The Get Home Case Study…



This guest post by John R and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

This contest will end on February 16 2013  – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules that are listed below first… 1x1.trans The Get Home Case Study...

There have been multiple discussions on getting home during a disaster and the contents of a GHB (get home bag).  In the 11/18 weekly preps, I mentioned that I decided to test out my get home plan with the assumption that I would not have my truck available and would have to travel on foot.   Here is how it went and what I found:

I work downtown in a medium to large city.  I drive a bit over 25 miles to work each day and part in a parking lot. In January, I developed my plans to get home from work which included stocking my truck box with the things I thought I would need and keeping other things in my office. If travelling by vehicle is possible and realistic, I am not too concerned about getting home.  I have a path mapped out that avoids highways at least until I can get to one with a grass medium and shoulder so I could not get stuck.  I also made a rough path to travel on foot.   I suspected that, being in really good shape, I could get home in a max of 5 hours.    However, I had never really tested a plan like that.   So, with a day off work that my wife was going to be busy, I decided to test it out.

The route I would take during an actual event involves going near the highway in north – south direction.  I would not want to do this as a test because the path is more dangerous (and stupid) so I mapped out an east – west path that goes through similarly mixed terrain but not near highways.   I had my wife drop me off a similar 25 miles from home at about 10 am with the things that I carried in my truck and would have on me at work.  I took my phone, but intentionally did not use the GPS on it as something like a solar flare or EMP that would stop me from being able to use my truck could also take out GPS.

The experience was a real eye opener.   What I thought would be under 5 hours turned out to be 9.5 hours despite the fact that I am in my early 30s and in the best shape of my life.

Significant Learnings

  1. The constant changes in terrain and rarely stopping was really hard on my feet.   I was on concrete and grass and went up and down hills.   The old tennis shoes I had were only barely better than my work shoes.
  2. My work route is 25 miles by car which is 90% straight highway.  My test route was a similar distance on main roads.  I didn’t track it, but I presume that my actual travel distance was a bit longer.   I know how to tell which direction is which, but multiple times I either got side tracked or got to a place where I had to turn around.  Note: for the purpose of this experiment, I didn’t do a lot of trespassing and stayed near a road most of the time.
  3. While I did have some food and did not get excessively hungry, I got very dehydrated because I only had two 12 ounce bottles of water
  4. Given that it took much longer than expected, my wife now knows not to freak out if I don’t get there quickly.

I also found that there were a lot of things in my GHB that I no longer think I would EVER need in a GHB or are things I could have with me at work or in my truck and only carry with me as needed depending on the specifics of an event.  I figure I could have saved at least another hour travelling lighter.  Below I have listed the contents and some changes I made.

* – would leave in my truck

** – would only take with me as the situation warrants

*** – removed from GHB

 

Get Home Bag

  1. Glock 19 with 2 clips and 100 rounds
  2. Mace ** – as needed unless I buy a smaller can.
  3. Lighter
  4. Fire starters *** – I decided this was not useful to carry.  1 lighter could last me weeks
  5. Minimal food/water for 1 day – Changed to 2 boxes of granola bars, a 24 count case of water and a few cans of Mountain Dew (my preferred method of caffeine intake.  If I leave my truck, I’ll only take 6 bottles of water or so.   Great for bartering as I have extra.
  6. First aid kit – It was way too big.  I took out a respirator mask and 1 large bandage that I would take with me.  The rest would stay at the truck.  I would not be putting on band aids and ointment in the interest of time
  7. Crank radio/flashlight ** – it’s a bit bulky and weighs almost 2 lbs.  Nice to have in the truck but not that necessary to carry on me.
  8. Blanket and jacket ** – I wore the Jacket and ended up putting it in my back pack within 15 minutes.  Though it was quite chilly, the pace I was moving more than kept me warm.
  9. Multi tool and screwdriver *** – I will probably get some flak for this but I never conceived of a use for it that warranted their weight.
  10. Gerber machete – I debated bringing this but I loved loved loved having it. Multiple times I found myself wanting to cut through the woods and it was really nice.   For those of you who have never done yard work with a machete, its way better than using pruning shears for clearing thin brush.   The Gerber one has a saw on the back for trimming anything bigger.   Really convenient
  11. Pen and Paper *** – Dear diary, I feel stupid that I even thought I needed this at all
  12. Rope *** – I only carried this because Boondock Saints told me too.  However, not encountering any mobsters, I figure I am safe without it.  Again, the usefulness does nto justify the weight
  13. Hat and Gloves ** – I could see myself not needing a coat while moving but a hat and gloves would help a lot.  Just not if it’s warm out.
  14. Medicine – Stress can give me a headache.  A few ibuprofen are more than worth their weight
  15. Vitamins *** – more for long term well-being than immediate needs
  16. Backpack – while this was necessary, it was big enough that things jostled too much inside it. Needed a smaller one

More on Water

Riverrider aptly suggested I use a water purification bottle.  I sort of go back and forth on this but decided to keep the water because the weight of 6 bottles of water would not slow me down as much the time and energy spent looking for water and filtering it.  I could also use the water for bartering or to get out of a bad situation. Another option might be to go with 3 bottles and a water purification bottle.  Water could also likely be obtained on the way home depending on the circumstance. I still debate this but for now sticking with bringing the water.

Action Plan

  1. I got a smaller backpack packed with the bare essentials from above that I can grab quickly.
  2. If the plan is needed, the first step is to add anything extra from my stash at work to my back pack
  3. I had been keeping old backup shoes in my GHB (since I wear dress shoes to work) but I needed a better pair.  So now I keep a much newer pair in the truck.
  4. Keep a change of clothes at work.   Especially in the summer I will be way over dressed in my work clothes.  Changing will make me faster.
  5. I had always kept a coat in my truck but now also keeping a light jacket in the office. I’m pretty warm and it rarely ever gets cold enough that I won’t keep warm constantly moving.

Finally, now that I’ve made changes, I hope to try it again in February.  While I am not very concerned with the cold, traversing snow will definitely make a big difference.

Comments

  1. Rob in Ontario says:

    great article- I agree with RiverRider I would also take a water filter/purifier of sorts- and the multiuse tool are handy to have as you usually need them when you least expect then – just remember its best to have and not need to to need and not have – if you already have a pick up why not carry a bike in the back can me locked up so not be stolen and if you need to leave the truck always faster to get home then walking

    • Great points Rob. I am still debating the water purifier. The bike in the truck is a good suggestion but I use my truck bed so often that it would be cumbersome to load/unload. But, after seeing recent articles like the one for getting home from NY mentionning a foldign bike, I may get one and store it in the gap between my truck box and the bed under it.

      • riverrider says:

        i only suggested the purifier because my terrain sports a creek or pond every 100 yards or so. i use the scoop and go bottles. i still have a 8 pack of h2o in my truck jic:) great ideas, great post. keep them coming. i always pack TMS(too much sh!t). need to cut it back.

    • commander says:

      I carry a inflatable cammode in my backpack with some wax paper as toilet tissue. The cammode helps me lose weight ever time I use it. The wax paper can be used and wiped off on the grass and used again and again.

  2. Millie in KY says:

    Very good and well thought out. Maybe take some powered gatoraid to add to the water for the electrolytes, you need them even in winter. Pace yourself so you don’t get sweaty in the winter time, you will lose body heat then. Layering is good.

    • Millie – Nice suggestion. Those powerder packets are small and the electrolyte boost would be helpful. Great idea

    • EmergenC is another option for replenishing electrolytes and it comes in tiny packs.

  3. Tactical G-Ma says:

    John R.
    You’ve given it a lot of thought and your article is good.

    I think para-cord and a few med carabiners are crucial and very lt wt.
    Hat and gloves a must. Your blanket can serve as a wrap if days are cold. But a long sleeve shirt does much when hiking. It protects your arms from scrapes and scratches while going thru thickets or shrubbery. Also, protects against fallout directly sitting on your skin and prevents a lot of bug bites. As Michelle pointed out yesterday, knee-hi stockings under your socks and a few more actsieves. Always carry at least one additional pair of socks. Never wear same pair 2 days in a row. My first aid kit is in an altoid can. I carry Aleve (naprosen sodium) because 2 last 12 hours while Ibuprofen is every 4 hours and I carry a doz benedryl, a few hydrocodone, and my epipen. Also, a retractable walking stick. Very lt wt and good for checking undergrowth for critters (rattlers). I think the road most easily taken may be the most dangerous. I also carry a leatherman and a Swiss army knife. I strongly agree with the machete. Getting home may be dangerous but that’s when stealth will come in most handy. I carry the camping finger saw that has a ring on each end (makes a great garrotte). Last but not least, in most cases a gas mask might limit your visibility and draw more attention to you. I carry double N95 mask and duct tape to tape it to my face, no leaks. Again ounces not pounds. Oh, and some toilet tissue and instead of MT Dew I carry 5-hour energy and electrolyte packets to add to my water. These aren’t all I carry but some things worth considering.
    My philosophy is to review my bag regularly. I learn new techniques and about new products all the time. Most importantly there’s no right or wrong, just what each of us is comfy with.

    • Thanks Tactical. I like the long sleeve shirt idea. But to stay cool I think a light jacket does about the same thing and i can just take it off in the open areas. Personally I always run a bit worm and a long sleeve shirt is too much. Its 25 degrees out today and I have not worn a coat yet this winter except 1 day sled-riding with my kids.

      I do have paracord and think it would be useful for logner distances. But for the distance of 25 miles, I dont really plan on stopping. Though to be fair it doesnt weigh a ton. hmm

      Walking stick is a great idea, jsut not for the areas I go through. We basically have no poisonous snakes. If need be i can use the machete which Iwill have in my hand. I will add a small bit of duck tape for my N95. Great suggestion for making a good seal. I like the idea of 5 hour energy. It just makes me nauseous :)

      Thx

      • As to the walking stick. I used to think that I wouldn’t want to carry that additional weight either. Then someone made a point that I didn’t think about. If it is really bad when we have to set home on foot it may be best to travel under the cover of darkness. You can tape a red led light towards the base of the walking stick and this only illuminates the area right in front of you. It makes it harder for the light to be seen from a distance since it’s close to the ground thus making your movements more secure.

  4. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I meant to say that knee-hi stockings can be used as a sieve. Another point about long sleeve shirts in the summer: they protect against sunburn and hold perspiration against the body to help keep one cool.

  5. Yesterday I had to walk to work cause of my wife needing the car for a dr visit and It was supposed to rain and I did not want my vstar parked in the rain all day.The walk took my 11 or 12 minutes,lucky me.A co worker was stuck in a traffic jam for 6 hours from a suv driver ran over a bicyclist and it was a fatality involved. The hi way was closed for that and he was stuck in traffic. Ymmv I guess.He had no way to back out and turn around or could not hoof it in. He could not have left the car since he had his wife and 6 year old daughter with him.Turned out it did not rain but the walk was nice.

  6. Another though is to put things like the multitool on you waist no in the backpack. I shifted as many thing to the belt on the pack as possible, as my hips can carry more, longer that my back.

    Thanks for sharing. This is something (GHB) that is more needed than most people really think about.

    • That might work. No addition to my backback weight. Maybe to compromise i can get a small one on my key chain.

  7. Good going in testing the long walk!!! I agree with Rob re the multi-tool as so many handy doo-dads on there and you never know when/how they’ll come in handy. Might be handy too if you hook up with someone else on the walk.

    Yes w/Millie on the powdered gatoraid. All that walking and sweating really takes the nutrients out of ya.

    I think at least a small flashlight should be added. The little ones w/LED bulbs are super lightweight. And some moleskin/a few bandaids/ointment might be necessary if you get blisters. Blisters could slow you down horribly.

    The weight of what I listed won’t matter much, and you’ll be dropping weight anyway as you drink the bottled water.

    • I see what you mean about the flashlight and baindaids and ointment. I jut dont want to be adding much weight. As I mentioned I kept out 1 largse bandage. While i’d want to put ointment on a blister long term, I’m not sure it would be giving me much relieve in a matter of hours.

      A small flashlight might work. I admittedly started this in the morning so it did not take me overnight. Were I to leave at say 3 P.M. during the winter, I’d only have maybe 3 hours of light. I am going to try to test again next month but I am not goign to do it at night. I am never ever away from my wife overnight.

  8. Great post! I LOVE the Boondocks reference!

  9. Good article and commend you for actual testing your plan,,,too many are couch preppers,,,suggestions though,,,water tube filter,,,paracord braclet,,,salt and sugar packs, the ones you get at fast food places, gives you electrolites and energy,,,machete yes, but you also need a knife,,,nine hour trip needs a flashlight, penlight only a few oz.,,,take one roll of gause and one roll of medical tape…mule skin,,you can not walk fast on blisters,,,,a walking stick helps and is a weapon,,,remember not to through your empty water bottels down, fill them back up when you find water,,,I like the bike idea,,,,good luck.

    • I guess the salt and sugar packets would do about as good as the powdered gatoraid so either one would do but the latter would taste better.

      What would you use a knife for that a machete would not work for? I am starting to agree ont he flashlight but need something light but powerful. Penlight is probably not useful enough, though it is light.

      Definitely agree with keeping the water bottles to fill up later. Even if I never filled them up, they weigh next to nothing empty.

      • A knife slices ,a machete chops,,,can you use a sharp machete to slice,of course, but a knife is going to be safer and better,,carry the multitool and it has a knife,,,,the penlights, I have one from Maglite, puts out enough light to walk by,,,,you do not want a strob light to gether attention ..

  10. I keep a good pair of hiking boots(broken in well) and a change of clothes(jeans etc) and a rain jacket in my truck that I will carry or clip onto the backpack when I leave. I have three bottles of water , and empty metal bottle hooked on the outside and my berkey sport bottle to filter water if neccesary. I also have a gallon bottle of water that I will carry with me and start drinking as I walk to get really hydrated as I start out, with this I hope to not have to touch any of the bottles the first day. I work 60 miles away from home and figure I will have to over night somewhere on the way. Also have a small stroage unit that cost me $20 a month that I keep some supplies in and keep a mt bike and an old 250 enduro bike in that I will use if I can get to it depending on the situation. Yeah it costs me $240 a year but I like the well being of having it there plus having lots of friends places in the town I work in and on the way home that I can depend on if need be. You might want to get a couple more ways to light a fire than one lighter, I have had lighters fall apart and be useless before so I have a couple lighters and matches and fire sticks and they do not take up much weight.

    • Soudns like you are pretty well prepared. I own multipel pairs of hiking boots bot for this scenario, I am movign fairly quickly. I did a lot of jogging and I can move much faster on tennis shoes than hiking boots.

      I really only have the lighter for a severe emergency fire lighter. I really have no intentions of stoppign for any period of time. As Tired as I was wehn I got home, I could have gone much farther and would have chosen to do so had i been farther away. But my test next month int he winter cold might have a different result. I could end up with a special winter bag that I take if the weather is cold and especially if snowing. In 40+ degrees the liklihood of me stopping is really low.

      Everyone’s case is different. For me, a cold winter travel would be more like hiking and maybe overnight camp but the other 10-11 months would be more like a marathon run.

  11. For food, I suggest changing the granola bars to lifeboat rations, as these have a much longer shelf life when store in a hot vehicle. Also, the cans of Mountain Dew won’t last very long. The aluminum cans will rub against each other while you are driving and wear holes in the side, drenching your other supplies when they go. Plastic soda bottles don’t seem to hold pressure well either. Possibly stick with the water bottles and caffeine pills.

    Water purification tablets may be lighter solution than a filter.

    I consider a flashlight to be an absolute must and have carried one in my pocket for the past 25 years. I currently have 1 that is about 100 lumens and runs on a single AA battery. You could also get an FM radio from the dollar store that would run off of an AA battery.

    • Good point on the lifeboat rations and shelf life. The one thing I didnt mention is that I fairly regularly drink Mtn Dew and eat the same granola bars. So there is a steady recycling of those products.

      I had not thought about the cans rubbing against each other and will make sure to separate them. Actually its probably worse that they are next to each other but also touching my metal truck box. : ) Lots of bad friction. Fixed that before hitting Submit on this comment :)

  12. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I think everyone should realize that any overt display of provisions makes one a target for those who may think their needs outweigh yours. That includes a bicycle. That is something you must weigh. You may think I am alarmist but in a crisis people can rationalize just about anything.

    • Thus why I’d probably be moving at night if possible. If not then I’d try to stay out in the middle of the fields so I can see folks coming from a long way off.

  13. MountainSurvivor says:

    John R,
    Although I know you are working to streamline getting home, just a few thoughts that may or may not be of help to you…Carry some blister covers because if you find that you must travel a long extra distance at some point, the terrain takes a turn for the worse, you may have bloody feet before you’re done. A cane, crutch or walker could be required if you are forced to extend beyond the limits of your feet. If you can travel with one, a deer cart is not excessively heavy but it’s strong and you could pack a lot of things that you could never carry on your back or over your shoulder(s). When there is snow on the ground, take a piece of canvas and rope so that you can drag things (wood for fire, gallon of water, rain gear, waterproof boots, a waterproof dry bag, etc.). Just wrap the rope with a thick cloth for where you put it around your strongest asset (stomach, chest, biceps, etc.) to pull it. When summer comes around, the sun is glaring down, a large bandana to cover your head and the back and sides of your neck. You’re already going to be doing a lot of work just trying to get home but being sunburned and in pain and fevering will make the trip bad. When your skin gets burned and it hurts, the next day’s sun could really cause some pain and it could be unbearable. Straight apple cider vinegar with the mother in it-not the clear kind-a wetted rag laid down and kept on the skin or frequently dabbed on and air dried will heal up sunburned skin. I have had to treat many a sunburn and it has never let the sun’s victims down. A small filled spray bottle could be clipped onto your pant’s somewhere so that it could be carried and treatment can be done when you want to take a break (to get out of the sun, re-hydrate or your eyes feel like they are really dry/burning and you have to close your eyes for a bit).

    • I do get your points. But, in the interest of being as fast as possible, I just have chosen to go more of a minimalist route. Certainly something horrible could happen and I find out that I need to get farther.

      The more I have, the more it will slow me down and the more I will need. I.e. I can avoid overnight gear if i pack light enough to not have to stop overnight. Certainly this op[inion might change after my next try at it.

  14. Encourager says:

    Good article John R! Good luck on the winter hike home. You may find a completely different situation, especially hiking in twilight. So many people are in a hurry to get home, are tired and not especially paying attention around them when they are driving. Seen it happen. That is a very dangerous time to be on the side of the road. Be careful!

  15. I applaud you for making the dry run. Even though it was during normal times, if such times still exist, you now have a valid idea of what it will be like. I’d keep the hat in there for cold or hot days, like the water idea and the granola bars are light and have a lot of calories. How about a survival blanket in case you need to stop in the cold. And maybe a lightweight poncho. Great article.

    • I think some sort of survival blanket will end up in the separate winter pack. still have not worked that one out yet . Thanks!

  16. Kudos on getting out and doing a test run – it is the only way to get even a remote idea of what you may need. However, I feel compelled to mention the fact that during times of upheaval most timetables are tossed to the wind. What you managed to accomplish in just over 9 hours may well take you days, forcing you to spend one, or more, nights on the road. If the weather is cold, you will need proper clothing to stay warm even if NOT moving. Without some way to treat water, you will find yourself without the main requirment for life – water. If you start out carrying your water filter already full of water, then it will add no more weight than a regular bottle of water, and you have the filter, and the ability to procure safe drinking water, to boot! And while a machete can do most things a knife can, it is sometimes difficult to do them well and can result in an injury, while a small multitool will have a blade capable of most of the smaller tasks that are difficult for a machete, and weighs far less than one bottle of water. A flashlight is a must! With all elecricity off, all buildings will be dark inside, so you will be restriciting yourself to only traveling, or going to ground, outside, as well as limiting where you can look for supplies, if the need to arises. You don’t need a super bight light – all that will do is bring attention to yourself, and you will want to keep as low a profile as necessary. As long as you can ID any possible threats (for your Glock) and can see your way to travel, then your light is bright enough. Steamlight makes several pocket penlights, run on 2 AAA batteries (light and easy to carry spares) starting at 48 lumens and going up, and many manufactuers make AA powered lights that will run for many, many hours on one set of batteries that weigh less than two ounces (with modes up to 200 lumens but adjustable down to as little as 15). You may want to consider a headlight – they are light, run for a long time, and allow you to have you hands free, as well as being able to be used as a flashlight.
    Thanks for the great article and for sharing your experiment. Good Luck!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Mactex,
      I agree with you in that we can prepare for 100 ways of surviving and getting home but we also need to evaluate situations as they occur and be prepared to pull the 101st way out of your hat!

      None of us ever thought anyone would hijack a plane and fly it into a building, until someone did it. Actually, a group of people did it.

  17. Depending on the State one is in, a machete could get you arrested in a NY minute. Could be best to leave that behind in practice walks!

    A folding cane would be a great thing to have — use to push stuff like branches out of your way, or to tape a flashlight toward the end, to scare off dogs or 2-legged critters. Aluminum ones are very light weight.

    Nylon knee highs also good for slowing down any ticks from digging in. If in an area with ticks, also be sure to check lower legs once in awhile.

    Bandana suggestions are good. They are so multi-purpose and low weight that I’d suggest at least 2.

    Clothing in the GHB can be swapped out at least twice a year.

    A couple of paper coffee filters would help filter water into an empty plastic bottle before you add purification tablet. Yeah, those water filter bottles w/ceramic filter can get a bit heavy.

    You’re doing a great job thinking and doing; and you’re getting lots of suggestions. Back and forth info brings forth ideas. Great!

    • That is a gret point that it depends on what state you are in. In my state and I imagine in others it is treated like a firearm. Carry it in a backpack, holster or otherwise contained and you are fine. “Weild in a menacing manor” and you will get in trouble with either. The gerber one comes in a sheath. I attached the sheath to the outside of my backpack (but on the part that is betweeen my back and the backpack) so i could leave it there unless i was actually using it. Even in a real life incedent I would do the same. I would be percieved as a threat if I was carrying it in my hand but not if it was “holstered” if thats the right term.

      “Clothing in the GHB can be swapped out at least twice a year.” – I think I am going to do something like this. The things I would want for warm weather I would also want for cold. So its really jsut a few extra things I especially need in cold weather. Since I have a smartphone, I just set a reminder for every December and February to add the extra winter stuff in.

      Just in case, I think I will add the water purification bottle but maybe only to the winter supplies

  18. Thomas T. Tinker says:

    Thank You John R.!!! Sounds like we all have a custom load for our GHBs. It seems like each one ‘fits’ the owner. I like this ‘reality check’. Yesterday I tied a spare set of ‘newer’ cross trainers to my bag and bundled a set of ‘Frogs’ along with too. You have decided it for me about an ‘edged’ tool and I took a 12″ machete off the potting bench. I did some repacking after reading “a-nerds” post. 7200 calories of “Mainstay” takes up the same amount of room as 2- 2k MREs. I added a few 400 protien bars and can now carry 8K calories with no extra tonnage. Thanks Again. Ya made me think it over. I love this site.

  19. Howdy, a few comments on your ghb.  First of all you really need to at least drive the route you intend to take, as well as a couple of alternates.  As you trek showed you couldn’t go that way some times, plus you got lost some.  Try doing that after dark on a route you’ve never seen.  Get a feel for the people in that area too.  You will undoubtedly change your route a couple of times then or maybe take a safer but longer route.  As to your bag, if your mags on your glock is full cut 50 rounds out as long as you have a fairly safe route.  If not maybe a ruger 10/22 takedown with a couple of 50 round mags.  Camelback makes some good packs with a water bladder all in.  You can get a good small(lightweight) filter to go with it too.  Add some gatoraid powder to help. Use an emergency blanket instead that you can rig as a tent if need be. A doo rag for the head is as good as a Boonie hat.  Yes take bandaids and ointment with you.  It don’t take long for infection to kick in and if it’s after an emp you ain’t going to the dr.  4x4s and a couple kerlex too.  Your phone may have toon access if it’s still working, if not who needs a no working radio after an emp. Use a headlamp led flashlight instead.  I use a gerber gladius machete and I love it!  Any non gun carrying felons will run fast when they see that “that’s a knife!”  I carry loose work gloves that I can wear over wool glove inserts in the winter.  As for rope (para cord) I have that attached to a stout walking club in my car.   Make sure you map is water proofed, marked, and large enough to give you a good idea of your terrain and the terrain around in case you have to divert away from danger.  

    Ken

  20. Heads Up: Cabelas Restocked Ammo

    It looks like Cabelas just restocked some of their ammo. I just ordered 1000 rounds 9 mm Federal FMJ with two 50 cal ammo boxes for $345, shipping included. They’ve also got .22 lr. and .38 special. I didn’t check the other calibers. I wanted to get my order in before they ran out again.

  21. Shepherd girl says:

    Thank you! This was a really helpful post!

  22. John R.,

    Thank you for this post. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I don’t really have a GHB. (My jobs are less than four miles from my home.) I have a BOB which has everything under the sun. I am going to start thinking about what I have on me when I go to work. I always have extra water but that’s about it.

    I do have one question for you–why are you electing to walk? You could do 25 miles in two hours easy on a bicycle. Even a folding bicycle would get you home a lot more quickly. And I am inclined to think that time will be of the essence. The quicker you recognize what is going on and can get home, the better off you will be.

    • Yep, I had thought about a folding bike and an definitely leaning more that way after some of the comments. But this gets me more to testing a worse scenario. For instance if the bike is stolen or there is snow and its useless.

      In reality, I would guess there is at least a 75% chance that in a disaster, I’d be able to at least somewhat use my truck. I have tested a back road track with that and its not bad at all. But this was something more severe to test.

  23. Wild Weasel says:

    Check out a battle belt. With the ability to mount any type of pouch or carrier via molle attachment it moves the weight from your back to hips which may be more tolerable on long distances and also puts anything you feel important for quicker access.

  24. Pineslayer says:

    Mr. R, how much did your pack weigh? Sorry if I missed it up there.

  25. I’m in a very similar work situation and often wonder if I can make it home with what I have with me “just in case”. I’ve thought about a folding bike to have to keep in the trunk of my car. This was interesting for me to read. Thanks!

    • Rob in Ontario says:

      an other easy thing to carry is roller blades can get you out of town in a hurry also

      • Rollerblades can be a great option given a specific distances and terrain. I own 2 pairs but I get blisters if I roller blade for a couple hours. Additionally, they work great on smooth pavement but on rough roads or sidewalks walking is easier.

        This is probably a great option for those who live/ work in the city.

  26. I wouldn t keep anything in a car or truck.Ive continually had my cars vandalized & broken into.
    When I was a teen my ma worked at the police dept,she said 1/3 of the detectives do car repair stuff for their plainclothes routines.I had 1/2 a doz of em that could match my photo to at least around 40%.www.myheritage.com has a free computer service thatll match your pic with famous people.I believe this is what the law enforcement does,& hires 1/2 a doz to work large metro areas.
    The thing is,they may even copy your keys n hand em over for others to mess with your wheels,& come back & use youe vehicles in the middle of the nite to go harrass,sabotage,hijack someone elses…Thats besides the master sets,key cutting from code & vin no,& just using slim jims…Ive a half doz of the backyard mechanic variety within 6 blocks of me where i live 4 miles out of town,they like running prostitutes as a sideline as well,some got the midgets as a sideline ,mounting schoolbuses to work the schools,the whole law enforcement in my area seems to be hostile,& doing grand theft auto with their wrench instead of outright robbery with a gun…

  27. Its my opinion that my cars have been deliberately vandalized /sabotaged to where they won t charge on the charging system.I have this one look a like name of Powell thats a auto electric bodyshop specialist thats been haunting me since i was a teen,heard he carried a deputy marshalls badge/Fed.My ma grew up next door to his uncle,the vice squad captn in the police dept my ma worked at,my misfortune to look like their family,vice squad captn s son went FBI.
    The auto electric guy goes around trying to convince everyone hes a junkie on the side.I moved out of the Detroit suburbs to NC,he jumped to NC,as well as another bodyshop cop named Rodrieguez,who also resemles me.Its my opinion theyre trying to throw their heat off on me,as a lifelong thing.They got my younger 1/2 brother in trouble,& also wanted to throw his heat off on me,my younger brother/now dead, was sired by yet another detective,that used to live accross the street.
    I didn t go into automotive with all this drama in my life,got a 2 yr degree in mental health social work,was a psych nurse type,apx 4 yrs.
    Regan got in office,cut the civil service 1/3.I was handicapped with heart & rare form of palsy caused by blood type incompataBILITY WITH MY MA,iM O+ ,SHE WAS AB -,CQAUSES KERNICTERUS FORM OF PALSY,so I hired a lawyer & got disability.Seems they like to be vigilante type n harrass me,doesn t matter why ,but theyve been criminally victimizing me in such felonious ways,looks like about 3 different attacks on as many car brake systems as well,so I called the FBI on that but its ongoing.
    I installed cccams system,started using the club,disabling & chain n padlock under the hood.Taking em in the shop,their fixing one thing & stealing good parts ,replacing them with bad ones…Sort of the selling the LTD 6 times over 6 yrs kind of thing,worked good when it was sold but they want em back for nothing so they can fix em up n resell em 1/2 doz times,thus the sabotage at 3 or 4 in the nite…

  28. Thought Id mention on above comments,I hope Im not blood related to the Powell family.Dad was sterile,wanted kids,decided to let ma have em by other men.Dad was Marine Corps MP,out of the Asheville,NC reserves unit in NC,guard on a stockade 6 mo,then assigned as bodyguard to a colonel as his aide in the philipines,ww2.Dad & I both did a few yrs guard duty with Burns,which merged with Securitas a no of yrs back.
    My mothers best friend alluded to a Ledbetter family,& they had one that looked like me,most of my uncles said they had a shot at it,ones a swede named Smith,married my dads sister,who has the balding I have,& also resemble,said he was head of his masons lodge a few yrs,made custom woodstoves with welding,said I got no use for you,was a maintenance man for a ham packing plant/Swift I believe.40% of married can t have kids with infertility.Dads sister was a physicians assistant ,did anesthesia 50 yrs,had to pay 10 grand a head to adopt a couple kids.
    On the 25 mi bug out on foot,I barely made it thru army boot camp/Reservee here,it was 2mi,then 5mi,then 10 mi,then 20 mi for Infantry graduation ,boot camp,15 min break every 2 hrs.
    I end up on the couch mostly these days,but do a 1/2 hr laps in the yard everyday,even being handicapped as mentioned.Maybe a 25 mi scenario would be more practical ,broke up into 2 days,camp under a tarp,with combat boots.My MOS was a Drill Instructor,I washed out after boot camp,never made it…

  29. Encourager says:

    Uh….M.D. Did khbostic slip by you???

    • My thoughts exactly. This looks like the kind of thing that would be submitted by anti-gunners who can then point to it and say ‘Look at how paranoid and delusional those preppers are!!!” I’d say for the good of us all that those khbostic comments be removed post haste. I am all for free speech, but those ramblings are akin to yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre. I would continue, but the hobbits are back trying to steal my yard Gnomes again….

  30. Know one when I hear one says:

    Me thinks you worked in the “Contagous Diseases” ward as a Psych Tech.

  31. Was that supposed to be directed at my article or a reply to another comment?

  32. Actually,I find your comments odd.I know I strayed on the sidebarin my comments on how the plainclothes in auto section are harrassing me,feloniously,I will add.
    Mainstream comment was not to store valuables in vehicles,like bug out bags,where they re vulnerable.
    Further,if ya had to bug out on foot,do it with as little as possible,& break a 25 mi hike home into 2 days is easier,sleeping under a tarp/or poncho after the 1/2 way mark,in a pr of combat boots.
    I swear my above comments are the facts ,too,no paranoia.Concerning the latter,I was told long ago, just because your paranoid,doesn t mean folks aren t out to get you.
    Not exactly the kind of reaction I was lookin for,was more interested to see if others were having these kinds of troubles,to tell ya the truth….

  33. Tell ya what,I apologize for any heat my comment may concievably generate.However,if the police were doing this to you,& you reported it,& its a ongoing thing,are nt you likely to go pubic forum?
    The net was started by the CIA,a international law enforcement group.

    Who knows,the locals may even be trying to frame me for taking the CIA s goods,in just such a case study as Ive expounded herein,to which I swear to be my case.Ive legal ministers credentials thru the Universal Life Church ,too,since 1982,See http://www.ulchq.com for getting your own if you want.The police seem to want to take over the ministry too,especially the baptist,ignoring the separation of church & state,IMHO…

  34. Good post. I learn something every time I visit this site.

    I am still working on a GHB for my car but I keep stuff in my office and in my car anyway, it’s just a bit disorganized. One thing I really want to do is put a small back back in the so I can carry anything I might need and organize what I do have. I have access to bottled water, sodas and a snacks at work that I can get and throw in a bag as I leave. Since it is 12.5 miles from my office to home, I figured just over 6 hours walking at 2 miles per hour. Yes, I walk faster but it allows for detours, rest stops and anything else that might come up.

  35. When I asked my husband if perhaps he should carry around a bike in the back of his truck, he said, how about he just keep enough cash in his wallet to buy a bike at one of the pawn shops close to his work. Hmmm.

  36. I have been out of town so my comments are kind of late in the game, but here goes.

    You really need to get some good light weight hiking boots that you spend some time breaking in to protect your feet during your 25 mile walk getting home. You need protection from the action of walking as well as what you may encounter during your walk. Also a good walking stick will go a long way in making those you encounter with ill intent choose someone else. I have found a nose high hickory walking stick with a good rubber tip on the end to be pretty good protection from man and beast. Of the several dozen times I have used it to discourage/defend myself over the years I have only had LEO’s involved one time because some white trash got mad when their dog broke his chain and came after me unsuccessfully. Using a gun or a knife would have one talking to LEO’s all the time.

    On the water front a couple of two liter bottles along with a Nalgene (A SS bottle is even better as you can heat it in a fire.) you filled at work before you left would likely do it for you. A small dropper bottle of bleach with clean up the water for you and be much smaller/ lighter in weight than a filter. Just change it out every year or so as it degrades with age. Oh and storing your water in a good cooler will keep it from freezing near as easily in the winter time or going bad as fast in the summer time.

    OK lets see. Oh yea a flashlight (Or better yet a headlamp) is a necessity. I have several made by Princeton Tec that use 3 AAA batteries and work very well. I never go anywhere without at least a couple of flashlights.

    Fire is too important to leave to chance. You may not be able to get home in the time you expect and overnighting in cold weather will make a fire a necessity. Have at least 3 different ways to make a fire. Lighter, matches and a fire steel with your fire-starter of choice.

    On your pack.

    A larger pack pulled down smaller with the compression straps gives you options to modify your load depending on weather/time of year and at least for me is more comfortable to carry than a small pack stuffed to the gills. The larger packs will many times have better suspension/frames as well.

    A bicycle would likely cut your travel time by 60-80% depending on the time of year, terrain and your personal ability to ride. You can even push a bike about as fast as you can walk and let it carry your pack while doing so. This also brings up your need for a paper map and your need to do some driving, riding, walking on your routes and alternate routes so you know what you are up against and what options you have en-route.

    SD

    • SheepDog, I agree pretty much down the line. I was going to add a map, but you beat me to it. In a major crisis one might have to make some big detours, or one might not even be at one’s normal place of work. A good map doesn’t weigh much. And of course I wouldn’t write off GPS: it might very well work even in a crisis. I just wouldn’t count on it.

      I carry a Coast LED flashlight on my belt (4xAAA), another (3xAAA) in a messenger bag I keep in my truck, and a MagLight (3D) between the seats. Also an old MiniMag in the first aid kit. The Coasts are superb lights, in tons of models to fit one’s need. Amazon has great prices. Plug in ‘Coast flashlight’ if interested.

      A small machete is a great tool if legal to carry, or you can at least keep it discretely in your pack. I really like the Ka-Bar Cutlass Machete, also at Amazon. I’ve used mine a lot for camping and yard work. It will cut wood over an inch thick with one swing, and will easily take down a small tree. By batoning, you can also split logs up to five inches thick into kindling, and of course it would be quite an intimidating weapon. Strictly speaking, there may be no use for a machete on a long walk home, especially if you can legally carry a pistol, but if not, intimidating the bad actors can save the day.

      Camelback: Yes, definitly. You might want to keep the bladder empty and fill it from bottles only when needed so you don’t have any issues with mold.

      Moleskin: weighs nothing, and can be the difference between getting home and not.

      Taking yourself for a ‘test drive’ is a great idea. Kudos to you!

  37. I work 120 miles from my farm. I haven’t done it yet, but I will be burying 5 gal cache buckets every 20 miles between those two points. Each will have some MRE’s and water for a day’s walking plus I will include various other necessities such as an extra pup tent, small pack, blanket, jacket, socks, walking boots, etc. These will be my “get home” caches.

    Also, within 20 miles of my house are a couple of state wildlife area. I’ll be burying a couple buckets at each location with more wilderness necessities, such as snares, fishing line, etc.

    Ideas?