Tracking humans and animals, aka “sign cutting,” with Rob Speiden

In this episode of the People Who Read People podcast, I talk to Rob Speiden (, who’s an expert in “sign cutting,” which is the tracking of humans or animals over land using clues of physical disturbance. Rob teaches tracking and his site is at He wrote, along with Greg Fuller, a respected textbook on tracking called Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting, and Tracking (F.A.S.T.).

Topics discussed include: common methods of tracking; the different types of tracking jobs that come up; how tracking is used in search and rescue scenarios; addressing some common misconceptions about what’s possible with tracking; the importance of being fully aware and open to all sensory input; the role of the unconscious in giving us clues, and more. Rob also tells some interesting stories from his career.

Episode links: