I saw this a while ago, and it has bothered me ever since.

Imagine a world where you know everyone is going to go crazy in exactly one day. The entire world's population will try to find and kill you, for a 24 hour period. This includes the army, policemen, friends, family (who know you, and where you could hide)...

  • You have one day to prepare for this 24 hour madness
  • No one will help you, you can't buy / blackmail anyone.
  • They will try to get to you regardless of the expenses.
  • Everyone will recognise you as the target on 'killing day'.

After this day, everything will be back to normal.

Let's assume that you are a healthy, young middle-class person living in a first world country. Any skills required would therefore need to be skills you can easily learn. A normal middle-class person isn't going to learn how to fly a plane or hack the CIA in a few hours for example.

How best could a person prepare to maximise their survivability? What would be feasible and likely methods of survival given an average middle-class persons limited skill set and budget?

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    $\begingroup$ Original post on the internet gave you 12 hours to escape / prepare. Does it still apply here? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ I though 12 hours to prepare wasn't enough, so I doubled it ;) $\endgroup$
    – Camille
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, Camille. Please note that the Worldbuilding SE is dedicated to the development of fictional worlds, rather than the stories that occur in them. As is, I don't see what you're trying to build with this question, beyond the elements of a plot. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ How determined are they to kill you? At 12 AM will everyone just get up and scatter all over tge world looking fir you? If they know that you are in an area of 100 mile rafius, will the whole world launch all their nukes in that area, even if it is in the middle of a city? If thry're that determined, I don't know if you could survivd because they could just destroy the whole world with nukes $\endgroup$
    – Ovi
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ Do they know ahead of time that they will need to kill you? Like if you take a taxi will it be like "hey it's the guy we will need to kill tomorrow"? $\endgroup$
    – Andrey
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 18:22

14 Answers 14


This is a question about breaking patterns and laying low. Disappearing isn't that difficult to do. And staying gone for just a short period of time wouldn't be that hard.

First 30 minutes, pack a quick day pack included will be a small amount of food, a pair of pliers and a firearm (this is for defensive purposes, if you don't have one don't worry about it because it wouldn't do you any good anyway). This pack needs to be as light as possible - no more than 20 lbs. - because you will be carrying it for a while. If it's a work day, call in sick to avoid suspicion.

Second 30 minutes will be driving to the ATM and pulling the maximum single day withdrawl amount which should be more than sufficient for your purposes - get away and get back. If you don't have $300, get the most you can - this will be mostly for fuel.

Third 30 minutes - getting a minimum amount of fuel and last minute "essentials" - first aid, beef jerkey, batteries, water, etc.

Next 60 minutes - driving to the airport and parking the car in long term parking. Leave your wallet, keys, phone, etc in the car.

Next 30 minutes - find a car that has recently parked and steal it. The hope is it won't be missed in the next 24 hours. Look for something older model, fuel efficient, non descript, with as little technology as possible.

You are now 3 hours into your prep time. You now have 17 hours to drive to the safest, most remote area, you can survive for the following 28 hours. This area will not have the usual indicators of survival - water, shelter, etc. It will not be anywhere near a tourist attraction, hiking trail, rest stop, etc. A national park might be acceptable but it has to be massive and accessible from a fire trail or back road.

Once there you will be hiking in for the remaining four hours, at least. Before you leave, disconnect the battery on the car with the pliers. On your hike you will be moving into the thickest, gnarliest area you can leaving as little trail evidence as possible - not cutting vegetation, breaking branches, etc. .After you've been moving for 4 hours, look for some natural shelter - ledge under a cliff wall, grove of trees, cave, etc. Hole up and pray you've done enough. You aren't surviving for an indefinite amount of time, so other than some concealment, limit your activities to sleep and listening

The idea with all of this is to break normal patterns - doing things you don't normally do, going somewhere no one will think to look for you, and commuting in a vehicle no one will think to look for. Admittedly, stealing the car is the riskiest part of the plan, but a necessary risk.

If you've picked a good spot, you'll be going home soon, dropping off a car that doesn't belong to you, will nothing but a little explaining to do, possibly, if you are married.

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    $\begingroup$ Personally, I really like this idea. The only gripe I have is stealing a car - unless you're pretty skilled at it this could go pear shaped really fast... $\endgroup$
    – Shaun K
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ There could be hundreds of models of cars in the lot, you don't have time to learn how to steal them. It's not just risky I'd argue, it's not gonna work. Way simpler I think is to swap the plates of a similar model car as yours - that way it's likely to be disregarded even if it's spotted on cams. If you have a tracker or GPS in your car then I dunno lol. $\endgroup$
    – Shaun K
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the plate swap...but if you have a car like mine, that's going to be difficult as well There will be 100's of models, but there are some more common than others - Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Nissan Sentra etc. These would not be difficult to break into and hot wire. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ This answer has a lot of assumption of skill - such as hotwiring or being able to move without making tracks in the woods - as well as a lot of 'immediate present knowledge' - such as what remote location would serve. It also doesn't address basics like leaving your cell phone at home, or the fact that, say, the Louisiana Bayou may be somewhat easier to hide in than if you happen to start your day at the tip of Long Island. I also disagree that the airport (in post 9-11 literally swamped with cameras) is the best lot to choose. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ I hate to say it but the number plate swap happens a lot here in South Africa (called license cloning). My car has a GPS tracker and I used the logs to invalidate a fine once, for the exact same model car, driving in an area I'd never be in. So I can say it's a pretty effective counter surveillance technique. The plus side as well is some poor fool will get picked up with your license plates on his car, should buy you some time. $\endgroup$
    – Shaun K
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:38

It depends on how crazy everyone gets - but the odds are not good.

Let's say someone is in command of a nuclear arsenal in a ballistic missile submarine. If they are sufficiently crazy, and have no other concern, they would simply launch all available nuclear missiles at random targets in the hope of destroying you.

In fact, if everyone was absolutely crazed, then all nuclear weapons in the world will be launched at all major cities (and surrounding areas) to maximise the chance of destroying you.

If this is the case, you have no hope, as there are sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy all cities. You may have at most maximum of 20 minutes to vacate a city, however this may not get you sufficiently away from a MIRV, or deep enough underground to get protection.

Even if you managed to survive the complete salvo of nuclear warheads, the environment remaining will be so hostile your death would likely be assured.

Combined with all the bio-weapon and chemical weapon arsenals also in command of crazed people, a complete wipe-out of all possible ways to survive is possible.

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The scary thing is though that people don't need to be 'crazed' for the above to happen... but simply 'rational', with a complete lack of empathy.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 I went to satellite imaging as a problem for most "escapees," but this takes the cake. I thought there was enough of a nuclear arsenal to destroy all land area multiple times over though. At any rate, probably would take some research into how much is actually launchable in a day too... $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 1:46

I think the best chance of survival lies on going where nobody will be.

Approach #1: Pack a day's worth of food, water and sealable waste disposal bags. The food must be low-scent and suitable for eating as is.

Take public transit to a large cave system. (Carlsbad Caverns comes to mind but I'm sure there are others that would work. I'm not sure about getting from town to the cave, though.) Enter normally, but when nobody's looking get off the path and go as deep into the undeveloped area as you can. Wait out the day, use no light so there's no indication there's anyone down there.

Approach #2, substantial skills required: Hire a skydiving plane to fly high over a large expanse of forest. Attach a rope to the plane and ride underneath for a period of time. At some point in the flight you let go and pull your chute--one picked to have a good glide ratio. You want to get far away from the flight path of the plane before you land. Find some sort of clearing to land in, hike a substantial distance from your landing point and hide under the largest mass of vegetation you can find. Cover as much area above you but below the vegetation with mylar blankets to break up your heat signature. Wait it out, no heat sources. You might have to call S&R afterwards if you can't hike out from where you landed.

(Hiding your drop point from the pilot is because it's a notable event, when everyone's searching for you he's going to realize his skydiver from yesterday is the target. You need to be the needle in the haystack by then.)

Approach #3, substantial skills required: Get a boat, go some miles offshore in an area with rough seas, dive. Leave the boat under power but with some spring-loaded bands rigged to pull the wheel a bit and connect slow-burning fuses to those bands--the objective is to make the boat change course a few times. Anyone boarding the boat will be able to figure out what was done but without knowing how long the fuses were (make sure all the ash ends up in one place so nobody can reconstruct their lengths) they have no way of figuring out the path the boat took to get there.

Meanwhile, you're on the ocean floor with a bunch of scuba tanks. Hide in some kelp, wait it out. When time's up you have a dive torpedo to haul you back to shore. (Note: You need a lot more air than you can actually carry. You are going to have to stop and lower the tanks into the water in several loads. So long as they are at neutral buoyancy you can pull them along once you're in the water.)

(The rough seas are to make it much harder to find your bubbles.)

Approach #4, lower chance of success: Hide out in the attic of an abandoned building that you reached by public transit.

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    $\begingroup$ I would love to have these kinds of resources! $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ Booking a plane, and learning to skydive safely is going to take way more than 24hrs. I suspect so would the boat idea, but maybe not. Hiding underwater is pretty genius I must admit. Perhaps hiding in a lake is better idea? Could you stay warm? Got my upvote for the cave idea though, that one could work I think. $\endgroup$
    – Shaun K
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ @ShaunK Note that I said "substantial skills required"--if you're not already a competent skydiver there's no way you would pull that one off. However, I'm not asking for skills that would be unheard of in a middle class individual. And #3 likewise requires you already know what you're doing underwater. I wouldn't hide under a lake, though--your bubbles will be much easier to see. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ #3: You're going to have a Very Bad Day when you come up to the surface, unless you get the more-expensive Helium/Oxygen mix (as opposed to regular air, which is Nitrogen/Oxygen). The Bends are no joke: the name refers to being bent over in pain. Also, the deeper you dive, the more air you'll consume. But you'll be alive! For reference, you'll need somewhere around 30 standard 80-cubic-foot scuba tanks to last 24 hours, if you dive to ~40 feet deep. Each tank weighs ~30 pounds. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ @PotatoEngineer You don't need deep water to pull off #3. So long as the seas are rough you only need to be deep enough that a few feet of water remain over you in the troughs. Kelp forests are inherently shallow. Besides, 24 hours at 40' on standard air is pretty close to the limit on oxygen toxicity--you'll want to be shallower. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 11:31

Fake your own death.

The only way people are not going to try to kill you is if you are already convincingly dead. Even if they are not completely convinced, the day of hatred will be consumed while interested parties try to determine if the burned corpse (with 2 of your own filled teeth in its mouth) wearing your clothes in your burned, crashed car is actually you. Your note will explain why you decided to take your own life rather than run in fear. It will all be very plausible. DNA testing will take more than a day and people will come to their senses by then.

The fake needs to happen early on the day and it needs to be newsworthy - which I assume will be the case since everyone knows who you are and everyone is searching for you. Hopefully the people with the nuclear weapons / killer drones / assassin cats will hear these reports and understand there is now no reason to let slip the assassin cats of war.


A lot of the answers here focus on maximising the area you 'could' be hiding in, which neglects the sheer level of manpower and resources available to the searchers. Everyone will be looking for you, and they will all co-operate and co-ordinate with each other, regardless of expense. If you are traced to a national park, the entire populations of nearby cities will congregate on the park to sweep it, acre by acre. Every dog owner in the country will bring their dog, every army unit will bring their helicopters, every police force will bring their thermal imaging units. And they have the same amount of time to search for you as you did to hide, so whatever route you took from your home to your hiding place, everyone who starts killing day nearby can follow the same route, using the same or better technology and travelling faster because they don't have to cover their tracks. Any normal hiding strategy will result in you being overwhelmed by dumb manpower.

To mitigate these factors, your strategy has to minimise the number of people who can be involved with the search for you, as well as minimising the technological advantage of the searchers.

Factor 1 is not achieved simply by establishing a large, even huge, search area in any 'ordinary' terrain, because there are many, many people with similar transport and basic survival capabilities to you, and if you can reach that area and survive there for 24 hours, so can they to search for you. Instead you need to set up a search area which is only accessible with specialist technology which will not be available to most of humanity. Underwater with scuba kit is probably my favourite suggestion here, but you could also try in an active volcano with heat protection, or in whichever of the arctic or antarctic is currently in winter. The important thing is that these are good locations not because they are remote, but because the overwhelming mass of humanity that will come looking for you will die (and hence be unable to keep looking even if they are heedless of their personal safety) without appropriate technology.

You can also minimise the number of people who can be involved in the search by choosing a hiding area with physically difficult access, even to authorised persons. If you took a flight to night-time Antarctica where the only access is by tiny plane, the number of people who can be physically brought in to participate in the search for you would be very limited, even with full governmental co-operation.

Having selected your hiding area to be accessible only to people with certain technology, you then want to optimise it to be as difficult as possible to search by people using that technology. If you're hiding underwater, that means staying out of open water where military sonar operates effectively; a complex inland waterway system like the mouth of the Amazon or Nile would be preferable: the underwater visibility would be terrible, limiting the effectiveness of the world's six million scuba divers combing the water for you.

In short, you probably want to choose an environment which is as dangerous as possible for people, including you, to survive in, and hope that the fact that you chose it (and got there first) gives you an advantage for long enough for the 24hr clock to count down.

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    $\begingroup$ Stephen, you make good points - but we're only talking about a 24 hour period. If it takes even two or three hours to track your car down to the entrance to a large national park, and one hour to alert the nearby populations, those populations then have to move to that location and begin their search - if they do that simultaneously, for the most part they'll be getting in each others' way. And if the first 10,000 people who can get through the traffic jam enter the national park and begin running around looking for you at random, that just wiped out the ability for anyone to search by air. $\endgroup$
    – tbrookside
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 14:52

You aren't going to survive, everybody in the world is determined to kill you no matter what. This means that the world leaders will come to the logical conclusion that destroying the world will ensure your annihilation and as everybody wants you dead then nobody is going to disagree with this course of action.

It's unlikely that the combined might of all the worlds nuclear weapons would destroy the planet, however if they were salted with cobalt and detonated strategically around the planet for enough coverage then the resulting radioactive dust with a 5 year half life would ensure your death eventually.


As stated on various answers, things may vary depending on how crazy/determined people are on finding and killing you, what ressources they are willing/able to use, and what costs they are ready to pay. Despite my low level, I upvoted @flox. Without more informations, I think his answer is the best.

A friend once gave me this technic to spend a night anywhere without being noticed. Though not a full answer (which others already gave quite succesfully I think), I think it may answer "How do I spend the night in safety" :

  • Put a hammock and a space blanket in your bagpack.
  • Hide in a place with trees.
  • Find a pair of trees you can climb. No need to go too high, just high enough to be in the "leafy parts".
  • Hang your hammock there, wrap yourself in the space blanket. Sleep.
  • $\begingroup$ It depends, if they're really determined to find you, there might be aircraft searching for your body heat on infrared. $\endgroup$
    – workerjoe
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe, the space blanket would mask your heat signature. Unless they are going to kill anyone not recognized just to kill you, you'd probably be ok, until they send someone out to verify identities. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ The space blanket part was added in reaction to Joe's comment. :) $\endgroup$
    – Zaa
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ if it worked that way, staying wrapped in a space blanket indefinitely would lead to you becoming infinitely hot. $\endgroup$
    – user371366
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ (some quick math: if a 60kg person stayed in a magical space blanket that contained all their heat for 24 hours, their body would heat up by ~40 degrees celcius and die of hyperthermia. except they wouldn't die because a space blanket only slows the transfer of heat, it can't stop it completely.) $\endgroup$
    – user371366
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:54

I find the problem with many of these answers is that they tell you to hide in the best hiding spot, or most remote area available. While this is a logical course of action, logic actually works against you in this case.

Imagine there is a national forest just an hour from your home. Logic would tell you its a good place to hide, since its got no cameras, and a lot of ground. But that also means since it is the most logical place to hide, its also logical to search for you there. As soon as the 24 hours start they will begin to blanket search the forest, in a large portion of cases leading to you being caught.

But that's less important then a lot of other factors. We really need to ask how does killing day work? Does everyone share a hive mind that lets everyone know everything your friends know about you? Does the information spread through word of mouth? Does everyone know your name or just what you look like? Does everyone drop everything and single mindedly hunt for you, or will some of them stop for lunch or take breaks. Does the rest of the world know that someone is preparing for killing day or are you the only one aware that it will happen? Do people want to kill you or do they just know you need to die and will always cooperate with everyone else? Do people still have morals or is carpet bombing/burning forests etc a viable option to catch you? What time does killing day start? Does the entire world wake up when it starts or will everyone who is asleep stay asleep until they would have otherwise woke up?

Anyways, I have two favorite solutions. Option one is to simply hide in your neighbors house. Either way till the exact moment killing day begins and sneak into their house as they leave, or break in while they're out and hide inside. A house extremely close to your own is a bad hiding place, which makes people unlikely to search it. Especially if you park your car somewhere far away from your house and make people think you're hiding in the woods or something.

A second option is a diversionary tactic. Drive to the west, buy a hotel room a few towns over. Now your name is on a hotel registry and will be quickly discovered by people searching for you. Leave your car in the parking lot. Take a taxi back to the east, keep your face obscured. Pay cash. Find a for sale house and sneak into it. Just wait out the 24 hours as everyone drives right past you to search the town with your hotel room and your car.


For the first 24 hours nobody will look for you nor try to find you. Once you left cities, there will be no cameras or anything that can track you.

So just pack a lunch, a bit of water, hike a few hours in the wilderness leaving the path, hide in a hole, a grove, under a bush. Try to sleep 24 hours.

I don't think anything else is needed.


I would think that simply leaving your immediate area for a remote location could work well enough.

After filling your day pack with enough food and water for 36 hours*, just get in your car and head out for a random location that you wouldn't normally pick.

If you live in a city, head to a rural area, like a cabin in the woods. If you are normally rural, disguise yourself and head into town for a really nice hotel. If you like the cold, head to the desert. If you love heat, head to the mountains. Instead of doing a 180 on your normal decisions, do a 90 so it's even less obvious where you're deviating. "Jim loves his cabin in the woods, so he's definitely not going there. Probably going to hit a penthouse instead, if he's changing all of his decisions to be completely backwards." Well, guess what, Jim went to a small town instead and is hiding in an abandoned barn. It's sort of like the cabin in the woods, but it isn't the penthouse, either. Just because the hayloft isn't ground floor, it doesn't mean it's the penthouse. ;-)

Regardless where you end up, you need to stash/ditch your vehicle miles away from where you're hiding out. You may also want to backtrack, so it's less obvious where your trail is going. Don't get to the edge of town then get out and walk in the same direction, is what I'm talking about. If you're headed to a cabin, drive past your turn off for a while, then turn down a different "nowhere" road (the one's Siri doesn't know about) to stash your car before you head to your cabin. If you're going to a hotel, drive to the far edge of town, then double back to your hotel, while paying cash and giving a false name. Also, don't use room service.

You might also want to get some ill fitting shoes, so you're harder to track. You may want to add a bunch of unnecessary weight to your pack to hide better, as well as changing the length of your stride. "Sue wears a size 8 sneaker. These are size 10's extra wide. Also, this person is 60lbs heavier, has a 6" longer stride than someone her size should have, and has a limp. This is definitely not Sue." Only someone who really knows tracking would be able to spot the problems with a larger shoe and longer stride would create.

There's lots of ways to disguise yourself, which can be found online. Changing your gender of clothing is a basic one, as well as changing your attitude or how you project yourself.

A big burly guy can do this and get away with it at the right spot. I mean, if you're over 6 ft tall, somewhat heavy but still muscular, have lots of body hair with a low slung, flashy dress and act obnoxiously drunk, people will probably actively look away, especially in a small town.

A diminutive woman can change into a "business only" guy with a sports coat, briefcase, Ray Bans, and a fedora, as long as they stand up straight, walk like they have somewhere to go (without rushing), and keep their hands from fidgeting. This is a perfect "big city" disguise.

Going full "drag queen", with cosmetics applied with a trowel and a paintbrush, will change your face more than enough to make it unrecognizable to most people. This would work for men and women. You may even want to purposely apply the foundation badly, so it looks like you have a real skin problem you're trying to hide, if people look too closely.

You can also find an abandoned high rise or large factory/warehouse, then pretend you're a vagrant. Some makeup (facial appliance), dirt, ripped clothes, a dirty threadbare blanket you wear as a shawl, a nasty attitude, and never staying in one spot for longer than 30 min would keep you hidden for at least a day. Abandoned buildings tend to have a lot of hiding spots anyway, so this would be a great way to lay low. Also, not many people go out looking for homeless people, which is unfortunate and going into a diatribe about that is out of scope for this question.

If you're more of an outdoor type person and can stay still for countless hours, a ghillie suit might be all you need to hide out in a grassy field.

* I suggest 36 hours so that you have enough time to get where you're "going", hiding for the required amount of time, then getting back to your daily life. This also allows room for not allocating enough food and water for yourself during the first 2 days. The third day you can hit a store on the way "back", so it's not as critical.


I thought about this for a while and my conclusion is that there isn't any way to be reasonably sure to survive. Even excluding nuclear bombs or actions that could kill too many people.

You can't use a plane to go in some remote location, you will be tracked and they will exactly know where to look for you.

You can't just take the longest flight and camouflage hoping the other travelers and crew will not notice you. They will know you are there and will make the plane land as soon as possible and inspect all the travelers. Also, even if it didn't happen, the longest flight is still less than 24 hours.

So, no planes.

Now, if you just get out of your home and try to go out of town in some forest the cameras will track you from the instant you leave your home (assuming you don't have some smart camera at home, in that case they will most likely have access to the footage of whatever you did while you were at home as well).
This means they will easily follow your path and, again, find your position. Once they know you are in the forest it will take no time for millions of people to look everywhere in the forest.

I have an idea I'll leave here but I'm not too convinced:

The only thing I can think about is to spend the 24 hours trying to confuse the cameras entering and exiting from various crowded places (and possibly areas with no cameras and people) and trying to camouflage you differently every time (buy several sets of clothes so that the shopping assistants can't pin point what you wear). Then go in a construction site, find some bricks and cement, go in a corner of the building and build a quick wall around you. Leaving some bricks loose to free yourself later.

People will be to busy looking for you to go to work (in the building construction site).

You should bring with you just a few snacks and a bottle of water, something you can easily hide under your clothes. Otherwise it will be easier for people to notice you.


I think the safest you could be would be to make people think you are dead.

You know the people are crazy and out to kill you, and everyone is. So what you do is you get a boat (assuming you live somewhere near the water), make sure everyone knows you bought (or stole) the boat, and take things like your phone and internet access items with you. Before you go on the water you go to an anonymous sex-shop in disguise and buy yourself a blowup doll or something. Now you sit pretty at the edge of the sea with relative closeness to a military aviation base while you dress up the doll in your clothing, put some beers and fishing lines or something next to it so people aren't too suspisious. Bring lifejackets and preferably some diving gear if you have it. Paint them in darker colors so it's not as easy to pick up.

Once everyone goes crazy they'll try to kill you ASAP. The first people to reach you will be military aircraft, possibly helicopters as those are probably not going to overshoot you and are likely the first one's to get a good shot off. After they tell everyone that you were on board and destroyed your boat with little trace left you are already pretty much in the clear. Ofcourse you've already left the boat a few hours early and swam a large distance, and are now floating pretty on the surface of the sea. Judging by how difficult it is to find dead people in the water, someone who will actively dive and use (an excess of) oxygen tanks to survive would be nigh impossible to kill, assuming people will even keep looking if they've got the signal "yo guys, we just bombed him and saw him go up in flames". But since these people are crazy, you might be swamped by every single boat and helicopter within hundreds of kilometers coming to look for you, all the more reason to make sure you are under water most of the time.

The sea seems to be the most ideal solution. Even if you try to hide in the most secluded area in the world, having to go up against a searchparty that consists out of literally everyone in the world I don't think you would stand a chance on land. Any flight skills and the ability to get a light aircraft would be wonderful, as you could perhaps fly a long distance and jump out at some point, hopefully letting the aircraft fly for a long distance before it crashes in the sea. Try to land near a secluded island chain, and use a snorkel or diving gear for a day to avoid people. There's a lot less boats and people that will be able to reach random island chains, and any suggestion of your whereabouts will cause bombing campaigns and military parachutists to come looking for you quickly. Doing something like this on land and they say "well he's probably somewhere in that secluded area" will just mean you'll be firebombed to all hell. Let people search and bomb the island while you are hiding a few hundred meters away from the surf with only a snorkel sticking out.


Most of the current answers involve getting far away from other people. It's also possible to have a good chance of survival by staying among people - preferably large groups of strangers expecting to see unusual behavior by those around them.

If we assume that the 24 hour period begins at 12:00:00 AM, go to Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York, or some other city with 24 hour a day activity.

Bring a backpack containing multiple shirt, hat, and hoodie changes, in contrasting colors.

Shortly before the start of the period, enter a public restroom in a busy venue. Change out of your current shirt, hat, and hoodie into a different-colored one. Exit the restroom in the midst of a stream of people if possible.

Stay on foot and among crowds for the next 24 hours. Wander casinos. Go in and out of Bourbon St. bars. Wander Central Park and NYC bars and nightclubs. Keep your face obscured by a hat, hoodie, and sunglasses when appropriate for the entire day. Periodically enter restrooms and change your ensemble to a different color or color combination.

Most people in large crowds are bad at recognizing strangers, if the person's appearance is even lightly obscured. In Vegas or New Orleans most people around you will have had a drink or two, which reduces their ability to recognize you even further. Tracking by camera or by air are real concerns, but in extremely crowded venues air surveillance can be neutralized by the clothing-change countermeasure. Camera tracking is degraded by the same countermeasures, especially since even with facial recognition technology you still need a human operator in the loop to eliminate false positives; that human operator then has to follow you from camera installation to camera installation, and your periodic clothing changes will make that difficult.

Unless the scenario gives the average person a much greater ability to recognize a stranger than is currently typical, hiding in plain sight like this has at least a chance to succeed. The problem with the "Get out of Dodge" answers is that one person, in an isolated spot, is very easy track once their trail is picked up.


Hide in plain sight

Many answers here discuss pissible locations where you might arrive, and then stay there, because you can't be seen in those locations and, hopefully, you've selected a location where you are not easily predicted to be.

I'd take a different approach, based on the indication in the original question that even though everyone would be looking for you, not everyone will know exactly what they will be looking for (I'm basing this assumption off of this line "army, policemen, friends, family (who know you...)). I'll assume that a handwave provides the entire human population with the ability to identify you as the target on visual inspection, but that it would have to be relatively up close and personal, not just a passing glance.

I's suggest avoiding any fixed place, at all, while at the same time avoiding staying in any area where there is a relatively high number of people that might recognize you more easily.

Day before, step 1:

Bank/ATM, get as much cash as you can

Step 2:

Buy as many fuel tanks as you can fit in your vehicle

Step 3:

Spend every remaining fund you have filling those tanks and your vehicles fuel tank

Step 4:

If funds are available after filling up on fuel then, and only then, do you worry about water/food

Step 5:

Hit the road. Pick a direction you've never gone before, and start driving. Stick to highways where you can cover a lot of distance in a short time.

Step 6:

About 12-16 hours before you become the target, change direction, again choosing a direction that will take you somewhere you've never been.

Step 7:

A 4-8 hours before you become the target, you should be 12-20 hours out of town. Find a suitably accessible vehicle, and swap it's licence plate with yours, and hit the road again, and again change direction (but do not double back). You should now be hundreds of miles from home, in a vehicle that does not plate that easily identify you.

If needed, and if you can be sure to wake up at least an hour before becoming the target, take a nap on the side of the road occasionally. If there are still funds left over, refuel as much as possible in the final hour or two before becoming a target.

Day 2, target:

As soon as the target time period starts, no more naps or stops, just drive, changing direction every few hours. A few hours in to this day, and you can start working your way back toward home, but from a different direction. Other direction changes should take you gradually closer to home, but avoid any direct routes. This will be counter-intuitive, which is exactly the point. Everyone will be expecting you to be fleeing or hiding, not moving TOWARDS home. Military and police will start searching from your home area, working their way out, stopping traffic that is leaving the area. Family will start with known places you might be or go, and advise police and military to do the same, and they will start new search areas there, again stopping traffic that is leaving those areas. But you will have started the day far from any of those locations, and will be moving in the wrong direction to be stopped by their perimeters. And will be in a vehicle with plates that are not identified as yours. And it would be almost impossible for someone who is not a friend or relative to recognize you while you're in a moving vehicle. With a worldwide manhunt in progress, the likelyhood that a random report in a random town somewhere about a stolen licence plate will be noticed and connected to you, so your otherwise generic vehicle is just that, generic.

Once the day is over, you should be a significant distance from home still, just to avoid the center of attention, but close enough to get home relatively soon and have a hot meal.


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