There is no shortage of human tracking devices in today’s world. The market is filled with them. But, for these devices to work, special infrastructure has to be setup and it needs to work.
Maybe you need to find someone who is lost in wilderness, maybe you need to find your way back to the home or maybe you need to track your enemies etc. Many people today rely on GPS tracking devices to locate other persons or to find their way around an area. Anyway, that GPS tracking devices works, a satellite based system has to be put in place miles away in space, but what happens if these satellites stop working? Tracking could be done also using cellular network, but it’s even more vulnerable than satellites. Malfunction could be caused for example by enemy attack or EMP from the Sun. Furthermore, technical gadgets requires that target person carries for example a GPS tracker, or that tracking functionality is enabled on a smart phone etc. Obviously those are not always possible.
It goes without saying, if the satellites or mobile network go offline, tracking devices become completely useless. Technology is great, but you know how frustrating and infuriating it is when devices suddenly stops functioning, and how helpless you feel if you don’t have any skills to perform the task alternative ways.
Therefore, it is important to learn a few tracking skills. If you are in the woods and you need to track someone, how can you do that without the help of a GPS tracking device or smartphone? Let’s take a look on some strategies to get you started.
Always look out for signs and clues
Your mind and your eyes are your main tools when you are looking out for clues and signs. You need to observe everything around you carefully for any kind of tracks and clues. Keep an eye out for broken branches, handprints, footprints, discarded clothing, and any trash laying around. These elements can give you some guidance.
You should also learn how to interpret your observations. Here is where your mind becomes your most powerful tool. Interpreting signs is not an easy thing, but with practice, you can actually become an expert.
Signs can tell you all sorts of things, like the direction the person you are tracking is headed and even how long the person stayed in a particular place. It is all about observation and correctly interpreting those observations. Besides that, you need to be patient, persistent and determined.
Analyzing prints is a great way technique if you know how to do it correctly. Footprints can tell what direction the person is heading and how fast they are walking. They can also tell you if the person is alone or not.
Footprints can also help you identify the sex of a person. By analyzing the shape and size of the footprint you can be able to tell if it’s a male or female footprint.
Pay attention to your environment
Study and know the environment where you plan on doing the tracking. Pay attention to everything including the wildlife, the plants, and the geographical features in the area. Every single detail will give you a better understanding of what you are dealing with. You should also pay keen attention to any potential dangers. For instance, if you are in Grizzly bear territory, you need to be extremely cautious.
Also, look out for a source of water because many people tend to follow a river or camp near a water source. You may find some clues near the water source that may direct you in the direction the person you are tracking is headed.
Use animals signs
As mentioned before, every sign and clue can be extremely helpful including animal signs. Pay attention to the animals around. Many insects often avoid humans. If you find that there is no animal life in a particular place, it could be that a human has been there. This may not always be the case, the lack of animal life in the area could be because of something else altogether; nevertheless, it is a great tracking strategy to use.
Other helpful human tracking tricks without GPS
Before you embark on your tracking expedition, ensure that you have properly prepared. Pack all the essential gear including, water, food, first-aid kit, sleeping bag and anything else that you feel you may need. It may also be wise to carry a weapon especially when you are not sure what kind of danger you could be faced with.
Tracking often takes time and energy; therefore, make sure that before you start tracking, you are well hydrated and fed. Make sure to also carry a pen and a notebook or a device that can you can use to record information, such as weather patterns and any other observations. It may be a good idea to pack a camera or a smartphone to take pictures whenever necessary.
If the area is unfamiliar to you, get a local guide to accompany you or a local who knows the area well. Locals know the terrain, vegetation, wildlife and the weather conditions of the area better.
When tracking, be alert and most importantly, stay silent. This can protect you from getting bushwhacked and you are also able to hear noises more clearly. Listening silently can help you distinguish the different noises you hear. If you are tracking as a group, use hand signals to communicate. Don’t forget that human sounds scare away animals. You also want to avoid getting attacked by an animal or another human being by staying as silent as you can.
Human tracking tips
- When you are looking around for signs and clues, you want to be thorough. Climb a tree or get to an elevated ground and look around for anything that can be of help.
- Use all your senses, including your smell senses to see if you can catch a whiff of anything that may be associated with a human.
- Keep track of your own tracks and hide them if necessary. This trick is useful if you are tracking a dangerous individual and you want to avoid being tracked by the person. Change your shoes now and again to throw off any one who may be tracking you.
- Identify your position. You can use pieces broken branches or rocks to indicate your location and direction. Keep track of the direction you came from, your position and where you are headed.
Learn more about tracking humans in wilderness
Best way to learn track human is wilderness without technical gadgets is to get some good handbook about the subject, and then go out and practice trackin skills in the nature. Below are some excellent book you can read to learn a lot more about human tracking.