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#279846 - 03/07/16 03:41 PM MY New Job and GHB
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I am starting a new job in two weeks and could use your help with my new Get Home Plan.

I'll be commuting on foot or by bike, carpooling sometimes, and also have the option of taking the bus or a cab. Today, I am going to bundle my daughter into her stroller, throw on my GHB backpack, and take a test hike there and back. I've never done it on foot or bike before, so I'll be keeping an eye out for potential hazards and obstacles, short-cuts, alternate routes, resources, etc.

We live in a small city, without skyscrapers or subways. Our area of town consists of houses, some apartment buildings, lots of street level retail stores and restaurants. We also have a well developed trail system, which I am hoping to take advantage of.

I've re-packed my GHB to address a potential very long walk home, an unexpected overnight at work, or couch surfing at a friend's. It's a six mile one-way trip, which isn't long - unless something goes wrong. In that event, the trip could be much longer. Risks, as I see them, include foul weather, a major local accident/fire/gas leak, a train accident on one of the local railways, and of course, risks to my personal safety.

What's in my bag?

*Thermarest Z Seat (attached by side compression strap)
*Fox 40 slim whistle (attached to zipper)
*Roll of stoop and scoop poop bags
*Emergency poncho

*Bright orange bandana (cotton)
*Baby wipes
*Extra plastic shopping bags
*Cash, bank cards, transit pass
*ID and Emergency Contact Info
*Local maps and button compass
*Eyeglasses, clip on sunglasses and repair kit in hard case
*MP3 Player/FM Radio, ear buds and charging kit
*Mora LMF Fire Knife
*Leather Wave (Mag Solitare, Ferro rod and cotton in sheath)
*Fire Tin with fatwood, birch bark and jute twine

ADMIN Pouch: LED headlamp and one set of extra batteries, LED glowstick, pens and pencil, notebook, lip balm, Tylenol, Advil, Benedryl, cough drops, mini BIC, tweezers & safety pins, thread, repair needle, duct tape, signal mirror

FAK - water filter straw, H2O tabs, BIC, whistle, 2 mylar blankets, Tylenol and standard FAK kit stuff

Extra Clothes - GI poncho, rain pants, buff, silk liner gloves, balaclava (camo/blaze orange), baseball hat, wool booties (for my daughter). In separate dry bag: merino wool hiking socks, underwear, merino wool L/S shirt, leggings and a fleece vest. (All are appropriate work wear, and I will have an extra pair of shoes at work.)

Shelter kit - 2 x Heatsheets 1-2P blankets, plastic sheet, jute twine, paracord, bungee cord, chem hand and body warmers

Hygiene kit - maxi pads, tampons, pull-up diapers, toilet paper, peppermint liquid castile soap, travel toothbrush, small stick of deodorant, purelle, shami, bandana, extra ziplock bags

Bag of Chow -Mr. Noodles, rice, tuna, trail mix, lemonade mix, coffee, hot chocolate and srirachia sauce

Cookset - 32 OZ stainless steel water bottle, long handled spoon, fish mouth spreader, 28 OZ aluminum cook pot & lid, cozy, dunk bag, 1L Platypus water bag, ESBIT stove, windscreen, BIC, stormproof matches, hexi cubes, scouring pad

*Personal protection is obviously a concern. I will be commuting late at night at times, so I plan to add pepper spray and a pad lock on a bandana shortly. Any other suggestions: (Reminder: I live in Canada, so will not be carrying a gun in this bag.)

My Bike

I have an inexpensive 18-speed mountain bike that currently being tuned-up. I do not have paneers, but I do have a small bag on the handle bars which holds a repair/patch kit, an air pump, a spare inner tube, a water bottle and a reflective vest. I've upgraded to a more comfortable seat, and plan to upgrade my tires as soon as I can afford it. I am not a cyclist, so any tips, tricks or advice is very welcome!

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!!
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#279847 - 03/07/16 04:14 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1492
Loc: North Carolina
You look to be well prepared already. The only thing I would consider would be a larger sleeping pad if you think an overnight stay outside is possible.

#279848 - 03/07/16 04:30 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
I will comment primarily on your bike commuting. I pedaled a five mile one way route for many years and I found it very rewarding- saved money and buttressed my physical fitness.

Your most frequent equipment failure will most likely be a flat tire. Be sure you have the right equipment (mostly tire levers) to do the job wherever you may be along the route. Examine the fittings on your bike and be sure you have the right tools to tighten or adjust them. If you add a Bit Kit to your L Wave, you undoubtedly will be set in that regard.

Add a good headlamp to the bike (I assume you will undoubtedly be riding in the dark, at least occasionally). You will find it worthwhile to also wear your headlamp - two lights are better than one. You must be highly visible!!!!

You didn't mention a bike helmet. Don't pedal your bike five feet without one. The color should be white or bright, augmented with reflective tape (placed tastefully, I have no doubt).

You will enjoy using panniers, far better than a backpack when on a bike, in my opinion. The weight in them will add to the stability of your bike.

You are doing well to scout out your route. You will probably tweak it as you gain experience riding it. I found it useful to arrive at work early (7AM) and leave early (3:30PM) thereby avoiding rush hour traffic. Thank heaven for the ability to work flexible hours!! You might find that you will have different routes for arriving and returning.

Any hills? In a perfect bike commuting world there are none. Unfortunately I always had a steep grade to conquer on the way home, but it was a chance to show my macho.

Have you got a good place to keep your bike at work. That is definitely a good thing.

I usually did not bike in rainy weather. Just not worth it. Keep your FAK handy. Accidents do happen. About every five to seven years, in my experience, but nothing serious.

Have fun and enjoy the ride!
Geezer in Chief

#279849 - 03/07/16 04:38 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: hikermor]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
One other thing. I found it useful to have a cup of coffee at home and eat breakfast at work, after pedaling. I was also fortunate to have a shower and locker at work. that was very useful, because not stinking while at work was considered an asset...
Geezer in Chief

#279851 - 03/07/16 06:45 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3135
Loc: USA
Congrats on the new job!

Are you carrying water in your 32oz water bottle?

Is there a backup flashlight that I missed?

A few large paperclips and bobby pins allow for improvisation and weigh next to nothing.

Consider adding a contractor bag. Weighs little and has many uses.

Consider adding a charger for your phone.

#279852 - 03/07/16 07:00 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 830
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Will you be leaving the GHB at work, or carrying it to and fro every day? If you are leaving it at work, you should find a secure place, or when you need it, you may find bits and pieces have walked away. If going back and forth with it every day, I wonder if your GHB might be getting a bit heavy.

If it is secure and at work, you may want to create a "commute kit" that is pared down, but enough for the more common problems, e.g., it wasn't supposed to rain, but it is...etc.

Making route surveys is a great idea, maybe both walking and cycling. Make note of places--stores, offices, public buildings etc., that you can duck into if necessary, even if it is only a lobby of an office building.
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

#279853 - 03/07/16 07:28 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
For a GHB, I don't think you really need so many cookware items to haul around. Better replace them with the ready to eat food if the weight is not a concern. The steel bottle is all what you might ever need for a makeshift cooking, chocolate mixing, or water treatment (by the way I love your idea of a long spoon to match the bottle!).

Clothes - consider sturdy work gloves, perhaps of a thick leather to handle hot stuff. Kudos on Balaclava! It's the best piece of survival clothing to have - extremely versatile. Depending on your path consider some lightweight overboots (i.e Tyvek) great to traverse muddy trails.

For the self defense, the padlock on a bandanna is redundant if you don't really need one to use with a locker. You might already have even better "heavy piece on a rope" to secure your bike at the street. Personally, the only bag I'm EDCing now is a small sturdy rip-stop nylon bag, collapsing into very small pouch when not needed. In case I need an impact weapon, I can quickly load it with hard, pointy, and heavy stuff in my pockets (i.e. you can use that steel bottle full of water for that). It's much better than a bandanna in combative handling as well. Such a bag is also good to have if you plan on foraging/scavenging along the way. In fact, it's my lunch bag, but also it works well as a folding umbrella drip stopper, and handy at the shops, after the plastic bags ban was enforced in California, it fits up to 4 six-packs easily smile Also a high lumen blinding flashlight can be considered a self defense item even if without "tactical" features.

I didn't notice any emergency power supply to charge your phone and flashlights on the list. A 10 A/h Lithium USB brick should be sufficient, but not sure what your flashlights take. Maybe you'd better go with something like a 4AA GoalZero Guide 10.

#279857 - 03/08/16 12:57 AM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
EMPnotImplyNuclear Offline

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 333
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
*Personal protection is obviously a concern....in Canada

I'm glad to see you're planning to protect yourself from wild dogs and wolves ... a walking stick also doubles as a cane smile

Also, medication group, something for stomach , gas relief , immodium, some ginger ... whats another ounce smile

#279860 - 03/08/16 07:28 AM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: bacpacjac]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1841
how about a umbrella? a real one that opens wide.
i read a bit about a hiker in the UK who did local country lanes
and he said a open umbrella works to stave off dogs.popped open
between you and Fido he said it confuses them and acts as a shield.i assume he was talking about "barking at the garden gate"
dogs who got loose and not charging packs of Mastiff's
good for nice walks on rainy days too!

#279862 - 03/08/16 01:15 PM Re: MY New Job and GHB [Re: Montanero]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Montanero
You look to be well prepared already. The only thing I would consider would be a larger sleeping pad if you think an overnight stay outside is possible.

Good idea, Montanero. The sit pad will help, but it's definitely not designed to be a sleep pad.
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

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