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by coureurdebois

Tips for walking quietly in the woods

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To move silently through the forest is impossible. Even animals can’t do that. But you can learn to move more like an animal – so you can get closer to an animal.

Step over or around noise
Step over or around noise

  • Walk on the balls of your feet. Your footfall should balance between your toes and the ball of your foot. Your heels tend to pound down hard, and they just don’t have the shock absorbers built in.
  • Take shorter steps. Long steps will force you to come down on your heels, thus creating more pounding and more noise.
  • Start walking more slowly. Walking slowly helps you think about and control each step. As you get used to walking the quiet way, you will learn to move more quickly.
  • Keep your feet straight or slightly toed in. This will allow you to have more control of where your feet move. You are also less likely to have foot and ankle injuries.
  • Step over or around noise. Twigs, dry leaves, and loose rock are still the most common alarms.
  • Stop frequently. The tendency is to walk faster and faster, which usually means noisier and noisier. Stopping to listen, relax, and breathe will help you reestablish your quiet walk.
  • Wear lighter weight, soft soled shoes. Think moccasins and mukluks. If it’s warm enough, try bare feet.