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Google TechTalk: Survival

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posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 06:15 PM

Google Video Link

I'm watching it right now, he brings up a good point early on about noticing terrain changes and turning around and studying the trail behind you. I've always done this every time i passed a section where the trail was faint, or after emerging into an open area from a wooded or bush area, when dropping into washes,or when the trail crosses slickrock or riverbeds.

Another technique i use is scratching notes on the ground with my staff, as well as building small cairns, or hanging low growing plant branches up high on an oak branch, basically leaving something out of place. Wedging an agave stalk in some rocks upside down makes a distinctive flag when it comes to marking a tributary wash. Recently I was descending down a wash that led down into the main canyon, and when i got to the main wash, which is several hundred feet wide, the 50-75' wash that i had just emerged from was nearly invisible from the main wash. I took a break, built a cairn, explored the area a bit, dug for water, left tracks, and practiced walking back into and out of the path that i'd need to take from a few hundred yards up the wash, looking at all the distinguishing features, and what trees grow where and noting it, i knew i'd have no problem knowing exactly how to get back into the wash and up to the main ridgeline and saddle that drops into my canyon.

Many times whether on bike or on foot, following my own tracks and sign has got me reoriented.


posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 02:07 AM
You're better off by learning to navigate without any manmade marks, it's easy enough for any half decent recon team to track you without tour help. So in a Sit-X i strongly advice against that practise.


posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 03:21 AM
True, but when you're not being tracked, you needn't worry about leaving "evidence". Also false telltales can hinder a search if done right, and if a pursuer is misled you buy time or tactical advantage.

Another thing I do is poke holes in soft stuff with my staff as i walk to ensure an additional "bread crumb trail" I'd be easy to track until i go into stealth mode and leave no trace. Then, good luck, i'll be watching my pursuers follow my "trail" onto bad ground, such as into a dead end canyon filled with thick spiny stuff.

I'm speaking in the context of wanting to backtrack your route defintively, and also as a trail for SAR to follow should one go missing while solo hiking.

IDK about most of you, but I do everything solo. Nobody's stupid enough to follow me where i go, even athletic hikers complain about being brought on a death march when i stick to trails, and i hate waiting for noisy people with lights to crash through the bush cursing thorns and bugs, and whining about "where's the trail?" When i go out into nature, i go INTO nature, low crawling through underbrush, ascending the steepest sections to cover more vertical quickly, climbing waterfalls and rocks, going places that no beer can has ever been thrown or trace of modern humans can be found. I do find Petroglyphs, worked stone, ancient cairns, as well as old mines and mining campsites from the 19th and early 20th century.

On occasion a couple of close friends who can really hang are allowed to come hiking with me, one is a veteran marathon trail runner from Colorado, the other a native of the mountain i live on who will show me how to jump down a 20' waterfall into the silt pile any day or night, and is perfectly content with plowing through acacia or running up talus slopes and fast trail running.

But for the most part, i'm on my own when i'm out, and nobody knows i'm gone so leaving a good trail is a cheap insurance policy should i be missing for a few days.

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