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Sole Prints

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Sole Prints

Postby maverick » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:55 pm

Here is a little background on one of the new features that will be shortly added
to the new Search & Rescue HST ReConn Form.

So, after trying to figure out a way to get a sole print from a shoe/boot without
using ink, which is what CSI Labs use, and not wanting to use something that
would either discolor or make the sole loose its grip, and trying out several
kitchen items, bingo! Food coloring, just the right thickness so the paper doesn't
absorb the liquid, nor does it bleed or run off the sheet of paper, and is widely
available. Apply the food coloring lightly with a brush to the threads of the
shoe/boot, one shoe at a time, put the shoe on, and roll from the ankle towards
the toe, placing your full weight on to it, and carefully lift to remove. Repeat with
the other shoe/boot. Allow to dry, and then add the important information in the
corner. When taking the photo be sure to keep the camera parallel with the print,
best to tape to the wall and take a picture, even better if you can use a tripod.
Use a zoom lens between 40-55mm to reduce any distortion. Either take it in black
& white or convert from color to black & white.
It is very important that you do this before each and every trip since the thread
patterns and wear patterns will change after your outing. These imperfections give
the shoe print their uniqueness, very much like a fingerprint, and allows SAR to
differentiate them from the 1000's of other footprints in the area.
.

Here is an example: http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s1/v ... 6619-5.jpg
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Sole Prints

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:13 am

Foil impression of the sole is what we teach parents in Hug a Tree. Works for adults too.
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:30 am

Wow that print is incredibly clear, great work!
I'm no suture for my future.
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby maverick » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:00 am

AT wrote:
Foil impression of the sole is what we teach parents in Hug a Tree. Works for adults too.


Right, and they do that at retirement homes for Alzheimer's patients too. That works
if one left it in the car, but for leaving with a family or friend, and then being able to
get it to the SAR/Sheriffs Dept quickly this is much more convenient, it also works
better since the threads/sole is hard to make out in a photo because of the
aluminum/reflection, a black sole on white paper print gives a fine print for
investigators to use.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:16 pm

perhaps it could be duplicated in electronic format (make a .jpg out of it along side a ruler so you can see the size). If I have it at my home, 200 miles from where it is needed, I could just e-mail it or post it on the internet.
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby BrianF » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:03 pm

Ruler is a good point. At least write on the impression the actual overall length, sometimes the lug pattern isn't clear but the overall size of the print is left, Average stride is another factor in tracking, but of course that varies depending on terrain
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby maverick » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:02 pm

Could not find the ruler I was looking for when taking the original shot, so here is a
retake with the ruler:
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s5/v ... 4179-5.jpg
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:46 pm

I'd prefer the foil print option. I generally carry a roll of foil on the trip just in case we don't have enough for fish. So, I could just put my boots on, and step on two pieces and put them in the truck. First thing they'd break into to see if there are clues. Forensically, they could mold cast them or cook fish in them or recycle them; a SAR/Sheriff choice at that point.

The trip plan is way more important.

Sole prints are only helpful in certain areas, like around soft ground. I'm sure our SAR person will correct me if that's wrong. If the ground is heaving with frost, then it's kind of blown out if it's been 2 nights of heave, and the person isn't moving.

I did however see, while eating lunch on one trip, that my troupe had passed me as we all came down different routes, based on a shoe print i remembered.
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:08 am

maverick wrote:
AT wrote:
Foil impression of the sole is what we teach parents in Hug a Tree. Works for adults too.


Right, and they do that at retirement homes for Alzheimer's patients too. That works
if one left it in the car, but for leaving with a family or friend, and then being able to
get it to the SAR/Sheriffs Dept quickly this is much more convenient, it also works
better since the threads/sole is hard to make out in a photo because of the
aluminum/reflection, a black sole on white paper print gives a fine print for
investigators to use.


FYI, imperfections on the sole don't matter - I'm a certified tracker and that's never even mentioned in training. Unless it's something significant like a missing lug, that radically changes the print, you don't even see any difference in the track due to wear of the shoe.

Model and size of the shoe is often enough if it's a popular brand - we like to know that as well, as if we find an actual shoe sitting there it would be nice to know to rule it out. ALSO, if you are carrying camp shoes, that data point is important - some lost folks will have a sole delaminate or some other issue that leads them to switch to the sneakers they brought, invalidating any of this prep work.
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby The hermit » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:30 am

Tom Brown
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:36 am

yep. have all those books.

books 119 001.JPG


yet, AT is spot on in her analysis.

I know it's hard to fathom that I actually read books. Tom Brown was a big influence on me; but I was already headed there.
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Re: Sole Prints

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:07 am

We are trained to go track to track from the last known good track. We track across granite - looking for minute scuffs and lichen displacement.

The best place to pick up a known identifiable track is the vehicle or near it - we always approach a vehicle with great care so as not to contaminate evidence. So the priorities, if you are tracking, are to treat that area like a crime scene - random people and other searchers not track trained - DO NOT go walking up to the vehicle willy nilly. DO NOT contaminate any tracks in the vicinity of it. And once a tracker is on track, the only people that should be in his/her vicinity are the flankers who know how not to cross the track.

If you are a friend trying to find a friend before law enforcement has even been called, please keep this in mind - having YOUR shoes on hand to show to the tracker helps them rule you out.

It should go without saying that one of the most important data points is the place last seen - who dropped you off and EXACTLY where, or the location of your vehicle and a description of it, are MEGA important.
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