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An Introduction To Tracking

Tracking is a crucial survival tool because it helps you to gather food. Water, carbs and proteins can be located by tracking and understanding the animals and their hidden paths called game trails.

What Is a Tracker

A tracker is a reader of signs. A sign is a clue that talks about who left the clue.
A tracker requires just few light bits of information from the surroundings and, by deduction and comparison with previous experience, recognizes paths.

In remote areas, a tracker has the ability to discover the game trails and is able to follow them from their sleeping areas to their feeding locations, where trapping is simpler.
When tracking game near to civilization, man-made boundaries like fences and irrigation ditches, pushes game through bottlenecks, making them easier to follow.

In order to be a tracker you should have specific attributes:

  • intense observation skills
  • excellent knowledge of nature
  • memory
  • patience
  • determination

Tips: How to Look

  • Search the ground out to 4 meters until a trail is found.
  • Move head and eyes from side to side, back and forth.
  • Look through the vegetation and the undergrowth, not at it.
  • Observe as close to ground level as possible.
  • Try to keep the sign between you and and the light source.

Don’t See, Observe!

For tracking, a general ability to see isn’t sufficient. You have to synthesize information and be able to put details together, just like Sherlock Holmes, and make a story about what has happened. If you are patient, determined and continuously questions your personal hypotheses, you’ll stay ahead of your quarry.

Your First Tracking Exercise

The very first skill of tracking is the most essential one: sign awareness. There isn’t any magic formula to develop this skill. Each day search for and pay attention to any kind of signs such as tracks, fingerprints, footprints, tracks, and so forth. As you walk along a sidewalk, look for coins and other dropped items. With persistency you will learn to spot the fine features of sign everywhere. When that occurs, you are ready to become a tracker.