by Snolden @ SurvivalBlog.com

If you value your existence and your life, then walk! Most people do not walk any further than a few hundred yards a day. A mile is a “long walk” for most folks. A good portion of the rest walk or run several miles as a work out, but that is with 6 ounce sneakers, shorts and an iPod as their only loadout.

During a survival situation, you will be subjected to environmental conditions that your body cannot adapt to unless you have experienced it before. The environment that you find yourself in can affect your decision making. Cold, hot, humid or other; these conditions will prevent you from living. You may have to carry a lot of things a long way to make do. You must condition yourself to this level of exertion.

So, go for a walk. Please use common sense and know your limitations. For those with physical limitations, you will have to toughen your mind more than those of us without. The demands on the body are going to be extreme for some even when all parts of it work correctly. I would like to challenge all of you to “honestly” walk 10 miles carrying a light bag. By “honestly” I mean in the clothes that you will be wearing during a disaster or survival . This will probably be some form of boots, belted pants, long sleeve shirt and jacket. If you can’t do this right off, then work up to it but nearly everyone will be able to do it. Ten miles should take 3-5 hours at the most depending your individual condition. Then do this again next month, in a different locale [, over different terrain]. I recommend a 5-7 minute break every 45 minutes as the optimum. [Depending on the weather and personal preference,] breaks of 10 minutes/hour or 5 minutes/30 minutes might work better.

For example, walk 10 miles around your town or city this month. Next month go to a trail in the woods. Walk. Anyone that has been in the Army or Marines will laugh at this distance. Many people in the Third World walk this far every day just to go to work or school. Then they turn around and walk that far back home. A pace of up to 12 minutes per mile is a good goal if you are in good shape. When backpacking I shoot for 15-20 minutes per mile including time spent for breaks. That works out to a little less than three hours for 10 miles. That is a very comfortable pace I can keep up for days.

The point of this exercise is to learn the techniques that you will need to walk. Everyone can walk, right? Nope, they can’t. Most people don’t understand about layered multiple pairs of socks, proper lacing of boots, proper waist belt adjustment on a pack and the other items that you only learn by walking (proper is different for each person and can change between the start of the hike to the end of the hike). For the average person with 10 pounds of belly fat, I would start with a 20 pound pack. That is only one gallon of water, a change of clothes, a lunch and a few emergency items plus the weight of the pack itself. You can start lighter or heavier, this is your challenge. Bring extra socks, moleskin, an ace ankle wrap and Band-Aids the first few times [or whenever you switch to a new set of footwear]. You might need them before you make it back.