A recent trip 900 miles from home got me to thinking about what I’d face if the EMP/Solar Flare hit while I was that far away. As a result, I began making plans and thinking through the details of getting back home when that far from home and alone. I’ve gone over the scenario and also how to travel without a vehicle, by bicycle or walking. Now, let’s get into some more details.
What clothing is needed will be unique to your locale. In my case, I traveled in convertible cargo shorts/pants, Merrill hiking shoes, good sturdy socks, underwear that helps prevent chafing, and a wick dry t-shirt that was oversized and black to break up print of my concealed weapon. I also keep an extra pair of cargo shorts in my bag. Your local environment will dictate your attire. My entire trip, the temperature was never lower than 85 degrees during the day and 75 at night.
Try to secure maps of the areas that you’ll have to travel through. The more detailed the map the better chance for rapid movement through the area. Maps will provide a guideline for your travels through areas; however, nothing replaces your eyes, ears, and other senses when you are traveling.
Let me start by saying that if you are walking you will not be able to carry enough food for the trip. If you eat two times per day and you are walking for 42 days (six weeks), that is 84 meals of some sort. Now, if you can reasonably carry that amount of food on you in addition to all your other permanent gear, manage to average walking 20-25 miles per day, and maintain that pace every single day, then God bless you. However, for us mere mortals, we have to have some plan in place to find sustenance along the way and use the food in our packs to supplement us.
Reasonable lightweight foods can be found on multiple websites, but you must pack intelligently. Store bought foods can also supply a multitude of lightweight food options, but it’ll not be enough to carry you through.
Fishing and Small Game
Fishing and small game should be your primary source of food in the beginning. However, as the collapse advances, game will become very scarce and finding safe fishing places will be difficult. In my situation, remaining close to the coast will alleviate this difficulty somewhat, but it will bring challenges.
Water, Water, and More Water
Fortunately for me, on my unique trip, water is abundant. There are many streams, lakes, and ponds. They are easily accessible and on what appeared to be open land. However, water is an absolute essential. You cannot survive more than three days without it under ideal conditions. But traveling in southern summer heat, you have about 24 hours before you are incapacitated. Finding maps of waterways or at least printing them from the Internet (preplanning) before you leave would be extremely beneficial. Knowing that you can find a water source on your primary and alternate routes will cut down on the chances of a catastrophic mistake.
Picking Up Work Along the Way
I have heard it mentioned that the you could possibly pick up work along the way as you make your way back home. In my humble opinion, this is a long shot. The chances of a farmer/rancher allowing a complete stranger onto his property, much less hiring one, in the opening stages of a TEOTWAWKI are very slim. The risk to his family is too great for minimal return. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. However, if you are staking your survival on this option, you are taking a huge risk.
Beginning Your Trek
So, you’ve decided that the time to depart has arrived. You are loaded down with all the gear you can reasonably carry and you step off. Your pace is quick and light. In the beginning, there will be confusion. Use this to your advantage. Take this time to observe people. Observe who are travelers and who are local commuters. This might be the time to find anybody with an old car and offer to pay them to take you as far along as they can. It’s not ideal but possible. Being able to read people, spotting potential allies and avoiding trouble will be one of your greatest skills.
Use This Time Wisely
Most people will be confused. You will need to use this time to gain your bearings, set your course, and make haste your departure. You’ll have about 24 hours before the situation begins to rapidly deteriorate. Use this time wisely. Your preplanning will be extremely useful. Knowing where you are walking and what you are walking into will save you from walking into an area where you are the only one who speaks English or you look very different than everyone else. I know these are ugly and distasteful topics to some, but they are realities in a TEOTWAWKI. Outsiders will be viewed as a threat or a target.
Being observant is a no brainer when it comes to your security but picking up other pieces of information could go a long way toward helping you get through smaller towns. Most places will be in an information black out. Note whether a town is managing, if it is dangerous, if there are road blocks, or if there is a large military presence. If you encounter people in these areas, they’ll have a multitude of questions. They’ll know you are not from their area, and if you can provide them with even a small amount of news from a town over or what’s going on in the “Big City”, it could help smooth your passage through their town and it might even get you a meal. Don’t lie, fabricate news, or over embellish, but even the smallest amount of info is important to people when they are in an information black hole.
Those With Good Info Usually Command Most Respect
During my time in the Corp, the officers who were “in the know” or passed on “good info” usually commanded the most respect. When they were straight forward, honest, courteous, and respectful, they got the most cooperation. Letting people know the reality in a respectful and positive way will prevent people from becoming defensive and hostile.
Finding a Travel Companion
Most here are reasonably intelligent, so spotting a freeloader, a predator, or just a worthless eater is pretty easy. You must be cautious, but you also must look for like-minded individuals who are heading in the same direction as you. Numbers are invaluable, as they allow you to travel with a little more safety than if you were alone. Observe the license plates on cars. Observe the bumper stickers. Observe how people are dressed. Listen to accents. Little things like this can tell you a lot about people. Remember to promote common goals, like getting home alive and getting back to your family. You must be very cautious of people but getting home from a distance this great alone will test you to your limits. Finding a like-minded individual will increase the odds in your favor.
Lengthening Your Route
Sometimes you must lengthen your route to avoid areas that you know are hostile. Remember adding a few more days to your trek can pay dividends, if it keeps you safe.
Crossing Water and Bridges
This is a complicated situation. In the case of bays and lakes, I recommend going around if feasible, but rivers you have to cross. Be alert for ambushes. Forward recon the bridge, observe it for some time, watching for any activity. Look for signs of recent activity. Look for burned or stripped cars. Look for corpses on or around the bridge. When crossing, do it swiftly and with purpose. If traveling in numbers, do a bounding over watch. Don’t linger.
Crossing Extensive Bridges
In the southern states, particularly near the coastal areas, there are these very long bridges. (There is one outside of New Orleans that extends almost 24 miles continuously over water.) In my opinion, these are choke points and death traps. Walk around. It is the best and only advice I’ll give on these long bridges. If there is no other way, just be highly alert the entire time and maybe do it at night. The ambush scenario is obvious.
Tomorrow, we will continue by wrapping up the final part of this article series. I will continue by covering the daily grind, dealing with violence, charity, and also go over items in my get home bag.
- Getting Home Long Distance in the Event of An EMP/Solar Flare- Part 1, by B.M.
- Getting Home Long Distance in the Event of An EMP/Solar Flare- Part 3, by B.M. (active on 6/30/18)
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part two of a three part entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.