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Message Subject Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
Post Content
Information for the Bugout folks: Radius of travel

We don't have much information about long distance hiking, but we can get some understanding from data collected second-hand from folks participating on the Appalachian Trail.

[link to hikinghq.net]

The average through hiker (someone attempting the whole trail, versus a day or section hiker which is someone doing sections of the trail over time) were not in great shape to begin with, only “fair to good” and they “averaged 12.8 miles per day if in good condition and 9.5 if in fair condition”. After a month of getting used to it and the routine, the average per day was “16 miles per day”.

The hikers burned “3076 – 6137 calories per day”. They ate more when they could since they couldn't carry it. Those high calories are probably in-town, mass consumption of calories to make up all the energy expended.

It's impossible to carry everything, so they resupplied. This meant extra side trips that detoured them off the trail. This can be considerable and significantly add to how much you walk. The same is true for foraging or hunting or trapping or gathering water. Calculate how much of your 13 miles (10 if in fair shape) will be actual forward distance toward your goal, and how much will be finding a campsite, putting up shelter or making shelter, gathering firewood, and the above resupply from local materials.

I doubt more than 1% could walk more than a month. Figure in the limitations of weather for one as Winter is coming on. Figure security issues for being on any trail post-collapse as time goes on. Figure fatigue and illness or very likely injury. Even if all of that wasn't an issue, what about supplies and not being able to forage?

The average weight loss was 17lbs. Some lost as much as “fifty pounds” traveling. Most men lost fat and muscle weight. They simply couldn't eat enough versus calories expended.

Only 10-15% of those who attempt the Appalachian Trail complete it.

Average weight carried: 30-50 lbs with half being food and water.

Remember that they burned up on average three pairs of shoes along the journey.

Now, that's a long long trail. Let's vaguely extrapolate based upon that data:

Remember, you probably can't resupply, and you'll certainly have great difficulty finding food. Even what little food you find, it's expending calories, so unless you can reasonably hope to find food in very high amounts (1,000 calories or more) then it may not be worth it to spend time finding food as you may use up more than your gain. If you do kill a large animal, you can't save it, or carry it out either. If you stop to make jerky it will take a lot of effort, green wood fires, and TIME.

If you carried 50 lbs, what's the maximum you could travel based upon 25 lbs of that being food and water? Then calculate how many days from that realizing that it's very strenuous and burning up calories.

Many places won't have water, study your topography for the planned trip and see if there's any water sources along the way. If you haven't planned for that, then look and see, and if it doesn't fit with what you can carry, then replot a new course.

Based upon that information, I think you can see how many miles you probably can go bugging out by comparing average distance (minus supplying) times amount of food carried and thinking about water. That's your effective radius from Home or where you ditch a vehicle because you run out of gas.

If you're bugging out with children or a spouse/girlfriend, then calculate in their limitations as well. Children and many women cannot carry as much weight. Some strong women can carry more weight and or have more stamina and grit, but it's not the norm.

This gives you a more realistic idea of what you're up against.

Personally, I'd go by canoe if possible.
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