Memorize the terrain

by Ebvan
(United States)

When moving cross country on foot stop every few minutes and take a long look at your back trail. Try to memorize the terrain. Wild country always looks different from different angles.

If you have to back track this will help you retrace you steps. I don't like to blaze a tree, but if you absolutely have to, be sure you make a mark that identifies your direction and can be seen going both ways.


Learn more about wilderness navigation, both with and without a map and compass.

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Know your distance

by Alex
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Some sound advice before venturing out in the bush is to know how many paces it takes for you to walk a hundred meters. That way when you are navigating you can keep track of the distance covered in relation to your map.





The average grown man will take between 65 and 75 'right footed' paces in a hundred meters or between 130 and 150 paces. Just count every left or right step and when you reach 65 or so start over. Each consecutive recount should be 100 meters.

Its an excellent and quick way of calculating distances traveled. Also important is to keep track of how many consecutive recounts you do.


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Walking straight

by Glade Allred
(Utah)


In heavy Forrest, all things being equal, right handed people tend to make right handed turns and therefore if each side of the tree is equal they will in general go around the right side of the tree. This fact repeated as it is over and over will in then lead them in a direction much to the right of where they thought they were going even though they were following a compass heading the entire time.

The same is true of a left handed person going left, hence left handed people when lost go in left handed circles and so on. The answer being very simple, make a mental note, I went to the right of the last two or three trees and now to the left of the next will now keep you going straight on your compass heading.

Of course none of this is a problem in open terrain or day light where a point on bearing can be established and proceeded toward.

Again thanks for a wonderful site.

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Look for landmarks

by Cortnee
(Canada)

Keep aware of your surroundings, always mark a tree every few km or so to remember where you have been. Look for landmarks that stand out, just in case you can't find your trees.

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Shadow stick method

by Ben
(United States)

To determine a true East-West Line on a sunny day, place a stick upright in the ground. Mark the end of the shadow with a stone. Wait 15 minutes or so, then mark the end of the shadow again with another stone. Place your left heel on the second stone, with your toes pointing towards the first stone.

Your foot should be pointing due west now and if you put your right arm straight out from your side, it will be pointing due North.

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Field expedient direction finding

by Tom
(United States)

If lost in a wooded area, look for a stump from a logged tree. Observe the growth rings. The southerly direction can be determined by the width of the rings. The rings will be wider on the part of the stum that faces south.


Start to prepare your trip before you head for the trails!

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Land Navigation with Map and Lensatic Compass

by Jimmy D.

The fact is many people every year get lost in the wilderness, due to their lack of knowledge in LAND NAVIGATION skills. BUT, how does one improve on their LAND NAVIGATION skills.

There are outdoor wilderness navigators of various skill levels out there that can use these lessons, to improve their skills and introduce others (beginners and those unfamiliar) into the world of Land Navigation.

The lessons are FREE to download, informative, and can be used to teach yourself and others in the knowledge of "LAND NAVIGATION with MAP and LENSATIC COMPASS".

WWW.LANDNAVIGATION.ORG

Very Respectfully,
Jimmy D.

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