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Old 07-04-2017, 02:14 PM
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Default Using power lines to bug out by foot



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In a worse case situation, people will be fleeing the cities in search of food, or trying to get to a friend or family members house.

We have historical examples of this with outbreaks of the plague in middle ages Europe.

Vehicles will run out of gas and people will start walking. Highways and roads will be the first choice, then maybe railroad tracks.

For those of us who want to get away from the crowds, there are power lines and pipe lines.

  • Difficult terrain
  • No roads
  • Some areas will have creeks, streams, rivers... but no bridges.
  • Visibility should be good.
June 2017, 2017 my wife dropped me off several miles from home and I hiked a power line that runs a few miles from my home. This is a main feeder line that goes from east Texas to west Louisiana.

Water was not a problem as I crossed several creeks. Some of the creeks had run off holes that would have perch and turtles in them.

Saw a couple of deer. One deer, I was walking through high brush and spotted her before she saw me.

Some of the hog tracks were as wide as my hand.

Had lunch of Mountain House chicken stew.


Overall, it was a nice trip.

Last edited by kev; 07-04-2017 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:31 PM
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Just a heads up: We used to ride high voltage transmission lines on horseback on the power company owned property and through state owned forest land. However, there are many long sections that power lines crossover private property owned by individuals and the power company only has a legal right of way. Some of the private property was fenced in and signed no trespassing. By law, the property owners that fenced that property are required to have a drive through gate at both ends of their property and they may lock it provided the power company has either a key or combination to access it. Some of that land was not fenced but signed no trespassing. We would stop and turn around at the first no trespassing sign or gate.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:42 PM
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I use a power line roads in the desert everyday, either to run my dogs or access my claim area 6 miles south.

The one thing to bear in mind is if the grid is still up and you are trying to use radio comms, CB(HF) is useless unless the other party is real close (basically you have to have your squelch up way high, I usually just shut mine down) and even UHF(GMRS) can be degraded.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:48 PM
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Also, during winter, some sections of the power lines are used to connect snowmobile trails together, but may be off limits the rest of the year.
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:08 PM
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We used the power line right of way to get back home in a high clearance 4 x 4 after Hurricane Ivan, and the paved streets were not passible due to fallen trees. Worked well.
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:27 PM
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Around here, the power lines go in a straight line and the terrain is ... not always passable in a straight line. They cross deep canyons and go straight over the edge of cliffs and you're not going to be able to go the same way unless you've got a rope and some technical climbing skills.

That said, there are stretches where the terrain is passable and the clearings are easy traveling.

You could stitch together a route that was a mix of power lines, atv tracks, and actual roads to get from point a to point b.
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:46 PM
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When I was a kid, we (my friends and I) liked fishing those holes after a flood.

When the creeks flooded the fish spread out, but when the water recedes a lot of fish get trapped in those ponds. After a week or so we'd hit those little ponds and clean house.

You'd be surprised how many pounds of fish you can harvest out of those little ponds after a flood.
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:16 PM
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Typically transmission line right of way is purchased by the power company and customer owned properties are not allowed. Distribution right of way is granted and the customer is allowed to install fences etc. Also transmission r/w are much wider than the typical distribution r/w width.
I think you make a good point.
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:28 PM
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In Oklahoma, few transmission line rights-of-way are not private land easements. The power companies don’t own much if any of the property that the lines are on. It's nearly all private property.

FWIW: Be heads up for crops under the transmission powerlines too (the kind of crops that come with trip-wire devices and gunshots without warning).

CD in Oklahoma
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:00 PM
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I think it is great you are out exploring alternative routes. I like to hike and explore along railway lines. Doing so, I use my former soldier's mind to think about where would be a likely place to be ambushed or surprised by bad people in bad times.

I think it is a wise idea is to have good survey maps of your area and any areas through which you may have to transit. I would not want to blindly follow a railway or right of way and not know where it is going. For example, two major rail lines go through my area. One of them goes right smack into where the Golden Horde would form. Definitely don't want to go down that track.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:47 PM
seawind seawind is offline
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I agree with Old Cunuck. Its one thing to know where you want to go, it's altogether different knowing the route you are taking will get you there. If you want a good map I'd suggest you contact your county planning Dept. or something similar in your county. They usually have various interesting maps of your area. Of course you'll have to go county to county of the area you need to travel, but once you see the detail of some of the maps available, you'll see it might be worth your while.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:21 PM
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Don't know Kev - do understand the general ease of following, and would be a way that many probably have not considered. We have them near my BOL and the electric company keeps their right of way nicely mowed and open with a pretty substantial trail for use by their trucks should repairs be needed. My only thought is that I think of all those who deer hunt on lightline right of ways because of the open clear line of "shot" they offer, and unfortunately there does seem to sometimes be a mindset among some of always shooting if something massive ever happens.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:30 PM
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We have a few main power lines, and some fuel transport systems around. One of the main lines runs across some family land. The guy that owns it doesn't take kindly to folks on his property, the last ones destroyed 2 food plots that cost him about 10 round bales.
He's got some pretty good defensive measures out, spike strips, etc.
Be careful, watch your surroundings, and be respectful. If the guys that tore his place up had just ridden through the land would still be "open".
This guy, he's pretty well set for the long haul. I suspect that he's got some pretty safe places on his property, as well as water rights, game and good gardens. They compensated him well for the right of way, he invested it well! Smart and lucky.......


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Old 07-05-2017, 11:53 AM
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In another part of the state, I have a large tract of land that has an AT&T transcontinental cable that goes through part of it. I own the property but AT&T has access to it. They did some excavation several years ago and while they returned the soil and rock to their original state, minus several cedar trees, they left a heck of a mess with food wrappers, cans, socks, toilet paper, etc. I complained and was amazed that within two weeks someone had actually gone and cleaned it up.

I know that pipelines can and do cross private property as well. Where I am, there is a large gas pipeline that crosses the adjoining property to the west, and while it is kept mown and cleared, it does run through private properties.

Something to consider if planning to use them for any distance.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:03 PM
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I work for a major utility in my area. This may be an extremely feasible idea but many of the responses are correct about personal land owners. Also it depends where you live, we have a few lines that are straight lines over valleys that you would not be able to cross on foot, like a deadend. I would recommend that in the event you want to try this as an evac route, get some OLDER USGS maps as the larger lines (the ones with cleared ROWs) are shown on there. The new ones have seem to omitted the lines along with some other helpful info.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:05 PM
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Seems like a game trail to me. Nice place for an ambush. Powerlines, roadways, railroad tracks all offer the same advantages and dangers.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:20 PM
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People take the path of least resistance. Power line corridors would be no secret way to travel. If the roads get blocked people will find the next easiest path. You can bet if you can think of a way to go that other folks will think of it as well.

People are strange. They cut corners, walk on the grass instead of the sidewalk, drive into water of unknown depth and current and ignore signs of all shapes and warnings. Yet I have closed a road with the simple use of a sawhorse in the middle. Seems that people won't get out of their car to move it. On the other hand I have had padlocked gates with locks cut and even the entire gate ripped out by folks that feel they want to travel on my place to get where they are going.

So expect your yards, alleys, gardens, driveways, sidewalks, road shoulders, utility corridors, navigable streams, and roads to no-where to act as paths for people. The easier it is to travel the more that will.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:28 PM
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A bad idea in my opinion.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olpoop View Post
In Oklahoma, few transmission line rights-of-way are not private land easements. The power companies donít own much if any of the property that the lines are on. It's nearly all private property.

FWIW: Be heads up for crops under the transmission powerlines too (the kind of crops that come with trip-wire devices and gunshots without warning).

CD in Oklahoma
Used to work right of way clearing from the Kansas border through the tall grass prairie preserve to south of Cushing.
There is a lot of Deep near vertical banked creeks with freshwater mussels the size of dinner plates.
and defensive land owners we seldom saw a house but they would be out there waiting for us or catch up with us.
There are several sets of power (and pipe lines) that cross large lakes so check the route on a map before you get stuck between a rock and a wet place.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB4 View Post
People take the path of least resistance. Power line corridors would be no secret way to travel. If the roads get blocked people will find the next easiest path. You can bet if you can think of a way to go that other folks will think of it as well.
The easier it is to travel the more that will.
^^This^^


It would be easier to follow power lines or railroad tracks if you were traveling on foot but you'd also be exposed / out in the open .
It sort of depends on the situation , your destination and or how fast you want to travel to determine if the risk of being out in the open would be worth it .

If I had to BO on foot I would try to stay off the beaten paths as much as possible .
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