We’re often asked by people looking to purchase a quality everyday knife, the ubiquitous question “What’s the best EDC knife choice for me?”
If you’ve studied the art and science of tracking, you’re aware of how effective it can be in a combat environment. Specifically, in this instance we’re talking about the actual the cutting of sign and running bad guys into the ground or killing them, vs. how effective tracking is at training situational awareness. Several modern militaries (in this case, we’ll define “modern” as post-WWII) have historically employed trackers more effectively and consistently than others.
Among the very best of those were the Rhodesians. Students of tracking (and irregular or counterinsurgency warfare in general) will recognize names like Selous Scouts, Tracker Combat Unit, Gray’s Scouts, C Squadron SAS, RLI/RAR, and others. Usually, even those who’ve studied the Rhodesian Bush War think of those trackers as older, seasoned soldiers or SOF troops.
However, the ability to track was far more endemic to the Rhodesians than that.
The following is an excerpt from the memoirs of decorated Rhodesian helicopter pilot Mike Borlace.
In simplest terms, sign interpretation (“reading spoor”) is the process of identifying and interpreting marks and impressions left on the ground and changes to the natural state in order to recreate the actions that took place in a certain area. It is an essential skill for the mantracker.
The Sydney Living Museum recently released an excellent article on the equipment of the day: Troopers, Trackers, Bushrangers, and their weapons. While it’s focused on weapons rather than tracking, trailing, or track interpretation, it’s still an interesting read (and watch).