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Old 09-08-2017, 10:29 AM
Dock Dock is offline
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Default Scenario: You have to hike INTO city after major SHTF



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Scenario: You have to hike from Wyoming to Chicago after TEOTWAWKI

This scenario is to help stir up ideas for a fictional story I'm working on (called Guns of March, currently in the Books & Stories subforum).

The characters in the story (a group of about 10 people) have to hike from their fortress-city in Wyoming (think of something like this kind of place) across several states to the Chicago suburbs (not the actual city of Chicago/downtown area itself). They have to make the trip about about 2-months after a global economic collapse and series of (for matters of simplicity) "EMP" blasts. The reason they are making this trip is that they have to locate and bring back 2 people with special techno-science-magic skills that are very important, and without whom their entire home/state/"nation" will be destroyed.

If some that sounds stupid, it's probably because I dumbed it down enough to got into the full details of the story itself (would require several paragraphs). Either that or its just a dumb story.

Now say you are one of these 10 people. You are in a sporting goods/outdoor supply store. What is on your list of things to bring?

Challenge = you will have to hike the whole way -- cars and other forms of modern transport won't work.

Challenge = you cannot just say "I wouldn't do it."
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:56 AM
Nomad, 2nd Nomad, 2nd is online now
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1. I won't do it.

3. I won't be in a crappy 'sporting goods store' to gear up.

4. 2 months "after" you won't get able to "gear up" there anyway.

5. No one is that important that 'without them their entire state will be murdered by bad guys'
You need to rewrite your story.

6. I won't go to Chicago NOW.

7. No matter EMP Or what things like my buddies Ford Model D, or 1960's truck WILL keep working.
You need to rewrite your story.

8. 2 months "after" the odds are so high that anyone around Chicago would:
A. Be dead
B. Be unlocatable due to refugee status.
You need to rewrite your story.

9. If (all the above) the odds against getting them successfully are so high that 10 people wouldn't agree to go.
A dad for his daughter ignoring the odds... ok.
10 people: no.
You need to rewrite your story.

10. If you ignore ALL the above...
What's it matter what "they carry" or "find" anyway?
Your so far outside the Relm of reality...
I'd take a Plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:06 AM
Jojo Jojo is offline
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I'll play but I need a starting point - Do any of the characters have a BOB? Does anyone have ANY equipment? or is everyone totally empty-handed?
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:10 AM
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Given that a story's narrative might necessitate dramatic elements that would not follow the smart path, but if I HAD to get into the city in a SHTF scenario, especially a city like Chicago that is crime-ridden is the best of times, I would take an unconventional approach.

I would get an extensive waterproof map of the underground sewers, and plot a path that would take me from as close to the city perimeter as possible to within a city block of my target location. I would make sure to carry multiple flashlights with plenty of spare batteries.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:13 AM
swamppapa swamppapa is online now
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Pretty much what nomad 2nd said
But
Get to a rail head maintainence yard there are several on the rail line that parallels the highway find a maintainence vehicle and drive either rail or road. It's a 21 hour drive.
It sounds counter intuitive the two reasons I would go to Chicago
The Fields Museum and the Mutter Museum.
Anyone person that can save the world (humans ) can get themselves out of any mess they're in.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:17 AM
Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 is offline
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I agree with Nomad, 2nd.

They aren't Snake Pliskin rescuing the President from Los Angeles.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:08 PM
Dock Dock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
1. I won't do it.

3. I won't be in a crappy 'sporting goods store' to gear up.

4. 2 months "after" you won't get able to "gear up" there anyway.

5. No one is that important that 'without them their entire state will be murdered by bad guys'
You need to rewrite your story.

6. I won't go to Chicago NOW.

7. No matter EMP Or what things like my buddies Ford Model D, or 1960's truck WILL keep working.
You need to rewrite your story.

8. 2 months "after" the odds are so high that anyone around Chicago would:
A. Be dead
B. Be unlocatable due to refugee status.
You need to rewrite your story.

9. If (all the above) the odds against getting them successfully are so high that 10 people wouldn't agree to go.
A dad for his daughter ignoring the odds... ok.
10 people: no.
You need to rewrite your story.

10. If you ignore ALL the above...
What's it matter what "they carry" or "find" anyway?
Your so far outside the Relm of reality...
I'd take a Plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.
Well they aren't walking into the city itself, just one of the surrounding suburbs.

"Sporting goods" store was used for lack of a better term. Basically you'd have any equipment you could carry at your disposal.

The story is science fiction, so there are some futuristic elements that mitigate some of your critiques.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jojo View Post
I'll play but I need a starting point - Do any of the characters have a BOB? Does anyone have ANY equipment? or is everyone totally empty-handed?
They can have whatever you want, that's pretty much the exercise
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:43 PM
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Nomad kind of made a good point. You're going to need to come up with a compelling plot reason for them trying to get in. Family is arguably the best and most resonating reason with the most readers, but finding 10 people who all have close family in Chicago? maybe if they were all chicago locals away on a seminar or something. For my part, family is the only thing that would make me take that kind of risk. The kind of people who would do it for money probably don't make great protagonists.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:52 PM
Measuretwice Measuretwice is offline
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I would dress like a clown with a red balloon, young city folk will not mess with you if they are running away.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:53 PM
Potawami II Potawami II is online now
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Eff the weight I'm taking a spare pair of boots and 2 packs of good socks.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:58 PM
Measuretwice Measuretwice is offline
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Medical supplies so you can help people on the way, because you will still need to come back with the people you are looking for, and if you helped instead of hurt people along your path, they could help you on the way back.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:19 PM
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Forget it, I'm not walking. It's over 1000 miles one-way straight line. Do you have any idea how many pairs of boots I'd go through, not to mention how much Gold-Bond I'd have to bring? Besides, even if we made 6-10 miles a day, that pace would be constantly intrupted by foraging and hunting... because we sure as heck won't be able to carry enough provisions on foot. A trip like that could take years because you know we're going to get sidetracked or somehow delayed unexpectedly for multiple times for weeks to months (captured by weird cults or something).

Where's the nearest musem of American history? Can't we just find a covered wagon and some horses and do it frontier style... or did the EMP kill all of the horses?

I know how these adventures go.. we'll get 50-100 miles out of Wyoming and figure out we forgot something and have to go back or at least one person is going to wuss out, get sick and have to go back. Someone will volunteer to take them back so we'll be down to 8.

We're going to lose at least another 2 due to bear attacks, raiders, etc. Someone else will probably desert, so that's 5 left. All the while I know there will be at least one traitor or self-interested asshat who will try to kill me or turn the party against me. Either they'll desert or I will have to kill them so that leaves 4. Maybe we pick up a replacement from the "natives" maybe we don't.

By the time we get to the outskirts of the Windy City we'll be lucky if half the team is still alive. At least one guy/girl is going to meet someone or find family there and will want to stay. Now we're down to 3 plus the baggage. No doubt the person we're going to get will be an insufferable city slicker who won't know the first thing about the wilderness, will complain constantly about their feet hurting, spend the first few weeks with dysentery. By the time we get 3/4 of the way home I have no doubts another member of the party will be killed off by more bears/raiders. Maybe we pick up another "native" along the way. The final stretch will probably involve yet some other existential crisis that will force me to decide whether to sacrifice the last member of the party or myself so city boy can "make it." The way Millenials are these days, they aren't happy with happy endings so that means everyone from the original party has to die. Nope, forget it. Count me out.
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dock View Post
They can have whatever you want, that's pretty much the exercise
I take it the sporting good store is just to fill the wish list then? I can't really think of a need to go to one, but I could give you a list.
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:25 PM
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Not to derail or anything but a story of getting home from Florida to Wyoming that starts between Irma and Jose while on a vacation where you for some reason couldn't evacuate on time for what ever reason, then an EMP from North Korea would be pretty entertaining.
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:33 PM
Uteguy Uteguy is offline
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There were several "handcart companies" who made the 1,030 mile trip to Salt Lake City.
It took them 2 1/2 - 3 months, most starting in June and finishing in September.
Problems were mostly with the handcarts themselves, being built of green oak and rawhide.
The pioneers were a mixed lot of men, women, and children with all their stuff stuffed in a cart
that was about 3' X 4' with 8 - 10 inch walls. There's more information on the web, I'm just saying
that it's possible. Given that the pioneers had to cross mountains and streams where there were
no bridges, and the roads were dirt - I think a group of men could make the journey a little faster.

Starting in Wyoming and finishing up in the burbs of Chicago, it'd be mostly rolling hills and flatland.
Traveling on pavement also means that those hills would be graded modestly.
You'd have to choose between traveling the 80 or the 90,
and that choice might depend more on water than anything else.

Traveling on horseback, it's possible to make 50 miles or so a day.
Horse or mule drawn wagons can probably do 30, and oxen I'd plan on making fewer miles.
Walking with a light load, ask these guys here what's possible. I doubt I could make 20 miles
a day for the first 2 weeks.
Biking, I can do more as long as it's not all uphill. Usually about 15 miles in 2 hours, but I hadn't
biked anywhere since 1995. I can do better now, but that's on a RR right of way, nice & flat!

How much or how many supplies to take?
I guess that depends on how fast your are able to travel.
If you're walking it'll take a lot longer and you'll need a lot more.
If you take animals then you'll have to plan on more than just grass along the way.

So, if it was me being stoopit, I'd think about rigging up a wagon or cart pulled by bicycles.
Even better would be a rig that rides the rails. There's a guy in Oregon who has a setup like that.
Of course you'd have to be very careful that a train doesn't derail YOU.
A 3 car train with drives fore and aft, and supplies in the middle might work.

Just my thoughts...
Your mileage and opinions may vary.

Last edited by Uteguy; 09-08-2017 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: Spellink
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:34 PM
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Such an implausible story line that no survivalist would attempt it.

1. It's 1300 miles each way.

2. You have two options, roads or off roads. Roads are faster but will be literally filled with certain bandits and roadblocks every 50 - 200 miles. A lot of damage can be done at a single ambush point by men with rifles. Could wipe out half the crew and take all the supplies of the remaining members, which would be a near death sentence... Horseback or similar would be a better viable option, perhaps. But you're still quite visible from a distance crossing fields and open areas. And when you get into the city it would be gang warfare and control with armed snipers and scouts covering most regions from rooftops.

When you actually get into any city you'll be shot or captured in an instant.

3. Logistics of locating someone without any communication or pre-arranged time/location would be so improbable as to be an obvious issue from the start in Wyoming. Someone would say, Um, how are we gonna locate these people?

4. Post apocalyptic world would be so violent and dangerous it would simply be suicidal. Let me give a scenario or example. It would be like a white male wandering around in Syria or war torn Iraq. You'd be shot or captured in a day. Total violent lawlessness. Nobody in his/her right mind would do it.

5. Supplies. 1350+ miles. 10 miles per day average. That's 135 days trip. Looking at 5 month journey on foot. Heck, let's play best case scenario and cut it in half. Now just 2.5 months each way. Is this during summer? Winter would be far more dangerous. Will need massive calorie and fresh water intake. Where are these food and water supplies coming from. I've done plenty of hiking and military rucking and you consume a mountain of calories to maintain any reasonable pace.

Settlers who settled the western USA on horseback had better weapons and the help of the military to drive out the natives. Many settlers died from native attacks. And natives didn't have the types of weapons and training one would expect modern pirates to have.

I am putting myself in the position of these 10 people and I cannot come up with a singular plausible and realistic reason to make that journey and have any hope to accomplish it (e.g. locate the person in Chicago).
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dock View Post
Well they aren't walking into the city itself, just one of the surrounding suburbs.

"Sporting goods" store was used for lack of a better term. Basically you'd have any equipment you could carry at your disposal.

The story is science fiction, so there are some futuristic elements that mitigate some of your critiques.

For disaster purposes suburbs are part of the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dock View Post
They can have whatever you want, that's pretty much the exercise

Fine.

My EMP proof, perpetual motion powered hover board, 2 plasma rifles in the 40 Watt range, and my DNA tracking device that will find the person (s) anywhere on earth so I have a chance of finding them!


Better bring my jet pack so I can get there quickly before the "bad guys destroy the state"


....dude, if your doing science fiction.... do science fiction!
If you want to keep it real, keep it real.

Don't just try to use "and then this happened.... because MAGIC" Literary crutch.


ETA:

Because I know I'm too blunt/direct/Assholish for most:

THANK YOU for writing, I haven't read it but I'm sure many appreciate it.
I myself am a voracious reader reading the equavalent of 4-6 books a week. (One reason I'm reading here and research random things Is to keep costs down. Kindle unlimited only goes so far.)

do, PLEASE take my feedback with gratitude and as its intended: as constructive criticism.
....and if you wanta go Sci fi.... go all out!
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:01 PM
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One Does Not Simply Walk into Chicago.

Hike? are there bikes in the sporting goods store? With trailers for your regular supplies, but also spare parts, especially extra wheels
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:12 PM
Fertig Fertig is offline
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I wouldn't go to Chicago now, why would I then?
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