Improvised Tracking Device

Posted on Posted in Urban Survival

Mobile Surveillance is a uniquely challenging skill set in the intelligence-gathering arsenal. Requiring a Nomad to engage with multiple streams of information at once – from the flow of traffic to a target’s sudden turns to the possibility of being spotted – it becomes even more difficult when a vehicles distinguishing features are eclipsed by the dark of night, when identifying a car by its make and model becomes a near impossibility. Similar difficulties emerge if a Nomad needs to track a target through dense urban environments or when the target drives a common vehicle in a country where license plates are seen as optional.

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When the ever-present possibility of losing a target is multiplied by these factors a rudimentary infrared tracking device can be used to illuminate the tracked vehicle. Forged out of camera film or floppy disc material and a white-light key ring LED flashlight, it functions identically to an improvised infrared light. But instead of being hand held, once the device is assembled, it is cable tied to the under carriage of the target vehicle.

Camera film or floppy disc material will subtract the visible rays from any mechanism that emits white light, acting as a barrier that lets only infrared rays (invisible to the naked eye) through. Lending a telltale glow that is visible only to the Nomad viewing the roadway through the lens of a digital camera or smartphone, the resulting makeshift device provides the sort of close-range confirmation tracking that a satellite device might miss by several feet. (more suitable for longer-term surveillance, GPS tracking devices enable surveillance teams to establish the target’s pattern of life over time)

Adapted from 100 Deadly Skills by Retired Navy SEAL Clint Emerton

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