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Kath

Native
Feb 13, 2004
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Another daft question coming up ...

Can anyone tell me how to get over the whole trouser noise thing when tracking/stealth walking?? I can get on great in a skirt but as soon as I put on a pair of jeans and you can hear me a mile off!!! :shock:

Tips from the trouser wearing fraternity please! :-D
 

RovingArcher

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Jun 27, 2004
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Monterey Peninsula, Ca., USA
Hi Kath, not such a daft question. If your objective is to get as quiet as you possibly can so that you can get very close to wildlife, for whatever reason, don't wear the jeans, dump your hard soled boots for a soft soled pair and wear a lite pair of wool or fleece pants that fit well. That will lower your noise levels considerably and when you slow your pace for the stalk, that will also help to control the noise.
 

Justin Time

Native
Aug 19, 2003
1,064
2
South Wales
Kath
I was thinking that it might be something to do with walking style as well as the actual material. Are you getting a sort of "swish, swish" sound? I find I now walk with my legs held slightly apart, even if I'm not doing the fox walk. This means my calves and thighs don't rub together, and also saves tracking mud up my inner leg. I'm not sure what I might look like to other people though.......
 

Kath

Native
Feb 13, 2004
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Cheers - those are both grand suggestions. I'll look at my walk and see if that's it. I tend to lift my leg quite high with each step so I'm not sure if it's that. Maybe I'll just stick with my skirt... Does anyone remember a character on Chicago Hope (?) who was driven mad by the swishing of his trousers?? I can really relate to that as it is incredibly irritating & distracting.

I'm practicing mostly in bare feet now and am getting pretty good at picking out potentially noisy (or sharp!) obstacles with my toes before stepping. (Although I don't know how I wood have fared stepping on that hedgehog on Friday if someone with their eyes open hadn't spotted it first! :shock:) Also getting very good at getting thorns and splinters out! :wink:

The family been having contests where we have to take a particular path in the dark and if anyone hears the person walking they shout stop and the person who gets furthest wins. Also we've had some fox walking outtings where we've taken twenty minutes going in turns to take a step down a short leaf littered slope. (OK so we get some funny looks in the woods... but who cares! It's fun!! :eek:):)
 

TheViking

Native
Jun 3, 2004
1,864
2
32
.
Hi..

A pair of leather moccasins are the best I think. :wink: They're flexible, but protects the feet at the same time.
 

Ed

Admin
Admin
Aug 27, 2003
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South Wales Valleys
Its a stalking\walking technique taught by tom brown jnr.... how to move and feel with your feet to move silently ;-) I'll let someone else explain how to do it..... there is a weasal walk aswell ....

Ed
 

Kath

Native
Feb 13, 2004
1,397
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martin said:
Kath.
What is "fox walking"?
Good question! I'm not sure if I know the proper answer to that in reality being just a beginner at tracking, but perhaps Rhoda will set me straight if I get it wrong...! :wink: I've picked up the term in meaning a stealthy walk in which you try to make no sounds. I'm not sure if it extends to not leaving footprints/sign along the way too (must remember to borrow the tracking books off HWMBO!)

I think it also covers feeling around with your feet, anticipating and avoiding obstacles such as twigs and crackly leaves which are going to sound off once you transfer your weight onto them.

There are many different techniques for such walks... Mine is toe first but my kids prefer heel first. (They are getting very silent now and consequently much harder to find in the dark! :?: :lol:) They have the advantage of being very light so that twigs etc are less likely to snap, but they also lack coordination so it's a fair trade in my opinion! :wink:

It does look a little like the Monty Python Ministry of Funny Walks but it is a tremendous advantage when you're out and about because if you're quiet and your kids are quiet people pass by completely unawares leaving us to enjoy the outdoors in peace! :-D
 

martin

Nomad
Sep 24, 2003
456
3
nth lincs
Thanks for the explanation, I thought that was what you meant.
I often walk bare foot in the woods to practice moving more slowly and quietly. Not in woods where you get a lot of dog walkers though. :shock:
 

Adi007

New Member
Sep 3, 2003
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martin said:
TNot in woods where you get a lot of dog walkers though. :shock:
That's called the "dog walk" and involves finding a bit of grass and rubbing your foot or shoe against it frantically, like you are trying to get rid of an itch!!! :eek:):
 

Rhoda

Nomad
May 2, 2004
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43
Cornwall
www.worldwild.co.uk
Thats pretty much it Kath! :biggthump The correct method is to first put down the outer edge of the ball of your foot, roll the foot inwards and gently place down the heel. Only when you are sure that there is nothing underfoot that will make a noise and give you away do you put any weight on the foot. The weasel walk is pretty much the same except lower with your arms tucked right in and each footstep takes about a minute. You need strong thighs and a good sense of balance!!! We can play some stalking/fox walking games at the BCUK meet! :eek:):

There is a company called wildlife watching supplies - www.wildlifewatchingsupplies.co.uk who do clothing specifically for sneaking up on animals!!
 

RovingArcher

Need to contact Admin...
Jun 27, 2004
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Monterey Peninsula, Ca., USA
Kath, I'm happy to read that you are stalking in bare feet. They will toughen up as you go and eventually, you will want to get a pair of soft soled boots or shoes so that you can stalk in the winter/fall months. Prime time stalking at that time. Also, if I might suggest, take just a little longer for each step and use your eyes to scout where your next step will be. You are not only looking for tracks and other signs of animal movement, but also any noise making debri (saves the feet) and where you will be stopping next (I stop every 10 paces or so for anywhere from 5-15 minutes) so that you can use your surroundings to help break up your human form. Also, it will give you the opportunity to listen for surrounding noises. When animals think they are alone, they are very noisy as they go about their daily lives and when we slow down and listen, we start to learn who or what are making the sounds we are hearing and where the sound is coming from.

For determining wind direction, many bow hunters here tie a piece of dental floss to the tip of their bow so they know which direction the wind is coming from. Myself, I've tied a piece of down fluff to each tip of my bow and to the hiking staff I carry while hiking. Other factors also enter into stalking the wind. Things like weather conditions and patterns as well as thermals.

BTW, there is also a deer walking technique for when the ground is just too danged noisy to stalk on. It turns the noisy 2 legged into a somewhat quieter 4 legged. It was developed by a bowhunter named G. Fred Asbell and it works remarkably well. I'll try a search for it online, but may have to copy it here from his book on stalking and stillhunting.
 

Wayne

BCUK Welfare Officer
Mod
Dec 7, 2003
3,496
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49
West Sussex
www.forestknights.co.uk
Kath are you lifting your leg too fast? A lot of people at Ninjutsu, we need to be sneaky too, tend to concentrate fully on placing the foot carefully to avoid noise but forget lifting too quickly also creates noise and ground disturbance.

also remember to move when the a other sounds to cover your approach. wind in trees and animal calls etc. Another point think happy thoughts. Don't dwell on your target we are very adapt at picking up on intention and so are most prey species.

Sorry if im teaching granny to suck eggs.
 

Kath

Native
Feb 13, 2004
1,397
0
Wayne said:
Sorry if im teaching granny to suck eggs.
No not at all! I'm just a beginner... :wink: Fantastic suggestions there in fact Wayne! Will give those a go!

(Hadn't thought about the intention aspect at all! - I've noticed animals seem to be able to sense when you're looking at them even if they can't see you or hear you, they'll still look straight at you!)

:You_Rock_

Thanks for the suggestions RA and Rhoda!
Rhoda said:
We can play some stalking/fox walking games at the BCUK meet! :eek:):
Looking forward to it! Are we going to play the peg game too? :-D :hyper:
 

Kath

Native
Feb 13, 2004
1,397
0
bothyman said:
Great link - thanks. :biggthump

I'm bearfoot a lot of the time - always have been. It is liberating and certainly does toughen your feet up, but I can't say I've ever set out hiking without my boots or at least a pair of Tevas though! Very ambitious! Lots to read through there - will read on!
 

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