Blazing a tree for navigation reference is an important concept every bushman should know.
Beyond intensive navigation with a map and compass or terrain association techniques there is something a bushman can do to keep himself orientated in a new area of exploration. Blazing is the act of removing a small section of tree bark with your axe or knife to mark the trail you have been traveling. It may seem like it is a time extensive activity, but for marking trails it should be fast and simple. One chop down and another chop upward and off the bark will fly. Just don't forget to mark the back side of the tree so you can find your way out! There are specific patterns though that are known throughout the woodland community.
A single blaze means the trail goes straight ahead.
Two marks with a the second mark offset (in this case to the right) means trail continues to the right
Two marks with a the second mark offset (in this case to the left) means trail continues to the left
Three Blazes means danger lies ahead
I have used this technique many times when commuting into a new area during the summer months, especially when the foliage is very thick. It allows me to walk the same trail, to the same camp until I learn the area.
Stay in the Woods,