Very early this morning I dropped off my car at the shop for repairs.  I had a 14-block walk to come to work, alone in the night.  As the local news shows, even in Billings Montana, people get into danger, some fatally.  So perhaps a good strategy is to not appear a target.

So if you have to walk the night alone, don't look like a potential victim.

Be Situationally Aware

Head up, look around, listen.  The predator should be unable to sneak up on you.


Walk with the intent to get somewhere.  Don't just casually stroll.  The goal is to get from point A to point B in as little time as possible.  Any threat should have to hurry to get to you.

Walk Serious.

Don't whistle a tune or talk on the phone.  Walk as if something has gone wrong and you are half angry.  Your appearance should have an intimidating Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry vibe, telling anyone "Go ahead, mess with me.  Make my night."

Ladies, you should look like you caught your ex cheating, with a vibe that says "Don't mess with me, I'll claw your eyes out."

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Credit: philly077; Getty Images; TSM Media Center

Don't Wear Earbuds or Headphones!  Don't Play Music off your Smartphone!

In the night, you will hear things from many yards away.  Head up and Listen.  The bad guy sees the ear pieces or hears the music, and he thinks you are not paying attention.  He would be correct, and he can then steal up on you.

Carry a Weapon

I don't necessarily mean a firearm, though you should.  Carry something you can use to protect yourself.  Pepper spray.  A knife.

My main suggestion is to be prepared for the walk so nothing bad happens to you.

Turns out, the largest hazard I found this early morning were bunny rabbits.

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