Frantically updated as I run across into new stuff, this list is intended to be an invitation. Not all the movies here mentioned are masterpiece or what, they just contain some scenes (good or bad reconstructions, it depends) based on Tracking.
Enjoy and please write me pm or leave a comment if you have some other good titles. I’m hungry for that!
In my personal experience as a student of Tracking, in quite every book I’ve read I’ve run across the amount of importance light has in Tracking. Not only daylight I mean. To the most of people, Tracking during the darkness should be an oxymoron. How could you think to follow tracks when it’s night? How could you even dare to consider it?
But the night shouldn’t be an abnegation.
You can track. Simply. In certain cases, you must track. Because you are in a manhunt, or you are taking part to a SAR Team, looking for a missing person. Because you are a Tracker, not “a part time one”.
For this specific reason, the use of extra tools (to your eyes and mind) to accomplish your mission should be a consistent idea.
Two years ago I’ve purchased a P7 Torch by Led Lenser in an effort to start a night training.
Let me be honest. I don’t have any endorsement from Led Lenser. They never shared any of my post on Instagram or Facebook. They don’t even know that I exist! I’ve just made my choice considering the price and the four lights available inside the torch. Easy peasy.
Then I’ve tested it a lot during some dirty time, with different nuances of darkness. From shades to dark night, frantically changing the colors, trying to following the suggestions I’ve earned from all the books I’ve studied (you can find them here): blu is great for tracks in snow, red tends to make the vision of the tracks blurry, white is good but green is even better.
Below you can find the set of photos I’ve taken enhancing the same track with the different lights on disposal.
As you can notice by yourself, white light works great with this kind of terrain. Second place goes to green light. Blue’s kinda disaster. The rank could change drastically with a completely different kind of terrain and scenario. Infact, my fave light color has always been the green one, and see how it failed this time.
Titling the post, I’ve used the word “enhancing” on purpose. Even if this bulky torch works good, it cannot be a substitute for your eyes. You have to handle it in the right way not to only to enhance track, but also to detect them, bearing in mind the Golden Rule: STY [Sun-Track-You]. Keeping the track always between you and the source of light.
A crucial part in Tracking is played by observation of every detail which happens to be “out of order” in Nature. In fact, the gait of a person walking in a forest, for example, not only determines his presence in it, but it does also alterate the natural state of that particular kind of environment. What you may notice is sistematically coeherent with Tracking. There are disturbances, primarily on the ground, and then again, possibly, on trees or, onward, on the bush which can border that forest.
You pretty much come in contact with every single detail which is “out-of-order”. But it isn’t so simple to detect them.
As “practice makes perfect“, experience and costant, frantic training are essential when it comes to Tracking.
In “Training in Tracking” by Gilcraft (that you can easily download HERE, the Author highly recommends the practice of Kim’s Game in order to enhance not only your observation, but also your abilities in Tracking.
Worlwide Kim’s Game has been very popular among Scouts: beyond that, you will find in it an utter aid to your personal training development and accretion of your natural awareness.
Visualization is not seeing. “When you sees something, the retina captures the image and transmits it to the brain, where the image is elaborated”, quoting JC Nash’s ETA Program. So your mind needs a proper time to understand what has been seen and puts it into the “right category” inside the mental data base. It’s a a sort of passive process, where you don’t even get consciousness of.
By the other way, Visualization plays a crucial role in Tracking. When you track, you have this precise image in your mind about what kind of signs you will run across into a certain scenario and with a particular medium. You kinda know what you expect for. We could quite say that you “visualize” in your mind prior the tracks, and the whole trail (trackline) too. Then you check the terrain for confirmable evidence. Working with your mind and not only with your eyes will make you a better observer first, second a good Tracker. When I was attending the Tactical Acuity Class in Virginia, JC Nash and Mike Hull often said “Guys, you have to think outside the box”, mainly referred to some exercises hold into the tracking pit.
That’s the precise reason you must consider what your mind tells you throughout visualization.
If the examination involves a photographed tire impression, many things can affect the dimensional accuracy of that photograph. If the camera’s film plane (back) is not perfectly parallel to the impression, then the photograph will have a perspective problem that can affect the ability to accurately enlarge the photograph of the impression to its natural size. This type of problem usually occurs due to errors in photographic procedure. Another problem commonly encountered occurs when the scale (ruler) is not placed on the same exact plane (level) as the bottom of a three-dimensional tire impression or when the ruler is resting on the ground at an angle. If the ruler is not on the same plane and parallel with the bottom of the impression, an accurate enlargement will not be possible. Photographic procedural errors often result in limited examination results. Casts can resolve these problems, but unfortunately some impressions are only photographically recorded and thus the examination must rely on those photographs alone […]”
Tracking is about training. There’s no chance to become a good Tracker if you do not vote yourself to training, to dirt time. With any given terrain, scenario, weather.
Get used to what you look for. Analyze what you see, look for any damage in the vegetation caused by human passage. Take note of everything you notice. Take note of every single details. Compare any track you come across with yours, as Rob Speiden recommends. Don’t desperate if you lose the tracks. Everyone does. Use your logic to determine the next one and search for confirmation.