Preparing for an emergency overnight "get home" situation

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by NJHeart2Heart, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    I was reading on someone doing a winter camping event, and thought to myself, at my age (40's) with back problems, I'll probably never get to the point of doing an overnight - even a "glamping" version on purpose. (I am planning to do more tent only overnights in the other 3 seasons and the most "roughing it" I'd do- in the winter season- would probably be in a primative cabin).

    I came to this forum initially out of my interest in "prepping" and of course a big topic is getting home - which is my most likely emergency situation. I work 14 miles drive from my office, and live in a suburban area. with several residential areas in between.

    I got to wondering about my "get home bag" which currently serves dual purpose as my bushcraft bag as well. I realized that, in winter, I don't see how I'd do well trying to get any rest on a freezing overnight, walking home in a suburban area.

    Have any of you thought, given the above particular, or a similar situation, that a more common sense approach might be to prepare to walk through the night? I understand the warnings about doing so in the woods, since there are enumerable unfamiliar pitfalls, but if I'm walking sidewalks or streets, less unknowns.

    My biggest thing would be good walking clothes/shoes, and lots of headlamp energy.

    I just wonder if others thought about this, and how your preparations would change if this were the better alternative then trying to bed down in freezing weather overnight?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  2. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    I live and work in a (sub)urban area 10.1 miles from work. The get home bag I keep in my Jeep every day is not really equipped for overnight stay, for the same reason (I'm trying to get home, not camp). I mean, I have a mylar blanket and lightweight tarp, so I could 'hunker down' if needed, but there are a number of things I skipped in this bag that I have in my full 'bug out bag'..

    IMO you definitely should tailor your pack to your surroundings. Most of the lists and instructionals out there are a good place to start, but common sense wins over some other guy's list, every day of the week.
     
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  3. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    If you haven't already, check out BlackScoutSurvival on youtube. There is a lot of good information on 'get home' stuff in more suburban / urban environments. Both gear and tactics.
     
  4. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    I have to ask....Why leave shelter if you have it.....?....Be it at work, or vehicle....(always keep filled with fuel as best as you can.)
    This would serve you for 98% of all scenarios.

    Shelter in place, cell phone...with warm clothes, boots, hat gloves, flashlight, flares....as well as blankets, sleeping bag, , water, energy bars(?) and maybe couple of candles and a urinal.
    Most all your bushcraft gear would be useful, if you HAD to walk out...if packed can carried in a bag of some sort.
    Might have a problem carrying large knives or firearms....Up to you....but pepper spray for sure.
     
  5. Tennessee

    Tennessee Guide Supporter Bushclass II

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    I camp out in the cold fairly regular. I also keep a 40 degree bag and a sleeping pad in my go bag. With the modern materials and technology sleeping pads are getting very light and compact, and even warm. I use a Therm-a-rest Neo air XTherm Max with an R-Value of 5.7.
    I also keep a wool blanket in the truck. Where I could hunker down next to a tree sitting on my pad with the blanket ponchoed over me and the bag covering my legs.
    I could envision scenarios, where one may want/or need to hunker down to avoid trouble.
     
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  6. chasntuna

    chasntuna Guide

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    Ditto on the oops bag doubling as my outdoor kit. What I do though is keep weather appropriate clothes and supplies under the backseat of my truck. Wool socks, heavy jacket, poncho, gloves, beenie, wool blanket, Keen shoes, thermals, etc. I also carry an empty athletic shoulder bag so I can carry more stuff if needed. So all in all, I can stay or walk with everything I hope I don't need.
     
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  7. BillyBogota

    BillyBogota Functional Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Shelter in place is a viable option, however it can situationally dependent -- but @hunter63 is right-on with having a stocked "car kit" ready. There may be external factors/impacts that may prevent someone from staying with their vehicle (HAZMAT incident, quarantine/cordon zone, vehicle is inoperable/heavily damaged/unsafe, etc). I normally stock both options in my vehicle -- the ability to walk away if need be, but also the ability to hang out and hunker down. I like having the ability to problem-solve a bad situation with multiple options. I'll keep a get home bag in the car, along with a car kit set up for staying with the vehicle and/or augmenting the get home bag if necessary. I normally adjust my car kit slightly depending on the seasons, with most additions being for the winter months (mostly clothing and insulating items).
     
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  8. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    Thats common thought for many
    First thought is shelter in place whether at work or in the car
    Its a car so not a big deal to keep extra supplies in it for just in case
    As for getting home
    14 miles is a challenge for many especially if carrying a pack
    Thats about 7 hrs of walking
    If thats too much is keeping a bike at work an option, or a folding scooter in the car?
    Regardless of scenario do recommend keeping gas full as much as possible
    Running car can be heat and/or generator for devices
     
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  9. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    your goal is to never walk. Get a map and mark hazards that are between home and work, analyze a few different routs if there are ones. Look at places where accidents are likely to happen, were protests are likely to take place, perhaps steep hills you might not drive up. surface streets are going to be less slippery than ones with overpasses and residential streets less hazardous than freeways. look at the likely situations which will keep you from getting home, Snow storm, Wind Storm, or other situation such as power outage. In my last residence I had 8 bridges between my home and town and I lived in a Tsunami zone. it might have been only 5 miles across a bay but walking home would have taken at least a week. in some situations it wouldn't have been worth walking home. The last big wind storm they had the power was out a week and the roads were blocked by trees, The roads were cleared by loggers going home after the storm and not by the county. In most situations you should have plenty of warning to stay home, and in the others your likely better to stay at work and sleep on the floor or in your vehicle. If you must walk have clothing and boots to fit the environment and season. figure the walk will take at least twice as long as your estimate. IE its only 10 miles I can walk 3 mph so about 4 hours. Better figure on 8 and if a bridge is out or there is ice or civil unrest then it goes up exponentially. a power outage will kill the street lights and make walking as hazardous as driving if you have to walk any major roads with lights. Good luck, Don't look prosperous, Don't wear team gear that isn't popular in your area. don't walk through questionable neighborhoods. and don't forget water.
     
  10. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    A lot of different scenarios can lead to a lot of different solutions. If you have a vehicle where your "get home" bag is stored, it is possible to have a fair amount of optional equipment/ One thing that is a factor to me is the likelihood of theft fro the vehicle, so I prefer not to keep high cost items there. Custom knives and axes, high end back packs, etc. are not really needed for the purpose. You are planning for a likely one night or at most two nights situation.

    I keep a milk crate in the car with a couple of 2 liter pop bottles of water, about 3/4 full. A survival blanket and two or three emergency blankets (the cheap lightweight kind), a good flashlight, a poncho,and a set of coveralls and spare walking shoes. Look around and see how many people are out in winter, wearing dress shoes, even sandals. If you do not wear good walking shoes every day, you may be in the wrong footwear come trouble time.

    I keep a "survival bottle" as well. A two liter pop bottle cut around two inches below the shoulder will take a metal 1 pound coffee can with some spare room. In that can are baggies of rice, beans or lentils, oatmeal packets, tea bags, coffee bags or packets, some restaurant sugar and honey containers, as well as salt and pepper. Instant cocoa packages can also fit. A fire starting kit and a couple of tea light candles. It can hold enough food to keep two people going for a couple of days, with hot food or drinks. Put the lid on the coffee can and insert in the bottom part of the bottle. There will be room to add a fair amount of toilet paper, and I taped on the plastic lid a few needles, fish hooks, and box cutter or razor blades, using duct tape,

    If you work the top of the pop bottle back on where it overlaps the bottom, you can then use duct tape to wrap the overlap for a good seal. Wrap two large 50 gallon size trach bags around the bottle, and then wrap that with some bank like or other cordage.

    The bottle provides you a metal container (the coffee can) to cook in, a plastic container for water, and the top makes a cup, or with the lid off, a funnel that can help filter water before boiling, using a piece of cotton cloth.

    The whole thing is very cheap, and looks like a discarded pop bottle from any distance, but contains some basic shelter, fire, food and even water purification elements. If it gets stolen you are out less than five dollars.

    With water, spare clothes, blankets, and other items you may feel needed, you can have a fairly innocuous and inexpensive kit that can be used as needed, added to your regular go bag, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  11. Chevrolet4x4s

    Chevrolet4x4s Guide

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    I only live about 10 miles from work, three bridges on the main route. Alternate route will have one bridge but shared with the main route. Alternate route # 2 has two bridges with one being shared with the main and alternate routes. Alternate route #3 has five bridges none shared with the main route.

    Shane
     
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  12. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    True.. those are all very good points and I am definitely one of those who prescribes to the "prepare for the MOST LIKELY" emergency scenarios, which would likely mean the car would work for shelter in itself.. I have a longarms permit but don't own any guns, and my EDC bag (comes with me in car and to and from office cubicle) has pepper spray- definitely something I believe in for personal safety.
     
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  13. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    This depends on the area that you are walking through. I have routes where in my city that are "socially" safe enough that I am not bothered about walking them at 3am. (I have female friends who don't walk alone anywhere after dark, so I know that my risk perceptions are calibrated a little differently than other people in the first place, but I digress.) Other routes in my area I would avoid as soon as the sun goes down on a normal day. How familiar are you with the routes you are considering? Have you been in them at night? And not just driving through to see what it looks like at 30ish mph, but on foot and even sitting around? (For example, if you needed to rest due to injury or just plain fatigue from trying to get back home after a long work day.) I discovered that one of my comfortable routes is within half a mile of a through way for people that set off my mental alarm bells when one day I stayed in a semi-public area just past sunset to finish up a bushcrafty task.

    This isn't answering the question you asked, but I wonder if figuring out how to sleep comfortably (or at least without dire consequences to your back) in places other than your bed would actually be one of the most helpful preps you could undertake? I ask this in hopes it will motivate you to keep looking for a solution to that problem, instead of getting stuck into the idea of a forced march in the dark as your primary get-home option. Another option, if you're going through suburban areas, do you have social contacts in these areas who might let you stay in a bed (or at least on a floor in a home?) in case of emergency?
     
  14. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Though not directly related to my question, it is a great topic. Maybe I'll post part of my OP and yours (if ok) to a new topic, since it is something I'd certainly be willing to explore - though there are already a few active threads right now about winter camping.... hmm..
     
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  15. rsnurkle

    rsnurkle Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    You've got my permission. Would love to hear the forum's take on this issue.

    ETA: Sleeping solutions to back problems are not a winter-only issue.
     
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  16. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Ah, yes, I forgot to mention it- besides my bushcraft/get home bag, I keep in my trunk; stuff sacks with sneakers, winter clothing layers, and warm blanket respectively. I should put a duffle or something in the trunk, but then, I don't have the strength to carry all of that together. The extra stuff is more for a "hang in the car" scenario.
     
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  17. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    In my case, a relatively direct route would not put me in any suspicious areas, so not too concerned about that, although the perspective of walking the route certainly is an interesting one to ponder and perhaps I would find my perception in error... On my drives too and fro work, I often ponder how I could practice getting home by doing the actual route, with backpack, in sections (because my husband would think me crazy if I asked for help in doing the full route..!)
     
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  18. cornbred

    cornbred Scout

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    for each of us..getting home means something different..for me being a long haul trucker it may mean 4to 5 days to get home,from many states away, for me survival is thinking for myself n preparing my supplies for long waits for help...yes..once i was stranded 4 days in a blizzard no cell reception,no quall com system,,,no communications at all to the outside world..off the main highways..but i had below 0 sleeping bag,food n water for a week,toilet paper,personal effects for keeping clean,several gell n alcohol stoves for hot food,food gathering source,axes for exterior fires to get out n exercise some,cut wood,make fire outside.....i didnt worry about the getting home,,just being warm n comfortable till found....sometimes staying put is a better choice with your gear..had i attempted walking, i later found the nearest set of homes was 12 miles,with minus 5 degree temp n heavy snow falling..could i have made it?dunno....i stayed put
     
  19. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Some times I wonder why all the fancy packs and gear......?
    Maybe just a old duffle bag, kinda ratty looking....?
    Hiking thru the hood with a new-ish looking bag, filled with gear.... and Bug Out clothes....at 3:00 AM...
    I don't know

    MF carried his gear in his old Milsurp WWII in the trunk of his 1952 Chevy.
    He was a state forest ranger...and logged in many miles in the 2 rut roads and logging trails.
    Kinda where I got my start.

    Mostly getting un-stuck gear Kept in the car,.... ax, shovel, long pry bar, tire chains.....log chain.

    In the duffle gag was the painters drop cloth/tarp....(old and heavy, smelled like all the colors that he had painted) couple of wool army blanket socks and rubber boots.
    ...... and a 12 ga SS/ammo.
    That was it
     
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  20. hurricane0331

    hurricane0331 Tracker

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    14 miles isn't bad. I wot 66 miles away. But at least it's all forest between

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
     
  21. Mikewood

    Mikewood Guide

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    I drive an explorer so I can and have camped in the back of it. A sleeping bag is nice.

    To get home you really don't need a bag. 14 miles is 5 hours away. It's a long walk but can be done with no gear. Still, a Qt or two of water would wet your whistle and some granola bars would give you plenty of energy. Throw in a rain poncho $100 in small bills and a sturdy pocket knife and you can have a meal on the way. Pistol is optional but recommended.

    All these things can be put in pockets of your coat or a reusable shopping bag. No need for a $200 bug out bag that probably draws too much attention anyway.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  22. LongAgoLEO

    LongAgoLEO Scout

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    For the final 16-years of my career I commuted 170-miles roundtrip daily. My "get-home" strategy pretty much meant living in my Suburban until I resolved whatever the problem happened to be. I was packed accordingly, but ALWAYS topped off the fuel tank every morning at 3:00AM when I hit the road (even though it already held 40 gallons). Nothing profound with my kit and will not repeat all the great insight already offered. Just have a plan and know how to implement it.

    The irony is that I've not had to make that commute for nearly 3-years, yet the truck is still looks prepared for the apocalypse. Some habits are hard to break. (Or possibly just too lazy to unpack...)
     
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  23. Twistokane

    Twistokane Tracker

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    Depends on situation, when i think prepper and Get home bag i think more along the lines of SHTF not car broke down. 10 miles turns into two days of trek. For cold weather i can say a grabber space all weather blanket ( tarp ) is great. I use them a lot. They have been to Alaska with me for my winter trips near Ruby Village. I keep one in the daypack/GHB in the trunk. My day pack is an old picnic backpack. so it is very plain. It contains the grabber blanket, a mess kit, ferro rod, stamped knife set ( was like 11$ for two sets comes with a 3 and 5inch blade cheap but i have not broke them yet :) some extra clothing, a few dry types of food like soup mixes and cream of wheat ( i spoil myself no oatmeal here :) 3 bottles of water, and trailblazer slingshot. I always have my ccw with me a Bersa BP9CC, I do agree with mikewood up there that it is highly recommended. Safe streets turn to bad mojo in the wrong situations. Headlamps i have one but never use it, have been blessed with very good night vision. Plus it may attract unwanted attention to myself in this kind of situation.
     
  24. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    When walking out of a SHTF situation, you want to be like a mouse, blend into the background, draw as little attention to yourself as possible and avoid things that are going to eat you.
    One thing that has not been covered it in each car should be enough money in small bills to get you home. If some guy is selling gas at 20 a gallon, and you need 3 to get home its likely not the place to be flashing hundreds or asking if he has change. If this is not a SHTF situation, then you have the cash for a cab.
     
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  25. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    for me i work a little over 40 miles away from work strictly highway as well. i have no real intention of walking home if something happened unless say an EMP went off and fried everything. that being said in the winter time i always keep a wool blanket, tea candles, small pot, water, a knife, food, hat, gloves, boots ect... in my car with all the time. that way in case someone runs me off the road or something happens where a tow truck can't come or i can't get my car out of the ditch, i'm prepared to spend the night. may not get much sleep but i'd be warm(ish) and not starving until help could come. plus where i live as long as i have a good battery in the car, cell phone, and a tank of gas i can get out of just about anything fairly quickly. in the winter time in general i generally don't let my tank get below 1/4 tank left.

    for you there's alot of factors in the walk vs spending the night. during summer i did 11-12miles with a 25lb pack in 6hrs but that's not in cold and potential snow. for me as long as i'm moving i stay fairly warm if not start sweating depending on temp, sun and as long as the wind isn't getting through to my skin. not only that but in suburban area you have sidewalks and plenty of houses so if you really got cold or worst came to worse you could try knocking on someones door and explain your situation and see if they would just let you warm up or help. it may take a bunch of tries but someone would help especially in winter and being female (less threat than a guy poses) plus being in a suburban area there will be plenty of light from houses, street lights, passing cars ect... plus stopping in any place that is open to warm up or buy coffee ect... IMHO suburban area (other than ghetto/bad areas) is fairly easy compared to rural area for getting home.
     
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  26. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Point well taken. As others have mentioned, staying put is often the best solution for an emergency situation, and I do have some level of preparedness for that.

    @UAHiker "for you there's alot of factors in the walk vs spending the night. during summer i did 11-12miles with a 25lb pack in 6hrs but that's not in cold and potential snow. for me as long as i'm moving i stay fairly warm if not start sweating depending on temp, sun and as long as the wind isn't getting through to my skin. not only that but in suburban area you have sidewalks and plenty of houses so if you really got cold or worst came to worse you could try knocking on someones door and explain your situation and see if they would just let you warm up or help. it may take a bunch of tries but someone would help especially in winter and being female (less threat than a guy poses) plus being in a suburban area there will be plenty of light from houses, street lights, passing cars ect... plus stopping in any place that is open to warm up or buy coffee ect... IMHO suburban area (other than ghetto/bad areas) is fairly easy compared to rural area for getting home."

    True, although if I had to resort to walking home, the emergency would be pretty desperate, so I'm thinking houses will not have utilities. But, that leads me to wonder, what WOULD an emergency requiring a walk home through mostly residential areas look like? What would cause me to have to abandon both office and car to walk? Hmm... For me, preparedness is for more common issues - which might include big storm, loss of electricity, stuck in standstill traffic that won't ease up for a long time period.... None of these would require a walk home, except #3 which is less likely, and if it were to happen, I'd hope I'd know about it ahead and just hunker down at office.

    The worst emergency I've had while at the office was relatively recently when we had a very localized but aggressive hurricane like storm. It caused enumerable trees to fall and some electricity issues which closed off nearly ALL the roads I would normally take home. Even that though, I just hung out in my car, in traffic and waited it out, finding places to get moving where I could. I guess in that case the worst case scenario would be if I didn't have a full tank of gas. I do nowadays keep my gas tank at least half filled, so that's a good habit for me in my particular locale and situation.

    Sooo.. let me take this topic on a slight curve... for those of you living in a less rural area... and who commute to work, what most likely situation do you prepare for?
     
  27. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    I live in NYC(manhattan)
    work 26 miles outside the city,
    1 situation i couldnt get home was 9-11
    i couldnt get into the city, i ended up staying at my sisters house in queens for 3 days
    i then drove into the city and had to park/dump the car 2 miles from home, as southern manhattan was still closed, i live near world trade center
    next situation i happen to be home, was sandy, gas was major issue then, with the power outages stations couldnt pump the gas,
    there were hours long lines, city and surrounding area implemented odd and even days, i now keep gas stored at work
    other possibilities to plan for in NJ especially in winter
    is road closings, either from flooding or major accidents due to ice think multi vehicle pile ups that shuts down roadways for many hours
    and if due to a snow storm, if its bad enough to get the car stuck, how likely are you to walk many miles in those conditions? up north some carry snow shoes as part of their preps for such scenarios
     
  28. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Great perspective Terasec, thanks for weighing in. I remember 9-11 and aside from the horrors, some of the ordeals like you describe. I remember when we had the gas issues with Sandy. I was lucky - had a full tank that day, and office was closed for 4 days after. I was glad I didn't need to go anywhere for a while as we had the same gas restrictions.

    Hmm. Being part of a major chain accident is an interesting scenario. I have AAA, but I suppose in a big accident there would be others who would call on them as well... I'm really not sure how I would deal with the car, but I think in that case I'd probably call hubby and see where he was and if we could work out a pick up somehow. I'd have to walk maybe a few miles to meet him out of the way? But then what to do with the car? and do I grab as much stuff in my car as I could (bushcraft bag, extra shoes, sleep bag, trunk blanket, which are in three separate stuff sacks), in case of people taking advantage and breaking in...?

    Has anyone been in such a situation or know of others and what they did?
     
  29. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    Yes, same here. The backpack in there is an all black SOG daypack I got on Amazon for like $15. I went with all black for the 'Gray Man' aspect in carrying, and that the interior of my Jeep is black, so it's almost impossible to see through my tinted windows. The fixed blade knife in there is a Mora. The most expensive single item is probably < $30 and total value of contents is probably around $100.
     
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  30. salty dog

    salty dog Supporter Supporter

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    Sounds as if you have reasoned through likely situations, so I suspect you will make good decisions with regard to staying put or hitting the road. As long as you avoid the trap of walking from an unpleasant, but safe spot in to a dangerous predicament you'll be OK. My only suggestions that haven't been mentioned are to consider that in the middle of the night you will likely be the only pedestrian so will stand out to any observer. If there are shady people around (not really likely in the sort of neighborhood you describe but you never know) that could be an issue, but on the other hand good Samaritans and even the police may offer you a ride. I've had to hoof it a few times. Besides good shoes and clothes suitable for the weather, a flashlight or headlamp is useful for making sure cars see you and scouting potential short cuts for fences and such.
     
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  31. friluftsliv

    friluftsliv Tracker

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    I wear comfortable hiking shoes to work, and I hike in them, too. I've hiked a few different routes too/from the office, both on the streets and through the woods.

    No need for a headlamp. Helps others to see you more than anything. Just give your eyes a few minutes to get used to the dark.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  32. Woods_Wanderer

    Woods_Wanderer Supporter Supporter

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    Interesting thought experiment and some really excellent suggestions here. I only have a ~6-mile commute and can (and have) easily walk it. Fortunately, there are no bad areas for me to traverse as well. Therefore, my "Get home" needs are simple and easy to prepare for in advance. My wife, however, has an approximately 14-mile commute, works in a "questionable" area and has several challenging areas to traverse to reach home. We have had a few practice runs with some local civil unrest spanning a few days, plus a few ice storms causing challenges. Her work is 24/7 and can not be done remotely. Our approach is to have both a well-stocked bag (REI without labels to avoid attention) and a well-stocked car. There is a small Colorado gear maker call Hill People Gear. I highly recommend reviewing their Youtube videos on the layered approach. Starts on your person and works out scaling for whatever you are doing. It is also extremely helpful to do a bit of brainstorming on potential crisis and the likelihood of occurring. From this, you can then think about responses. In the same vein, analyzing and list your strengths and weaknesses. Then build to your strengths and train / equip to address any identified weaknesses that line up with your most likely crisis situations. I'll also reiterate the comments on planning your route and at least two alternates and walk them with your bag. First, it will get you a feel for the impact of carrying the bag and two it will expose areas you may not be as comfortable with as you thought. It is also helpful to identify police dept, fire dept, hospitals, urgent care, 24-hour convenience and grocery stores, sources of water that can be purified, and expected hot-spots on your map. Keep a copy in your car and already in your bag. These can be pure gold in times of need. Building a network of like-minded people and discussing their thoughts, assuming they are local to you, can help both identify things you might have overlooked as well as potential safe harbors.

    Very interesting topic, thanks for bringing it up.

    My ramble has finally subsided, I'll now leave you in peace!
     
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  33. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    another thing to consider
    when you work such a distance from home,
    take into consideration people you know on the way, that may live between your workplace and home, friends, family, coworkers that wouldnt mind taking you in in an emergency, even if just to warm you up and rest until you continue or figure out how to get home,
    unless your friends/coworkers are complete jerks, most people are most welcoming in such situations
     
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  34. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    A 4-way Sillcock Key could be worth it's weight in gold when walking out in any town. Nearly every fast-food place, convenience store, bank, etc has one. It's an outside water spigot with no handle, for washing off parking lots, watering plants, etc. This fits four different sizes. Even during a power outage, if the water source is an elevated water tower, there will still be pressure for a long time. $8 in many hardware stores.

    If you scout out ahead where some are, you could for example carry only one full water bottle/bag, with spare empty bladders rolled up for fillups on the way out, if appropriate.

    Tied securely with a paracord lanyard/wrist loop, it could also make a fair weapon, compared to nothing.

    This pic is large, it's about 4 inches square.

    [​IMG]
     
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  35. 1773

    1773 Guide

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    I would recommend that you have gear for a variety of scenarios available and in the event you actual are put in a walk home situation take the gear that fits the situation and leave the rest with the vehicle. You are abandoning your vehicle so why worry about the gear that you left with it. I know many think they have to carry everything in the vehicle, I don't look at it that way, everything should be looked at as semi-disposable, if you get too tied to your gear it may wind up costing you your life. You need to move quickly and discretely and too much gear prevents you from doing either. Also you mentioned that you don't own any firearms so that wouldn't be a consideration either. You should be able to do the 14 miles with nothing more than the contents of a day pack without any issue. I would keep moving rather than bedding down and just carry some light shelter in case for some reason you have to hunker down for a little while.
     
  36. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    I used to be a NYC train commuter ~30 miles from home. I kept a set of rollerblades in my office after watching the WTC fall down live, and Manhattan go on lock-down. Also keep a folding bike in one of my vehicles, but that's primarily for fun, secondarily for preparedness. Also into EDC, and my ~9lb/L murse/messenger bag is nearly worthy of an UL backpacker's rig (sans sleeping bag).

    I try to be prepared - in addition to 9/11, I was trapped in the city for the Northeast Blackout of 2003, had a terrorist bomb nearly blow my office windows out, and had ~4x nearly week-long power outages from storms (Sandy most recently).
     
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  37. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    One reason to try and walk home, or to a better place, is if your car breaks down in a bad area. A woman alone in a dead car can look like attractive prey to the scavenger/predator types. And if you have to hike it would be best not to look very attractive. A nondescript, loose fitting jacket (simple nylon windbreaker), long pants, NO PURSE (keep it all in your backpack), and no showy jewelry, would draw less attention to yourself. Good walking shoes and a good light would be essential. Also have some personal stuff like toothbrush, toilet paper, 1st aid kit, food (a couple of cans of sardines), etc in case you have to spend the night along the way in a house or store or other building. Having no weapon will keep the NJ cops off of you, but it could really cost you if you run into the wrong kind of people. A knife or pepper spray could make a big difference. Keep it handy but out of sight.
     
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  38. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    I've seen that type of thing and the dude on the blackscoutsurvival that I mentioned earlier talks about them. What I wonder is, in my area we use water towers to create water pressure since we are so flat. Water is pumped up into the tower. If there is no power, I have a feeling those pumps will not be working, so we may very well have no running water.

    There are still plenty of water sources here though, so I'm not overly concerned.
     
  39. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    I grew up around water towers on a prairie, I know what you mean. Differing towns/water districts may have different rules or plans, but many of them pump the towers late at night, on low peak demand for electricity. If some sort of event happens that you are trying to walk home, they'll have normal water pressure for some time. A few days later, not so much.
     
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  40. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    One of my former employees' husband worked for the local water utility and he was telling me about that one night. Though it's been more than 10 years now, I do remember him talking about schedules, and from what I recall he mentioned that some towers locally refilled multiple times a day. He was some sort of supervisor dealing specifically with the towers and pumping. Really interesting stuff.

    And I should clarify, there is definitely validity to keeping one of those tools, IMO. Hell, even it the event of an emergency that is not catastrophic / end of the world as we know it stuff, it would still be good to have one. You never know when you might need water for one reason or another.
     
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  41. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    There all kinds of "Get Home" scenarios.
    I'm just about to start packing for something I actually expect to happen again at least once this coming Southern winter
    I need to prepare for being able to get some sleep by the side of the road in case I miss the last bus again.
    So no danger at all IMO just comfort and not getting hypothermia while waiting for the sun to rise.
    If I miss the bus I need to walk / hitch-hike but I've never had trouble getting a lift in day-light.
    So my big daypack is getting my old 32mm Thermarest folded inside it and one of cheap synthetic 14C sleeping bags plus a surplus poncho in case it rains heavily
    I may also shove in a small pot and cheap butane cooker and pot along with a small bit of food and coffee.
    I consider the mattress an essential as while I had to do this last season and was warm enough I couldn't sleep because I was so damned uncomfortable
     
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  42. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Pepper spray- check
    Knife- check
    Tp, other toiletries- check
    Food- check
    No jewelry.. not a big jewels wearer- check
    Purse in pack- I'm a small purse person, so easy peasy -check
    Loose jacket. .hmm..in winter I wear a long wool coat.. I have fleece in car for layering and after a brief walk just in my office parking lot today at 39deg, definitely want extra layers.. but the wool is my only wool and would be a good layer. I also keep lager loose sweatpants in car kit. .
     
  43. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Then a longish windbreaker for that coat then, in LW ripstop a few ounces and very small stuffed in a sack or even better a pocket inside the coat
     
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  44. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    I don't understand why so many people carry stuff for full fire cooked meals in a get home bag. 3 weeks without food...! for me, if I want food it's easy to pack some nuts, snack bars, some candy. .. that would be perfectly fine for several days of needed. ..
     
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  45. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    That would be good multi purpose item. . Both for disguise and wind breaker which is really useful for me in cold.
     
  46. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    It's because I cannot; simply cannot, start my day without hot coffee and being able to snack while walking is a good idea, hot coffee not hot food. This isn't what I call an emergency set of gear, it's a contingency for which I plan but soup packets also only take hot water to prepare as do ramen noodles.
    The food would mirror what I normally carry in my skiing daypack which is talked about at length in this thread

    re-thinking my winter daypack contents
     
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  47. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Gotcha :) my big reason for not including pot and hot food in an emergency bag is weight. With a bad back, if I need to hoof it short term, I want as little weight as possible..
    although a lightweight pot and packets of coffee/soup might be no more weight than my bag of snacks, so to each his own ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  48. TommyLateNight

    TommyLateNight Tracker

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    This is interesting because as fellow North Jersey resident, I sometimes think about this stuff as well. @Terasec gave some solid insight for those of us that reside in the surrounding NYC-metro area.

    I don't know where you're at in Morris County, but here's my two cents:

    I live outside Newark, NJ. Like, a mile from there. Some parts are bad, some parts aren't as bad. My town is okay. The gas crisis that hit this area after Hurricane Sandy caused altercations nonstop, sometimes physical. It was both humorous and sickening to see people fighting over gas, because it's only gas. Then again, we're such a gas dependent society that it made total sense. Personally, we drove serious miles to get gas for vehicles and generators. The complex I live in, 200+ units, had no power for ~7 days. I stayed here for a few days because I had food, water, and books. After a few days, I went to PA because it wasn't bad there. But I chose to leave because I had torn my achilles tendon a week prior to Sandy. Ended up going to the Poconos where they weren't really affected with the gas crisis. Sandy really showed us what this area would be like in disaster-like scenario because it kind of was (not as bad as Katrina though). In the grand scheme of things, there's ~12 million people in the surrounding 20 mile radius centered on NYC.

    Anyway, if I were planning for anything, I would cover the basic needs in my Get Home Bag; Food, Water, Shelter, and anything required to fulfill those needs.
    Think about your routines. How far you travel daily, where you go, your network of family/friends, etc. and base your kit on your needs and what situation you're preparing for.

    If your only concern is to get home from a distance of roughly 14 miles, you shouldn't require much and could probably walk home in a few hours. Obviously all this changes depending on terrain and weather.

    Did you check out this post by IA Woodsman? Vehicle Kit Bag
    A lot of information is there and it's not even really focused around a large kit, but more so what you know and how to use what you already have. We had a saying in the Army: Train as you fight. Meaning, treat your training time as if you were fighting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  49. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Thanks for responding Tommy... My husband worked in Newark (Right across Penn Station) for many years and I was glad when his office moved to Roseland. We are in Dover near Randolph border, 2 minutes drive from Route 10. Not a bad area, and working in Madison, the route between is not bad, other than maybe a small section near Morristown IF I actually had to walk my "back roads" route.
    I'll take a look at that video later today, though I am an avid youtube watcher, so I've watched LOTS of vehicle kit vids :cool:

    If I walked the highway most of the way, I wouldn't run into any questionable neighborhoods, though in a time of civil unrest, I'd have to decide whether that would be the best route or if going more off the road would be preferable. Boy that just leads to all kinds of possibilities..

    Truthfully, in thinking more about it, there's very little in the way of disasters that would be so bad as to require me to walk from office to home, but I guess, as another thread mentions, it's a good "thought exercise". I definitely want to hike sections of it this year, just to see what it would be like and to test myself and my ability to carry my backpack in a suburban area. Looks like I may finally purchase a well fitting backpack, so I'll me much more motivated to do some of these exercises this year, not to mention regular backpacking!! yay!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
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  50. TommyLateNight

    TommyLateNight Tracker

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    Haha, like I said, where I live isn't so bad. If it was, I wouldn't live here. Parts of Newark are pretty nice. I go to Red Bull stadium all the time, and that's right over the river from Ironbound which is awesome. A buddy of mine lives outside the downtown area and another friend owns a store there. Plus I have to go to the VA, which is in that area. I'm never afraid walking the streets.

    If lawlessness happened in this area, I wouldn't be stopping at red lights to get home, hahaha. If another Sandy-like event happened, I'd use what I learned from the last event and better prepare. It's 'Murphy' that usually messes things up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017

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