Whether on a family hike or exploring your own backyard, it is easy to make casts of animal tracks. All you need is a tin can with both ends cut out and some plaster of paris.

First locate a track with clean features. Look in damp or sandy areas where the soil is soft. Being careful not to alter the track imprint, remove any debris or loose soil from the track. Then place the open tin can over the track and press it lightly into the soil to seal it. Use a can that surrounds the entire track.

Next, mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup plaster of paris with water until the consistency is similar to pancake batter. Pour the plaster into the can, covering the track and filling the can to a depth of about 1′. Let the plaster dry at for least 1 hour before moving the can. After the plaster dries for 24 hours, you can remove it from the can. Coating the can with oil makes removal of the cast easier.