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How to Walk in the Woods


Just put one foot in front of the other, right? Actually, there's a bit more to it than that.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: N/A

Here's How:

  1. Slowly. Unless you're being pursued by a pack of rabid wolves, there's no reason to get in a hurry. By moving slowly, you'll be safer and much less likely to spook game.
  2. Carefully. A credo Dad taught me is, "Watch where you put your feet." This has saved me more than once from stepping on a rattlesnake or into a hole. It also helps you remain undetected by game if you're not stomping blindly on limbs & leaves.
  3. Quietly. Unless you have to crash through some nasty brush to get where you're going, you can usually remain fairly stealthy in the woods. By moving slowly and watching what you're doing, you can cut way down on the noise you make.
  4. Be aware of what's around you. Realize that around every bend could be a deer, or a mama bear with cubs, or just about anything. There have been times when I've seen more game while walking in than I did from my deer stand.
  5. Pick up your feet. Foot-shuffling seems to be a symptom of youth; I see many young hunters doing this. Hunters need to learn to pick their feet up and step over and around obstacles, rather than kicking them out of the way.
  6. Savor it. Why are you out there? To enjoy yourself. If you're not having fun, something's wrong. Heck, call me masochistic, but I even savor the times I've been caught in thunderstorms... well, I savor the memories, anyhow.
  7. Watch where you're going. Make sure you know how to get back to your vehicle or camp!
  8. Know when to turn back. Make sure you have a reasonable idea of how far and how long you must walk to get back, and allow yourself time to do so. This is especially important on afternoons in unfamiliar territory.


  1. Always carry a compass. A GPS is handy as well, but a compass is more dependable and easier to use - and it doiesn't depend on batteries.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes with ankle support. There's nothing like a blistered, bruised, or twisted foot or ankle to make walking miserable.
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