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Old 02-28-2012, 07:50 PM
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Griff Griff is offline
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Sometimes just letting go for a day or three can be good for you, y'know?

Its not like you'd ever really throw caution to the wind, and we've probably got more useful stuff stored up in our heads than most could get out of a ton of gear.
Old 02-28-2012, 08:03 PM
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We sort of do that now when work takes him an hour or two away. It has been decided that I would NOT go out looking for him but he would make his way home by back roads and woods.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:27 PM
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Take plenty of cash to buy transport, if needed.

Cash will still work for an emergency, and if it is teotwawki, it should still work for quite some time.
Old 02-28-2012, 08:34 PM
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If you are taking a road trip... you are pretty much in an ideal travel situation. You can store a GHB in your trunk.

If you can, take a brief look at Castner's Cutthroats




These guys literally LIVED out of their backpack.

There is an old saying that a "backpack survivalist" is really just a refugee, but I believe that if you pack your GHB properly... there is no reason you can't get back home... or make do where you are... with just the contents of a well thought out pack. Obviously, this is not Plan A. This is a last resort measure, but as a last resort measure... the very fact that you have a vehicle and can pack gear is 1000% better than taking an airplane and only have what you can put in a suitcase or overhead.

My GHB isn't what it should be, but I hope to change that in the near future. I want to model it after Castner's philosophy of creating a bag that might have to last you longer than you'd like. It's going to include snares, seeds, and fishing gear... along with a heavy weather hooded poncho that can be used as a sleeping bag.

I don't want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere without gear... but the day after my second wife and I were married we were driving down from some cabin resort area up near Tahoe... and we took a back road (dumb) without snow chains (dumber) and our gas tank was almost empty (I win! Idiot of the year!!!) The snow was starting to come down heavy. I had my wife beside me and two teenage girls and my buddy in the back seat. I assumed (dumb) that there would be gas stations. There weren't. We had no gear. No food. No weather clothes... and as the gas tank was going lower and lower there was a whole lot of praying going on. (Thank you Lord for a gas pump at an unattended station that took credit cards!) But you get my point - it could have been bad. I don't want to ever be another Stolpa story. Which is why nowadays... I always carry gear, water, and food in my trunk.

Don't leave home without it.

Also, keep a debit card in your GHB.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:45 PM
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I have been thinking about this a lot lately.

I travel quite a bit for work and sometimes several states away. I always take my EDC/GHB but have recently hught about taking more gear. I usual travel via pickup truck so hauling more gear is not much of a problem. I'm workin on putting together a small BOB for the work truck.
Old 02-28-2012, 09:44 PM
naturegirlmia naturegirlmia is offline
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We travel, nearly every weekend of the year. Next week, in fact, we'll be headed on a 1240+ mile (each way) trip, and camping out for the entire 10-12 days we are there.

We almost always camp out, or sleep in our van. If anyone were to ask, we'd say we don't see the sense in paying for a motel, with travel expenses as high as they are. Truth be told, we LOVE camping. It gets us closer to nature, gives us a chance to practice skills, and always makes for some awesome adventure stories.

We have to be ready to go, at short notice, so we keep our van stocked with everything we think we'll need... tents, sleeping gear, grill and fuel, cookware, and such accompany our usual emergency vehicle supplies.
We pack more food than we'll need... three days, for an overnighter... five days, for a three-day trip... two weeks, for a ten-day trip. This way, if we have to stay longer, we're set.

As you can imagine, our work-related gear takes up a good portion of our spare room. Most of you have seen a media crew unload, so you can imagine. We have our cameras, and all of the related equipment, plus several computers, lighting gear, sound gear... you get the idea. We also have a generator, to power up our laptops and such (camera batteries are charged through the two cigarette lighters in the van).

Over the past few years, we've gotten our system down to an art. All of our work gear (except the generator) is easily carried on us or packed into backpacks. We have plenty of spare room in the packs for extra gear, should need arise. As it is, you'll usually find me running all over a one-mile race track, climbing towers and jumping guardrails, and dodging bikes WITH two cameras and an accessory bag around my neck, AND a backpack (loaded with one 17 1/2" and one 9" laptop, a mobile WiFi unit, 2 liter-sized water bottles, an EDC, a notebook and pen, a first aid kit, a tripod, a Kindle, etc.).
(Shameless plug... check out the Daytona AMA Pro motorcycles races on Speedvision, March 17th and 19th, and you might get an idea of what we do).

Anyway, the point is, when you are lugging a load of gear around for hours a day, regularly, you get to a point where you don't notice it, much. If we had to abandon our vehicle and hoof it home, we would. It'd take time, sure, but I know we'd get there. We'd have to leave the tents and sleeping bags, but we have our ground tarps and rain ponchos. We couldn't take the grill, but we have our lighters and firestarters. We couldn't take the canned foods, but we have plenty of lightweight dried goods that we can pack. We couldn't pack our gallon jugs of water, but we can each pack our 1 liters and refill whenever possible.
I don't worry about it, but I have THOUGHT about it. It's not foolproof, but it's reassuring.

Another thing... my fiance is an INCREDIBLE navigator. He never even LOOKS at the atlas and maps we take, on each trip. I do, though. On our trips, I'm constantly searching for alternative routes. This has actually come in handy, when we have encountered detours and traffic accidents. The shortest route from our home to our destination is always highlighted, pretrip, in case I end up being the "return driver..." scary thought.

We also (as a family) pay close attention to landmarks. On trips we've made before, we use these familiar sights as a sort of gauge, to help us judge our distance. I imagine, in a disaster scenario, these landmarks would be a reassuring sign we were heading home, and give us an idea of how far we'd come.

By nature, I also scout out "safehavens..." spots that I think would be good shelters or resource stops, if need arose... or spots that scream "danger!" and should be avoided. This isn't concious, just a habit I picked up during my months as a "concrete camper."

I also keep a full list of phone numbers and addresses of friends, on trips. Once, we were returning to Ohio from Illinois (after a three-day trip had turned into a five-day). We got into Indiana, and needed to gas up. That is when we discovered that our emergency gas card, cash, and debit card had been stolen. Someone had, apparantly, broken into the van while we were showering (we now shower in shifts). A guy collecting cans from the trash cans was later arrested for pulling this stunt, but that fact did us no good, at the time.
It just happened that I had my phone list with us... I was transferring numbers into a new cellphone, as a boredom buster. We called one of our racer pals, who lived about an hour and a half from where we were stranded. He hopped on his race bike (in full race gear, nonetheless), rode out to us (at 2:30 in the morning), and used his credit card to gas us up.
You have to love a guy like that.

Anyway, the incident taught us to always keep a phone list, always think security first (not leaving valuables unattended...EVER...and being aware of EVERYONE around you), and the importance of keeping a backup debit card in the GHB, as A-Team mentioned.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:20 PM
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I am glad I started this thread. I will take my GHB for what it's worth and I will keep phone numbers and some cash on me in case someone takes my cards. I think I am most worried about being mugged (or someone trying that) due to the poor economy. I've heard of people begging for money along the stops near the interstate highways. I will keep the tank full. I need to keep my spidey senses alert too as I will have enough distraction when we make a stop. Thanks
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:54 AM
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If you aren't licensed, now would be a good time to explore ham radios.

The first level of tests is pretty easy to pass (got mine last fall) and will get you some pretty decent privileges. The radios you could get will easily cover the distance if he's only a couple hours away by car. Especially through repeaters. If you both get licensed, then you can communicate with each other and practice that before something happens.

The practice tests are free at qrz.com, and they use questions that are almost identical to the real tests (some are identical). You can practice as much as you want for free, and take the test when you're consistently getting an 85% or higher. License fees are pretty affordable as well, and entry level radios are down in the $100 or less range.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:40 PM
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Grotius Grotius is offline
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Originally Posted by Zosimos View Post
"...I've heard of people begging for money along the stops near the interstate highways."
This has actually happened to me on three different occasions while I'm traveling on road trips. People indicating they're broke and need gas money, kids haven't eaten, etc.

While the people who approached me didn't appear to present much threat, (and I was armed,) in your position I would advise not allowing them to come too close to you if you're outside your vehicle, and certainly do not roll down your window more than a crack if you're inside your vehicle.

I look like an old biker, so they didn't approach me thinking I was Daddy Warbucks. They hit up everyone. Just be careful.
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