Thursday, November 22, 2007

Starting Out Tracking

I've been reading both some of Pablo's posts on tracking and Jon's Exmoor blog Tracks4life and I've been encouraged to make my first forays in this area of woodcraft.
Although I'm largely waiting for the snow to arrive to give me a nice blank canvas to play with I've also had a go at a couple of things already.
I did manage to follow a set of dog prints into the park for a few metres the other day but lost them when he hit the concrete path. I've also been trying to keep an ear out for the warning cries of birds to give me a clue as to what they see going on.
As is usual for me though I've hit the books to try to find some answers. In this case The Way of the Scout and Animal Signs and Tracks. It is kind of hard to offer an insight into the two books until I get more in the way of the mythical "dirt time" though!


Pablo said...

Watch it Sam! Tracking may just take over your life!

Jon said...

Sam. Dirt time is vital to hone your tracking skills but having fun with it is very important too! Don't get too bogged down in Tom Brown's pressure releases because they are open to debate (long story).

Often, when tracking, you are looking for compression shapes rather than actual tracks. Once you can see these shapes you are well on the way to tracking more effectively!

sam_acw said...

It wasn't the pressure releases that really caught my imagination (sounded rather advanced) but the concentric circles - the idea of events causing reactions that ripple out.
It has already made me pay more attention to bird calls and I like thinking of what causes things to happen.

Jon said...

Concentric cirlces and bird language do really work! They can give you huge clues as to what might be round the corner or a mile down the valley.

It works best if your own concentric circles are very small so that you can rule out you causing the disturbance.