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#253564 - 11/20/12 04:45 PM Mock "Get Home"
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
I decided it would be a good idea, and some good exercise, to occasionally walk home from work. I've always assumed getting home, at least from my city's downtown core, wouldn't be an issue if some emergency forced me to do it by foot. However, testing out that assumption seemed worthwhile in itself.

So rather than one of my normal modes of commuting, I walked home last night. More to the point, I did nothing to prepare for this walk - I simply headed home at the end of the day wearing what I'd normally wear at work and carrying what I normally carry to & from work.

Some things I found were:

Food. I could have use a little something extra to eat smile. In a true emergence, I likely would've eaten the PowerBar that's been riding in my pack for who-knows-how-long, but in this case I did't bother. If I do do this on a semi-regular basis I might keep a little extra something in my pack just for this occasion (maybe starting with that PowerBar) which would allow me to at least rotate out that food.

Hydration. I also could have hydrated a bit better. I did have a water bottle but didn't end up drinking at all; I was more concerned with public urination than mild dehydration! That said, I likely could have still had a little bit of water.

Clothing. I didn't have a problem with my clothing at all. I was wearing pretty typical stuff for the weather (it was around 4 C I think, maybe a little cooler at the end); khaki's & a dress shirt with a fleece & leather jacket for outerwear. Along the way, maybe 5 K in, the leather jacket went into my pack, but the fact that I had layers seemed good. I also had some light gloves that were nice, and some extra stuff in the pack I didn't need.

Pack. My pack performed well, as expected; it is actually a decent MEC hiking pack that I've pressed into city use. I had my laptop, notebook, some water and various related stuff with me. With the leather jacket in the pack, it weighed a bit over 17 lbs.

Footwear. This was a bit of a mixed bag. I think my actual boots worked okay, but my socks didn't perform so admirably. They were shifting around and bunching up resulting in several hot spots and a minor blister. This was the biggest weakness I found; I need to find a good sock for this use, that works with my city footwear, and keep a pair in my bag. Obviously my normal socks don't really cut it.

All in all, I'd say the test was a success; in just under 2 hours I arrived home, covering just under 12 km with little elevation change, none the worse for wear (for the most part at least). I learned some things and can now confidently do this on a semi-regular basis which, I'm thinking, I would like to do so I can walk this type of distance on a more regular basis; I don't get out hiking enough!
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#253565 - 11/20/12 05:12 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1035
Loc: North Carolina
I think this is a good exercise, on several levels. The physical preparedness (fitness, equipment, clothing) is a good thing to test on a regular basis.

I would also recommend looking at trying this with an eye to your routes. You have your normal and probably most direct one, that is most likely. What resources are along that route? What potential safe areas? What potential threats? Do this for two or three more routes as well. Maybe one that stays in a populated area, another that avoids population (if possible). You could also vary transportation methods (vehicle, bicycle, foot, boat if applicable). Note the emergency services along the routes, water sources, areas that provide protection (depending on what the emergency is likely to be). It will increase your situational and area awareness if nothing else.

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#253567 - 11/20/12 05:25 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1382
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
re: foot care...our cross country team tapes up potential hot spots with duct tape first, and that heads off a lot of problems...

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#253568 - 11/20/12 05:37 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2675
I've been very pleased with Under Armor's socks. They make 'em in black which works perfectly with dress shoes.

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#253569 - 11/20/12 05:55 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: Montanero
I would also recommend looking at trying this with an eye to your routes... What resources are along that route? What potential safe areas? What potential threats?

That's a great idea. The route I used was primarily on our city's bike/pedestrian pathway system so the vast majority of my walk felt fairly remote; this time of year the sun goes down before I'm done work & there are a few spots that you'd scream at people for walking into during a horror movie smile.

The big thing is picking the pedestrian routes that will take me over the main highway safely, but there should be at least one or 2 other major ways for me to get from here to there that I can check out.

Actually, another note regarding situation awareness that I forgot to mention was the use of headphones & my iPod. I started of my trip listening to music but, primarily because my route was shared mostly by cyclists, I quickly put the music away.

Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
re: foot care...our cross country team tapes up potential hot spots with duct tape first, and that heads off a lot of problems...

I actually did have moleskin in my small FAK and, even though I could feel some of those hot-spots during the last half, I just didn't want to stop & treat it like I might have if I was out in a more recreational environment. Maybe that's a mindset change I need to make.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#253572 - 11/20/12 08:10 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1382
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Denis... do you have a small AM/FM radio?... to increase your situational awareness...information on trouble spots...

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#253573 - 11/20/12 08:40 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: LesSnyder]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
Denis... do you have a small AM/FM radio?... to increase your situational awareness...information on trouble spots...

No I don't ... at least not one I carry with me routinely. I have an iPhone but depending on the emergency I could see that not working.

I've been meaning to plan & put together a dedicated, small urban kit instead of just tossing my hiking stuff into my urban bag. This might be a good time to look at that more closely (plus, my hiking stuff hasn't made it back into my urban bag from my last trip!). It would definitely make sense to include a radio ... I wonder if something like this would be worthwhile: Etón FRX1
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#253575 - 11/20/12 09:26 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 837
Loc: Colorado
Great test. Good for you for trying it out before you need to do it for real.

Also want to think thru the cases where you have to walk home but it's more adverse weather or night or other possible situations.

I've been hiking a lot so have that part figured out (and have broken-in hiking boots and socks as part of my kit) but my walk home is 40 miles by the shortest route. Not sensible to do that as a test case as walking home would mean sleeping out at least twice. (Which, in theory, I've done some planning and equipping for but don't want to test in practice.)

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#253576 - 11/20/12 09:30 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3537
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Great idea, Dennis. This is something I intended to do this past summer but didn't have a chance to. It's a great way to stay in shape for an unexpected repeat journey under more strained conditions, both physically and mentally.

In tandem with Montanero's suggestion to consider alternate routes, I'd also run through a few scenarios in your mind about when and I why you'd take those routes. They may inform your Plans B and C.

Well done and thanks for the inspiration!
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#253581 - 11/20/12 09:40 PM Re: Mock "Get Home" [Re: Denis]
Famdoc Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 71
Loc: PA
An even smaller option: but no wind-up capability, is a Sony model. I bought 2, keep one at home, and one in my backpack/computer bag:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+Porta...=specifications

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