Our SAR unit is very lucky to have a member who is an excellent tracker. He has spent years studying on his own taking tracking courses, but most importantly he practices regularly. Jed Hart gave a "Track Awareness" lecture and field demonstration for the evening's SAR training before the monthly meeting last Thursday.
Today he had set up two field scenarios for us track. There were two "abandoned" vehicles in the field at the end of Tech Way. Two teams of 4 set out to find tracks the drivers tracks and follow them. This was a more realistic and difficult exercise than last year's where we ended up finding out that we actually could find burnt match heads in brush after we practiced a series of exercises to make us more alert to very subtle clues. These exercises really are convincing that, with some training, we all can see soooo much more on the ground than we usualy register. Jed is a generous teacher and very patient—just excellent at sharing his enthusiasum and experience in a very postitve way.
The day got hot. After both teams succeed (with a little help, but not much!), we concluded our session seeing that we could actually find fresh human tracks in the dark vehicle barn on a cement surface. Pretty amazing!