Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Long Walk

We've actually been going over this at work. During lunchbreaks, of course.

If the SHTF and you had to walk home from work in a panicky world, how do you do it? Say, solar event gives us a super EMP, and knocks out all the cars and everything else. All my stored food for months is at my house not in the office...  Not at my office.

 Now such a big event is probably not going to be like One Second After, chances are, and despite what Newt says, but bear with us for the mental exercise.  (I know I know, extremely remote chance.  Actual ICBM strikes from a full exchange is really the worst case scenario, and if I am not dead in the first hits, I am walking home from that.  Prevailing winds will keep the fallout away.  Maybe.)

Back to the EMP scenario, because that's what we were chewing over...

That's a toughy for some of us, as the commute is nasty. 55 miles for one of us. I am at 27 miles. Not easy. A few are less than 5, they need almost no preparation. They could jog it in the winter in less that adequate clothing and make out fine, no food no water, nuthin.

Those of us with longer routes have some obstacles. There's a choke point with single bridge over a large body of water to contend with. You can go around the more rural west side, but that adds many miles. The east side is shorter, but more panicky population areas to get through. I'd say use the train tracks to avoid people, instead of walking on the roads, but that too goes through some populated areas right next to major roads.  Not highways, roads with building and stoplights.

It's a tough nut. But note we HAVE checked the train tracks and old spurs that are trails now instead of tracks.

And in my best shape I really didn't enjoy 20 mile hikes. I am in less good shape now, in my fattened dotage, and have an extra 7 miles to contend with. Where do I hole up on this trek home?


ProudHillbilly said...

How about taking a bicycle?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Oh no! Then ALL the cyclist would hassle me about not wearing a bike helmet during the zombacalypse, if the past is any guide. Dang safety nazis...

Bob said...

A fun book about this very subject is Going Home by "A. American." It's been successful enough to spawn a bunch of sequels. Going Home stresses the need to have a "Get Home Bag," not to be confused with the better known "Bug Out Bag." One thing I'd add about a go home bag is to add a cart of some kind to make transportation easier than carrying everything on one's back, especially if one is sedentary and out of shape. A deer cart would be a good choice, as would a golfer's bag cart.

Murphy's Law said...

Got my pans laid in for the walk home, to include supplies stored in a decent frame backpack, weather-appropriate clothing in my vehicle, pre-selection of several less-populated routes, and availability of bikes and even horses if need be.

Oh--and arms. Definitely not making that hike unprotected.

I WILL make it home.

Kristophr said...

Drive an old car.

A 1982 Diesel Surburban will just keep running, and you won't notice the EMP.

The main fuel pump is strictly mechanical, and you would need a direct lightning strike to mess up the big freaking solenoids that supply battery power to the Starter and the glow plugs.

dehakal said...

My walk would be around 23 miles to my local work related residence, the distance is not bad, but it goes straight across South Central Los Angeles. And unfortunately, this being Kali, proper equipment is not allowed.
Then I get the 300 mile trek across the mountains and desert to "home actual."

Marty said...

I keep supplies for about a week at work. I also have a Bug Out Bag in my car.

My route home is 16 miles to drive and about 13 miles walking with a shortcut.

I use to also keep a razor scooter in my car. I need to return that.

Kevin said...

If I was lucky enough to actually BE at my office, piece of cake. It's a mile from my front door to the office door.

But I'm out of the office about 40% of the time, quite often literally a hundred miles away or more. Like today, for instance. And tomorrow.

LCB said...

I have a bag in my car that weighs too much (50lb). I keep telling myself to get out and hike with it, just as practice. And yeah, I'm also in the fattened dotage class.

But...that includes water that I can leave behind; I can get it easily enough on the way home, just need my life straw. Also includes a poncho liner that I can wrap up in and sleep, cause I know I won't make it in one day.

I have two routes figured. Follow the train tracks that are about 1 mile from where I work and go to my home town. Or...follow the bike path on the river, that also goes to my home. Either's about a 26 mile hike.

Sendarius said...

EMP is over-rated.

It is true that most modern cars have electronics that are needed for the car to work - but they are typically in a shielded box, within metal body work, poorly grounded by the rubber tyres. (as an aside: All tyres used to be made using expensive carbon black in the vulcanising process. Newer tyres use much cheaper silica. This reduces the conductivity of the tyres, making them better insulators. Has anybody noticed that they get more "static shocks" when exiting their cars now than they remember from days gone by? )

Experiments with multi-megavolt man-made lightning strikes on cars have shown little to no effect on the operation of the vehicles. They still start and run just fine.

Chances are, the cars will be fine. It is the infrastructure that will be a problem - traffic lights, railway crossing boom gates, grid powered transit systems, TV and radio stations etc.

It will come down to a decision whether you want to face horrendous traffic snarls, or you believe that you are physically able to manage the walk.

Anonymous said...

I keep a get home bag in the truck at all times, and have it on my person everywhere I can CC. My plan is to travel backroads and trails, but it's less than ten miles for me. I'm pretty sure that I'll make it home safe unless I'm prevented in doing so, in a couple hours.

Jim said...

My worst case scenario is something happens while I am at lunch. With my GHB in the 20th floor office, with no elevators working, and 80-130 mile hike around the sound ( I can save 50 miles if I don't have to avoid the Tacoma Narrows bridge. )

Best case, is I am working from home that day. Here's to hoping.