Reloading he advanced cautiously, frequently losing and refinding the trail.
Old English findan "come upon, meet with, discover; obtain by search or study" (class III strong verb; past tense fand, past participle funden), from Proto-Germanic *finthan "to come upon, discover" (cf. Old Saxon findan, Old Frisian finda, Old Norse finna, Middle Dutch vinden, Old High German findan, German finden, Gothic finþan), originally "to come upon."
The Germanic word is from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go" (cf. Old High German fendeo "pedestrian;" Sanskrit panthah "path, way;" Avestan panta "way;" Greek pontos "open sea," patein "to tread, walk;" Latin pons (genitive pontis) "bridge;" Old Church Slavonic poti "path," peta "heel;" Russian put' "path, way"). To find out "to discover by scrutiny" is from 1550s (Middle English had a verb, outfinden, c.1300).
"person or thing discovered," 1825, from find (v.).
A remarkable discovery, esp of something unexpected (1872+)
if you can't find 'em