Walking your dog can help you prep

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Walking your dog can help you prepNext time you take Bonzo out for his daily exercise, turn it into a prepping activity. Dog walkers raise no more eyebrows than, say, a robin pecking at a patch of grass. It’s all part of the scenery, but for you, my friend, it’s much more. You are actively prepping!

Preppers must be highly observant and know their surroundings AND who surrounds them, so why not turn dog walking time into something more?

Here’s how walking your dog can help you prep.

Your neighborhood has an atmosphere

While walking your dog you can observe your neighborhood’s overall atmosphere. You should get a pretty good idea of the types of people who live near you.

Do see many trucks with Glock or Sig Sauer bumper stickers or lots of Smart Cars and Priuses? Nothing against any of those vehicles, but if your neighborhood is home to many of one versus the other, a person’s choice of car says a lot about them.

Do you see specific homes that you would warn your children about? Chances are in a big enough crisis, the residents of those homes may not have the best of intentions.

Are there yard signs that indicate specific religious or political persuasions?

Look for homes flying military flags such as this one or this one. Knowing who in your neighborhood has served in the military might come in handy.

Likewise, are there homes that have police cars parked in the driveway indicating that an officer lives there?

Is your neighborhood filled more with families with young children? Empty nesters? Senior citizens? As a population ages, it generally becomes poorer and less able to tend to a home’s upkeep.

Look for signs of trouble: graffiti, empty homes, broken windows, people coming and going at all hours of the day and night.

Do you see signs of vegetable gardening or backyard chickens? These can be tell tale signs of a prepper or, at least, someone wanting a bit more self sufficiency.

What is your gut feeling about your neighborhood? Do you feel safe walking its streets?

Your neighborhood is full of people, potential allies and otherwise

If your dog is friendly and doesn’t have any history of aggression, allow neighbors to come and meet him or her. Sometimes people warm up to an animal before they warm up to a person. Your dog may be your ticket to a new friendship or, at least, a friendly acquaintance.

As you meet people along your way, be friendly and get to know them. This will enlarge your circle of neighborhood acquaintances but also let any potential ne’er do wells that you are someone who is out and about and observing.

Retirees and stay at home moms often know neighborhood gossip, and that can be a helpful thing.

Offer help to neighbors who need it. Just last night a family we had never met before was across the street looking for their cat. We pitched in with extra flashlights and kitty treats. No one ever forgets a helpful hand in time of need, and if there’s one thing every prepper will need in an emergency, it’s a circle of friends.

As you regularly walk your dog through your neighborhood, are there homes that frequently have police cars parked out front indicating there is trouble of some sort inside? Take note.

There’s more to look for when walking the dog

Use your dog walking time to check out evacuation routes and things that might impede that evacuation, such as waterways that could become flooded.

Are there areas near your house where you could quietly plant unobtrusive crops, such as potatoes, grape vines, and herbs?

If you had to walk from your home to a grocery store, could you do it, and how many ways do you know of to get there safely?

Are there “safe houses” in your neighborhood? If your home was threatened or uninhabitable, where could you go? Identify churches, homes of friends and co-workers, etc.

Best of all, as you’re doing this neighborhood reconnaissance, you’re just the guy or gal out walking the dog. You’re getting some exercise and fresh air, your dog is getting some exercise and is happy, while at the same time your sharp eye is taking note!

Just don’t forget the doggie pooop bag!



5 thoughts on “Walking your dog can help you prep”

  1. Excellent idea.

    I’ve been doing this with my dog for some time, now. Things I would add for consideration are:

    Walk at different times, especially daylight and after sunset, if safe to do so, to get an idea of how your neighborhood looks in the dark. Sometimes friendly looking park areas during the day become poorly lit obstacle courses or potential danger spots at night.

    Look for alternative routes in and out of the neighborhood, including more than just roads and sidewalks, in case of emergency or civil unrest. Always think outside the box. You might not want to traipse through someone’s yard normally as a shortcut, but it may save time and energy in case of emergency.

    Keep an eye out for potential places of shelter should your own home be damaged in an event. It could be a nearby school or office building. Look for sources of water that could be filtered and carried back to shelter.

    Consider strapping on your bug out bag, or at least a weighted backpack simulating your BOB. You’ll get a sense of how far you can comfortably go, if you need to build up to carrying that weight, etc. you can even judge if you have the bag sized correctly and the straps correctly cinched to allow easy carry. By the same token, you might consider strapping on a doggie backpack so Fido can carry his own stuff and get used to it. You will have to judge for yourself if this might appear too out of place in your neighborhood, but likely will not if you’re dressed for walking, not for tactical assault. Just tell folks your building up for long distance hiking with your dog.

  2. One thing I do when I walk home from work, or walk the dog. I think it I had to evacuate and needed to hide for some reason where is a good spot? What if we had to bug in? Where are good spots for some gorrilla gardening, Are there paths up to/ down from the street anywhere? Does this valley connect to the next one. Hown many squirrles, birds do I see. Are there good spots for snares? I see pwople growing grasses in the garden, are they edible?

  3. I have done this for quite a while I use our walks to scope out neighbors activities and other information. Look for people who have duck hunting or fishing boats kayaks and canoe or even just the racks on their vehicles. I take note if they have huge collapsible pools in their back yards….those could be a great way to store large quantities of water if the tap water ever stopped running. Also if you have time, browse through their yard sales. If you ever want to know more about your neighbors that is a great way also to gauge their interests, hobbies, and other possible skill sets. One day I was just looking through one of my neighbor’s yard sales and he was talking to another guy. He talked about if bugging out and his prior military experience. Good to know a kindred spirit lives near by.

  4. Pingback: Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Prepping for more than just yourself | O.G.C.

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