A Selection of Articles and Resources
- from the desk of Bob Myers, LTC Navigation Chair.
Basic knowledge of navigation is important to everyone who enjoys the outdoors.
- The ability to read a map is necessary not only to get to the trailhead but also to help plan and stay on the correct route.
- The ability to use a compass can help you determine if you are heading in the right direction while on a trail, even if you are in fact on the correct trail. A compass also helps you make the correct choice when a trail forks.
- Skill at using a compass in conjunction with a map allows you to identify features on the landscape.
- The ability to navigate becomes essential whenever you leave the trail and begin cross-country travel. Under these circumstances, you must be able to identify your location at all times, correlate the observed terrain with the map, plot and follow a route and avoid hazards.
- Navigation is also essential in emergencies. If an injury occurs, even on a trail, you must be able to accurately identify the location for rescuers. You might also need to navigate cross-country to notify the authorities.
- The ability to navigate becomes critical after nightfall, during severe storms, white-outs or when the trail disappears for some reason. Being able to determine where you are and how to quickly and safely get to a destination may mean the difference between a little inconvenience and becoming a statistic.
With these skills, you will develop the confidence to leave established trails and go to seldom visited places that are only accessible by cross-country travel.