Urban get home plan Part -1: Planning, trial, fitness and reality.
So I guess its partly a bug out plan, get home plan, its partly a way to stay engaged in daily fitness activities, its also a way for me to test outdoor and edc gear and my self-reliance skills. Whatever you call it, it’s a practical look at planning, packing, lightening, fitness, practicality. This is meant to be a discussion that engages you guys and gals and start the conversation or thought experiment.
I have a sedentary job, and I need to either diet, exercise or both. I carpool over an hour to get to my job. So I am dependent on several things going right so that things go smoothly. Suppose tomorrow or later this week, something were to happen that causes people to leave their jobs and rush home, rush to get their kids, rush to the store, rush to the bank or any combo of those things. It happens, all up and down the gulf coast when there’s an incoming hurricane, it happened here in Texas right after 9/11, it happens more often when there’s a torrential storm with localized flooding and severe weather. Whatever helps you visualize it in your mind use that. “X” calamity, catastrophe, disaster ect…
So if “X” happens and you are stuck with no car, an hour + drive from home things are getting hectic and the roads are clogging up. Do you start walking? Bum a ride to get you as close in your direction of travel as possible? Sit and wait several hours for the person you ride with to get to where you are, only to spend several more hours in grid lock? I have been thinking about this for a while and thought it may be interesting mental exercise to go through with you guys and gals. This is only one guys view, of this situation at a very myopic localized level. Walking / rucking may not be practical for you, bicycling may not be practical, hell neither may be practical.
What I have come up with as a plan / solution:
Solution 1 – Walking:
I tried walking and found that after a while of walking I can cover 2-3 miles an hour, mild difficulty, not anything too bad. Even in 100 degree heat and high humidity no too bad. Reality is, its gonna take a long time to walk home, and im probably gonna loose some weight. The most important gear I found that I relied on while walking was gum, good shoes (I prefer my slip on work boots) as crazy as that sounds, sunglasses, shemagh, sturdy backpack, and electrolyte supplements. Other notable items include pocket knife, good preworkout, printed maps of my route from google maps and loot sack for interesting stuff found along side of the road.
Gum, this is super helpful for keeping your mouth and throat from drying out, stretches your water supply and gives you a physiological focal point, chewing helps me think and is an outlet for nervous energy.
Foot wear, I just prefer my slip on composite toe, slip on, wellington style, steel toe work boots, I tried $300 nike’s they are better suited for jogging on a treadmill or track than walking / rucking. I have just picked up some boots from LAPG that I plan to test will update later. If you think you have a good pair of walking shoes you should definitely try them out.
Sunglasses, shemagh, and backpack do what makes you happy, Im not going to tell you what you should buy, you are mature adults and can figure the minor details yourselves. I tested a so tech ruck pack that may be out of production at this point but I will include a pic. I tested the Camelbak BFM, found that it was spacious, and comfortable but too much for what I wanted don’t get me wrong its an amazing bag and I love it. I just feel like for the purposes of edc and long range rucking I want something a little more compact. I have also tested a burton snowboard / skateboarding backpack that was also very comfortable the burton was found at Ross for like 35$, the SO TECH when purchased was well over $100. I would look for something that has decent capacity, back padding / venting (part that rides against your back), attachment points and wide padded adjustable straps.
Shemagh, light colors, buy on amazon, don’t spend a lot… these are great addition to any pack for edc, bug out, ruck, camping ect… Trust me, DO IT…
Electrolyte suppliments / sports drinks:
Gatorade is a go to for almost everyone, but for those who don’t like the taste heres a couple alternatives. Hydralyte, this comes in pre mixed formula, powder and tablets, I had the powder packets I was given by a sales rep who saw me walking down the road so I cant speak to the cost. The powder packets are about the size of a condom wrapper, its compact and easy to include in your back pack and bike pack. I had the orange and berry flavors, I perfer the berry flavor. Tablets, I tried Medique products, medi-lyte electrolyte replacement tablets, they are about the size of asprin and come tiny east to pack packages. I prefer the hydrolyte in berry flavor, just personal preference.
I tried 3 starting out. I tried Kracken – sex on the beach, Advocare – Berry lemonade and C4 – fruit punch. Lets be honest, there are a bunch of things that taste waaaaay better than preworkout. If I have a preference on this it’s the C4 – Fruit punch. I will say this, if you choose to implement this into your plan, do so gradually. Don’t over do it, use only what you feel like you need.
I found that I love the Kershaw speedsafe – model 1995, its affordable at 25-35$. Don’t like it? Get what you want. I refuse to buy, destroy, abuse and possibly loose something like a benchmade or Zero Tolerance. Those are gorgeous tools but out of my budget as personal preference.
Glock 43, Blackhawk CQC level 2 holster. Again, do what makes you happy, I found that this works best for me.
Bottom line find what works best for your comfort first and to carry your edc crap second. If you feel like buying costas or oakleys, go ahead, I break and loose shit too much to fool around like that.
Heres my formula:
(the task defines the gear + what you want to carry) – the room and ability to carry the most essential stuff = what makes it into the bag.
Solution 2 – Biking:
I have always been fascinated with the bike packing / bugout bike / long distance bike travel culture. I found a deal on a retired police bike, and decided to pick it up and start implementing this into my plan. I quickly found its easy to cover 2-3 times the distance per hour. I got a Specialized rock Hopper. It is a mountain bike platform, fork only suspension, 15 speed, and had the rear pack and pannier rack already installed. Also it has dual water bottle holders and hand pump mount. I found the mountain bike better suited for the suburban area travel, there’s not always sidewalks, bike paths or bike lanes. As a motorist who cant stand when my route is screwed up by a bike event, I opted for the ability to get the hell off the pavement and out of the way of cars and idiot drivers.
Gear for bike travel: pretty much the same in the edc dept. Though I found the expensive nike’s more useful than my boots on the bike. Bike specific gear includes extra tube, extra tire, patch kit, gorilla tape, foot pump, mini bottle wd-40, folding bike multi tool, led headlamp.
I realized while, I am in decent shaped I have room to improve my overall fitness. Cardio is a pretty big part of my plan and I should definitely excercise appropriately. Also, after consideration, I think it would be most advantageous to get a ride as close your destination or as far in the intended direction of travel as you can to conserve your energy. You want to have preselected routes and have discussed these with the person that plans to rendezvous with you along your route. Obviously communication and reacting quickly are super important as well, analysis paralysis can cost you valuable time. Predetermining what markers or signs of stay and go would be a good thing ahead of time.
So that’s the opening gambit into my non-motorized get home plan. I hope you guys and gals enjoy this post, it’s a departure from my normal gear reviews and I hope that’s both welcome refreshing for you guys. In part 2 I will go into stuff I am planning to add for an overnight get home scenario. Please reach out to us and let us know your thoughts.