I am looking forward to heading out tomorrow. In many ways, this trip has the feel of an abbreviated deployment. Bags packed next to the door, checklists checked and rechecked, last minute additions or deletions from the contents, shifting some items around, checking the feel on my back, etc. Sitting down and going over the maps again, covering the timeline, running all the “what if’s” and “then what’s”, rechecking waypoints, logging clicks in the notepad, etc. Discussing things with the wife and family, explaining to my son for the umpteenth time why he cannot go with me, going out to dinner for a family meal and last “good” meal I will have for awhile, and knowing that I will not sleep well because of looking forward to the trip and running things through my mind over and over. It is what it is and I have been “here” before.
Checking the 5 day forecast has:
- Day 1 – dry with high of 70 and low of 55
- Day 2 - thunderstorms with high 70 and low of 58
- Day 3 – 70% chance of rain with high of 67 and low 50
- Day 4 – partly cloudy 30% rain with high 71 and low 49
- Day 5 - partly cloudy wight high 71 and low 49.
Biggest concern at this point are the thunderstorms on Day 2 and the potential for flash floods or lightning. A lot of rain could impact the creek crossing that I have planned for the morning of Day 3 but once I reach my hole up location, weather should not have a significant impact for a few days. Wet and cool have been ordered up for the start but I do not intend to delay because in a real Bugout scenario, I could not sit around and wait on the weather. In many ways, I am happy the weather is like it is forecasted because it will help me to identify holes in my plan including what I am carrying as well as planning for the family in tow.
I am trying to find the mindset that this is “real”. People make trips like this just about every day – hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail requires just as detailed planning and preparation. Other hikes are the same. Trying to treat this like a true Bugout and not just another hike or extended camping trip is somewhat of a challenge mentally. The trip is definitely “real” in the sense that I will be spending time afield and alone. Treating everything as though the SHTF requires some simulation on my part and I have to avoid the temptations of doing things I would not do had SHTF – moving too fast, taking unnecessary chances because I know the chances of extraction are likely, avoiding population and people in general, using supplies like I know they can be replaced, etc. Convincing myself not to rush will be the toughest part and most important to me because if this were for real, my family would definitely be in tow.
I do plan to enjoy the “alone time” to the fullest extent possible. Do not get me wrong, I will miss my family something fierce but there really is not much better than spending time in the woods (second to family time). Not worrying about answering emails, what is on TV, getting projects done around the house (even though they will be waiting on me when I return), homework, etc., etc. will be a welcomed relief. About the only real concern I have heading out is the possibility of SHTF in the middle of my trip. However, in that case, we have a plan in place and I will simply head back home.
The next log entries will be from the road….