On Foot

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The event you caught a ride to on the other side of town to has turned south quick. Your "buddy" has ditched you and you have no ride back. No one is heading your way and you only have a few pennies in your pocket and a debit card with 33 cents. Bus system in your area is non existent and cab fare is out of the question. Your pad is 10 miles away. Are you stuck like chuck? Or maybe you landed some gig and your car went kaput the night before and you want to get there to cash up. Maybe you need to hoof it from your stealth camp to a free food place.

As long as you have time, two functioning legs, and the willpower you can just walk there! There have been people hike across town, states, and even countries. Walking places is almost a forgotten option in an era where surburbanites jump in a car even to go one block. It is possible to even work, date, and keep a life without car though very difficult in some areas if you keep everything fairly close.

There is a different feel to areas being walked through as opposed to being driven by in a car. You start to really know the hidden places in the terrain. Some of which are true gems, some of which may seem tragic or unjust.

LEGAL NOTE: There are some places where it is illegal or dangerous to walk. Many bridges and tunnels across major rivers have no pedestrian access and may be a misdemeanor to walk across. In rural areas, there may be prohibitions against walking around military installations, psych facilities, and penitentiaries.

LEGAL NOTE: You have less recourse with searches on foot if you are carrying anything illegal. In some areas, the local law enforcement engages in "stop and frisk" policies. In theory, this is to make sure you are not armed and blow the copper away, but in many cases is a loop hole to find something because you were "suspicious" any pesky amendment be damned.

In almost all areas in public except certain places in Louisiana, it is also a guaranteed pig magnet to walk around with obvious open containers of booze.

Save the stuff for the end of the journey and don't keep your stash in obvious pockets.

Walking Considerations[edit]

It goes almost without saying, if you do not have comfortable socks and shoes for any amount of walking more that short jaunts, you will regret it. If you are destitute and don't have this, make it a high priority. See Free Clothing for ideas. No socks can eat the skin off you and smell up your shoes and poor fitting shoes can make this worse. They don't have to be expensive, but they do need to be sturdy enough to get you through without falling apart.

Of course, high heels and dress shoes are straight out. Only use these if you are destitute and have no other shoes for extended walks. Not only does it tear up easy, you will be hurting in most of these type get ups.

If you need to look nice at a place you are going, bring a pack with another pair of clothes. If you anticipate rain, put this in a plastic garbage back in the pack to keep it dry. Few things are as miserable as being caught in a Fall rainstorm then being soaked and freezing as the cold front comes through. Ditto for laptops.

Consider if you are in shape. Unless you are just horribly out of shape, you can more than likely still make walks of up to 3-4 miles. But, you may be sore. This passes as your body becomes more accustomed. Keep some BC powders or ibuprofen handy.

Scare Myths[edit]

Contrary to popular belief, it is very possible to walk even the worst neighborhoods and not get raped, robbed, killed, or kidnapped and ransomed by the cops. While that stuff does happen, it is actually very rare. Most of the time when it actually does happen, it is because of sour deals in the hard drug trade or making yourself a target or a total lack of street smarts.

Don't listen to scare stories. Most folks even in bad neighborhoods don't want drama any more than you. They just want to handle any agendas and not be bothered. But, don't walk with your head up your ass either for the .01 percent of the time. Don't be a victim or a target.

NOT being a Target[edit]

If possible, always try to travel main roads that have traffic, are lit, and preferably have sidewalks. This is not always possible, though.

Try to avoid walking between the hours of 12 midnight and 4:30 am unless you are in a touristy or busy major city or neighborhood where this is commonplace. Make this earlier if you are passing through or walking across rural areas or a small town where no one is out and the police have few better things to do than oppress err.. check "suspicious" folks unless it is absolutely necessary or people are used to seeing you. Especially if you may have attachments, warrants, or are carrying something you do not want the Piggies to know about. In fact, don't do this unless you have to. You want to be sober or at least able to cope, if possible. Many cats we have known got caged, beat up, robbed, or worse because they were fucked out of their mind stumbling through strange territory or being out of control.

Careful walking in neighborhoods where walking is not common or in areas of differing social class as you if you do not look the part. We would hate to see you get "ethnically cleansed" or shook down because you might be "looking for something to steal" or "looking for drugs" by nosy neighbors, cops, and crazed vigilante wannabes. Unless this is your destination, stick to main roads even going around particularly at night. Of "looking the part", you definitely do not want to look like you have money. Nice dresses/clothes outside touristy walking areas can let someone desperate because of addictions or mental illness to profile you. Working class uniforms, particularly waiter's, scream pocket full of money on a Friday night. You don't want to advertise for that slave wage lord anyways off from work. Change out of that.

On the other extreme of "looking the part", You definitely don't want to be too scuzzy waltzing through the McMansion district at night or be too outward with counterculture wear in ultra conservative territory or looking like a CEO in the hood unless you have a getaway car and it's day. Leave that stuff in the pack and the counter culture in your mind. No need to make our enemies' jobs easier particularly in their territory. Invisibility, to a certain extent is the key.

Do not visibly flash packs of cigarettes or wads of cash. It attracts smokers down on thier luck who want to leech and opportunists who may try to bum or rob you.

You can avoid almost all drama and bad stuff by keeping aware, thinking a slight bit ahead, and not advertising certain stuff. If you are walking with a partner, don't get so caught up in conversation you forget to keep aware. Did you see that dude ducking behind bushes a block up? Belligerent, drunk, testoterone ridden trust fund brats yelling and walking down the same sidewalk towards you? Same person following you? Being aware and not being aware can be difference between getting where you are going and a potential bad encounter. You don't have to be paranoid, but do look around.

Logistics[edit]

We assume you know the general layout of where you need to walk. If not (perhaps because you are in a new city), check out your walk if possible on a map. Old fashioned paper or online with a smartphone will do. Note the main street arteries between here and there and look for any issues such as dead ends, multiple turns, water crossings and potential no-go zones.

Walking takes a lot longer time than a car or bicycle. The average person walks about 2 to 3 miles per hour. This time can be faster or slower depending on terrain, shape of the person, and weather. Leave early the first time to get there on time. 2 miles per hour means a 10 mile walk can take around 5 hours.

A Note on Google Maps and other map sites and maps in general

While very useful, maps get out of date. Entire streets can cease to exist and new streets pop up. Landmarks get changed and demolished. Places of strategic importance are altered in satellite composites at the behest of powers that be. Also, some places even online are not updated with good walking paths and suggest really risky routes. Keep in mind possible changes.

A bit tinfoil hatty, but be aware that real time GPS and mapping software communicates data back to a server which can, with the right powers, connections and resources be collected for actions against you by a determined opponent.