiny fish kit. no stove. mre entrees only, fd meals and survival bars.no cook kit,plate bowl etc, just a canteen cup.. no tent, no sleeping bag, just a poncho and liner. not camping. only stop to catch a catnap and move on.

        • River finally someone else voiced my thoughts on the whole, living off the land comments!
          Come on folks, do some math, before North America was invaded there were only about 30 million Natives here, and every year lots died of starvation in certain areas. Now in the US alone there are over 300 million! That is a no win situation for the environment and the wildlife. You might get lucky and fish or hunt for a few days or even a month or two but after that there will widespread devastation of all populations of any fish and mammals.
          The only long term survival situation will have gardening/permaculture/aquaculture or variations on them. In the hay days of the Wild West they Hung or Shot Trespassers and thieves/rustlers for a very good reason, self preservation. Harsh right, well look to recent history in other countries you will glaring examples of this very situation.

          • riverrider says:

            yeah, my last place was 8 acres in the middle of a state forest. thought i had it made. game everywhere. then opening day of deer season, i couldn’t even get out of my driveway for all the hunters, some from 200 miles east. they were like ants. i was literally afraid to go out for fear of the idiots stray rounds. i even saw one riding on the tailgate with a loaded rifle across his lap, at about 50 miles an hour!!one bump and pow! and they didn’t give a crap about a posted sign. in following years, i picked opening day to sight in ALL my guns just to piss them off!! i knew then that live-off-the-landers were toast, and started laying in preps.

            • I posted this under another comment by M.D.
              So this is a recycled post.. LOL – it fits here just as well!

              I lived in an Apartment in Germany,
              the guy across the hall was a total Idiot and caused lots of problems in the building. One day I went to the range with a nice Man Silhouette Target.
              With each of my weapons, I shot the target in a different area, then beside them I put the distance in meters. So 9mm at 40mtrs, 45 cal 60 mtrs and 12 Gauge at 15 & 40 mtrs etc. I then Put my name on the top, the unit number and stuck it to my door. Said leave packages at door in German and English.

              The building had no problems every again with this guy after only 2 days of it being on my door. I also got 2 free meals from the families that lived there! They really liked my little sign for quite in the halls 😀

              This might work on fence posts on your property, along with range and distance indicated with the Top of the Sign reading Private Property PLEASE Respect my Privacy, just a thought.

            • This is not an original thought, but was something mentioned by Jack Spirko on one of his podcasts. There was a remote property that some friends had that was constantly being invaded, regardless of the signage. They finally found one that worked. A neat hand painted sign that said simply, “You’re not lost. You’re trespassing”. I guess the incidents of trespassing went way down after that.

  9. charlie says:

    Good article, great food for thought. That brings me to a request.
    I’d like to see a discussion of alternative methods to carrying a heavy pack. Bicycles are difficult to lug around even if you drive a truck but I’m wondering if there aren’t some light weight carts, perhaps made with 2 bicycle wheels that could be pulled from the waist or by hand or even with a bicycle if you had one at the appropriate time? Even the method used by the “indians” in all those old cowboy movies where your load is supported by two sticks pulled along allowing the other end to drag. What do you think?

    • My duffel bag has wheels and a pull handle.

    • riverrider says:

      in bosnia refugees on the roads had any conceivable contraption to haul gear. lots of horse, goat carts. lots of carts like you mention with the bicycle wheels. the best ones i thought were the wagons with all terrain tires on them, you know,like the ones kids pull but larger. they have them at northern or harborfrieght. sadly, the majority just carried everything on their head and backs. you have to be able to go off-road with whatever you use. i often wonder if the roads will be that bad , at first. i know cars will cause gridlock,but after you get a ways out the road should thin out to just refugees walking. a lot will be armed, so i fail to see how the “barbarians” could do much pillaging until the foot traffic gets thin. safety in numbers…my fear tho would be coming in contact w/ a gov checkpoint that would herd the refugee column into “shelters”. one thing i know from my experience, being “sheltered” never ends well. bosnia, somalia, sudan, chad, ruwanda, budapest, dachau, auswitch(apologize for spelling), need you more examples? good luck

      • Charlie, you might want to look into a 2-wheeled luggage cart. They come with hard rubber wheels that can handle asphalt and rocky dirt roads and they fold up fairly small for storage. We have a handful of bungie cords and a watertight Rubbermaid container for ours. We’ve used it to haul home a set of large bookcases more than a couple miles over broken asphalt. They roll easily and are small enough to maneuver through tight spots, stay level when pulled with one hand, and survive a good bashing with just cosmetic damage. Our is 5 years old and still going strong, and it cost about 15 dollars. Not a bad deal for the ultimate “green” human-powered pickup truck.

        • Who Is A Prepper says:

          Now I know why we just bought a commercial like luggage cart at a garage sale for a couple of $s. It is the biggest one I had ever seen. I need to get the aluminum collapsible hand charts back into the vehicles. What is it? You get pieces in place and then you have to haul a load and empty the “important” emergency items to do the load. Then it is hard to remember to go back and put them back into the vehicle. As you shared the path home will not necessarily have smooth concrete on it. Note to self – Get those carts back into the vehicles.

      • TexasScout says:

        I just heard a report on NPR about a guy (reporter for Esquire magazine) that’s walking the ENTIRE SOUTHERN BORDER of the US. So far he has made it 360+ miles and he used one of those “Jogging Strollers”, the kind with the bicycle wheels. He retrofitted it to hold all his gear (100+lbs!) and put some slime and liners in the tires.

        Sounds like a good idea.

    • The method used by the “Indians” is called a Travois and they used it primarily because they didn’t have the wheel. A lightweight Travois with attached wheels could probably be assembled from lightweight aluminum tubing, and some sort of cloth between the tubes. Might be time to experiment a bit.

      • charlie says:

        Thanks Ohio, that word, Travois, just would not come to my mind. Actually I think it might be a better idea to stick with wood for the “shafts”. That way all you would need to pack in your Bug out gear would be the wheels, axle and cloth. The wood could be obtained most anywhere along the road and you wouldn’t have to worry about the aluminum tubing getting bent along the way.

        • charlie,
          Depending on where you are traveling, long straight wooden poles may not be as easy to come by as one might hope. Those lodge-pole pines don’t just grow on trees, LOL. I was thinking in terms of some heavy duty, telescoping aluminum poles like those that might be used for portable tents. Something perhaps 2-3 feet long that could telescope to 6-8 feet, along with a piece of heavy tarp material, some tie wraps and bungee cords, and the pre fitted wheels. This way you have a complete compact kit, and don’t have to potentially fight with other folks for resources.

          • charlie says:

            Ohio, you are right about availablility of poles but I was thinking strictly in terms of my geographical area and believe me there are plenty to be had. I just wasn’t thinking about other readers. Your design idea is sound and should work well.

    • oldguy52 says:

      Go to Cabela’s (.com) and look for game carts.

      You could pull these by hand or even rig them to go behind a bicycle if you wanted. They’ll carry 2-300 lbs easily.

      • Thats what i have…A folding gamecart under a seat. I can drive that across any dry terrain or pull it thru wet… It carries way more supplies that i can by myself…

  10. Hence my post a few days ago, move to the south away from the cold SHTF really nasty scene, and have your retreat in a sparsely settled area of warm climate. You won’t die of heat stroke, but that cold will kill you in hours.

  11. How about crossing rivers, canals or lakes on the journey?
    When TSHTF bridges will probably be quite dangerous for well equipped people. At the very least the (remnants) of govt will cluster around these kind of choke points.

    • riverrider says:

      the one “luxury” in my GHB is a closed cell foam sleeping mat. weights nothing. i trim them down to no wider than the pack its on. it’ll float me across a river and helps me sleep warmer. you are correct about the bridges. gov’t and bad guys use them. i will not. and yes, if you need a cart, you’re carrying too much.

    • One good use of heavy duty/contractor garbage bags is making baloons containing your gear, sealing the opening and you have a bubble to float across any stream or lake. Of course, rapids would cause problems, but if you’re crossing in that kind of area, you’d need a raft- and they ain’t small or light.
      If your gear is in H2O proof containers, you could pack a life vest for your gear and swim without one yourself. If you know you’ve got the water to cross, no problem planning for it. And as you hint, I’d sure make plans to avoid any bridges.
      Again, if one knows there are these areas to cross and they’re close to home, pre-positioning a canoe or inflatable might not be a bad idea, either- added bonus of a fishing vehicle.
      Shy III

  12. don rap says:

    the part of the formula most important is ‘people’, as in, what will the people you encounter do to change the scenario? perhaps a ‘close in’ backup plan should be elevated.

  13. I think depending on the event you wouldn’t make it.
    If the s___ really hit the fan, you are talking about walking a gauntlet where you may be attacked at any time by someone who wants what you have. You would have to stay off road which would make it more likely you would be injured. I think all of your scenarios like stopping and fishing for a whole day are way too optimistic. And as far as a stranger letting you stay the winter in exchange for work. Myself, I wouldn’t let most relatives move in on me much less a stranger.
    So all in all I think you are a dead man walking.
    Thanks for a good article though. I went thru this myself a year or so ago and decided I was getting too old to make it home thru the mountains from the city. We stopped going. At least where I am at, I am never any more than 30 miles from home and usually only 5 or 6.
    Oh and what about water? I don’t think you can count on a clean source so better have a filter.

    • Frank B says:

      We each have a Katadyn microfilter. I hope to give up the road trips soon too. I am too old for this.

    • I’m with you, Judith: not going any farther than I can walk in a few days with nominal supplies, no more than a week of food on cut rations. (Of course, I usually have the dogs with me, so there’s a food source. LOL- I’m kidding, though my brother and I were talking about that a couple days ago.)
      If someone has to travel such an extended distance- even a hundred miles, ten days isn’t going to be long enough time if you have to evade others. And traveling at night? You’ll still be dodging dotfed troops of some sort as well as others with the same thought you have as well as the darkness.
      Then there’s the weather: is it summer or winter? Got snow or rain storms blasting in? Walking ten miles a day with a loaded pack and a long arm (if you have it with you) is being optimistic for someone who doesn’t train daily for it- or military.
      For me, too much can happen and being I’m not planning on anything more than bugging IN, keep my travel close to home.
      Well, kind of: I do have some canoe-fishing trips planned for the summer and my brother and I are planning our bowhunting trip this autumn.
      Still, as you said- if you’ve gotta travel that far on foot, you’re a dead man walking, but make the most of it and try, anyway. What’ve you got to lose?
      Shy III

  14. For simplicity in doing mental math I settled upon a standard walking speed of 20 miles/day. One could easily triple this speed by using a bicycle, but not everyone can go with that option.

    In your case, you already know your general starting points and final destination as well as the many routes you can take to get there. Since it covers a great distance in miles I would suggest placing caches at certain points along those routes. For example, you could go with six 3-day supply caches spaced 60 miles apart along one route of that 360-mile journey, or nine 2-day supply caches spaced 40 miles apart. You could have more or bigger caches if you wish, but they can really help lighten the load when walking over long distances. How best to conceal them and where is another topic for another day.

    Thanks for sharing your insights!

  15. Sounds to me like you have a good plan and having the BOB in the car is a great idea. You just never know when something like what happened to your sister might happen to you. It is good that you are helping your sis out . Being stuck out in the snow over night on the road would really suck. But its not as bad if you have some preps with you.

    • Aye that !
      Used to live in Maine and folks got stuck out there all the time in winter , biggest mistake they make is to try to walk home or to the nearest town instead of staying with the vehicle . State troopers find them frozen to death instead of cold and unhappy in their car . Those that lived in rural areas were pretty self reliant , they had to be , as they could depend on a storm knocking the power out for weeks and/or the roads being inaccessible . Maine doesn’t have a lot of people in it and infrastructure is limited , sooooo… people fend for themselves and are used to it 😉

      • Who Is A Prepper says:

        Yes, we keep hearing the stories of the husband going for help and found dead while the wife stays in the car and is found. We have decided to stay in the car together.

  16. j Stuart says:

    I tend to think bugging out is the last resort. Look at the wars. In most cases refugees were the most helpless of all. Stay where you are and if you picked the wrong place, yes you’ll either end up at room temp or a refugee when things fall out of control. Either way, there are too many people out there to expect a safe haven in the woods.

    • I always wondered how different WW2 would have been in europe if the european population would have been well armed like we are in the US ? May not of been quite as easy for the Krauts to just roll over everybody .

      • charlie says:

        T.R., That is supposedly why Hitler never tried to take Switzerland. It has been told the the Swiss cooperated with him and he left them alone. Many think that it was because of the Swiss defense system. Even to this day every child in Switzerland goes through military training when he turns 18 and is issued a military rifle, ammo and a stock of explosives which he keeps in his home. I don’t believe they even have a standing army but they have a citizens militia that not many armies would want to challenge.

        • There is an anecdotal story about a German general who asked a Swiss official how many men they could muster to defend the country. IIRC the answer was something like 200,000 to which the general asked, what if we bring 400,000 men to invade. The Swiss official had a very to the point answer, saying “We would all shoot twice”.
          Additionally, the Swiss have a pretty good terrain advantage with a maze of caves, tunnels, and overlooks, which are rather formidable.

          • riverrider says:

            the swiss have a very small standing army, highly trained. one of their colonels wrote a book “total resistance.” its their manual, and after reading it, i would never want to try to occupy them. it is a very good training/tech manual for the prepper too. i’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned in the “must read” lists.

        • As you know , every state in the 1800s had its own well trained and equipped militia (for the standards of the time ) which is how the Confederate Army was able to form and deploy so quickly at the beginning of the war . Perhaps we need that citizen militia idea back again .

          • Actually both US Code and Ohio Revised Code define such a militia. My point was specific to the context of the above post where the discussion talked about gun club members banding together to fight. We live in a world where Survivalist & Militia don’t convey their true meaning, as much as the wacko meaning that society has assigned to them. That’s why most of us are now preppers. It’s a fine point, but one needs to know when & where to pick their battles.

            • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

              Right on point, OP. In this day and age, with this administration, the terms “survivalist” and “militia” and “rightwing” could get a person arrested (falsely) for being a “terrorist”. Janet Napolitano made that clear a couple of years ago.

            • Aye , Jefferson would be rolling over in his grave , most likely all the others as well 🙁

      • You will note that the Japanese invaded the Philippine Islands, but not the Hawaiian Islands. There were Japanese post war documents that essentially stated that because the American citizens were armed, there was too big a risk in invading Hawaii. Always comes back to that pesky 2nd amendment.

  17. riverrider says:

    had another thought…..from a previous life as a hiker, i found that if you started on the trail where everybody else starts, you will find all the gear you need laying along the side of the trail, as overloaded hikers toss it to lighten the load. its this way in refugee lines too. after a few miles desperation takes over, people that started w/ everything they had end up tossing it to make better time. they do for a while, then they die of exposure/starvation miles down the road. i think we as preppers need to study previous incidents. no matter the event, results are the same the world over. the unpreppared die in hours, the overloaded die in days, the refugees die in months(but a long pitiful death). its the guy in the middle that makes it. prepped but able to move quickly, comfortable w/ his/her gear and load, with the mindset to improvise adapt and overcome.

  18. Good Article.
    I am curious on the feasibility of putting a two wheel dolly in the trunk. I’m thinking that a dolly with good wheels(bigger) may make carrying a heavier BOB(s) easier, especially when you have small kids. I have seen some that can carry a lot of weight and are not to big.
    Thoughts on this are appreciated.


  19. mountain lady says:

    Very interesting, but I can see that my decision to stay here and take my chances is my only option. If any of you have to go into this type of situation, I wish you well. I personally could not do it.

  20. rob in Ontario says:

    if you are to travel and you do have a pick- up I would suggest carrying two bikes in the back- even if you have to ditch them the distance travelled before that will take days or weeks off your time – and as suggested have caches at places and maybe even two more bikes at freinds places along the way – buy a few at a yard sale fix them up drop them off at your freinds and you have a second stage mode of go

  21. Great topic. I travel a lot and in all directions. I also keep a refugee bag with me all the time. I keep up on what the world is doing with smart phone or lab-top. If I even think, things are getting crazy or the markets start melting down, I will be on the road driving, while most people will be in denial or in front of the tv wringing their hands. If I loose a client for this and it is a false alarm, I can live with that.
    I do have several freeze dried food packs and peanut butter in the pack, but I am more set up for water, fire and cover. A good water filter, fresh clorine and a container is more valuable than food for me personally. I also keep 2 two quart cantens and two 1 quart cantens on the side of my pack full. There will always be a full case of water to top off cantens and really hydrate before walking. Also a Army poncho liners with 2 ponchos will give anyone a great shelter with 550 cord.
    Since I trap for a living, I always have 4 doz 1/6th 1×19 swiveled snares with a roll of support wire. This is light and with skills, can keep you fat and happy on the food front. These snares can catch small animals to southern size deer.
    I agree hunting and most fishing is to time consumming while trying to get back home. But limb lines for fish and snares work while you sleep. Most people think that you have to be “off” into the woods to catch animals, not true. Modern trappers take over 500,000 animals off the road ditch every year for fur. Most trappers never get 20 feet from their truck trapping. The same principle will work on a smaller scale for the prepper that takes the time to learn snaring beyond theory.
    Because of my job, I always have my ruger 10/22 and mark 3 pistol with me, pluse a couple of bricks of 22 ammo. The interesting thing that I have woundered if I would stash and leave the shotgun and AR that I use for predator hunting. I can not figure out a way to carry them and not turn into a threat to police or other people before they realize how the world is changing. I have thought about rolling one or both into a bed roll with the poncho line, but it would be hard to get to them that way.
    I would like to recommend any one that can afford it to have night vision in the bag with plenty of batteries. I have two kinds I use in my business, gen3 scope and PVS-7. I have them set up to shoot with, but in indian country they could mean the difference between life and death. You can see an ambush at night or just what you are comming up to. Most people do not have them and will think that you can not see them at night, wrong.
    One should also have good up to date maps and for your saftey, stay off of the main roads and roads altogether when practical.

    • riverrider says:

      i carry a keltec sub2000 9mm. it folds really small but packs a punch….i agree w/ you mostly except about the roads, at least early on. the roads initially will be a congested human wave. likely that many are armed. no robbers,safety in numbers, and you can be grayman in the crowd. just peel off the road at chokepoints as the gov or badguys may set up checkpoints there to herd you into a “shelter” or “charge a toll” for you passing. i agree, after the mass wave thins out never, ever, step foot on the road!… break down the ar15. sling the shotgun, it won’t be as threatening, but police and national guard are to be avoided as much as bad guys. good luck.

  22. This guy at http://imjustwalkin.com/2010/03/22/ walked from NYC to Rockaway Beach (by Portland, OR) from Mar-Aug of 2010, pushing a modified cart that started out as a big wheeled “Runabout” joggers baby cart. It could be a good option since most of those carts fold up for easy storage in your car and can carry a lot of weight. Then you’d just need to have your weapon and waist pack on your person when you walked, while taking turns pushing the cart.

  23. Auntie_Em says:

    A lot depends on your reason for bugging out, too.
    If you live downwind of a nuke facility that is attacked by terrorists and you have to escape the radiation, or earthquakes make your home uninhabitable, or floods/tornados ditto, in these instances the basic gov’t structure as we now know it could still be in tact and your bugging out would be more of a benign situation.
    If you are bugging out because you know that troops are moving into your town or city soon for a martial law situation—and they will be confiscating food and weapons from house to house and apartment etc—and possibly rounding up people and shipping them to “containment”[or “shelter” as another post mentioned]
    camps— then you have a whole other set of problems to face.

  24. charlie says:

    Folks this is a bit off topic for this thread but we all need to read it.
    Think about the activities we collectively participate in with regards to our prepping as you read the following link.
    If we don’t get this country back under control we are all doomed.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      The gov’t doesn’t want us to make a buck or to grow our own food. That’s becoming more and more evident. As much as poosible, practice OPSEC in these areas, just as you do with prepping.

      The jackboot is on our backs, it will soon be on our throats. Prepare!

      • Not to sound pro gov here, but why not just get the license, the article says the guy was told to get a license several times before the fines started. Just saying, we need to protoect ourselves by doing things properly. from the article, this guy wasnt just growing rabbits for food, he was selling them also, and there are strict regulations about selling game. Gotta be careful.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Mike S, in most things I concur that doing things the right way is best. However, there is a trend in this country to go after the little guys who are trying to make some money and aren’t doing anything different from what our grandparents did.

          First, there was the story about the guy in my state (CA) who got into trouble for growing TOO MANY vegetables in his backyard. Say what? That’s what he was told by the “authorities.” He grew too many, so he needed a permit because he had become, in effect, a farmer in a city. (I guess it’s OK to be a farmer in a dell, but not in a city.)

          Then there was the Amish guy who was selling his milk without it being pasteurized. I got news for the government, there are lots of people who don’t want to drink pasteurized milk. There are also lots of people who drink milk from their own farm animals without pasteurizing it. So why single out this guy? Because he was selling it – making a few bucks that the gov’t wanted to tax, perhaps? I don’t know, but I do know there is a growing trend to go after the little guy who’s trying to make money in this horrid economy.

          Now we hear about the guy raising rabbits, and the rabbits did what rabbits will do if left to their natural instincts – they had lots of baby rabbits. So the guy sells them. They weren’t “game” as far as I understand that word. But the point is these people are trying to make some money and that is truly what upsets the govt.

          As far as the government is concerned, we “little people” are just cash cows and need to be put in our place whenever we get a crazy idea about making money the old fashion way – by earning it. The government prefers to steal it – from us, with countless fees, permits, taxes, liens, levies, and soon we’ll be paying for healthcare whether we want it or not. OK, political rant over….for now.

          • riverrider says:

            lint, you are way too squared away for kalifornia. why the heck are you still there? i wouldn’t live there if they paid me. because of you, i have to stop wishing the big one drops kali in the ocean. seriously, how does that bunch from kali keep getting sent to washington? take them and that mass bunch out and congress might not be so bad. jesse ventura had it right. one term then go home. no career politicians. no pension,no lifelong healthcare for them either. and ALL taxes voted on by the people. …when i’m king i’ll make it so:)

          • Lint,
            I actually don’t think it’s the money. The Amish guy with the raw milk was a business and paid taxes on his business, as do many of the other events we see happening. I think it comes down to two things:
            Nanny state bureaucrats who are smarter than the rest of us and need to guide the children AND a consortium of government and big business who can control us if we rely on them for all of our needs. Self sufficiency and coloring outside of the lines are I think the real issue here.

            • riverrider says:

              you absolutely nailed it! there will be a knock at your door soon…..no, check that, they seldom knock anymore. good luck:)

        • charlie says:

          Mike in the case of this one fellow that probably would have been the thing for him to do after he was warned but the larger point is what I was trying to get at. The gov’t is supposed to exist to serve the people instead of the people existing to serve the gov’t. It has gotten turned upside down and bureaucrats now create regulations to justify their jobs and to solve problems that are not problems.

          Lint picker hit the point below. The same thing recently happened in Atlanta where a guy was raising veggies on part of his 1 acre yard. There were no zoning ordances against it. He was giving the produce to the poor. The gov’t just couldn’t stand it and found a way to make him stop. The government is now in the process of trying to monitor and direct everything we do. If you haven’t figured that out yet you better wake up and look around.

          Suppose part of your prep plans are to heat your home with wood that you cut from a small wood lot in the back of your yard and the county comes along and says you are a logger and fines you for not having a logging license? The same goes for a lot of our surival activities.

    • TexasScout says:

      Add that to the Amish that are getting hit by the USDA for selling NON-Pasturized milk to people that actually WANT IT!

  25. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Frank B., thanks for providing us with another interesting scene to ponder.

    I think we are already in the beginning of the bad times as far as Western civlization is concerned. I mean, it’s all imploding in slow motion and if you have a retreat it may be better to move there NOW than to try to get there later. When the government-dependent class of people starts rioting, as they have been doing in Greece and elsewhere, it may be too late to get out of dodge.

    If your retreat is 360 miles away, you will never make it during really bad times. Your wife will be raped, your kids sold into slavery, your stuff stolen and you murdered. That’s the reality all refugees face.

    I look at what our pioneers did when times got tough along the trail. They jetisoned all the unnecessary stuff and kept the food, water, and some clothing. They knew the goal was a new land, and that was their focus – not how much gear they could take with them. So strip down that BOB to the bare necessities and pack more food and water. I have a small can of beans in my bag so that after I eat them cold, I can use the can as a stove (with a tea/votive candle in it). Now instead of carrying a stove and fuel, I only have to carry a small can of food and a few small candles. These are double-duty items, not single-use items. Don’t pack anything unless it has multiple uses.

    Be efficient, be light, pack it on your person. Those carts will be awkward to pull or push along. Those bicycles will not get you through a forest. Carry your stuff on your person in a backpack or a vest or even sling a duffle bag over your shoulder, but don’t think you can travel very far with a cart or a bike unless the roads are clear and there are no thugs on the route (fat chance!).

    Re-evaluate your BOB and make sure it is lightweight, that even your wife can carry it. Make it so that it becomes lighter as you travel further because we tend to start out in much better shape than when we finish our trek. How do you do that? It becomes lighter as you eat the heavier food and save the light-weight food for the latter part of your hike.

    We must not think in terms of how we feel or think today. We will be upset, scared, worried, and possibly alone if the time comes to bugout. We may be injured or tired before we even start. So keep things as simple as possible. Fishing and hunting are not simple activities. Foraging is absolutely not a simple task. Carry a pocket-size EDC, keep your BOB as lightweight as feasible while also carrying enough food and water to get you well into your evacuation, and forget the carts and bikes unless you KNOW the road ahead is safe and clear. Just my 2 cents.

    • Omo Bob says:

      Lint Picker,

      As always, I get a lot more than my money’s worth from your 2 cents…I love the beans-empty-can-stove idea. But for the slow learners among us, what is EDC ? Thanks.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Omo Bob, thanks for the kind words. EDC means Every Day Carry. It’s the stuff you carry with you whenever you leave your home or office or any other “shelter.” It would include things like a pocket knife, mini flashlight, Bic lighter, whistle, etc.

      • riverrider says:

        edc= Every Day Carry kit. what you have in your pockets/ on your person at all times. pocket knife, tiny flashlight, lighter etc.

    • Good advise ! living off the land isnt easy anywhere . Even Alaska where game is over abundant , and even harder if you have crap land like the southwest . I do live in that region and I plan for needing 3 times the water here than people in other parts of the country would have to plan for . heavy but no getting around it out here in summers with 115 degrees . Salt pills are a must .

    • mountain lady says:

      LP: I do believe Rawles was advising his readers with retreats to move now, also. I also read an article by a US Rep. from Baltimore, MD advising to move from the cities now, while you can. The long travels to a retreat after TSHTF is not something any of us should try to do, especially if children are involved. That is just my personal opinion, but, I am a pretty smart old lady, lol.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        mountain lady, did you watch that 2 hour & 15 minute video about rural/retreat living with the Rep you mentioned? I was wondering why all the women were wearing long skirts. Got any idea of it’s a religious thing or they were just hiding their hairy legs?

        • mountain lady says:

          I cannot watch videos with this very slow landline. Wearing long skirts, no clue, but it could be either. Where I came from (S central PA), a lot of the religious sects ladies wore long skirts.

          • dont know about where you live , but as L.P pointed out , that is a sure sign of religious deviants hiding from the law . Another sure sign is a lot more women than men . Here in Arizona , we ( law enforcement ) found a “Camp ” of whacko Mormons that picked a remote spot so old men could marry 14 year old girls and practice polygamy , All the women had the long skirts on . One of the girls escaped their ” gestapo ” and spilled the beans to what was going on . Arizona and Utah authorities broke up their little white slavery camp . I personally would have had their leaders shot ( trying to escape )…..but thats just me .

        • LOL, LP- that’s making me chuckle but is a valid question. My answer to your querry, without seeing the vid in question cuz I’m too slow, is that the women could’ve been wearing long skirts due to vermin- skeeters and brush/plant scratches and protecting the knees while stooping to do their chores.
          Which brings to mind another question: “What kind of skirts are most prepper ladies thinking of wearing when TSHTF?” There sure won’t be any need for looking sharp and hip or fashionable in such ‘dire’ circumstances, and surely they won’t want to encourage any kind of mentally deficient males to perform nefarious activities.
          So, if MD is up to asking women to reveal their wardrobe rather than their legs, it could make an interesting post.
          Even we men- what kind of clothing are we prepping? (For myself, being an old carpenter, I’ve tons of carhart style jeans and sweatshirts, BDUs and workboots. Even one suit for Sunday going-to-meeting if I gotta look sharp for… whatever.)
          Shy III

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            LOL, you guys are funny. I always thought my wife looked good in her blue jeans. And when she wore a dress – oooooh la la! (as the french might say). But those long skirts seem like they would be a nuisance. I know the pioneer women wore them, but women wearing pants in those days was unheard of. Nowadays, seems to me the women would want to wear pants as they work in the garden or make bread – or any of those other things that are women’s work. Uh oh, that comment might put the ladies of The Survivalist dot net into a snit. You guys know what I mean – the chores usually reserved for women while we men go out and get the bacon.

            Maybe those long skirts were just their on-camera outfits. Maybe they wear pants when milking the cow and cleaning out the barn?

            • Lake Lili says:

              Boy you are looking for a response… I’ll try… “Oh you horrible such and such don’t you know that women can do anything want and…” Hope that satisfied the need to stir the pot…

              Long skirts are very comfortable and I enjoy them but for sheer flexibility pants work better in my current life. However, I am not bound by a religious or social edict that somehow sees pants as immodest. Long skirts in front of an open fire can be extremely dangerous and a great many pioneer women were seriously burned or worse. I believe that modesty in demeanor is far more important to showing respect than the issue of pants vs skirts.

            • No worries about the “sexist” remarks . My sweety is a Russian … we both are in our 40s , they are more traditional in a lot of respects , there are ” rules” . While I’m out in the yard or wherever doing all the labor and heavy or dirty stuff , she is making a good lunch or dinner etc . HER rules . I have no problem with that at all . She takes care of her domain very well and I do the same .

            • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

              Lake Lili, you have bested me. I stand duly kitty-whipped 🙂

    • charlie says:

      Lint picker. Some of us are not capable of carrying a large pack or even a small one. If pulling a cart with wheels wasn’t easier than carrying a load on your back the wheel would never have been invented. If your rig is built right it can always be brokend down to get through narrow places or across soft ground, etc.
      That creates a little extra work for that small distance but over the long run it will pay off.

  26. Frank B says:

    Anyone caught “not where they want to be” when the SHTF, hopefully will have had the forethought to pack their BOB and have it with them(I would call any bag intended to aid in survival a BOB). Depending on your own situation, laying low and waiting out the chaos and confusion may be the smarter thing to do. Also, travel at night may prove to be the smarter thing to do (have your tritium compass; very important). With a weapon, an individual or even a small group can make a long journey. Keeping your wits and not being in too big a hurry as to get sloppy in your choices will make it possible. It won’t be easy, but it is possible. Keeping it light weight is a good idea too. As our place is in the mountains, we expect the long-off-road trip (if we are caught out).

    My hope is that everyone realizes that they can be S-O-L if they took a trip to grandma’s, or to the big city to shop at Sam’s Club , or did any number of other normal activities that carried them away from their retreat and got “caught, out” when the SHTF without their BOB.

    You may never “Bug Out”. But you need to be ready to trek back home. It will be the same journey… just in reverse.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Oh absolutely, a BOB/GHB or whatever anybody wants to call it is a vital piece of survival equipment. Never leave home without it.

    • riverrider says:

      roger that, you drove that point home!! got everybody THINKING. great post!! thanks

  27. SrvivlSally says:

    During winter? You may need some snow shoes or some skis, if you know what the weather is like wherever you might get stuck. Wool and fleece as well, for underneath your clothing, always wearing everything in layers but not skin tight, or some silk shirts and pants will keep your bodies warm. Having and knowing how to use magnesium fire starters, so long as there is not any wind that will blow away your pile of dust, would be of great benefit in winter. As long as you can get a good main fire going then it would help in drying out wet wood on your way to your intended destination. Water can be had by rain or melting some snow-never eat snow because it will be bad on your stomach. Always melt it and don’t guzzle it down. A small, big-wheeled, cart would help you carry a few extra things or a metal or thick-plastic, small in size, sled or sheet would cover ground snow or terrain that has to be traveled. Sleeping at night should be done under one or two thick fleece blankets with a mylar or two under and over your bodies. Watch out for moisture buildup because the mylar will not allow for venting of body moisture and will cause your bedding and thus your clothing to become somewhat wet. If you are thinking about carrying and using wool blankets, if they get wet they will be too heavy to carry and if you do not want to waste any time trying to get them dried out for another day’s use, or you cannot get them dry, then you’d have to leave them behind. Not only will food intake increase as you expend energy travelling on foot, so will your water intake as experienced outdoor survivalists know that the elements have a way of quickly zapping your hydrated status. Lip balm or vaseline for your lips in winter, as a nasty crack on them will be painful in cold wind or temperatures, or dries out and splits open as you speak or move them to drink or eat, and will worsen the longer you are outdoors and they are exposed. A weapon should always be carried as some people are not to be trusted because their intentions could be to steal what you have and leave you helpless, vulnerable to the elements and animals that may be living in some areas. Watching out for dogs, wolves, coyotes, cougars and bears, to name a few, at all times of the year is advisable, no matter where you may be. One dog could mean there is a pack. A cougar or bear sighting could mean you are being stalked and will be killed and eaten. A lone wolf or coyote could mean it has been closely following behind you and the rest may not be far behind, ready to confront and kill you. One time, I met up with a lone dog and I was lucky. I did not turn my back to it, did not make eye contact, and slowly backed away as I continued to face it. Although I was at least twenty feet from it, it growled at me and it’s hair stood on end the length of it’s back, a bad indication. I was a little nervous but because it could not detect fear in my eyes nor smell it coming from my body, it did not bother me again. As persistent as dogs are, I am pretty sure that it continued to follow me for several miles, hidden by roadside brush. I have met plenty of people who did not have the best of intentions but I think they became a little unsure about me because I kept my focus upon them and did not let my guard down. If you have never walked the sort of distance(s) you have referred to, and you are used to sitting more often than you walk, then you are in for a real treat. Eight hours of walking, especially the colder that it is, will exhaust you without the right or proper protection. Within a week of walking eight hours a day, if your feet don’t give out due to tiredness, cramping from their very bottoms which will work it’s way up to your behind and beyond, blisters, lost skin due to friction, blisters which have lost their skin and your feet have begun to bleed, you may experience very tired legs, back and then your other muscles may follow suit. They may get so bad that your body “just can’t hack it”. A short rest may actually take you several days or a week or more because of the effects of walking, the cold or cooler temperatures and how well you are staying hydrated, fed and rested. Slow and steady is not necessarily going to help either, not when there is rough terrain or the types of roads that you will, undoubtedly, walk. A pack on your back is additional weight that your bodies are going to have to deal with when get tired. Being out in the elements, tired and/or exhausted, unless you are constantly warm and comfortable, you may find it hard or very difficult to get enough rest which could lead to strained and/or weakened muscles, tears, cramps, breakdown, etc. You are going to have to find enough wood to burn each day and it could take you half a day to find the quota you might need for eight to ten hours or the length of time that darkness could last during winter and the amount of time you may spend trying to sleep. If where you are sleeping is outside and quite cool or very cold then that could affect you as to how much sleep you will actually get not to mention that the cold hard ground is not going to be very helpful. Roads have small and large hills, inclines which will make you want to throw in the towel, and they can take a lot out of you if you are not fit to handle them, your body is tired from the day’s or week’s walk or anything else that might have decided to come up. It ain’t easy but it’s doable. I am one of those people who can endure a twenty mile walk without stopping, weight on my back, for any length of time, drinking one small bottle of water at the end of ten miles but it ain’t always a piece of cake. It takes endurance and the will to do it but I have had a lot of training in that regards. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go for it but your time frame should be adjusted. Break up your walks every 30 minutes to one hour if you are not in decent shape or have never gone on such a walk. It is important to listen to your body. Don’t just push yourself unless you have no other choice. Sit until your entire body, especially your legs and lower back, no longer feel tired. Sip water until you feel hydrated and then drink a little beyond that without overdoing it. If you eat salty foods then be prepared to need more water not long after consuming them. Even while walking, if it’s cold enough outside, your muscles can stiffen up on you. If they do, keep moving to keep your blood going, drink water, and get warm by a fire as soon as you can. A walk like that is going to take protein because if you want to survive it then you must protect your muscles. You will lose a lot of fat if you are not putting it in and although you may look good when you arrive at your destination, you may have a weakened body which could take a while to restore. Considering that you are going to be walking for eight hours, you will have to find time to locate people that are willing to give you a bed for the night. Not everyone across the country is going to be friendly and invite you in. Watch out for wind when setting up any tent as it can make a mess of things for you. It can pull a tent right out of the ground, stakes and all, tear the material, topple it, roll it, sling it, make you freeze your behind off all night no matter how many blankets or covers you have, put out your fire, send chilling rain or ice, chill you to the bone, make you endure hypothermia or frost bite and many other things. Stay or go? If you stay in your vehicle, make sure that when you start it to stay warm by the heater that your tail pipe does not get blocked by snowfall as it will send the fumes inside and if you get pretty dopey from it you will suffer upper respiratory problems, burning eyes, sleepiness, and eventual death. Fresh air is the only way to cure it. Leaving a door open so that you can dig your way out or to make a way to have sufficient air would be a good idea because with enough snow fall surrounding you, when rolling down your closed door’s window, you could be bombarded with a pile of snow that you may find difficult to move about in. Being trapped is one of the worst things that can happen because it can instill great fear and panic in the strongest of individuals. Take long-burning candles with you because wax usually burns in cold temperatures. Pre-burn your wicks and wrap them in saran before placing them in zip loc baggies. A few cotton balls saturated with vaseline or orange oil may help you start a fire. Camping near a source of water should be avoided if possible because it is always colder near water. Up around the base of tress without long scratch marks going up and down them is wiser than making base near water. Insulating your tent with walls made of brush would make it warmer inside when trying to sleep or change socks and add a touch of camouflage. Be aware that your fire can smoke you to death as the fumes can be deadly without ventilation or they are not constantly moved around and taken out of a confined area. Brush dries out quickly near a heat sources and can become flammable without your knowing it. When tired, be extra careful. You can do it but you must be prepared.

    • LOL about coyotes , cowardly animals . I was walkin around in the desert a few years back and was followed by 3 of them just as it was starting to get dark . As it got darker , they got bolder . One got real close and growled at me while the others kept their distance . It got dropped by 2 shots of my mini 30 . Its compadres took off and didnt see em again . wanted to go medieval and put its head on a pole near my camp but decided it was too much effort . In the desert , never see a bear , and the bob cats n mountain lions stay away from people 95% of the time . Its the javalinas that are seriously aggressive and run around in packs . have to confirm this but I think $50 a head bounty on a coyote in AZ . : )

  28. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    SrvivlSally, for a long time now I have marveled at your writing style. Is it known as “stream of consciousness?”

  29. GoneWithTheWind says:

    If your cache is stolen then you didn’t do it right. Imagine 1000’s of acres of land and one 5 gallon bucket buried somewhere out there. Take the extra time to cover up the fact a hole was dug and I challenge you to steal it. Putting some stuff in the family camper or the trunk of your car is NOT a cache. I have buried caches and they are still there after years and if I never need them they will be there for years after I’m gone. You cannot find them, no hiker will find them, they will be there if I need them.

    • riverrider says:

      roger that, and i find that if you leave an old bucket laying on its side by the road or trail, people will walk right by it w/o a second look. they’ll even drive around it if u leave it in the middle of the road, instead of looking or moving it. my stepfather worked for the highway dept. he left his tools out where they were. nobody will steal something to work with he says. that will change i’m sure,but shows how lazy folks are now.

  30. There has been a lot of info covered in the comments section.
    My thoughts are ditch the stove, make a rocket stove from cans, you can put any fuel in there you like and it is free, small twigs etc. So the fuel is everywhere and the cans are very lightweight.
    I am partial to the bike idea, especially if you are so so.. far away, from your location. From My military experience your walking timing is way way off, it will take you 3x that if you are lucky, and that is depending on the terrain to boot. If it is any hilly, wooded etc add another 1x to the 3x so 4x and if it is Winter time, add 6x to that. Bikes can be driven in any weather and snow, yes a pain in the woods, but doable, with work. The advantage in speed outweighs the disadvantage of the bike in the woods. The game cart is a good idea, I will look it up. You can also make carts with bicycle wheels, to assist in carrying your loads, you are over 50+ and you drive for a living so not a lot of walking, I know been there done that, long haul.
    Another option would be to take a good look at your work, try to get your route changed, yes , it may be less profitable, but it could get you closer to your location. 300+ miles is too far, with roving bands of miscreants hounding you most of the way, or shoeing you off.
    Another option would be to get a list of the folks who are Preppers along the way, not to sponge off of them, but to have stopovers, rest periods. Exchange a day of rest with food for the next day of work, with food, you both will feel much better and the lively stories too!
    Rations were meant to be broken down, open them up, take out all the stuff you do not want to eat etc, keep only a few of the cardboard wrapper packages, tear them in half and use to hold the hot contents.
    Bikes can be broken down and assembled easily later, there are also some special survival bikes and military bikes that fit the bill. A pick up truck far outweighs a car any-day, especially if it has a cap/canopy (westerners! LOL). Water filter system, fill up along the way, so you filter as you go.

    • Charlie says:

      Wilderness, you’ve got a good handle on the concept and I agree with your comments. For those that like to read fiction on the subject, this is a relatively short online book written by someone close to where I live. I think I know who wrote it but haven’t confirmed it yet. It’s fiction but it’s well thought out and gives thoughful insight into the plight of a truck driver trying to make it home. There are some great ideas in it too. The link is to the first 10 chapters. The rest can be found on the same site.


    • WildernessReturn,
      I thought about the idea you bring up of preppers along the way, kind of like stations on the old underground railroad, and I think the idea has merit. My only issue is how one would put together a list of LMIs who might host these stations, as well as perhaps make use of them. In the story, “The Long Road Home” which charlie mentions, the protagonist has a major cache in a U Store It style building about half way home from his most distant travel point. Depending on economics, this might also be a viable way to help you get home.

  31. You don’t actually need electricity. Look for information on the pioneer hay box. You basically bring your pot of food to a boil and then place it in a super insulated box and let the latent heat do the cooking. The pioneers used a large box insulated with hay or straw. Modern versions can use an insulated cooler and blankets or other more modern insulation. You still need enough heat to boil, but it limits both the time and the fuel requirement. Here are a few links.

  32. Ooops – posted this to the wrong thred.

  33. Who Is A Prepper says:

    You bring up the important thought – Getting home during any emergency or the worst. I have a son that commutes 1 – 1 ½ hours in a van pool each way. I have tried to get him to think of having some sort of supplies in the van for the emergency situation. He made the comment – oh Mom it is every man for themselves. That was my point to him though. Does “he” have a plan and items to get home? Obviously not! Maybe now that he has a child he will think more carefully about that. I keep trying to gently push the subject. He does carry 72 hour kits in his cars. I bought them for him!

    My husband has become very concerned about going South for the winter to So. Cal. We love the warm weather and had planned in retirement to spend 6-8 weeks in the fall and spring there starting this fall. We do live in Western Washington where it rains all winter. His concern has been, if there was an earthquake there, how we could get out of there. The major highways all are along the fault lines. The only solution we have at the moment is we will be in our Vintage Travel Trailer (Airstream made). I carry 3 months of freeze dried food in it – Light weight to haul as well. We are at the age that walking home will not be the answer. We would have to hunker down in it. Talking about this makes me realize I need to get a good portable water filter for the trailer now. I am the type that likes to take everything including the kitchen sink with me as I travel around. Now I need to think if all long distance trips need to include the travel trailer. LOL Thanks for your detailed calculations! Makes you realize how important those 72 hour kits are.

    • charlie says:

      Who Is

      Might be time for you to look for another location for to spend the winters in. Something more rural and away from the fault lines and the sheeple in the city.

      • We have been thinking about expanding our possibilities. I have to be near a hospital so it can not be to far out.

        • charlie says:

          Who is,

          I’m in the S/E so my town would not be a possibility for you but I’ll use it as a example. I live in a county of about 90,000 total population spread over about 100 miles length and 25 miles width. The biggest population center is about 30,000. We have almost any sort of store or service you can get in a large city including a 330 bed medical center that can handle anything up to and including open heart surgery and organ transplants. If that’s not good enough there are 4 university teaching hospitals within 150 miles drive and one is only 1 hour by car or 20 minutes by air ambulance.

          Once you get outside of town a few miles you are in open farm and woodland with small communities spread throughout. We have plentiful water, a good growing season and very few days below freezing. Somewhere in the southwest you can find a similar situation. Given the topography water and crop land is more of a challenge in the west than in the S/E but there is a place out there somewhere and it souds to me like you guys should be looking for it.

          • Thanks for sharing your example. We live in a county with 2 hospitals 10-20 minutes away. We are on the out skirts of the town. The county has 250k+ with 775 sq miles. There is a strong farmers market, farms [both veggie and animal] plus a state university big into sustainability, a community college and 2 private universities. The military installation is not far away 15 – 20 minutes. We are not drawn to AZ for the winter. We do not want to be near the Mexican border either. Fortunately we have a few months before we have to make a final call on where we are going for the fall 6 weeks. Again thanks for sharing!

  34. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Arizona is popular in the winter for snowbirds (or rainbirds, as the case may be). I understand there are some BLM sites near Quartzite that allow trailers to park for several months for very little money. I’m sure you can get details by searching online.

    • Quartzite offers many boondocking possibilities as you shared. We are wanting to explore that some. Good practice for emergencies and “if the worst happens”.

  35. charlie says:

    Does anyone know anything about the new Brita filter bottles?
    I suspect they only take out particulate and wouldn’t slow something like Giardia down but if they work they might be good to have in the preps pile.

    I’m including the link to their web site NOT as an endorsement but for reference for folks that might not know what I’m talking about.


  36. charlie says:

    Ohio, That’s what I figured but I wanted to throw it out there since that product is being touted in the media these days. If it’s good we need to know it and if it’s not we need to know it.

    I guess since it reduces chlorine taste that it could be used in a pinch by chlorine treating what might be bad water and then running it through the filter. I’m sure there are many, better products out there.

  37. A lot of good practical information but there are a couple things that I need to point out. First is the 3 mile an hour walking speed is for someone in good shape over level ground. The true practical speed is 2 to 2 and a half miles an hour average speed. Pushing the higher speed will dehydrate you faster and burn more calories in the same given distance so it is impractical to pursue that speed unless absolutely necessary for actual survival (read escape and evasion), remember, you have likited supplies and need to conserve them, so conservation of energy is vital. This brings us up to a second point that few ever consider. Carbohydrates and diuretics. Carbs are important for the average person but become a diuretic in a diabetic. And Diuretics need to be avoided by ALL of us in survival situations. So long and short, Get rid of all Caffiene from your BOBs! That instant coffee that you have in your kit is a killer when you are on the move. It speeds up your resperation and heart rate, increases the speed that your kidneys function at and will DEHYDRATE you faster than not drinking any liquid at all. Lets face it coffee is just a water flavoring device other than the caffiene that is in it. So you are just adding extra weight to the bag and causing the loss of H2O through sweat and urination. and what good is decaf in this situation? Are you going to be able to boil the water for it? The same goes for tea or any other caffiene bearing beverage. Unless it contains viable nutrients and electrolytes, that you will absolutely NEED, don’t wast the space in your bob with it. Think and rethink every single item you add to your bob. Is it redundant? If yes then dump it. Does it have a down side? Dump it for something that doesnt… you have to account for the weight with calories burned and water lost via sweat/expiration/urination… anything that unduely increases the physiological actions of the body will do you no good, and in the end may be the straw that breaks the camels back, especially when they could have been replaced with something much more vital.

    Remember, we are used to living with a roof over our head, running water in the kitchen and a refrigerator full of food, but we DONT NEED these to LIVE. We need to regear out thought processes to the level of JUST what we need to LIVE, so that we do NOT over burden ourselves with excess baggage. This is why our BOBs sould be part of a tier system. the BOB itself being the lowest level, a minimalist kit, to which each tier is added. what we keep in the auto is greater than what is in the bob, and if we have a camper, that is greater than the auto kit, and what is in a cabin still greater, and what is at home is the largest tier… This is the most difficult part for ALMOST everyone I have ever met to deal with, except for those who were very real refugees from war zones who learned through necessity that they CAN live without ANYTHING except the clothes on their back, and even some have had to do without that, and the still survived. We need to retrain ourselves to change our mindset on what we truely need when we bug out.

    • Good Post Scott,
      I agree with most everything you said. Last Sunday we went to the acreage, there it has not been touched at all, it takes about 1 hr to go about 1000yrds, distance is very much determined by the terrain. So leaving roads will always be much slower than you expect, add in elevation variances and you have a decidedly longer journey cutting trail.
      plus mosquitoes, did I mention Mosquitoes and black flies and dear flies and….

      • Lake Lili says:

        Good to hear that the storm system missed you… I figure that the black flies and the lack of DeepWoods Off and Muskoil will eliminate many who think that they will take to the woods up here.

        Oh the black fly / the little black fly / always the black fly no matter where you go / I’ll die with the balck flies picking my bones, in North Ontario-io, in North Ontario…

      • charlie says:

        forget the mosquitoes. Down here we have ticks. I don’t mean 1 dog tick or 2 deer ticks I mean TICKS. You can be walking through the woods and brush against the wrong bush and a few minutes later you will feel an army of what we call seed ticks crawling up your leg or you’ll wipe the sweat off your face and the sweat rag will look like it’s been coated with black pepper except with legs and crawling in every direction. The guy next to you might not get a one. The last time I got wrapped up with seed ticks was in the early 90’s. I was cruising a timber tract in late fall, near freezing weather. I didn’t notice a thing until I got back in my warm truck and drove about 5 miles. Then I felt them. I got out in the middle of the highway and stripped to my underwear and started trying to brush them off of me before they could dig in. Yes cars were passing by. I didn’t care and you wouldn’t either. If you get in them while in a survival situation and didn’t realize it and get them off before they dug in you’d be in a mess. I’m talking about hundreds of ticks! All about the size of a grain of ground black pepper as I mentioned before.

        • Getting off topic here, but yes we have Ticks here as well, but they are bigger, much bigger. When I say Mosquitoes I mean literally hundreds around you just out of range of the Muskoil, waiting for you to sweat and wipe so there is a clear landing field.

          On Topic, Yes I am putting together my different levels of kits as well, I rotate stock in for Bob kit in the vehicle. You do not need the extra pair of Long Johns in there in June, but you do need and extra T-shirt and light Sweat pants.

          A lot of people have different typs and levels of kits, there was a good post a while back about everyday carry, but I am with my Vehicle mostly so it is my everyday carry, with only a few things in my pockets.
          Great comment on the post by the way

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