SAR Tracking Quiz Answers
1. A. Searching for tracks and other signs of a personís passage.
Signcutting is the technique used to locate the tracks being sought. Search teams cut for sign, or look for the tracks, anywhere the lost subject may have walked. Once the tracks are located, they are followed.
2. C. Place Last Seen
The PLS is the last place anyone saw the person you are looking for, or their tracks.
3. D. All of the above.
Sign includes tracks and other clues left by the passage of a person. You read sign and it tells you something about the person you are looking for. It tells you which direction they went, how long ago and if they went fast or slow. If you follow the sign, eventually it will lead you right to the person youíre looking for.
4. B. Probability Of Detection
This is the probability that you will find what you are looking for.
5. C. Tracks positively identified as those sought.
When a tracking team is following prime sign, they are positive that they have the right tracks and are being led to the person they are seeking.
6. A. Dirt Time
Dirt time is the time you spend out there in the dirt learning to track. The more time you spend, the better youíll learn to see sign. Quality time is better than quantity time though.
7. B. Incident Commander
The incident commander is the person in charge of the operation. They make key decisions and direct things.
8. B. Member of a tracking team.
The two flankers stay behind the point person and help find the next tracks. They are always watching to be sure the subjectís tracks donít make a sudden turn. They help the team stay on good sign.
9. C. Locating the next track.
You could argue that the answer to this question should be "all of the above." A tracking stick is primarily used to help you find the next track. However, it could serve several purposes, including poking holes in the ground to make stick tracks and fending off those feisty raccoons that have located the sandwich you stored in your pack for a midnight snack.
Searchers donít have to memorize the tread patterns on every type of shoe made. It would be nice if anyone had the time to do this, but there are so many patterns, it would almost be a full-time job. Also, the patterns change frequently. If you can be familiar with as many patterns as possible and know the manufacturers, that would certainly help. Some people may know what brand of shoes their lost buddy was wearing, but not know what the sole looks like.
11. B. The tracking team member who is currently leading the team.
Team members switch roles frequently to prevent fatigue. The point person is the one in front who tries to stay on good sign. The flankers assist with this and also watch for sudden changes of direction.
All searchers are not trackers yet, but this situation is changing. More searchers are learning tracking. It is the single most effective technique for searching. Why? Because, every step the lost person takes leaves behind clues, tracks and other signs. These signs are evidence that the person was there. If you find and follow every bit of this evidence, eventually you will find who youíre looking for.
Tracking at night is possible. Since the angle of the light helps you see tracks better, night tracking can be done with a flashlight. You control the angle of the light as it strikes the track. Tracking by flashlight light can tire the eyes quickly, however.
Lost people travel in different directions for different reasons. Age and experience in the wild influence where a person will travel. Some lost people panic and just run anywhere. Others hide from those searching for them. There is a whole different psychology to being lost. When youíre lost, you might do things, take chances, or make decisions you normally wouldnít make.
Tracking is a skill that can be learned by anyone who is willing to take the time to learn it. The more time you put into it, the greater the rewards. Anyone can learn to track. It takes patience and time. Thatís all.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert. This quiz is not intended to be an authoritative dissertation on the subject. It is just meant to test how much you already know and maybe pique your interest. If you want to learn more, check the references page for some excellent books on tracking. This quiz is just my little overview of a very complex and interesting subject.
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