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 Post subject: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:38 am 
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Had an interesting "get home" situation last Saturday, wasn't an emergency situation but it definitely made think about improvements in my get home plan.

I live .7 miles from work, walking distance but it's cold so I drive. My daily commute takes me approximately 3 minutes from locking up at work to unlocking the front door at home.

So Saturday I pull out of work and get in the turn lane just as I notice that squad cars are blocking the intersection, preventing a right turn. Slightly annoyed I pull into the gas station thinking I can bypass the intersection only to realize the far exit is also blocked. Cars are starting to stack up, and it ends up taking me about 5 minutes to get out of the congestion. No big deal I think, I can overshoot by a block and come in through side streets. Side streets are pretty clear until 50 yards from the road I'm trying to cross. I get flagged down by a guy in a reflective vest. Turns out a parade is coming down the street, and while my apartment is literally right across the two lane street, I'm told to turn around and leave. This proves again difficult as cars again stacked up behind me and there are people walking down the side street I'm on to watch the parade.

Long story short, It took me almost 30 minutes to get close to my apartment, and I ended up having to park 1/4 mile away and walking in cold temperature I wasn't dressed for to get home to the family.

Now again no real emergency, but I was wholly unprepared for the situation.

Since then I've mapped out a number of alternative routes to get to our home should my usual route be blocked.

If it were a real emergency that much wasted time could have made a bad situation much worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:10 am 
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You point is well-taken that in a real emergency situation, one should NOT expect traffic to be flowing freely/normally.

You mention a couple of times cold being a consideration. Not that I'm questioning how you handled it, nor am I saying that in most scenarios staying with your vehicle and getting home eventually isn't the best choice. But had you been forced to abandon your car, do you have appropriate clothing and footwear accessible in case the need arises?

I work in a business casual environment, but leave my leather oxford shoes in my desk drawer. So in additional to EDC'ing sensible footwear and seasonably appropriate outerwear for getting to and from work, I also have a back-up pair of trail sneakers in my office drawer and a retired pair of hiking boots + spare winter clothing in my car (along with my GHB).

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Last edited by majorhavoc on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:11 am 
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I'm glad you eventually got home. Excellent learning opportunity. I keep clothes in my van. I can't remember the specifics, but things like this have happened to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:41 am 
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majorhavoc wrote:
You point is well-taken that in a real emergency situation, one should NOT expect traffic to be flowing freely/normally.

You mention a couple of times cold being a consideration. Not that I'm questioning how you handled it, nor am I saying that in most scenarios staying with your vehicle and getting home eventually is the best choice. But had you been forced to abandon your car, do you have appropriate clothing and footwear accessible in case the need arises?

I work in a business casual environment, but leave my leather oxford shoes in my desk drawer. So in additional to EDC'ing sensible footwear and seasonably appropriate outerwear for getting to and from work, I also have a back-up pair of trail sneakers in my office drawer and a retired pair of hiking boots + spare winter clothing in my car (along with my GHB).


I wear sturdy shoes, the lack of jacket was the main thing, but it's getting cold enough that I take one with me every morning. Do need to put together a winter kit for the car though, current one is more summer oriented.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:05 pm 
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If you need to hoof it, comfortable walking clothing with make all the difference in the world. I used to have a change of clothes (pants, shirt, jacket, sneakers, hat, empty backpack) in the car until they got stolen during a burglary. I really should get around to replacing them.

EDIT: I work in a business casual office, so most of the time, I can wear plain black or brown walking shoes. They're sometimes sold as "service" or "oxford work" shoes


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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:25 pm 
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If I lived .7 miles from work I would walk every day no matter the weather. That is exercise for the price of buying the right clothes. Then you owuld not have to worry about the car.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:14 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
If I lived .7 miles from work I would walk every day no matter the weather. That is exercise for the price of buying the right clothes. Then you owuld not have to worry about the car.

When I lived in Fairbanks I walked to work. The distance varied greatly depending on which building I was working in that day, which route I took and whether or not I caught a ride on the shuttle or city bus for part of the trip, but an average one-way distance would be about 1.5 miles.

Despite Fairbanks being pretty miserable in terms of weather, my walk to and from work was often the best part of my day. It helped wake me up in the morning, and gave me a chance to work off some of my frustration before getting home.

That said, it was my experience that at walking speed having to backtrack and take a different route for whatever reason (train, snow plow, moose, etc.) meant running really late. My employer tended to be forgiving of that (it didn't happen very often) but it's something to be aware of.

Now my job is 21 miles away from my house and I had to buy a car. I miss my walks! :(


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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.
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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:25 am 
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Not a fail. Needs to be corrected for search topics.

Suggest: Traffic was Bad

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:52 am 
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quazi wrote:
Stercutus wrote:
If I lived .7 miles from work I would walk every day no matter the weather. That is exercise for the price of buying the right clothes. Then you owuld not have to worry about the car.

When I lived in Fairbanks I walked to work. The distance varied greatly depending on which building I was working in that day, which route I took and whether or not I caught a ride on the shuttle or city bus for part of the trip, but an average one-way distance would be about 1.5 miles.

Despite Fairbanks being pretty miserable in terms of weather, my walk to and from work was often the best part of my day. It helped wake me up in the morning, and gave me a chance to work off some of my frustration before getting home.

That said, it was my experience that at walking speed having to backtrack and take a different route for whatever reason (train, snow plow, moose, etc.) meant running really late. My employer tended to be forgiving of that (it didn't happen very often) but it's something to be aware of.

Now my job is 21 miles away from my house and I had to buy a car. I miss my walks! :(


I walked my dogs 1.5 miles around the lake every morning before I left for work. But my commute is 44 miles one way. If I lived .7 miles from work I would save about $3800 a year in gas, tolls, tires, brakes, oil and filters. :roll:

LOL, I got stranded at Walmart [recently] about ~7 miles from home and decided to hoof it [as a test, thanks ZS, without you I would have called an uber] carrying a bag with 5 qts of oil and a filter i had just bought. It was hot but not sunny, which if it was full sun I would have gotten a sunburn; wearing shorts, a T-shirt and hiking shoes [which broke, one of the soles started coming loose]. Walking fast made it in just over 2.5 hrs. I was trying to maintain a 3mph pace, stopped for water at a grocery store along the way once. I could have made it w/out cheating the water like that. It tasted good and at that point I was about 2.5 miles from home.

Although it was a successful test, the fails were; no sunscreen and should have had at least one bottle of water to cover that distance in Florida in the mid day. And duct tape. Like I said if it was full sun, it would have been really uncomfortable but doable without those two items. I was walking next to a canal for about 5 of those miles but didn't have my Sawyer Mini either. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:14 am 
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Sometimes the "Get Home" fail doesn't have to cover great distances. I just related this story in Off-Topic a day ago. We'd been talking about appropriate clothing for Standing Rock and I mentioned my down parka...

Quote:
Well, one thing I can tell you is that it may have saved me from a bad case of hypothermia last February. We'd had a freezing rain most of the day, so I expected my 50' long 30° slope driveway to be a ski ramp. It was well after midnight and temps had dropped to about 20°F with about a 5 MPH breeze, and gusts to about 10. That's when I remembered I'd forgotten to bring our recycling bin up from the road. Seeing as how the wind tends to blow down the road even in dry conditions, I didn't want to leave it down there with all the ice building up. I grabbed my parka and my cane and headed for the garage to see how bad the driveway was. I had plenty of salt and traction compound in the garage, and planned on using it to give me firm footing all the way down. I didn't grab my YakTrax because a) I'm not always a smart person and b) I worried about slipping with them on the polished concrete floor in the garage. What I didn't have was my cell phone (recharging, sitting on my desk) or one of my ham portables (also all sitting on my desk in their chargers).

Let me stop for a moment here to say that I've been walking with a cane, sometimes two, for a number of years now, mostly due to bone on bone arthritis in both knees, but also due to a couple of ruptured tendons in the left knee that never got repaired. I also have an area the size of a basketball on my right chest and back that has no nerves left at all (back - totally numb, full neuropathy) and nerves that are permanently stuck on PAIN (chest - varies between feeling like a spear through the chest, or a flaming spear through the chest... sprinkled with fiberglass insulation... then hit with a blowtorch - full on neuralgia) so getting up/down the driveway, dragging one of what the Brits would call a "wheelie bin" is a little difficult at the best of times.

Aside from the parka, all I had on was a Duluth longtail tee shirt, my L.L. Bean wool lined moccasins, and a pair of Duluth "souped up sweats". The parka and the sweats are what saved my ass, and maybe kept me from being a number on the nightly news, as in number of folks killed by the storm.

So I get out to the garage and power up the door, and I can see right away the asphalt of the driveway looks wet, but I can't tell if it's ice or just water. (ground temps were high enough to keep it right at the point of freezing, but air temps were dropping quick). I needed to determine this before wasting a bunch of semi-expensive traction compound (I've since decided the stuff is cheap in comparison to my later medical bills), so I went to test the surface of the asphalt near the door with the tip of my cane. (my cane, in the winter, has a "boot" that goes over it, impregnated with carbide grit for traction on ice) I was being very, very careful to only step on the concrete floor of the garage, and not the asphalt and then the next thing I knew, I was sliding down the driveway at pretty high speed, on my face, minus my cane. I'd forgotten that several inches of the concrete floor extend outside the garage door, and they were solid ice when my foot stepped on them.

I ended up almost in the ditch on my neighbor's side of the road, bleeding, bruised and more than a little battered and confused. My cane came sliding after me fortunately, or I have no idea what I would have done next, because the only way back to the house was either through a deep ditch and then up a steep, muddy hill, or up that driveway.

What I ended up doing was, on my hands and knees, waiting until my body heat through the knees of my sweats melted the ice a little, then slightly lifting one knee and letting the water refreeze, "sticking" the fabric to the surface. Then, using my cane sort of how you'd use a canoe paddle (left hand down towards the tip, right as far up the shaft as comfortable) pulling myself forward and up the driveway a little, then doing it all over again with the other knee.

It took me a bit over 90 minutes (I think - I was pretty disoriented by then and I'm not sure of the exact time I got back into the garage on firm ground) to cover the 50', and I managed to really screw up my left shoulder (which my surgeon keeps wanting to go in and fix but I don't like/trust hospitals), both knees were swollen to twice their normal size for a few days, and I had frostbite in both hands. I honestly feel that if I'd had just one of my rain jackets or a hoodie on, instead of the parka, or a pair of cheaper sweats, I probably would have been a "tragic victim of hypothermia", instead of writing this.

(Lessons learned: a charged radio goes in the jacket pocket, or the phone goes in my pants pocket, anytime I open a door to the outside; all winter coats now have a pair of gloves, a few handwarmers, and a good flashlight in the pockets; the driveway gets pre-treated with deicing spray before the storm hits.)

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:16 pm 
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At a brisk pace a person in not-terrible shape can walk a mile in about 15 minutes. Most folks cannot maintain that brisk a pace comfortably for 2 miles though and walking 2 miles will take more like 40-45 minutes unless you are in above-average cardio condition. When I say "comfortably" I mean not perspiring and soaking your work clothes with sweat which you then have to wear at work all day.

I don't mind walking briskly and don't even mind perspiring (which you do want to avoid if it's cold outside because the wetness can actually lead to hypothermia). I do mind showing up at work in sweat-soaked clothes and stinking up the office all day before I can get home and shower.

When I worked in Chicago I had a 90 minute commute. One day we got a torrential downpour after a few weeks of above-average rainfall. For those of you not familiar, the storm drains in the Chi-metro area drain into an underground reservoir called "The Deep Tunnel Project". It's temporary storage for rainwater runoff where it can be held for treatment and pumped back in to Lake Michigan. Due to the heavy rains, the runoff was coming in faster than the facility was able to treat it. Upshot, that big ol' bathtub got full and there was no where for the rain to go except to start filling up all the low-lying places. Chicago is a huge rail hub and with all the freeway and railway underpasses flooded it was like playing hopscotch to try to get home. What was normally a 90 minute drive took me in excess of 4 hours because of all the streets that were cut off and the horrendous traffic that was backed up. Looking back it would have made more sense to get a hotel room and wait it out until the rain stopped and the underpasses were cleared out.


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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:54 am 
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roOism wrote:
It took me almost 30 minutes to get close to my apartment, and I ended up having to park 1/4 mile away and walking in cold temperature



A parade would only last for a little while. I would have gone somewhere else, a friends place, shopping, or to a movie and go home after the parade was over before I'd park that far away from my home.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:07 am 
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I believe that a lot of times people get complacent, because their day to day routine stays the same and nothing happens. I know that it has happened to me and fortunately nothing serious has happened to me, other than some running, dodging and taking a long round about way to get back home.

I was on my way to the old palengke (an open air market) near our home to get some Pandesal (a Filipino bread roll) and I was not paying attention to what was going on around me.

It happened to be a National holiday so a lot of people were out of school and off work (it was Bonifacio Day) and it just so happened to be the day that the American Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton was sentenced for killing Jennifer Laude (a transgender woman) in his hotel room while he was on shore leave in Olongapo City.

Well I had read the papers and knew it was going on and we lived about a block from Olongapo City Hall, I just did not pay attention and thought that the crowd up ahead (I had to pass city hall to get to the palengke) was just the normal weekend/holiday vendors that set up their carts and stalls around city hall.

Edited to add: I was also carrying a TKM hex tool, but like I said it would have been stupid to stay and fight. Way better to run like heck and hope for the best.

Well I was about half way through the crowd when someone took offense at my being there. It was the wrong place at the wrong time kind of thing. American (tall white guy) in a crowd of angry Filipinos (who are mostly shorter than I am, with darker skin, black hair and brown eyes), I ended up running towards the palengke and then dodging inside it and running around inside till I got to the back and then had to run home the back way, thankfully there were no dogs in the yards I was going through, but there were plenty of chickens and I was one of them.

My normal Philippines EDC was a ESEE 4P, a Streamlight Protac flashlight and a Sabre Tactical Spray baton. All of which would have been something I could have used but against a large crowd of angry protestors (who were angry about Americans), it would have been suicide to stay and try to fight back or to even run straight home.

My wife and I both have stun gun flashlights, but I was not carrying mine since it was daytime and she was at home, safe and sound. With my luck she would have been shouting death to Americans with the rest of the Filipinos.

A three minute walk turned in to a 45 minute walk with some intense running like the Hound of the Baskervilles was after me.

Lack of attention to details was what bit me in the rear end, I've going to Olongapo City for 40 years now and have had no real issues (okay other than a few bar fights with some American sailors, running from Angry Go-Go girls, also known as Bar girls or buy me drink girls, and running from the Naval Shore Patrol) it just became routine and I slipped into Jeff Cooper’s condition White.

Thankfully I did not slip on the pair of crocs that I wear in the compound, but instead had on a sturdy pair of hiking boots. I don't think I would have made it home in one piece if I would have been wearing crocs. I honestly can't imagine what it would have been like to run bare foot, through all the nasty stuff and garbage that was on the streets and in people yards, especially since I only have one and less than half a foot already.

When we went this year, I paid more attention than I usually do when ever we went out. I was in yellow to orange for most of the time we were there.

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 Post subject: Re: Get Home Fail
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:11 pm 
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handy cold weather gear is so handy an addition to the car.Even when you are not survivaling. and just cold. Or a friend is cold.


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