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 Basic Concept:

 One of the skills that all campers should know of is the use of trail signs. We can apply it to our daily games, big or small. Aside from the fun and games, its official use is to show direction for us or others following us. In this article, we will talk about the use of trail signs in the wilderness environment.

 Finding the Return Path

 The first usage is while hiking. Sometimes there are parts of the trail which are hard to find the path.  We use it to lay a bread crumb trail so that we can find our way back.

 Showing Directions for Those Following

 Second usage is in a hike with many groups of hikers. The first group would lay the trail signs so others can follow from behind.

 Two types of Trail Signs:


 This type of signs may show some difficulty for those first learning trail signs because the materials are made of thing that are naturally existing in their surrounding. Example: rocks, wood, branch, pebles, etc.


This type is easier to recognize because it is made of material that are created by humans.  These materials help us draw signs on surfaces such as ground, walls, trees, etc.  Example: ash, chalk, paint, etc.

How to Use:

Both types have the same use.  Trail signs are always displayed on the right of the pathway.  It is from the ground to eye level, and not too far out beyond the path (1m).  Two (2) trail signs should me no more than 5m apart.  Each signs should be displayed clearly so there are no confusion when someone tries to find it.  Of course, when we use it in a game, the rules may change all together. Avoid displaying signs on easy moving objects because it can cause the follower to get lost.  For use with the camp activies, here are some commonly used trail signs.


a. Starting Point  

b. Go This Way 


c. Go Faster 


d. Slow Down 

e. Go Back 

f. Split up in two 

g. Join Together  


h. Turn Left  


i. Turn Right 

j. Camp This Way 
k. rong>Return to Camp at XX:XX Hours 
l. Go Pass Obstacles 

m.Potable Water 

n. Non-Potable Water

o. New Message 

p. Message within ?m


q. Message Here 


r. Message in All Directions

s. Message in Tree

t. Message This Way

u. No Admittent (Do NOT pass)

v. Danger (Be Careful When Entering)

w. Wait Here

x. Enemy Approaching

y. Bigger Enemy Approaching

z. Smaller Enemy Approaching

aa. Path Narrows
bb. The End

cc. North


The one thing to remember is the official use of trail signs is to show directions.  Trail signs are always set on the right of the pathway.  When using trail signs, pay attention to the spacing between signs (maximum 5m).  If you don’t see a sign within 5m, turn around and check your path.  In the event you can’t find the path, look at the changes in the surrounding.  Any object that doesn’t look natural can possibly be a trail sign.  Example: A pile of rocks stacked on top of each other or stacked in an arrow pattern;  a branch leaned on another branch.  Besides showing directions, we can use the trail signs in everyday games; but the rules can change from these listed above.

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