Many of us have a daily commute. For some, it’s a pretty short commute, easily a day’s walk. Others have a longer commute, which, in a worst-case scenario, would mean more than a day’s walk to get home.
With that, here are some serious questions for those that commute and wish to be prepared in the event that vehicles are suddenly rendered unusable:
- Do you keep emergency cash in sufficient quantity in your car, on your person, or in your get-home bag?
- Do you have suitable walking shoes or hiking boots in your get-home bag or the trunk of your car?
- If you keep water and/or food in your get-home bag (GHB), when was the last time it was rotated or refreshed?
- If you keep a handgun in your car do, you keep a holster in your GHB also?
- If you keep a long gun in your vehicle, does it have a sling?
- If you were unable to walk home before dark, do you have extra layers and/or a sleeping bag to prevent overexposure to the elements?
- Do you have sufficient fire starter and potential kindling in the event you need a fire in inclement weather?
- Do you have knowledge of alternate routes home in the event of road closures?
- Have you gone through your GHB recently to familiarize yourself with its contents?
- Do you know if your route home has any “safe places” where you could spend the night if you had to walk home?
- Do you have a method to purify water in your GHB?
- If you keep a firearm with you, do you have extra ammunition in sufficient quantity? Has it been rotated in the past year?
- Do you have aspirin, band aids, first aid cream, and an ace bandage in your GHB?
- How about a blister kit?
- Snake bite or bee sting kit?
- Are there extra wool socks in your get-home bag? Even in warm climates, two layers of wool socks makes much more comfortable walking than thin cotton socks.
- If you had to walk your commute, do your loved ones at home know when to expect you home? If you might make it home in the wee hours, they’re knowing might avoid a moment of confusion if you’re at the front door at three in the morning. A predetermined whistle or another signal might be helpful.
- Do you keep fix-a-flat in your car?
- Do you have a flashlight in your GHB?
- Are there spare batteries for the flashlight?
- Is there a poncho or another weatherproof garment in your GHB?
- Do you have both work gloves and gloves for warmth in your GHB? (Consider polypropylene glove liners as a lightweight method to make work gloves warmer.)
- Do you believe you know how to utilize stealth and concealment techniques? (Consider face paint or mud, natural colors for your gear, and more “gray man” than tactical.)
- Are you fit enough for the walk home? If not, get started now!
- Can you navigate by the stars?
- Do you know how to calculate your pace so you can keep track of time/distance?
- Are you familiar with the landmarks you’ll use if you have to go “cross country” and depart from your normal route?
- Are you determined that you will make it home to be with your loved ones?
- Have you thought of stashing a bike at work or in your trunk to make getting home easier and quicker?
- Can you identify places of likely ambush from those that have become desperate and seek to harm you as you endeavor to get home on foot?
- How quickly could you gather your things from your car and begin the walk home?
- Are you prepared for the worst, or are you casually prepared for a best-case scenario?
- Are you familiar with any short cuts you could take to hasten your arrival home?
- If you had to stay awake for 24 hours or more to get home safely, could you do so?
- If your walk home took more days than you had food for, could you forage sufficient food to get home?
- Have you practiced to hone your “situational awareness” to avoid difficulties?
- Have you taken the time to envision your needs and the possible hazards you could face if you were forced to hike your commute?
- Have you thought about how long it may take for you to walk home from your workplace if you had to?
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