Covering Your Tracks

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by Aneye4theshot, Jan 21, 2016.

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  1. Aneye4theshot

    Aneye4theshot Expert Member

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    Covering your tracks can be an important measure during a time of survival. Survival is not always an accident; sometimes survival can be not wanting to be found. When it comes to covering your tracks, this is important so as not to lead somebody back to where you are when the situation of not wanting to be found is your priority. There are several different ways that you may cover your tracks so that people or whatever may be tracking you does not find you. One of the first things that you need to consider is what is tracking you. Is it animal or human? If it is a human that is tracking you, they will be using visual aids such as broken branches or footprints to help track the direction you are traveling.
    By backtracking and carefully selecting the terrain you go across you can help to make your trail less visible. There are also things you can do such as tying certain leaves to the bottom of your shoes or feet to alter what your prints look like which may throw off someone who is attempting to track you down. If an animal is tracking you the difficulty has increased because animals rely on more than visual aid; they also rely on the scent when tracking. By going through water or sometimes even doing the disgusting such as covering yourself with manure or other disgusting smells, animals will lose your trail. It is rumored that if you place bear manure around your shoes, it will deter other animals from tracking you. Apparently they think you are a bear and want nothing to do with you.
    Ricky Jeringan likes this.
  2. judyd1

    judyd1 New Member

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    Did you mention using a pine tree branch to "brush" away tracks. I've seen that in movies, but it might not be practical in real life, I would think that the brush strokes might give it away to the trained eye.
  3. remnant

    remnant Expert Member

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    There was a certain freedom movement in East Africa I have read about called the Mau Mau which used to disguise their tracks by wearing shoes altered to cover the soles infront rather than at the back. Their trackers had a hard time trying to figure this out. But animals have a sharp scent and I don't think there is much recourse in order to throw them off your tracks other than tying rags which have been soaked in paraffin to your shoes in order to obfuscate your scent.
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    I can imagine a scenario where you need to cover your tracks. You are a hostage in a kidnapping and able to escape your captors. Okay, what to do? It is obvious that I would be running away as far as I can and as fast as I can. Maybe I wouldn't mind much in covering my tracks because my objective is to achieve distance. But when I get to rest, for I couldn't run continuously, then that would be the time to realize that I have to be discreet with my tracks and I had to cover my footprint if needed. However, I don't think my tracks can be seen that clearly when we are in the woods particularly if there is no designated pathway. And from then on, after resting, I would be careful in walking to avoid stepping on the grass and plants.
  5. ZipMedia

    ZipMedia New Member

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    Part of the USAF Pararescue training involves tracking, and the techniques used to avoid being tracked. The simplest way you can do this is by locomotion on hard surfaces, such as rocks and such, that do not leave shoeprints. Disadvantages to this however are that rock cluster formations are more likely to be seen in a desert area than anywhere else.
  6. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

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    Covering your tracks is indeed a useful skill. I've actually practiced this with my father, who would take me out to track down the deer trails during hunting season. I never liked picking up a rifle, but I'm a mean tracker. We spent quite some time in the woods, learning how to spot and cover footprints and other signs of passing like ruffled leaves, bent branches and, in the case of animals, excrement. The way I learned to do it was to backtrack, changed the direction I'm walking, and repeat the same steps (as in doing a cha-cha in place to deliberately make my footprints look like a scuffle). You can also give false clues, like breaking branches that show you went one way when really you went in the opposite direction or leaving a shoe print in mud then moving away from that area.
  7. Toast

    Toast New Member

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    I think that it's always important to cover your tracks. You might not have been followed, but it's still; an important skill to have. You don't want someone to be able to track you if you need to get away. The only harm possible in covering your tracks, is if you need your tracks to get back to where you came from. If you have any navigation skill whatsoever though, that shouldn't be a problem. Anything to throw someone who's following you, off the trail, is an ideal thing to do. Make them think you went one way, giving them tough decisions, or covering them up all together is the best thing you can do. Also navigating into areas where your footprints won't show up is a good tactic.
  8. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member

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    Covering your tracks would be essential in certain survival situations. You may be on the run in order to save your life whilst being tracked by dogs and humans. The measures that you would have to adopt would be to disguise your scent that the dogs would not be able to track you and leave no tracks that the humans would be able to follow you by. One way of losing the dogs is to travel through a river or stream for a while and exiting on the opposite bank to buy yourself some time. Pertaining to the humans is to probably try wrapping your shoes to eliminate the shoe the shoeprints but some trackers are very skilled it may not be totally effective. I guess it may take a great deal of improvisation to survive this situation.
  9. tb65

    tb65 Active Member

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    These are some helpful tips. The trick using bear manure may stop even humans from wanting to track you also. I would still be on high alert worrying about a bear thinking I'm one of them and wanting to meet up by tracking the scent. I definitely agree it's best to cover your tracks if you don't want to be hunted and also have a weapon to defend yourself with.
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