How To Escape Unseen and Cover Your Tracks in Winter

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

Let’s say the you-know-what hit the fan and you did everything right. You made short and long-term emergency plans, had multiple escape routes and somehow were still tracked down and captured. In a post-SHTF world, all bets are off. The world you would find yourself in is unpredictable at best. So what would you do if you were taken captive? Your only option would be to find a way to escape.
Related article: If You See These 14 Signs It’s Time to Bug Out

Timing is Crucial
So, when is the best time to run from pursuers? Wintertime can often be unrelenting but could offer you an opportunity in this situation. If you know how to read the signs Mother Nature gives when a storm is about to hit, then you could time your escape perfectly. A snowstorm could be the best time to escape. The middle of a snowstorm will give you good cover and erase any tracks you make at the same time – especially with a good head start. That said, it is important for you to know beforehand and train how to navigate in the snow.

The pain is that the snow levels can be at a depth where you will need snowshoes. This video can show you how to use a knife to make snowshoes out of evergreens and cordage. (Your paracord bracelet would come in handy for this!) Now, with the head start, your snowshoes will leave tracks that will be almost indistinguishable in a few hours.

How To Cover Your Tracks
You can help it along. Take a fallen branch…2 feet in length or more and drag this behind you over top of your tracks…smooths them out. By the time the pursuers reach the area you’ve traversed, the falling snow will have done the trick.

Bear in mind this doesn’t beat the dogs, who track by both sight and scent. We’ve discussed beating them in other articles. This is for the two-legged “dogs” who pursue you. Also, part of keeping your trail to a minimum is to look where you step. With snow, to step on an embankment that may collapse on one side is a no-go.

Rule: Do your best to maintain the overall visual “continuity” of the terrain you’re traveling over.
This applies to any season, and it means to keep everything as natural looking as can be. You can be aided in a snowstorm flight by high winds that will also help to blow the snow (especially if it’s a “dry” snowfall) across your trail. If there’s a fallen log, don’t step on it or go over it…go around it if possible. You want everything to appear au naturale to the pursuers…nothing out of place. Take special care not break off any branches or step on any fallen timber and cause a fresh break. Foliage that has snow on it? If a man-sized patch of green shows through where small evergreen saplings are growing…they’ll know that a human passed through there.

Confuse the Trackers By Doubling Back
Doubling back is a good way to throw them off…if you do it right. You can reverse the snowshoes when you head back, as well…but you must make sure that you brushed over top of your first set of tracks before you double back. A good tracker will also see more weight is distributed overtop of the toe area. Lead it to the edge of a cliff and throw them off your trail if you can do it. Want a good one? Bring an extra jacket and an empty backpack with you. Wrap boughs in it and throw it off the cliff, after filling the backpack with snow.

Your “dummy” will be partially covered with snow when they find it and they’ll waste time getting down below to check it out. Time is what you want to buy yourself. As many times as you can break off the main trail, throw a “division” and then double back, the better. It is going to depend on how much time you have, and in how good a physical shape you’re in.

Covering Your Tracks in the Mud
During the warmer months, with the Spring Thaw, the first thing you’re going to have to deal with is the mud…and mud means a problem. Mud means footprints, and mud that clings to your boots and is dragged with you…an exceptional problem when trying to cover your tracks. Due to the differing terrains, you will encounter this issue – especially in a rocky field with scrub grass. Suddenly, tracks from “The Golem” are seen making a trail in the grass for about 50 meters. Bad juju.

When transitioning from a muddy area to a terrain with little or no mud, you must have a way of taking care of this so that you don’t leave the tracks. The answer: Teva’s. Yes, the hardened-sole flip-flops that can take a rugged gravel creek bottom with sharp stones. Pack these Teva’s and a sturdy plastic bag for when you’re changing the terrain. Take off the muddy boots and throw them in the bag. Switch to the Teva’s for the entire time you cross the new terrain. Switch back again when you come to more mud and slop to cross.

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