I thought this was an interesting question and exercise Jim and his wife undertook this past weekend.
Rather than being one of those extreme “how far can you bug out” type of questions where you lugged a 50+ pound bug out bag through dense underbrush for days on end, they decided to see if they could more or less walk the distance of a marathon in a single day with fairly lightweight packs around a scenic lake.
Besides some significant soreness and age-related gripes, they finished the hike that same day. More importantly, however, for you and I are a few useful takeaways Jim left us with throughout the article and really… just the question of “what can you do” if you had to right now?
I might also point out that the weather conditions were favorable, walking paths relatively good in most cases, their loadouts were fairly light, and stress level was probably around zero.
In a true bug out situation these conditions could be very different and, so, you shouldn’t assume that you can replicate a dry run like this during a real bug out situation. That said, at the very least, it’s a good starting point to understand what you and your spouse might be capable of accomplishing.
Here’s the first part of the article…
“If you had to bug out right now, in your current physical condition, how far could you go on foot in a day? I don’t mean under the weight of a heavy pack or while trying to dodge someone who might be tracking you. I mean, how far do you think you could you make it in a single day if you had to do it, say, tomorrow?
Near where we live is a large lake. It is about 8 square miles in size, so while not huge it is a pretty good-sized puddle. Unique among lakes in this area, it has a recognized “shore path” that surrounds it. This single track path is publicly accessible year round. The path consists of varying surfaces throughout, from concrete to stepping stones to loose gravel to just plain grass. There are low spots where you are mere inches from the water and high spots that overlook the waves crashing against the shore…”