Walk A Mile In Your Shoes, Part 1

The Importance of Conditioning Yourself To Walk

Walking. Our ancestors have been doing it since, well, a long time ago. We tend to underestimate the amount of energy and muscle exertion that goes into walking; especially when carrying a pack. We take walking for granted, heck we do it every day what’s the big deal? But do you walk any distance on a regular basis? When was the last time you took a good long walk? How did your body feel after that walk? How did your body feel the next day? Do you believe you’re in good walking condition?

To train yourself to walk any significant distance, you must condition yourself – by walking. Without proper conditioning you’ll feel it–after a long walk–in your feet, legs, and lower back; if you were carrying a pack, in your neck and shoulders also.

Keep in mind that walking, whether you work it into your plans or not, is your backup mode of transportation. We don’t carry a backup transportation system other than our feet. If a vehicle can’t get you there, for whatever reason – then you’re walking.

I work 45 miles from home. If disaster strikes when I’m there, my ultimate plan is to get to my family. Assuming there is no other transportation available, I’ll grab my BOB*, put on my good boots, insure I have plenty of water and WALK home. I’ll plan to stop and spend the night along the way. Can I do it? I believe I can…I know I could 15 years ago.

Am I in the same condition for walking as I was, 15 years ago, when I was going through Army Special Forces training? No, I’m not. So recently I’ve started a walking regime; it coincided well with getting a new dog who needs and loves to walk daily (dogs are great motivators). Kate, our four-month old Border Collie, and I have begun walking regularly about two miles. Soon I’m going to incorporate a pack, weighing about 30 pounds, and increase our walks to three miles and more.

In Part 2, I’ll cover choosing good footwear, the muscles involved in walking, and how to avoid and treat injuries. But for now, just get out and walk. Walking will help you get in better condition, burn calories, help clear your head, and your dog will love you for it.

(Friday: What I Did This YEAR To Prep)

*For my list of abbreviations and other information, open the above ‘Check Here…’ page tab.


5 thoughts on “Walk A Mile In Your Shoes, Part 1

  1. Good topic. I have a long commute as well and haven’t really thought about how I would get home in event of an EMP or something like that.

    I have a BOB, but I really need to look at getting it onto a bike. The problem with that is I have a car with a trunk. Not a lot of room for a bike in there.

    • I hadn’t thought of the bike as a back-up bug out vehicle, but it would work. Unfortunately, like you said, you’d have to have plenty of extra room–and use it on a regular basis–to justify it.

      Getting a bike as a back-up source of local transportation in a collapse situation (with a trailer) is on my to get list. It’d also provide another good way of staying in shape.

      • A collapsible bike would work great, but they come with a fairly steep price tag.

        Maybe removing the front wheel would make it fit, but probably not.

      • As prepared as we like to be, I’d struggle with the amount of space and inconvenience even a collapsable bike would take up being in the vehicle full-time – for what is a relatively minor threat.

  2. Pingback: Walk A Mile In Your Shoes, Part 2* | TraceMyPreps

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