SHTF And You Are 1000 Miles Away From Home With No Preps…

I have been thinking about this hypothetical lately – ‘What if’ you were a long, long way from home, say 1,000 miles, you had no particular preps with you, and then ‘Murphy’ strikes… the Shite has hit the fan in a MAJOR way.

The power grid has gone down – apparently across the nation and maybe beyond. There is little likelihood that the power will come back on for quite some time.

Your vehicle still works though, but the only fuel you have is what’s already in your tank. You know that you won’t be able to fill up at a gas station and you know that you only have about 200 miles of range left in the tank.

You’ve been on a trip, staying at a friends house – who is not a prepper and is no better prepared for anything than any other typical non-prepper. The home is not in the city, but you are in the suburbs – where most everyone else lives these days…

What do you do next?
And what do you do after that? And after that?


Note: Although most all of you reading this would have had some preps with you on such a long journey, lets just say that you didn’t. Whoops.

Objective: To discover what you and others would do under these general but grave circumstances and to learn from each others responses as to what various courses of action might be advisable vs. not…

I could attempt to write a novel (MANY others have!) on this general scenario, but I’ll leave it to you for now – not to write a novel (we’ll run out of comment space) but to generalize or bullet-point the actions you might consider taking under this hypothetical…

Later I’ll update this article with the ideas presented.

Ready, Set, GO…

Related: One Second After

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Peak Refuel authorized distributor


  1. 1st check wallets for cash on hand
    2nd look at kitchen to see what’s available and how soon must be eaten
    3rd check cars for gasoline status, check garage to see if any more
    4th with above data make plans quickly as panic will be in hours for most folks
    5th spend cash as available on needed items NOW.
    6th get to know your neighbors as you really do not have any reasonable chance of getting home given the scenario given.
    7th settle in for the ride I suggest you LEAD BY EXAMPLE as folks will need leadership NOW.

    1. I agree with NH Michael. Since we always carry plenty of cash when away from home we should have no problem with getting supplies. Before the reality settles in with the neighbors, ask the neighbors if you can buy the gas that they have in their vehicles for double what it cost them. Most sheeple will think that your an idiot and that they will make out like a bandit. Remember to also buy their gas cans if they have any available.

      I think the key is to use your vehicle to get as far as you can before you have to hoof it. After acquiring your gas, concentrate on your other needs that will help you get home. Then get on the road ASAP before everyone else realizes what is going on, before the gangs get organized and start putting up road blocks to rob people. You may have 24 hours before things start to change for the worse. Drive as long as and far as you can before these changes start to take place.

      After that, rest, because next you will need to be sharp and have your wits about you to keep alive as things get more dangerous.

  2. I guess my first thought would be to scrounge up as many gas cans as I could and start gathering fuel to get me home, where all of my preps are.
    I could do 1000 miles in day on about 2 tanks of gas, providing the rule of law was still mostly intact.

    1. You can do that but you be open target for yourself. I be doing survival and prepper for over years.i travel for work
      You can steal a bike.or carry one with a bug out bag.

  3. At this point I think it’s unlikely anyone would make it home in these circumstances. It’s probably best to start stockpiling what you can with your friend you have been staying with and preparing to make a go of it.

    If I did decide to chance a trip home, I would look for alternative sources of fuel where possible but, I think it’s unrealistic to expect to be able to drive the whole way even if I had the fuel. The roads would quickly become clogged as people ran out of gas and abandoned their vehicles.

    My solution, once the vehicle has gotten me as far as it can, I beg borrow or steal bicycles for those in my party (I’m not sure if the friend would have joined us on our trip home). Everyone has a bike in their garage and most haven’t been used in some time. Your average person won’t even see it as an asset so you should be able to make a deal quickly. Even if you’re not in great shape you should be able to bike 20 miles per day. That’s a lot further than the 3-5 miles you may be able to walk. It still doesn’t put you home for over a month (which is why I think the trip is doomed from the start) but, it’s really your best shot.


    1. As a side note, I always carry a blank check with me. If I can find someone to accept it, it’s value is virtually unlimited. Now if I could find someone to accept it in exchange for a motorcycle or 3…

    2. You’re in pretty bad shape if you can only cover 3 to 5 miles a day walking. The average person can walk casually 3 to 4 miles an hours. So walking 8 to 10 hours a day only, you would cover between 30 and 40 miles. An average bike ride is around 8 mph. So, even if you didn’t push yourself hard on a bike, you could easily cover 80 miles a day.

      1. So, by bike it would take approximately 12.5 days to go 1000 mile at 80 miles a day. This is if you only road 10 hours a day. As a bike rider, I can state this is doable for anyone that is of average fitness and no major health issues.

        first, food and water for the trip, or means to acquire during the trip.
        Second, get on the road either driving, biking, or walking. Don’t delay!!!
        Third, some type of weapon for protection.

        1. As a former cyclist myself, Don’t forget that 80 miles a day is REALLY dependent on the type of bike, Skill on a bike and fitness, and keeping that pace up for more than a few days will cause your legs to shut down after a few days or a week, and if your carrying gear that changes to.

          More realistic for an average health person on a Road Bike instead of a mountain bike would be closer to 40-50 miles per day with a day off every few days. Otherwise you might push yourself to shut down and get stuck for a while.

          I know endurance racers that do week long training sessions of 80-100 miles a day and it Punishes them. And these are Peak fitness and train specifically for those type of rides. And sure there are guys doing 120-150 mile days, but they are then Off for 2-3 days after that. An average “Road” race is 50 miles and in hilly country like the Appalachian or Rocky mountains is going to take 3-4 hours and wear you out.

          An average person on say a Low end mountain bike with a pack carrying a few days of food and some basic scrounged up gear…They might be lucky to do 20-30 miles a day without bonking every night and only making it a few days.

        2. Thanks, Ahab. A trip that long is about far more than just the math of how far you can go. It will be grueling even with a great bike and NO gear to weigh you down. If you add in the cumulative distance, the fact that most people aren’t in good enough shape to just start huffing it 80 miles per day on end, the items you’ll need to be carrying with you, and the element of WROL diversions the trip will indeed take over a month.

          My wife did a 25 mile bike race last summer. She had to build up to it for months and the next day she was exhausted. I went out with her on one of her 12 mile “prep” rides and it wasn’t easy. Yes, I could have pushed myself and probably done 25-30 miles that day but how easy would it have been to get up and do it again the next day given all the things I mentioned previously?

        3. Novice,

          I feel your pain. My best friend Raced Cat 1 ” Highest category of semi pro racing” He would do 50-60 mile races. I would go out on 20 mile training rides and it would just wreck me.

          Now, don’t get me wrong, a Bike is a force multiplier when it comes to travel. So I absolutely think it increases your chances of getting home. But one persons experience on a bike is totally different from another’s. I haven’t ridden in years and would be in a bad position if I had to ride 1000 miles home. That does not mean I wouldent make the effort. I think we all have people we would feel the need to return for.

      2. Walk 3-4 mph 30 -40 miles per day get real. Luck to walk 3-4 miles per day in my location. Cash and checks. Lol someones dreaming

  4. So many variables that could determine what actions are most prudent, but assuming it’s “known” that this is a long term grid down situation:

    1. Take stock of items on hand.

    2. Advise non-prepper friend of situation and how to utilize his supplies.

    3. Attempt to secure as much fuel as possible.

    4. Attempt to secure potable water and high calorie portable food.

    5. Visual recon on highway, surface road, secondary road conditions (Grid lock? Moving freely?)

    6. Determine best possible route for speed (most vehicles get the best fuel mileage when running in their highest gear but the lowest speed that gear will remain engaged in)

    7. Head for home, attempting to secure more fuel enroute via abandoned/broken down vehicles.

    8. When/if fuel runs out and no more can be secured, sabotage vehicle to prevent starting/running (pull various fuses, disconnect ECM, TCM, cut wires, etc.), and begin hoofing it.

    1. I ALWAYS have my get home bag, weapon(s), water filter, additional ammo, etc. in my vehicle, but had to go along with the premise stated that for some insane reason I did not have it with me.

      Also, if a bike is available (as suggested) definitely try to secure it. Gas will get you much further in most motorcycles than a big Jeep like mine, and pedal power will get you as far as you can pedal :)

    2. Most newer cars have anti-rollover/anti-siphon devices built into the fuel filler neck. You would probably have to puncture gas tanks, most of which are now (very tough) plastic. You may need a couple of shallow drip pans (think trash can lids, and switching out as they fill) to catch the gas.

  5. Getting ready for that trip are we????

    There are a LOT (thousands) of variables here to take into consideration.

    – Are you alone or with your spouse and kids
    – What time of year, winter summer so-on
    – Assuming all you have is what’s on your back, NOTHNIG else.
    – How critical is it to get home, NOW (your family is there alone) or in a month
    So, for me;
    – Make a plan, MAKE A PLAN; take a few hours to evaluate what resources I can get my hands on.
    – Try to help the Friend make some plans, and to guide them with advice such as get water stored….ETC.
    – Find something to make into some sort of protective weapons/security for you and your friend.
    – Build some sort of “ruck sack” or hobo bag that you can load if/when you do find supplies, grab what you can without hurting your friends chances, water etc.
    – Dress as a Gray Man, get rid of the stuff that will make you stand out like you have something valuable leave the useless “junk” there, you will NOT need that Razor
    – Leave the “friends” place ASAP, they will need all the their resources, not you using their “stuff”.
    – IMHO, driving is going to probably get you killed very quickly, yet will make the best “time”, so evaluate the “mood” of the people around and be ready to give up that vehicle at first signs of trouble. Remembering you stated “You know that you won’t be able to fill up at a gas station”, maybe get as much fuel as you can, but don’t believe you’ll be able to drive the 1000 miles.
    – Follow water-ways as long as you can, get off the roads and “normal” traveled paths once you have abandoned the vehicle.
    – Travel short distances at a time, and only late at night.
    – Stay away from ALL people, they will WILL become dangerous and kill you for your shoes or anything else you may have.
    – After the first night of travel, kick yourself for leaving home without your “stuff”.

    It’s going to be a very, VERY long trip, and you had best know there is a HUGE probability you will not make it, BUT knowing your family is depending on you…… you know the rest.


    1. NRP, I agree with you but I think if one leaves immediately, one should be somewhat safer than if leaving even a day into the event.

      I think it will take a day or two in many places before people start killing each other out on the road for non consumables, although the area one is in obviously will be a major determining factor in how fast the ugliness will begin.

      From the get go, it might be safe to hit the highways/byways for speed. But as time passes and people start to quickly grasp the reality of what has happened, then I think the violence and lawlessness will ramp up quickly. I would intend to take advantage of that “shock-lull” period of time to act while most others are still trying to figure out why their electricity hasn’t come back on yet and the thugs are still trying to gauge if it’s party time yet or not.

      Once the ugly starts, then it’s time to go dark.

  6. I am actually most concerned about this scenario and I do find myself occasionally 1400 miles from home. Of course I have emp resistant vehicles at my disposal and supplies where I conduct seasonal work.

    But lets play the what if game and say I had nothing at all but my car that still works. Most people will not realize the power is permanently out it will take 24-48 hours before that idea settles in and then SHTF. Your advantage is to stop playing by the rules from the get go. Think outside the box.

    First thing I would do is covertly (ninja style) go around the area collecting fuel cans, even soda bottles and take a screw driver punch out all of the plastic fuel tanks on the cars and collect fuel. Trust me I will not be sucking on a hose.

    Next gather food from friendly neighbors, the ones I will not steal from. I will also need to requisition a bike from them as an alternate mode of transport. You can also ask if they can spare a rain coat, blanket and warm jacket and most important TP.

    Amusing GPS is out you will need to gather state maps from gas stations so that you can find alternate routes when SHTF and it all goes to h_ll.
    Also Don’t forget water, a blade, and a Bic lighter.

    Remember to keep that screw driver it will come in handy to obtain more fuel as long as you move like a ninja and don’t get caught. You always have the bike as an alternate but expect to make nor more than 60-100 miles per day on a bike.

  7. Very good question. Perhaps a future post could pose the question of that situation taking place if you were traveling between point A and point B. Hopefully Trump will do something to protect the grid before something like this can occur. Basically I believe that you would be pretty much on your own, because that non-prepper will probably continue the normalcy bias thing believing ” don’t worry, help will soon be on it’s way “. All the while the 72 hour window is slowly closing.

    1. You can hope that Trump will do something to protect the grid. That SHOULD be his first priority. It is one of the cheapest things and would likely cause the most carnage if it is not done. But he never talks about the grid. Over and over again he says “roads, bridges, tunnels.” I don’t think he is aware of the danger.

  8. The most isolated I heard was a friend who was on a caribou hunt north of the Arctic Circle on 9/11/01.

    All planes within the US were grounded for at least a day. Contact with the outfitters was maintained. The hunters in spike camp were told to shelter in place but pack their stuff to be ready for a rapid evacuation. The outfitters did get permission to fly a day later, there was a narrow window in the weather and the hunters were picked up with no casualties with exception of a few tents left on the tundra.

    During 9/11, others were far from home as some travel a lot for business. Mas Ayoob talked about how his wife and daughter had to travel by automobile across several state lines. Their guns were not with them so they used their FFL to purchase a personal weapon for travel on the roads by automobile.

    9/11 made people who never thought about prepping go into prepping in high gear. For a brief time, there was a shortage of water filters, guns and freeze dried food. It took about a year for things to settle down. For myself, I was at home and I went to work that evening.

    After 9/11 we became a nation at war on 2 fronts yet within the Con US, the scary thing for me was to watch the normalcy bias return so fast. TV programing had returned to who is sleeping with who, what is in fashion today etc.

    1000 miles from home? Is there an ocean separating me from home? If not, I would take to the roads with cash in small bills, a money belt and a small weapon on my person in addition to supplies needed to travel that distance (clothing, bedding etc.) I would stick with my truck for as long as I could. 9/11 did not shut down gas stations although resupply at some stores became a bit unpredictable in the weeks following.

    If I were at a friend’s house when this happens, (and they are not prepared,) I would stay long enough to go to the store with them to help them gather what they can. After that, I would stay to help until I become a 5th wheel then I would depart for home. I’ve got my cats and dogs at home to take care of.

  9. @ WC, Assuming you meant assuming, but alas, that was amusing! I also assume that once the authorities realize that the grid is down for the long term, that perhaps martial law would be imposed to help keep order. This would probably put a damper on ones plans to travel any significant distance. Would doing everything possible to prepare to hunker down & bug-in before the 72 hour window closes be the preferred option? If this question does not challenge one to always be prepped, what would?

    1. @CR
      Yes assuming is what I meant… I suck at proof eading. “reading” ;)

      My marriage vows and family will leave me no choice but to fight my way home over my 1400 mile scenario come h_ll or high water. Hopefully there will be some divine intervention if it ever came to that type of event.

      My honor and loyalty is my driving force to make it home to my family or I will die trying in a long term SHTF event.

  10. A 1000 miles and little to no preps? The likelihood of me being that far from home with no preps is about as great as being eaten by a giant Armadillo!! I would never go that far from home without a bunch of stuff in the back of my truck.

    Hell!! A 100 miles from home is a long trip for me so 1000 miles means I would most likely have a bunch of camping gear (sleeping bags/tent/stove/skillet/TP/backpack etc..), and several days to a weeks worth of food and water, a hand gun in the back of my truck with several loaded magazines and a couple extra boxes of ammo, along with the one I normally carry in the front. For a trip that long I’d probably even have a shotgun and AR. Since you didn’t say what caused the power outage, I’ll assume it is simply a nation-wide grid failure and not caused by a massive EMP.

    “…but the only fuel you have is what’s already in your tank. You know that you won’t be able to fill up at a gas station…”

    This is not necessarily true. It’s been my experience that most big gas stations have emergency diesel generators that they run if the power goes out after a major event (at least the ones around here do), which will most likely give me at least a couple days.

    We’ve been without power for up to 6 weeks several times after a major hurricane but the big stations remained open after the storm passed, running on their emergency diesel generators until THEY either run out (which takes several days) or get replenished. I’d do my best to top off my tanks and then… I’d skedaddle back home as fast as I could.

    Plan B? Drive as far as I could then see if I could steal some gas and continue on or else I’d have to hoof it. That then would become a real drag. I’d have to play that one by ear and take whatever comes my way. There are so many variables in that scenario that it is not practical to try and imagine them all out on this forum. Where you are at the time and whether it’s summer or winter makes a big difference. I would definitely be uncomfortable and pissed but I think in the end I’d be OK.

    1. Oh… I forgot to add. Since this is a what if… play like scenario. My old truck has dual tanks, 21 gallons ea. Under optimum conditions I can drive 800 miles non stop with a gallon and some fumes left. If I pick up just two 6 gallon jerry cans of gas, I can make it all the way home… or close to it since conditions probably won’t be optimum.

      I would find it hard to believe I couldn’t find enough fuel in that distance to not make it home. I drove from San Diego to New Orleans once, non stop (except for bathroom/fuel stops). Started with full tanks, filled up twice and had one tank left when I got home. That was a little over 1,800 miles and 28 hours later.

      I didn’t carry a whole lot of “preps” with me then except my own wits and a few camping items (sleeping bag, blankets, cook stove, one weapon), but today I would never leave home on a trip without that and a lot more.

    2. CrabbeNebulae

      okay, you wouldn’t be in that situation on purpose…
      how about this…

      you are in your well prepped truck, some chithead runs into you.

      You are carted by air ambulance to major city/truck is hauled off “somewhere”.

      You are only in hospital one day, declared fine, and suddenly SHTF?

      what then?

      1. @Anon

        Thanks for stimulating my grey matter. I needed that to smack me back to Earth.

        If a chithead runs into me and demolishes my truck full of preps then it will be somewhere close to home and my truck most likely will not be crammed full of preps. Although I do carry a few locally… always have. The nearest hospital is about 20 miles away and I could easily walk home. Even then, I would have to cross that bridge when I got to it. To answer your question directly about your scenario, I can honestly say I don’t have a clue what I’d do because it goes way beyond my realms of possibility. I’d simply have to cross that bridge somehow.

        My plan A and plan B in my original post are simply what ifs based on the article and my preparedness lifestyle and things I’ve experienced before. There are so many variables implied here that it is useless to try and discuss them because we would be here talking about it all day and night for a couple weeks. At this point in my life I cannot, for the life of me, come up with a scenario where I would voluntarily be 1000 miles from home much less with no preps. I’m inclined to be the type to say “never say never” but… If I wound up 1000 miles from home without preps it would be totally involuntary. That means that someone or some organization kidnapped me, or I was abducted by aliens and dropped off and either way I would be there against my will, without preps to begin with. That opens up a completely different set of scenarios and corresponding rules, especially in a total SHTF. Scenarios and rules that I only read about in fiction novels like The Gray Man series or Jack Reacher or Dirk Pitt which all go well above the “what if” scenarios on into the stratosphere of fiction. Nice reading though.

        I’ve been fairly well prepped most of my life and have actually been in some scary and tight situations to boot, but let’s get real… I’m almost 70 years old and have absolutely no intention of ever being 1000 miles from home, much less with no preps. At least not voluntarily. My worse case scenario that concerns me the most doesn’t go much further than a tornado blowing my home and all my preps to the four winds leaving me with a few sticks and stones to start over. At that point, I don’t know what I’d do other than dig out as best as I can. You don’t have to be a 1000 miles from home to be screwed. .

        1. CrabbeNebulae

          Grin…always good to think “outside the box”…

          re you and your preps…seriously, only thing which might happen is some sort of medical emergency where you are airlifted much further than your 20 mile local hospital….(where they have some special sort of medical care etc…)…Not likely, but, hear about these kind of situations in the news frequently…

  11. With a grid-down scenario, we would go home. We would NOT opt to shelter in place at all.

    The only way that we would be 1,000 miles from home would be with our truck pulling our RV. That RV doesn’t take a road trip without firearms, both GHBs, both GOOD bags, and a very well stocked supply of FD/DH foods kept under the bed’s storage area. We’d be okay on the food. We also keep a 5-gal diesel tank in the back of the truck just-in-case and would likely find a source for some extra tanks if we acted quickly. We always carry small bills and would pay whatever it took to get the diesel to get home. Since we haul water in both the RV’s tank and 3 5-gallon carry-on water tanks, we could hopefully top it all off (somehow) before we headed home.

    The faster we reacted, the further we would be able to drive towards home. If we encountered roadway problems, we could offload the RV and transfer the stash into the truck. Needless to say, we would not drive through or closely around a major metro area!

    Our well-known and discussed plan for grid-down/EMP in this region is to get home and to pace ourselves between 10-15 miles/day on foot. We have the gear for overnights. We are in a mountainous terrain and in our early 60s — fatigue worsens survival chances if/when a bodily injury happens. Also, I may be traveling with a 10-year old, so I will only ‘push’ so far, anyway. Our other rule for grid-down/EMP is that the person at home does NOT go on the road searching for the other one.

    Interesting topic, and having been a dumb teenager and 1,000 miles away from home with nothing but the clothes on my back, I can relate! lol

  12. Goodness everybody is going home Asap. Some are going ninja and destroying all unguarded vehicles gas tanks enroute. Assuming 20 hours of sheep!e waiting to be rescued and no law enforcement or criminals you might have a chance. But what about your non prepped friend and his family? My family has Sops and can survive with out me. This scenario is Exactly what I fear the worst. Settle in with your friends family and give them a fighting chance.

    1. Yes and no…

      If my friend has chosen to remain blissfully asleep and not to prepare in any way, then like I said above, I would give him advise on how to utilize the supplies he has on hand, advise him on how to possibly secure more supplies and the dangers of doing so…

      Then I’m Gone. That’s all the help he can expect. Now it’s too late to spend time training him on what to do.

      My family comes first. I see this as analogous to already being at home and unprepared people start hitting up our family for supplies. You cannot endanger yourself or your family to help others who have chosen not to at least try to prepare to some degree.

      No matter how well trained your family is, no matter how “bad-a$$” they are, your presence means ALLOT. Now, they aren’t worrying constantly about where you are, your safety, etc., and you are HOME. There’s allot to be said for that.

      Remember one of the rules of a gunfight… Bring your friends; and they should bring their guns. You are one more wolf in your pack, able to swing the odds in your family’s favor should a confrontation arise.

      You know your land/neighborhood a heck of allot better than your friends strange neighborhood 1,000 miles away from your home. You can spend a SHORT period of time giving him pointers, but I will then immediately head home to join my family.

      1. Good Lord I cannot spell today…

        advise should be advice.

        And the only reason I would disable (NOT destroy) my vehicle if forced to abandon it is in the hope that someday I would be able to recover it.

        Never disregard a potential future asset.

  13. I would never go 1,000 miles away from home. Occasionally I have to go to the nearest large town for a doctor’s appointment or something — 9,000 people, 55 miles one way — but I worry every time, since I would have a hard time walking 55 miles. Probably take me at least 3 days and if it was winter I wouldn’t be able to live through the cold nights. So I avoid going more than a few miles in the winter and limit my summer trips to those that are absolutely necessary. The best way to survive a situation is to never put yourself in that situation in the first place.

  14. We had actually been planning a trip for DH’s annual family reunion which is about 1,000 miles and one international border away. I admit that I really hadn’t been too keen on going because of the distance and the possibility of something hitting the fan.

    I kept going over what items we’d need to carry and how to get across the border without raising a few eyebrows and getting pulled over for an in-depth “inspection”. Since most people don’t seem to be preppers, the norm is to pack up the vehicle with a cooler, toys and clothes. Figured I could pack food into a suitcase and bring a case of water bottles. Another suitcase with more clothes than what we would normally need for a 3 day stay. Bedding would be packed too. If we need to rough it, I’ll also bring my “urine re-directer” with me. Allows me to pee standing up like the boys. Yes ladies, it’s a God send when you come across dirty bathrooms or are forced to pee against a tree (the man bathroom). Don’t leave home without it!!!

    Still, I was feeling uneasy about the idea of going. How would we get back home? Would the border be closed? How would we contact family?

    Well, the trip is no longer an issue. My car decided to break down and the repair estimate came in at $3,200. It’s 17 years old and this is the first major repair I’ve needed. Problem solved! No trip for us. But I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments. I learn so much from all those folks who comment.

    Oops, forgot to mention that I’d pack tp.


  15. Trying to stick to the scenario, 1000 miles would put us on the far side of Denver to the east ( or in Washington state to the north). If it’s winter, we probably wouldn’t make it home through the bad weather, and in the heat of summer we would be looking at brutal desert travel.

    Staying put with few supplies holds no hope, either… unless our friends could help pull their community together.

    Difficult choice, as neither scenario gives us a good chance. We would probably stay where we were, unless we could be very confident we could get everything we need to survive on the road, and felt we could withstand the weather.

    Whichever decision we made, time would be of the essence. Would have to acquire as much as we could as fast as we could.

  16. I honestly think there is an awful lot of wishful optimism going on here. 1000 miles is an awful long distance which would cross all sorts of terrain and social groups. Don’t assume all the routes on maps would be usable – due to natural impediments like downed trees or power lines, flooding, structural failure etc. Road blocks manned by law enforcement, neighborhood defenders, or thugs could all be encountered. That could mean traveling off the beaten path which would be an additional challenge for navigation and terrain, not to mention dealing with injuries and uncooperative weather. How would you feed yourself those extra calories being burnt? I don’t think this kind of distance could be covered by bicycle very quickly or easily by the non enthusiast either, not to mention flats and bent rims etc. Novels and movies can be thought provoking and educational to an extent, but they are still fiction. Consider also that many people are not ” iron man ” competitors but senior citizens with various health issues. Sorry if I seem pessimistic – just trying to be realistic.

    1. wow, these are all pretty good comments!
      i would add this one thing more:

      You’re a thousand miles from home with no preps. Go to the nearest bathroom, look into the mirror and PUNCH YOURSELF IN THE FACE! WTH were you thinking?!! 1,000 miles and no preps!!?

      Or, and this is more likely, you flew to Point B because a thousand miles is kind of a long trip by vehicle. The gas is nearly as much as a round trip ticket. So in that case you would definitely be limited to the number and manner of preps due to the TSA frivolity you’d be forced to endure.

      This is a great thought exercise!

      Also, I can see both sides of the logic to remain where you are as opposed to trying to get back home. Let’s say you make the entire distance and actually manage to live? What are the odds your preps are all just waiting for you untouched by the mob of looters that will surge thru in waves? It’s logical to stay where you are and make the best of it.

      But yeah, go in the bathroom, look in the mirror, and punch yourself in the face for not having any preps. Dumbass.

  17. Considering the scenario as written, I’d first verify my friend’s level of preparedness. If s/he has extra gas (or gas s/he might be willing to part with). If they have food, water and protection if I were to leave. If they have the skills necessary. One more person might be the key to survival, and no one is relying on me at home. It also depends on WHERE I am, because that thousand miles can be even longer if there are mountains between me and my destination.

    My ultimate goal would of course be to get home, but there are thousands of small events and choices between me and that goal.

    So after determining whether my best option would be to stay put,

    Notify the nearest BOL (family and friends who would have agreed in advance) that I’m on my way
    Acquire a bicycle
    Acquire food and water for the trip
    Acquire gas and gas cans.
    Get as far as possible until the car is useless

    Bike from there. I have friends and/or family on rural land in Florida, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Kansas, so pretty much anywhere within the continental US I have a destination. I need friends in Ohio or something.

    Everyone keeps mentioning gas and gas cans, with the power out. If the grid is down there is no gas PUMPING, but a hand pump might still bring it up from the underground tanks if you can get the caps open.

    1. Lauren, many small farms use 12-volt pumps. Also, small farms and even construction sites use manual pumps to fill equipment tanks.

  18. Hard to imagine this scenario, it breaks the second law of prepperdynamics: The amount of prepping supplies required is directly proportional to the square of the distance from home.

  19. 1000 mi. = at least 17 hrs. driving maybe more to maximize fuel economy & to get through slower speed zones. When I get to my destination I try to remember to fuel up as a precaution against something like this. Of course I forget sometimes but this activity is a good reminder. Thanks Ken. I think if starting for home I would want some dense nutrition with me like Peanut butter, extra gas, blankets, & water. As I’m not too mobile in my old age, biking is not an option. I would definitely take the weather into consideration. I always carry cash with me so no matter, stay or go I would maximise my supplies with that. So many unknowns it is hard to be definite now but at least an hours preplanning might not be wasted time.

  20. I would probably strike out into rural areas to find people willing to help me if I help them and go from there unless I had an obligation elsewhere (such as family that did not accompany me). I’m pretty sure the average rural community may be able to survive, and communities like those may accept someone like me for the work I could do. If I literally have nothing but the car, there’s not much else I can do unless I can scavenge for the supplies needed to make it back. It all depends on the specific situation that I’m in to make a decision on whether to hunker down or whether to try and make it back. If I had to guess, I would probably try to make do.

    1. Youngster, you are wise beyond your years! Yes, head for the rural area but never appear to be a threat — just someone in need of a helping hand. The earlier you seek their assistance, the better. It’s in the rural areas where the extra fuel can be obtained. Most small farmers have fuel tanks and they’re using 12-volt pumps to run them. Or they have a manual hand pump (like a crank).

      +10 points to you!

  21. I have given a lot of thought to this senerio several times before. As quickly as I realized the grid/etcetera was down I would go to the nearest small airport. As a pilot myself I would take ( anyway necessary) any plane that i know how to fly fuel up and leave without a flight plan. If there was a plane there/with its pilot that i did not know how to fly I would reach an agreement with the pilot and off we would go. In flight I would monitor the radio ( if there was radio traffic) to keep up with what is going on down below. If possible every 200/300 or so miles I would try to land and refuel, this could be the dangerous part. I feel that at 7000 feet and flying at say 120 knots I would have a good chance at getting home. There are many variations to this general plan of action. Please realize this a generalized plan of action and I may have to adapt and overcome as I go.

    1. Hmmm, taking an airplane by any means necessary. No flight plan, VFR in a SHTF situation. What about the transponder? I’m thinking a pair of F-16’s will appear on your wingtips fairly soon.

      Not to be a negative Nelly, perhaps the plan needs a little development.

      1. If martial law has already been declared, then no matter what mode of transportation you’re attempting will be put to the test right quick, and you’re right – you might be staring at the wingtips of a pair of F-16s… The key is getting out of dodge before that happens (if that is even possible). Since the hypothetical situation is nation-wide blackout (or bigger), chances are that the window will be pretty short. That’s why I was intrigued by the flying aspect – it’s much quicker than a vehicle.

    2. This as a potential viable plan of action under this general scenario, assuming that you’ve made the decision to ‘go’ and assuming that you are a pilot. Many variables to consider but this might be one way to get pretty close to home quickly provided that you had enough initial fuel and/or the ability to refuel without the grid at a small airport. If you’re not a pilot, it may be difficult to convince some stranger to fly you out.

      There have been many great suggestions and discussion. It is certainly a mind-bender to consider the many potential options which ‘depend’ upon so many things. It’s a good exercise.

      An important key consideration to making it back home before it gets too ugly (if that is one’s plan) is speed. Without the grid, things will devolve fairly quickly into chaos. There is an initial window of time though while people are still trying to wrap their heads around the disaster. It is an opportunity to get stuff done before it gets too crazy…

      1. Fuel!!!

        Small airports use small tanker truck for refueling. So, if vehicles are still running, in all likelihood the fuel truck will also. While the aviation fuel maybe a higher octane, it might be a place to acquire fuel for your vehicle as well!!!

        1. I have operated my vehicle in a pinch on avgas 100LL (LL = Low Lead)

    3. In October, the wife & I will be attending our 50th class reunion in eastern PA. This will be about 5,000 miles from where we live in Alaska and will necessitate air travel limiting what I can take. If the crap were to hit the fan it would be about a 5,000-mile hike. What would I do? Prudent thing would be to hunker down with relatives although they aren’t preppers I would hit the Cabela’s in my home town for weapons, ammo and other supplies and If needed I would use one of several copies of my FFL that I always carry when I travel, then get as much food and other supplies as quickly as possible. I know of several unused cabins in the mountains near there. An alternative would be to go to a small airport and look for an unattended Cessna 172, 180, 182 or 206 and if I cannot find the keys or either hot wire it I would remove the “P” lead from the magneto’s ( I’m an aircraft mechanic and a commercial & Instrument rated pilot with experience in the Alaska Bush) and fly wife & me as far as we could go and hope to be able to find avgas when we landed. With luck and good weather, it would be about 4 days to Anchorage and all of my preps if #1 son and neighbors (several are preppers) could protect them until we get home.

      1. Came up in 74 in the military, left in79 to Ft. Bragg got out in 80 after 11+ years and moved back to Anchorage. been here since. I had my own small repair shop then worked for others after I caught someone working on their plane after I signed the book off. I have experience on everything from a Cessna 150 to a 747 to Bell 204/205/206 (Hueys) and Hugh’s 500.
        Yes winters are getting longer or it seems so and colder. Knees don’t work like they used to and other things. Wife & I are thinking of moving BUT this is now home and we know where everything is including the VA hospital.

  22. First and foremost I would be trying to gather information. For all I know my bug out retreat may have been in the path of a nuke that caused the blackouts and there would be no point trying to get there.
    Then I would gather whatever money and resources I had and go “shopping” and acquire as much beans, rice, and canned meats I could get my hands on.
    Then I would acquire some bricks or cinder blocks that I could make a rocket stove from.
    I would also look to either buy or build a water filter of some kind. At worst you could filter debree from water then use plastic bottles to purify using the SODIS method.
    I would hunker down with my 1000 mile friend until I gathered enough information to know if it was safe enough or worth traveling back home. It may not even be worth it, it might just be a crater.
    Then gather or make weapons for defense and offense.
    Always keep it simple: Info, food, water, shelter & security.
    After getting all that going, then I’d start making plans for living improvements and possible relocation if necessary.

  23. We have run this type of scenario in our group as have the other groups we associate with. The same argument always comes up that I would never be unprepared. So we changed up the scenario. Here’s a few…
    You are pumping gas in your well stocked vehicle when a thug points a shotgun at your head at 8 feet while another puts a gun to your spouse’s head. Now you’re stranded. A tree/ building falls on your vehicle flattening it during an earthquake. Fuel/oil pump goes out or 1 of 20 sensors that makes the vehicle not run or runs poorly.. You blow out 2 tires bending the rims.Radiator ruptures in your well stocked vehicle. Vehicle is stolen in the confusion.
    That’s enough I think but you get the idea.
    Quite frankly the consensus was you needed a bit of luck to go along with your wits and your skills to make it back home.
    Way too much can go wrong. Adding kids/Grandkids really adds to the difficulty. The comments have listed many things that could go wrong.
    That’s not to say it can’t be done but the odds are against you in the parameters of this scenario.
    That’s why you would need to better your odds with some of the suggestions made.
    So to those who commented go off this wrinkle in the scenario and think through how you would handle it.
    Later I will post ad ome of the solutions that our 3 groups came up with…
    (These type of scenarios are why I really like this site!)

  24. With my friend living in suburbia and not being a prepper, bugging in doesn’t seem like a good idea. So, time to make a travel plan and take inventory of what my friend does have that will aid in our survival. Being 1000 miles from home, this friend must be someone I care for. Yes, I would ask him to come with me. I have been enjoying his hospitality. He would be more willing to let us use his gear, supplies, and food together than he would be letting me take them solo. I was caught unprepared, and it’s time for teamwork for survival.

    If possible, drive the first 200 miles then bicycle the rest of the way. In planning the route, are there any “safe havens” along the way with other friends or family? Can we bring anything with us to trade for a night’s rest? I know that cycling 80-100 miles per day is totally doable, but uses an enormous amount of calories. It’s pretty easy to eat a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter for lunch (yes, an entire loaf and a whole jar for one meal) when putting on that kind of mileage.

    Of course, this plan assumes that he has or can acquire the bicycles, doesn’t order out for every meal, etc.

    1. Thanks for this scenario, Ken. It is making me think. There are way too many “what ifs” in this situation to post all of them, but the various comments are good suggestions and thought provoking. I guess where I disagree with most is on the value of friendship and cooperation for survival.

  25. Scenario: You’re a 1000 miles from home with NO preps…
    What Do You Do?

    • remain calm. things can always be worse, so focus because long before you’re finished things are going to get worse before they get better. as long as you are alive you have cause to hope..
    • since this article is read (and written) by preppers, it’s impossible we don’t at least have some sort of EDC on us. i personally don’t leave for a short one mile trip to the grocery store without my EDC. in this scenario we took our car, so because we didn’t fly to get to Point B that means we have pretty much anything we would “normally” carry (and whatever we pack in our vehicles). but the game said “no preps,” so… let’s roll with that.
    • if you’re going to make a mad-dash back to your home (which is totally what i would do regardless of the potential danger) start gathering whatever preps you can find.
    • CASH. all of it.
    • KNIFE. a kitchen knife or chef’s knife is plenty capable.
    • CORDAGE. grab whatever.
    • FIRE. this needs no further explanation.
    • WATER. 800 miles on foot or by bicycle is going to take several days. there is simply no way you’re ever going to be able to carry enough because it’s too heavy. so bring what you can and don’t ration it. a healthy adult can skip eating for a week or so with no long term effects, but dehydration will end you quickly. always keep your eyes peeled for fresh clean sources.
    • 1st AID KIT. and in the absense of that, at least some moleskin and a roll of plain white athletic tape. you ARE going to get some serious blisters before you get home. take good care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.
    • lastly, turn to your friend(s) and extend the offer to join you. if s/he declines, depart right away. do not wait. do not let them disuade you. get thee gone.
    • this scenario is for a lack of physical items as preps. but the most important prep you’ve been making all these years has been the investment of knowledge and the cultivation of skills. hopefully you weren’t just a reader of this stuff doing the pack-rat thing. hopefully you’re out there every so often practicing and learning new skills. always add to your knowledge, because it’s the only EDC that truly matters.
    • remain calm. sit still. watch, listen, and wait. do not fear, but do not trust either. not every person is a threat, but turn your back on no one. it’s okay to help each other.

  26. Hypothetical since I would not be in this situation, but this would be what I would do since my home is my BO location with plenty of food and supplies cached and hidden. this is what if it was “me”. —

    * I would not take my truck…I would take my friend and HIS hybrid car getting 45 mpg. He gets 500 miles a tank of gas and he has a tank full. I would siphon my gas from my truck that would have only gotten me 200 miles into many containers to carry in his hybrid car’s trunk. It would take me a total of 1142 miles… enough to get me home at my BO place, and save my friend in a matter of 20 hours, long before the world knew how long shtf would last..

    You didn’t say I couldn’t take a friends car with 3x better gas mileage and use my “truck’s 200 miles worth of gas” for it. It was “To discover what you and others would do” in a grave situation.

    P.S. It was my friends idea.

  27. Go with (or without) my friend to accumulate as much stuff as possible in a short a time as we can. Gas cans filled, water, food, shelter, ammo, cooking supplies.
    Try to make contact with family and friends at home and tell them to gather all they can. They should know what to do.
    Make a plan to get home.
    Hope for the best.

  28. not likely, but say if I was in a hotel/on a cruise ship, and SHTF,

    clean out (liberate?) all the vending machines, and raid the Maid’s closet for garbage bags (for toilet facilities) and TP (thinking NRP here), and hide it in room. Raid the Janitor’s closet for tools for self defense, tools to lock others out of one’s room.

  29. also have read of folks in similar sort of situation, either by themselves or collect up a group…

    pool money and rent a motor home/camper van, then stock up with gas/groceries/water and head out…

    with all of these ideas,
    I think key is to

    do it now/do it quickly/be the first

    as , soon you will just be one of the hoard..and subject to trampling..

  30. Was wondering if it would be reasonable to drive as far as you could then try to find a trucker who should be able to have enough fuel for the rest of the trip. Hopefully you’d have some thing to exchange w/ them in return.

  31. 101 reasons why i dont leave the island, not only because i dont need to nor want to but would be my luck i would go then not be able to get back,
    Home sweet home!

  32. Stuck on a plane that is putting me 1000 miles from home. This is a weekly occurrence for me and I will chime in on my opinion shortly.
    I carry maps with me for this event and enough cash to get me home. Garden hose and a few gas cans are my priority. Grab water and enough snacks to last 5 days. I figure it will take that long due to other circumstances such as weather and steeple in the way. Agree but all the fuel you can from the neighbors, but I am usually at a hotel so it present other challenges.

  33. Actually if you have the means to acquire fuel, then making it back home w/ in the 72 he. window should not be a problem. Barring any unforeseen circumstances.

  34. I have played a EMP scenario in my head several times when I have no choice but to fly out of state for work. In that scenario I am basically alone with zero preps except for what I buy when I first get there. Food, water, etc.

    In Kens scenario I have my own vehicle, friends and a few supplies at their house. So I’m already a step ahead of my worst scenario.
    1- fill as many containers that will hold water. Most likely the water will still be on for a while.
    2- do my best to convince my friends to come with me. Educate them what will most likely happen (being pretty gruesome with details) in the next 48 hrs and let them know that I have a safe location with food, etc but tell them it is not my home. If they join me my odds just went way up. Take the gas from their vehicle/s and all the supplies and get out of dodge. Staying strictly on back roads and avoiding large condensed populated areas.
    3- if my friends choose not to join me. I look at why? If they are dumb and blind then I offer to buy everything they have. Food, gas, bike, etc. If theyvare that dumb and blind they wont last long anyways. Sorry to be so cold. If they won’t leave because of family close by either tell them to bring them with us or give them the best advice to survive. And then I leave.
    4- After that I do whatever I need to do to get back to my family. Once 24 hrs has pasted and depending on the area im in i only travel at night. Bottom line. I either make it or I don’t but at least I die trying. Bugging in is not a option.
    5- I figure I could be on the road in 2-4 hrs if by myself less if they join me.

    Either way it won’t me a easy trip and some help from the Lord would be needed.

    Adapt and Overcome.

  35. Awww this is just great. I’m working in NYC area all next week. Guess I’ll just steal the rental car, aim west and hope for the best.

  36. Flight delayed.

    Curious how does anyone know the power is out nationwide. First decision is when do I pop smoke and how deep down the rabbit hole of buying supplies from my “friend” or for me from whomever I can convince or a store near my hotel, do I go? For me this is the most critical decision as I know what to do after I make the hard decision. First decision to make is this serious and not just a local event.

    I learned from a few nights sleeping in an airport, the decision on how deep to jump is most critical.

  37. We do not deal with “hypotheticals” at all. There is no need to, that is simply a fools errand.

    When we travel we always plan for personal and larger disasters, or we do not travel.

    We always have firearms and cash with us, as well as our individual “emergency bags”.

    That is, how we travel.

  38. My first step:

    My very first action would be to deeply asses the situation as best I can, because further decisions will hinge greatly on that assessment, so it better be right (or close to right).

    This involves verifying the extent of the grid-down and other things that may have occurred as a result. One way will be to listen to AM radio (preferably at night due to MUCH better propagation beyond the local area). Some distant stations may still be on generator and broadcasting info regarding the situation. Finding someone with a portable shortwave receiver (or HAM radio) will reach out much further while discovering what has happened.

    Then I would asses the local situation, where I’m currently at, the population density, the geography, the resources that are available in the locality and region, the resources within the home I’m temporarily staying at, the abilities (or lack thereof) of the ‘friend’ or friends within the home, the neighbors, I would ‘pick the brains’ of ‘the friend’ to discover if anyone else they know may be an asset to the situation…

    In other words, I would take enough time to deeply asses the situation and my potential options before doing anything. I wouldn’t take too long, but I would make sure that I got it right as best I can before taking decisive major actions.

    I would use whatever resources that I could get my hands on to discover the information that I need to acquire.

    Then, on to step number two…

    1. Ken,

      From yours:

      “This involves verifying the extent of the grid-down and other things that may have occurred as a result. One way will be to listen to AM radio (preferably at night due to MUCH better propagation beyond the local area). Some distant stations may still be on generator and broadcasting info regarding the situation. Finding someone with a portable shortwave receiver (or HAM radio) will reach out much further while discovering what has happened.”

      This is precisely what I did on the morning of the Northridge earthquake. I tuned in the nearest clear channel AM station, but their power fell back to 5kw from the normal 50kw on generator power.

      Also bear in mind that many high power AM stations operate under conditional FCC permit which requires them to scale back broadcast power between dusk and dawn, exactly to restrict enhanced nighttime signal propagation, so they don’t step on adjacent broadcasters.

      SW is an excellent idea, especially at night due to ionospheric skip. Especially in the Internet age where BBC or VoA will have almost instant access to the news. Trouble is, in my experience the small, pocket sized SW receivers just don’t work very well. I should really carry my Sony which is the size of a large book, along with a spool of wire for a makeshift antenna.

      Anyway, I was only about 40 miles from home when it happened. But I was just north of a choke-point where an entire freeway collapsed onto the Interstate I intended to take to get home. Having that information in real-time prevented me from foolishly trying to press-on with that route where I would have surely been stuck for a long time, riding out the aftershocks among shattered concrete pillars and decks.

      I have to work 2 of the next 4 weeks in the New York City area. I suppose prayer is the best prep in this case.

  39. Step 1: If at all possible, sleep on it. The topic mentions no immediate threats to life and limb, so it’s quite possible it won’t look too bad tomorrow. Having a solid nights sleep, and some extra thinking time is probably far more valuable than leaping straight to the chase. If there is an immediate threat: clear out, then sleep on it. Yes, gather local resources, do what needs to be done in the here and now, but don’t leap to action yet. A pre-planned panic get-out is almost as bad as an unplanned panic.

    During this time evaluate if you should attempt the trek back home. What will you gain by your voyage of 1000 miles? Would it be better to find a closer place (in my country there is a maintained network of huts in the out-country. No foot stockpiles, but there is fresh (rain or river) water, and fairly good hunting/fishing. There’s normally one a day or two away from just about any location.

    Step 2: Assuming the situation is as grim today as it was yesterday, or an immediate threat has come up, today is the day to leave. If S really has HTF, then scrap the car and the motorcycle – too much noise. Walking or biking is probably the way to go. Yes, you can’t go as far, but you can avoid detection and go just about anywhere. I’d probably avoid the roads, and instead find the rain-water system as a means of getting around. Where I live this is a bunch of ditches and under-road tunnels all over the city.

    Step 3: Once you’re out of the city, head for some place that will offer what you currently lack. If you currently lack food, see if there’s a local farm or plantation. If you lack equipment, substitute for lower-level knowledge.

    The thing this exercise should make you aware of is that:
    – No matter how prepared
    – No matter how big-er stockpile
    All you gather and prepare is temporary and removable. The skills, experience and knowledge that you have are likely far more valuable than anything you own.

  40. Years ago when my wife and I were dating, we had to go into the heart of a large Metro area in the late afternoon. The power was out in my apartment complex. She picked me up and I asked her if the power was out at her place too. She said: “yes” so I said: “I’ll be right back” and obtained my funny fanny pack that contains personal weapon, 100 rounds of ammo, several hundred dollars in 20’s, and other items deemed essential like flashlights, extra socks, fixed blade knife and leather gloves. It was just a widespread city blackout but I knew many riots have started in the aftermath of a widespread blackout.

    My wife learned something that day: Do not let normalcy bias control your actions and listen to that little voice in your gut. I have already seen things go from weird to FUBAR several times in my life. For that reason is why I prepare and carry some stuff with me at all times.

    1000 miles from home with no gasoline available from even truck stops? I have never seen that but it gets my mind turning. I would forgo walking and would be riding a bicycle a lot even after I arrived home. For each mile of walking, one can cover 10 miles on a bicycle with minimal energy outlay. Even so, the max doable milage for me day after day on a bicycle would be about 60 miles within a given day. More miles than that would mean sore ness and burning excess calories.

    For extended periods of time with no gasoline, I would obtain a trailer for that bicycle. It is the best way to carry large heavy or bulky items with minimal damage and best odds of bringing home intact. I travelled around the San Francisco Bay Area a lot by bicycle when I lived there and was going to school. Not only was it good exercise but it allowed me to go from point A to point B faster than if I took my truck during rush hour in both morning and afternoon. I would do my grocery shopping and pick up water from the store and cart it home by bicycle.

  41. I often find myself in situations where I am more than 1000 miles from home, often in foreign countries, however the first three things I always have in hand are a good pair of sneakers, cash (at least #1,000) and a map. No one questions these.

    The sneakers are actually running shoes with high quality insoles. Their job is to allow me to walk long distances comfortably, jettisoning my normal work shoes.

    Cash is get home cash. A minimal amount to buy my way aboard some kind of transport, whether it be “planes, trains, automobiles”, bus or boat. Or for a “guide” to get safely across town or over a border.

    A map is to show options: whether by road, train or water. in the US and Canada the standard Rand McNally road atlas (found in WalMart and elsewhere) does a good job, and takes up little room in the bottom of a suitcase or roller board. Once outside the US, however, maps that show the desirable features are harder to find on the spot. Better to acquire in advance.

    One sometimes overlooked option is travel by water. For this, access to boat is needed, whether by acquisition, or paid passage, or joining forces with an owner of, say, an oceangoing sailboat. Cash, and or skills are currency here.

    The rest must be acquired on the spot, and are often discussed details on this board…


  42. Been thinking on this for a while last night, it brings up some sobering thoughts.

    I was in Pot-Land a month ago from the Four Corners, right at 1000 miles as the crow flies (over 1200 the way I went/drove). Having a rental car and bad weather I headed through the nations hell-hole, California. I hit Bakersfield and headed north up I-5. This on a Friday the same time Trump was getting sworn in as Pres. I had the car totally stuffed full of food (for mon) and my GHB-BOB, extra “stuff” even food for Blue.

    With the traffic and the idiots on the road, I will tell you right now, there is NO WAY IN HECK you’re going to Drive anywhere, period. Even the short route up through Salt-Lake, ya just aren’t going to go anywhere driving, not even to get out of the city.

    Reasoning; the people WILL be panicking and going absolutely nuts trying to get home, yes even in the first few hours.

    Second, one wreck, and there will be hundreds of them, and the roads WILL shut down into total gridlock.

    Third, put a million, 2 million, 5 million people all trying to get home or to their family, people will become your worst nightmare, EVER!!!

    Four, Food Water, Fuel, Protection, will all be unavailable to anyone that does not already have it, if your “friend” or yourself does not have a way to sustain for several weeks-month, well let’s just say you’re in deep poop.

    Five, in the first couple of days, people WILL be killing, robing and doing anything they have to to provide for their families, what would you do to feed and protect your starving children?

    Now I know we all travel, some of us a LOT, but if TSHTF and you’re not at your “stash” ya might just be in trouble. Reading novels and fantasies like “Going Home” are good food for thought, and being prepared is a GREAT thing to do, just remember in every survival novel there are thousands and thousands of those that are in deep, and the Hero is always the one that survives, yeah right.

    I believe we all need to be realistic and come to realize there may MAY be situations one cannot control, the only thing you can do….. Is try to limit the number of times you put yourself in those situations.


    1. Hi NRP,

      Yep… I thought a lot about this since posting and reading others posts yesterday and this morning. I put in my original answer that neither scenario would give us a good chance, and the more I thought about it the worse it seemed.

      With power out there would be no traffic lights, which is instant gridlock everywhere. Even if everyone’s vehicles were running (per Ken’s scenario) where would you drive that wasn’t already hopelessly congested? A lot of folks were talking about bicycles, but how many days in a row could most of us ride 50 – 100 miles per day, in possibly extreme weather, with packs on (assuming you could procure packs before setting out)? And find continuous sources of food and water and stay safe while doing so? That doesn’t count getting over mountains, through deserts, etc… that many would face.

      And yes, staying put but trying to buy up all possible supplies with cash on hand is highly risky, and even if you got lucky and got a bunch of stuff to add to your friend’s minimal supplies on hand how long would it last? Really, it’s just a stop-gap measure that buys a little time. Pretty bleak.

      1. My travelling speed on a bike is 10 mph average over all terrain, on and off road, up a down mountain. 5hrs riding =50 miles of sustainable travel.
        You should but your pack on a luggage rack. Let the bike carry the weight.
        Extreme weather wil affect cycling, you cant ride during high winds, extreme rainfall, hail and heavy snow, but tbat is the same for every other means of transport. I ride in almost all weather. A common newspaper photo after any major disaster, flood, storm etc, is someone on a bike picking their way tnrough otherwise impassable roads.

  43. I typically carry cash on hand. If traveling such a distance as that, I would have quite a bit. I guess… I would go to a store that would accept cash, and buy a small 12v pump, if available. I would use that to pump fuel out of tanks at gas stations – and pay for the fuel of course… If that wasn’t the answer… I would buy a bike and a map with rail ways on it (hopefully). You can go far on a bike, provided no one gets in your way. Rail ways are mostly level, I would stick to them. I would have my luggage which always contains a backpack. I guess I would ‘buy’ my way out with cash and depending on the time of year, forage and fish if food wasn’t available along the way.

    The weather would be an important factor. Is it winter? Summer? Fall? or Spring? also, direction. Am I traveling towards the current chilly north from the south? I may hold off and prep as much as I could and hold out for fair conditions.

    It really depends on weather and direction.

    I think the people that are involved in this site would have better wits about them, than say the Jones’ that have it all, but, really have nothing when you think about it… We all have skills and the mental capacity to think clearer in a stressful situation compared the blind masses. Staying low in certain areas and becoming a grey man would be beneficial too.

    Always make a plan before moving on blindly. Even if moving on is a mere 5 mile plan is better than 5 blind miles.

  44. According to google maps via bike – four straight days of pedaling would get you home. Of course… that’s an insane marathon. I would strive for a two week or less jaunt – however, I’m quite athletic and fit… Having a load to carry such as limited supplies would slow a person down a bit. I might put some PVC pipe and lawnmower tires together with some hard ware, and possibly make some kind of cart to haul on the back of the bike instead of lugging it on my back. I guess… really, it depends.
    The variables are large.

    The power went out here in a windstorm last night. It came back on 11 hours later. House temp is good with kerosene heater, and the oil lamp came in handy. Best sleep I’ve had in years without all the NOISE. It was so quiet last night. Makes me wonder, how many other people slept sound in my neighborhood? I bet 1 in 10. That’s probably the average preppers in this area. A friend fired up the genny – she has a family member that NEEDS power to stay alive. Sad situation that could have been… I’m glad the power is back on for them. Me? meh… no biggie…

  45. Another IMPORTANT consideration is a difficult one. That is… question yourself whether or not taking the chance of returning 1000 miles home will actually put you in a better place and better situation under those conditions.

    Certainly understandable if family is left behind there and you need to return to them.

    However if that’s not the case, then examine closely (internally) where you live. Is it also in similar suburbs surrounded by population density and all the bad things that may go with it during an extreme event such as this?

    Your preps might have been there when you left, but will they be there when you get back? Is it worth the trip?

    On the other hand if your home is in a place where the likelihood of survival is better (e.g. rural and/or little population density), then it might be worth the trip (depending).

    Not suggesting one way or the other. Just putting that thought out there… Will it be better on the other end?

    1. Ken

      “will it be better on the other end?”

      good point to consider..

      also, points out need to have some reliable contacts where ever you live.
      (assuming contact can be made somehow)

      one might not find govt news sources totally accurate, and if you could contact someone local to get a more true picture of the best..

    2. It would be better on my end to be home where I live with plenty of natural resources, isolated, and having cached my preps. I would not stray more than a hundred miles with my preps with enough gas, a jug of antifreeze and water, tools, and a BOB to get home.

      However, given the scenario of someone not being prepared, a shtf moment, and 1,000 miles away, the person probably DOES have it worse at home.

  46. One big issue that very few understand is the general lethargy and apathy of the average American. Isn’t there about 40%+ obesity in America??? That’s an earned symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle (both physically and mentally).

    Then there are the bottom-dwellers who may or may not be obese but are certainly not the motivated worker-bees that contribute positively in some way(s) to society.

    These large groups of people won’t be walking out or migrating elsewhere. They will stay in their own region — waiting for Godot/government. They will not travel far (if at all). The myth of ‘the golden horde’ is just that.

    1. @ Modern Throwback

      99.98% of the time I agree with ya, for the most part…. BUT…

      “The myth of ‘the golden horde’ is just that.”

      Now I will agree that me mom at 95, 40% that are totally obese, the XYZ that are disabled, the next % that are just plain LAZY will not be traveling to “take care of themselves”, they will wait for FEMA and the .gov to show up and support them. And honestly, if the power goes out, their toast in 2 weeks anyways, sorry may sound cold, but that’s the way I feel.

      BUT!!!! It’s that 25% lowlifes, thugs, gang-members, and POS’s that will be the problem. Just take a look at NYC when they lost power, that very first night they were raping, killing, stealing, you-name-it. So a simple math, 25% of 320million…. Now let’s toss in the providers for their family, the “dad” that will do ANYTHING to feed their children, how about that single mom that has to protect herself, her kids, AND he elderly mother.

      My friend, I will guarantee you the human ANIMAL will turn very savage and become the wandering hordes (hundreds in a group) that will do absolutely anything to get that last Coca-Cola.

      Personally I don’t fear the savage weather, the earthquakes, EMP, long-list, what I do fear is the brutality and savagery of people, and let me tell you, the worst will be that “dad” next-door that has no food and 3 kids starving.

      No the “golden horde” will not be so golden, it will be a savage animal in deadly groups; they WILL destroy and kill anything-one in their way to survive.

      Honestly, good luck to those that chose (and it is a choice) to live in the cities, for they will be the “first” to be hit….


      1. NRP, for sure there will be violent gang members, thugs, and low-life criminals out there. I won’t dispute that. I will have to disagree on the % you guessed, though. Maybe a few % are released violent felons, gang members, thugs, etc, but not 25% of our population. An extreme scenario could give rise to more violent people, but we have to remember die-off decreases that portion of the population, too. Still — there will be a segment of our society that is violent and will become a threat (or worse). How, where, and when they travel are the questions.

        The thing is, most of the rioting and hard crimes will remain urban and suburban for some time. The cities and burbs are their cribs — they’ll stay and harvest everything they can get. It’s the demographic reality of a concentrated population and housing with ‘treasures’ these thugs will want — and this is one of the big reasons why city-life is where humanity will go down first.

        Those who resort to violence and thug-style looting/rioting will stay in the populated areas. There’s so much in such a small area, it’s there ‘for the picking’. It will take criminals much more effort, time, and planning to ransack the countryside because of the decreased population — not to mention the much higher percentage of homeowners w/ firearms.

        At some point, yes, there will be the desperate parent that turns — that will happen in urban, suburban, and rural areas. But they are going to be the loners that are to be expected and usually, desperation clouds judgement.

        Of course, all of this is based on what we know from past disasters and criminal behaviors during different times.

        What do you think??

        1. @ Modern Throwback

          “most of the rioting and hard crimes will remain urban and suburban for some time”

          As it relates to Ken’s scenario in this article (starting the journey in “The home is not in the city, but you are in the suburbs –“), that’s exactly right, and to be honest, I believe that SO Cal Gal brought up the face that ALL traffic will completely stop, simply because on no “traffic lights”. This will probably disallow any travel via vehicle, at all.

          I revert back to Katrina quite often, so just look at the looting and violence that occurred in that relative small disaster (compared to grid-down), remembering there was still “the rule of law”, now imagine no “control” of what people are doing, no 911, no police, no Nat-Guard, so-on. I believe that the Human Animal will very quickly become violent in a grand scale. They will take anything-everything they can get their hands on, and destroy what they can’t carry.

          As you stated “but not 25% of our population”, I again tend to see the human animal that’s strung out on drugs, any kind of drugs, even the most common, Cigarettes, will go absolutely nuts in a matter of days, all alone the epidemic we are now having with Heroin, Meth, Cocaine, So-On. Even the ones on Prozac and the like will go violent to get their drugs. Now that’s just drugs, thing about the Alcoholics and the Coffee crazies. How about that 3rd day when the kids are screaming and there is no food, and McDonalds is not open…. And OMG, no Starbucks..

          I know I’m not painting a pretty picture, but I believe this is the cold hard truth; The Human Animal will revert back to something that “modern society” has controlled for a long time. Seriously, what would you do to keep your children from starving to death? Remembering that there will be no more Wally World and JIT food supplies are totally gone. AND I have not even mentioned Water, or Sanitation, how about medical, stopping fires, heat, air-conditioning?

          There is somewhere around 7.3 Billion people in the world, 320Million in this country. I find it difficult to believe “humans” will not self-destruct when it comes down to “I, (and my family live), or you do”.

          Sorry about all the doom and gloom. I sometimes look at things in reality, and don’t have much hope for the human race as it is. Look at the statistics, violence is on the rise even now; think if you let those 320million go do whatever they want to whomever they want, than toss in Dad that has 3 starving Kids.


  47. Interestingly, It was a similar situation to this that turned the corner for me when it came to preparedness. I was traveling to a friends in my tiny sports car, and we had a major storm roll through. It took out power from Ohio to DC. At a half a tank of gas I started doing the math and realized i was in Trouble. I stopped at Every Exit for 90 miles before finding a Sheets with a working generator and then waited in line for hours. I got lucky. I could have been trapped and it was 3 days before power came back up in that area. Since then I keep basic preps in my truck and try to minimize my travel.

    In the long run, an event like this means your stuck relying on your friends. Hope they can help, Hope you get a few lucky breaks. Round up as much fuel as you can. If your vehicle runs, then generators should, so there are options there. 99 % of my friends and family I might be visiting could supply me with basic self defense tools and at least a few basic supplies. In the end, I have reasons to get home, and I would put a lot of effort into it. I might die on the road but I would be giving it my all when I did.

  48. Been giving a lot of thought to the scenario .There has been great advice here on the blog site.I guess my feelings are as follows :
    Don.t leave home for any great distance without a very valid reason. Everything we need is within 45 miles or less of our home. Our SUV at 1/2 tank gives us 150 miles and it is never below 1/2 . Our kids live 5 hours away, we’ll head for home in most cases.

    Don’t leave home unarmed or without your get home bag of supplies. Maps have been mentioned , I think they would be critical to survival in a strange area.

    Being stuck in a grid down scenario should be a topic of discussion with your spouse and ?? .

    Definitely stay off interstate freeways and away from people as much as possible. People will turn into animals within a day or two, if it takes that long , they will be totally without reason, even folks you thought you knew.

    If you are walking, travel by night and rest by day .

    We would spend a lot of time in prayer, seeking guidance and direction.

    Good discussion topic !

  49. I have also thought about this as I travel for work and usually fly.
    More times than not, I do several things to help. I always carry a pack with good shoulder straps and hip belt. I always carry money, depending on how long I will be from home and where determines the amount (usually 2000).
    I have credit cards and a check book also. Some places may take a check for a while and some may have a generator for back up so they may take a credit card.
    I would talk to my friend and let them know that SHTF and he/she are not prepared. He/she are welcome to come with me but I am leaving. I have family and friends that I have promised that if this were to happen I would do everything possible to go through it with them. I would point out to my friend that even if he/she stay they WILL need protection (GUNS).
    Heading to the local gun store I would help him/her pick out what he/she needs and tell him prior to purchase 2, one for him and one for me. If they would not sell one to either of us, I would head to where they have cross bows and purchase 2 and as many bolts as I felt I could carry and bolts for my friend. Many gun stores also carry MRE’s, I would buy what I could.
    I would then head to the sporting goods store and get additional items such as a good sleeping bag, additional clothing and an additional pair of boots (1000 mile will take down a pair of boots) depending on where I am and where I have to get to a very small 2 man backpacking tent. They also have maps I would gather all that I would need for my route home, even road maps are better than no map. Most stores also have meals and energy bars and a small backpacking stove and water purification tablets and pumps.
    Get a good first aid kit and stock up as much as you can carry.
    Then not knowing this from the scenario (your car is working) what about everyone else’s, if yours is the only one. Leave it you will be a target very quickly. If you take it take the back roads that are not traveled as much and hope for the best distance you can get.
    If you have to fight leave it. Plan on walking, and hope for the best.
    If possible travel at night but be careful a trip could put you out of action fast and you are dealing with a sprained ankle or worst.
    You have one thing most do not, the desire to get home, and you are a prepper and should have been practicing those skills that you need.
    It will not be easy, it will be hard to say the least but knowledge is king in this situation.
    Believe in God and have faith.

  50. Normally, I would not venture that far out into the hinterlands, however, son and his family (grand kids) moved 1600 miles (one way), away. GreAt promotion for him, they are in a decent area, but too close to another state’s major metro area for my states. Sooooo. We have been stockpiling supplies for US, at their home to include means of self defense for US,bought a large gun save, smaller than ours for OUR gear, put it next to our gear, and each time we drive out there, we also stock up OUR supply of food, water and commodities for us.
    Our issue as we travel there and back is, self defense enroute there or home, fuel enroute. We opted for high efficiency gas sippers to give us greater range, modified the cargo space to carry two e tea five gallon cans of gas , that “should” get us pretty darn close to either destination alone.. We’ve planned for the next trip in April to attempt to drive straight through without over nightingale like we normally do, just to see if we can hack it or not.
    There is just the two of us, so, we need to know exactly what our limitations for alertness are, before we “have to” go sorta non-stop (no over night stays).
    I refuse to nap/sleep at roadside rest areas, too creepy, and too many freaks to be able to sleep well at all.

  51. I recently returned from a 6 day trip to the Caribbean and Mexico. Of course I had as many preps as I could carry and get through the airport and customs, which isn’t much. I was comforted in that I am very capable and well trained. I was concerned about having my wife and oldest daughter with me, but it is what it is. We would have slowly and cautiously made our way back home. That’s where our other kids, family and preps are. I did do a little research on edible plants in Mexican and the South. I can find enough food in the north, but am not familiar with the south. As for water, I ALWAYS have a mini Sawyer with me. That made me feel a lot better.

  52. Just a reminder that anyone ‘ liberating’ anything that doesn’t belong to you be it aircraft, bicycles, gas, etc. could get you shot – justifiably. Do you want to start a gun fight with someone who is in the right morally and legally because you need their stuff ? A slippery slope.

  53. If all railroad traffic is down, I would try to buy, borrow or steal an old VW. Install four rims with no rubber, this will mate up with the rails. Rear seat can be removed for storage. Using paper maps I would head in the general direction of home.

        1. @ Drake Savage

          Ahhhhhh dude, that’s a train heading for ya… LOL


  54. Obviously pre-planning for such a scenario is of the essence. Espec if you have dependents relying on your return. They have to be knowledgeable about what to do should you not be able to return. Not a pleasant thought, but it is what it is. Kudos to those who say ” whatever it takes, I’m getting back. ” But for some, there will be limitations that will prevent them from returning. Not a nice thought, but it is what it is. After the first 72 hrs. it will take some extra skill sets to travel safety. Many are so trained, most are not. Since you are reading this blog, that most likely indicates that you are to some degree preparedness minded. Realizing to never, ever be caught without some EDC that will help you survive if it all falls apart.

  55. Just an aside, perhaps someone has previously mentioned it and I missed it, but a good quality button compass may be a worthwhile addition to EDC just in case you need to hoof it

  56. Oldhomsteader; my family and I have done this trip several times. In 1986 we Left Seattle at 6 PM to ferry a pickup truck to Anchorage WE broke down about 3 hours later when fan/alternator belt broke camped along highway until 7 AM walked to parts store bought new Belt, battery and alternator. Back on the road by 9 AM only to run low on gas at Haines Junction at Midnight and all gas stations closed until 6 AM. Backed the pickup to my garage door in Anchorage at 7pm Wednesday. The wife & I have made many trips north ferrying motorhomes from Las Vegas, Arizona and California.

  57. @Bam Bam, Amen on “liberating” someone else`s property. That in turn could be “re-liberated” from you. Or you could end up arrested. Not good! For those for whom this scenario could play out realistically, one would probably wise to stay within the boundaries of his/her knowledge, training, and experience. Or else at least join up, if possible, with some one whose background would enable you a decent chance of making it back if that would be considered your POA. Good time to obtain/hone skills necessary for this type of endeavor. Ken, good article on the portable radios. By the way, Suunto Clipper seems to be a decent button compass. Just sayin.

  58. No preps? If I had to leave home five minutes from now and travel a 1000 miles, I would already have weapons, cash, PM’s, water, water filter, and a folding bicycle in my trunk or back seat.

    Several people mentioned bicycles. A folding bike has the advantage of being more able to more easily hitch a ride with someone with a working car (for cash or PM’s) and then continue riding.

  59. To Ken: This was a fun mental exercise to get us thinking and sharing ideas. In the past, I have been able to obtain gas for my truck and had to pay cash along the way. Had to fall back on plan B numerous times too. Frequently, I was also in a position where I was also able to help my fellow traveler as opposed to resorting to animal instincts of self preservation. I like Stardust’s idea about leaving her truck and taking her friends hybrid automobile.

    To NRP and Bam Bam: I was a target of several guys that tried to strong arm me out of my food on a backcountry trip in a National Park. Two days prior to meeting me, their food was taken by a bear so they tried to take mine. Out came my 38 Special. When the leader talked of bum rushing me, I responded that I will not kill them, I’ll gut shoot all of them before they could cover 5 yards. Yes, You may take me out. But you will die a slow painful death in the back country. Wouldn’t you rather just move on?

    Since that encounter, I always stay strapped even for a quiet walk in the woods. I have also increased my firepower with more than 1 handgun on me and added a 9mm that holds more than 5 rounds. I did not like the odds of 4 hungry guys and me with 5 rounds in my revolver. I have practiced and continue to practice on multiple targets at relatively close range for this same scenario to occur in the future.

    2 days with no food and these otherwise law abiding citizens are turned into threatening a–holes. Something to think about and confirm what you two have said about human nature in times of stress.

    1. I have a friend who is licensed to carry in all 50 states but she won’t carry in a National Park – federal law. Have to assume you hide yours good. We’re doing a road trip in the spring, and I admit I feel more secure traveling with her.

  60. I guess it would not be against the rules of parameter (no preps on board) if stating that GREAT hiking shoes / boots should be worn at all times (I mean – everyone wears foot wear, might as well be appropriate). Not an issue if a vehicle is involved, but if travel walking is required, a critical need, especially if terrain is hilly.

    Walking down slopes without tightened laces can crush toenails which will cripple you and force you to stop. Make sure to tighten laces before walking down steep slopes. Be advisable that at least ankle height boots for the extra support of carrying weight when hiking.

  61. Actually, I’m getting ready to live this nightmare (Twice! We all hope it will be uneventful)… I have to fly from Virginia back to Kansas for family business next week (putting me 1200+ miles from home) and I’ll only have what the airlines will allow in my (neutered) EDC.

    I plan to grab up some basic supplies day one to put in “Yea Ol Family Storage Locker” (already have some, but more is better..) Day 2 and 3 is family business and day 4 return. During this time I’ll be with Family and while they are not preppers they ARE used to making ends meet, even if they have a 4 inch string to wrap around a 5 inch pipe!

    About 3-8 weeks later (I want to be post Sever Winter Weather) I’ll make the same trip but I’ll be driving back (with the contents of “Yea Ol Family Storage Locker”) so again, day 1, grab supplies for the trip back. This is the serious trip, as I’ll be away from any support for 2-3 days.

    I think the key is to (as with any preps) lay in as many preps as possible, as early as possible (and preferably before the emergency happens) and work with what you’ve got.


  62. A bicycle is the most readily available alternative to an out of fuel car for very long land journeys.
    In my experience, non althletic riders can tour for 50 miles a day for multiple days. If you push hard and go 80-90, then you will need a rest day
    You need a comfortable and efficient bike with sound wheels, good tyres and good luggage rack system. Avoid carrying loaded backpacks on your back, the frame carries the load. Cheap bikes and heavy loads dont mix. Carry several spare tubes and stuff to fix the bike.
    Navigate carefully, from pinch point to pinch point, eg bridges and passes.
    It is much safer to ride in convoy. 10 yard spacing will string you out to the point where there is no concentrated target. Have a plan to ditch the bike and degrade to walking as a last resort but only in extremis.
    You can carry about 3 days of water and 7-10 days of food, maybe more if you can bag some dehydrated camping supplies, much more than anyone on foot. Still, lighter is easier so only load up for eg crossing a desert.

    Take a weekend cycle camping trip, you dont need at the specialist gear.

  63. If you find yourself in a big city needing to exit by bike, check out cycle route maps that most cities publish. Leave just before dawn and you can clear the suburbs of a big city by 9:00 am. Criminals may rule the night but not the morning.

  64. I think about this situation a lot as we will be taking several trips this year. Articles like this, and the comments, are good for me to read!

    I’m sure my husband and I would elect to immediately hit the road and get as far as possible in our car. Walk after that. We would not be in the ‘no preps with us’ situation but if we were we’d first try to acquire cash, gas, bikes, water filters, food, security, flashlights, maps, shelter, first aid kit including moleskin, good shoes/boots.

    My worst fears, besides other desperate humans and criminals, would be martial law, restrictions placed on travel, and dusk to dawn curfews. If we were forced to walk I can’t imagine how long it would take us to get home. Hopefully we’d have hit the road before the crowd but I don’t think it would take long at all for the roads to be swamped. Add on the number of miles we might have to add on due to bottle necks, roadblocks, etc., the slower our travel due to unfamiliarity with terrain, trying to walk quietly and stopping to assess our surroundings, walking off road, I think it could easily take a month. Or more!

    BUT, no matter my fears we would still hit the road. Even if the power outage turns out to be only regional, or quickly fixed, in hindsight we’d still have elected to get. We can’t imagine bugging in with the likelihood of never seeing our families again nor even hearing news of them. One, even at our ages we think we would still be of some help to them especially with security. Two, the hope of being together will help carry us a long way on the road. I would crawl if needed to get home to them. Ok, dramatic, but true lol

  65. My first thought was that it would be unlikely that my Suburban would not have my preps/camping gear as it is my bug out vehicle, i.e. home away from home. My second thought was to find a store with a generator to get gas to get me as close to home as possible and to buy what I need to hike the rest of the way on the appalachian trail to get home. Then my knees, hips and feet aches got me thinking realistically.

    So what I really would do is take the cash I always travel with and buy as much food and supplies I could get. I truly believe suburbia would be ok for a few days. But i would leave within 24 hours, to a place on the map as rural as I could find with the gas on hand. Once there I would find an abandoned house or store or whatever to hide for as long as I could. Hiding is my number one plan even at home in my small town. Who would bother to loot an old vacant house? In a couple months when I emerge from hiding after most people are gone, I rejoin a society trying to rebuild or die a horrible death at the hands of the evil hoards that now rule the world. No way to know which.

    1. That’s a great idea to use your cash ‘quick’ and get what you can – before it’s ‘worthless’. I would do the same with whatever cash that I had – convert to useful/practical tangibles…

      1. We had an all day outage in town a few months ago. Several big grocery stores had generators and were open, but the super w-mart did not, they just closed the doors.

        Also forgot to say how thankful I am to you Ken for all the great articles and everyone else here for all the great comments and ideas. I don’t say much, but it is nice like a big family here.

        I’m really mostly concerned with planning for smaller personal or natural disasters rather than lights out. I don’t have the lifestyle to survive long term on my own, but I do what I can.

        Since I live in Ken’s neck of the woods, I’m hoping to find him at the rebuilding society stage, if i make it that far!

  66. I didn’t read all the comments but 1/4 way thru was amazed how few people considered alternatives other than the first to cross their mind. How about trains and planes? Most carry far more fuel than required to reach their immediate destination. The comment by Cathy in reply to John’s Find a horse, indicates there weren’t many other alternatives suggested. The alternatives are not limited to getting home. If I have been prepping as most here seem to claim, my family is in far better shape than I am so getting home to protect my family may not be the top priority. Speed in reaction to a situation such as “lights out” may be a greater priority.

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