Survival situations can occur for a number of reasons. Maybe your plane crashed, you survived and now you must find your way back to civilization. Another scenario is some kind of natural disaster has ripped through your part of the country and life has been turned upside down and inside out and you are in a survival situation.
Those are relatively serious, but tame scenarios that are not full of malice. You are fighting Mother Nature and the elements to survive—not other humans. In another kind of scenario that is likely to occur after the world has suffered an economic collapse or some other tragedy that has cut off food, water and other basic supplies, your biggest threat would be other humans.
When things are desperate and everyone is fighting for the same limited resources, it will be a fight to the death in many cases. If you have managed to gather some supplies and are heading back to your shelter or home, you want to make sure no one follows you. Alerting people to where you are and the fact you are alive and well could cost you everything.
You have to know how to navigate the city streets and even through the rural prairies and forests without attracting attention and picking up a tail. You don’t want anybody showing up at your hideout with the intention of hurting or possibly killing you to take what you have.
These are some ways that will help you lose a tail and get you back home without anyone knowing where you went.
Avoiding a Tail
There are some things you need to do today to help you in one of those situations where you need to escape and evade. Escaping anywhere is going to be a physical job. You need to be faster and more agile than the person trying to follow you. That means you need to get in shape today. You can’t expect to outrun a bad guy if the most physical exercise you have done all year is walking from the couch to the car. Get in shape now.
You also need to have a good mental state. It can be extremely frightening and intimidating knowing someone is following you. It is a mind game you must be prepared to win. Being able to regulate your breathing to prevent hyperventilating due to a panic attack will help you stay calm and do what you have to in order to keep going.
Learn navigation and have a good idea of direction. You may have to flee in a hurry without time to study a map or read a compass.You need to have a general idea of how to get to your retreat or to safety in a moment’s notice.Condition yourself to memorize landmarks and little details. This will help
you when you need to evaluate whether or not you are truly being followed.
Know the Signs of Being FollowedBefore you can escape a tail, you need to know if you are really being followed.
The follower may not be on your tail at the moment, but maybe they followed you in the past and are looking for you in the area. Scouts will be actively looking for signs of activity and if you leave evidence, they are going to keep looking for you.
The following are some clues that will help you determine whether you need to employ evasive tactics.
- Instinct should never be ignored. If you have that sense of being watched or that someone is close, listen to it. Too often we tamp it down and chalk it up to nerves. Instinct is rarely wrong.
- As you are headed back to your retreat, look for signs that someone has been around. This may be additional footprints, broken branches or even cigarette butts and trash littered along the way.
- Seeing someone ahead or behind you that wouldn’t normally be there is a key sign.
- Small aircraft, like drones, flying overhead.
- Helicopters or small planes flying low to the ground in a searching pattern.
When It’s Time to Change Course
This is a tough one. Human instinct naturally has us resisting change. Changing your normal path could also leave you disorientated and you could end up getting lost. However, if you notice signs someone has been in the area or you know you are being followed, it is time to make a change in direction.
The following tips will help you evade and lose your tail.
- Create false trails to lead your follower astray.
- Do what you can to walk off the beaten path on a rocky terrain that doesn’t instantly give away your direction.
- In the case of advanced technology being used to track you, like heat sensing equipment, traveling in the rain and snow can help throw off the radars. Sticking to walking in shallow water can also help.
- Erase your trail altogether. Using a branch to sweep away your footprints as you walk and creating false trails along the way will help confuse the person or group following
- Don’t travel a direct route to your shelter or house. Twists and turns will help throw off anybody trying to guess where you are headed.
- Learn how to camouflage yourself in your surroundings. Avoid wearing bright colors or anything that will reflect the sun.
- If you can’t seem to shake a tail, climbing a tree, hill or other steep terrain and moving about far above the trail will work.
- Have a stash of tools hidden along your trail or carry them with you that will help you hide your trail. A knife is essential to helping you cut new trails and hide old ones. Don’t forget a button compass to help keep you headed in the right direction, even if it is a roundabout way. A flashlight will also be a handy tool to help you find your way and avoid dangerous obstacles.