How to make your own tracking markers

The following post was very kindly sent to us by Woodlore customer John van Zanen:

Hi Ray and Woodlore Team,

After doing the Woodlore Tracking course this year I am keen on getting better and better at tracking. I bought one of the books that Jeremy recommended and can’t stop reading about the subject. This Tuesday I had a ‘father and son day’ and when I asked my son what he would like to do he said, “Let’s do some pace tracking.”

So, with only Monday to prepare, I had to come up with some markers for our pace tracking exercise. I went with my son and daughter to the chemists and bought 46 wooden tongue spatulas (the thing a doctor puts into your mouth when you have to say “Aah”) for the price of 2 Euro’s.

Then it was time to visit another chemist shop to buy some paint to colour the spatulas. I bought two tins of Dylon paint which is normally used for dyeing clothes. I used scarlet red (nr. 32) for the red markers and fluorescent green (nr.64) for the green ones (5 Euro’s for both tins).

At home me and my kids soaked the spatulas in the paint for about 10 minutes and after soaking we rinsed the spatulas to get rid of the redundant paint. For drying the spatulas we used a hair dryer. The kids could do all this themselves and were enjoying making their own kit. The wooden spatulas absorbed the paint quite nicely and it beats having to paint them one by one.

After drying the spatulas we rolled a water based no-colour finish on them so we would not end up with green and red hands after an hour of pace tracking. This really made a nice finish to our home made markers. They look great we think.

I’ve included a picture so you can see the result of our work. It might just be a good tip for anyone who has done the Woodlore Tracking course and wants to make some markers of their own. My son and his friend had a great time pace tracking yesterday.

John van Zanen, The Netherlands

Tracking markers

John’s son and his friend with their home-made markers

3 thoughts on “How to make your own tracking markers

  1. John van Zanen

    Pace tracking is “Pace for pace” or “Step for step” tracking carried out during the “tuning in” period or when a track becomes difficult to pursue. It will be mainly ground sign that you will be following when pace tracking and you have to start from a known quarry’s sign, whether this sign is conclusive or substantiating sign. Then you make a comprehensive study of that particular sign to gain as much information as you can: direction, size of print, width, depth, left or right foot, fore or hind in the case of an animal, sex and age. Once you haven taken all these into consideration, your next task will be to find the next sign and so on. During de Woodsense course we did a few of these exercises and it was amazing to see how much detail was involved and what you where able to learn from the guy’s of Woodlore. Many thanks for those wonderful lessons and opening my eyes. John.

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