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Dilemma: 100+ miles get home with just a bagpack

Discussion in 'Travel' started by FiaOlleDog, Apr 1, 2022.

  1. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

    Oct 27, 2017
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    I hope everyone is okay in this crazy times ...

    It looks like business travel is about to start as most C19-related restrictions are about to be lifted. While I enjoy meeting again real people, it raises again a dilemma for me: in case of disaster my way home will be 100+ miles - without a car (as I need to travel by plane and/or train).

    Question is: what to bring on the journey that would help me get home - mostly on foot or ride-sharing, if there is such a choice?

    If I would travel by car, I would bring my go bag and plenty of supplies - and would be mobile to a certain degree and situation (blocked roads, etc.).

    As traveling by car is not an option, I'm pretty limited in carrying capacity: basically a 30+ liter backpack and a carry-on rolling suitcase.

    I need to make some assumptions, and one is: I will get shelter in (sub-) urban areas, so I will not bring outdoor shelter gear such as a tent or a tarp, but will have a sleeping bag & some ground isolation.

    Has anyone of you considered such a balance between very long distances and limited gear & supply capacity? What do you bring with you, what are you going to leave at home, etc.?

    Sure, following the rules of 3, P.A:C.E. 10C's, etc. helps, as do reading a lot about thruhikers and their ultralight gear, etc. - but it's still a challenge. Your input is highly appreciated!

  2. tera tike

    tera tike Loaded Pockets

    Jan 8, 2013
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    Helikon-Tex Sling Bag

    Grayl Water Purifier Bottle
    Hand Sanitizer / Fire Starter
    Packable Rain Hoodie
    Sanitary Wipes

    • Allergy Tablets - Diphenhydramine HCI 12.5mg (6)
    • Anesthetic / Fire Starter - Alcohol Pads (2)
    • Antacid Tablets - Calcium Carbonate 420 mg (4)
    • Anti-diarrhea - 2mg Loperamide HCL (6)
    • Band-Aids Large 1.75" (6)
    • Motion Sickness - 25mg Meclizine HCL Tablets (4)
    • Pain Medicine - Powder Mix 325mg Acetaminophen/ 500mgAsprin/ 65mg Caffine (6)
    • Stomach Aid - 262mg Bismuth Subsalicylate (4)
    • Triple Antibiotic Ointment Packets 0.5g (4)
    • Victorinox Tweezers
    Pencil Pouch
    • Anker Dual Port 12W USB Charger (100-240VAC | 50-60Hz)
    • BASU eAlarm PRO
    • Black Permanent Marker
    • Bluetooth Ear Phone
    • Diamond Sharpener Card w/ Cyflect Reflector Back
    • Foam Ear Plugs
    • Folding Sling Shot - Penguin Pop
    • Minox MD 6x16 Monocular
    • Olight UC Magnetic USB Charger
    • Titanium Fork & Spoon
    • USB C Cable w/ micro A Adapter
    • Volty - Battery Tester w Magnetic Lead
    On Person
    • Fenix LD15R Light / w Rechargeable Battery
    • Leatherman Crunch
    • Pocket Knife
    • Pryosaurus Pry-bar
    • Zippo Arc Lighter - Rechargeable
    This what I carry, I know some things might be allowed in your country but this might give you some ideas.

    And some basic energy foods.
    Last edited by tera tike, Apr 2, 2022
    #2 tera tike, Apr 1, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2022
    Nick4305 likes this.
  3. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

    Jan 7, 2017
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    I did see this thread earlier, but I was short on free time, and didn't really know how to approach it.

    I guess I have a bit of time right now, but still not sure where to start pulling this question apart.

    100 miles is doable, for some people, some places, sometimes.
    Not sure where we hit the upper limit of that "+", but in my own experience, when I board a plane, 300-ish miles is about the shortest distance even possible to travel. That's a lot to cover by foot. Even if you planned to hike that kind of distance in advance and set out by your own will, under perfectly normal circumstances, you would want to be very well prepared. Health, fitness, equipment and consumables. Every little nuance of your equipment should be tried and tested in the relevant conditions. Routines drilled, all that stuff.

    Sorry to come off a bit pessimistic. I'm definitely colored by my own circumstance, living where it's pretty cold most of the year, the weather generally being unpredictable and where I basically can't go 100 miles in any direction without going through some mountainous regions or otherwise desolate stretches of road / foot path.

    You don't write much about what you might have to deal with regarding weather, supply opportunities, terrain etc., so any advice will be very general, which isn't exactly what you'd want with such a challenging scenario.

    - Money. Cash and otherwise. Unless your disaster scenario allows society to break down completely, money is what will most likely take you home as fast and safe as possible. Rent a car, pay a cab, pay a random person to drive you. And if that fails, you'd want to have;

    - Extremely good walking shoes.

    - Enough and adequate clothing to function at your best in the applicable climate. This includes staying warm through the night. When you sacrifice sleep quality, everything will go down hill. Fast.

    - Enough food to get you to your next dependable re-supply location.

    - You'd want to carry that and your other critical gear in a very light (for its size) and comfortable backpack.

    I know this forum is focused on tools, gadgets and gear, and sure, having the right amount of that will help, but don't let it distract you from your primary needs.
    I've been hiking and wild camping year round for 20+ years, there's absolutely no substitute for shelter from the elements and food and water in your stomach.
    Health, fitness and knowledge are your most important tools, packs small and weighs nothing.

    Some gear considerations:
    - Stove. If this is a piece of equipment that's relevant, some multifuel variant should be your top pick. Bringing fuel in your carry-on isn't an option, so whatever fuel you need have to be sourced along the way. You don't want to be limited to a specific type.

    - UL backpacking is great and can serve as valuable inspiration, but survival isn't recreation, so make sure you're not compromising on suitability to reach a certain weight goal. Then again, being constrained by carry-on limits, something is also better than nothing.
    Synthetic fill is easier to keep dry and keep in good shape. Big no-no's in UL, like cotton and leather, are sometimes advantageous when dealing with chemicals and fires. For underwear and accessories (hats, liner gloves, buffs etc.), there is no substitute for wool in this scenario.

    - Headlamp. Bring a reliable one with good runtime. Rechargeable is nice (if you have a power bank), but being able to take alkaline in a pinch is certainly not a negative.

    - Paper maps. I used to always bring paper maps on longer hikes, but these days I don't always do that. If I have redundant electronic maps, that's often good enough IMO. In your case though, it would be a benefit. Paper maps is better for planning far ahead and proper geographical awareness. It also allows you to save a lot of screen time and in turn, valuable electric power.

    Wow, time flies. Got to go
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  4. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Oct 9, 2010
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    I see this scenario very different.

    Less than a two hour car ride.

    I assume the travel would be on established roads so find a bike. I can 'what if' so many factors but keep it simple. Its great to be ready but no way am I carrying a sleeping bag to work everyday

    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    kikaida and FiaOlleDog like this.
  5. SOS24

    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

    Feb 12, 2016
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    For wearing:
    - comfortable shoes
    - versatile long sleeve shirt like lightweight wool blend
    - good moisture wicking socks

    Some edc type gear:
    - Headlamp or flashlight, possibly even both. A AAA flashlight even if a back-up is a good option because AAA batteries are easy to scrounge from remote controls.
    - A solar power bank - extra power while being able to recharge in emergency using solar
    - some type of tool - to include knife if checked. if carry-on only, a PS style or bladeless Gerber MP600 gives at least scissors to do minor cutting and some other tools
    - Lighter of some sort
    - Bandanas
    - basic first aid
    - duck tape
    - extra hidden cash

    Other extras:
    - water purification - Could go as simple as 2% iodine or purification tablets. I would probably go with a collapsible bottle (CNOC, platypus, etc) and connecting filter (like Sawyer Squeeze, HydroBlu Versa or Platypus Quickdraw). I also like to carry a steel or titanium water bottle that can be filled.
    - some type of emergency blanket or bivy - I like the 2GoSystems zip poncho because you can use as poncho, sleeping bag or tarp.
    - Food - Nutrition bars, jerky, shelf-stable pouches of tuna/chciken, protein shake mix, oatmeal,etc.
    - Silcock key - you mentioned urban so this could give access to water. Could also double as weapon if put in sock or tied to rope of some sort
    - some type of cord like bankline or paracord. I usually wrap my bag handles in a quick deploy paracord to add padding and give 10-15ft of cord.
    - some type of small stove (like folding twig or alcohol) and 500-750ml mug/pot. I like the Firebox Nano with a Toaks siphon alcohol stove. Alcohol stoves are great as emergency because the fuel can be found almost anywhere.
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  6. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

    May 30, 2012
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    You could try to find another job closer by.

    Do you absolutely have to go home in a disaster? Maybe you can arrange a safety procedure and a safe adress with supplies for your familiy for if you are not home.

    You beter use a cart with more robust wheels.

    Why dont you secretly keep one or more bug out bags on your work-site in a locked closet? Then you can choose the items you need from that equipment in an emergency, depending from the situation, like weather and other conditions.

    You should carry an utra light double-walled 3-season tent without poles and stakes. Those accessories can be made from wood branches with a multi tool that contains a small wood saw.

    Did you find the numerous videos about survival kits, get home bags, backpacking, winter camping, homeless living and bug out bags? Some of them are worth watching. Some of them contain dangerous nonsense.

    Try to stay optimistic and calm, whatever may happen. That will help you to survive and stay healthy. And possibly there will not be a disaster.

    Consider using a cart or walk with a folding bike that carries your luggage.

    You could find an adress where you can sleep and keep extra equipment, halfway the route.

    What is the lowest temperature that you can expect?

    I suggest you discuss these questions also on forums about backpacking, survival, etc.
    #6 Dan2, May 8, 2022
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  7. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

    May 30, 2012
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    A monocular is too heavy.

    Necessary is carrying a tickbite prevention lotion and pointed tweezers for tick removal.

    The Crunch has no wood saw, which is necessary.​
  8. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

    May 30, 2012
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    It is better to rely on wood fires during a bug out on foot during a disaster. That policy will save weight. But take precautions to prevent a wildfire.

    A good runtime means offering a very low lumens setting.

    Paper maps are necessary in a disaster, since a smartphone can easily break, or run out of energy.
    #8 Dan2, May 8, 2022
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  9. tera tike

    tera tike Loaded Pockets

    Jan 8, 2013
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    Minox MD 6x16 Monocular weights 3.70oz / 105g which I have found it very useful for plotting my routes visually.

    Tick bite prevention lotion…I blouse my pants when walking in brush. My Victorinox Tweezers work fine for me to remove ticks and other things. But if one wanted a pointy tip then get the Uncle Bill's Sliver Grippers.

    Years ago I had to do a 91 mile hike(tornado hit the hotel I was in, no more vehicle) from a rural area to a metro area(home) and this was basically what I had on me, some of it I have upgraded since then.

    The Leatherman crunch is perfect for me as I see no need to spend a few hours along a rural road building a shelter when there are plenty of alternate sources (over passes, bar ditches, abandoned farm shacks). But when I needed to grip a sunken faucet valve they where perfect especially when I was already tired.

    Needing a saw for firewood…if I cannot break the piece of wood then it is too large or green to use for a rapid heat source.

    I also hitched rides with nice willing people so the hike only took me 3 days.

    Oh I did forget to state, have a compass, I have a watch band compass which works perfectly for rapid orienteering with basic road maps.

    Another thing is to tether as much of your gear as possible, not because you would be running from something but also to run to something such as getting a ride.

    Note: all my suggestions are based on my own opinion, life experiences and skill set of my knowledge to use the various gear listed. Every individual has different skills and environments that they need to equip for and should plan accordingly.

    I respect everyone ideas here as they do cause me to rethink how I can improve my skills, gear and action plans.
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  10. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

    May 30, 2012
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    Ticks tend to crawl over clothing upwards to reach the scalp, arm pit, etc. Lyme disease can cause life long torture.

    Hitchiking is easier if you offer drivers money for the ride.

    A small wood saw has numerous other applications in survival and emergencies.
  11. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

    May 30, 2012
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  12. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

    Oct 27, 2017
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    Thanks for all the replies - I incorporated a lot of your tips & recommendations into my system before I started traveling. Really like this forum for their valuable postings :)

    Sorry for my very late answer/follow-up. Good news: I'm back ;) from my 800+ miles journey. Train rides were mostly smooth, hence had no reason to real-life test my setup for "walking home".

    Nevertheless, here is what I took with me:
    • weather-appropriate clothing, and some extra under garments
    • head: truckers cap (sun, wind, rain), beanie, bikers helmet (grey-mans way to protect ones head)
    • eyes: sunglasses, safety googles (sealing eye area)
    • ears: 3M ear plugs (snooring sleeper next room)
    • mouth:
      • FFP2/N95 mask for train traveling (we still have mask mandates at certain places)
      • FFP3/N99 masks (helps also to filter nuclear-contaminated particles ... as I was partly in Eastern Europe you have to consider things)
    • neck: buff
    • torso: rain jacket (had to use it twice: once for a light rain shower and once for a downpour)
    • hands: Mechanix m-pact gloves
    • legs: extra outdoor trousers
    • feet: comfy shoes, hiking boots and flip flops

    Usual ones: EC pouch, booboo-kit, trauma-/bleeding-control-kit, vitamin & medicine pouch, dope kit.
    Electronics: laptop, smartphone, power supplies, cables, etc. (had to work while traveling).
    Tools: tool kit including multi-meter, small pry bay, medium-sized bolt cutter.

    Some food and water during travel. Extra water and a Platypus water bladder.

    Extra stuff for emergency:
    • isolated, fold-able sitting pad
    • thin aluminium sleeping pad (think windscreen sun protector)
    • Snugpack Jungle Blanket
    • Hot Hands and Hot Feet
    • Grayl water filter + MicroPur Forte water purification tablets
    • Sea to Summit mosquito head net
    • paper maps of the destination area and the terrain I was traveling through, compass
    • extra headlamp and 18650 flashlight + spare batteries for both
    • electronic door alarm
    • chemical light stick
    • small signal mirror
    • small FM radio with headset
    • Wet Ones
    • hand disinfection gel
    • microfiber towel
    • bandanda
    • extra (small) toothbrush + paste
    • Cliff bars, etc.
    • monocular
    • small umbrella
    • toilet paper (in zip-lock bag)
    • titanium spork
    • titanium mug with lid (400ml / 14oz)
    • small alcohol stove + some rubber alcohol
    • mini BIC lighter, matches
    • sillcock key
    • notebook, pen, sharpie
    • pepper spray (laws in the countries I've visited don't allow weapons)
    • folding knife (had to lock it during transport in certain areas)
    • extra cash in small bills and some coins for vending machines
    • backpack rain cover (yellow)

    Things I considered to take with me but wasn't possible to fit them into the backpack:
    • air mattress
    • air pillow
    • replace blanket with sleeping bag or SOL breathable emergency bivvy
    • hazmat suite
    • yellow west (to be seen when I want to be seen)

    Things I skipped / did not include on purpose:
    • shelter like a tarp or tent (assumption: in urban and suburban areas there will be shelters available)
    • more self defense options: not compatible with regulations & laws

    Conclusion after critical reflection:
    • ounce add to pounds, pounds add to ouch (nothing new, but ...)
    • go, once more, through all equipment and remove redundancies (where appropriate)
    • continue to shrink down equipment in size & weight, e.g. replace Coghlans Camp Soap 2 oz / 60ml with Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash Pocket Soap Leaf
    • consider collapsible walking sticks
    • consider rain paints
    • replace tool kit with multitool
    Last edited by FiaOlleDog, May 15, 2022
    #12 FiaOlleDog, May 15, 2022
    Last edited: May 15, 2022
  13. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

    Oct 27, 2017
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    I already did: working form my home office. But I now need to travel to customer sites and events. The last trip got me through three countries and four large cities ... driving (car) was no option for several reasons, had to choose between plane, train and bus.

    Appreciating this idea. Do you have a recommendation? Thanks!

    I did, a lot. And several of the stuff they used/tested I put into my system.
  14. Jay-uk

    Jay-uk Loaded Pockets

    Feb 8, 2016
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    If your going high milage your are going to have to get a light weight comfort pack,like an OMM style bag .
    Ser your weight limit and work out your gear from there .
    If I had to go so far then I'd think maybe consider if you have a friend, family on route and have a more Go bag stashed there
    Tricky situation hope you manage it
    FiaOlleDog likes this.
  15. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

    Oct 27, 2017
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    Thank @Jay-uk - you are absolutely right: light-weight is the key to make miles and be fast.

    I'm actively trimming down on weight on my body and replace gear with smaller/lighter alternatives and go for multi-purpose to get the weight of the pack down. Not there yet - but I'll update this thread once I think I've a good and tested setup.
    Jay-uk likes this.