From Urban Man: I have received a few e-mails asking about what happened to Jim from the Survival Chronicles of Jim Chapters. Others ask if Jim is real. Oh yeah, Jim is real. Jim is not his real name, but we all have our secrets. Jim was working for friends of mine as a computer tech on contract and as he contract expired he now is working out of his house as a systems developer or some such computer gobbleygook but it requires him to travel 3.5 hours one way a couple days a week with a one or two night stay over in a hotel. I sent Jim the book "Going Home" by A. American, a good read by the way, so he could see some situations for war gaming if he had to make it back home.I asked Jim to send me an e-mail with my intent of publishing it on this site.
All set up in my routine now. Still have rental houses to manage from afar and my other home based business, but my software and database work for a major company requiring me to travel 3 1/2 hours by car and staying overnight and sometimes several nights during the week. At least my car is a business expense and tax deductible, not to mention a rolling survival platform, or at least I started developing this concept.
I carry the large bag with rollers and backpack straps (Urban Man's note: a FPG deployment bag) that you gave me. This is my Get Home Bag, a la the "Going Home" novel you sent me. I know you told me to think about keeping my SKS in my vehicle with me, and although I keep all my accessories for this rifle in my Get Home bag, I have yet to take the gun on any of my work trips. Maybe it's an idea I have to get used to. At least I have my Walther pistol. In my Get Home bag I have these items:
Load Bearing Molle Vest with Camel-Bak with mag pouches for my SKS ammunition. I have the conversion kit for the SKS to use those banana magazines, with the the metal lip extension so it locks into place, but have not converted it yet.
- Silva Compass
- Spare Fire Starting Kit
- Green Fleece
- Gortex Rain Suit
- Snugpak Sleeping Bag
- 8 civilian type versions of military meals
- Pack of assorted nut snacks and granola bars
- 6 packets of instant soup and a tube of bullion cubes
- Trauma Medical Kit
- 2 camouflage ponchos
- Hammock net that I can use to thread plants into for a camouflage or an impromptu fishing net
- Small butane stove with one fuel cartridge with cooking pot
- 40 feet of green para-cord
- A Small Fishing Kit*
- Firearms Cleaning Kit
- Field cap
- Aviators gloves
- Empty five quarter canteen so I have extra water carrying capacity
- Wire saw
* The fishing kit was an adventure. Not knowing anything, I went into a Sporting Goods chain store and was looking around, not knowing what to get. One of the sales guys helped me but when he asked what I was looking for, I had to tell him "Basically, an small adventure fishing kit in case I have to survive something like a plane crash in a remote area." He looked at me like I was an idiot, but I ended up buying hooks, lead weight, fishing line, and a couple of small, multi-colored lures. I learned that there is a whole culture behind fishing.
I carry that soft computer case you gave me with the molle webbing attachment as my urban Bug Out Bag. I only really have to carry a laptop, x drives, a couple of software discs, and some cables so I have plenty of room for the three boxes of SKS ammunition and my little Walther .22 pistol. I used the extra ammunition pouches attached to the outside of this case to carry bottled water in. Usually I leave the pistol and the ammunition inside my vehicle when I am in a building. I have my little fire starting kit in a zip lock bag, several bags of nuts and a couple nutrition bars, a folding knife and a "AA" Pelican flashlight and extra batteries. I carry 6 one ounce Silver rounds and a roll of old quarters for their silver melt value. Not to mention I rarely travel without several hundred dollars in cash.
Taking your advice I have driven different routes from my house to my work site. On the route that minimizes the high traffic areas and the interstate segments, it will take me an additional 45- 60 minutes of driving time because of all the slowdowns, speed traps, small communities and single lane roads. Like you said this longer driving route will probably become my primary way to get home in any major collapse event due to the most lower chance of traffic jams and refugees.
I haven't bought a suitable map yet nor have I re-conned the best places to lay up whether I was traveling home by vehicle, bicycle or on foot. I'm dating a woman in my home city. While she has a key to my house, I haven't really briefed her on my preparations. She has seen the water dispenser with ten full 5 gallon bottles of water lined up and she said something to the effect that "Gee, you're not going to run out of water soon!"
Urban Man's Comment: After receiving this from Jim, I advised Jim to ensure he carried water with him, other than his bottled drinking water, during his business trips. A five gallon water jug or the equivalent in one gallon containers can be loaded and unloaded for these weekly trips without too much butt pain to ensure at any point during his transit he has water. If he can stay with his vehicle ad make it home, great. But if he is forced to dump his vehicle, he would have the water to fill his water containers and begin the walk (worst case) home. I also advised Jim to store a camouflage net for his vehicle in case he had to pull off his route and hole up because of traffickability issues of threat.
My last advice for Jim is to take the alternate route a few times and stop in these small communities to get the feeling from the population and perhaps make his face known - may come in handy if that becomes his Going Home route....and Jim, take your rifle with you!