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Episode 201 S6-1

Evacuation Routes


Special Guest:

The Endless Night Ch 1

Chin Gibson

The Endless Night novel begins with a recap to Dexter Moore's story. Traveling with his friend, Johnny, they follow the river to a roadway. There are many paths that can lead you to safety when evacuating. Today, co-host Chin Gibson and author Sara F. Hathaway, explore some of the less traveled avenues so you can plan for your evacuation route.

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When you think of evacuating your home, your first thought is that you will be using your vehicle to do it. It is a smart decision because with an automobile you can carry more and move faster. However, you will need extra gasoline. If there are shortages or uncertainties about procuring more, traveling with gasoline jugs on the outside of your vehicle will make you a target for individuals looking for fuel. In a post-collapse society, it could be used as a target to eliminate you. You need to camouflage it. One idea is to put your jugs inside a generic box. That way, no one can tell you are carrying extra fuel.

When you are traveling by vehicle, you need to pack your gear in your automobile in such a way that you can leave the vehicle quickly, if necessary. You don't want to be wasting time sorting supplies. You need to be able to grab your stuff and go. If you are carrying ammunition, remember that it is heavy! When it's weight is added to your essentials, the load can be unmanageable. Plus you will need ways to keep your gear dry and protected from the elements. 

Remember that evacuees will clog the roadways. Know the back roads and routes out of your area. Know where you can resupply. Study Google maps and learn multiple courses. After a major collapse, the little towns may become dangerous. They will see any outsiders as a threat to their supplies. However, in the current state of the US, this is not a concern, and the people there can be quite helpful.

If you are forced out of your vehicle and must go on foot, railways are a smart way to travel. At the site, there are maps of all of the modern railways in use today. Remember that homeless people are currently using these routes. You will be on their turf. On the railway, you are exposed. Use it as a guide but do not walk directly down it. Remember that railways will eventually take you to a city. Plan your route well to avoid the urban centers if necessary.

There are also old railways that are no longer in use. Many of these have been turned into "greenways" to provide a path for joggers and hikers to enjoy nature. They make perfect evacuation routes that are not known to as many individuals. The previously mentioned concerns for the railroads also apply here. Search the internet for old maps of your area to know if these routes exist around you. A site called has a great article on planning bug out routes. He recommends using google map's topographical feature and toggling back and forth so you can see the trail in the trees and note its location on your map.

A couple of other great websites for topographical maps are and At, you can pull up a map of an area, zoom in and out and order those maps. I have never actually ordered any, but from what I understand, they come laminated and with the compass guide on them. The USGS has some detailed maps for hiking trails. From what I know, you can order their maps as well.

Walking is going to test every bit of your physical endurance. Investing in a cart that you could pull would be well worth the investment. Make sure it is durable enough to handle most types of off-road environments.

Another smart investment is the Delorme Atlas & Gazetteer for your state as well as those surrounding you. These topographical Atlases have back roads, backwater lakes and streams, boat ramps, forests, wetlands, trailheads, campgrounds, public lands, prime hunting and fishing sites, and countless landmarks. They are inexpensive and affordable enough to get one for each state you might be traveling through. They are large books though, so finding the right spot for them in the evacuation pack might be a challenge.

Planning your route is essential. You have to know: how far you can walk, how far you can walk with gear on your back, and how long the weakest person in your group can walk. Plan to find campsites at those intervals. has an excellent article on planning your evacuation route in a natural disaster. The first thing he asks is where are you starting from? We might immediately imagine that we would be at home, but many of us are not home very often. You might be at work, the store, the gym, or any number of places. If you have kids, where would they be? Would they be at school, the daycare, at practice or at home?

The issue of children brings us to our next consideration. Whom are you taking with you? Are they older or younger? Can they carry their supplies? Will you have to carry them? Do they require specific supply considerations, like diapers, bottles, or medications? If you need to haul gear for extra individuals, will you be able to move? Will you still be able to defend yourself?

The next consideration is: what will you be using to travel? Will you be in a vehicle or on foot? Waterways can also make good transportation routes. If you are lost in the woods nine times out of ten if you follow the flow of water, you will come to a town. This understanding can be useful in today's times, but in a societal collapse, you may not want to head towards people. Usually, canals have trails by them, or the channel is no longer in use, and the whole thing is now a walking trail. If you have access to water, using a boat is a consideration. You can carry more, but you may be more exposed and vulnerable to attack.

Your supplies are the next topic. Visit the Changing Earth Survival Guide and Changing Earth Tips to learn all about gear and your evacuation pack. Just make sure you remember the basics like a compass, water, your backpack, pen/paper, and a method of communication.

When it comes to your route, suggests starting by familiarizing yourself with the area. Know where you are going to start from and stop by the end of the night. Have rally spots so you can meet up with your family or anyone who may get separated. This is important more than ever with the number of natural disasters happening. If your home is compromised, where would you meet your family?

Know the friendly and unfriendly areas. Cities and towns may be a blessing or a curse. Even collecting water, while necessary, can be a potential conflict point. Learn if there are any chemical or nuclear activities around you.

The next step is to document routes. recommends recording your routes both on a map and in list form. Both forms should be accurate and independent of one another. Make as many possible route scenarios as possible. Think about where you might lose your vehicle. Is there a human-made structure, like a bridge or a damn, that might become compromised?

Then you run the routes over and over. Try to be as familiar with them as possible. Give a team member a copy of the route maps and list to see if they can follow them.

The last step is to complete the document by making it durable and easy to carry. Make copies for your group, remember two is one, and one is none. You may consider developing a coded system so that only your team would be able to follow your route.

Communicating with your group is a crucial component of survival. Make a plan for communication. Know how you are going to warn a fellow team member if things have gone wrong. There are many communication options: HAM, GMRS, or a radio are all possibilities. Make sure you do your homework and know how to use whatever you choose. Remember that other users can hear you and if you talk to long, your signal could be triangulated, and your location revealed.

Bug Out Cart
Bug Out Cart
Bug Out Cart Folded
Bug Out Cart Folded
Delorme Atlas
Delorme Atlas

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The Endless Night Ch 1

Chin Gibson

Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.

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