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KaBar

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I carry a sleeping bag rolled up inside of a 6x8 tarp. It keeps my bag dry if it's on my pack and it rains, and I can rig it as a rain fly or shade. I'm not against tents, necessarily. I've used them in the past, but trainhopping is very hard on your gear, and I've had a couple of tents get trashed dropping my ruck off of moving trains.

 

They were both "pop-up" dome-style tents that had elastic bands inside of hollow fibreglas tent poles that form a criss-cross over the tent body. In both cases, the fibreglas poles sustained damage and I had to repair them back at home. Meanwhile, I had to hump a tent that I couldn't use and didn't want to throw away.

 

Stretch carries a tent in the winter (along with a ton of other shit) and I can understand it because he sometimes winters over up north. (No thanks, not me--north in the summer, south in the winter.)

 

If you're travelling with a buddy, and you both carry the same size tarp and plenty of 550 paracord, you can combine them to make a really good-sized shelter. I used to do the same thing with my girlfriend back in the late 1960's--we both carried USGI military ponchos, which will snap together. They make lousy raincoats, but a fair shelter tarp.

 

A buddy of mine back in the late '60s used a thing called a "tube tent." It was basically a tube of vinyl plastic with some loops to tie paracord to to suspend it from bushes. He liked it, but I thought it sucked. Too hard to get into and out of, and no place for your gear.

 

When I was a Boy Scout in the early 1960's, we carried WWII USGI military shelter halves. Each kid carried one shelter half, three poles that fit together, a tent rope and six aluminum military tent stakes. When you button the shelter halves together, stake down one side of the tent, then you each fit together the poles and erect the tent, then stake each end with the tent ropes and a tent stake, then stake down the remaining side of the tent. Only thing is, shelter halves are heavy. They're made out of a lighter weight cotton canvas.

 

We used a more modern version of this same USGI shelter half design when I was in the Marine Corps in the 1980's.

 

 

The bad thing about tents is that you can't see out of them worth a shit. Being in a jungle or somewhere that's kind of hinky while you're inside of a zipped-up tent kind of gives me the creeps. I'd rather just throw down some cardboard and roll up my tarp folded in half with my unzipped sleeping bag inside, sort of like a taco. If I gotta come out of there fighting, I don't want to be zipped inside of some freakin' tent.

 

So I guess the answer is I'm a blanket-and-tarp guy, except I use a sleeping bag. Unzipped, unless it's really cold ass weather.

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This is a late reply to a question about trainhopping during severe weather disasters. Like Rollin' Nowhere said, if you're on a train, it will get re-routed (if you're lucky.)

 

But if you're on the ground when severe weather hits, it can be pretty tough. The truth is that tramps are able to live the way they do because we live in a wealthy society. Tramps are essentially living off the excess wealth that our society throws away. If you were to dumpster-dive a can in Nairobi, you wouldn't find much. They use every scrap until it's used up. If it's edible at all, it goes to feed animals if people can't eat it. You won't find leftover pizza or McWhoppers in a Third World dumpster.

 

Because of this, if something happens (like Hurricane Katrina) to screw up the regular flow of goods and services to regular society, it's going to really negatively affect tramps. If even regular citizens are struggling to get food and drinking water, etc., the competition for those basic necessities of life is going to be all that much more difficult.

 

On the upside, disaster means employment (clean-up, roofing, Blue Tarp crews, etc.) But my first inclination in a Katrina-type situation is "Get the fuck out of Dodge as fast as possible" unless you are feeling particularly civic-minded and heroic, then you can stay and try ro help people dig out of the mess.

 

For one thing, the police go crazy during a disaster. By all accounts, during Katrina the NOPD completely climbed the rails. It was a law-enforcement train wreck. For another thing, the likelihood of epidemic disease goes way up, and tramps are on the street. Sanitation gets screwed up, city water gets contaminated, it's a mess.

 

During Hurricane Ike here in Houston we lost power for days, we had no city water for days, the traffic lights were all broken for weeks, the grocery stores and hardware stores were closed for several days then they were a mob scene, the cops were all on double shifts and no days off---it was a mess, no kidding.

 

Given a choice, I'd catch the first thing smokin'.

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you bring up good points about tent poles breaking, ive got a 7x12 (i think, i cant remember off the top of my head) that i lay on top of a wool blanket i have thats about the same size and roll them together and strap to my pack. ive got a few really large trash bags in a side pocket if i need to cover my pack in rain.

 

i just dont like how long most tents are when rolled up in their packs, atleast the one i have. if i mount it under/above my back then it catches on all kinds of shit, especially in the woods and when getting on roofs. with my tarp/blanket combo its maybe 3 inches wider then my pack.

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Re: Colorado State co-ed loses legs in trainhopping accident

 

Colorado State University Student loses legs as she tries to hop freight train

 

09/ 5/11 10:27 PM ET

 

 

s-RED-RAILS-large.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONGMONT, COLORADO ---

 

Longmont police reported that a 17-year-old Colorado State University student lost both her legs when she tried to hop a freight train, fell, and slipped underneath the moving train on Monday, September 6, 2011.

 

One of three young men with whom the girl was travelling was briefly dragged by the train, but suffered only minor injuries. The accident occurred in the northern Colorado town of Longmont shortly after 1 p.m. as the group tried to board the northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train.

 

Train speed limits through Longmont are 25 mph. It wasn't known exactly how fast the train was going at the time of the accident.

 

The student was taken to Longmont United Hospital by ambulance and then med-evacked to Denver Health Medical Center my helicopter. Denver hospital officials would not release any information about her, but Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur said he believed the girl was conscious and able to talk.

 

Longmont is about 30 miles north of Denver and about 30 miles south of Fort Collins, Colorado where Colrado State University is located. All four lived in Fort Collins and it's believed they caught a train south and were trying to return home when the accident took place, Satur said.

No names have been released, but Commander Satur said the three males with were between 17 to 20 years old. The female victim's parents live in another state, which Satur didn't identify.

 

The male who was dragged by the train was cited for trespassing on railroad property, as was another one of the males, Satur said. The third male made it aboard the train successfully and his whereabouts are unknown.

Satur said he didn't know if the female would be cited.

 

"I doubt it, she's got enough issues to worry about," he said.

 

DO NOT HIT ROLLING TRAINS.

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Re: 9-1-1 call from scene of Colorado trainhopping accident

 

http://www.fox13now.com/news/seenontv/kstu-911-recording-after-teen-loses-legs-in-longmont-colo-train-accident-20110906,0,902186.mp3file

 

 

LONGMONT, Colo.—

A 17-year-old girl trying to hop aboard a moving freight train in Longmont, Colo. had her legs severed after falling. The victim, Anna Beninati is a Colorado State University student who grew up in Utah.

Longmont Police says the accident happened Tuesday when the teen and three other friends tried to jump aboard the train. The 911 emergency recording was released and gives a chilling blow-by-blow account of the accident.

 

 

64540941-06221848.jpg Audio - 911 call after Utah teen loses legs in train accident

 

  • 64504990-07094303.jpg

In the recording, a woman describes to the dispatcher the accident scene and says she is an Emergency Medical Technician helping Anna. She is heard yelling at others not to pick the injured teen up. The self-described EMT tells the emergency call responder that Anna's left leg was severed at mid-thigh and her right leg below the knee and that they were trying to stem the blood loss.

Anna's parents live in Sandy, Utah. They issued a statement Wednesday saying:

"We are grateful to the outpouring of support for our daughter following this horrific accident yesterday. From the first responders and transport teams, to the hospitals both in Longmont and Denver, we are thankful to everyone who came to her rescue."

On the CSU campus, students were saddened by the news even though they do not know the freshman.

Anna is listed in serious condition at a Denver-based hospital.

Police say the four were trying to catch a ride from Longmont to Fort Collins.

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DO. NOT. HIT. ROLLING. TRAINS.

I have said it over and over and over. Do not hit rolling trains. What a tragedy.

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Here's an account of an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran's first real cartch-out. Reposted from Eddybod's post on a trainhopping website. I edited it a little for clarity and spelling. Both Eddybod and his buddy Brandon are in great physical shape from the sound of things, which makes trainhopping a lot safer.

 

 

I got out of class at 7:30 and immediately drove as fast as I could home, my good friend Brandon was already waiting for me. I had created a 3 day military style packing list and we had it down to a science. With that we were off to the train yard, I had my scanner programmed with all the frequencies from the link that I posted in the official scanner tutorial and it worked to a tee. I could hear the yard office, the workers, the local police, and other trains coming through.

 

I had been scoping this place out almost nightly and knew that a westbound train left almost every night at around 9, so took some side streets and made our way to all the stationary cars.

 

We didn't have to wait long, but I sprayed my nest with Deepwoods Off and we gave each other vigorous helpings and we waited in ambush. It wasn't long before I heard that siren sound that has called me for a long time, and the nightly eastbound was barreling through. I thought for a moment I would hop it given the chance. That chance never came the train came barreling through the yard at around 50 miles an hour and every car was a shut, new, fancy looking, and pristine boxcar. I waited however, the tips I've learned from here and other places paid off exponentially. I read the train yard and its behavior like a book. Soon after it left I turned to Brandon and told him that we should get ready 'cause our moment might be coming up very soon... boy, was I right.

 

Almost immediately after the eastbound passed, the lights from the 2 chained units lit up and I could hear the air filling and popping. I could not count accurately which track it was on, but I had read and read and read again how to cross over trains the right, safer way.

 

We immediately started sprinting across the tracks, as there were definitely yard workers out and about. I remember thinking before this moment came that it might be hard to get over train cars, and that this might be a serious hindrance. I remember running and throwing my bag (all the way) through the car, and almost vaulting clear across (the floor) without stopping. (Both doors were open) I slid through the hole in the middle and right out the other side. Brandon was hot on my heels.

 

We were now between two close trains, and were unsure still which line the units were coming down so we started to sprint down the line between the two looking for a suitable ladder to climb. The opportunity came with a boxcar. We again threw our bags over and I jumped up to the high ladder and pulled my feet up, then ran across the little grating and jumped off (onto the ballast.) We could clearly see the units coming down the line now and about to reverse and couple to the string of grainers. This was our chance.

 

I heard the bang and saw the shockwave (slack action) move through the cars as the units coupled. this was our chance we sprinted across the three empty tracks to the grainer I had eyed from a distance. Brandon was in the lead and threw his bag up onto (what he thought was the porch on) the back of the grainer, but it fell (through) and down and onto the side of the wheel. SHIT A GRAINER WITH AN OPEN floor. (We were in the dark, and didn't realize it had no floor or porch.) I looked and saw the one it was coupled to had a full floor, so we again sprinted at full speed to the other end of it. I threw my bag up and so did he. Brandon was closer to the ladder, so he launched up there (onto the porch) immediately followed by me.

 

We stuffed our bags into the grainer hole and laid as flat as possible so we wouldn't silhouette ourselves. We laid flat, motionless, and silent. The train pulled forward, stopped, then backed up and coupled up with several other strings of cars. About then I noticed the first casualty of war --- my scanner had fallen through an opening in my bag. I no longer had the benefit of listening to the yard shack, workers or railroad police. As we lay motionless in the dark I heard what sounded like two guys walking along the ballast. They were shining flashlights onto different parts of the cars. I could hear them getting closer and closer and closer, cvrunching in the gravel and talking.

 

Eventually they stopped right by us, so close I could hear them breathing. I thought to myself, I am not getting off this train unless they tell me to. If they say anything like "You're under arrest" we 're going to sprint toward that wood line. Brandon and I had agreed to this beforehand, but it helped to reaffirm the plan. They stopped by us for what seemed an eternity just shooting the shit, then walked pass and shined a light from a distance directly over us. But because we were laying flat and motionless we had no identifiable silhouettes and had no identifiable body features. (This comes from infantry training.)Pretty soon they walked on and the train lurched forward. The slow clickity-clack of when the train reversed direction was exhilarating. It pulled forward and reversed, and stopped... I heard the brake air dump and I peeked my head up for a second. Our grainer was like 5 feet from the yard shack!

 

I thought for sure we had been seen, but we still held out. So far, nobody had actuaklly said anything or done anything that told me we were definately spotted. Silent, motionless, and determined. Finally the units powered up again and I heard the air come up. We started to back up again and I felt us couple up to another string.

 

Soon we were off. Once we were clear of the yard, I felt great, I felt free, and I felt like I had got over on The Man. It was exhilarating.

 

We rode and rode, soon we went under a highway overpass, then another, then away from civilization and I sat up as we went over our first railway bridge and I looked out. It was amazing. Then over our first grade crossing, we hugged the wall and eliminated our silhouettes again. We could see the cars waiting as we went past. Soon I heard the horn b;low for the crossings, it was the first time I had heard a train whistle while I was actually on the train. As a kid I had always dreamed of being an engineer, so it was a great moment.

 

I saw the city from all sorts of angles I've never seen before and soon we were headed north, but west was what we wanted. We wanted to hit St. Paul but we knew the area. We would pretty much have friends anywhere we got off. The train continued going north but we didn't worry; the ride was what it was about.

 

Soon the clickity-clack slowed down and the train came to a full stop in what seemed the middle of no where. (We were on a side track.) We stayed on the grainer for a while then we heard the air blow and the brakes lock. Not long after we saw the units that pulled us all this way going back in the opposite direction on the main line. We sat and waited for 3 hours, thinking we were no where near civilization only to climb to the top of the grainer and see we were only 100 yards from the main Chippewa water tower. It was a good 30 mile ride, great for learning the ropes. We were a little disappointed that we didn't go farther but it was still absolutely enjoyable. We ate some jerky and drank some water, took a dump in the bushes, and decided to just hike to a friend's house.

 

I have learned a lot since that first ride.

I wear boots, I know now to wait until the EOT is put on and all the cars are coupled up. I don't run around the train yards anymore. I bring ear plugs, and I don't lose my scanner. And all in all it's much more enjoyable.

 

 

 

__._,_.___

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DO. NOT. HIT. ROLLING. TRAINS.

I have said it over and over and over. Do not hit rolling trains. What a tragedy.

 

I don't know what you mean by "hit" rolling trains but that kid wasn't painting them. So if you're saying don't catch a train on the fly, sometimes you have to, it's just the way it is.

 

I will be headed back out on Saturday. Leaving from Philly and headed south for the winter. Have fun freezing you're asses off suckas!

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I don't know what you mean by "hit" rolling trains but that kid wasn't painting them. So if you're saying don't catch a train on the fly, sometimes you have to, it's just the way it is.

 

I will be headed back out on Saturday. Leaving from Philly and headed south for the winter. Have fun freezing you're asses off suckas!

 

Yes, by "hit" I mean catch on the fly, and NO, YOU DON'T just "have to." Everything in life is a choice. If you're smart enough, you figure out how to catch them standing. I caught on the fly back when I was in my early 20's. It was dangerous and unnecessary, and once I met somebody who knew what the hell he was doing, I learned how to catch out on standing trains by figuring out where they had to stop for signals, go in the hole, where they usually died on the law and so forth.

 

Catching on the fly is dangerous as shit. It's for lazy people who would rather risk their lives than do the research and reconnaisance necessary to avoid it. This college girl, Anna Beninati, was apparently a very inexperienced trainhopper travelling with three guys who only "sort of" knew what the fuck they were doing.

 

Trainhopping is not risk-free at all, although it can sometimes feel that way if everything goes perfectly. But as Anna Beninati and her friends found out, one mistake can lead to disasterous, permenant, life-altering consequences.

 

Don't you suppose that laying up in her hospital bed as a 17-year-old double amputee, she wishes that she had not decided to hit a rolling train?

 

Somebody in that crew was playing the role of trainhopping expert, the guy who was going to show everybody else how easy it was. He didn't do too well by Ms. Beninati, I don't think. He bears considerable responsibility for her getting injured.

 

I wouldn't want to be one of those guys when they get to Court in front of a judge, either. He's going to be really pissed off about the girl getting so severely maimed. They are only charged with "trespassing on railroad property", but my money says they get trespassing's maximum sentence in Colorado, whatever that is.

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im more of a dumpster kinda dude. or i just rack some food. i dont like asking for help unless i HAVE to.

but

when youre hungry youre hungry. and food is food.

ive definitely been to a church or 2 and had some grub.

seattle was the best. under whatever bridge it was downtown. fuuuuck. enough food for like 4 people on 1 plate. foodduuude.

 

 

ps. FUCK that mission in el paso by the tracks. worst food ever. fucking disgusting. unless you like almost shitting your pants a couple hours later.

 

AGREE.

fucking seattle man! doing it right!

el paso, DOING IT WRONG

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ive read a lot about train symbols, it seems the Q line of CSX cars is whats rideable between all the cities on the east coast for the most part, my town included.

 

now this train "symbol" that determines the destination, where exactly on a train is it located?

for example, Q025 is the train that goes from Chicago, IL in bedford park, to Jacksonville, FL. would that string of numbers/letters be on every car or on the engine? it makes more sense for it to be on the engine, but im not sure.

or is it just a code they use over the radio, that does me no good without a scanner?

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ive read a lot about train symbols, it seems the Q line of CSX cars is whats rideable between all the cities on the east coast for the most part, my town included.

 

now this train "symbol" that determines the destination, where exactly on a train is it located?

for example, Q025 is the train that goes from Chicago, IL in bedford park, to Jacksonville, FL. would that string of numbers/letters be on every car or on the engine? it makes more sense for it to be on the engine, but im not sure.

or is it just a code they use over the radio, that does me no good without a scanner?

 

Its nowhrre on ths trai.. and most of thetime they donteven say it over the radio they jut usr the first loco reporting .mark and thats how they talk to the train.they may say something like csx 7634 blah blahwhateerwhatever.

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figured.

atleast the qline schedule tells you somewhat were things are going, but only the destination. supposedly the only train going to rva is from russellville ky, but i guess tons just pass through.

easiest way i can think of to get to rva from wilmington nc is to go from ilm to hamlet, hamlet to rocky mount nc, rm to cumberland MD which i THINK passes through rva on the way.

 

i would just adopt the "no such thing as a wrong train" mentality, but with winter coming, theres wrong trains.

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I dont really get what youre trying to say... what else do you need to know besides where the train is going??

 

Pretty sure trains going on past rva would crew change there for the most part. Ive never been there so i cant say for sure but its busy with trains.

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I dont really get what youre trying to say... what else do you need to know besides where the train is going??

 

Pretty sure trains going on past rva would crew change there for the most part. Ive never been there so i cant say for sure but its busy with trains.

 

i guess what im trying to say is according to the qline list, the hampton yard has 14 trains leaving daily all with different destinations. and they all funnel down to one outbound track, how do i know which train to get onto when they are all hanging out in the yard?

 

and the search function on this website is so fucked its not even funny

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What? What does a description of a railroad switchman's job have to do with what's being discussed? I'm smelling spam.

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i guess what im trying to say is according to the qline list, the hampton yard has 14 trains leaving daily all with different destinations. and they all funnel down to one outbound track, how do i know which train to get onto when they are all hanging out in the yard?

 

and the search function on this website is so fucked its not even funny

This is where experience comes in. Depending where i am i can give you a good guess where most of the trains are going by lookin at them. Its not exact but its pretty reliable. You start relying on technology to tell you where everythigs goi.g you wont learn shit. The number doesnt tell you where the trains are going anymore. What are people gonna do?? Haa. Just ask someone. Or get on one you think is the right one. And if its the wrong one next time youll have a better idea which one isnt the train you were looking for. Ask someone whos done it before. Ridi.g trains is easy anx hard. Good luck hombre

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whatever you do don't ask rolling nowhere

then you'll be stuck

ROLLING NOWHERE

yuck yuck yuck

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I was down at Wal-Mart sending off my weekly monetary tribute to Chinese millionaire industrialists when I stumbled across a couple of pallets of cases of cheap-o California wines from Oak Leaf vineyards. $2.77 fpr 750 mL. So I stocked up and I'm swimming in the stuff--cabernet sauvignon, white zinfandel, pinot grigio, and some kind of rose.

 

The weekend promises to be kind of a blur, hahahah.

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Re: ETHANOL TANK CAR DERAILMENT AND FIRE IN ILLINOIS

 

Fire crews in a central Illinois town are fighting to prevent a possible chemical explosion following the derailment of a freight train that contains tankers of burning ethanol, a component used in gasoline production.

Twenty-six cars of the 131-car train derailed early Friday morning in Tisilkwa, Ill., about 115 miles southwest of Chicago, apparently with nine carrying ethanol. The entire town of Tisilkwa was evacuated Friday due to fears about a possible chemical explosion.

Safety officials first decided to let the flames die off on their own, but by Friday afternoon, following fears the tanks will break open due to the mounting heat, the firefighters changed course and are currently pouring water and foam on the tankers.

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Yes, by "hit" I mean catch on the fly, and NO, YOU DON'T just "have to." Everything in life is a choice. If you're smart enough, you figure out how to catch them standing. I caught on the fly back when I was in my early 20's. It was dangerous and unnecessary, and once I met somebody who knew what the hell he was doing, I learned how to catch out on standing trains by figuring out where they had to stop for signals, go in the hole, where they usually died on the law and so forth.

 

Catching on the fly is dangerous as shit. It's for lazy people who would rather risk their lives than do the research and reconnaisance necessary to avoid it. This college girl, Anna Beninati, was apparently a very inexperienced trainhopper travelling with three guys who only "sort of" knew what the fuck they were doing.

 

Trainhopping is not risk-free at all, although it can sometimes feel that way if everything goes perfectly. But as Anna Beninati and her friends found out, one mistake can lead to disasterous, permenant, life-altering consequences.

 

Don't you suppose that laying up in her hospital bed as a 17-year-old double amputee, she wishes that she had not decided to hit a rolling train?

 

Somebody in that crew was playing the role of trainhopping expert, the guy who was going to show everybody else how easy it was. He didn't do too well by Ms. Beninati, I don't think. He bears considerable responsibility for her getting injured.

 

I wouldn't want to be one of those guys when they get to Court in front of a judge, either. He's going to be really pissed off about the girl getting so severely maimed. They are only charged with "trespassing on railroad property", but my money says they get trespassing's maximum sentence in Colorado, whatever that is.

 

 

I'm just saying I feel comfortable catching trains on the fly when they're doing a reasonable speed, but not everyone can. In some places its harder to get into yards so I'll catch em on a bend or something. I understand the risk

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