A tracking stick is a useful tool for helping to locate the next track when you can’t see it. In this exercise, you’ll find or fashion one and use it.
Here’s how it works:
As you go along the trail, is the distance between the tracks relatively consistent? If yes, then:
If “no” to the question after #5, then look at the trail for patterns of tracks. Are two of the tracks regularly appearing as a pair? Do the patterns appear to be in 3s or 4s? Patterns of 3 apparent tracks are common patterns, but the middle “track” may actually be two tracks with one on top of the other.
The tracking stick can be used between groups of tracks. Be sure, in that case, to measure either:
If the tracks are not regularly spaced (for which we measured in the first series) and also are not in clusters that you can identify as similar patterns (for which we measure in the second series), then move on to another trail or another part of the same trail, looking for regularly spaced tracks or similarly patterned clusters of tracks.
When you can, use a tracking stick to locate hard-to-see tracks. If you don’t have any luck the first time you use it, try it again in another situation. When you complete today's journal, please make a note of whether you found tracks by using the tracking stick. Also, did using the stick help you become aware of the track patterns on the ground? Did you find them confusing? Did you see clear, repeating patterns?
© Nate Harvey, 2015