Introducing Kyt Lyn Walken
Kyt Lyn Walken is a survival and tracking expert. She is an official representative and instructor at Hull’s Tracking School, a school that teaches law enforcement and military personnel visual tracking skills. Additionally, Kyt is a conservation ranger certified by the Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide (C.R.O.W.) While based in Europe, Kyt travels the world and publishes her knowledge in global media outlets. Given her heavy workload, I was glad to have the opportunity to speak with Kyt about mantracking, survival, and bushcraft. Below is the interview transcript:
How Kyt Lyn Walken Got Started Tracking
Bob: You are a tracking expert and instruct others about the ancient art. What sparked your interest in tracking? What ultimately led you to the Hull Tracking School, where you now teach?
Kyt: The interest for this Art indeed has deep roots. Back to my childhood, I can truly say that my dad played a huge role in that. In fact, he kind of forced me to watch tons of Western movies! At the end, I was totally fascinated by the Indian Scouts and their ability to read the terrain to gain intelligence about the enemy. Later on, when my former fiance introduced me to survival and prepping, I thought the time to learn this Art has finally come. Therefore, I took part in some classes by David Scott Donelan Tracking School – European Division before moving to Virginia in 2017, where I eventually attended one-week course in Tactical Acuity for C-IED led by Master Trackers David Michael Hull and Cornelius Nash.
Mike has been my Mentor since the very first moment we met. Spreading his teachings in classes I teach all over Europe is undoubtedly a privilege. I run courses in different European Countries – Italy, Spain, U.K., Germany, The Netherlands, France, Denmark – and I am heading to South America too.
Kyt’s Path to Prepping
Bob: Tracking, while incredibly important for law enforcement and military personnel, is also an important skill for preppers. In your post about female preppers, you stated that your fiance helped you get interested in prepping. Can you expand on that? How’d he get you down the prepping path? Was the transition from tracking to prepping a natural one?
Kyt Lyn Walken: I consider tracking an essential skill for preppers and prepping an essential skill for trackers. Reading and following tracks has a tremendous impact in our everyday lives. It surely helps your mind to become more inquisitive, to reason more accurately and in a more systematic manner. This actually happened to me when I started to do that back in the day. My fiance introduced me to prepping around 2012. At that time, I had absolutely no idea of what it meant “to be prepared.” He showed me some websites, videos on YouTube, and we grabbed a lot of good books like Cody Lundin’s. I can state that my transition to become a female prepper was moved not by the will to please him, as sometimes happens, but the true desire to know more about how to face a possible SHTF event.
Bob: Tracking is undoubtedly an important skill to have. Now that everyone is attached to his or her phone, I imagine that tracking is becoming a lost art. What type of people typically attend your courses? Do you find that now that the world is becoming a bit more dangerous, there’s an increased interest in tracking?
Kyt Lyn Walken: Sadly, more technology means decay for primitive Arts. Nonetheless, we are all seeing a comeback in style of handcraft and primordial skills. I am referring to bushcraft, land navigation, foraging, and tracking. It is essential that we keep these skills alive. “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is still a relevant phrase. People who attend to my classes have very different backgrounds. They are law enforcement, army special forces, search and rescue volunteers, and also civilians who just happened to realize the importance of applying tracking in any outdoor or indoor scenario.
Being able to read and follow your own tracks, for example, can actually make the difference between life and death.
Bob: Like all important skills, I presume tracking takes a lot of practice. What essential aspects of tracking do you suggest your students start with? To get the basics, what should those interested in tracking start with?
Kyt Lyn Walken: Basics are always necessary. As the legendary tracker AB Taylor used to say, you cannot jump out of the bed one day and decide you are a tracker. It doesn’t work that way.
You need to attend to some classes and be monitored by professionals who can drive you to correct your mistakes. Then, go out in the field for hours and in different kinds of terrains. Experience in tracking can be gained only by training in different weather conditions, through physical and mental fatigue, and in various scenarios.
Bob: The majority of Bunker Basics readers are based in the US. That said, many worries that Americans have are shared by those in Europe. From the coronavirus response to government incompetence, major problems remain the same across the globe. What do you find is a primary concern among preppers in Europe?
Kyt Lyn Walken: Indeed, there are disparities and inequalities in terms of managing the global situation. As I often say, being in the European Union doesn’t mean we’re united. We aren’t. At all. Each government remained stuck to a precise line of rhetoric, without noticing the traumatic economic consequences.
Bob: Do you think Americans can learn something from preppers in Europe? What are Europeans preparing for that Americans should focus on?
Kyt Lyn Walken: I could share the great examples given by our grandfathers and grandmothers during WWI and WWII. They were amazing preppers, and they really knew their stuff when it came to defending themselves, foraging for herbs, stockpiling food, processing meat, and even covering their own tracks in order to escape. I guess the major difference these days is that Europe entered very tough times. It was more united back then than it is today.
Kyt on Conservation
Bob: You’re a certified conservation ranger for C.R.O.W. As an animal lover, I find conservation to be incredibly important. What inspired you to help anti-poaching and conservation efforts across the world?
Kyt Lyn Walken: The urgent need to preserve wildlife from the plague of poaching. The list of endangered species in increasing day after day. It’s caused by pollution, over-logging, and so on. Animals have no voice. And I wanted to do my part to better guarantee a future for this planet, which of course by preserving biodiversity.
Bob: Unfortunately, due to climate change, our the world’s biodiversity is declining. Do you find that conservation is an uphill battle? Are there successes that you’re particularly proud of?
Kyt Lyn Walken: Unfortunately, it is. Surely the spread of this pandemic decreased the demand for wild animal parts from Far East Market. But we are struggling. Every time we run across a snare without any animal trapped in, it is a success. It means we prevent a crime!
Bob: Between Hull’s Tracking School, C.R.O.W., and the many media outlets you’ve been published in, you’ve encountered a ton of preppers and survivalists. Have you had any mentors or primary influences over the years? How have they helped you become the expert tracker and prepper you are today?
Kyt Lyn Walken: As mentioned before, Mike Hull is my mentor. He was the first one to believe in me, in my dedication and commitment, and I will be eternally grateful to him for that. Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide Chief Instructor and Executive Director Andy Martin was so happy to certify me as the first Female Ranger for this NGO. For this reason I will never let him down.
Besides them, I am lucky to have so many supporters all around the world, like Joel Lambert (former Navy SEAL, starring in the Manhunt TV series) and a lot of guys on field from Special Forces, who were my students. I am deeply honored to train them.
Staying Current with Kyt
Bob: You’re active across social media and continually contribute content to the prepper community. How can people follow you and stay up to date?
Kyt Lyn Walken: My website, www.thewayoftracking.com, is a platform where people can stay updated on the upcoming classes and events. Also, it contains several documents, books, interviews and my articles that can be downloaded for free. At the bottom of the main page, you can purchase my books, which are available in English or Spanish. I have a channel on YouTube and an Instagram page.
Bob: Kyt, I really enjoyed getting to learn about tracking and survival from you. I love what you’re doing for the planet with your conservation efforts as well. Thanks so much for your time and your contributions to the community.
Kyt Lyn Walken: My honor, Bob! Keeping this community alive, informed, and sharing knowledge are all things I truly believe in.