All You Commuter-Preppers

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Hispeedal2, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I received two decent job offers this week. One keeps me close to home (which was my intent in coming home) and the other requires me moving out of state. The close company came up in pay enough to be competitive and, of course, they have the home field advantage. The only downside is the possibility of commuting 45 minutes- 1 hour one way.

    I've nearly decided, but I would like to hear from those guys that are on the road a lot. What are some of the things you do to stay prepared while far away from home? What is your GH plan?

    Also looking for anything you may have on a good vehicle for commuting. Something hybrid with excellent fuel economy.

    Anything else that I'm not thinking about that I should consider?
  2. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    will you be driving into the rising or setting sun?
    that always messes up a good day and is
    a danger when youre tired and its a long drive
  3. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    My 2 cents on the car: If I had the need and funds to buy a car right now, it wouldn't be a hybrid. Now, my dad has a Prius that he really loves, and it does average nearly 48mpg. It's a good car. But personally, I'd rather get a VW Golf TDI and average over 40mpg. The diesel will last forever, while the battery bank in the Prius will need to be replaced every 7-10 years (there's no official date yet on longevity, though). Also, the TDI can be converted to burn biodiesel. The kits aren't that expensive from what I hear.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    +1. There was a period back in the day when I deliberately stayed late at work to avoid the sun on a directly west heading to home. Can be brutal. There is a road in NH with signage that specifically calls for extra care at sunset and sunrise.
  5. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    i would look at a small compact car for the daily drive plus you can get good insurance on the vehicle
  6. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I carry a bob for my vehicle a 2 day supply of food and a tool kit... i have a collapsable bike i can load if i think it's needed ... i have checked out the different ways to get from work to home and alternate routes and choke points... i'm assuming work to home is around 30-40 miles... shorter as the crow flies...

    as to vehicle pick a mid size vehicle with good gas milage... a compact/micro car while they get good gas milage may be cramped/ dangerous if you are larger than the average person ...

    i use the time to decompress and dump the worries from work so when i get home my stress level is lower... and i can enjoy the family ....
  7. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    +1 for the VW Golf diesel.
    Be sure to add a CB just in case (and have one at home).

    +1 for driving into the sun.
    I've done it in D.C and Atlanta and it makes the commute a PITA.
  8. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    I drive my wife to and from work every day. double what her commute would be. I use the time to listen to podcasts and news reports. I have a GH bag in my vehicle which includes a comfy pair of hikers, raingear, 2 day food supply, collapsible water container, plus other "normal" gear for a bob. I also have a heavy duty mattress bag in my vehicle for temp shelter. Not the thin kind you buy at uhaul.
    hank2222 and beast like this.
  9. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    i commute 45min each way for my job. I keep a GHB in the truck, along with some supplies in my office desk.
    My wife also has a similar commute, but in the opposite direction from home. She has a GHB as well.
    We have maps in both vehicles highlighting 3 different routes home.
    VisuTrac and beast like this.
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    My morning commute is only 12 miles one way, but into the sun in the morning then again in the evening. Evening isn't bad in summer - sun doesn't go down til 9ish, and i'm on the road between 5 and 6. But the morning sun can be brutal.
    In the winter, it's the opposite - bad in the evening but dark in morning.
    My minivan does 18MPG city - not great, but it's comfy and I like it. I carry a GHB in the back just in case.
    If I were in the market for a smaller commuter (saving the van for cargo and trip use) I'd look at the Honda CRV SUV - good ground clearence for a smaller vehicle and good gas mileage.Hondas are dead-nuts reliable too.
    If I am really worried about the chance of breakdown, EMP, etc, I have a bike raack to mount to my hitch, and can haul my mountainbike.
  11. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    +1 for a diesel as if you can have the ability to make your own biodiesel. I can't make a fuel cell or Lith-ion or NMH batteries.

    again +1 for not driving into the sun to or from.

    another thing to consider do you have to drive through an urban center like Nashville to get to the other side of the city to get from work to home and back. That's a big hairy mess waiting to happen. Your 45 minute commute turns into 2-3 hours at any given (BTDT). A stopped freeway makes you a sitting duck for that semi that just lost it's brakes. or worse. Have multiple routes available to get home and know them well.

    for GHB, standard gear (water,first aid, snacks, defense (pistol/knife) and cordage), pair of good boots or hikers, spare clothes appropriate to season, gloves and extra pair of socks (I hate wet feet), blanket, flashlight for the commute of 25 miles.

    Remember you can remove layers of clothes if you get hot but if you don't have 'em you can't put them on if you don't have them when cold.

    I'm sure that others will provide additional ideas but these are mine.
    Sapper John likes this.
  12. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    I don't drive too far but like said above having paper maps and knowing several different routes home could come in really handy. A GPS or phone with maps and GPS would be useful, unless there was a EMP problem.
  13. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    I've got a BOB in the car.

    Last week, I bought a 2011 VW Jetta TDi. The window sticker claims about 40mpg (Diesel) but those who have driven them say they all get over 50MPG at highway speeds when on cruise control.

    I was at the dealership having my windows tinted and a clear bra for the front end put on, also.

    So, toward the end of my time at the dealership, I was using the bathroom and this guy asked me if I was getting my car serviced. I said that I was and he immediately asked me if I wanted to sell my TDi. I told him that I had just bought it last week and I was not interested in doing that.

    Then, a VW sales guy came into the bathroom and I said, "Here's a guy that can tell you more about the TDi." Chris, the sales guy, said that he had recently taken his family to Chicago and that his mileage was 56MPG.

    Then he dropped the bomb; he said that he wanted to keep his TDi because it only has 320,000 miles on it.

    My sales guy had told me that most gas VW's are expected to last about 150,000 miles but that the VW's with Diesel engines are expected to last for about 350,000, with proper maintenance.

    One of the curious things that I'm learning is that the TDi's are so "tight" when they are new that it takes about 40,000-50,000 miles before you start to get the optimum mileage that TDi owners rave about.

    The capacity of my fuel tank is a bit over 14 gallons; that can mean an impressive driving range. Oil changes (all fluids are synthetic--the synthetic oil is 10-40 weight) are spaced at 10,000 mile intervals. When you check your oil, you are cautioned to not add more than 1/2 quart at a time.

    It appears that VW has standardized a cluster of options to drive down the cost of those options and provide a reasonably impressive car at a price point (about $24,000-$26,000) that might be a stretch for those on tight budgets but when you think of the long term benefits (350,000 mile life expectancy and up to 50+ MPG), it may be worth making the extra effort to bring one of these home.

    I did read several reviews and I was really concerned about the critics knocking what they perceived as a drop in the quality of VW product. After test driving (the torque is amazing) and then buying and living with one for a bare week, I do not agree with the critics who have been beating up on VW.

    Check it out and make up your own mind.

    I am not suggesting that everyone go out and buy one of these (however, 75% of cars in Europe--where gas is $8/gallon--are diesel) because your lifestyle may require something quite different. But if it seems like it may be a fit--go for it!

    Now, if you are sorta, kinda on-the-fence, please consider my following opinion: Prior to the Obama administration, ALL presidents have been spending like drunken sailors. Obama raised that activity dramatically and, I believe that within a very short time, we (everyone in the USA) are going to experience shockingly high rates of inflation. Today--because the economy is pretty crummy--interest rates are low! If you get a major purchase like an excellent car BEFORE the economic SHTF, then you'll be locked into what will seem like a ridiculously low monthly payment. So, you will be able to make your payments back in inflated money.

    Even if the Republican Party gains control of the US Senate and the Presidency in 2012, and they do "everything right" too many bad economic things have already been set into motion to get arrested and avoid nasty inflation and its, potentially, ruinous effects.

    Folks, make the wisest decisions that you possibly can in your SHTF planning and at least in a few critical areas be just a little bolder than normal.
  14. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I drive about 15 miles one way to work.

    Where I live a VW even the all wheel does not have the ground clearance my Volvo XC70 does; so in bad weather I could not get in.
    Also, with All season tires my Volvo (or my 3x4 PU) will not get in or out with 3-4" of snow.
  15. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Das ist nicht ganz richtig.

    Das Auto!

    Ach es wird nur 25 Meilen pro Gallone. Es hat Bodenfreiheit vergleichbar mit dem Volvo
  16. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    This is a follow-up to my earlier post.

    I incorrectly stated that the synthetic oil is 10-40; the correct oil weight is actually 5-40.

    Also, I recalled a while after posting that when I asked Chris, the VW sales guy about his trip to Chicago and he said he got 56 MPG, I then asked him how fast he was driving. (I figured that he must have been doing about 60-70 on cruise control) Chris told me that he drove at 80 mph for most of the trip.
  17. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++


    The red dot is where I live.

    It is much better when it looks like this:

    What can I say but bring Das Auto.
  18. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    how about Das Helicopter? Or Das Tracked Vehicle.

    Dude, you got no worries about someone coming up your drive now do you?
    Sapper John likes this.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Visu, that does not look like any place in the mitten that I remember. Like it, tho' --
  20. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    That Tikka has a great spot. We've got nothing that rugged here in Michigan that I've experienced. Even the Porcupine mts , look like savanna compared to that landscape.
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