Sharpen Your Senses. Broaden Your Awareness. Locate, Identify and Systematically Follow Tracks & Sign.
Tracking and nature awareness go hand-in-hand. To understand tracks and sign, you also need to have a good knowledge of nature. You need to understand what is normal before you can spot what is out of place.
That said, while some have more of a natural affinity for tracking than others, anyone can learn to track if they put their mind to it. Trackers are trained not born.
In fact, we all track as part of our daily lives to a lesser or greater degree; for example, most people easily spot if something is out of place in their front garden or living room, or on their desk at work, because these are environments with which they are very familiar.
The more familiar we become with any environment, the more able we will be to track in it.
If you overlay natural observation and curiosity with tried and tested systematic methodologies and techniques, then you can become very good at following the faintest of trails.
The Frontier Bushcraft Tracking and Nature Awareness course is designed to teach you the observation and tracking methodologies you need to know to become a really good tracker, which ultimately feels part crime-scene investigator, part Sherlock Holmes deduction, all imbued with the sharpness of a skilled hunter.
First, through fun and engaging exercises, then through practical application, we will share with you skills for moving unseen and unheard so that you can get close to the wildlife you want to see. We will also spend time looking for, identifying and interpreting animal tracks and sign.
Tracking can be a difficult skill to learn at times (and harder to teach than most) as it is dependent on being able to see and interpret the signs left by the passing of an animal and these can often be subtle. It takes a while to tune in.
Ultimately, though, adding tracking to your skill-set is extremely rewarding.
Once you have learned the fundamentals of tracking and nature awareness it is as if a layer of frosted glass has been peeled away; you will see the natural world with a whole new level of clarity and detail.
Our instructors have been teaching tracking since 2003 and as well as passing their skills and knowledge to many nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, they have taught tracking to military, police, and search & rescue personnel.
Because quality tracking training requires a high instructor-to-student ratio, we keep the maximum number of students on this course low.
What People Say About The Tracking & Nature Awareness Course:
“I absolutely loved this course. It was relaxed and I felt that I had time to do everything, this gave a great learning environment for me. The content was great and as usual the delivery was excellent. I can’t say enough good things about Paul, James and Phil. What a great team! Their knowledge was clear and the enthusiasm that they had for the subject shone through. They’ve definitely given me the tracking bug. The exercise on the final day was brilliant, the highlight of the course.”
Mike Taylor, Nottinghamshire.
“I really enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone interested in wanting to discover more about the outdoors. The instruction was first class, in content and delivery. I can’t think of a single thing to add as a way of improving the experience. It has inspired me to follow more trails and keep on trackin’! Thanks again to Paul, James and Phil.”
Ste Tomlinson, Cheshire.
“Excellent course, first class instruction and easily the best I’ve attended. Phil and James were considerate and very knowledgeable assistant instructors. I will definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in tracking and am really looking forward to signing up with Frontier again in the coming year. All the best and many thanks again to Paul, James and Phil.”
Matt Tyler, Berkshire.
“It’s difficult to highlight just one or two areas of the course as the “best bits” as there were many aspects of the course that I enjoyed. The tracking exercises probably were my favourite, as this was the implementation of everything we had learned and I can see how this can form the foundation of tracking animals, which is no doubt more challenging than following footprints. To flip this on its head and say is there anything in the course that seemed superfluous or unnecessary – I really don’t think so – if I think about each individual element I can see how it was structured to build up to the final exercise. And the games were fun – normally we simply do not go out into the woods at night and actually it’s pretty cool.
Some specific observations about attending this course…
- it’s just a lot of fun to be in the woods, learning new skills and especially if you have any interest in nature. Very little previous skills are required here – it is really a course many people could easily do and in reality it’s like a series of games and mini challenges – it connects us with a more playful side of our characters.
- mindfulness, awareness, focus, being present – it’s difficult not to get a bit new age-y here, but the course really does get you out of the stresses of a our modern digital culture, and helps you slow down and smell the roses (or fox scat if that takes your fancy).
- community and companionship – working in groups with your fellow students is a lot of fun, and also there is a lively friendly atmosphere between the teaching staff and participants. You can make friends with people with like minded interests and also learn from their experiences too.
For me, the main gains from this course were the ability to stop and make a conscious effort to observe and sense my surroundings, plus the realisation that initially this can be a very slow exercise that will become quicker with repeated practice. It’s amazing what you can see when you take the time to do this – only today, close to home, I saw several broken bird egg shells (still to identify), some badger prints, a partial skull (deer or sheep not sure yet), rabbit prints (or was it hare, I didn’t really check the size carefully) and plenty of tracks (many badger but one which may have been something more like fox as the mud transference on to the grass showed prints rather than the wider track caused by the badger’s body low to the ground).
Anyone with even just a passing interest in nature and / or bushcraft would enjoy this course.”
Howard Houlston, Oxfordshire.
During this course we will cover:
- How to maximise your senses
- Observation skills
- Stealth, stalking, clothing and concealment
- Aids to vision
- Practical wildlife watching
- Animal tracks and sign
- Ageing sign
- Blood spoor
- The qualities of a tracker
- Tracking terminology
- Key characteristics of sign
- Tracking methodology
- Pace tracking
- Track pursuit drill
- Lost trail drills
- How to track as a team
You don’t need to spend lots of money on specialist clothing or equipment for this course. What you will need is some basic outdoor clothing, camping equipment and binoculars.
Please don’t go out and spend lots of money on binoculars prior to the course. Your view of what to look for will undoubtedly change during the course. If you don’t have any binoculars of your own, please try to borrow a set from friends or family.
Clothing should be muted, natural colours. Avoid bright colours as well as blue.
A full kit-list is available and it will also be e-mailed to you with your e-mail receipt after your booking has been accepted.
Other specialist equipment will be provided for your use during the course.
This course will be conducted entirely outdoors, from an expedition-style base camp and you will be camping out for the duration of the course.
There will be a covered teaching area which also serves as a communal area for breaks. There is a fire, kettle, tea, coffee, biscuits and cordial available here.
This course is self catered so please bring food enough for the week and a stove for cooking. If you have attended a course where you have been taught safe fire-management techniques and leave-no-trace, then you can cook over a fire. Even so, you may still want to pack a stove for occasions when you need more speed.
No previous tracking, bushcraft or camping experience is required to attend this course. All you need is an enjoyment of being outdoors, an interest in nature and a desire to become a tracker.
Availability and Booking: Tracking and Nature Awareness Course
Duration: 6 days.
Deposit: 25% on booking.
Suitability: 18 years and above.
Course size: 12 participants (maximum).
Location: East Sussex.
Course Meeting Time: 17:30 Day 1.
Course Finish Time: 17:00 Day 7.
Course Leaders: Paul Kirtley or James Bath.
26/04/20 – 02/05/20 with Paul Kirtley. POSTPONED Please read this statement.
09/05/21 – 15/05/21 with James Bath. New Date!
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