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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's the skinny. I currently have 10 months left on my current tour in the military. My biggest fear has been that this economic mess reaches critical mass and ushers in some type of "event" while we're stuck here south of D.C. I've discussed this with my wife and have reached the conclusion that, for reasons too numerous to post, the best approach would be to send her to mother's house in the booneys of Kentucky and get the kids in school, find a job and hunker down and wait until we can, uneventfully I hope, be reunited on her end.

Most of our plan is on track so far. Next month I'm moving off post to a small apartment and the wife and kids are heading west. Hopefully all goes well and come February I go on terminal leave and start a new life.

But what if TSHTF in the next ten months? A lot of the doom & gloom crowd has predicted summer and fall of 2010 to be "interesting".

Depending on the "event" I have two options as far as I'm concerned.

1. After the "event" bug-in my apartment until I feel it is safe to proceed via whatever means are available.

2. Try to anticipate said "event" or the escalation of the "event" and get while the getting is still good.

Here are the facts:
- I'll have to travel roughly 600 miles as the crow flies, our primary route has traditionally been I-64W.
- I have a fairly capable 4x4 vehicle with plenty of cargo room.
- As far as terrain en-route (if, god forbid, it comes to that) just look between D.C and Louisville, Kentucky.
- I'm going to have my German Shepherd with me (no he will not be considered a source of food).
-I am in good health and reasonably fit physically, but am by no means in peak condition.
- I have weapons that I am confident and efficient with but am open to suggestions.
- My outdoor and survival skills consist only from what I've learned in the Marine Corps. But let's assume I know little to nothing.
- Lets assume I have no camping or survival gear (bug-in or bug-out). I don't want anyone to omit any info because they think I already have it covered.

Alright, let er' rip. Please, bombard me with information. Ask any questions if you need more details.

Thanks in advance.
 

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In my opinion:

Get a complete quality hiking/camping gear set and practice setting up and taking down camp. (consider a game cart or bicycle & trailer in case the truck breaks down or is caught in gridlock)

Buy some trail foods (Mountain House camp meals, jerky, gorp, Millennium bars), try each of them and stock up on what you like.

Train the shepard to carry a pack with his own food.

Go over your issue Survival Manual, and get the SAS survival Handbook and study it.

Try to get in even better shape.

Start looking around for expedient fallout shelter possibilities in your area, and at least the first quarter of the trip, if not the entire route.

Just some initial thoughts.
 

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Right now, I don't think that anything super major will occur within the next 10 months. I'm betting Obama, Pelosi and Reid need more time to really implement their disasters. But, just to be safe, I would plan to have to move to MIL's house first by vehicle and then second, the last part, by foot. I would allow for a number of days, pack as light as you can and properly arm yourself for your trip. I would have at least one scoped rifle of medium caliber to use for personal defense and harvesting wild game. Maybe a small caliber pistol/revolver with which to shoot rabbits and squirrels. Maybe a shotgun for close range encounters and to also hunt birds and small game with when needed. I would have a good amount of buillion cubes to augment any small game I managed to find. Energy bars for some source of food and as an occasional treat for the kids. My rifle would probably be a scoped AK of some sort with a folding stock on it. My shotgun would be a tactical 20 guage shotgun with rifle sights, sling, folding stock and magazine extension on it. Your wife's small bore pistol should be a .22 Long Rifle of some sort. And, if you want, your pistol should be a medium bore or big bore pistol of some sort. I'd carry a Glock 21 SF for my survival handgun or a Glock 17 for extra ammo capacity. The folding stocks make the firearms a bit more compact for storage and travel when in a vehicle or on foot. And don't forget some extra larger water storage devices like 5 gallon cans. You'll need those too. I'd also have a large tarp, some paracord and stakes to set up a tent either in association with my vehicle or away from it too. Don't forget some tools like sheath knives, hatchets, a hammer and so on. Maybe a saw too and a few nails too.
 

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Ive got a german shepherd as well. I got a kelty dog pack and put her food in it, and she's okay with it except for going down hill because it all falls infront of her face and I have to stop and fix it.

I would buy some of those 'Czech One Gallon Fuel Can' for extra gas maybe. I would bet your going to need some for 600miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my opinion:

Get a complete quality hiking/camping gear set and practice setting up and taking down camp. (consider a game cart or bicycle & trailer in case the truck breaks down or is caught in gridlock)

Some good points. I am lacking in the camping gear department for sure. I have a sleeping bag and an old Coleman family sized tent that probably weighs 10 lbs. Whats the general consensus on hammocks vs. a one man tent vs. a tarp and some 550 cord? They all appear to have many pros and cons to me. A good bike is also a good idea, no reason to head into wilderness on foot simply because I'm out of gas.


Buy some trail foods (Mountain House camp meals, jerky, gorp, Millennium bars), try each of them and stock up on what you like.

Diet is going to be pretty important. I suppose it would be a good idea to start eating less or at least get my system used to eating trail food. I have been experimenting with the "Gifts in a Jar" recipes cut down to one serving and put in a sealed mylar bag to save space, a poor mans mountain house meal if you will. That would limit my cooking needs to one pot and probably eating twice a day. I really like the hexagon stove Kev reviewed and think it would fit the bill nicely. Powerbars or Trailmix for during the day should give me the carbs I need inbetween a cooked breakfast and dinner. Any other good options for meals on the go.

Train the shepard to carry a pack with his own food.

I've read about the packs for dogs but am not quite sure what to feed him that won't weigh a ton but still last many days and give him the nutrients he needs. Obviously hunting is an option but I don't want to be drawing attention to myself with gunfire so it's a double edged sword.

Go over your issue Survival Manual, and get the SAS survival Handbook and study it.

I own a copy of the SAS manual. Tons of good info. The bad part is I never get to get out and practice this stuff. Trapping would be an excellent and inconspicuous means of acquiring food. The info on plants is good and I should probably get more literature on the plants I will come into contact with on my route. I also have a copy of How To Survive the end of the World as We Know It. Unfortunately it is geared towards bugging in but still has a lot of good info, especially into human nature during a SHTF event..

Try to get in even better shape.

I have been on the P90X plan for about 10 weeks now and the results are phenomenal. Still have a ways to go before I am what one would consider "great shape". I also know that gym strength does not necessarily equal outdoorsman strength but the workouts and their targeted muscle groups are varied and numerous. It is a good full body plan with a lot of focus on core strength.

Start looking around for expedient fallout shelter possibilities in your area, and at least the first quarter of the trip, if not the entire route.

This is something I never considered and is excellent advice.

Just some initial thoughts.
Good stuff, thank you very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right now, I don't think that anything super major will occur within the next 10 months. I'm betting Obama, Pelosi and Reid need more time to really implement their disasters.

I think that you are right, things might get worse as the year progresses but I think we are still a little ways away from what Greece is seeing. But.....hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

But, just to be safe, I would plan to have to move to MIL's house first by vehicle and then second, the last part, by foot. I would allow for a number of days, pack as light as you can and properly arm yourself for your trip. I would have at least one scoped rifle of medium caliber to use for personal defense and harvesting wild game. Maybe a small caliber pistol/revolver with which to shoot rabbits and squirrels. Maybe a shotgun for close range encounters and to also hunt birds and small game with when needed. I would have a good amount of buillion cubes to augment any small game I managed to find.

Would trapping be preferable to discharging weapons. My fear is that the report of a weapon might draw the wrong type of attention. That people that would be hesitant to approach an armed individual probably aren't the people I need to worry about anyway. Also, if I can pack it light enough why not bring my own freeze dried or dehydrated foods. I'm thinking, worst case scenario, it might take me a month to travel that distance on foot. The farther I make by vehicle, the better and the less food I will need to take from the vehicle if it is disabled. So I could pack my own high quality grub, supplement with foraging, possibly stealing depending on the circumstances, trapping and if a target of opportunity comes up and the setting is right some hunting too. And all that is only in the event my vehicle is disabled.

Energy bars for some source of food and as an occasional treat for the kids. My rifle would probably be a scoped AK of some sort with a folding stock on it. My shotgun would be a tactical 20 guage shotgun with rifle sights, sling, folding stock and magazine extension on it. Your wife's small bore pistol should be a .22 Long Rifle of some sort. And, if you want, your pistol should be a medium bore or big bore pistol of some sort.

The wife and the kids are already out of the equation, they leave next week. I have a small selection of firearms to choose from and the rest will go home with the wife and kids. I have an AR with quite a bit of ammo stockpiled, a .308 but it is extremely heavy, a 12 gauge and several handguns of varying calibers to choose from. I bought all these when I was merely a firearms enthusiast and not into the whole "survival" mindset, but it is what it is. Some of them have potential but I'll keep the details to myself until some more suggestions role in. I am not opposed to trading up or trading down to something more practical.

I'd carry a Glock 21 SF for my survival handgun or a Glock 17 for extra ammo capacity. The folding stocks make the firearms a bit more compact for storage and travel when in a vehicle or on foot. And don't forget some extra larger water storage devices like 5 gallon cans. You'll need those too. I'd also have a large tarp, some paracord and stakes to set up a tent either in association with my vehicle or away from it too. Don't forget some tools like sheath knives, hatchets, a hammer and so on. Maybe a saw too and a few nails too.
All good stuff man, thanks.
 

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Consider a few caches on the way.

If you wait too long to bug out, there may be roadblocks to steal your food and equipment along the way. My guess is there will be a few warning signs that disaster may be imminent, and you should leave ahead of time, if you can. Otherwise, if you get stuck in outgoing traffic with everyone else fleeing the area, you may find yourself walking the full 600 miles. That's where a bicycle or motor bike would be good.

Water will be more important than food, particularly in the summer, so a good water filter and water carriers might save your life. It might take a long time to make those 600 miles. I'd estimate how many miles you could walk in one day and figure what you will need to get there and make caches along the way. Try to pick a route that has water sources along the way.
I would take short hikes with a full pack and see whether it is doable for a long stretch. A few weekend camping trips would be good too. You can pare down the weight of the pack and add other items you need if you have practiced with it first.
If there is a chance of walking such a distance, footwear will be one of the most vital areas to consider. If you are too lame to walk, you won't get there at all.
I would not depend on what I can hunt, fish or trap on the way. It will be important to just keep moving as much as possible...the longer it takes you, the less your chances are of getting there okay. A knowledge of plant food would be more important on this trek, it seems to me.
Hopefully things will coast by for 10 months, but it is good to make the plans you are making because it's getting close, IMO.
I don't know if I would take the dog with me or send him on ahead with the rest of the family. A lot depends on the personality of the dog and whether he would be a help with keeping strangers at bay. If he would not be a big help on the way, I'd send him ahead, for his own good too. This would relieve you of needing to plan his food supplies too. This is another thing to plan. There will need to be plan A, plan B, maybe plan C....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Consider a few caches on the way.

I can't believe that never crossed my mind.

If you wait too long to bug out, there may be roadblocks to steal your food and equipment along the way. My guess is there will be a few warning signs that disaster may be imminent, and you should leave ahead of time, if you can. Otherwise, if you get stuck in outgoing traffic with everyone else fleeing the area, you may find yourself walking the full 600 miles. That's where a bicycle or motor bike would be good.

I like to GOOD before the S actually HTF but nothing ever goes according to plan so I want to wrap my mind around a worst case scenario (aside from the actual EOTW) and just see what everyone comes up with.

Water will be more important than food, particularly in the summer, so a good water filter and water carriers might save your life. It might take a long time to make those 600 miles. I'd estimate how many miles you could walk in one day and figure what you will need to get there and make caches along the way. Try to pick a route that has water sources along the way.
I would take short hikes with a full pack and see whether it is doable for a long stretch. A few weekend camping trips would be good too. You can pare down the weight of the pack and add other items you need if you have practiced with it first.
If there is a chance of walking such a distance, footwear will be one of the most vital areas to consider. If you are too lame to walk, you won't get there at all.
I would not depend on what I can hunt, fish or trap on the way. It will be important to just keep moving as much as possible...the longer it takes you, the less your chances are of getting there okay. A knowledge of plant food would be more important on this trek, it seems to me.
Hopefully things will coast by for 10 months, but it is good to make the plans you are making because it's getting close, IMO.
I don't know if I would take the dog with me or send him on ahead with the rest of the family. A lot depends on the personality of the dog and whether he would be a help with keeping strangers at bay. If he would not be a big help on the way, I'd send him ahead, for his own good too. This would relieve you of needing to plan his food supplies too. This is another thing to plan. There will need to be plan A, plan B, maybe plan C....
The dog certainly has many pros and cons. I'm still on the fence on whether he stays or goes.
 

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Here are the facts:
- I'll have to travel roughly 600 miles as the crow flies, our primary route has traditionally been I-64W.
- I have a fairly capable 4x4 vehicle with plenty of cargo room.
- As far as terrain en-route (if, god forbid, it comes to that) just look between D.C and Louisville, Kentucky.
- I'm going to have my German Shepherd with me (no he will not be considered a source of food).
-I am in good health and reasonably fit physically, but am by no means in peak condition.
- I have weapons that I am confident and efficient with but am open to suggestions.
- My outdoor and survival skills consist only from what I've learned in the Marine Corps. But let's assume I know little to nothing.
- Lets assume I have no camping or survival gear (bug-in or bug-out). I don't want anyone to omit any info because they think I already have it covered.

Thanks in advance.
My first suggestion is to remedy your 'not-peak condition'. Not only will exercise get you in better shape, it will help with your stress level, which is important.

My second suggestion is to have an alternate - no, make that more than one alternate - route to where your family will be.

My third suggestion is to mine this site for info on bugging in or out; sounds to me like you either plan on or could do either. If t'were me, I'd stay put until the dust dies down a bit and then take off, but that relies on a thorough knowledge of your route and alternatives.

My fourth suggestion is to learn what skills you might think useful en route to home before you actually need them.

My fifth suggestion is to make sure your family is prepared to function in the interim, not just when you are en route, but as soon as they reach your mother-in-law's house. That's an ongoing thing and will take time to get in place, but it kills two birds with one stone, namely making sure your family is prepared and keeping you and your wife [and kids?] in regular contact.

My sixth suggestion is to learn to fix basic problems on your vehicle [split hoses, flat tires, etc.] now rather than later. The skill will always be useful, but never more so than when you absolutely have to rely on your vehicle to launch you at least partway toward home. Also, add supplies for emergency repairs to your vehicle contents.

p.s.: I vote for keeping the dog. Sensible folk will ask 'is your dog friendly' before they put a hand out; you can always say no if you have reason to suspect they aren't on the up-and-up. He can alert you to strangers coming near your camping spot if you have to camp out, and he can pack some of his own food if you train him with a dog pack. If nothing else, in the vehicle he's probably more territorial than not, and a barking German Shepherd in a car isn't something most folks want to mess with.
 

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Pre-plan the routes now. Make three seperate routes. Get GPS/compass/protractor. Laminate all your maps. Run the routes if you can.

1) Get regional area map
2) Get state maps
3) Make detailed Google maps with points of interest along the routes, Fuel points, Water Points ect. Think outside the box on your routes. Is there a river you can float down. If roads are blocked and full of people, maybe walking Railroad tracks is safer.
4) Cache food/water along routes
5) If you can afford a storage unit, stock it with fuel/water/food. 600 miles is a long trip.

Have 3 types of Transportation. Vehicle, Bicycle, Good boots. Get a good water purifier, small fishing pole. I would send the dog with the family. Unless he is well trained he will just be a hinderance.
 

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First of all I would think in two ways. First the short term, what is going to be your skill base when you leave the Military,and thus your last months training course? Make sure it is a good viable source of employment in both places.

I would also begin to send your stuff out to mothers house, if it is agreeable that end.

Think of things you can do while your still in the military to increase your skill sets and try and do as many as possible.


As far as afterwards, see if there is an employer in both places, so you can just transfer sideways to the new community without having to go back on the job search.

Work out a budget and stick to it. You may wish to keep a small amount of preps in the flat (oh check these out in plenty of time just incase you have a lot of competition for their rental (ie students, etc)).

In the short term, dogs can eat the food you have (look at the BARF diet), I feed mine a dry complete mix which can easily be devided up into a smaller pack. You would have to trial the dog out on this food for a period to make sure they were ok with it (change food over a 2 week period just adding alittle at a time). Any dog given a sudden food change will get horrendous diarrohea. In the Uk, we arnt allowed to use pull trailers, and I think doggy packs so check out the US rules on it. Your local husky club would be able to help you on that one or the American Kennel Club.

Dont worry about keeping in touch with friends still in the service, they have a tendency (some what unfortunately) of cutting their ties once you leave. My relatives have had experience of this.

If you are going to use a Bicycle, then you need to train with the dog with it. You can get an attachment that attaches to the handle bars to attach the lead to. Fortunately for you, a German Shepherd is one of the dog breeds that might be able to cope with this (others would be the Dalmatian which was bred to run along side horse and coaches). However you would have to build this exercise up slowly, and also see if there is a legal requirment for or against its use in your state/s. (NOTE FOR OTHERS: Only dogs bred for high activity should be run with bicycles, otherwise it can cause extreme harm to the animal)

Good luck!
 

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Tested in the Wilderness
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The previous posters gave some good info.

But I would like to add that for a Worst case scenario and if one has some land to build on then make a survival retreat with a bunker/fallout/ storm shelter. Which I have shown on my homepage and pic threads.

And here is an excellent BOL - retreat Checklist which if people check it they can see how well prepared they are >> http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=91365

The actual checklist is a little ways down the post and that checklist can also be used for a Bug IN location.
 

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Some thoughts:
1. the map idea was a great one! However, check out the long hiking trails you could use as walking might be your only option. (my kids back up plan is the Appalachian Trail)...find the camp sites, state forests and so on between where you are and where you want to be. You should have at least three alternate routes.
2. The dog should go with the family if possible. Not only do you have to worry about his food (dry would be lightest by the way), you will have to worry about him being a nuisance if he's not perfectly trained, he will bark at a threat, BUT he will also draw attention to you.
3. If it is "just you" for 10 months, consider it like being on an over seas tour and only have the absolute nessesities. Get rid of everything, it's less than a year and there is plenty of things to do in that area. A laptop, bedding etc.
Instead of an apartment, why not the barracks? (don't remember if that's an option there) Eating on base or take out would eliminate the need for anything but a coffee maker and maybe a micro wave.
4. Spend all of your spare time getting into shape.

Good luck! Too bad you couldn't finish your tour at Ft Campbell! lol
 

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I did 600 miles with my dog and she carried a 10-15 lbs pack. Dogs can carry 1/3 there body weight. If you condition the dog and he is between 2-6 he may be able to carry more. Pick up a copy of A Guide To Backpacking With Your Dog, by Charlene G LaBelle. The equipment is a little outdated but the info is good. You can find it used on Amazon for .01cent. Hope that helps.
 

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Thoughtcriminal
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Also if you go w/ a bike make sure you condition the dog to run w/ you. You dont want to start the conditioning and training in a bug out sit. The dog has to be able to run by distractions and stay w/ you. Start on leash and slow (bike speed). Build up to off leash, and the dogs natural gate. That shouldnt be a problem, Sheps were bread to run. Just make sure he understands his job is to run next to you and the bike. Just like heeling on a walk, not run all over the place, cutting in front of you, barking at people, leaving to go sniff/fight another person/dog. You dont want to be dealing w/ that whilst bugging out. It could get you and the dog shot!!
 

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The War to end all Wars
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A few general thoughts:
1) 600 miles with the vehicle is a day or two, 600 miles on foot is two months (assume about 10 miles/day) so you will need two different sets of gear (yes there will be some overlap) depending on your mode of transportation.
2) Multiple routes - when you go home to visit go different routes - not knowing what type of event your really won't know which routes are viable ahead of time
3) Practice texting - when all of the cell circuits are jammed text msgs can still get through. They will also work with fewer "bars".
I don't think anything will happen of major magnitude in the next few months but having a plan is always a good idea. Best of luck.
 

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I don't think anything will happen of major magnitude in the next few months but having a plan is always a good idea. Best of luck.
I don't mean to be a smart..mouth but you live in Florida and don't think anything will happen that is a major disaster???

Do you watch tv or any kind of news? Do you think that the Gulf oil spill - gusher, will or will not affect Florida and other areas especially in the next few months?

Just asking...

People should bring up the oil spill - gusher, every time someone says "I don't think anything will happen.......
 

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The War to end all Wars
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Mike
In no way do I want to minimize the spill in the gulf or hurricanes like Ivan which was a direct hit on the panhandle but these are not the trigger for the "big one". The economic disruption to the people of LA is awful. There are a lot of people is southern LA who are experiencing an individual SHTF situation that could destroy an entire culture and life style. The aftermath of a direct hit, ie the NE quadrant, of a cat 3+ hurricane like Ivan is miserable (personal experience). As we both know and do, these are the reasons to prep.. When I think of a major disaster I think of things that will cause a significant, long term disruption of the food supply system which will change the focus from miserable to survival. I believe that the original question posed related to the "big one" and while I believe that the combination of conditions that may cause the "big one" are building they are not yet at the point where it will take a small event to set it all off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
***WARNING - Approaching a Solid Wall Of Text - WARNING***


There's some really good stuff here to go along with everything I've gleaned off of this site over the past few months. I thought I'd divulge some more information on some of the topics or questions that seemed to have been touched on most frequently in the previous posts.

The Dog - Panzer is a 14 month old German Shepherd that I have had since he was a 3 month old fur ball. Fantastic dog all around. If he has any short comings it's due to his owner. While he is no attack / guard dog his instincts are pretty good. He isn't very vocal and tends to let the hair on the back of his neck do the communicating for him. He has received professional training so I don't have to worry about him running off or misbehaving en-route. He stays close when walked off the leash and immediately obeys given commands. He knows all the standard stuff and also responds when told to leave things alone or be quiet. He's a bit on the small side @ 70 lbs. as far as shepherds go but he is long and slender so he looks bigger than he actual is. Certainly big enough to be intimidating. He only eats about 5 cups of dry food a day and could get by with less.

The BOV - the BOV is a 08 Jeep Wrangler 4/door w/ 50,000 miles. It sits on 33" off road tires that are brand new. It averages 15-16 mpg highway and 12-13 when the going is slow. I don't have enough data to comment on its fuel economy if I were off road for a considerable amount of time but I think 8-10 mpg would be a safe bet. On a straight shot down I-64 it requires about 60 gallons to get to my destination. No winch but it would not be hard to incorporate. It has tons of room in the cargo area, especially with the seats down. It would be feasible to fit all my gas, plenty of food and water, camping gear, the dog, my guns, ammo and a large BOB just in case. I have the option of a roof rack and racks mounted on the bumper but I figure anything external is just advertising. It's a solid vehicle but caca happens.

The Guns - My primary choice is my M4gery. A 16" AR-15 with a few after market mall ninja type add-ons that I have recently started stripping off to save weight. I have a solid red dot type sight that claims 50,000+ hr battery life (Aimpoint) as well as standard Iron Sights. I am proficient with both. I also Have an FNAR .308 rifle. It has some definite advantages mostly due to it'a caliber but in the end I feel it has too many disadvantages. It's action is based on the BAR and isn't exactly the kind of thing you want to break down in the woods. It is also ridiculously heavy with some glass on top and a magazine inserted. I would probably be better off sending this one with the wife, she is proficient with it as well. I also have Mossberg 12g shotgun with an 18" bbl. Extremely light weight, semi auto scattergun that eats whatever I feed it. I think its a keeper. My handguns are both 9mm CZ75 variants. It is what it is and am aware of all the caliber debates. I also understand the rifle operating system debates but I am borderline obsessive compulsive when it comes to keeping my weapons clean.

My Gear - Camping and the outdoors is a new interest of mine. So with that in mind my gear selection is nil. I started off buying a quality pack from Mystery Ranch. It is not gigantic (2000 cu.in.) but has the ability to mount exterior pouches. I worry that it would be too small for what I might need for an undertaking like this however. My sleeping bag is by Snugpak and is rated at 30 degrees. It is referred to as a jungle bag so obviously I need to get my hands on a cold weather bag as well. I am going back and forth between a quality one man tent or a hammock to augment it. I am not opposed to the tarp and 550 cord route but figure if I have the money for a quality piece of gear, then why not get it. I can't take my money with me when I die and if I die from crappy gear it would be a real kick in the jewels. One thing I have tons of is Camouflage. I have stacks of Temperate camo and the new MarPat camo fatigues as well as a bunch of bulk camo material. I have an assortment of the typical survival/first aid gear from mining data from this sight but suffer from some sickness that makes me think I'm always missing something important. I hope to post lists and pictures once I get it all together.

Me - I'm a basically trained Marine and a helicopter crewchief. Outside of turbine engines and crew served weapons I only know a little bit about a bunch of different stuff. Basic land navigation, basic survival skills, basic first aid, basic offensive and defensive skills, basic knowledge of tactics...like I said, basically trained Marine. I probably fall in to the category of knowing just enough to get me into trouble but not enough to get me out of it.. I'm sure with a little discomfort and a lot of cussing I could last a few weeks at a local campsite but the possibility of traveling 600 miles on foot, alone scares the crap out of me. I'm fit but certainly in no shape for a trek like that. I'd like to think that I could do anything and I know most challenges are more mental than physical but it is still daunting, more due to my overall lack of knowledge than to any shortcoming in the fitness department. I am mentally tough and irritatingly optimistic most of the time. This survivalist, prepping, doom & gloom thing is new to me and had my wife considerably worried for a time.

Biggest Worries -
-I can't use roads for whatever reason and have to go by foot from the very beginning. It may have been no big deal to our forefathers but it seems monumental to me.
-Falling prey to bandits or desperate refugees.
-Marshall Law would definitely be a problem as far as moving freely.
-Car trouble. Turbine engine, no problem. An automobile, I am sorely lacking there. I wouldn't even know which spare parts to take, how to troubleshoot, how to improvise. I would be the guy that walks away from a perfectly good vehicle due to a $2 part I could take off of any other vehicle and swap quickly and easily.
-Serious injury, for obvious reasons.
-Running into other people. I don't like being around other people as it is. I don't want to get anywhere near them in a crisis.
 

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You also need to think about the kind of folks you could run across trekking through the hills and hollers of Appalachia. Some of my people come from KY; you'll want to give them a wide berth.
 
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