Letter Re: Walking Home: Daylight or Dark?

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HJL,

I’ve got a 35-mile commute to work. I’ve often wondered, if the lights go out, should I walk home during daylight hours or at night, which I believe would put me at risk of getting shot in the dark by trigger-happy people. I recall in Patriots the couple moving at night and sleeping during the day. This is a rural highway route, far from larger cities. – B.D.

HJL Responds: You will need to evaluate the routes(s) that you use to determine the best time of day for travel. If you do plan on traveling at night, I strongly recommend the use of NVG. The gear is becoming inexpensive enough that there really isn’t an excuse not to have it in your get-home kit. It gives you the complete flexibility to travel at whatever time you deem as the safest to arrive at your destination. Without it, you may find that you are at a disadvantage, primarily because of dogs that may alert others to your travel or because of those who do have NVG. If I wasn’t familiar with the route (meaning I had not actually walked the route before) and I did not have NVG, I might be hesitant to travel exclusively at night. The twilight hours, where there is too much light for NVG to work and regular vision struggles, might provide the best traveling light for concealment purposes. Familiarity with the route itself will give you the best indicator of what your needs are if it is a regular commute.

Additionally, you would need to be aware of the general attitude of the area during your travel. A time of panic or heightened danger would give you the most dangerous conditions to travel under, whereas just losing your vehicle because of something that happened where you work but that hasn’t filtered out to where you live allows you to travel much faster with less danger. Living in a rural area gives you a great advantage in that regard.

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