My lesson of the day

Walking on a gravel path today, I walk by a guy sitting on a bench alone. As I pass him he makes no eye contact makes no indication he knew I was there. About ten feet past him I look back and he is getting up, coming my direction. A few seconds later I realize I can’t hear his foot steps behind me anymore so I look back, he’s still walking behind me, about 10-15 feet back. I purposely change my cadence and can hear his foot steps again. I don’t know if he purposely matched my cadence or subconsciously fell in line with my steps. Lesson learned, when listening for people coming up behind you, change your walking pattern, go from normal steps to shorter faster or longer slower steps, make it difficult for them to mirror your cadence while they close the distance behind you.
Walking - Listen for
Their cadence, is it rapid, like they are closing the distance.
The Sound, is it louder like it’s getting closer.
Change you line, move from one side of the path to the other, at random. Stay off the line so to speak.
Look over your shoulder, look in windows for reflections, pay attention to wildlife reactions.

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OK you sped up, you slowed down, you took short steps , you took long steps and then they we’re still 10 to 15 steps behind you, how did this change anything?

Or turn around and walk towards them…

I wouldn’t let someone fallow me like that.
I think constantly looking over your shoulder makes you look weak .

I’m too old to run or skip a way …

Edit,
Sometimes showing that you are unafraid
Is a better deterrence.

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I would pull out my phone, stop, and pretend to be talking to someone as I let them pass.

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I dunno, being aggressive to someone that is simply walking behind me on a public path doesn’t seem to be a good approach.

Or does it send the message, “I see you and I’m ready…”?

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To that same end,

What if they were just taking a break and are heading the same direction down the footpath?

Are you suspicious of the person behind you on the escalator because they’re going the same direction as you?

Good advice for situational awareness tho! No need to “sand walk” but changing ones cadence every now and then can help keep you aware of your surroundings!

Edit; I’m always suspicious of the person behind me….

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Or that You walked far enough, its time to go back.

Yea and your staggered steps and glances show strength.

Obviously, in his case, I didn’t do anything as they were still 10 to 15 steps behind him ,
Waiting for the opportunity.

In my opinion, standing on the side of the trail, waiting for them to catch up to you is no different than turning around and walking back down the trail.

This also takes away their opportunity to pick the spot where they’re going to do what they’re going to do if they’re going to do something

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Well, if you’re gonna change the scenario, what if you walked into an elevator and they followed you.?

But that’s not the scenario here or is the escalator

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Not an argument my friend. You turn and go back, I’ll continue on my merry way.

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Once they pass, it gives you the opportunity to follow them at a discreet distance.

Would you let somebody in a car follow you home?
( I mean, if we’re gonna modify the scenario)
If somebody is following you on a a trail would you let them follow you back to your car or follow you home?

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Yes, follow me if you’d like. You can actually legally do that. Just don’t mess with me.

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Then what’s the issue,
Why do the Biden shuffle , why look over your shoulder as they’re doing nothing wrong.

Agreed. His matching your pace is a pre-indicator. Turn the tables or at least let him know by action on your part that any interaction will be on your terms.

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What’s being aggressive, not showing fear?
it’s not like I said to pull your weapon and draw down on them.

Edit,
I didn’t say to verbally confront them or to confront them in anyway, I just said to turn around go the other way. if they turn around start following you again maybe you should take a more aggressive position,

If you have cell service maybe you report your situation.

Why bother with a phone? It ties up your hands.

Stopping and making eye contact with the person acting suspiciously is usually enough.

"I see you and I am not intimidated. "

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I’m not going to be agressive toward an unsuspecting innocent by nature. I can drop my cheap phone if there is a confrontation, or use it as a weapon. Also don’t want them to realize I’m ready for combat if required. Give them an opportunity to walk past.

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Let’s look at it from the other side.
You’re walking up a pathway in the woods, you are going slightly faster than the guy in front of you, as you approach he turns around and walks towards you, reaching for something in his pocket (you said phone). What would you do.

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Keep walking the other way.

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You just gave up your back, not a well thought out tactic.

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You hit on my response. I pull something out to look at, could be my phone or some random paper or receipt or me zipping open my sling back, step way off the line, facing out about sideways/90* but angled towards them a tiny bit, and give them an overt visual once-over the moment I have moved over and turned. Hands stay in front of me doing the thing, and my mental focus is on them.

Hands remove item from pocket before stopping.

This is for anytime someone is behind me and I get that feeling or whatever. So far they’ve either walked on by like normal, gone wide to give me space while checking me out as if they were avoiding me for being suspicious (win-win), or recognized what I was doing and changed themselves up. So a whole lot of nothing burgers, which is perfect

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I’ve done and still do quite a bit of mountaineering. These trails are dead end trails.
The trail starts at a trailhead and ends at the summit .
It is common to come across people walking up at a slower, speed and turning around in front of you and going back down , while reaching for their water bottle or??? .

I’m not paranoid enough to think every one of them is stocking me or poses a threat.

This is much different than having somebody who is only 10 to 15 feet behind you, matching your pace.

As for your last scenario again ,
By continuing the other way, you put more distance between you and them and if they don’t turn around and start following you again, and they were never a threat to begin with

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