What Happens When You’re 1000 Miles Away And TSHTF?

bridgeHello Everybody.  A reader just sent me this question:

ArmyVet here again; I am an over-the-road trucker, Mrs. Army is a housewife. My SHTF concerns should be obvious, what if I am 1,000 + miles from home when IT hit the fan. I have my ruck and 1st aid bag on the truck always, my big concern is how to cover a lot of distance quickly, safely in a worst case scenario. At 57, I don’t have the stamina of yesteryear and I fear getting home to Mrs. Army may not be possible and that is where you and your blog followers come in: While I am certain I could get home in most cases, extreme cases might make it impossible to simply drop the trailer and truck. Perhaps your followers might have some thoughts/angles that I haven’t considered to this point. I am considering the purchase of a bicycle, though finding the funds might be a trick by itself. I am willing to listen to any reasonable idea.

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This is one of those questions that I’ve heard repeated in one form or another over the years.  Most of us only have to worry about getting home somewhere between 10 and 50 miles on a normal day’s commute.  I personally have between 20 and 30 miles to get home if the balloon goes up and I think about it fairly often.  But at one point I was a consultant travelling all around the country and was actually stranded in Louisiana during the 911 crisis.  All flights were cancelled and I was stuck in the south.  Luckily I was able to rent a car and drive to my next assignment, which was about 400 miles north, but the point was that there was alternate transportation.

First of all – Don’t Panic!  It’s liable to be scary and confusing, but if you keep calm and think you’re fives steps ahead of the pack.

One of the most important things you can have on you when TSHTF – in my opinion – is money.  There’s that brief golden period of time where people probably won’t realize what’s going on.  If the power is out chances are good your credit or debit card won’t be accepted, but if you have a thousand dollars (or more) in cash on you that means you have some bargaining power.  You’ll likely have a small period of time where you can buy some items you need in order to help you get home.  Maybe you can rent a car or buy an old junker and enough gas to get you on the right path.  Maybe you can pick up a long gun if you’re in a state where you can just walk in and buy something at Walmart.  Never underestimate the power of greed under emergency conditions.

If you’re already got a BOB or GHB with you a good deal of your initial security is taken care of.  The only thing you might have to worry about is physical security.  If desperate people see a well equipped guy or gal walking down the road they might decide to help themselves to your goods.  This means you’ll have to know how to move through an urban or suburban area quietly, but that’s a different post.  As a matter of fact Road Warrior (and maybe me) is going to be attending a class soon on how to do just that.

Now, carrying $1000 in cash around on you all the time could make you a target if you get careless, so don’t flash the cash!  Don’t even talk about it.  If you’re a trucker hide the money somewhere and forget it’s there until you actually need it.  Like Dave Ramsey says, an emergency doesn’t mean that you’re out of pizza money.  This is to get your ass home in an emergency.

How to amass such a fortune if you’re living pay check to pay check?  The easiest way is to put a little aside every pay day until you have the money saved up.  Years back I used Dave Ramsey’s debt program to get rid of my credit card debt.  It requires a lot of discipline, but it can be done.

Scenarios Will Differ

How you react will depend on many different factors.  What’s the nature of the disaster/event?  Currency crash?  Solar flare?  War?  Nuclear blast?  Terrorist attack?  And where you are will also make a difference.  If I’m in California and there’s a solar flare and I need to get home to my family in Maine, I’m in a for a long haul if there are no working vehicles.   Then again if I’m in Ohio and there’s an economic crash maybe I can get to a Hertz and rent a car with the money I have on me.  What if they’re charging $20 a gallon for gas?  Bargain!  Fill ‘er up, baby.  I’m going home.  That’s where the money might come in handy.  At that point I’m 20 hours of driving away from home.  Every minute I spend behind the wheel is less miles I have to put on my shoes if I run out of gas or can’t keep driving for any reason.  If my GHB has three days of food and some water and a filter that’s less money I have to spend on those essential items and more resources I can put into transportation.

Another scenario will deal with getting home during an emergency if you’re out of country.  Imagine a huge hurricane coming and you’re trapped at the airport.  Or a tsunami.  Not a fun way to spend your time if TS is about to HTF eh?

Alternative Modes of Transportation

If you’re stranded 1000 miles from home the first thing you’ll want to do is look for transportation home.  If you’re an over the road trucker maybe your rig is your best friend at that point.  Turn those big wheels towards home and don’t stop until you roll into the driveway.  You might also want to stop and see if anybody needs a ride at a truck stop or restaurant.  It sure couldn’t hurt to have an extra set of eyes to help you during any kind of emergency that’s going on.   You’ll have to do the best you can to make sure the person won’t be more dangerous than the situation you’re in though.

Alternative modes of transportation could include:  hitching a ride, plane, train, helicopter (think big here!) boat, jet ski… you get the idea.  Some forms of transportation will be more viable than others of course, but don’t be afraid to ask around.  Then of course there’s the manual forms of transportation such as walking, or riding a bike.  Hell, if you’re comfortable with animals maybe you could get a horse and get home that way.

A bike is probably the best method of non-motorized transportation, but you do need to be in shape to use it.  Don’t expect to roll the bike out and pedal you and your GHB 1000 miles in record time if you haven’t been on a bike in years.

If your vision of getting home includes something like they portrayed in “The Road”, then you’ll also have to think about security as well.  If you’re out there by yourself the best form of security is simply not to be seen. This means staying off the roads as much as possible and making your way over land.  Very difficult to do under normal circumstances much less during a crisis of some kind.

This is a tough question no matter how you look at it.  It’s tough to carry any kind of weapon over state lines, so be careful how you go about it.  Society as of this moment is still civilized (arguably) and it’s a good idea to conform to state and federal laws.  It won’t do you much good if you’re in jail when the fur flies because you were caught carrying your side arm illegally.

At this point I’m going to open it up SHTF Blog readers.  How about it folks?  Got any good ideas for ArmyVet?  Any other truckers out there with some planning done around this scenario?

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

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64 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. April 25, 2014, 8:50 am

    There are a lot of different variables here, time of year (freezing cold – blazing desert heat ?) Giant urban centers (suburbs – barrios – industrial ?) Rivers / streams / swamps / canyons or other natural ‘choke points’ causing extra dangers to avoid them. Not to mention a population of desperate people who are going bat crap crazy that American Idol will no longer be available to watch and keep them entertained.

    To me, the vehicle for this one way ticket would be a motorcycle, capable of on-off road travel. More agile then any car and very gas economic, in desperate times likely the quickest way to get from point A to B.

    Weather permitting :^)

    Thats a tough one, I’m looking forward to reading the comments and ideas off of this one.

    Reply
    • NoSox April 25, 2014, 10:01 am

      American Idol! Ha! You said it there! lol People are gonna be sitting there waiting on the lights or government to come and day by day start going nuts when it doesn’t happen. #crazy

      Reply
  • Ray April 25, 2014, 9:29 am

    Beg, barrow , buy or steal a horse & saddle (or carry your tack with you) Cars, pickups, bikes and anything else that uses petroleum fuel will be worthless in a “grid down” after four days or less. And west of the Mississippi a man afoot is probably dead, within days. Most humans just cannot walk the 40 miles(or more) it takes to reach the next water in a lot of the rural western US.

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle April 25, 2014, 3:13 pm

      most of us out here are so fat now, the dude ranches are phasing out quarter horses and replacing them with draft horses. I’ll have to get airless tires for my bicycles. no horse is going to be happy with me on his/her back.

      Reply
    • Aubryn April 26, 2014, 5:24 pm

      Why after 4 days or less? Why not immediately? Teach me. Do you mean power down not due to emp, or solar flare? Won’t our electronic cars go down immediately? We were figuring on the tractors and horses but have a daughter in college an hour away. Might her car work for awhile? I know there are few absolutes, but improve my understanding please.

      Reply
      • irishdutchuncle April 27, 2014, 3:41 am

        the actual effects of an EMP event are not fully understood yet.
        maybe your car will continue to work. we only make educated guesses about this stuff, based on known past events, the laws of physics, and our perceptions of human nature.
        your daughter needs to have her own emergency kit.

        Reply
      • Ray April 28, 2014, 1:12 am

        Dirt bikes make there electricity with a magneto. They can still run after an EMP. The big problem is finding fuel. On any given day there is a maximum of three days fuel on the north American continent. –IF your child’s car was made before 1990 and she carries spare fuzes and its stick shift, she has a 50-50 chance of getting it to start. The chances of it running are much greater if she dives a pre 1980 stick shift and knows how to “bump start” it. If, like most, she has a “modern” computer car SHES WALKIN’ after the grid go’s down.

        Reply
  • Wild Weasel April 25, 2014, 9:38 am

    On the self protection side I have thought of a black powder pistol, they served well for many years and most states they fall under a different classification. They are a lot more work and take more practice to become effecient with it but something is better than nothing. Also a crossbow does not ussually raise the eyebrow of local law enforcement. Remember it about force multiplying your resources.

    Reply
    • Novice April 25, 2014, 11:39 am

      I had the same thought about the crossbow. Even a small pistol size one would be handy. Light weight, easy to use and silent.

      Reply
  • NoSox April 25, 2014, 9:57 am

    Dave Ramsey System = Awesome!

    This is one of my favorite scenarios and surprising shows up in the all the books i’ve been reading. I’m going to field this summer and will be around 100-200 miles from home each day. In my preparation i have found a suitable mountain bike[$99 at walmart] that i like and will be making cheap some tire mods as well as adding some racks and saddle backs to load gear on. I will keep the bike in the truck bed and secured to the frame of the truck. I’d recommend getting yourself 2 pair of good quality boots and break ’em in brother!

    I have bought some 110 conibears and in the process of ordering 1-2 dozen high quality snares in various sizes. You will not be able to carry enough food to sustain yourself for the journey so you will have to get more as you go. Learn how to make a survival meat smoker [tepee or buried pit smoker] and travel at night. Pack plenty of high calorie survival bars, rice, bouillon cubes, oatmeal, and coffee/tea/hot cocoa, maps, handheld ham radio with repeaters programmed in, etc etc.

    I got my SBR just for this reason so that i can have a lightweight weapon that can get me thru any situations that i can’t hide or escape from. I will have it hidden VERY WELL in my company truck.

    Jarhead said it perfectly when he talked about having some serious cash on your person. That will get you what you need quickly and to the front of the line if their is one. Make sure to use it wisely and get the best deals you can but in the end get whats needed.

    Lastly I plan on burying supply caches on my planned routes home[nearby at least]. Gonna put food, ammo, clothes and other misc gear that would help me along the way. Either i can use the goods or be able to barter with them. For a 1000 miles i’d have one every 100 miles. Gonna go over the plan with the wife and even put it on paper with an ‘In Emergency Break Glass’ love letter & picture to give her some comfort that papa bear is coming home.

    Good luck to you and thanks for the post!

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle April 26, 2014, 5:27 am

      no matter how well your SBR is hidden, there are at least twenty states you may still need to avoid: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio,
      South Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California, Hawaii…
      plus DC, Canada or Mexico. for example, if I had kept my PA carry permit, none of these places would recognize it. in many places, even a locking blade knife is against the law.
      the object of this exercise is to get Home alive, not to a nice safe prison cell. leave the SBR with Mama Bear so she can protect herself. and make sure you don’t bury any of your caches at Ray’s place. he’s getting pretty tired of the trespassers.

      Reply
      • NoSox April 26, 2014, 10:45 am

        I’m not worried about any laws when i travel in my truck. I usually stay within my state but the states i do drive thru don’t have strict gun laws. My SBR stays in separate hidden pieces until its needed and unless you know how and where to find my hidden compartments and then which button to push to realize its a compartment then you won’t even know to look for one. Plus i work REALLY hard on making sure LE has no reason to stop me and when they do they receive full compliance within my constitutional rights.

        As fas as mama bear she has her own AR-15 & XD9 with plenty of ammo and a few other firearms just in case our family a few miles away comes and link up with us.

        In the end you DON’T wanna be the guy trying to walk or ride 1000 miles during a crisis without a way to protect yourself. You have a bike and a gear bag and the people you come across are walking and hungry.

        On my personal routes home i have selected a few mini storage locations that have outdoor bins for boats and cars. Buy a $200 beater from the Saturday auction and tow it with my truck to the mini storage place. The vehicle bins are gravel & dirt bottom and enclosed on the roof and three sides.

        Plan on digging and burying my cache right there and then covering it back with gravel. Push the junker truck into its normal parking spot right on top of my cache and put my shovels and digging gear behind the cab[even though the gravel can be moved by hand]. Throw some wool blankets, a MRE, some water & a car cover and i have a resupply location that i can sleep at and it only cost me $50/month plus $200 for the old truck. If the Lord sees fit i have plan on having 2 of these set-ups by July.

        The farthest plant or compressor station that i will be visiting will be 200 miles from home. My assignment starts in July.

        Reply
        • irishdutchuncle April 26, 2014, 2:54 pm

          good ideas…
          hope your OPSEC hasn’t been blown.

          Reply
          • Priest April 26, 2014, 6:10 pm

            Thanks! OPSEC is always the number one thing on my mind when I’m setting things up. I make sure everything I do looks ‘gray’ and normal so that nothing stands out. Describe ideas without getting too specific about locations and such. Hopefully something I do and speak about on here can help another like minded individual survive and get thru the tough days ahead of us.

  • Michael April 25, 2014, 10:30 am

    When I was driving around The States I always had $500 in cash, $200 in silver dollars, a .22 revolver, food, water, and a sleeping bag in my car. If something bad were to happen the plan was for me to shelter in place and wait it out.

    There’s not that much out there that can go wrong that will last more than a few days, maybe a week. And the last place I want to be when things are going wrong is on the road somewhere. I’ll stick with the old plan of sheltering in place and waiting it out.

    Reply
  • Don April 25, 2014, 11:01 am

    Warning time and seasonal time are important factors. If ArnyVet has enough time (and depending on the scenario) I would fill my tanks as soon as possible. 300 gallons of fuel will get you almost anywhere. drop the trailer and your millage goes up.
    A mountain bike secured to the back of the sleeper is also a feasible idea. I know of 2 OTR drivers that carry these.
    For protection, and to comply with dumbass laws, disassemble at least 1 long gun and 1 side arm and store the components in separate places. that way you can honestly say you do not have a weapon in your truck.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 25, 2014, 10:51 pm

      That’s what I was thinking too, Don. Drop the trailer and fill up ASAP and you’ve got a good jump on getting home if the roads are clear.

      Reply
  • smokechecktim April 25, 2014, 11:11 am

    At your age going cross country that distance is probably not the best idea. Maybe a dahon bicycle might help. They’re small, fold up and can be carried in a shoulder bag. That way you can make use of roads when security and conditions allow and can fold it up to move overland if needed. $500 in five dollar bills, a shotgun in a over the shoulder holster. Just few ideas.

    Reply
    • ThatGuyinCA April 25, 2014, 1:47 pm

      Dahon bike is NOT a good idea. Not as durable. Folding point is a huge weakpoint. A failure there is an unusable bicycle. They also have weight limitations which shouldn’t be ignored. That thing fails while you are on it, and you won’t be getting home for quite some time (serious injury). A folder is good for people who need to save space in a small car.

      Reply
  • Novice April 25, 2014, 11:34 am

    Absent the $1000 in spending money that Jarhead suggests I think a motorized electric bike and a portable solar charge could come in handy. I’ve seen some of these bikes sell for $300 brand new online. Throw in a good $100 fold up charger and you can augment your leg power for distance and steep uphill climbs. It’s not a best case scenario and it would still take a good month or more to get home from 1000 miles away but it will definitely speed things up and may save you a heart attack. You would just need to make sure the electric parts were hardened from an EMP.

    Food would be another consideration. Even if you could go 20 miles a day that’s still 50 days. A three day supply in a GHB isn’t going to cut it. Think compact and calorie dense. Peanut butter, jerky, etc. You won’t be able to carry your entire 50 days of food and water so a supplemental plan will be needed. A small fire arm would be invaluable.

    Reply
    • ThatGuyinCA April 25, 2014, 1:54 pm

      Motorized electric with a solar charger is a viable idea however, they are heavy (would not be my first choice). A top of the line (light) bike like you are talking about is in the high 40lb range and you are looking at 4 figures. The cheapest you’ll find is in the $400-$500 range (or you can buy a kit for a couple hundred). But they are heavy. The $500 bike weighs 68 lbs! Top speed is 15-18 mph with a 22 mile range. Can recharge on downhill or on sunny days with a solar charger (more weight), but a full charge would take awhile in a sunny day (or a long hill).

      Reply
  • Zoomer April 25, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Certainly too many variables for one post or even a book. The situation may require the traveler to sit tight for a short or long while, and at the same time “back home” may require a bugout.

    If communications are down, how do you ascertain where to go? You just might not know. But the nature of the event will dictate those terms.

    So our plan also includes not one, but several bugout locations depending on the crisis and direction. If those two variables are known or suspected, then we know we have rally points and periods of time to make if we can’t reach each other.

    Thus we might have a pre-planned rally point B1 with a max two-day wait if it is safe, then a rally point B2 for a week if it is safe, rally point B3 for a max 30 days, and then rally final B4. An egress to another direction might start with D1, D2, etc.

    Reply
    • NoSox April 25, 2014, 1:31 pm

      You should check out the ‘Going Home’ series by A. American and also the ‘Grid Down Reality Bites’ series by Bruce Hemmingway.

      Love these and they give various examples of the issues faced for this type of scenario.

      Reply
      • coldavida April 26, 2014, 10:38 pm

        excellent book – Going Home

        Reply
    • Anonymous April 25, 2014, 1:33 pm

      excellent point, having multiple rally points. In the case of ArmyVet, having contacts throughout his travel areas where he knows he can lay overnight might be a good idea. I know I would not have a problem with a fellow vet and prepper spending a night or two at my place.

      Reply
      • Michael April 25, 2014, 9:56 pm

        I guess I’m +3 on working up a network of places you could layover at. Could be a stomach bug or a case of the flu that has you stopping over for a couple of days.

        Reply
      • Jarhead Survivor April 25, 2014, 10:47 pm

        I really like the idea of having a network out there on the road. Maybe we should set up an “SHTF” network for travelers.

        Reply
        • Michael April 25, 2014, 11:49 pm

          I doubt I’d be inviting anyone over, but I’d be happy to point out good places to stay in my area and help people get to the store, the doctor, or whatever.

          Reply
        • Wild Weasel April 26, 2014, 12:27 am

          That’s an intriguing idea, you wouldn’t be staying, think of it as way points. Also the info one would bring with them could be invaluable and not goverment garbage.

          Reply
        • irishdutchuncle April 26, 2014, 5:48 am

          maybe people open to the idea could monitor CB
          channel 19…
          do truckers still use CB?

          Reply
          • ArmyVet April 26, 2014, 11:05 pm

            Yes we still use CBs and ch. 19 is still the trucker channel. That said, the radio is eerily silent since cell phones and satellite radio.

  • ThatGuyinCA April 25, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Lot’s of good advice. Your rig as you already know if your best bet, but if it is no longer viable, then a bicycle is the best non-gas powered mode of transport.

    Army Vet, bicycles are expensive cause you are looking to buy the lastest and greatest (or just new).

    You can buy used mountain bikes on the cheap. Craigslist, garage sales, etc. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest with suspension and disk brakes (yes, bikes today have disk brakes). You can get solid, servicable mountain bikes for $50 or less. They will just be older models. I have a stock Specialized Rockhopper that is almost 30 years old. Works great and isn’t terribly heavy either. Forget about folders: 1.) they are expensive 2.) not as durable. And 3, space isn’t an issue for you; affix it to the exterior rear of the cab of your truck or disassemble and keep in the sleeper area somewhere.

    My suggestion is know how to maintain/fix the bike. Have some spare parts, a tool kit and a small hand pump on hand (don’t take up much space or weight allowance). Do what you can to prevent flats before they happen (Mr. Tuffy tire liners are a great start).

    When you get one, get out there and ride it. Practice riding it off road the most.

    A good compromise (this gets a little pricey) is to install a motor on your bike. There are plenty of 80cc kits out there for a little less than $200. They don’t add too much weight, can get 150 miles to the gallon, and can reach speeds of 40 mph. The engine can be started and put to use on the fly. If gas can still be had you could use it for full time travel. If not, then it’s a great assist (to get up hills/mountains or speed through danger areas).

    Reply
  • irishdutchuncle April 25, 2014, 2:54 pm

    yeh, what Zoomer said. (see above)
    home and family may not be “there” by the time you get there.
    the significant others should know what to do/where to go if they are unable to remain sheltered in place. (make sure they have access to a big lump of cash, to hold them until you all can regroup)
    this is the first survival scenario I ever commented on:
    (giving dutch uncle advice) Don’t let “Get Home Itis” turn your trip into a suicide mission. the takeoff is (usually) optional, but the landing isn’t.

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle April 27, 2014, 5:03 am

      what I’m trying to say: some plans leave no margin for error.
      a situation which wasn’t life or death can quickly degenerate into one which is. (sure takes all the fun out of this for me)
      lay down your life for your family or friends but don’t die for your pride.

      Reply
  • Steve suffering in NJ April 25, 2014, 10:36 pm

    I’m hard pressed to come up with a better option than the bike. If the roads are impassable due to traffic and people running out of fuel the bike is a maneuverable option.

    Only other thing I can think of would be a small on/off road motorcycle. They make them as small as 50cc. I’m 6 foot and can ride one. Even with me one it I can get it up to a good 45 mph or so. But, your stuck with the fuel problem again.

    Think the bike is your best bet. As far as traveling $$ keep it in small bills. Don’t count on people having change. Get a 1 man tent, good sleeping bag pair of good boots few pairs of good socks. Keep a good road atlas. This way if your hoofing it you can take the most direct route. Esp with everyone using navigation now a days. Map and compass would be very valuable for getting home.

    I’d be sure to pack some fishing line, hooks, flies etc. mouse traps would be good too. If your truly trying to get home via bike you will need all the opportunities to get food you can. Catch a few panfish and get some mice with the trap and you would be in ok shape.

    Think the bikes your best bet.

    Reply
    • Jarhead Survivor April 25, 2014, 10:49 pm

      I’ve always thought a mountain bike would be the best option – at least for me – if I was in that scenario. They can go places a street bike can’t and like someone mentioned above you can pick them up pretty cheap.

      Reply
    • irishdutchuncle April 27, 2014, 4:25 pm

      … if you’re going for pan fish, you’ll need to have a frying pan too. (plus a tub of lard, Crisco or coconut oil)

      Reply
  • Michael April 26, 2014, 12:02 am

    Bikes are great for all sorts of SHTF/collapse situations. But, whatever bike get, get fenders for it. Without fenders spray from wet roads will soak you even when it’s not raining. $15 clip on fenders from Planet Bike work just fine, you don’t need anything fancy.

    Reply
  • ArmyVet April 26, 2014, 12:38 am

    Thanks Jarhead and everyone for your comments and suggestions.

    The networking idea has occurred to me, though I don’t find myself in the same destinations often. Where do you begin to meet like-minded people from other parts of the country, that would be willing to take a traveler in, if only for a night? Most are too security conscious to open themselves up to that sort of thing.

    Having a full load of fuel (220 gallons) I can travel 1,100 miles, more without the trailer. However, and it’s only hypothetical at this juncture, an EMP or CME would render the electronics useless, making it impossible to travel via truck. But, what if I have a load of produce or fresh meat on: either would be priceless in a true SHTF scenario. Couldn’t very well drop trailer and dash then.

    My GHB already contains a small fishing kit. I’m thinking about adding additional material for making small animal snares. I always carry military style MREs as well as several Mountain House meals. Obviously, if I were afoot, it would be physically impossible to carry enough food and water to see me home; therefore, I know I need to be able to replenish in route. Water is already taken care of, thanks to Katadyn, leaving only food to worry about.

    For shelter, my GHB contains a small tarp and the mandatory 550 cord. I carry 2 SOG foldables, a SOG tomahawk and a BK2. Very reluctant to carry firearms as laws vary so greatly across the country. I do like the idea of black powder though and will take a look at that.

    While we do have silver at home, I’ve never really thought about carrying any on the truck with me. I will need to have a discussion with Mrs. Army when I am home next about carrying silver with me.

    Again, thanks to all for sounding off. The input has been very helpful. If there are any other truckers out there with the same concerns, shout out here and perhaps we can start working together to start a network for us and our brothers and sisters that share our love of the road.

    Reply
    • Steve suffering in NJ April 26, 2014, 1:27 am

      How about a nice ASP telescoping baton?
      I own 2. I also travel allot via car for work. I have one in my vehicle and one I keep in my shaving kit for hotel stays.
      One is 21 inches one 16. Both are pretty easy to conceal. Tucked in the waist band or a jacket pocket and your good to go. It’s no CC firearm, but a pretty fierce weapon in competent hands.

      Reply
      • Bill April 26, 2014, 12:03 pm

        In my opinion, no GHB or BOB is complete without rat traps, which can be used to take squirrels. The traps look like giant snap-type mouse traps and cost only a couple dollars each at your local hardware store. I always keep one or two in my kits. Modify them by drilling a small hole in the corner of the wooden base and tie several feet of 550 cord to it. This way you can secure the trap to a tree branch. When not in use, I wrap the 550 cord around the traps and store them in a gallon size zip-lock bag. Even if I’m just out hiking I stick one of these in my Camelbak pack. They are surprisingly effective on squirrels and I’d bet they’d even take rabbits too.

        I agree with everybody else’s comments on mountain bikes, and if you’re going to travel and can’t take a vehicle, the bike would be infinitely better then being on foot. That being said, I think you’d be better off finding someplace local (to where you happen to be at the time) where you can sustain yourself to ride out the event. Family at home should know that’s the plan, and should be prepared to weather the storm in your absence.

        Prior planning and communication are key. They may not be perfect, but you can find small hand-held HAM radios on Amazon for around $40 each. (Baofeng is one particular brand.) Learn to use them first. Hopefully cell phones still work, or at least the text messaging function.

        Reply
      • Bill April 26, 2014, 12:08 pm

        ASP telescoping batons are great, but it’s important to note they may be illegal in some states. Some laws are just that stupid. Another option is a long D-cell Maglight flashlight. Not only do they make sturdy clubs, but they’re still great flashlights too.

        Reply
    • irishdutchuncle April 26, 2014, 4:16 am

      do you have a sleeping bag with your get home stuff?
      don’t allow a “priceless” load to cost you your life either.
      a perishable load is only worth something while your reefer unit is still running. crowds of desperate people will be eager to have a look inside the trailer.
      (and don’t get yourself “Denny’ed”)

      is there a feasible way to get diesel with the grid down?
      (hand pumps, etc)

      Reply
      • ArmyVet April 26, 2014, 11:19 pm

        My next truck stop purchase is a siphon pump and tubing made specifically for petroleum products.

        As for a sleeping bag, I was waiting for Jarhead to lay in more of those Mil-Spec sleeping systems …but I see the store link is gone. So I guess I’ll have to have a conversation with the other Jarhead, my son the Cpl.

        I have no intention of putting freight, of any kind, in front of my life or any other life. And you are correct, a running reefer, in a SHTF scenario, would be a people magnet. Don’t much like the idea of drawing unwanted attention.

        Reply
    • Bill April 26, 2014, 12:01 pm

      In my opinion, no GHB or BOB is complete without rat traps, which can be used to take squirrels. The traps look like giant snap-type mouse traps and cost only a couple dollars each at your local hardware store. I always keep one or two in my kits. Modify them by drilling a small hole in the corner of the wooden base and tie several feet of 550 cord to it. This way you can secure the trap to a tree branch. When not in use, I wrap the 550 cord around the traps and store them in a gallon size zip-lock bag. Even if I’m just out hiking I stick one of these in my Camelbak pack. They are surprisingly effective on squirrels and I’d bet they’d even take rabbits too.

      I agree with everybody else’s comments on mountain bikes, and if you’re going to travel and can’t take a vehicle, the bike would be infinitely better then being on foot. That being said, I think you’d be better off finding someplace local (to where you happen to be at the time) where you can sustain yourself to ride out the event. Family at home should know that’s the plan, and should be prepared to weather the storm in your absence.

      Prior planning and communication are key. They may not be perfect, but you can find small hand-held HAM radios on Amazon for around $40 each. (Baofeng is one particular brand.) Learn to use them first. Hopefully cell phones still work, or at least the text messaging function.

      Reply
  • kate April 26, 2014, 4:27 am

    learn to identify wild foods that occur naturally. Go to http://www.eattheweeds.com Get a high powered slingbow that shoots arrows or steel shot. Talk to people//waitresses//truckers in truckstops about setting up a network just like the underground railroad. when I was a kid, during the depression, the hobos had a way of marking homes that were friendly. My grandma fed many travelers. Having a solar charger for your phone would be great. Get a lead lined carry case for your phone and charger in case of EMP to keep your phone working. A pump up BB gun pistol. A flare pistol, a spear gun, A can of wasp spray shoots 15 feet.

    Reply
    • ArmyVet April 26, 2014, 11:13 pm

      Awesome link, thanks. I’ll definitely be learning more about edible wilds.

      Reply
  • kate April 26, 2014, 4:28 am

    learn to identify wild foods that occur naturally. Go to http://www.eattheweeds.com Get a high powered sling bow that shoots arrows or steel shot. Talk to people//waitresses//truckers in truck stops about setting up a network just like the underground railroad. when I was a kid, during the depression, the hobos had a way of marking homes that were friendly. My grandma fed many travelers. Having a solar charger for your phone would be great. Get a lead lined carry case for your phone and charger in case of EMP to keep your phone working. A pump up BB gun pistol. A flare pistol, a spear gun, A can of wasp spray shoots 15 feet.

    Reply
  • Road Warrior April 26, 2014, 8:45 am

    My mother in law was an over the road trucker, and she kept one of these folding bicycles in her truck for excersize and emergency purposes. It worked really well, and was pretty efficient even with it’s little tires. Would be a great stow-away tool for anyone anywhere.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001SJ9U9E/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1398516030&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40

    Reply
    • ArmyVet April 26, 2014, 11:10 pm

      Thanks RW, I’ll take a look at that option as well. I appreciate the link.

      Reply
      • ThatGuyinCA April 28, 2014, 11:31 am

        Avoid the folders. I own one. I don’t hate it, it’s a servicable bike. I used it for college (park off campus a bike to class). But in the SHTF, I would much rather have my REAL bike. You need something you can absolutely rely on. How much do you weigh? How much weight will you be carrying on you? Folders have weight limits. Plus when you are pushing their weight limit you’ve pretty much killed the offroad option. Like I said earlier, garage sales/craigslist, etc. for a used mountain bike. It’s your best and cheapest bet.

        Reply
  • wormdirt April 26, 2014, 2:28 pm

    You won’t be the only one caught away from home. Find like minded people heading the same direction you are. Teamwork and support.

    Reply
  • Gilpin Guy April 26, 2014, 4:38 pm

    You could find a way to mount a dirt bike on the grill of the truck or just behind the cab. If not a dirt bike, maybe a mountain bike.

    Reply
  • That Dude April 26, 2014, 11:35 pm

    What happens when you are 1k miles away? The reality of the situation is that you might make it back home, and it could take a while. Maybe you make it and maybe you don’t depending on the severity of SHTF. If it’s bad odds of seeing your family again are slim, maybe they latch on to a stronger community and have to relocate or maybe they are killed. Maybe you make it, maybe you are killed too and your wife shacks up with someone else within 6 months. It is what is is.

    Reply
  • child of Odin April 26, 2014, 11:51 pm

    I used to have this worry, and may again soon, if I get the job I’m trying for. My wife and daughters have my brother, neighbors, and friends here. So my worry is getting to them. Mountain bike or horseback are my favorite options, snares and a bow, bushcraft kit, gun, etc… but so many other considerations as well, as you’ve all pointed out.
    My plan hasn’t included caches before, but will now. I will also be mapping water sources.
    Thanks for s topic I need

    Reply
    • ArmyVet April 27, 2014, 10:18 am

      If I ran a regular route, or at least into the same part of the country on a regular basis, I would consider caching. However, I may be in NY today, GA in 2 days or WA in 3. I don’t see where caching would be helpful, as I might have to go a lot of miles out of the way to get to a cache.

      Reply
  • Majordad April 27, 2014, 12:06 am

    If you are caught up in such an emergency, and need to find some help in trying to get home, one place you might think about is a local church in a small town. Many churches even today help people who are traveling and experience difficulties. Many have food pantries where they give out food to people in need and some are able to provide people with a safe shelter for the night. Some might slam the door in your face, but many will try to assist people who are in need.
    There is a lot of bad press about churches today, but I like to think it is sort like the story about the guy who didn’t care for church people but was asked: “If your car broke down in a bad part of town at 2 AM and you saw 10 big guys in leather jackets coming out of a building and they started walking toward you; would it ease your mind a bit if you knew they were coming from a bible study?”
    A church is not a guaranteed solution, but if you don’t know anyone or have a network and you need some help or resupply, a church would most likely be a better option than trying to approach random strangers or trespassing on private property.

    Reply
  • Ray April 28, 2014, 1:38 am

    A little history may help, When the LDS church left Illinois, walking and pushing hand carts it took an average of 5 months to reach Utah. It took 6 1/2 to seven months to reach Oregon from St. Louis in 1848-Walking. Because of modern technology , cities, bridges , highways that don’t follow rivers, and bypass the old “water holes”, have fifty mile long grades built for trucks-it would take MUCH longer to walk 1000+ miles, and winter is a killer north of the Ohio and west of the Mississippi rivers from mid November to mid April. Crossing ANY of the western mountains and all of the northern prairie is only safe for a man/woman afoot in June -July and August. Don’t think so? look up “The Donner Party” . If that don’t make you pause and rethink your plan nothing will.

    Reply
  • Road Warrior April 28, 2014, 4:49 am

    If you want to carry a firearm state to state, the best way to do that is with a Utah concealed firearms permit. It has recognition or reciprocity in 35 states. If you stay out of Illinois, you could drive from Pennsylvania to Washington State, Idaho, or New Mexico without breaking laws. It usually is an add-on course to standard CWP courses, when you can find it. Definitely worth looking into. Here’s a map and list of states which do and don’t recognize the Utah permit: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/FAQother.html

    Reply
  • Celtic Coyote April 28, 2014, 10:44 am

    Great article and great comments. Consider a simple sling slot, available virtually anywhere. Rig it to be able to shoot standard length arrows and keep a bag of marbles and arrows with it. It is silent and with practice you can take down any small game for food and use it for self defense if required. If you use it for self defense in a SHTF situation, remember to take weapons and gear off the bad guys …

    Reply
  • Neil TheSane April 29, 2014, 4:19 am

    Ok, now here’s something I feel relatively competent to talk about. I’ve read through most of the comments and many I want to scream over. ;) Many agree the bike is a good idea, but it adds it’s own set of needs.

    First an example on why I choked a couple times. Someone posts the thought “I am traveling and need safety in TEOTWAWKI. I’m going to get a gun. The big box store has a blue light special that is pretty cheap. That’ll work right?” From what I’ve learned from you is a resounding “WRONG!” Same goes with a bike,especially a long ride bike.

    Look at the bike, the person who put the bike you’re going to trust your life on is the also the same guy that put out the wheaties on the shelf. My bike shop I like has a gallery of bikes built wrong. Parts upside down, backwards and inside out. Don’t get me wrong for an occasional ride around the block you’d survive, usually. But on a long haul, if the part isn’t where it’s supposed to be it will fail.

    What type of bike do you need? There are so many classes of bikes, as there are guns. Personally I ride a hybrid trail bike. I can take it off road onto deer trails or get out on the open road and cruise. When I get my chance I’m going to cross the states and ride to Alaska, that will be an entirely different bike than my usual ride. It’s about half the weight. If you’re in a really rough terrain area the I’d say go full mountain bike but get a good one. (http://www.montaguebikes.com/paratrooper-pro-folding-bike.html) This is one that I’ve found is actually in use by soldiers. Remember this is the ride that is going to get you to safety, do you really want to go cheap?

    Next, how do you sit the bike? What size do you need? One thing I see on my rides is people on bikes too small for them. 20 miles on a bike too small will damage your knees something bad. The bike needs to be the right size and seat at the right height.

    Let’s ride. 1000 miles to go. How many miles can you ride in a normal day? How do you keep from “bonking”, avoid chaffing, plus the other more serious injuries. (http://sheldonbrown.com/pain.html for a good list) I was going to put all this on the post the other day by Calamity but didn’t get a chance. How in shape are you? Last summer I tested my endurance and did a small 2 day 175 mile charity ride. What an experience. That was a life moment I won’t soon forget. What can you handle?

    One great thing of the bike is that it can carry equipment so you don’t have to. More supplies and gear to survive. There are so many load out options that I’m not going to delve too deep into it.

    Another tool that is extremely important is a map. Highway and topo. I’d much rather ride 40 miles over flat land than 30 up a mountain. Know where you’re going and how to get there.

    I didn’t provide much info here I just hit the high points. Go to your local bike shop and talk to them, the small ones are happy to help and educate. I have one I’m loyal to that has answered all my oddest questions even if it meant sitting after the store is closed to help. remember you get what you pay for.

    I’m off my soap box now. Thank you.

    Reply
  • izzy May 4, 2014, 3:59 am

    Search the Net…
    -Generally people who’ve done it are saying 50 miles a DAY would be a pretty good biking day in their experience
    -Some bikes are faster than others. Expensive bikes break. Cheap study bikes are slow & heavy. Folding bikes have tinier wheels
    -Bicyclists need a lot of gear that you don’t tend to think of when you only ride for a few hours in nice weather.
    -This extra gear detracts from available room for food. (Got bike bags?)
    -Right now, as a driver in the Midwest, what’s your first thought when you see a cyclist on the highway? (Be honest – either you don’t see them, or you’re tempted to run them off the road, from what I hear… and that’s “WITH rule of law”)
    -You might do better to look like an ordinary Joe Truck Driver walking down the road in a trucker hat. If you are a religious blue-collar worker, then you have a common base with most people you’ll meet
    -Ch 19 may be silent now, but if everything else was down it might not be. Bring extra parts for the radio (wrap some in foil or whatever). You’d have better communications than most, and a built-in network of firsthand observers. This would transform you into a desirable asset.
    -You also may already have access to a national network of supply centers through your work – see if you can create some personalized friendships with dispatchers? If you’re just a body to them, imply you have a load or destination that urgently needs to get back to your home state (especially if their tracking is down). National chains & multinational corporations might be able to call in the resources to make it happen.
    -Once again, anything big enough to disrupt communications, food supply, or motor traffic is big enough to make road travel impossible or at least foolish by any method. Keep your family updated regularly on your location, and prearrange a plan to shelter in place. Remember that all Hollywood movie characters “go seek help”, mainly because Hollywood producers think watching a character sit in front of a fire drying his socks till the blizzard is over is boring. If your wife knows you won’t be wandering thru the backwoods on a bike, then she’ll stay safe at home as well

    Reply
  • Roger November 19, 2014, 12:45 am

    I think that ArmyVet’s best bet would be a bike with adult training wheels (more stable), solid tires and a trailer for carrying more supplies (esp. water). A add-on motor would be great if you can find one that runs on diesel since your rig should carry a lot of that fuel. Definitely use the truck as long as possible. Make sure your bike is set up to go quickly, in case you have to leave your truck in a hurry and to keep you from forgetting vital equipment on your truck. For weapons, a can of bear spray, and a walking staff (attachable to your bike) with a metal threaded end attached for accessories like a dip net, frog spear, spear tip, and/or a rubber tip and/or Cold Steel Bushman knife on the other end! As far as I know, no state looks twice at a pellet gun, so maybe a safe bet! If this was covered by other comments then I missed it so I going to mention having as part of your GHB a tent or tarp (bike can be used as framework) because exposure kills (esp. in bad weather), a small solid fuel stove (densest form of fuel)(unless you can find one that uses diesel fuel?) , a metal pan w/lid and several water containers (canteens)(maybe a 2 1/2 gallon jug in the trailer), coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, pack of playing cards (in case weather turns bad and you’re stuck for a while-boredom kills), the little things that help keep you sane! If you’re taking a radio or other electronics with you and are concerned about EMP, wrap the device with bubble wrap then aluminum foil to protect them and extra batteries. And of course, a good knife or two and several ways to make fire! In a SHTF situation, a few silver coins would be good to carry since their value isn’t really tied to U.S. dollars! Good Luck!

    Reply
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