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Posted: 1/27/2011 12:55:15 PM EDT
Well last night I was stuck coming home from work in DC on the George Washington Parkway for 8 Hours in one spot.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/26/AR2011012608980.html?wprss=rss_metro/dc&sid=ST2011012603981

Here is my AAR, after sitting in one spot on the parkway for an hour without moving i knew something was up and it was going to be a long night. There was no place to pull off or turn around so i had to make the best of it. I have already been in my car for 3 hours at an extremely slow pace. Before i left for work that day I made sure i had a full tank of gas because I knew the weather was going to be bad and anything can happen in DC with the crappy drivers and roads.

The first thing i did was turn off my car to conserve gas, there was no need to keep my car running because I had my winter BOB with me . The first thing i did was pull out my sleeping bag and cover myself, it kept me very comfortable, i had to keep the windows cracked open a little bit so i wouldn't get to warm and to keep the windows from fogging up too much. In this bag i also had water, food (power bars, candy, beef jerky, and a couple MREs) a small battery powered radio, spare phone charger, flashlight, a small folding knife, first aid kit, 550 cord, small role of Duct tape, and few other odds and ends. This is just for leaving in my car for my commute, i work in DC so weapons are a NO GO. So I just laid back in my car listening to my little radio and relaxed, i had plenty of water and food, I was warm so there was no reason to worry. The reason I used a handheld radio was i didnt want to run my car for it and i didn't want to drain the car battery in the cold.

People around me were getting frustrated and they were walking up and down the road slipping, falling, and getting wet. I dont know what these people were trying to accomplish they were still going to be stuck. Cars were running out of gas, people were eating snow, people started pushing each other on the street.

My final thoughts

1) realized i was stuck and there was nothing i could do about it and I made peace with it
2) conserved gas
3) kept warm in my sleeping bag
4) i had food and water so i was not hungry or thirsty
5) i just waited it out and stayed calm

There are a few things i would tweek but my biggest mistake was not including anything in my bag to help pass the time, like some reading materials or games.



Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:02:05 PM EDT
Where'd you pee?
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:02:47 PM EDT
Sounds like a great time to break out the kit! Did you have a heat source in your kit? Alcohol stove, instant heat packs, anything to make warmth?

I am impressed with your planning and execution. This is the kind of event we prepare for, not for nuclear calamity, (yes, the geiger counter is great...) but for the every day mundane event.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:05:23 PM EDT
Nicely done. I will through something for entertainment in my Get Home Bag tonight.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:07:18 PM EDT
I've been in this situation twice here in PA. Its never fun. I'm always afraid of getting caught in a sheep stampede this way.

After the first time I added a Hi-Lift Jack, chain, bolt cutters and other tools to remove barricades and other obstacles that would prevent me from driving off the road on to surface streets. I keep a scanner/Ham HT programed with emergency service frequencies to give me possible information on that actual problem. I usually roll with my Acer Aspire and a data card for access to the net, but all of that is work related gear.

I'm sure you witnessed a few people digging their holes deeper with bad decisions out there. I'm glad this wasn't worse for you.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:09:47 PM EDT
I have GHB too & from your AAR & other post I'll be adding some books to the bag, a variety of food/munchies (all I have are power bars) & some heat paks.

thanks,
7mm
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:14:27 PM EDT
Well done ,Sir!
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:15:07 PM EDT
Good job, and thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:38:57 PM EDT
I don't know the laws in D. C. but in Ky you can keep a gun in your car locked up no matter what your boss says, or for that matter, a bank , courthouse, or any other place that doesn't allow guns. They can't keep you from keeping them locked up in your car even if your on their property. There are also laws in place to protect you from them saying they will fire you if you continue to carry a weapon in your car.

I'd say D. C. is different because it's our country's capital but I'd still check it out.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:51:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2011 1:54:41 PM EDT by Hawk_308]
You get caught in DC with a gun your screwed , no matter how its stored. Thats why I will not work there even for triple pay.

OP good aar
Originally Posted By countrygunner:
I don't know the laws in D. C. but in Ky you can keep a gun in your car locked up no matter what your boss says, or for that matter, a bank , courthouse, or any other place that doesn't allow guns. They can't keep you from keeping them locked up in your car even if your on their property. There are also laws in place to protect you from them saying they will fire you if you continue to carry a weapon in your car.

I'd say D. C. is different because it's our country's capital but I'd still check it out.


Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:53:49 PM EDT
Well done!

I keep the waterproof version of UNO in my BOB, highly recommend.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 1:58:39 PM EDT
Buddy of mine said the GWB looked like a zombie Apocolypse, minus the zombies. He counted 150+ abandoned cars or so this morning. I bet those other folks wished that they had a BOB/GHB.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:05:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AllAmerican2000:
Nicely done. I will through something for entertainment in my Get Home Bag tonight.


It is something you don't think about when you are prepping but staying occupied really helps passing time and staying calm. I could not imagine having a car full of kids stranded with nothing to do.

Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:09:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SP101:
Sounds like a great time to break out the kit! Did you have a heat source in your kit? Alcohol stove, instant heat packs, anything to make warmth?

I am impressed with your planning and execution. This is the kind of event we prepare for, not for nuclear calamity, (yes, the geiger counter is great...) but for the every day mundane event.


The only heat source i had were a few hand warmers, but i had a sleeping bag rated down to 0 degrees. But i was conserving my fuel in case i had to warm up a little

Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:25:07 PM EDT
What a cluster that was last night. Took me 2 hours to go 5 miles. Cars stranded everywhere. But not me......Gotta love the BOV.

Transformer blew up outside my house sending us into darkness until 5pm today. Broke out the candles, bundled up and ate hot dogs over the fire. Good times.

Glad you made it through ok.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:25:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2011 3:28:05 PM EDT by Hawk_308]
I keep a pocket constitution and bible along with a elcheapo mp3 player loaded with my favorite tunes thats the size of 2 AA batteries in my BOB , In my truck I also keep a deck of cards , some books and mags laying around .
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:38:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ride365:
Well last night I was stuck coming home from work in DC on the George Washington Parkway for 8 Hours in one spot.

*snip*

There are a few things i would tweek but my biggest mistake was not including anything in my bag to help pass the time, like some reading materials or games.


Bravo, Ride365! You've put into practice what so many preach. If I could collect pats on the back from everyone here and deliver to you, I would. To paraphrase something said earlier, its the mundane things that'll bite us in the ass. Some of us are so busy preparing for armageddon, we can't even see the little things that could happen. Well done!
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:42:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2011 2:43:53 PM EDT by Vicinity]
ETA: Traffic left you in one spot for 8 hours? Wow. I've never heard of that.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 2:59:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 3:02:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By xmission:
Where'd you pee?


Link Posted: 1/27/2011 3:09:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jagdterrier:
Originally Posted By xmission:
Where'd you pee?




Empty gatorade bottle, Fill dump repeat

Link Posted: 1/27/2011 3:14:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ride365:
Originally Posted By jagdterrier:
Originally Posted By xmission:
Where'd you pee?




Empty gatorade bottle, Fill dump repeat



Those are great for that.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 3:18:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2011 3:21:07 PM EDT by SPBCTS]
Wow I completely overlooked any form of time-passer. The wife has a deck of cards in her GHB but I don't have anything like that in the one in my truck...gonna have to put a couple paperbacks in there, and a deck of cards. We live in big time snow country, I try to stay off the higher mountain passes during the worst weather; the weather is never the problem it is always the morons in their AWD cars doing 60 cause they gots AWD that cause the problems..
Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 3:20:57 PM EDT
Great AAR! makes me rethink what I have in my GHB.. Thanks
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 3:22:28 PM EDT
I was there with you man just i was on the MD side and on Rt 340 from 5-11 pm.. It was moving along just great scanner wasn't saying anything then all at once top a hill where it goes from two lanes to one going over the Potomac river into Va/Wv and at once miles of break lights and then the scanner pops. 6 Tractor Tailers , a box truck and 4 cars.. moved 500 yards in 4 hours.. Had the bob but didn't use it i had two drinks i had gotten when i was leaving work. I just laid across the seat in the 1008 and chilled out full tank of fuel and 15 gals int he cans in the bed box. So i let mine run until i got boiled out then shut it off.. Hell it got so hot in the cab i had to strip. haha. The worse part was all the idiots who thought they could just shot past on the shoulders and get to the front of a 4 miles trafic jam and get home.. Most caused more harm than good. One guy in a big dualy just mised cliping the jeep on front of me then he/she tried to high speed wedge there way between the jeep and the turn lane devider posts.. Good thing the lady in the jeep saw her mirrors and swurved and guned it just in time.. And that little truck the ass in the big dualy pulled only got him/her 5 spots ahead of where they were..

Should i have left early yes i should have but i was told no by the boss and being new on my job didn't want to risk getting fired and being out of work again. ( boss ended up stuck on 70 for 9 hours so he learned his lesson). Should i have turned off to the exit to Boonsboro and went the long way home. Yes knowing what i know now. At the time i just thought it was folks stuck on the hill in front of me so i stayed on course.

What i learned and will do next time.

Take back roads that most can't take and my truck can handle like its nothing even if it adds 30 mins to a normal days tavel ( better than 6 hours)
Keep a small am/fm/sw radio in my truck ( the CUCV doest have a radio ) Thought the Scanner helped i might have gotten other info quicker than i did by listening to the local AM stations..
Leave early no matter what. I'll fight it out with HR and a lawyer if i have to in the end. But with the boss being stuck i don't see being told no happening again..

The big thing is i saw a small snip of what a mass evac could look like just on a much much bigger level.
Also how i need to start fighting to get MD to see they need to allow CCL and honor WV/Va permits. A gun although not needed last night could be needed in the future..

And to answer a question one guy asked " Where did you Pee" Well when the car load of mid twenies girls used my big ass truck as cover to pee along the shoulder ( i pulled over a bit to keep idiots from charging through ) i figured it was cool to just let it all hang out and pee in the wind... although the pee into the wind might not have been the best idea i had..

First AAR and i'm sure it sucks. Remember im just a hick from Wv

Sorry to hijack OP
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 4:07:11 PM EDT
Good job.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 4:29:30 PM EDT
This thread needs a second page
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 4:33:07 PM EDT
I always keep a deck of cards in my car for breakdowns or unexpected delays. They're small, and can entertain more than one person.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 6:23:24 PM EDT
I broke into my Bob recently too! I live in CNY and drove to Flint MI to pick up a vintage motocrosser I bought from a guy. Crappy weather, snow and cold the whole way it should have been a simple 16 hour round trip but turned into a 27 hour nightmare when on a desolate section of Rt 86 I ran over a huge chunk of frozen cinder from a plow truck at 70 Mph. Instantly blew my left front tire to bits! Got the far pulled over but there was so much snow piled up I was half in the right lane of the highway. Mind you this is at 1:30am ! Nothing anywhere, no exit with service for 25 miles , no street lighting, we are talking nothing but cold blowing drifting snow. Like a half wit, I left my portable air compressor in my wife's SUV some my donut spare which has never been used was too soft to this on without inflating it. I was stuck! I called triple A (2 bars of cell service) and they said it would take 2 hours to get there. 3 hours later an AAA service truck shows up and the idiot didn't have air either, he leaves, and it's 2 more hours before he comes back with an air tank! Needless to say I broke into my sleeping bag, a Mac daddy safety strobe light for warning on coming tractor trailers, some powerbars, and some tea light candles for warmth. I used an Unco mini lantern which takes the tea candles, nice warm glow and actually it put out enough heat to take the chill off. When all was said and done, the next day when I got home I bought another compressor for my vehicle too. Lessons learned, never again without air or checking the spare! I recommend tea candles they worked great for extra heat in a car, just becareful of the open flame, the Unco mini tea candle lantern works great!
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 6:43:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kdx300:
I broke into my Bob recently too! I live in CNY and drove to Flint MI to pick up a vintage motocrosser I bought from a guy. Crappy weather, snow and cold the whole way it should have been a simple 16 hour round trip but turned into a 27 hour nightmare when on a desolate section of Rt 86 I ran over a huge chunk of frozen cinder from a plow truck at 70 Mph. Instantly blew my left front tire to bits! Got the far pulled over but there was so much snow piled up I was half in the right lane of the highway. Mind you this is at 1:30am ! Nothing anywhere, no exit with service for 25 miles , no street lighting, we are talking nothing but cold blowing drifting snow. Like a half wit, I left my portable air compressor in my wife's SUV some my donut spare which has never been used was too soft to this on without inflating it. I was stuck! I called triple A (2 bars of cell service) and they said it would take 2 hours to get there. 3 hours later an AAA service truck shows up and the idiot didn't have air either, he leaves, and it's 2 more hours before he comes back with an air tank! Needless to say I broke into my sleeping bag, a Mac daddy safety strobe light for warning on coming tractor trailers, some powerbars, and some tea light candles for warmth. I used an Unco mini lantern which takes the tea candles, nice warm glow and actually it put out enough heat to take the chill off. When all was said and done, the next day when I got home I bought another compressor for my vehicle too. Lessons learned, never again without air or checking the spare! I recommend tea candles they worked great for extra heat in a car, just becareful of the open flame, the Unco mini tea candle lantern works great!


What kind of compressor did you buy?
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 6:44:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By xmission:
Where'd you pee?

Not a bad question. Maybe keeping a small empty laundry detergent bottle on hand would be a good idea –– large opening, watertight cap.

Originally Posted By xd675:
After the first time I added a Hi-Lift Jack, chain, bolt cutters and other tools to remove barricades and other obstacles that would prevent me from driving off the road on to surface streets.

I also keep bolt cutters & a crowbar in my vehicle for similar reasons. I should add a tow chain. Some sort of a shovel might help if one gets stuck, as well.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 7:02:59 PM EDT
Thanks, great reminder for reading material, pry bar and bolt cutter. Will add tomorrow to the emergency Go Home Trunk (GHT) in the trunk.

FYI, I live in NOVA as well. Knowing what was coming, I left around noon and got home long before the snow arrived. Had I got stuck in the mess, it would have been a pain in the arss but I would have been ready!
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 7:29:45 PM EDT
Matt, one of the small Slime compressor kits at Walmart, $9.99 supersmall works great. I doubt you could seat a bead with it but for inflating soft tires they work good. I usually carry a big bottle of slime too.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 7:35:45 PM EDT
I should mention while I was stuck for hours waiting I watched the movie "The Road" on my IPhone. Compared to the movie, it was like I was on vacation sitting in my cold car! I usually have a few movies loaded up, some cartoons for the boys too.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 7:41:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ride365:
My final thoughts

1) realized i was stuck and there was nothing i could do about it and I made peace with it
2) conserved gas
3) kept warm in my sleeping bag
4) i had food and water so i was not hungry or thirsty
5) i just waited it out and stayed calm

There are a few things i would tweek but my biggest mistake was not including anything in my bag to help pass the time, like some reading materials or games.


I wish I had seen your thread before I posted my similar one.

Those are great things to think about, ride365. From what I hear, it sounds like overwhelmed / panicky motorists caused some of the cascading issues last night. Your experience sends a great message about preparedness: you had the knowledge and the materials to support you; you had no reason to fear.

With a small backpack worth of stuff, many motorists could have saved themselves a lot of grief. They might not have been completely comfortable, but they would have had the reassuring knowledge that they would overnight okay and thus, not do anything to make the situation worse.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 8:09:29 PM EDT
ride365:
Great to see you made it here okay, you survived DC.

BTW: How post this stuff the ARFCOM GD, where I saw the original post(the survival forum is my home here at ARFCM)?
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 8:10:23 PM EDT
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 8:24:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hobbyist:
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?
How aboout those Uco candle lanterns with either 1 or 4 candles. I would get beeswax candles, they cost a more but they give off a lot less smoke versus the parafin candles.
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 8:34:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By warlord:
Originally Posted By hobbyist:
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?
How aboout those Uco candle lanterns with either 1 or 4 candles. I would get beeswax candles, they cost a more but they give off a lot less smoke versus the parafin candles.


What about carbon monoxide poisoning, personally i think body heat contained in a good sleeping bag is easier

Link Posted: 1/27/2011 9:38:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hobbyist:
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?


How about Coleman Catalytic Heater?
Link Posted: 1/27/2011 10:40:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbyist:
Originally Posted By hobbyist:
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?


How about Coleman Catalytic Heater?

That thing looks huge and is a little on the pricey side for what it is. You would probably be better off with one or two Zippo Hand Warmers. They run on any lighter fluid, I keep a couple bottles of Ronsonol with mine. Keep them dry until you need it and then fill with fluid. They run close to 12 hours when full. Once they are lit, put them in an inside shirt or jacket pocket and bundle up.

Link Posted: 1/27/2011 11:45:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2011 11:49:42 PM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By ride365:
Originally Posted By warlord:
Originally Posted By hobbyist:
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?
How aboout those Uco candle lanterns with either 1 or 4 candles. I would get beeswax candles, they cost a more but they give off a lot less smoke versus the parafin candles.


What about carbon monoxide poisoning, personally i think body heat contained in a good sleeping bag is easier
Of course you have to let in fresh air occasionally. There are those chemical type handwarmers that you can put in your jacket pockets, you break the bag and it stays hot for like x hours, don't remember exactly the length of time. They sell them at hunting supply places like Cabelas. There is also those MRE heaters, you put in water, and it will generate heat, AND explosive hydrogen gas, no open flames.

Link Posted: 1/27/2011 11:46:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By t3rror:

Originally Posted By hobbyist:
Originally Posted By hobbyist:
This brings up another good subject someone else also asked about.

What about a good, safe, small heat source for inside the car? I have heavy long johns, winter clothes, heavy jacket and sleeping bag in the Emergency Trunk, but besides hand warmers anyone has any good ideas for a heat source?


How about Coleman Catalytic Heater?

That thing looks huge and is a little on the pricey side for what it is. You would probably be better off with one or two Zippo Hand Warmers. They run on any lighter fluid, I keep a couple bottles of Ronsonol with mine. Keep them dry until you need it and then fill with fluid. They run close to 12 hours when full. Once they are lit, put them in an inside shirt or jacket pocket and bundle up.
I don't have actual experience with those things, but from earlier ARFCOM SF thread, people were saying they will burn holes in your clothes etc, plus the fumes smell.

Link Posted: 1/28/2011 12:05:19 AM EDT
Interesting and good read. I work in Mclean and live in Leesburg. Luckly, I was working 5pm to 5am so I didn't have to deal with any of this. I did however on my way home (267) have to avoid the abandoned cars IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD I couldn't believe it. Cruising along at 50 or so, and out of nowhere there were cars in the middle of the toll road. Craziest thing I have ever seen.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 12:48:21 AM EDT
A couple of weeks ago there were people stuck on I-80 in the middle of nebraska for about 8 hours because of a traffic accident. Different situation than OP, but it does pay to be a little bit prepared.. Nicely done.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 2:19:32 AM EDT
I wish they'd charge the owners of the vehicles abandoned in the middle of the travel lane with reckless endangerment. That shit is super-dangerous, and it clogs the roads up right quickly.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 2:26:59 AM EDT
Great read.

For a minimal heat source, five or six tea candles will add BTU's. Just be sure to set them in a suitable container. I put mine in a soda can stove.

For those looking to reinforce their 'luxury items' in their BOB/GHB, do a google search on carabiner radio.
A small electronic Yatzee game will entertain you for hours.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 3:49:21 AM EDT
OP- I saw your GD thread on this–– again, nicely done!
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 4:20:35 AM EDT
I also would recommend buying some "tea lights" I bought a bunch a few years ago on clearance. An inexpensive investment that will keep you warm in your vehicle during the winter. I would also recommend bringing some bottled water and keeping them inside of a cooler. That way if the water freezes and it breaks the bottle, you won't have a mess all over your vehicle.

Glad you were comfortable during your long drive home.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 4:53:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2011 4:54:04 AM EDT by denverdan]
Good job

I'm gonna have to get some entertainment items for my car kit. The GF and I drive from Denver to Vail every other weekend to drop her kids off to see their dad. So on those weekend the car kit is a 52 liter osprey backpack 2 sleeping bags stove food water hats gloves etc. etc. but nothing to pass the time.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 5:01:11 AM EDT
Great post and good job!

Just another example of how "SHTF" doesn't have to be a civilization-altering event, and how a little preparation can make what could (in theory) be a life-threatening situation into nothing to panic about.

I have a 33 mile commute (each way) to work, and I work in a field where I can't just call in and not go to work when it gets bad out. I always have a kit in the car in case I end up stranded for an extended period.

It just seems ridiculous to me to venture out (especially in a vehicle in inclement weather) without a BoB/GHB/SHTF kit of some type.
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