Accepting Reality

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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MPMalloy
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Accepting Reality

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:49 am

Hey Everyone:

Having developed Chronic Bronchitis & COPD, I've faced the reality that I am not bugging out by foot. I emptied my BOB and I am now cleaning out the BOV as well. I am putting the basic in a sterlite-type tub and I will put that in the BOV. Vans may look big from the outside, but once you look at living in them (VanDwelling); they are seriously cramped.

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Boondock » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:28 pm

Very, very few people are bugging out on foot. Being able to adapt is essential.

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Stercutus » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:34 pm

I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO. Sounds like a way to burn up a lot of calories while taking a really long time to get there with less stuff.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by raptor » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:35 pm

Boondock wrote:Very, very few people are bugging out on foot. Being able to adapt is essential.

Well said and very true.

MP Mallory this is a good time to sit down review your risks and see under circumstances that a bug in is untenable and then address those issues.

If I bug out on foot it is because a lot of things have gone very, very wrong.
Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO. Sounds like a way to burn up a lot of calories while taking a really long time to get there with less stuff.
There are realistic scenarios when a bug out on foot is a viable plan B or plan C, but I agree a bug out on foot is IMO not a good Plan A.

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:47 pm

If I bug out on foot it means my bug in location became untenable and someone has stolen my bicycles.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Boondock » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:43 pm

Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO.
Too many people think this is the ultimate fantasy:

Image

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by moab » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:00 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:If I bug out on foot it means my bug in location became untenable and someone has stolen my bicycles.
Yes. I don't think anyone feels bugging out on foot is a first tier bug out strategy. It's for if your BIL has failed, your BOL has failed, your car has failed, your boat has failed, and you've got no other choice. Or any number of other bad things. Like staying out on the roads is not safe anymore. Or some other such scenario.

But I applaud the OP for recognizing his weaknesses and planning accordingly. This should be a contingency in anyones preps. If your going to have to leave your house. Leaving in a vehicle is much more attractive than leaving on foot. Hell going anywhere motorized is better than on foot.

I used to have a conversion van. A big full size Dodge or Chevy. It was new. Maybe ten years ago. I loved that thing. My wife of course hated it. Thought we looked like the beverly hilllbilly's in it. LOL! But I used it for surveillance at work. I own a PI Firm. And spent a lot of time in it. I didn't end up doing anything to it permanently to customize it for me. As I wanted to save as much resale value as possible. Not that there's a lot of resale value in conversion vans! LOL! But I could see living out of it. It had a nice fold down bench seat/bed in the back. And four captains chairs. We used to use rented vans for this use previously and since. We'd remove all the seating. And put a short cheap reclining chair in the back. That could be moved to any window at a moments notice. Even black cardboard cut outs for specific models to blacken the windows out.

But once you remove the seats you can see how much space there is. It's not bad. If I had to choose a bug out vehicle I'd consider a 4x4 van in the top 5 for sure. There must be some really killer forums about customizing vans out there. And living out of them. One thing I would do is beef up the suspension. And try to get a 4x4 one if I could. I've seen them used for a pretty reasonable price. Just recently on ebay. They aren't out of the ballpark like new ones are. There's a lot of mark up on conversion vans. And not a lot of craftsmanship or work put into them. You could do better yourself for sure. I would not consider a permanent bed. I would sleep in one similar to camping out. On air mattresses with sleeping bags. To save on room. That would leave the rest of your space for cooking needs and storage.

Shoot people have traveled the world in VW buses. It would seem a luxury to travel in one in a bug out.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Close_enough » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:30 pm

Boondock wrote:
Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO.
Too many people think this is the ultimate fantasy:

Image
Too many people forget how that ended too.

Bugging out on foot is an absolute last resort plan for most of us. An AT/PCT/CDT thru-hiker might cover 20-30 miles/day on pavement on foot. A seasoned bicycle tourist might cover triple that. But, most people are physically unable to perform anything approaching that (young, old, sick, out of shape, etc). You need to plan according to the weakest member of your party. Like the OP, loading a couple of rubbermade tubs filled with camping gear, food, and tools into the cars is by far and away the best "go option" me and my family.

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by moab » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Boondock wrote:
Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO.
Too many people think this is the ultimate fantasy:

Image
(Man I hate it when I write a post and the site either forgets my writing once I go to post it. Or like this time just gives me a bad connection warning. And I lose everything. I have to keep disciplined and write them in notepad first. And then copy and post them. Ugh.)

To be fair to us INCHer's out there. That has to be the worst planned bug out in movie history. Not to mention the most depressing movie I can remember in decades. That thing actually left me in a week long funk! LOL! ;)

But it always makes me chuckle a little when I see people bugging out with carts of various kinds. In a total collapse. Say The Roadesque. They're just gonna get their stuff taken. Especially with their reliance on roads and trails. Where every level of humanity will be on the same depressing journey. I don't even want to run into my nasty neighbor on a bug out. He'd probably shoot me just for what I've got - just out of his own shitty character. (Threatened to shoot my cat last month. Because I couldn't train it - not to travel into his yard. Ya. "Let me go find a cat trainer." That's what I told him. He didn't see the irony.)

I do have much more faith in humanity in a localized disaster though. And would hopefully be "driving" the roads and trails instead of walking. If I absolutely had to leave my BIL.

But just because you have a plan for when the BIL runs out. Or the BOL runs out. Or the car runs out. Or the boat runs out. Doesn't mean your a crazy nut that wants to push a shopping cart full of a sleeping bag and a .38 with three bullets, or one, or whatever depressing number it was. You simply don't want to be "that guy" pushing a shopping cart down a deserted road. Without enough supplies or gear to keep you going more than a day. You wanna be headed out away from the people that shoot cats for fun. And look at your wife like a dinner. And maybe it's the old Marine in me. Or the hunter. Or the backpacker. Or being the son and grandson of trappers. That leads me to believe that I could survive just a little longer if I had to go on foot with the right gear. At least until I found another BOL that was safer than risky traveling.

An INCH bag doesn't mean you want to be on the run forever. It simply means you have a plan - as a last resort - to get out of danger. And into a safer place. Whether it be an abandoned BOL. Or house. Or mountain retreat. Or whatever. The point is you don't know how long it's going to take to find that. So you pack accordingly. That doesn't mean you have a homestead kit on your back. You just have enough stuff to keep you going longer than you would with a BOB. At least that's my interpretation. I'm sure there are others that dream about gun fights and mayhem and sticking it to the bad guys. My plan is to avoid all danger. Possible, real or otherwise. Until I can get to a safer place. Like a long range reconnaissance patrol without resupply or back up.

Anyway. That's my take on it. And it's a fun exercise to put together an INCH kit. It's more like planning for an expedition. Rather than "moving out west to start your homestead". In my mind anyway. Great pic though. It's a good movie. Dramatically speaking. I was deeply affected by it. Which is a pretty high bar for me.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Stercutus » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:53 pm

Close_enough wrote:
Boondock wrote:
Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO.
Too many people think this is the ultimate fantasy:

Image
Too many people forget how that ended too.

Bugging out on foot is an absolute last resort plan for most of us. An AT/PCT/CDT thru-hiker might cover 20-30 miles/day on pavement on foot. A seasoned bicycle tourist might cover triple that. But, most people are physically unable to perform anything approaching that (young, old, sick, out of shape, etc). You need to plan according to the weakest member of your party.
Well yes and no. A WWII soldier would often walk 40+ miles a day with pack and weapon. No reason to think a person in great shape could not do the same if they were willing or made to. That is four miles an hour for ten hours.


So "most people" could do that if they were in shape. The fact they are not in shape is a separate issue.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:02 pm

Be well.

The truth is that people cant walk as far as they type.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by ROCK6 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:33 pm

Stercutus wrote: Well yes and no. A WWII soldier would often walk 40+ miles a day with pack and weapon. No reason to think a person in great shape could not do the same if they were willing or made to. That is four miles an hour for ten hours.

So "most people" could do that if they were in shape. The fact they are not in shape is a separate issue.
I just don't buy this. This is really the exception to reality...even the young airborne troopers in excellent shape would be hard pressed to do 40 miles in a day with a full combat load; and with that, very few would be in fighting shape when they reached their destination. You also have to calculate in water breaks, sock-changes, calorie-intake breaks and often times, personal maintenance. I would say less than 10% of our current forces could sustain a 15-minute mile for 10 hours...if you've done the standard 12-mile march, you know how difficult that would be to repeat that a couple more times consecutively.

I've done my numerous shares of the road march standard and my wife and I have done a few 100+mile backpacking hikes. There is a significant different between "road" marches, AT-like trails and off-trail. Load weight plays a significant impact and most bug out bags weighing in around 50-60 pounds are unrealistic for the majority who expect to hump it. There's only one way to train with pack weight and that is strapping it on and humping 10-15 miles every other week. Even if I'm physically fit and do those quarterly 12-mile road marches, that doesn't translate to doing 40 miles very well.

Now where I do agree is that the average person in shape should be able to knock out 20-30 miles in a day with a light load, but they would most likely be laid up for a week after that; they better be bugging to home or their destination. There are lot of fantasies about bugging out with a pack and covering a hundred miles. Reality is the biggest enemy most will ever face and if you don't regularly backpack, hike, run, workout, etc. don't delude yourself too much.

All that said, bugging out, bugging home, humping your INCH into the wilderness all have their place, but priorities, substantial planning and contingencies need serious attention. Anywhere between your current home and your bug out location if different or if you're bugging home...that distance is when you are the most vulnerable and carry the placard of refugee. For those not in the best of physical shape, with serious medical issues or infants...this is why you plan to bug in and if that location is compromised, you have a couple different contingencies focused on different modes of transportation to get you to your back up location. Don't discount the physically "infirm" or elderly; chances are these are often the most valuable resources of information and knowledge and I'm not just talking about your immediate family.

ROCK6

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Dabster » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:16 pm

Boondock wrote:
Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO.
Too many people think this is the ultimate fantasy:

Image
Maybe they see pictures like this and realize that circumstances can be surprising and often less than ideal...

Image

Just sayin'
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by moab » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:47 pm

ROCK6 wrote:
Stercutus wrote: Well yes and no. A WWII soldier would often walk 40+ miles a day with pack and weapon. No reason to think a person in great shape could not do the same if they were willing or made to. That is four miles an hour for ten hours.

So "most people" could do that if they were in shape. The fact they are not in shape is a separate issue.
I just don't buy this. This is really the exception to reality...even the young airborne troopers in excellent shape would be hard pressed to do 40 miles in a day with a full combat load; and with that, very few would be in fighting shape when they reached their destination. You also have to calculate in water breaks, sock-changes, calorie-intake breaks and often times, personal maintenance. I would say less than 10% of our current forces could sustain a 15-minute mile for 10 hours...if you've done the standard 12-mile march, you know how difficult that would be to repeat that a couple more times consecutively.

I've done my numerous shares of the road march standard and my wife and I have done a few 100+mile backpacking hikes. There is a significant different between "road" marches, AT-like trails and off-trail. Load weight plays a significant impact and most bug out bags weighing in around 50-60 pounds are unrealistic for the majority who expect to hump it. There's only one way to train with pack weight and that is strapping it on and humping 10-15 miles every other week. Even if I'm physically fit and do those quarterly 12-mile road marches, that doesn't translate to doing 40 miles very well.

Now where I do agree is that the average person in shape should be able to knock out 20-30 miles in a day with a light load, but they would most likely be laid up for a week after that; they better be bugging to home or their destination. There are lot of fantasies about bugging out with a pack and covering a hundred miles. Reality is the biggest enemy most will ever face and if you don't regularly backpack, hike, run, workout, etc. don't delude yourself too much.

All that said, bugging out, bugging home, humping your INCH into the wilderness all have their place, but priorities, substantial planning and contingencies need serious attention. Anywhere between your current home and your bug out location if different or if you're bugging home...that distance is when you are the most vulnerable and carry the placard of refugee. For those not in the best of physical shape, with serious medical issues or infants...this is why you plan to bug in and if that location is compromised, you have a couple different contingencies focused on different modes of transportation to get you to your back up location. Don't discount the physically "infirm" or elderly; chances are these are often the most valuable resources of information and knowledge and I'm not just talking about your immediate family.

ROCK6
The Marine Corps standard in the early 80's was 30 miles in 8 hours over rough terrain (Camp Pendleton) with a full load out of equipment. I don't see 40 miles in an entire day out of the realm of possibilities. For trained military personnel.

But more importantly why are we on a force march in an INCH scenario? If your hidden who cares if you only do 5 miles a day? Or none a day for a couple days while you reconnoiter for supplies? Why are we in such a hurry? Certainly if you come across someone or something you have to evade - your load is going to slow you down. But what choice do you have? Run and keep your gear or turn and fight and keep your gear. I suppose.

But again, this is not to say INCHing is a first level Bug Out strategy. It's not. Period. It's the last resort. Hell even on the INCH I don't see reconnoitering a car out of the question. Actually a top priority. Unless simply staying in the mountains is the safest alternative.

I think it really comes down to how much shape your in, where you grew up i.e. - how much mountain experience you have, and your own environment. INCHing is decidedly harder where there is no place to hide. Like the desert or the plains. So a lot of this discussion isn't going to make sense to folks in those areas. Or maybe with little or no military experience. Or without that experience of living out in the woods. Perhaps that is a small number of individuals. But we do exist. And we're all not just crazy blow hards. Well some of us. lol. ;)

People get so upset about an INCH bag. Likes it's someones preferred method of bugging out in the first place. It's not even bugging out. Bugging out is bugging out to get to a specific location - your BOL. INCH is a contingency plan for when your BOL fails. Or is over run. Or diseased. Or... And you don't have a specific BOL to get to. But you can sure bet you'll be looking for one.

Your first contingency should always be your BIL. Second your BOL. And third maybe another BOL. Or maybe it doesn't exist anymore. Or it's over run by disease. Or earthquake. Or fire. Or whatever. INCH is for that last contingency. When you need to go on an expedition to find another BOL. Cause yours sucked. Or they got sucked into whatever the world is coming to an end over.

But that pic above of all the displaced people traveling the roads. I wouldn't want to be part of that. I'd be geared up to take care of myself already. And wouldn't be looking for aid trucks. Or others for my supplies. And I would probably stay plenty away from those who didn't. Sounds harsh. But that's "my" plan. I can re-enter society whenever I see fit. When things have calmed down. And there is some sense of community. Getting stuck in that mob with or without supplies each has it's own problems. I wouldn't want to be part of either.

My two cents. For what it's worth.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Boondock » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:33 pm

I second many of the points adressed by Rock6.

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Stercutus » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:53 pm

I just don't buy this.
A good example of a successful march occurred during
World War II. It was the grueling foot march during the Sicilian
campaign from 20 to 21 July 1943. The 3d Battalion, 30th Infantry
Regiment, 3d Infantry Division performed this march. The
battalion was directed to move on foot across mountains from
Aragona to San Stefano to enter into a coordinated attack on
enemy forces in San Stefano. The battalion made this
record-breaking, 54-mile, cross-country march in only 33 hours
due to continuous marching. Two hours after arrival, the
battalion was committed in the attack on San Stefano, which
resulted in its capture.
Cross Country and across mountainous terrain. It can be done.

But you have to be in great shape and have a compelling reason.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by Asymetryczna » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:24 pm

Sorry to hear about the Chronic Bronchitis & COPD but congrats on joining 3d ID. May your bug-in to Sicily be a good one.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by duodecima » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:16 pm

Boondock wrote:
Stercutus wrote:I have always been confused by the "on foot" BO.
Too many people think this is the ultimate fantasy:

Image
More like the ultimate nightmare, if you're a parent!
Close_enough wrote:[ You need to plan according to the weakest member of your party.
Who is now 7. Not great for a last-resort on-foot bugout, but better than when she was 4! And therefore, yeah, vehicular bugout as plan B after bug-in. But plans C & D also exist.

I've got nothing against INCH bags - they give you an option. I forget where on here somebody said, you're not really a prepper if your contingency plans don't run into double letters.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by zombiepreparation » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:58 pm

I've got nothing against INCH bags - they give you an option. I forget where on here somebody said, you're not really a prepper if your contingency plans don't run into double letters.
Ah. Okay, message received.

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by raptor » Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:58 pm

duodecima wrote: I forget where on here somebody said, you're not really a prepper if your contingency plans don't run into double letters.
QFT!

:clap:

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by ROCK6 » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:51 pm

moab wrote: The Marine Corps standard in the early 80's was 30 miles in 8 hours over rough terrain (Camp Pendleton) with a full load out of equipment. I don't see 40 miles in an entire day out of the realm of possibilities. For trained military personnel.
Was that a Marine Corps standard or unit standard? I only ask because as far back as I could remember, the Marines had a 15-mile standard for road marches before they introduced the "Crucible" (mid 90's).

A good example is the Army has had their 12-mile standard for some time; however, some units often require an additional 20-25 mile semi or annual road march as part of their unit SOP or part of their unit certification. You won't find that with many non-combat units.

The only 30 mile (48km) "standard" I ever heard of was the old UK Commando school where they had 8 hours (over rough terrain) in just their combat load (not with rucksack)...that type of fitness still rivals hardcore triathlon athletes.

As you mentioned, the best training is non-road marches...most people don't think much of the 15-minute road march mile on a the road, but if you're off-road that is significantly different, especially with a full load.
moab wrote:But more importantly why are we on a force march in an INCH scenario? If your hidden who cares if you only do 5 miles a day? Or none a day for a couple days while you reconnoiter for supplies? Why are we in such a hurry? Certainly if you come across someone or something you have to evade - your load is going to slow you down. But what choice do you have? Run and keep your gear or turn and fight and keep your gear. I suppose.
This is where I think many misjudge both time and distance. I can see a forced march "home" for a bug-home scenario, but if you didn't bug out early, there is no hurry and I would argue you're better at taking your time and focusing on stealth over speed. The balance is really determined by the situation and for those that are planning routes on roads, they become a refugee-victim like everyone else.
Stercutus wrote:
Cross Country and across mountainous terrain. It can be done.

But you have to be in great shape and have a compelling reason.
This I absolutely agree with and there are cases where such grueling road marches were done...I just think there are too many people discounting the incredible fortitude and mental toughness required along with the physical conditioning. I only average about 2-3 miles an hour on the trail...if the terrain becomes more vertical, that speed will drop to about 1mph! This is with a pack weight under 30 pounds and we average about 12-15 miles a day; that's about my maximum distance to sustain a multiday backpacking trip.

Most of these hardcore marches were also combat-conditioned, young, fit troopers. Doing the elliptical an hour a day and walking the dog with a Camelbak won't cut it if you expect to hump your BoB much further than a few miles before your fat ass collapses :mrgreen:

The older I get, I really have to remind myself I'm not a young 20 year-old Infantryman anymore!

ROCK6

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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by flybynight » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:42 pm

I have no illusions about my chances of survival in the event I would have to bug out on foot. Forced 30 -40 mile a day marches? I would be dead in a week or two. . I'd rather stay home even if my chance of survival was zero. At least I would be more comfortable in familiar surroundings at the end.
Not everyone will survive to a PAW. Not even those prepping for it. There's always an element of luck or divine help, and since he put you in that situation to begin with.... Being the kind of age or physical shape to attempt such a endeavor would fall under that luck/ help . Other than that, hopefully you could pull a Hatchet Jack for someone else.
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by SCBrian » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:15 pm

Close_enough wrote: An AT/PCT/CDT thru-hiker might cover 20-30 miles/day on pavement on foot. ... But, most people are physically unable to perform anything approaching that (young, old, sick, out of shape, etc). .
Citations?
Twice a year I take my scouts on a long distance hike, through the woods. They have to cover 20 miles in a day, most of them have camelbacks on etc. I go with them and I'm not the most healthy dude out there. We do however hike on flat land, minimal terrain changes, etc. As for backpacking - I had a few of them (Including 2 new to backpacking) cover 15 miles of terrain on the AT in GA over Memorial day weekend as part of the trip. They crossed over blood mountain in those miles.
In an SHTF scenario - I'd never push them that hard, unless there was a horde of zombie biker ninjas behind us. No reason to risk injury or worse to cover ground. Slow and steady... The only reason they pushed that hard, is they camped at the Walasi-Yi center and knew they could grab some ice-cream the next AM before hitting the trail again...
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Re: Accepting Reality

Post by moab » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:43 pm

ROCK6 wrote:
moab wrote: The Marine Corps standard in the early 80's was 30 miles in 8 hours over rough terrain (Camp Pendleton) with a full load out of equipment. I don't see 40 miles in an entire day out of the realm of possibilities. For trained military personnel.
Was that a Marine Corps standard or unit standard? I only ask because as far back as I could remember, the Marines had a 15-mile standard for road marches before they introduced the "Crucible" (mid 90's).

A good example is the Army has had their 12-mile standard for some time; however, some units often require an additional 20-25 mile semi or annual road march as part of their unit SOP or part of their unit certification. You won't find that with many non-combat units.

The only 30 mile (48km) "standard" I ever heard of was the old UK Commando school where they had 8 hours (over rough terrain) in just their combat load (not with rucksack)...that type of fitness still rivals hardcore triathlon athletes.

As you mentioned, the best training is non-road marches...most people don't think much of the 15-minute road march mile on a the road, but if you're off-road that is significantly different, especially with a full load.
moab wrote:But more importantly why are we on a force march in an INCH scenario? If your hidden who cares if you only do 5 miles a day? Or none a day for a couple days while you reconnoiter for supplies? Why are we in such a hurry? Certainly if you come across someone or something you have to evade - your load is going to slow you down. But what choice do you have? Run and keep your gear or turn and fight and keep your gear. I suppose.
This is where I think many misjudge both time and distance. I can see a forced march "home" for a bug-home scenario, but if you didn't bug out early, there is no hurry and I would argue you're better at taking your time and focusing on stealth over speed. The balance is really determined by the situation and for those that are planning routes on roads, they become a refugee-victim like everyone else.
Stercutus wrote:
Cross Country and across mountainous terrain. It can be done.

But you have to be in great shape and have a compelling reason.
This I absolutely agree with and there are cases where such grueling road marches were done...I just think there are too many people discounting the incredible fortitude and mental toughness required along with the physical conditioning. I only average about 2-3 miles an hour on the trail...if the terrain becomes more vertical, that speed will drop to about 1mph! This is with a pack weight under 30 pounds and we average about 12-15 miles a day; that's about my maximum distance to sustain a multiday backpacking trip.

Most of these hardcore marches were also combat-conditioned, young, fit troopers. Doing the elliptical an hour a day and walking the dog with a Camelbak won't cut it if you expect to hump your BoB much further than a few miles before your fat ass collapses :mrgreen:

The older I get, I really have to remind myself I'm not a young 20 year-old Infantryman anymore!

ROCK6
Oh man. So many things I agree with in this post, Rock6. And so many long forgotten memories. I like to say the Marine Corps experience is something I would not give up for a million dollars. But I would not do again for a million dollars. I learned a lot. And actually took that training and did something with it. I've owned a very successful vehicular surveillance company for many years. Where the same basic principles apply. So it paid off for me in a large way.

But to your questions:

It was my understanding at the time that it was a Marine Corps standard to be able to move a battalion on foot 30 miles in 8 hours. If a certain percentage of your battalion did not make it you failed the test. And you had to do it over again at a later date. Remember this was back in the early 80's. The MC was not mechanized like the Army was. At all. Whatever the MC get's is usually off casts from another branch of service. Then they were never first in line for new equipment. Or even new ideas. We were still wearing Vietnam era, slant pocket, utilities if that's all you had. But the actual uniform was the Woodland BDU. (You wore the old ones to look like an old salt. lol!) Anyway. I digress. Even today MC bootcamp (for example) is three months (and has been for as long as I can remember) while the other services are shorter. I think at the time the Army was two months. And the Navy was like 4 weeks. It was pitiful. ;) The MC really prides itself on not relying on anything other than it's men. I'm sure that's all changed now. But back then it was almost like the calvary was with horses. If you couldn't do it on foot. You couldn't do it. Went the philosophy.

But having said all that. I was 17 yrs old, 6'3" 155 out of boot camp. And in triathlon like shape. I was in a STA platoon. Like a battalion level recon unit. Snipers, radar operators, night vision operators (old heavy stuff - nothing sexy mind you). So we trained a little harder. But everyone had to go on the hike. From office pogues to donut makers in the mess hall. And everyone did it. Unless you passed out from heat stroke or got a boot up your ass. Or a thick walking stick across your ass. I saw that more than once. So there was some motivation.

But the point is we were "military personnel". Like I say above. That makes a big difference. By time you got to your unit back then you'd done three months in boot camp and another 6 months in Infantry Training School if you were a grunt like me. So you had 9 months of hardcore training before you ever attempted the 30 mile hike. But again there were also guys not just out of boot camp and ITS that made it just fine. But the Marine Corps also had, and I think still has, the hardest physical exams of any service. Back then you had to run like 3 miles in a very short time, do 20 or 30 chin ups, and a large number of situps and pushups. And maybe something else. That you had to pass every few months. And it went into your record book. Which meant each unit down to a platoon was training on a daily basis. Except some weekends. You really had to keep your physical training up to meet the standard or you missed out on promotions and or got some sort of disciplinary action taken against you. I even remember old Majors doing these hikes and PT. At the time they looked like ancient old guys. But were probably in their 50's like I am now.

But I don't see anyone doing that level of prep for a bug out. I mean I'm sure they exist.

But having done that puts you in a more realistic frame of mind I think. You know what you can and can not do. Especially as age moves on. I don't think the average prepper could keep that kind of pace. Nor should they IMHO. I agree with your statements about moving slow with stealth. That would be my mode of operation were I to move in an INCH type expedition. Probably in a BO situation as well. I'm just not very trusting of strangers. I'd want the most private route. That could be moved across the easiest. Not always the case. But the goal.

Your quote:

"I just think there are too many people discounting the incredible fortitude and mental toughness required along with the physical conditioning. I only average about 2-3 miles an hour on the trail...if the terrain becomes more vertical, that speed will drop to about 1mph! This is with a pack weight under 30 pounds and we average about 12-15 miles a day; that's about my maximum distance to sustain a multiday backpacking trip.

Most of these hardcore marches were also combat-conditioned, young, fit troopers. Doing the elliptical an hour a day and walking the dog with a Camelbak won't cut it if you expect to hump your BoB much further than a few miles before your fat ass collapses :mrgreen:

The older I get, I really have to remind myself I'm not a young 20 year-old Infantryman anymore!"

End quote.

I think a safe pace is better than anything even approaching a force march. A force march is a gaggle f*ck as we used to call it. A battalion of 800-1200? guys on a march. Stretched out over a mile or more? Huffing and puffing and humping all that gear? Almost at a slow run with legs stretched out as far as you could muster? It wasn't meant to be a stealthy combat mission. It was meant to simply move a large group some distance behind friendly lines to set up in a more strategic place. That's what that pace is meant for. Not peeping and creeping behind enemy lines.

And in an INCH or even a BOB scenario I see more stealth travel as the way you want to go. Avoiding crowds. Avoiding people as much as possible. Safe harbor sites at night. No fires. No sign left behind. More along the lines of something a sniper team would do. Not a full combat unit humping it to their next objective.

But ya, most are still not going to make it. Walking their camelbak around the neighborhood three nights a week. Not to mention the vast majority that aren't prepping for anything at all. And the few that exist that have been in the service as a grunt. What is that 1 or 2 percent of society? That know what it takes. And have the mental discipline to put in that kind of work.

And I think being an infantryman puts you in a unique position. Mentally. You know what it takes to get a unit together and moving. How do it. And how not to do it. And most importantly that it can be done. Maybe not as fast as when you were 17. But it can be done. Or at least the chances are good enough to give it one hell of a shot. You've got to try. If your BIL, BOL and every other plan has failed. You have to have a plan to move on. Or die there. I just don't see myself as someone to just sit and die there. It's just not in me. I may get myself killed trying to do it in the wrong circumstances. But at least you planned for it and tried. Instead of saying "Oh. That's bullshit. Nobody can do that for blah blah blah reason. So why even try?!".

I get kind of sick of hearing that. Just because you have a BIL and a BOL doesn't mean both of those can't be run over by whatever is destroying the world. Whether it be nuclear accidents, earthquakes, fires, floods, disease, global warming - just to name a few. Why is it anymore unrealistic to plan for that. Than to plan for something that takes you just to your BOL? If things are so bad you've had to move to a BOL. Chances are others are going to want that BOL too. And maybe you have the perfect fortress. But retreat is always a good option to have. Whether it be a fast one or a slow and steady one. At least have a plan to get out of dodge no matter where you end up. And even then have a plan to scout out new BOL's. And be ready to move on a moments notice.

But again, maybe it's the old Marine in me. I just don't see BIL's or BOL's lasting forever in some kind of Utopian society. Things change. Diseases, fires, nuclear fall out, people that want what you've got and have the means and desire to take it - they all move. I mean hopefully your BOL works just fine. And as things calm down you can come down out of your cave and re-enter some semblance of society. I'd like to hope that's what happens. But what is planning for? The worst case scenario right? So just have a plan. Implement it. Train for it. And know that it's going to change the moment it starts. If I learned anything in the military it's that old adage about how the plan is the first thing to go sideways. So you better have lots of options.

But ya, most aren't going to make it. Young hungry guys with to much testosterone and not enough food are going to win eventually. It's what makes the world keep going in this depressing society. Young men that fight each other for their countries or their corporations or however you want to look at it. They'll overrun your tired old ass sooner or later.

Lastly, I think we (on this forum and most others) have to skirt around certain issues on here too. Like "reconnoitering" stuff. Vehicles, food, weapons, places to stay temporarily. I don't believe the adage that your not going to make it because you can't possibly carry everything you need on your back. True. You can't carry everything. Nor should you. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a whole world of cast off items out there to help you. You can't depend on them. But you have to assume your going to find a vehicle at some point. Some food at some point. A place to stay. Maybe even a weapon or ammo or resupply or two.

I don't know what it is about being an infantryman. But you've done it. Sort of. I spent time in JEST (Jungle Environmental Survival Training). Where all you had was a machete. And were taught to live off the land. Mountain survival training. Desert survival training. Ocean survival training. And then my growing up years and after. Hunting. Fishing. Trapping with my grandfather and father. Backpacking. It just gives you a different mind set. It can be done. You've done it on a smaller scale before. And sometimes on a larger scale if you've actually seen combat. Or trained in longer term settings. Mostly we just take these experiences for granted. Can't believe we did them in the first place. And try to forget the misery as much as possible. But it's still there. You can't get rid of that sh*t. Pardon my French. Your stuck with it. Your a survivor. It's probably why the better survival experts out there are past military personnel.

But then again, not every military experience is like mine. I learned to move in small units behind enemy lines. Wreaking havoc or simply taking down information. Moving clandestinely. Not being seen. But some other guys military service was driving a donut truck 5 days a week. He's not going to have the same perspective. And even further removed the typical civilian isn't going to be able to see the possibilities either. If I hadn't had the training I've had I'd go out and get the best civilian equivalent possible. Take some sort of SERE course. Some survival course in various environments. Hell I'd enlist two years (cause it's the shortest now days right?) in the Army and get my training that way. Volunteer for every school I could. And see what the possibilities are. Your stronger than you think. Your better than you think. You just have to think it. I think that's what I took away from my military experience at it's core. The idea that I can do things. If I just put my mind to them. Now your not going to overcome a 60lb gut in a week. But you have to walk before you can run. Get out there and do it. Get prepped for whatever life may offer you. You'll quickly realize that the possibilities are endless.

That's what prepping and bugging out are to me. Knowing what you "can" do. Not what you "can't" do. That in a nutshell is going to keep you alive. Whether your simply lost in the forest. Or fighting Z's. lol. A positive mental attitude and action is going to win out every day. Don't give up before the game has even started. Make plans. Train for them. Learn for them. Make yourself a better person for them. And you'll succeed.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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