Survival Technique: Learn to Fox Walk

The first thing I learned in my survival classes is that a good shelter in a bad location is a bad shelter. The second thing I learned is that fox walking makes a difference in what you experience in nature and what you miss.

The painted turtles are back, and I think I’ve figured out what makes them leap into the water when I’m still 50 feet away. It has to be the vibration of my footsteps on the earth. It’s not movement. Once I settle down to watch them, I can write in my journal or munch a carrot and they don’t jump off the log. Now, I’m motivated to practice fox walking.

So what is fox walking?

It’s placing your foot on the ground BEFORE you put your weight on it, so that your center of gravity is in your hips. It forces you to take shorter strides. In slow-motion you would:

1. Touch the outside edge of your foot to the ground

2. Roll your foot inward until it is flat on the ground

3. Before adding your weight, is there a sharp stone, a rounded branch or any other object that would make a noise or irritate your foot?

4. If so, reposition your foot

5. Transfer your weight to your foot

6. Repeat with your other foot

What are the benefits of fox walking? Not only do you increase your chances of seeing and hearing birds and other wildlife, but your sense of smell and touch are greater. It’s much easier to fox walk barefoot, so practice at home or in your yard. Once outside, you’ll be amazed at how much less noise you make while walking.

Like any other technique, it takes time to master. To get back on track, I practiced moving and saying set foot down, roll, and transfer weight with each step. Eventually the rhythm and pattern becomes second nature.

An added benefit is that your mind slows down, distracting thoughts melt away and you notice details and subtleties that often fade into the background when you’re hiking at warp speed. Some teachers consider this a form of meditation. In this tumultuous world, that’s fine with me.



Source by JJ Murphy

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