Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mantracking - Stride Length and Using a Tracking Stick

I show how I use a tracking stick on the below short video. Sorry about the wind noise, but I think you'll be able to hear it.

I normally mark a print I find with a "U" around the outside of the heel so I can tell I've been on the track before, so tell someone who is following me that I'm on this track.

I sometimes use a tracking stick to measure normal stride length in order to find it again when I lose it, especially in hard ground. Once you are behind enough sign you'll get a feeling for the size of the foot gear that made the track; reading pressure release which combined with stride length and size footgear will give you an idea on speed, weight of the person and possible load he/she may be carrying; and in sometimes provide other clues such as if they are injured or tired, looking behind or up into the sky and other things as well.

A 1/2 inch 2 or 3 foot oak dowel makes a good tracking stick. You can use rubber bands tightly wrapped onto the stick or rubber grommets in order to have a movable point of reference for measuring tracks,...not just their stride length, but the width of the heel and the widest part (ball) of the print as well.

Eventually you'll get to where you do not use the tracking stick, but may perhaps use a piece of stick you find on the ground. I have even carried a 2 foot tape measure to precisely measure the print for future positive identification.

Tracking on Horseback sometimes provides a better perspective on the sign, unless the Sun is directly overhead. Sometimes you'll need to dismount and look more closely at the sign to determine what you think you are seeing.

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