Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

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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Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Keith B » Thu May 06, 2010 10:35 am

In response to some othe threads floating around about the amount of distance that can be covered in one day, I have decided to test my GHB, and the plan that I have to use it. I would also like to encourage the rest of you to do the same.
Next Wednesday, May 12th 2010, I leave my workplace at 3:30 pm. The scenario will be that all forms of vehicle transportation are down, and all cell phones are not working. I will take only the items listed in my GHB(see link in my sig), my EDC, my walking stick, and my IPOD (don't judge me, it's a long walk). I will walk the 15.7 miles home and time how long it takes me. I expect to arrive home on or before 8:30 pm. I will probably not arrive home any earlier that 7:30 pm.
If anybody else would like to join me in testing your 'Get Home' plan, you are more than welcome to post your plan and the results in this thread.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by klrvagabond » Thu May 06, 2010 11:04 am

I've thought about doing this sort of thing myself, but it's closer to 30 miles for me- even in an ideal situation I wouldn't be able to make it home before 3am or so (which I suppose isn't terrible in an emergency situation, but it's not great either), and then I'd have another full day of walking to get back and pick up my vehicle. :/

It's a great idea and I'm sure you'll learn a lot about your gear and route by walking it-let us know how it goes. Perhaps one day I'll bribe someone to take me to work on a Friday and give it a shot myself.

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by PistolPete » Thu May 06, 2010 11:11 am

Awesome idea! I can't wait to hear about it.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by retrospeaks » Thu May 06, 2010 11:40 am

good luck my man. i might try this over a holiday weekend, but i'm a lazy bastard. you've provided me with motivation though.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Dubbya » Thu May 06, 2010 11:40 am

Neat challenge! I would consider doing this if I didnt feel it would put me in unwarranted danger. I would have to cross 2 major instersections and traverse 2 major road ways in Cedar Park/Austin. At times its hard enough to get home in my truck with out injury. Good luck and looking forward to the results!

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by phil_in_cs » Thu May 06, 2010 11:59 am

I'm in. 6.1 miles if I cut across A&M, though I could walk a longer route.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Apollo-11 » Thu May 06, 2010 1:26 pm

Look forward to seeing the results of this test.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Lonely Raven » Thu May 06, 2010 1:39 pm

I did this same thing via bicycle a few years ago. It was fun, but beat the hell out of me.

I'd do it now, but I'm too outa shape from being sick for long while. (and FAT! :lol: )

I'm subscribing to this thread to see how it goes for you, and what you learned.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Glennbo » Thu May 06, 2010 1:47 pm

You're to be commended! There is no point in having a GHB if you can't make it home with it. The only way to be sure is to do a trial run.

By the way I do this every day. I live a mile from work and I walk it even in the rain (USGI Poncho for the win!). The only time I drive in is on Sundays because parking is free that day. I always carry my GHB, which is in fact my BOB and weighs 50lbs! Twice a week I take "the long way home" and carry it for 3-5 miles in order to be prepared for longer hikes. These longer treks leave me exhausted, and I need to rest at leat 1-2 hours before I can start off again.

As I suspect is the case with many people here, my GHB/BOB was overloaded at first, and I could barely drag it one mile. I even had to take it off and sit at the side of the raod for a few minutes before continuing on. People in cars slowed down because they thought I might need medical attention!

Another time after overloading my backpack I was only two miles in to a three mile hike when my calf cramped up and I looked like Frankenstein spasically limping the rest of the way home. You can physically incapacitate yourself if you aren't realistic about your capabilities by practicing. If it happens in a crisis you're royally screwed.

So after these harsh, embarrassing lessons I shed a ton of gear and gradually, as my strength and endurance increased, I could add more and more gear back into the backpack, and walk farther and farther each day, until I'm now finally at the point where I can confidently carry my fully stocked BOB 10 miles in one day. No way could I go farther than that without ditching equipment or training harder and more intensely.

I'm 50 years old and am only in average shape. If I can carry a 50lb load for 4 miles at a stretch without resting, on a twice-weekly basis, anybody can. But it only becomes possible with practice, which frankly can often be an unpleasant, tedious excersise. However if you want to carry a lot of stuff, which most of us do, you need to do these trial runs or else you will fail miserably when a real, serious, and potentially deadly crisis forces you do get home or bug out on foot.

If you don't practice, your GHB is merely a ball and chain. It in fact becomes a "Never Getting Home" bag. And your comforting self-delusion about how far you'll be able to walk in one day becomes a dangerous fantasy.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Thorne » Thu May 06, 2010 2:02 pm

I've been thinking to do a bug in test, cut the water/heat /power etc and see what works and what doesn't as far as my preps go.

I'm already comfortable walking 10k with my BOB in uneven terrain and 20+k unloaded. Toronto is not that big and I walk a lot to get around.

it's important in your plans to have a reasonable idea of how long it will take you to cover distance loaded and not. Terrain also plays a big role, unloaded on a sidewalk I average ~5-6k an hour. In the bush on a trail that's cut 30 - 50 % and a heavy load will slow you down even further.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by JojoZS » Thu May 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Not me...work is 27 miles away, late at night and down some dark little traveled hwy.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Wildeman_13 » Thu May 06, 2010 3:50 pm

I commend your plan and wish you good luck and safe travels. I however will NOT be attempting this any time soon... at least intentionally. I have 47 miles to travel each way to work/home. So my GHB is a BOB in most senses of the term and I have been trying to walk that line of making sure I have enough to stay alive and safe, while still being able to carry it all 15-20 miles per day. My GHB currently weighs in at about 35lbs without a dedicated sleeping bag (I have an emergency blanket/sleeping bag) or water weight but I am still tweaking it down.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by acropolis5 » Thu May 06, 2010 4:39 pm

Author, how much does your GHB weigh? What kind of shoes/boots will u wear? How old are you and what kind of shape are you in? Finally, what kind of terrain will you have to traverse. I'm interested because my get home distance is about the same distance, over mostly level but gently rising terrain. I'm 60, moderately fit and in good health, except for a recent back/disc problem, which is slowly mending with treatment. I've been contemplating the same kind of exercise, similarly equipped, minus weapons. Not legal in my jurisdiction. I can't wait to read your account of your experiment. Good luck!

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by northernxposure » Thu May 06, 2010 6:33 pm

Look forward to seeing the breakdown on return, this is an outstanding idea!

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by by-the-throat » Thu May 06, 2010 10:54 pm

Interesting, I'm in too.

I've had a hankerin' to test my GHB and this is something I can do after work in the morning.

My perspective will be much different from ya'lls as I am of the graveyard shift persuasion and so my walk will be very early in the AM. I might also test out one of my backup routes. I will be bringing a camera, my EDC bag, my walking stick (no guns at work) and probably my ipod and a pack of cigarettes. The walk is only about 3.5 miles so I'm not too concerned about it but it will be a good time.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by ODA 226 » Fri May 07, 2010 12:23 am

While it's great to know how fast and how far you can go with your GHB, please take into account that if the SHTF and there was massive civil unrest, you'd be a fool to take ANY road back home. You'll most likely be scarfed up by the authorities or beaten to a pulp by rioters.

For the play of the problem, if it takes you lets say, 6 hours to travel 15.7 miles on the road and in clear daylight conditions, multiply your time home 4-5 times if you want to move tactically and securely OFF ROAD.

I, personally would be moving at night only and since I'd be moving alone, I'd estimate that it would take me almost 48 hours to make it from my work to my house. (22 miles and with two river crossings.)

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by The Mutt » Fri May 07, 2010 2:00 am

I saw this thread and thought I would give it a try. I made it home with no problems, I even got back befor my lunch break was over hehe. (I live 5 blocks from work)
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Fri May 07, 2010 2:03 am

Glennbo wrote:You're to be commended! There is no point in having a GHB if you can't make it home with it. The only way to be sure is to do a trial run.

By the way I do this every day. I live a mile from work and I walk it even in the rain (USGI Poncho for the win!). The only time I drive in is on Sundays because parking is free that day. I always carry my GHB, which is in fact my BOB and weighs 50lbs! Twice a week I take "the long way home" and carry it for 3-5 miles in order to be prepared for longer hikes. These longer treks leave me exhausted, and I need to rest at leat 1-2 hours before I can start off again.

As I suspect is the case with many people here, my GHB/BOB was overloaded at first, and I could barely drag it one mile. I even had to take it off and sit at the side of the raod for a few minutes before continuing on. People in cars slowed down because they thought I might need medical attention!

Another time after overloading my backpack I was only two miles in to a three mile hike when my calf cramped up and I looked like Frankenstein spasically limping the rest of the way home. You can physically incapacitate yourself if you aren't realistic about your capabilities by practicing. If it happens in a crisis you're royally screwed.

So after these harsh, embarrassing lessons I shed a ton of gear and gradually, as my strength and endurance increased, I could add more and more gear back into the backpack, and walk farther and farther each day, until I'm now finally at the point where I can confidently carry my fully stocked BOB 10 miles in one day. No way could I go farther than that without ditching equipment or training harder and more intensely.

I'm 50 years old and am only in average shape. If I can carry a 50lb load for 4 miles at a stretch without resting, on a twice-weekly basis, anybody can. But it only becomes possible with practice, which frankly can often be an unpleasant, tedious excersise. However if you want to carry a lot of stuff, which most of us do, you need to do these trial runs or else you will fail miserably when a real, serious, and potentially deadly crisis forces you do get home or bug out on foot.

If you don't practice, your GHB is merely a ball and chain. It in fact becomes a "Never Getting Home" bag. And your comforting self-delusion about how far you'll be able to walk in one day becomes a dangerous fantasy.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by alwayswandering » Fri May 07, 2010 2:48 am

I was planning on doing this almost thing!

I'd use my small day-pack sized bag most likely a Pygmy Falcon II and, after work one night, come outside to a different world! No vehicles work, cell phones down, GPS down. I'll use my maps, compass, kit and knowledge of the area to bug out to a safe location, spend the night in a covert shelter, then come home the next day.

Within two weeks, with pictures!

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Murph » Fri May 07, 2010 7:25 am

Hmm, I could probably do this on an upcoming Friday.
It's a little less than 3 miles, so it'd probably take an hour.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Oguruma » Fri May 07, 2010 7:43 pm

16 miles in 5 hours sounds about right... I am not sure that I see the point though? I can pretty much guarantee that you can walk that distance, especially with a light load, unless you get some kind of injury on the way, in which case I would suggest you call it off as to avoid further, more serious injury.... I would say you probably don't need much gear to travel that kind of distance, since it's a single day operation...

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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by BigDaddyTX » Fri May 07, 2010 8:07 pm

Oguruma wrote:16 miles in 5 hours sounds about right... I am not sure that I see the point though? I can pretty much guarantee that you can walk that distance, especially with a light load, unless you get some kind of injury on the way, in which case I would suggest you call it off as to avoid further, more serious injury.... I would say you probably don't need much gear to travel that kind of distance, since it's a single day operation...
Sorta seems like you missed the point.

I'd be all over it, but I live 300 yards from work probably. Might strap it on and go for a walk around the neighborhood just to see how my bag rides after an hour or two, plus I need the exercise anyway.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Chris@MTCT » Fri May 07, 2010 8:08 pm

Oguruma wrote:16 miles in 5 hours sounds about right... I am not sure that I see the point though? I can pretty much guarantee that you can walk that distance, especially with a light load, unless you get some kind of injury on the way, in which case I would suggest you call it off as to avoid further, more serious injury.... I would say you probably don't need much gear to travel that kind of distance, since it's a single day operation...
Ahhh my one day pack is made to stretch 72 hours if need be. My BOB is set up for a week stretch, if you consider water as the most important thing. I can filter 240 plus gallons of water without replacing my filter. Even in the most extreme conditions I never had to drink more then 2 gallons of water in a day. So that's like 3 months of water........ So yeah always plan for a single day that way I can split up whats left of your gear.
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Re: Get Home Bag, Practical Test and Challenge

Post by Oguruma » Fri May 07, 2010 8:13 pm

BigDaddyTX wrote:
Oguruma wrote:16 miles in 5 hours sounds about right... I am not sure that I see the point though? I can pretty much guarantee that you can walk that distance, especially with a light load, unless you get some kind of injury on the way, in which case I would suggest you call it off as to avoid further, more serious injury.... I would say you probably don't need much gear to travel that kind of distance, since it's a single day operation...
Sorta seems like you missed the point.

I'd be all over it, but I live 300 yards from work probably. Might strap it on and go for a walk around the neighborhood just to see how my bag rides after an hour or two, plus I need the exercise anyway.
Possibly. What is the point? Simply to see if he can walk 16 miles with the bag on him? Or is there supposed to be some sort of simulation mishap along the way?

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