Skill: Tigerwalking

03.17.2010
learn from the tigerA tiger is a solitary animal, opportunistic in its hunt, and moving with a stealth belying its strength and mass. A tiger kills out of necessity, carefully defending life-giving resources found within its territory.

Knowing where to find strategic resources is essential survival knowledge. Efficient and effortless access to those resources is equally critical. If the name of the game is resources, than what does it mean to be resourceful? One definition is "having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulty." In a RECESS situation, most "difficulty" will arise from the sudden competition for waning resources.

It's foolish to attempt to hoard all the resources you and your family will require in a life-threatening scarcity. The smarter survivor will have ample knowledge of their surroundings. Learn from the tiger: stake out your territory and take stock. I call this Tigerwalking.

When the shit hits the fan, safe travel may be limited to just a few blocks in any direction. tigerwalking my neighborhoodMaintain a careful record of known food/water stores, strategic vantage/defensive positions, and equipment worth commandeering within a few mile radius of your home or place of work.
Like a tiger, you should pick and choose out of necessity, and defend your territory with your life.

Today, knowing the shortest route to a store that sells groceries, tools, or ammunition is useful. If that store is 15 min. from your home by car, your knowledge is of little use in a RECESS situation. In a crisis, there is little chance you will ever reach that store on foot, and an even greater chance that if you do it will be empty. If you are just now realizing the untapped potential of the tremendous heap of "stuff" contained in your own home, imagine that potential as you expand your territory to your block - or your neighborhood. The accumulated results of literally decades of weekend shopping trips are all around you.

Take notes,map key resources, and most importantly - practice discretion. Tigerwalk habitually - carefully scanning the contents of open garages, parked vehicles, and obvious new resources. Practice constant vigilance. Look around - then look again.
I've walked my dog along the same route for years. Just yesterday I noticed a home security camera that I'd never seen before. It wasn't new; the camera was well weathered. This camera is a clear sign of two possible scenarios:
  1. The house contains something of value
  2. The owners are paranoid - and as such, more likely to be armed.
In a RECESS situation, this house would be elevated to a location of interest and low risk.

Be observant, be prepared, and be organized. I use this Google Map and Flickr mashup designed to keep track of resources I spot while tigerwalking. When I see something worth remembering I use my iPhone and an application called MobileFotos to upload geo-coded photos to the map for later study. If you want to save a few steps, you could probably skip all the walking and spend your time online perusing Google Street View.
 
I've recently started streaming live video from my cell phone while tigerwalking. The performances are unscheduled and impromptu. You can can watch them here.

Related