Ancient Pathways, LLC

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Outdoor Programs in Desert Survival and Bushcraft

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mantracking Class AAR

This past weekend we hosted a 3-day Mantracking Course in Flagstaff. It was taught by the staff of the renowned David Scott-Donelan School out of Sierra Vista. We had a full house of students, many were former survival students of mine along with several several LEOs present and some of my instructors.

The initial phase focused on the basics of tracking, terminology, stride, straddle, determining how many people walked through an area, and plenty of spoor-pit demonstrations and interpretation exercises.

After this, we focused on micro-tracking and then macro-tracking exercises where we tracked groups over long-distances and varied terrain. The emphasis was on the tracker formation using flankers which was the key to picking up the trail when it was lost and catching up with our quarry. We spent our days afield rotating duties as trackers and quarry, debriefing, and then heading out again. We ended with a major thunderstorm pounding down on us as we trekked back in from the wilds.

The instructor, Cornelius Nash, had tremendous command of his skill-set and topics and added in plenty of real-world examples. I can't speak highly enough of his teaching abilities and field experience with bringing the science of tracking to life.

I will be hosting this course again in the Spring but I'd highly recommend checking out their class offerings as they teach throughout the world- -they also run one-day events near Tucson and Sierra Vista.


About Ancient Pathways

Tony Nester is the author of numerous books and DVDs on survival. His school Ancient Pathways is the primary provider of survival training for the Military Special Operations community and he has served as a consultant for the NTSB, Travel Channel, Backpacker Magazine, and the film Into the Wild. When not on the trail, he lives in a passive-solar, strawbale home in northern Arizona. For information on Tony’s books, gear, or bushcraft courses, visit

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