Letter: Getting Home


I am a truck driver. At any giving time I am about 200 to 600 miles from my house. In a mad max scenario, martial law, et cetera, I have a get home bag that I keep with me at all times. What I want to know is, what would be the best way to get home? Do I follow the roads? Do I go through the woods? Do I follow train tracks? I have a map of the rail system. Thanks and keep up the good work. – J.M.

HJL comments: The answer is “Yes”, to all of the above. In the situation you describe, you can’t be sure what avenues will be open to you as you attempt to reach home. Obviously, if you catch the timing right, following the roads will be the quickest route home. If you have regular trucking routes, you should have alternative routes for every destination that you travel. The faster roads would be a higher priority, but you would need to have communications so that you can monitor road closures, delays, and detours, selecting alternative routes as needed. While the rail system may provide direct routes, it also has the potential to be some of the most dangerous ones. You have limited options while following the tracks, especially if you are on the tracks rather than beside the tracks on service roads. Meeting other traffic presents serious issues, especially when it is of the “train” variety. If you have maps of the various back roads (i.e. unpaved roads, et cetera) they may provide ways to slip through areas of congestion. The last resort would be abandoning your transportation vehicle, but in some scenarious that may be your only option to keep moving. I wouldn’t rule out any options, and you are only limited by the equipment you can carry with you. A detailed map of the areas you travel is your best asset.

You should also have emergency communications ability so that you can communicate with your destination as to your progress. JWR’s book Survivors is an excellent example of using any means available to keep moving on the journey home while staying in contact.