Over the years tracking has been shown to be a very effective technique in locating lost persons. Tracking (sign cutting) is the step by step following of a person. Trackers look for clues like footprints, damaged plants, and disrupted soil. Often trackers will start where the subject was last known to be and can provide valuable information about which direction they may have been travelling. Looking for clues to know where to start tracking is called “sign cutting”. It takes training, determination and hundreds of hours of practice to become a skilled tracker.
Prince George Search and Rescue has a tracking team which regularly trains to develop and keep skills up to date.
Campbell River Search and Rescue is currently developing their tracking team, with a number of our members attending regular training courses to develop their skills. To become certified, members take tracking courses offered through the BC Tracking Associated to become “Track Aware”, “Tracker”, “Advanced Tracker”, then “Sign Cutter”.
By analyzing the footprints and other sign left behind, trained trackers can determine a direction of travel and even follow the track of an individual across varied terrain.