Three Letters Re: All You Need to G.O.O.D. You Can Carry on Your Back, by Charles M.

James Wesley:
That was a fine article by Charles M., but there are some important differences between hiking the Appalachian Trail and Getting Out of Dodge. G.O.O.D. When hiking the Trail, you are able to resupply frequently, so food is not a major concern.  You don’t need to carry very much with you, and you can easily buy more when you run out. 

When G.O.O.D., you will need to carry as much food as possible, and the means of collecting more food. 

Predators, both four-legged and two-legged, will also be a much greater concern in most G.O.O.D. scenarios, so that must be accounted for as well. 

Thanks, – A.T.M.


The article by Charles M. on hiking is excellent. I would like to add, having done long marches as a Civil War reenactor, I learned the single most important part of a rifle is the carry strap. I know they get in the way and caught on things, but when walking for hours on end, not only will you use the strap, but you will use it in many positions. I recommend anyone planning long hikes (or Bug-Out) with a rifle always have a good strap installed, and be familiar with the different “route march” carrying positions. You can make cord or rope into an acceptable strap, but it will take time and be more prone to issues than one designed for the purpose. – J.D.D.

I really enjoyed the article, and thought he had a lot of sage advice.  The three things that hit home the most were the importance of thoroughly testing ALL your gear (over the course of days, and in all weather), training to be physically fit and mentally tough, and the importance of keeping your pack light (carry only true necessities).

While I hate to be a downer, I see two flaws with the article (specifically the title).  Through-hiking with access to store-bought food once a week is very much different than Getting Out Of Dodge.  Hunting, trapping, fishing, etc for your own food rarely brings in as many calories you will need on a daily basis to survive.  There is a reason the first American settlers (and many thereafter) settled down to farm.  Additionally, lightweight backpacking gear often comes in bright colors and may not be tough enough for “military-level” abuse (e.g. staying off trails away from prying eyes).  Other than those two considerations, the article was awesome. Thanks for the great blog site! – Kevin V.