Rappelling Retreat

Personal Reflection: Escaping and hiding from pursuers was on Gerald’s mind a great deal. This fictional letter from Karl to his friend George suggests using rappelling skills to do that as well as having strategically placed survival supplies at the ready.


Dear G.,

There are a number of us who agree with you on the need for a bug out kit, and now, thanks to Randy and others, also want a bail out kit.

The idea of shouldering a duffle or wearing a big pack does not appeal to some of us, and we do have friends who might have trouble carrying a lot of things all at one time. Older people who are agile, but are not able to pack much weight. At least one person has limitations on how much he can carry because of a knee replacement. So we have tried to combine some ideas.

Why not use Randy’s bailout idea, with the kit of supplies by accessing places you just can’t walk to. Someone said, “For security, use a place that won’t be accidentally discovered by a casual walker, that can only be accessed by rope.”

I like the idea of building up a cache by making a number of trips, a little at a time. Even one trip now would be better than waiting for an emergency to take place and draw attention by hiking with a big kit on your back. “Hey, where are you going?”

Two people mentioned the book Memory Boy, escaping only to find your retreat already occupied. By the way, am I the only person who has not read Memory Boy?

Randy explained, “Look, I’m not talking about a cabin in the woods with a fireplace and a well. Just imagine a little place where you could spend a night or two in a tube tent and eat some ready made meals.”

When he was asked how far away, he said, “Closer the better, within walking range would be ideal. Imagine, no luggage, maybe some energy bars and a bottle of water. There is a big trail near New York City that hikers access by subway!” Ride the bus, take a cab, ride your bike, then walk to your place.

When we asked him about the rope access, how he would manage that inconspicuously, he showed us an aluminum carabiner in one pocket and a length of line in another. Then he reached inside the waistband of his jeans and pulled out a loop of webbing from a seat harness he was wearing underneath.

“Purple!” somebody razzed him.

“I like purple,” he said. “Besides, it was on sale.”


Author: Gerald Franz

Gerald Franz (1935-2014) was like a second father to me in the 27 years I knew him. Brilliant and eccentric, with a wide array of interests, he fit the definition of being gifted. He strove to shake people loose from their conventional thinking. As a Bible believing Christian, his favorite and most studied Bible subject was prophecy. Writing became a means of teaching in his later years. See more about Gerald here.