I am a big proponent of walking. It's a simple exercise than can be done anywhere by practically anyone, it's a good habit to get into, and it can be a vital skill especially in a SHTF situation. Here's how to do it:
- Try to walk somewhere, some distance, every single day. You can walk on a treadmill, walk around the neighborhood, walk around a track, or take a walk in the woods.
- Walk with others if that is your jam. There are lots of walking clubs to choose from--from the AVA and Meet-Up groups in the US to the Rambler's and the IML in Europe.
- Walk with a purpose. Decide if you want to challenge yourself with a daily mileage goal, a daily speed goal, hitting up a different trail everyday, etc.
- Add more walking to your day in other ways--do your errands on foot, walk to and from work, park in a central area then walk to the restaurant/theater/etc.
- Start with the basics then improve your gear as needed. To start, a good pair of shoes and some socks are all you need. Eventually you may get a good pair of Merrill or Keen shoes, some Superfeet insoles, some Darn Tough socks, etc.
- Put together a walk bag to grab on your way out the door when you are going walking. Get a backpack, a water bottle, some snacks, a first air kit, sunscreen, etc.
- When you are walking, challenge yourself to find as many water sources as you can. It's good practice.
- When you are walking, challenge yourself to find as many food sources as you can. Ditto.
- When you are walking, give your senses a workout. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Practice this often to develop your situational awareness skills.
- Determine if there are any threats when you are walking and devise ways to mitigate them. Should you carry mace or a firearm? Do you need to check the weather in order to avoid dangerous weather? Is traffic so bad you need to find local trails to walk along instead of streets?
- Determine ways you can bail on your walk if necessary. Can you hop a local bus or subway mid-walk? Can you get an Uber? Sometimes injuries happen and you may not be able to walk yourself back home.
- Take on bigger walking challenges when you can. Walk a local marathon, spend several months walking a long trail, go on a walking vacation, etc.
- Switch up the weight you carry when you walk. Maybe add extra weight or a larger pack occasionally when you walk so that in the event of a SHTF situation you will be able to carry your BOB long distances with ease.
- Encourage others to walk. Walking is a good social activity (much easier to walk and talk than run and talk), walking is a good health activity, and it has it's own clubs/social groups you can join too.
- Add extra activities to your walking--there are walking trails in parks that include callisthenic challenges along the way, golfing (sans golf cart) gives you a nice walk along with your play, there are walking challenges you can do when geocaching or letterboxing or playing Pokemon Go, etc.
- Consider adding tech to your walks. You can use a basic phone app like Pedometer or use Strava or Map My Walk. You can add walking pictures to Facebook walking groups or make videos when you walk for YouTube.
- For an even bigger challenge, you can do something extreme when you walk like this guy, this woman, or this kid.
- Brush up on first aid skills that may be useful when you walk. Everything from basic first aid skills to CPR skills can be useful as can knowledge about treating blisters and identifying and treating dehydration or heat stroke in the field.
- Walk in different environments--wilderness, desert, urban areas, mountains, jungles, etc.
- Walk at different times of the day for a different experience.
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