Large expanses of sand


#1

Anyone here have a large expanse of sand near their home? A dessert? A flood plain? A sand dune? A beach?


#2

I got a beach nearby, but it’s all pebbles :frowning:


#3

i never thought about golfcourses, RRM. that’s brilliant.

i’ve got a playground a few blocks behind my house. otherwise, most of the sand in the ozarks is locked in the sandstones.

by the way, what are you after, scout?


#4

Nope not here, the nearest big beach is at lake Erie an hour away and it’s not very fine sand. I know someone who uses a sand volleyball court that no one uses near their apartment complex as their own personal tracking box.


#5

I gots me a big beach at the bottom of the road.


#6

I have the gulf coast maybe 60 miles away.

What’s up with the sand?


#7

Jon Young (Tom Browns first student) has mentioned many times that all really good tracking cultures have developed where they had access to large expanses of sand.

It makes me wonder how many there are, where they are, and it that is a requirement for a good tracking culture to grow… it may prove valuable to have something like that near where you live, or know where they are.


#8

You probably already know but theres a big sandbar at Oxbow Park. I’ve only been there once but it was sweet because there were a bunch of different types of tracks in that one spot.


#9

Haha. Yeah, I learned how to Track at Oxbow. I owe that place more than I could ever say. My nose is still dirty from that sandbar. Oh how I love that place… To bad it’s 45 minutes by car, 3-4 hours by bike! What to do??? There has to be something closer!


#10

Well now that I am goin to VA for the summer, you can always take a detour from your east coast trip to come hangout at back bay and track in the sand there with me! And we could go chill at the great dismal swamp too, but theres not much sand there.


#11
Jon Young (Tom Browns first student) has mentioned many times that all really good tracking cultures have developed where they had access to large expanses of sand.

It makes me wonder how many there are, where they are, and it that is a requirement for a good tracking culture to grow… it may prove valuable to have something like that near where you live, or know where they are.

Interesting. I spent some time with the Zalabiyeh Bedouin in southern Jordan on two different trips in 2005 and 2007. The northern Arabian desert is largely composed of sandstone-granitic mountains rising from sandy dry river valleys (wadis) and clay pans, sand dunes with hammada type scrub vegetation and interspersed Acacia trees. One time I was living in this camp with some goats and they took off and I had to track them as I had barefeet and couldn’t keep up on the hot sand and they got out of sight. Later on I was joined by an older Bedouin man and it was amazing to me how he could track- From dozens of footprints scattered in the sand he read exactly which way my 4 goats were headed. Over sand dunes and sandstone outcroppings/mtns where it’s basically pure rock, the only sign is scat, and we located them eventually far up near the top of a sandstone gorge.

Many other times we went to track camels that had been sent out to forage on the desert scrub or we had to locate lost camels. Many times I didn’t see barely any sign at all, but they would find tracks and sign, sometimes scattered miles apart and know that was so-and-so’s camels and what direction they were likely to be heading in, etc.

When we were hunting rabbits(we would also spotlight for rabbits at night before the moonrise), we used several people to “drive” the rabbit towards the two Bedouin who had shotguns, there were 9 of us in total including the kids and they brought along a goat and we made mensaf (boiled goat served on communal platter) for lunch, the rabbit or rabbits were to be our supper if we were lucky. It seemed to work better to have several people working together to increase the chance of a shot at a fast animal that can disappear across the sand and over the next ridge and disappear. In any case that night we got nothing and made camp. The next day, in the morning everyone went out again and in the early afternoon one of the guys chased a rabbit into a crevice and shoved a stick into it, we ate it a few hours later under the shade of a sandstone ledge.


#12

Jeezus! Don’t stop! More beautiful stories. Holy christ. :slight_smile: