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Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2003
This is an unusual book in which hard core tracking tips are blended with instructions on cultivation of the inner silence. As opposed to other stories about tracking which border the domain of fiction (e.g., "The Way of the Scout"), Brown gives us in this Field Guide practical advice on reading animal tracks, constructing shelters etc. The tips on "Nature Observation" in this field guide are unsurpassed by any other tracking book I know. TB provides us with priceless descriptions of what happens the moment we enter the forest - that is, how the alarm signal spreads from the birds to mammals and how long it takes for it to subside. The forest he is talking about is a living entity, where everything is connected and where one can plug into the circuits of the information flow by learning to listen to the sounds, by studying the terrain and the wind and by knowing how to camouflage and mask one's smell. The book provides useful info on various types of walking/stalking in the woods. Finally, there is deep reverence for nature something which occurs when one has learnt to be silent amidst the whispering trees (no mean trick for the Westerner who tends to function through the head). Tom Brown has learnt the inner silence tricks from his Apache teacher ("the Grandfather") and trackers might find this book useful for learning more about Native American attitudes toward nature. A similar approach to nature is encountered in some of Paul Rezendes' books (which i also recommend). In short, this book will be useful to those who are interested in approaching nature on its own terms. It will inspire the beginners in tracking and complement knowledge of hard core SAR UTS trackers (:)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2000
This book guides you to a deeper communion and awareness of nature not possible through the ordinary outdoor pursuits most authors write about. Here you will learn the basics of camouflage, observation, and movement which opens the door to seeing more in the outdoors then you thought possible. After reading this book for the first time, I took Brown's advice and simply sat down in the woods. Within fifteen minutes a woodchuck came blithely walking by totally oblivious to my presence. That was more wildlife than I had seen on a dozen previous hikes or camping trips. It was the starting point of twenty years of exploration and discovery and the end of mindlessly walking along trails and missing everything along the way. In this book Brown takes you beyond the "veneer" most other tracking guides cover. He helps you learn how to age tracks, identify the animal's sex, and read the animal's movements and emotions from the shapes and forms found around the track. Brown teaches through stories and experiences that brings tracking to life. This is in stark contrast to the dull didactic recitation of measurements and readings most other books provide. If you ever wondered if Native Americans could really track like the Apache in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the answer is here because Brown learnt everything he knows from an Apache Native American. Are you tired of returning from long hikes or camping trips only to feel that you somehow missed something? then get this book and welcome to Tom Brown's incredible world of adventure and discovery. Keep one thing in mind however, this book is only the beginning. It's up to you to decide how far along this path you want to walk.
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on April 7, 1998
This was the first book that I had ever found on tracking. It does a great job of teaching tracking fundamentals and enviromental awareness. Not enviromental awareness in the Greenpeace definition, but in being aware of what is going on around you. I lent it to a friend once and just about had to wrestle it out of his hands after a couple of months to get it back. It is a great book, well worth the money, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in tracking and observing nature. Some chapters include: Fine-tuning the senses; Movement and Camouflage; Animal Higways and signs; "Aging" Tracks and Signs; Reading and Following Tracks; and Search Tracking.
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on October 15, 2000
This book gave me a renewed enthusiasm for nature and an urgent need to be outdoors, I wanted to do everything he was teaching as I was reading it. I went right out and practiced his techniques as soon as possible during and after reading this book. I've never seen so much wildlife as I do now. It has made me a better outdoorsman and has given more meaning to my time spent outdoors. I can't wait to share it with my father who taught me some basics of tracking when I was a boy. This book taught me all the stuff I wished I had learned long ago, now i must make up for lost time I spent with my eyes closed to the things that connect me with the earth.
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on November 20, 1999
everything you need to know to observe nature more effectively. Good tips on stalking, camo and tracking. Brown at times gets "too close" to nature with his "way-of-the-indian-spirit-myths."
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on March 10, 1997
One of the most refreshing books ever. Spell binding in its ability to convey the simple wisdoms of nature. This book unlocks many secrets. A Must Read for every person who loves the outdoors
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on December 23, 1998
If you spend any time in the woods, or you want to become more aware of your surroundings you need to read this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2000
An o.k. introduction to the subject, I suppose, but there are better on tracking itself, such as James Halfpenny's A Guide to Mammal Tracking in North America, which simply presents serious, hard information, and outstanding illustrations, on family and species track characteristics, gaits and interpreting them, etc., without the mystical mumbo-jumbo of Brown's book(s). This book will help you become more aware of nature, as did the several courses I took at Brown's school in the early '80s, but I have since become very skeptical of much of what Brown has said and written. (And compare the illustrations of tracks in Brown's book to the illustrations in Murie's A Field Guide to Animal Tracks, from Houghton Mifflin, published earlier.)
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on September 24, 2014
Thank you!!!
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