Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70
21-18. Sometimes you need to move, undetected, to or from a location. You
need more than just camouflage to make these moves successfully. The ability to
stalk or move without making any sudden quick movement or loud noise is
essential to avoiding detection. Always pick your route carefully to keep you
concealed; use trenches, slight rises in terrain, thick vegetation for
concealment. Avoid lateral movement to the observer unless you have good
concealment, otherwise stalk straight in toward the observer.
21-19. You must practice stalking if it is to be effective. Use the following
techniques when practicing.
21-20. Take steps about half your normal stride when stalking in the upright
position. Such strides help you to maintain your balance. You should be able to
stop at any point in that movement and hold that position as long as necessary.
Curl the toes up out of the way when stepping down so the outside edge of the
ball of the foot touches the ground. Feel for sticks and twigs that may snap
when you place your weight on them. If you start to step on one, lift your foot
and move it. After making contact with the outside edge of the ball of your
foot, roll to the inside ball of your foot, place your heel down, followed by
your toes. Then gradually shift your weight forward to the front foot. Lift the
back foot to about knee height and start the process over again.
21-21. Keep your hands and arms close to your body and avoid waving them
about or hitting vegetation. When moving in a crouch, you gain extra support by
placing your hands on your knees. One step usually takes 1 minute to complete,
but the time it takes will depend on the situation.
21-22. Crawl on your hands and knees when the vegetation is too low to allow
you to walk upright without being seen. Move one limb at a time and be sure to
set it down softly, feeling for anything that may snap and make noise. Be
careful that your toes and heels do not catch on vegetation.
21-23. To stalk in the prone position, you do a low, modified push-up on your
hands and toes, moving yourself forward slightly, and then lowering yourself
again slowly. Avoid dragging and scraping along the ground as this makes
excessive noise and leaves large trails for trackers to follow.
21-24. Before stalking an animal, select the best route. If the animal is
moving, you will need an intercepting route. Pick a route that puts objects
between you and the animal to conceal your movement from it. By positioning
yourself in this way, you will be able to move faster, until you pass that
object. Some objects such as large rocks and trees may totally conceal you, and
others such as small bushes and grass may only partially conceal you. Pick the
route that offers the best concealment and requires the least amount of effort.
21-25. Keep your eyes on the animal and stop when it looks your way or turns
its ears your way, especially if it suspects your presence. As you get close,
squint your eyes slightly to conceal both the light-dark contrast of the whites
of the eyes and any shine from your eyes. Keep your mouth closed so that the
animal does not see the whiteness or shine of your teeth.
21-26. Along with camouflage of your body, you need to camouflage your
movement from visual trackers. Antitracking techniques should be used;
countertracking techniques are of little use to the evader, as they would
pinpoint his location or route. During movement this can be accomplished by
using the following methods:
Restore vegetation—Use a stick to lift the vegetation you crushed down
during movement through it. This can slow you down and it is hard to tell if
you are being effective.
Brush out tracks—Use a tree branch to brush or pat out tracks in open
ground. This is effective in concealing the number in the party, but leaves
obvious signs in itself.
Use hard or stony ground—Using this type of terrain minimizes the signs
you leave slowing the visual tracker.
Make abrupt direction changes—Using this technique combined with the
use of hard or stony ground can be very effective in slowing the visual
tracker as it will be much harder to detect the direction change.
Use well-used paths—Although the use of paths is not advisable, there
may be times you can use them to your advantage. For example, if you have
been in an area long enough to surveil the path to determine the traffic
patterns, you could use the path prior to a farmer moving a heard of cows
down the path, eliminating your sign.
Use foot coverings—They can assist in aging or virtually eliminating
your signs. Examples include sandbags, rags, old socks, or commercial foot
coverings made from imitation sheepskin (these seem to work the best).
Change footgear—Use this method in an area such as hard or stony
ground. Vary the tread pattern.
Use custom footgear—Militaries generally have a standard issue
footgear, although with the world economy, this is changing. If you know
that the area you are working in has a standard issue footgear, you may want
to acquire a pair or have that tread pattern put on your boots.
Walk backwards—This can be useful at times but there are pitfalls to
avoid. Avoid turning your foot out. When you look over your left shoulder
your left foot tends to turn outward and visa versa. Avoid dragging dirt
backwards. Try to place your footfalls so that the toe indention is deeper
than your heel indention to give the appearance of moving forward.
Confuse the start point—Whatever the point on the ground you start your
evasion, try to confuse it by walking numerous cloverleaf patterns out of
and back into it before you leave on your initial route (this can assist in
delaying dog trackers also).
Use streams, lakes, waterways—This is a judgement call on your part.
Ask yourself: Is the stream moving in the direction you need to go? Is it
fast or slow moving water? Will it put you that much farther ahead of the
trackers? (Note: You will leave more signs upon exiting the water.)
Crossing roads or paths with the traffic pattern—When crossing roads or
paths try to cross with the direction of travel, not perpendicular, this
will assist in your tracks blending into normal traffic patterns and making
them harder to follow.
Careful placement of footfalls leaving little heel or toe dig—Try to
leave as little sign as possible. Last but not least, always vary your
techniques so as not to educate the tracker as to what to look for if he
loses the track!
21-27. When trying to elude dog trackers always remember you are trying to
beat the handler not the dog! Whatever you do, it should be done to either tire
the handler or decrease the handler's confidence in his dog. Some techniques to
use against dog tracker teams are as follows:
Open ground—Although this is a danger area, if the wind is high it will
blow the scent to vegetated areas; thus the team will not be directly on
your tracks and it will slow the team's progression.
Thick terrain—Using a zigzag pattern of movement will slow and tire the
handler and possibly decrease the handler's confidence.
Hard or stony ground—In high winds or high temperatures these areas
will dissipate your scent quicker, increasing the chance of the dog losing
Crowded places—If the dog is not scent-specific trained, and you move
through an area where many other people have recently been he may lose the
Freshly plowed or fertilized fields—The dog may lose the track in these
areas due to the overpowering scent of fresh dirt and human or animal manure
used as fertilizer (do not rely too much on this theory).
Speed—Try to maintain a constant speed. Try not to run. Running
increases the scent, due to more soil and vegetation disturbance and more
body odor from sweat or adrenaline.
Transportation—Using a vehicle will greatly increase your time and
distance but you could still be tracked; however, it would be at a much