Friday : Questions and Answers With The Wolf Pack

Question from Southern Wolf

I live 45 miles away from work. There is only two reasons I can think of to leave my vehicle and trek out on foot to get home. Either we are hit with an EMP or a large earthquake has taken down the bridges. For this scenario lets assume that I am able to make it out to my car after an EMP (could be dicey with the electronic gates) and grab my GHB.

Now I have to decide what route to take home. I check the flashlights in the GHB and they are not working! I can either follow the road and pass thru two country towns (500 and 8500 people, most of the population on outskirts)…path of least resistance, or stick to the rail tracks for a third of the way then it’s all back country hiking from there (trying my best to avoid people). In this situation would you:

* Walk the road during the daytime hoping folks are too confused to give you a second glance
* Walk the road during the nighttime hoping you can slip by unnoticed (maybe using a red glow stick attached to your walking stick down low to illuminate the payment so you stay on track)
* Take the tracks during the daytime (getting off to skirt the small town) then cut thru the backcountry trying to avoid all the houses (and dogs) once you reach the larger town
* Take the tracks during the nighttime in much the same manner as above, but use the glow stick to be more stealthy

Or after a large earthquake that took down the bridges and overpasses. I still have the same obstacles to overcome (two towns and 45 miles). In this situation would you:

* Walk the road during the daytime hoping folks are too confused to give you a second glance
* Walk the road during the nighttime hoping you can slip by unnoticed (maybe using a red glow stick attached to your walking stick down low to illuminate the payment so you stay on track)
* Take the tracks during the daytime (getting off to skirt the small town) then cut thru the backcountry trying to avoid all the houses (and dogs) once you reach the larger town
* Take the tracks during the nighttime in much the same manner as above, but use the glow stick to be more stealthy

I am currently 50 pounds over weight and the 45 mile trek is gonna be hard enough as it is. I see it taking at least two days, maybe more if I end up cutting thru the backcountry trying to avoid all the houses. And of course the longer it takes the heavier my packs gonna be because of food and water. I live in a farming community… not sure I want to drink water I find. Too many chemicals. Anyhow…what would you do and why?

Please help Southern Wolf out by posting your advice and thoughts in the comments below…

Comments

  1. riverrider says:

    in the scenario you describe, you would likely be fine walking right down the road. first there will be many dozens of others trying to walk out at that time, safety in numbers. also there is a lag time between the event and society figuring out what happened and what that means. you have a couple days at least to exploit. but the big thing, and i’m in this boat too, get in shape! at the very least practice the walk, with your ghb.

    • I agree w/Riverrider. A couple of questions:

      How congested is the area surrounding work? How far from work are the structures that might collapse in an earthquake? In an earthquake, any distance you can drive faster than walking speed saves you time and energy, plus you have the car radio for info.

      Any place along the way you could rent a storage unit? If so, you could stage a bike/motor bike and other supplies. (independent of your scenarios, a storage unit also diversifies your risk of loss from fire/flood etc at your home.)

      • Also, you might want to make a point to stop in the small towns now for gas or a meal, and trading at roadside stands or whatever shops are on Main Street.

        You might learn some things about the area–and, in an emergency, it wouldn’t hurt if a local remembered you as that friendly commuter who brought his business there.

      • Southern Wolf says:

        The area around work is not congested. We are on the outskirts of town. The first bridge that would collapse during an earthquake is only about a mile from work. As such… I’d rather leave my vehicle at work and just walk it…. it would be safer for the vehicle.

        There is only one place to rent storage space along the way. It is however surrounded by a fence and has an electric gate. Would make it difficult to get to my supplies should the event be an EMP.

        • I think Lantana had a great idea about regularly patronizing any small business there may be along the way home. There is a term called ‘familiarity points’, which refers to people’s tendency to cut known people some slack, and the better known the people, the more slack they will be allowed. Strangers don’t rate such slack.

          People you regularly see are likely to allow you to get away with things -maybe as simple as telling a third party “Hey, I know this guy, leave him alone. Let him through. He’s OK”- which can make a difference.

          • Millie in KY says:

            That is a great idea. Maybe you could scope out several of the little stores on the way home or to work, buy coffee at one, gas or snacks at another, sandwich for lunch at the third. That way if you showed up and said “can I sleep behind your store tonight” or “Can I please have some water” you will be a welcome face in the time of trouble and perhaps get more help than the average person who stops by would get.

        • Speaking from the aspect of the rural landowners I know of now they don’t really like strangers walking thru their land now. I would have to think it would be even worse after a shtf event and might get you shot on site. Now strangers on your land mean poachers and illegal hunters and is considered trespassing and would not be any different after an event. Stick to the roads especially if you are 50 pounds out of shape, it will be easier going.

        • Lantana says:

          Southern Wolf, how will you know for sure whether the first bridge is down before you get there–in earthquake country, do all the bridges just automatically get closed, even if they didn’t collapse? If not, how far is the second bridge or overpass?

          What are the odds the epicenter of an earthquake will be between your office and your home? If the epicenter is the opposite direction, is it possible that the further you get from it, the less damage there will be? Even in the New Madrid area (where silty soil would carry the quake’s force further than rocky soil would), will every structure collapse?

          • Southern Wolf says:

            I wont know until I get there… but if it’s down then I’m gonna have to turn around and go back to work. As for the next bridge (overpass across the interstate) it’s approx 3 miles farther. Then it’s just a bunch of little bridges over creeks and such.

            As for the epicenter… I’d say the odds are pretty good. I’m on the New Madrid fault and last year we had a 4.2 that was just to the east and south of us (about 30 miles away). Work is south of my house. That 4.2 was enough to wake me up from a dead sleep shaking my trailer. First thing thru my mind was crap… it’s a tornado and Im in my underwear… this is gonna suck!

        • Lantana says:

          As for the storage place, it may not be accessible in an EMP–but there’d be a chance that the gate was open when it hit. Here, the manager often lives onsite; in that case, they’d be there AND stuck at home; maybe they’d let you in.

          And hey, if your problem’s an earthquake, you may be able to get in just fine.

          • heck why keep the bike in a storage unit?
            A small or folding mt bike will fit fine into the trunk or backseat of a decent sized car.
            I DEFINETELY recomend a bike if you are over weight or injured.
            I am even more overweight and with a bad back and ankle- but I bike a mile and a half to work almost every day with no problems.
            I have found interesting bike capable shortcuts, including train tracks, the only down side is at least initially after an event you are likely to be without anyone else taking such short cuts.
            If the train tracks can take you close to a road near home to take that might be the way to go on a bike. If not however, you might want to stick to roads- and look for ways to bypass bridges and get past the waterways they cross without getting to wet. If you go scope them out whith a fishing rod in the vehicle most people will just shrug.
            Again I highly recomend biking, it is far faster and manuverable and flexible in all respects than walking or being motorvehicle bound.
            45 miles can be done in one to two days on a bike, even in poor conditions. Then you would only need one days food and a water filter and full canteen.
            45 miles would take 3-5 days for _pioneers_ to walk. Taking far to many days worth of food, greater security measures etc.
            I feel that immediately after a disaster people tend to pull together for a while- at least to the point of not interfering much with people who know what they are doing. But within a day of disrupted services those with a criminal tendency have begun to see it as an opportunity, and within 3 days people who would normally be very law abiding and moral may feel desperate enough to consider criminal acts.
            Get home FAST, get a bike.

  2. Just my opinion but I think that the first few days after a disaster of any sort,especially in more rural areas where folks generally tend to be more considerate of others, you would be OK on the straight trek home.
    I feel it would be more dangerous as time goes on & people have been taken advantage of that they would start to look warily upon strangers. They would still have supplies early in the scenario so less tendency to be confrontational. But if you felt you had to avoid people at all costs take the tracks & overland route during the early & late daytime,resting midday & nighttime. Especially with no working flashlight. Good luck!

  3. Winomega says:

    Tracks are for hoodlums and troublemakers, especially at night but also during the day. As for day or night on the road, take the situation’s temperature, but don’t wait if you don’t have to.

    How heavy is your pack, and how far have you walked with it?

    Is there anything in your pack that is redundancy? Are you prepared just to walk home in cold or rain or unsavory types, or is there stuff that belongs in a bug-out bag or a drop-out bag?

    Consider burying a spare set of supplies if you’re that worried.

    As an overweight individual, food may not be so much of an issue, you might just need enough to occasionally get the blood-sugar up. It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I used to be able to ignore hunger all day without much discomfort. How easy would it be for you to take pack and just walk in loops near your house or car and go all day on only a normal breakfast?

    3 minutes without air
    3 days without water
    3 weeks without food

    I wouldn’t push the water thing. If most of your pack’s weight is water, it should get lighter as your muscle fatigue makes it feel heavier.

    • Southern Wolf says:

      My pack weights around 45-50 pounds. Part of that is water weight. I do need to invest in a filter…. as it is I lug around 4 ltrs of water in 2 bladders. I’ve taken my pack and walked the trails at a semi-local state park. The most I have done is around 7 miles at a time, but I was also stopping a lot for photography. I need to make a trip to see just how many miles I can get. There are enough trails that I could walk all day an not see the same place twice.

      Yes there is some redundancy in my bag… mainly on fire starters, flashlights, and blades. I also have full rain gear in there with a lot of other stuff.

      • riverrider says:

        sw, remember this is a ghb, not a camping trip/ bugout. lighten that load to 10-20 lbs including water. ditch the tent, cooking gear. get a survival straw, or two. scout out water locations ahead. pack no-cook foods, i use mre components. your goal is get home, fast. ditch food gathering stuff like fishing kits ,hunting guns/ammo. again, you just want enough to get you home and weight equals time and abuse on the joints. my ghb weighs 10 lbs if that and i have seasonal clothing in the truck to change into and i always wear highgrade lowa hiking boots.

      • Survivor says:

        What actually do you need to get home? How many firestarters do you have to carry to get home? Trim the GHB down to essentials. You indicated a two or three day trek, so use that as your starting point.

        Create and laminate a map between your house and work, then invest in a hikers GPS or compass. Learn to navigate with the compass and map. You may have to deviate from the plan/route. I love Lantana’s idea of getting to know some folks along all routes.

        Trim your carry food down to a couple of high energy items for a three day trek. I use Great Value (Walmart) trailmix (in the snack aisle). It comes in a resealable bag and has fruit and nuts…no candy.

        If your escape route takes you down country roads it’s very easy to stash some supplies along the route. Have yourself some kind of marker that looks fairly natural, but you can see. A half buried beer can, for example…Down a rural road beer cans are natural!! :)

        Rain gear can be as simple as a military style poncho liner, more useful too as a shelter. They’re lightweight and effective. Can serve as a ground sheet for sleeping on when it ain’t raining. Carry an emergency blanket, as well.

        One doesn’t need much more than two knives for getting home; a pocket knife and a defensive knife. Both should be very sharp. A pocket knife will make the cuts required for dressing any game or doing any work you need to do enroute home. The defensive knife should have about a 5 or six inch fixed blade. It should be slim, double edged and sharp enough to shave with. A small dagger would be perfect. The way to use it is aggressively stick your non-knife hand in the attackers face and push him back HARD. While you’re doing that, with your knife hand, pump him full of holes like a sewing machine does to clothe and DO NOT STOP PUNCHING HOLES IN HIM until he falls or runs. And NEVER throw your knife at an attacker.

        One should carry a couple of pairs of thick, dry socks to protect your mode of transportation. Get some Gold Bond foot powder and start using it now.

        • Thunder ba says:

          I just want to point out a poncho and poncho liner are two different things. The poncho liner is not waterproof. It is like a blanket that you can tie to a poncho turning the two combined items into a water proof blanket….thus the name poncho “liner”. The poncho liner is an amazing piece of equipmen though.

        • Good post. How about carrying pepper spray also? Arlene

  4. I agree. I think there will be a period of time between an event such as you are describing and a breakdown in society that you would have to worry about. Make haste during this time to get home, or as we say down here in the South “Get while the gettin’ is good”.

  5. I agree with everyone above. Get home the quickest route. Walk the road. Do it as fast as you can. I would avoid nighttime travel through the woods, if you are not in your best shape. You don’t want to get injured.
    The first day or two everyone people will be charitable.

    I agree with Lantana about the storage unit.
    I rent them for my kids that go to school out of town. They each have a mountain bike, a dirt bike, BOB, lots of food and water, first aid, firearms, ammo and a hand held radio/scanner. It is worth the expense. We need to give them the best chance to get home.

  6. worrisome says:

    First of all. Your get home bag or your wallet needs some cash and change in it. That early in an event, you will be able to get batteries for your flashlite. If electronics are down, cash is still king at the local store.

    I would walk on the road that early on. It would take a while for anyone to come after you. First up would be anyone wanting to loot a store for goodies and even then, it would take a while.

    Still need to be careful, wary and watchful of those around you.

  7. This is an excellent question. I highly reccomend you make a test run. Control the situation as much as possible (pick a day with moderate temps, and no rain or storms). Use the pack as you have it now and start walking (you could even walk from your house towards work). Have someone available to come pick you up when you are completely worn out.

    A buddy of mine did this several months ago. We walked the route we would take from work (on a Friday afternoon after work). We made 18 miles in 6 hours (all the way to his house). We learned a lot. 1. Cotton socks suck (have at least 2 pair of extra socks) and good shoes/boots are a must. 2. Walking next to streets without sidewalks is much harder than you would think. 3. Water is king, and food is barely needed (a little trail mix was all we needed, but we had to stop and buy more water at 7-eleven)

    3 miles per hour is a good average (including a short break every hour). You would make much less in broken country or forest/brush. this is important to consider.

    You have very little idea of what you actually need (and what you are capable of) until you make a practice run.

    • riverrider says:

      excellent on all points. moleskin for blisters, or duct tape is a must.

    • A pair or two of knee high nylons is almost mandatory for long walks. Worn under your regular socks they reduce rubbing SIGNIFICANTLY, and you probably will not get any blisters.

  8. JP in MT says:

    As someone who also has a weight issue, I would warn you off the railroad. Although I thing at first is might be the safest route, walking on a railroad track was an issue when I was younger and fitter, now it would be infinitely slower.

    I would thing the the first 3-5 days things would be so chaotic that you would actually be better off on the road. If you plan on 10 miles a day, you should be home before things really get ugly, especially in the population centers you are talking about.

    Just move with situational awareness. Make sure you are looking out and around you, not at the ground 3 feet in front of you! As you get more tired this will be orders of magnitude more difficult.

    Best suggestion for now: start walking and get your feet and foot gear in shape. You will then want to add you pack, light at 1st then up to 10 lbs over the weight of your pack. It’s not that fun, but you will be glad you did.

  9. I would suggest taking it very easy the first day and planning on taking 4 days to make the trip. If you push too hard the first day you will be spent and have painful blisters on your feet that will cause you to have to rest for 2 days. Walking Shoes/boots are very important and must be broke in. Its very important to do some practice road marches. (I’ve had blisters from a 12 miles march 20 years ago that is hard to forget.)
    As for security, it should be pretty safe on the roads for the first 4 days or so till the reality of the situation starts to really sink in.
    A Bicycle is a great idea but still you have to ride regularly to be able to go over a mile. If you haven’t ridden in a few years then jump on one and go a mile you feel like your going to die.

    • Nah, it isnt that bad for the first mile, its the third that kills you, however he is going to have ‘down hill advantage’ at least part of the way, and you can always get off the bike and walk up the steeper hills (its what I do), using the bikes as a cart for your pack also allows for easier carrying of goods.
      But he (and the rest of us too) should practice all the possible modes of transport he will have at his disposal.

      Question, do any of the waterways that you are crossing connect to each other within a reasonable distance and or lead toward your destination? if so a raft/canoe/or boat is nearly ideal especially if they are seldom used for such transport. Water transport was king until the automobile and plane.

      Definetly drop most of the equipment from your bag. You need Defense, multitool or pocket knife, 1 or 2 small reliable firestarters, water filtration and 1-2 gallons of water storage (fillable before starting / during the trip?, leave the container at the office?), and if you iarent very familiar with the area a map and compass. Keep in the car a change of clothes/shoes for the likely weather conditions and other seasonal issues (bug spray and sunscreen, hand warmers and ice gear, etc) and leave them behind if you dont need them immediately.Do try to find the best place to leave the vehicle enroute – motor vehicles are king now, and if you can get past that first bridge, you can get quite the head start.

  10. Experience is required.

    Try it. It’s the only way you can make sure you are capable of getting back home.

    45 miles is 100 kilometers. Consider you are going to walk at 2km/h at best. Why only two? Because unless you stick to a straight line with no natural obstacles, there’s no way you can walk as fast as on the sidewalk.

    So it would take you two days to reach home without wasting yourself and avoiding avoidable risks. Roads are fine if there’s noone following them.

    My advice? The railroad is a good plan if it’s away from sight. Otherwise, I know what I plan to do to reach my BOL by foot.

    It’s only 50km and I have nothing stashed on the way. I’m going to stick to the road… by the woods. I will follow it from a few hundred yards in the wilderness.

    But if your live in a farm area, I take it there aren’t much forests around. Crossing fields might be the best way to get shot at by a nervous farmer. Once again, the railroad seems the best option.

  11. Millie in KY says:

    The first thing that I’d do is get busy and start walking now, and get some weight off. Frankly, at 50 lbs overweight, I think you are looking more at a week.
    I would also make out a map. If the bridges are gone, you need alternate routes. How are you going to get over the water? Is the trip going to take you a long way to the next bridge? What if that one is out, too?
    I think right after a SHTF situation, people are going to be confused. They will still have some food and water and will be waiting for help from the gov’t or other sources (Salvation Army, etc.). I think you will be able to pass by just fine, just smile and wave and say “just trying to get home…” and keep walking. If it was a month after SHTF then I’d use the railroad tracks (make sure you have a map) and try to go during the day. If you felt unsafe, then I’d travel at night but remember, it’s going to be BLACK out. Our electricity went down during a dark phase of the moon and so even our big yard light was out. It was DARK, dark to the point of creepiness and you couldn’t see anything. It was uncomfortable and although I am a little uncomfortable at night outside in the dark, I was not very happy even inside my house….

    • Winomega says:

      Millie, extra weight may be a health liability, but how far a person can move in a day is more dependent on how used they are to moving.

      I’m completely sedentary at a little more than 60 pounds overweight, and I don’t doubt that I could do better than 6 miles per day along a road with no cars on it.

      I don’t have energy to spare on a mileage test right now, but you can ask me how much I did later.

  12. Texanadian says:

    I agree witnh the road walkers. There will be more people and safety in numbers of other refugees. Walking on tracks put you out of sight of the crowds but leaves you vunerable to ambush or the unsavory crowd. In a city most people will be trying to get into grocery stores as they lack sufficient supplys. Get on the road, get going and get in shape.

  13. S'wt Tater says:

    Consider, these questions…
    Do you have anytone else working in the same area, you already know?Walking with others immediately after any event seems to be a good idea, especially if it is someone you have a favorable connection with already…they will be walking too… Do you know, or can you build connections to anyone on either route?..a store owner? a farmhouse on the outskirts, that has produce or eggs for sale now? ..build connections. It may give you a safe place to rest should you have issues during travel. Having a halfway point of persons you already know might be a valuable assistance, for storage of cache of water.
    I haven’t trecked that far,but when I work out in the heat, most time all I need is some half strength koolaid with some extra potassium salts added,and light snacks, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, also pack some rolaids for emergency magnesium…after heavy exercise the muscles may cramp.You need to be aware of your body’s response to heavy exercise.
    I would practice walking a route down the rail road, maybe between two points with a known distance. practice one way first, then both ways, with pick ups scheduled. You may be surprised by the obstacles you will encounter…long trestles are bridges too! If an earthquake affects roads, bridges…they may as well.Don’t go blind! Then you will be able to assess which route is best for you.
    The woods option?? Know and be on lookout for other creatures in the woods…how quiet can you move?, can you evade possible threats?can you blend?How much time will this add to your route thru the woods?? Don’t go blindly, know your routes , not just in map, but in actuality. then you will be able to assess which is truly route A and B.

  14. K. Fields says:

    If you are out of shape or even in shape but simply not used to walking, you are not going to cover 45 miles in 2 days – figure at least 4, maybe 5 and pack your GHB accordingly. Keep your days short or you will end up lame before you’re half way home.

    Definitely stay on the road and move during the day. With bridges gone and general confusion reigning, you will need the advantages of clear vision and a smooth surface.
    A railroad may seem safer but they are extremely difficult to walk along as the rail spacings will throw off your natural stride – trying to do so at night would be an accident waiting to happen.

    One possible advantage you didn’t mention – do you know these towns you’ll be passing through? Do people there know you? Spend some time in them before things happen – eat at the local downtown diners, shop at some local stores. It sounds like this is your normal route to and from work so get up early a couple of days a week and stop on your way in for breakfast (or at least a cup of coffee) and tip well when you do (but not too well). Pick up some flowers for your wife on the way home in the evening and go there with her on an occasional weekend jaunt. You want to project a calm, family-man image. Soon your face will be recognized and that will be the biggest advantage to you if things go bad.

  15. The first thing you should do, is have a plan. Get a map of the area, preferably a topographical one, and a compass. Make a few routes that you can walk easily. On time off walk these routes and mark waypoints and hazards. I sugest that you walk these routes a few times day and night to become familiar and comfortable. Pick out areas that you can shelter if needed.

  16. Subject to re-evaluation at the time of the actual emergency, I’d be inclined to stay on the roads for a few reasons.

    One: It is much easier to walk on a road, especially if vehicles aren’t working.

    Two: as others have said, there is safety in numbers. The first few days are likely to be pretty safe, but even in good times an isolated person makes a tempting target.

    Three: If there are stores or restaurants along the way, you may be able to get water or food there. You can’t count on that, as others may have consumed it all before you get there, but it is at least a possibility. You may be one of the early ones.

    You mentioned that bridges may be down, but I don’t think mentioned if they were over water, or just overpasses and such. If they are over water, you may have some real issues getting across. It might be possible to walk over a bridge too damaged for vehicles, but if not, you’ll need alternate routes.

    I’d be inclined to pick out alternate routes ahead of time, and drive them, ideally with someone else at the wheel so you can evaluate issues you see. And make a map, including useful features like gas stations, places to get ground water if you need it, police stations, homes, whatever you think might help or hinder your trip. If the bridges are over water or some impassable feature, find out which direction the next bridge is: If one is two miles north, you might not want to head south to one 8 miles distant.

  17. Here’s my view. Stick to the roads if possible. Daylight travel will be best. Your bag maybe a little heavy but I don’t know about replacement water on the way. Lose the tent a space blank has lots of uses. I agree with the others that you need to get known by others on your routes. Not being a new face helps. Over weight or not walk more now . As you described in these are small towns , does anyone at work live in them? There maybe a travel companion and a safe rest point. Oh and that bag needs a good but broken in set of footgear .
    Remember that the added stress of the event added to your over weight may increase the chances of a heart attack . I’m 5’10″ 245 myself but do a lot of work outdoors in the heat and have walked the 10 Miles from home to my shop.

  18. Mrs. M. says:

    I am also too heavy. And my pack is too heavy too. We have approximately the same scenario as you do to get home. 35 or so miles home from work.

    One thing we have discussed is stashing a bicycle. Even if you have to push it part of the way, it would get the downward weight of the heavy pack off of your body. A bicycle will cover the distance much faster. If you can afford it, get a power assisted bicycle.

    We have old 1970′s dirt bikes. That could also be an answer to getting home.

    Another consideration is to have some kind of rolling cart, so you can push or pull the weight of your pack. I have noticed there are some innovative ones that people have made on YouTube.

    The choice of the road or railroad is dependent on how fast you can get through the area. I would take the shortest, easiest route. Just get through the bottlenecks before others figure out what happened and start to panic.

    Is there a river flowing though? Can you float tube home? Are there other options? What is the weather like? Can you go lighter by stashing supplies along the way?.

    • The cart is a good idea. I actually picked one up a while ago and keep it in the vehicle. Even if I only had a ten mile walk, with my kids it would take forever. I also would not be able to carry enough water for all of us, even splitting it up between us. So it would allow me to have more water, and what ever other essentials I feel I need out of the car. I can pull the cart behind me and have the youngest in his sling. My oldest can carry my bag if needed, and let the littles walk freely so they could better keep up.

  19. navydavep says:

    Is it possible to leave a bicycle at work? With a bike one can cover enormous distances in one day. Good luck getting fit. Great question/scenario.

    • Southern Wolf says:

      Nope… that is not an option

      • oldguy52 says:

        Southern Wolf,

        You might look into a folding bike that will fit in the trunk of your car. I have one like this:

        http://www.nycewheels.com/dahon-folding-bike-speed-p8.html

        • Southern Wolf says:

          Holy crap!!!!!

          It’s gonna be a while before that amount is available in the budget. That thing is over twice the amount of my mountain bike.

          • oldguy52 says:

            SW,

            There are less expensive versions available and Dahon isn’t the only maker by any stretch. They are probably the largest maker though.

            In my mind, spending a day and a half on the road home vs 5 or 6 on foot would be well worth a few hundred bucks. It could change the whole ordeal from a long slog with a heavy load to a fairly easy overnight with a small load.

            • oldguy52 says:

              If you Google “folding bike” you’ll get plenty of results that will help.

          • Thunder ba says:

            I typed folding bike into amazon and several popped up for less than $200.

  20. Walk with a party of people you trust not to act like idiots – maybe co-workers with some military or hunting experience. Don’t travel with anyone wearing stilettos or other stupid footwear — they will only slow you down. Make sure you wear good quality, broken-in footwear and good wool socks.

    Use a walking staff to keep from falling hard and taking out a knee or ankle if you trip over debris or step in a hole. Do not walk at night if you cannot clearly see the ground and any holes in front of you. Practice using the walking staff as a defensive weapon in case you are set upon by a pack of dogs.

    The hour before sunrise until two hours after sunrise is the time when you are least likely to run into human predators (they will be sleeping off their latest drug binge). Keep in mind that after an EMP, it will be very quiet except for the sounds made by nature or incautious humans, so you may be able to hear other humans approaching and have time to avoid them, if you are careful to not talk and not walk on anything that makes noise (gravel, dry leaves …) while you are traveling.

    If one or more people in your walking party carry a shotgun or rifle on a sling or wear an open carry, holstered handgun and look like they know how to use it, most muggers to look for a softer target. Lastly, if no one in your party is open carrying, don’t look like you have anything worth stealing – a big backpack will look interesting to a mugger.

    • Linda,

      I’m sorry. I am going to have to call a comment foul on you. Just what imeriacal proof do you have that the hour before sunrise and two hours after is when drug addicts are “sleeping it off”.

      In my experience, it is the time two hours before and two hours after they tend to wake up is the time that they are sleeping it off. They tend to wake at all hours of the day or night.

      Where do you get your facts?

  21. LyndaKay says:

    If I were trying to get home alone, I know that my husband and adult children would eventually go out looking for me. With that in mind, I would tell my loved ones which route would be the one I’d most likely use.

  22. FYI, remember there are two EMP scenarios.

    Solar EMP will take out the electric grid, and probably many/most electronics, but not cars. The tale tale thing will be for those things like laptops. A regular power outage won’t effect them for an hour or two (because of the battery) but an EMP would kill them. Most people will just see a solar EMP it as a power outage, so probably no panic for awhile (except for the few people who know what it is – and hopefully they will panic quietly while they are headed home). In this situation, you could just drive home.

    A nuclear EMP probably would kill cars, certainly causing significant confusion and possibly causing panic much quicker.

  23. Lantana says:

    One other thought on whether to take a car when the condition of bridges after a quake is unknown:

    Your potential loss on the car is its value in excess of any insurance paid.

    Your potential benefits include: fewer miles walked; fewer miles carrying pack; access to other supplies in the car; faster distancing from potential problems at work location (aftershocks breaking gas line, for example); shorter time to get to less affected location/home; headstart on others leaving the town you work in; protection from elements; easier to scan for radio stations while moving/better reception; and perhaps a bit of calm from doing a ‘normal’ task.

    Reducing effort and exposure may further help you avoid medical issues from blisters or sunburn to heart attack (which could quickly exceed the value of the car).

  24. axelsteve says:

    I would stay off the rail road tracks in my area. Living in n calif the druggies and etc hang around them in town and out of town is a different story. You do not want to run into someones pot garden or still . Many people who live out there are also the type that do not want company.I would avoid the tracks.Being an older man it would be a good idea to have some food and water to regulate our blood sugar.

  25. wonderprepper says:

    they have bikes that can fold. maybe you can put one in your trunk. i would keep my pack light. i would follow the road. getting in shape would be best. try the different routes.

  26. Hi all,
    Great question and even better answers. I have a different take, as usual.
    1) At 58 and in good shape, light weight, I can walk 12 miles in the Virginia mountains in a day. I am half dead after that. I can bike 25 miles the same route, with a sore area, and half dead. That is on roads. Cut these distances in half for non road areas in Virginia.
    2) The first three days after a disaster are perhaps doable without too much risk from bad guys and frantic people. After that, you better be home, with a group, or with a gun with 100 rounds.
    3) Keep the pack under 20 lbs. I camp on the AT with 35, and can only make 6-8 miles a day. When I was in my twenties, about 10 miles with 45 lbs.
    4) A bike is where it is at, for road travel. Try walking to the store that is 10 miles away. Then try it on a bike. There is really no comparison.
    5) The quickest way that you can get home and leaving as quickly as possible is important.
    6) For night travel, an electrical engineer told me that a standard, non led flashlight with duracell batteries is EMP proof. If you look at most modern LED and Solar LED lights, you will see that they have electronic circuit boards. A few do not. They usually just go on and off by switch, nothing fancy. LED’s are much brighter, with long lasting power, but go simple, if you go this route.
    7) Several excellent suggestions for filters from the pack. I like a Sport Berkey if you only need it for drinking water.
    Good luck. Jim M

    • Southern Wolf says:

      I have always wanted to hike the AT, but life kept getting in the way. I used to do a lot of local hikes (within the state) when I was younger and in better shape, but never got around to being able to take 6 months off to do the AT. I’m envious of you.

    • riverrider says:

      you might be right jim, but it might go another way. i might see sw riding up, so i closeline him and take his bike and his goody bag and ride off. desperate people do desperate things. but then again on a bike you might make 45 miles before things get that bad. just thinking out loud..

  27. I have a very similar situation, work in a moderate size city 35 miles from our rural home. I have measured different routes home, the shortest one is one I don’t drive because of the traffic, but in a SHTF time and I will be walking I want the shortest.
    Keeping to the road will be the easiest, especially if you are out of shape. And you’ll always know where you are,,, if you go off road you could become disorientated and lost, then it will take you that much longer to make it home,,, or you might not make it at all.

    I agree with most others here, in the first few days people will be friendly with most trying to get home them selves. There will always be the proverbial “bad apple” so stay alert.
    I don’t think stoping in the small towns would help much, just like no one will be at your place of business, diners and local stores won’t be open. Their employees will also want to be home! With the power out, their lights won’t be on or cash registers working.

  28. I would keep a bicycle in my car. I would start to walk daily to get in better shape.(I need to heed my own advice also !) Is there a co worker you trust that you could buddy up with for the walk ? Your question is a good one. Arlene

    • Southern Wolf says:

      Honestly I don’t know about the buddy. I go to work to get a paycheck not make friends so I couldn’t tell you where anyone lived. I know one guy that would be heading in the same direction but we work different shifts so no help there.

  29. I havent read the rest of the ideas yet, for me, if it were emp event, I would act normal. If right after something happens, you grab your pack and hightail it out of there it is going to seem odd. I would stick around long enough, asking if people are ok, if they know what happened, getting insurance info if needed (even in an emp event and if this seems pointless), trying to call cops/tow truck ect. Maybe cary an extra case of ‘charity’ water, and ask if anyone needs it, be helpful. If any of these people live around you, they will remember that you stuck around to help, so may be more willing to come to your aid later if needed.

    Is there a gas station en route you can stop at daily. Something where they get to know you, even if not by name by what you buy. They will recognize you and a friendly face is always nice. Some more playing at what happened ect. But the key is having people know you so if you need to stop, they are more willing to work with you.

    I am sure others saying that working at getting into shape is a good idea, and something I am sure we can all work on a bit. Do some walking with your pack. Be realistic about what you will need to get home, and cull the rest. Add a few more days to what you figured to get home, just because. If its an earthquake, there are aftershocks that can slow you down, or the ground could have cracks and other such issues. The bridges could be an issue but having a contingency plan and all that.

    I dont think the danger will be on the roads at that point. It will be a lot of people wondering what is going on and trying to get home, or to a shelter of sorts. But all in all you will have to gauge the mood of the people around you when it happens.

    • Ok, so I went and read all the comments. Looks like most of us agree to stick to the roads, lighten the load of the ghb, walk, and know people on your route. Lol. Great minds think alike!

  30. Southern Wolf;
    EMP Scenario;
    First of all put a pair of leather gloves and a medium to large bolt cutter in the back of your car. This way you can cut the chains that operate the rolling gates which gives you away out of the car lot either with or with out a mode of transportation.
    (1)If you are walking home you will be amongst others walking to reach their home and families, the first few hours will be a safe zone-daylight hours. The smaller your pack the less noticeable you will be to others, a book bag as if you were attending classes, an not in camo colors.
    (2)Traveling at night opens you up to being attacked or injured, this is where you will need to find a safe place to put your head down and rest.
    3)Railroad tracks-after the 1st day others will think the same as you about it being a safer route of travel.
    (4) Walking on rail road tracks can alter the bodies bio-mechanics for walking. If you are working in a stealth mode the gravel on the rail road will be loud as you walk along unless you can hit the ties every time with your foot fall. You are out in the open while others can hide in the tree lines, to see you coming and going.
    Earthquake:
    If the magnitude is large enough it will cause bridges to fail and roads to buckle, the first few hours the populace will look dazed and confused. Then the panic will set in it could be fight or flight mode.
    As for railroad tracks crossing, if bridges fail there is a chance that the same can hold for these areas you have a 50/50 chance. You will need a plan checking these routes out thoroughly before anything would occur(recon work).
    If De Lorme Atlas & Gazetteer Map is available for your state I would recommend you purchase one, then make copies of the pages you would use to go home. Use color markers, make notes of what you see, what areas that might be problems to traverse write these on your paper plans. Then plan from there, by using color coding of what you will need to cover each scenario for getting home.
    Although this is a general synopsis, I hope it gives you a working plan on which to build.

  31. I agree that you should toss out everything you can from your pack. Comfort is low priority, getting home is high.

    If you can cut the pack down to bare minimum of clothing to keep you adequately protected from the weather, enough dry food to give you some energy (sounds like neither one of us needs to eat for a couple weeks to survive, but some is important), water (you can’t carry enough for 45 miles/3-6 days: you have to restock somehow), good boots with extra socks and moleskin, a pair of Ace bandages for your knees, a lightweight hikers’ walking stick, a bare minimum first aid kit with medicated skin cream for your inner thighs (rashes there from damp and abrasion can destroy your ability to keep going. Apply before you start out. Also between your toes), caffeine tabs so you don’t get excruciating headaches, and sunscreen. That’s about all you can afford to carry.

    If you are concerned about protection, and it is legal, maybe the smallest possible semi-auto pistol and a spare magazine. The chances are that you will not need it, and if you do, the chances are that you will not need to do more than demonstrate you have it. Therefore the weight is more concern than the caliber or large supply of ammo.

    As someone mentioned, keeping it light reduces stress on joints, and 45 miles will definitely stress them. Hence the Ace bandages.

    Clothes: Synthetic undershirt, underwear, and socks. Synthetic pants and overshirt, same as hikers wear, with zip off pants legs. Broad brim hat, of course. All these are very light weight and dry out fast. That is really important for minimizing rashes between your legs and butt cheeks. Cotton underwear is terrible : It never dries out. Go synthetic. And grease up before you start out.

    Water, though, is a problem. Gotta find a way to re-stock. In hot weather you will need more than a gallon a day. You can cut down use by laying up during the hot hours of the day. The time tradeoff may be worth it, but only you can decide that.

    I’d still stay on the main roads, though. Safety in numbers. In the unlikely case that the predators will be out in the first few days, being one of ten on the tracks is worse than being one of 1000 on the roads.

    • Encourager says:

      There are now sticks of anti-rubbing (anti-chapping) solution on the market. It would be a good idea to purchase a few of these. Not only are they good for chapped areas that rub (butt and thighs – and under boobs for women) but they can be used on blister-prone areas also.

      You are correct in the non-cotton underwear and socks. Cool Max socks are pretty nice, I own a few pairs for walking distances. Best is two layers of socks; a thin sock to prevent blisters and a wool sock. The blister preventing layer also protects skin from the wool in case you are sensitive to it, like I am. Make sure you try ALL socks on and USE them to make sure they do not bunch up or irritate your feet in some way BEFORE an emergency. All feet are different and socks are usually made for the ‘average’ foot. If you have small feet you may be more comfortable in a youth size.

      Broken in shoes/boots go without saying.

      I have to agree that it would be best to use the roads in the daytime as long as you can. A few days down the road, the situation may change. Unless you are extremely used to walking at night, you chance injury which may prevent you from ever reaching home. I do not think the rails are a good way to go, not only because they are hard to walk on but because they ARE isolated; predators would seek out isolated areas to lay in wait, I would think.

      The folding bike is a great idea; as is a motorized one. Make sure you have two bags to balance out the load on the bike, including repair parts for the bike. You would be home so much faster, maybe even before the panic sets in, making walking dangerous.

      Lately I have been realizing that in all my ‘planning’ for when SHTF, my mindset has been on the planning, collecting, recording, putting away, making many lists. It has not been on the reality of WSHTF. I am not explaining this well, and am not sure I can. For instance, we have had a problem with growing some items we have planted. My normal reaction is “hmmm, I wonder if my farmer friend will have a crop I can buy to make pickles.” Reality should be “crap. what are we going to eat this winter with this crop failure? What steps can I do right now to replace/replant and assure a crop or substitute for it?” I need a “REALITY” check. We all talk of what we will/could/should/might do. But if it happened today, WHAT would you ACTUALLY do? Am I making any sense here???

      • Encourager, you are making perfect sense. Right now we still have the comforts of going to the grocery store, the doctor, or where ever. Right this minute with my tomato failure this season (stupid bugs ugg) I have the ability to go and buy more, whether from the farm down the street, the flea market, or the grocery store. It does not mean I am going without this winter. In a teotwawki situation, unless I have someone I can barter with, I am going without tomato products until next tomato season.

        • Encourager and everyone=Please read the book The Long Emergency by James ?? He was one of the first to write on this topic and he gives a very realistic scenario of long term emergency and how to cope. This book influenced me from going from just prepper to survivalist . Arlene
          PSSorry I cannot recall his last name.

        • TG well put . Arlene

      • Encourager-YES you are making excellent sense. THESE PAST two years due to extreme weather our usual productive garden has been very poor.(I am an exp gardener of over 45 years)We all must plan for the what if.. times. Honestly we are very well prepared but it would be one hard challenge to live and get by without electricity and a decent climate. Mother nature in the past has given us bumper crops one year of tomatoes for ex but no apples etc. Allowing us to stock up for a poor year. With climate change-the entire USA and world is on
        the brink of crops failures ,fewer animals ,more diseases etc.
        Prepare any way you can =something is better than nothing.
        I would like to hear more honest discussion about the reality of survival when times get tougher. Arlene

  32. Shortly after I found this blog, I performed an experiment. I too am more than a little overweight (this seems to be a troubling trend here), and I wanted to see how far I could make it with my ‘possible’ bag (my pet name for my BOB/GHB). I also have some serious musculo-skeletal issues compounding it. One mile, and I was feeling it. I made it to a point just about two miles away and ended up calling my neighbor. I’ve made progress since then, but I’ll never be able to hump 10-15 in one day again.

    The first and easiest thing to do is lose weight in the bag-I’d shoot for no more than 10 pounds, not counting water. Fortunately, we live on a planet that’s about 75% of it, so carry a good amount, but constantly be on the lookout for it. Toilet tanks, water heaters, water coolers all have internal reservoirs. Assuming that looting is taking place or has already, don’t bother with the places you’d usually find supplies-look to places off the beaten path, places one wouldn’t expect to find things.

    Be the gray man-blend in with the others fleeing. My #1 bag is about as cheap-looking as it comes, and is around 3 lbs. My plan is to harvest what I need as I need it. Food is irrelevant (except perhaps a couple energy bars), as is shelter aside from a space blanket. There will be tons of debris available to make shelter-even damaged/abandoned structures.

    For years, I camped with little more than a tarp and a sleeping bag, and didn’t suffer overmuch from the experience. You just have to be creative and use what’s around you as much as what you have with you. As others have said, get to know your route better, and observe critically what you see as you drive past it.

  33. Southern Wolf,

    I only got about half-way through the comments before I left mine here, so if I am repeating anything here, I do apologize.

    I have to completely disagree with Survivor about the knives you need to carry. I take this from infantry 101. Keep your bayonet dull so it does not stick to bones. That said, I hope for all that is good you won’t ever have to resort to a knife fight. If it ever comes to knives vs. guns, I would take guns every time. You can definitely survive a gun fight… a knife fight..it’s a coin toss. When blades come out, someone WILL get cut. Most likely YOU. That is something you cannot afford on your journey home.

    Your “Get Home” scenario is eerily similar to mine. I would have to travel 60 miles compared to your 40 something. I wouldn’t have farm areas to go through. Instead I have gang-infested slums spattered with upper-middle class neighborhoods.

    I think you need to start thinking about camouflage. And I am not talking about the tried and true woodland pattern I wore in the military.

    I am talking about blending in with your surroundings. Start thinking about what would make you look like a “social pariah”. In my case, it would be making myself look like a homeless person.

    Think about it. Like you, I would have to walk through many different types of neighborhoods. If I were carrying a pack, any pack (military like, mountaineering like, something that looks like it costs money like), it would make me look like a TARGET. If I were well dressed, it would make me look like a target. If I wore red or blue, it would make me look like a target.

    I will be carrying a pack, so how do I avoid a fight before it starts… I put a piece of plastic over my pack, and carry a trash bag full of empty PLASTIC bottles (less weight) and speak to myself LOUDLY whenever I come across those who would be in my way. I would also make sure I look dirty. No gangbanger wants to deal with a crazy homeless person, and neither do the police, or the local residents you will find along the way.

    As far as HOW you are going to get home, go by the most direct route. If it is an EMP that disables everything… F_ it. Walk on the freeway. You won’t have to worry about getting hit by a car. If it’s an earthquake (like what happened in 1994 in Los Angeles)… drive your car as far as you can, then ditch it. That’s what you pay insurance for. It’s a write off.

    Like you, I’m overweight…now. That won’t last long (I hope). My GHB weighs a total of 54 pounds with food and water. It has enough to sustain me for 72 hours in any given situation. That said… Given the situation where I need to pull it out of the trunk, it will shed about 20 to 30 pounds. I AM PREPARED for multiple situations. I know what I have in the pack and I can ditch (into the trunk) what I don’t need and start beating feet. Do you hear what I’m saying? Have what you need, ditch the rest, and then write it off.

    You will never be prepared with the exact equipment at the right time when you need it. I think they call that “Murphy’s law”. Do the best you can, with what you have, then improvise the rest. Just spend the time THINKING about what you are going to have to deal with and most of all think about trying to blend in. If blending does not work, think about trying to make people AVOID you. Solo survival is a crap shoot.

    I do not think for a second that you can make friends before hand along your path. That would require you to walk that path OFTEN. At best you can make friends near your work and your home. It is what is in between that you need to worry about. You sound like you have a job and a life. If I had the time to make friends along my 60 mile get home trek, then my house would be clean, my food stores would be set for 5 years, my yard would be “Home and Garden” photo ready, and I’d be mayor of my city. I don’t have that kind of time in one day. Neither do you.

    Since our get home plans are similar, ask M.D. to give you my e-mail address. I’d love to talk to you and trade notes.

    Good luck,

    Sirius

  34. In my case I work most often in a town 25 miles from my home – BUT are at least four bridges (3 covering sloughs of unknown depth and one over a major river in the area. Fortunately, I know several people in the area that if I could get to them I’d be okay. However the main portion on the city is built on fill so can expect that to liquidify in an earthquake. If I can get out of that city with my car it would be pretty much a straight shot home until I reached that river.

    The experts have told us that the bridges would be closed to vehicular traffic until they could be inspected (most are old and are being slowly replaced). My best hope will be that whatever happens happens when I am home or at least somewhere in the small town I live in.

  35. Donna in MN says:

    Personally people will not be trying to rob you immediately, most people have 3 days of food, you would be fine walking home in the day. Your bug out bag should have a water filter to filter out chemicals. Maybe lighten your BOB for just 3 days supply if home is your destination. If you want to get home sooner, get a foldable bike that fits in your trunk with saddle bags.

  36. The first thing you need to do is get in shape. Back in my much younger days, I used to walk a lot every day (5 miles was typical). One day I happened to miss bus connection after bus connection, where it was faster to walk to the next connection point than wait for the next bus. I missed all the busses for my trip that day, and ended up walking 15 miles (with just a very light bookbag pack). I was fine that day, but could barely move my legs the next day….and I was in shape and young!

    You’ll probably find that you travel about 3 mph on a good trail – paved, gravel, or dirt road. You’ll be slower than that on railroad tracks (probably 1 – 1.5 mph), or cutting through the woods in a stealthy manner (less than 1 mph). You will also run into fatique and muscle soreness issues, particularly in day 2 and following.

    In addition to sufficient water, you’ll need to plan for shelter for your nights out in the open.

    Based on all that, I would say to allow at least 4 to 5 days for that 45 mile walk. I would also suggest getting a folding bike that you could stash in the trunk of your car. With a bike, your 4 to 5 day walk would be cut to less than a day. If the bike was taken from you at some point, at least you’d be a lot closer to home already.

    And do whatever you can do to get into better physical condition, including losing some of that excess weight! It’s not doing you any favors and will really hurt you when it’s time to get home fast. You’ll want to travel fast and light to get there.

  37. Southern Belle says:

    I just wanted to thank you for asking this question and for all of the ideas and suggestions that the fellow Wolf Pack members contributed. It definitely is food for thought and I can see how many people can take away something applicable to their own situation. I would just add that I have had to work on being more observant and truly look at my surroundings when traveling. I was one of the sheeple for so long and it took my dh to help me understand the importance of not being a target by being more aware of my surroundings and the people who live there. My hubby served over 20 years in the Army has seen the worst in people especially during times of panic. We have a GHB for every member of our family and have talked about blending in as much as possible and never taking un-needed risks.

  38. Thunder ba says:

    I think the folding bike option is the best. You can cover a lot more distance on a bike most likely all 45 miles in a day. If we are talking about a get home bag specifically tailored to this trip then i have some suggestions. I don’t know what kind of work you do but depending on your work attire i suggest you have a change of clothes to include comfortable sturdy shoes or preferably boots. You don’t want to try and walk 45 miles in slacks and dress shoes. Not knowing the weather and temperatures in your area this will be more general. As long as its not below freezing i suggest having the following items in your bag: a headlamp with red lens, lighter, some type of water proof jacket, the before mentioned poncho, pocket knife, extra socks, a beanie cap, some sort of warm top (like a sweat shirt but not Cotten), food, cash (i guarantee people will still be selling things) and water(I would add a life straw just in case but probably not needed). Everything I just listed minus food and water probably weigh less than 10 lbs. I don’t now many of you have gone three days walking all day and not eating much food but it sucks!!!! I’m in great shape and it sucks for me. I’m an active duty Infantryman so I walk a long ways with a bunch of crap on my back for a living. I’ve spent way to much of my life walking hungry to ever count on a few bags of trail mix to hold me over for 3 or 4 days if i had a choice. The point is to be prepared right? I’m not saying load yourself down but your gonna regret trying to live off trail mix for 3 days i promise you. Of course water is the key here. Depending on the weather you will need alot. In the summer i can easily drink half a gallon of water and most guys i work with drink more than that. If its cooler than high 90s you can probably get by with half as much. Ofncoursebif you can do the trip faster then less food and water is needed thats why that bike is really your best option. You could do the whole thing with the bike and nothing else. Everything I mentioned should make sure your well taken care in most situations you would run into in your scenario. You could easily cut my list in half or add to it but you risk being exposed to the elements or weighing yourself down.

  39. Thunder ba says:

    I forgot to mention i would take the most direct route and the moleskin someone mentioned above is a great thing to pack.

    • Good, comfortable boots/shoes, moleskin, synthetic underwear, and medicated skin lotion for the rashes between the legs, and to prevent blisters between the toes.

      I know from experience, sweaty underwear will bring on a terrible rash in a few hours. Hence the synthetic underwear and lotion. People like me, whose legs rub together, are at huge risk for rash. Skinny folks, not so much. But wet, sweaty underwear is a big problem. Take care before it is an issue.

      If the folding bike is possible, that would be a giant plus, especially in an EMP situation.

      • Thunder ba says:

        This might come across as crude but most people in the infantry just don’t wear underwear. I prefer foot powder instead of any kind of lotion but what ever works for you.

        • Thunder Bra- thanks.I learned a new fact from you today-smile !!
          On another topic-Can someone please explain to me how companies can sell freeze dried ice cream ? Without a freezer or ice how can it be ice cream ? Has anyone actually tasted it? Thanks Arlene

  40. Personally, I’d traverse at night. Plan your route in advance and take notice of areas in which you could rest during daylight if necessary. There is information on the net concerning the best way to stay “hidden” as you travel.
    Knowing your route, you could follow any cricks or small streams if available. Traveling during the day must be limited in populated areas, once again, maybe along a stream or animal paths in overgrowth areas. Carry a compass in your car’s survival pack.