Snow & Ice
Eskimo Snow ] Winter Camping ]




Search  Inquiry Net

Back ] Home ] Up ]

Eskimo Snow
Winter Camping

Winter Games
Snowball Warfare
Skate Sailing
Woods in Winter
Snow Statuary
Ice Fishing
Evening Entertainment
Winter Projects
Polar Bear Swim
Snow & Ice

Scout Books

Site Contents

By Dan Beard

Foot Tracks in the Snow

To those of us grown-ups who are honest and own up to being more or less sentimental, there are few things more interesting than tracks in the snow. To thread the tortuous course of a set of tracks, taking due care not once to leave the trail, is among those simple, natural and spontaneous delights often looked upon as such a matter of course that we fail to recognize the fact that our zest and pleasure in tracking, results from the hunting instinct that has come down to us from the childhood of the human race.

Even the beaten paths in the snow possess a joy all of their own, which to our mind excels that of the enchantment of the open road, that has been sung by many writers before this was penned and long before Stevenson wrote of it with such compelling charm.  

To a barefooted boy swinging on the front gate of the white picket fence, the road is both a challenge and an invitation, as he gazes wistfully down the dusty reaches and long perspectives where the fences on each side seem to converge until they meet in the unexplored distance, or where the road climbs up the hills and dips into the swales to loose itself at last in the mystic camouflage shadows of overhanging branches. 

That carefree joy in the open road, that yearning to fare forth and solve the mystery of what lies beyond comes with almost irresistible force to all of us.

But the mystery of the open highway pales into insignificance when confronted with the wonder and the enchantment of a brand new world created overnight!  A fairy world of crystal white with a sparkling cover which conceals all the rough edges of the fields, rounds off all the sharp angles of the banks, and everywhere smoothes out the irregularities of the earth's surface. 

Think of the joy of donning boots and leggins or moccasins, fastening on skis, or snowshoes, and making paths in the snow where no foot of man or beast before has left a track, to be the very first to step into the land of enchantment!  Even we grown-ups still feel a hint of these vivid pleasures which have drifted down to us from glorious boyhood like a faint incense, transporting our spirit back to the radiant days of yesterday!

It is difficult to tell whether the lure of the trackless snow or the white expanse dotted with Indian pictographs made by the feet of birds and beasts, is more attractive.  One feels the delight of an explorer in a new land of virgin snow, but one also feels the nerve tingling excitement of the cave man at the sight of game, when one follows the tracks in the snow made by the wild creatures of the woods and fields.

A road or even a trail, be it ever so wanton and casual, must be bound by certain limitations in order that we may properly call it a road, trail, path or trace.  It cannot go where it pleases; it must wind its way around obstructions, it must follow the natural grades or valleys, as did the ancient Indian "traces" [the name formerly used for Indian trails] upon which practically all our highways, yes, and railroads too, are built. 

But, not so with the tracks in the snow, they on the contrary, are delightfully random, aimless and irresponsible and go where they list, under the fallen logs, or leap over them, sometimes running on top of one to its full extent, or they may recklessly cross the traveled road at right angles, go over a stone wall or up a hill or down; apparently they are incorrigible, simply happening or coming to pass and governed by no rules or purpose. 

They either have no destination or they have their own idea of where they are going, and their own manner of getting there; they fascinate both man and boy, for each of us is curious to know to what unexpected adventure these tracks may lead.








Additional Information:

Eskimo Snow ] Winter Camping ]

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Winter Games ] Snowball Warfare ] Skate Sailing ] Woods in Winter ] Snowmen ] Snow Statuary ] Ice Fishing ] Skating ] Evening Entertainment ] Winter Projects ] Advancement ] Polar Bear Swim ] [ Snow & Ice ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Winter Camp ] Activities & Recreation ] Food & Water ] Gear & Clothing ] Health & Safety ] Sleep & Shelter ] Travel & Navigation ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!



Amazon Logo



Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net,  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  


Last modified: October 15, 2016.