Pam B. is a member of a search and rescue organization in New Hampshire.
She is an experienced hiker who enjoyed hiking in the snow.
One day, Pam planned to go on a hike that she’d done many times before.
There was snow in the forecast, so she planned to go early and get back before conditions worsened.
She had packed extra layers of clothing and told two friends where she would be going.
She also left an itinerary in her car in case anyone came looking for her.
As she enjoyed the hike, Pam noticed the weather was turning bad.
Temperatures reached about 24 degrees with 50 mph winds and heavy fog.
Pam was about to turn around when she noticed something in the snow – fresh footprints.
The footprints were from sneakers…
And Pam realized she had been following the tracks all day but, didn’t give it a second thought because it was a popular trail.
The fresh sneaker footprints led her to believe that someone in front of her was in trouble.
She began calling out saying, “Is anybody out there? Do you need help?”
Pam continued to follow the tracks and came upon a man sitting motionless. He wore sneakers, shorts, and a light jacket.
Pam could tell he was alive, but he couldn’t respond to her questions.
She knew her hike had turned into a rescue.
She took the man’s wet clothes off him and put her extra clothes on him. She put a hand warmer packet in his clothes and under his armpits.
She told the man they needed to move. The man wasn’t working against her, but he also did little to help the situation.
Pam led the man down the same path she had taken on her hike. It was so hard to see that at some points they moved a few inches with each step.
Finally, Pam and the stranger made it back to the trailhead and her car. The hike that had taken Pam four hours up, took six hours to return.
The man changed clothes again and recovered from his physical limitations. He thanked Pam and jumped in his car driving off.
Pam was shocked at what had occurred. She had so many questions.
A week later she received her answers.
The president of her rescue organization received a letter in the mail along with a donation.
The letter was from the man whom Pam had rescued.
The man said he had gone on the hike unprepared and he had planned to end his life.
But then a stranger named Pam showed up. She cared for him and gave him warm clothes.
The letter said Pam worked so hard to save his life.
The man said he was embarrassed and that was why he left in such a hurry.
This man is obviously very lucky that Pam was in the right place at the right time – his footprints saved his life that day.
The only way Pam found the man was his footprints, which in this case was a good thing…
But there may be times when you might want to hide your footprints.
For instance, what if you were bugging out and worried about someone following you.
In this case, you would want to stay hidden while on the move. This is where you should consider anti-tracking shoes.
This is a method where you alter your existing shoes so they leave a print that blends in with the environment.
Here are a few ways that can help change the footprint you leave behind to throw trackers off you trail.
The sole of the shoe is the focus of most expert trackers, it gives them valuable information about the person they are following.
The depth of the sole indent in the dirt can tell a tracker how fast you are moving and if you are carrying extra weight.
The goal of any anti-tracking shoe is to conceal or minimize the sole.
One option is to reverse the sole of the shoe. For example, if you have a boot with a large sole, you could remove the sole and put it on the front part of the boot.
This will lead a tracker to be confused about your direction. Plus, it won’t leave as big of an indent in the ground.
Anti-tracking shoes are worthless if you don’t consider the terrain.
Is the ground wet or dry? Are there twigs and leaves on the ground?
Wet ground is going to give more details to trackers.
For example, if you are moving over ground covered by leaves, you can lessen your footprint by adding leaves to the bottom of your shoes.
Get a pile of leaves, using paracord wrap it around your shoe until you have a good amount of leaves tied to your shoes.
This will help your footprint blend in with the environment. Make sure the paracord doesn’t leave an imprint.
You can also tie twigs and other things to your shoes from the terrain you are moving through.
Additions to your shoes:
To reduce the footprint you leave behind, you can cover your shoes with additional things.
A few things you can add to the exterior of your shoes are large socks, towels, and plastic bags.
These will help disguise your footprint to anyone tracking you.
The best way to secure these things is with paracord or duct tape.
You want to create a pattern that cannot be followed.
So, if you started with socks on your shoes you may want to add a plastic bag at another point to change the print.
An irregular pattern will mean the footprints are unreliable.
Or the person tracking you might think it’s a different footprint and it will slow them down.
After making your anti-tracking shoes you should test them out. If you leave tracks behind, they should barely be visible.
Keep in mind, you likely will be followed by looters or people wanting your gear after a natural disaster.
Most people don’t have the expert eye that government-trained trackers do, but these tips will help you throw off even the best trackers.