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.
It’s MOA vs. MILs in a way that easily understood, but you HOGs don’t get agitated. Like we said, it’s simple.
Crimson Trace published a reticle guide not too long ago, explaining all the different reticles available on their line of rifle scopes. They have 8 different reticles for their rifle scopes (and some of their electronic sights), each intended for “specific applications”. All of their scopes are FFP (First Focal Plane) scaling to make holdover easier, by the way.
Anyway, what brought that guide to our attention was an email they sent out explaining MIL vs MOA. It’s short but sweet. Check it out.
MOA vs. MIL
Crimson Trace explains as follows:
Choosing between an MOA and MIL reticle can be difficult. Here’s some info you might want when shopping for your next Crimson Trace scope.
I like a good cigar or pipe smoke once in a while, but I don’t usually carry any (the pipe anyway) with me because I hadn’t gotten around to getting a good pouch for it. Reeder gave me a pipe from Morgan Pipes years ago, seems like a shame to leave it at home all the time.
Happily, Dave “Norseman” Williams (many of you will recognize the name, especially gyrenes from the Scout Sniper community) and his wife Angel make just such a pouch and sell it in their online store, “Survival Hardware LLC”. Actually, I think Norseman does the patterning and Angel actually makes them, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, this is the Survival Hardware handmade leather tobacco pouch. They call it the “baccy pouch” for obvious reasons.
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.
We’re interested in gear like this for several reasons, mostly in the context of “combat tracking” operations (or tactical tracking, or whatever term you prefer). The best armor for a follow-up is a switched-on team and no armor most times, but that’s not always an option, especially in the military. It’s hard enough to get up and down mountains or through difficult terrain in all the armor Marines and Soldiers are required to wear, much less trying to do so while also cutting and reading sign.
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).