This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Ron G
While Solar Flares and Electro Magnetic Pulse are real and while it is theoretically possible that we could lose all advanced electronics we need to ask, “Is it probable”? Myself, I don’t think so. I started to write about why I think this and explain my background on the topics but that became an article on its own and is NOT what I wanted to write about. So lets bypass that for now.
Solar Flares and EMP do exist and cannot be ignored completely. So I recently started working on a plan to get home from work should I lose the use of my truck. That means getting home by foot. According to the map by highway or street I have 13 miles to travel. As a crow flies its only 10 miles but I am not a bird. Due to physical limitations it’s going to take me 2 maybe 3 long days to get home. But what will I be walking into? This big city is not my home. I have been here since last November. I do not know this place.
I listen and watch local news. While I don’t see safe neighborhoods I do see for the most part “safer” ones. Goblins go to where the crime pays the most. Then one day I’m watching a train running behind the place I work and I ask myself, “Where does that train track go?
Let’s go to the maps and look.
Darn if this track doesn’t run west to east and I need to go south but, over here, a block away, is another track and it runs north and south. Following it south about 10 miles and it comes out across the highway about 300 yards from the front gate to where I live and then it turns west. Straight for ten miles, “Just like a bird flies”. So now the question is, “walk 13 miles by highway and street, or 10 miles by railroad”? And if I take the shorter route what kind of “hoods” will I be walking thru? Railroad tracks go thru bad neighborhoods.
From friends at work I have learned that criminal goblins do in fact live in certain parts of town but they have learned to drive out into the better neighborhoods where the robberies and burglaries have less risk and greater returns. In an EMP event the goblins wont be driving anywhere. So what will I be walking thru?
Again I returned to the maps. Using Google I could check every neighborhood on both sides of the track headed south. Street views can tell a person a lot, but not everything so I also drove the areas. I drove every street that intersected the tracks and many of the neighborhood streets that ran parallel.
Starting up north the neighborhoods are up scale. Homes I could never expect to afford. Working south the home values decline but there are no “bad neighborhoods”. No low rent, government housing, no slums. During my drive thru’s I see NRA, USMC, and Fish stickers in-car and truck windows. I see US Flags on front porches. Areas that look like places I have lived.
I think that if I have to take the tracks home I could do so as safe or safer then I could on city streets or the highway. Why? Because the goblins, once they see the opportunities, will be out looking for victims and the goblins know the odds are there will be more victims walking down the street then the railroad tracks. However, if for some reason the tracks are not usable I now know the side streets and having studied and driven them I can adjust accordingly without a map.
Having determined a primary route with alternatives I need to take another look at what I need in my Get Home Bag. Using railroad tracks or not this comes down to two questions.
Question: “What Am I trying To Do”? Answer: I am trying to walk home.
Question: “What Am I NOT Doing”? Answer: I am not camping, fishing, hunting, getting lost in the forest, searching for the wild asparagus, shaving, washing my hair, repairing torn clothing, cooking three course meals or anything else on a seemingly unlimited list of other “possibilities” we see way too often. Extra shoe strings? Crowbars? Axes and whistles? Really?
The one variable for us will be seasonal weather conditions and that’s no big deal, as we should all be leaving in the morning dressed accordingly. I don’t live in an area where major changes occur in a 24-hour period. If I did I would adjust my GHB contents each season and carry weather related extras in my car. The only likely exception to this is a disposable rain poncho.
SO what do We really NEED to address in our get home kits besides a disposable rain poncho??
We need Food that does not require cooking. Stopping and building a fire slows us down. Carrying the extra weight of cooking and eating utensils works against us. It does not matter if we can have 5 means of making fire. That’s wonderful but we won’t need them, (If it makes you feel better, carry a Bic). If there are vending machines at work and you get there first you can pick up some extra snacks and share with strangers you may meet on the way.
We need Water. We can either carry 5 gallons or carry a personal filter device. 5 gallons of water weighs a lot and works against us and will draw attention which is bad OPSEC. My explorations exposed several available water sources. There are also several machines at work where I can get a few bottles of water if I move fast enough and with these I would be ready to share. If you are going to carry “jugs” of water find a way to paint them a dull dark color or black in order to lower reflection.
We need Protection, sharing extra snacks and/or water will create allies and on the road there is safety in numbers. Remember, at this point in time people are just trying to get home. Starvation and panic has not started yet. Civilization will still exist. Still, a handgun is essential. This is in case we cannot avoid or go around unexpected trouble. Expect trouble. The longer you are out there the greater the risk.
Unless you can get home in less than one day we need a flashlight and extra batteries. Remember the objective is to get home so we will be traveling after dark. No I am NOT suggesting a forced march. Stop and rest if you need to but walk as much as you can. If you really feel the need for sleep it is best to do so after dark and not in the open.
A small bike is a good idea if you have one in your car or truck. If you normally wear shoes that are not suitable for walking long distance a better pair would be a good idea. Just look at your specific situation and don’t get hung up in other people’s gear list. Remember your objective is to 1. cover the miles and 2. don’t let anything slow you down.
Post Script: While working on this article I realized that just being preppers gives us a heads up. We will figure out what the heck is going on way before the vast majority does. While they are running around in circles asking, “What’s going on, what’s happening?” we will already know, we will have already recognized the SHTF for what it is. We will already be well on our way and implementing our plans. Just make sure your plans are designed specific for you, your situation, your location and what you need to accomplish a specific task.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.
Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.
Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.
Contest ends on March 30 2012.