The most difficult conditions for orienting and finding the road to housing arise when an accident or catastrophe occurred in a completely unfamiliar area and in another climatic and natural zone. In this case, slightly different rules for finding and finding the right path.
Features of movement in non-populated areas, rules for finding and finding the right path, search for landmarks.
Therefore, after orienting ourselves on the terrain, we determined the sides of the horizon and at least approximately imagined in which part of the world, region and country you are (using for this basic elemental knowledge in geography the terrain, type of vegetation, etc.), choose the direction of movement. At the beginning of the movement, it is advisable to choose in front of you two clearly visible landmarks lying as far as possible along the course of your movement and approaching the first of them, outline the third, approaching the second, outline the fourth and so on.
terrain. The path trodden by man, even in the most impassable, often differs from the bestial one. Although very often animals use the human pathway, especially ruminants. The most important difference between an animal trail and a man’s one is the location of the branches. The branch beats in the face, the belt leave the path. This is the path of the beast, it will not lead to human habitation.
Search, read and identify traces.
The trails are well imprinted in wet areas and can completely disappear on dry stony. The trail of a man or a horseman, as well as the trail of a large beast, can be identified without a path along the sakma. Sakma is a strip of grass with leaves removed from its normal position, and therefore stands out with its color, often lighter than the surrounding herbs and leaves. In small bushes (yernik), sakma is indicated by leaves turned upside down or towards the walking one and therefore stand out sharply with their light green color against a dark green background. In autumn, when the leaves from the bushes fall off, the sakma is somewhat darker than the surrounding bushes..
In the forest, animals and people also flip low-growing leaves and twigs on bushes and trees, sometimes even damaging the bark. Traces of people and animals can also be identified by broken branches, crushed rotten branches, upturned and shifted stones, moss pulled off. Worse traces are visible in crushed stone deserts, on bare stone placers without lichens and moss, on river pebbles and reindeer moss areas of dry moraines, where reindeer moss is very low and strong. But here, an attentive look can reveal a shifted stone or the imprint of a trace on soft soil between the stones.
The search for traces is necessary for the correct choice of a path, a possible meeting with a hunter, a local resident or identifying your own trail. Which indicates pointless walking in a circle. In winter, of course, the search for traces is simplified, as they are clearly visible. But, in order not to confuse the footprints of a man and a bear in the snow, you need to know that a man puts his heels inward, his toes outward, and the bear’s vice versa. It’s also hard to follow a bear’s track..
Sometimes traces of pets of dogs, cows, sheep, horses can be brought to the village. But for this it is necessary to learn to distinguish their tracks from those of wild animals. For example, dogs spread their paws, and therefore the trace of their hind leg does not fall into the trace of the front. In a wolf, unlike a dog, the hind left leg, when walking or jogging, steps into the front footprint. The fox’s trail goes straight along the line, very evenly, with the same distances between the prints.
Non-populated overhead system.
In search of a road to housing, a great help is provided by the system of barriers. In mountain taiga regions, local residents and hunters congregate trees along slightly beaten paths. The cliff is made with an ax or a large knife, mounted on a shaft (palm horn) about the height of the chest. With one blow of an ax, not only the bark is removed from the tree in a vertical, oblong section, but also a piece of wood is cut. A fresh edge is highlighted by a yellowish spot on a dark background of the trunk. However, next year the cliff darkens and merges with the tree, and after a few years it is already quite difficult to detect the cliff, although it remains visible even from afar.
One cliff should be visible from the other both on the way forward and on the way back. Therefore, barbs are made on both sides of the tree. The distance between the edges can be from 10 to 50 meters, depending on the density of the forest. Where the path branches, a cliff is made on three or even four sides of the tree. The same stuff is done at the parking lots. Trails with cliffs, as a rule, lead to hunting huts, places for setting traps, grocery stores with products and animal skins, to water.
Temporary signs for finding the right path.
In addition to permanent signs, there are also temporary branches or a young tree stuck across the path, pointing with its peak in the direction where they turned off the path. The same direction is indicated by a sliver arrow stuck in a cut made at the top of a stake or tree. In the mountains and deserts, you can often see stone or saxaul tours, indicating a caravan trail. In such a tour, a branch with a rag or just an empty bottle is often stuck.
Finding the right path and accessing people in unfamiliar areas.
Having gone out on the trail, you must first make sure that it is not bestial, and never draw hasty conclusions so as not to fall into the trap of chance. Having found signs of the presence of people on the trail, the final decision still needs to be made only after repeated confirmation of this fact. In case of loss of detected traces or marks, it is necessary to immediately stop and establish a clearly visible sign at the place of loss of the trace (hang a bright rag on a tree or bush, lay out a tour made of branches or stones, etc.).
A thorough search should be made from this sign, gradually expanding its area. This is best done in a spiral. But if the lost track is not found, it is best to return in its tracks to the previous mark or track. At night, the search for tracks should be stopped and an overnight stay organized near the place where the track was lost. Finding a way in an unknown country (locality) without a map is an art that can only be learned through long experience.
This art is composed of the ability to follow in the footsteps, as well as knowledge of the relief of various natural zones and the entire geographical environment as a whole. For example, knowing what vegetation at what altitudes in the mountains of the temperate or tropical zone occurs or in what deserts sands, takyrs, a rocky surface, etc. are common, you can make certain decisions with a certain degree of certainty (search for water, choose the direction of movement etc.).
In the monotonous terrain, in the windbreak taiga, in the mountains covered with dense vegetation, in the virgin rainforest or among the endless and monotonous, at first glance, inexperienced people, dunes without noticeable landmarks, it is easy to lose orientation and the chosen direction. On a flat surface, a person without a landmark cannot walk in the forward direction, but turns right, since the left step is 0.1-0.4 cm longer than the right one. If there are no obstacles, the walker begins to describe circles with a diameter of about 3.5 km.
When crossing in any locality, one must always clearly understand the location of the countries of the world and the desired direction. On sunny days in the forest, it is easy to follow the direction by the shadows of trees, on cloudy by local signs. In the desert, for example, the sun should always be from a certain direction. Clouds moving fast in the same direction for several hours can also help..
Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of Survival.
Chernysh I. V.