How to Dip

Two Methods:Maintaining VigilanceTaking Action

Dipping is the fine art of running away from some sort of mayhem that you have just caused. Whether you crashed your sister's birthday party or set off fireworks in the middle of the road, it helps to be able to dip at a moment's notice. Read these steps to learn how to dip skilfully and quickly.

See How to Dip Smokeless Tobacco for another interpretation of this title.

Method 1
Maintaining Vigilance

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    Pick your battles. As the instigator of your prank, you have the power to choose a time and place for it. Some choices are better than others if you want to dip out successfully.
    • Go at night. People hate running at night, and are unlikely to follow you nearly as far. In addition, it is much easier to hide at night, regardless of your location.
    • Choose a safe target. It might be tempting to pull a prank on the crazy guy in the wheelchair who was threatening to shoot you at the supermarket yesterday, but it's not very wise. There's no way of knowing if he'll actually come out shooting, or unleash a big angry dog on you. Instead, pick people you think will be able to roll with the punches and get over what you do to them.
    • Preserve the element of surprise. Don't go into a situation where you or your plan will stick out like a sore thumb. Try to do things so that nobody knows what you're up to until the last possible moment.
      • Try a prank from a moving car. Your target won't know what hit them until you're long gone.
      • Don't tell anyone about your plan unless they're a part of it. You never know who your ideas will get back to.
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    Pay attention. As you engage in whatever enjoyable foolishness you've decided to pursue, remember that you may need to dip at a moment's notice.
    • If you have an audience, gauge their reactions. If you're doing something without the target's knowledge, keep your eyes open for signs that he or she has noticed you're up to something.
    • Make a mental note of the landscape. Continue to scan it as you go about your “business.” Identify likely escape routes and alternates, as well as places to avoid.
      • If you're outside, remember to note the positions of any cars, bicycles, or other modes of transport that will beat you in a race. Plan to dip where they can't easily follow.
      • If the shenanigans are happening indoors, be sure to keep a clear line between you and the nearest exit. If you can't, at least have a route to the exit planned. Don't choose the wrong door or you might end up locked in a closet with half a dozen angry people pounding on the door.
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    Stay tense. Put a few steps between yourself and the center of the action if anything seems to be happening. This will help you escape as quickly as possible.
    • If you're with a group of friends, they will benefit from your taking the time to find good escape routes as you lead the way.
    • If you bolt and it's a false alarm, don't feel embarrassed. It's better to be jumpy and get away clean than it is to laugh in the face of danger and get grounded or worse.

Method 2
Taking Action

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    Let your friends know. If you're part of a group, yell “dip!” as soon as you see that you're about to get into some trouble. This will signal them to scatter so that nobody gets caught flat-footed and has to endure the brunt of the punishment.
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    Spring into action. Force all the nervous tension in your body into your legs and arms, and sprint like a bat out of hell. More often than not, your target will give up chasing you after only a few seconds, but keep up your sprint for 30 seconds or more and get some distance before you slow down and look behind you.
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    Run numbers while you run. How many people are after you? How many are focused on you specifically, rather than your friends? Being aware of such things will help you think on your feet and make smart decisions during the heat of the chase.
    • If you're being chased, glance back and try to gauge how fast the person chasing you is. Make adjustments based on what you see.
      • Outrun larger pursuers by clambering over rough terrain.
      • Outwit faster pursuers by getting out of their line of sight and hiding somewhere they aren't likely to look. Be sure to have an escape route ready in case they see you.
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    Rely on every tool at your disposal. Now is the time for lateral thinking and resource exploitation. Do whatever you can to get away clean.
    • Use the terrain to your advantage. In an outdoor situation, pursuers often discount just how effectively simple things like an elevation change or a large rock can hide a person.
      • On a forested hill, sprint horizontally out of sight and then turn sharply and run as high up the hill as you can. Take refuge behind a bush or tree and watch as the person chasing you continues slowly working his or her way down the hill.
      • On a creek, drop to the floor of the ravine and cross the creek on foot. Few people are willing to follow a mischief maker through cold, running water.
      • In a rocky area, hide behind a large boulder and listen. If your pursuer seems to be getting close to you, move slowly away from the side of the rock they are likely to pass by, and continue around as they move.
      • In town, few things beat the classic “run through other people's back yards” maneuver. Just be sure you know where the guard dogs live before you start jumping fences.
    • Have transportation waiting. If you're in a situation with no likely way to escape on foot, have a friend waiting nearby with a car. Keep its lights off and its engine running.
      • Don't forget to do your friend a favor later. You owe him or her big time.
      • Alternatively, hide your bicycle somewhere nearby and run to it instead. Remember, you'll have to leave it unlocked to use it as an escape vehicle, so hide it somewhere it won't get stolen.
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    Relax and have a good laugh. You pulled off something audacious and got out in one piece.


  • Keep your stride light and high when you run, to avoid tripping or turning your ankle.
  • If you get caught, be apologetic and try to explain yourself calmly. Don't laugh if you can help it, even if it's a funny situation. With luck, you'll get off with a stern talking-to.


  • Keep your pranks above board. You're not a cruel jerk, you're just a free spirit who wants to have a good laugh. Don't torment anyone or anything, don't steal (especially from children), and don't cause wanton property damage.
  • Never bring a weapon along, even for self-defense. People won't act as rationally if they see you carrying a softball bat as you run away. They may bring out weapons of their own to even the odds before they chase you, which is bad news for everyone.
  • Do your utmost to keep the police out of it. It is possible to elude the cops, but if they catch you you'll get into a lot more trouble than you would with anyone else. The excitement of a police chase isn't worth the lousy odds of escaping without a stiff fine.

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Categories: Self Defense