Best Wilderness Navigation

Brent Mccoy
• Wednesday, 28 October, 2020
• 7 min read

But find the right spot, and navigating off trail can open up the wilderness in a whole new way. And in places like the Great Lakes region, ice creates temporary routes only winter adventurers get to explore.

navigation wilderness skills folk basic shtfandgo
(Source: apartmentprepper.com)


Stay safe with tips on assessing ice and preparing for self-rescue. These tips, from backpacker and astronomy Ph.D. candidate Melodic Key, will ensure that you never get lost in the dark again.

Windows Phone The app (iOS) provides basic too maps, but its hallmark feature is an alert system that allows you to notify friends and family of where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

Set a pin on the map for the location you’re traveling to (say, a peak, a river put-in, or a remote climb), and then select “notify my safety circle.” The app prompts you to select your estimated return time and a short note and then automatically sends it to your contacts via email or text, so long as you have cell service. To that end, Cairn overlays its map with dots that show where previous users have and have not gotten cell coverage for various carriers, so you can better predict what sort of connectivity you’ll have on your route.

Of course, Cairn provides nowhere near the level of security of a sat-comm device like the Spot Gen 3, which can send an SOS signal directly to search and rescue. Aside from basic satellite weather radar, On (iOS and Android) offers overlays with information on private and public land boundaries, including information about individual landowners; trails, mileages, and slopes; areas of national forests that have been logged in the past five years; nautical charts; river stage forecasts; current wildfires; and forest service maps telling you what roads are accessible by what kind of vehicle.

With high-quality too maps and basic navigation features on your phone, Gaia (iOS and Android) sits on the other end of the spectrum from On. You won’t get as much detailed info as On (like satellite weather overlays, river reports, or recent timber cuts), but if you’re just looking to remain aware of where you are relative to your destination, Gaia’s all you need.

navigation wilderness level essential
(Source: naturereliance.org)

In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions.

After all, a catastrophic event may force us to evacuate quickly with only a small bag of supplies. Without a way to navigate effectively, you could easily spend hours or days walking around in circles.

They are small and inexpensive so there’s really no reason why you and your family shouldn’t have a few of them strategically placed among your survival gear. The key thing to remember with any compass is that the red part of the needle always faces North.

It may seem simple, but you would be amazed by how many people do this incorrectly and travel in the wrong direction as a result. Either way, it is imperative that you understand how to navigate without a compass in the event you ever find yourself in a survival situation.

Although there are some seasonal variations, the sun always rises in the East and Holland casino Eindhoven entrée sets in the West. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is due South when it is at its highest point in the sky.

wilderness navigation cautionary tale skills country map ridgeline summit route below north down right
(Source: rockchucksummit.com)

To get your bearings using this method, find a straight stick approximately 3 feet long. Look for a level spot that is relatively free from brush where the stick will be able to cast a definite shadow.

Although the shadow tip method is not 100% accurate, it is useful anywhere in the world and is a quick way to get an approximate orientation. If you only have a digital watch, you can draw a circle on a piece of paper with the correct time on it to accomplish the same goal.

If your watch is set to daylight savings time, you will have to adjust slightly for accurate results. Bisect the angle (cut in half) between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock mark on the watch.

If you aren’t sure which end of the line is North, remember that the sun rises in the East, sets in the West, and is due South at noon. Basically, if the moon rises before the sun has set; the illuminated side will be the West.

Even in the summer months, many North facing slopes retain small patches of snow. In the winter, trees and open areas on South facing slopes are the first to experience snow melt.

wilderness destinations
(Source: placeswego.com)

In addition to studying basic survival skills and wilderness navigation techniques, you should also spend time understanding the geography of your local area. If a catastrophic event ever forces you to evacuate quickly, you will have a general idea of which direction provides the best chances for safety such as a secondary bug out location you may have already set up or an area protected by natural borders.

We need fire for warmth, cooking, food preservation, and water purification, among other uses. Luckily for those that are prone to misreading their own coordinates, these apps have made it that much easier to find your way back to the trail.

Perhaps the most well-known of the best navigation apps on the market, Trails offers its massive database to users so that they never get lost on the trail again. With a Gaia GPS membership, this app offers downloadable maps and the ability to record your adventures, so you never take a wrong turn again.

Gaia GPS is already used by thousands of guides and avid hikers all over the world, and their recently released hiking app offers maps complete contour lines and hill shading. Although $19.99 might seem like a lot for a navigation tool, the year-long subscription offers features and improvements that make it one of the best navigation apps on the market for casual hikers and backcountry explorers alike.

This app from REI is a living database that offers over 35,000 trails to the eager hiker or backpacker looking to hit the dirt as soon as possible. In addition to its pre-hike features, the app is equipped with on-trail navigation so that you never lose your way on a hike, no matter how long or short your adventure is.

wilderness navigation course
(Source: northeastalpinestart.com)

The ultimate digital tool for map-challenged hikers, Maps 3D Pro has quickly established itself as one of the best navigation apps on the market. The technology within the app brings contour lines and hard-to-picture hills and peaks to life so that you know exactly what to expect around the bend.

The impeccably designed interface includes a compass, a map overlay, a gyrocompass, speedometer, altimeter, a sextant, in clinometer, and an angular calculator, all of which can be used to tell exactly where you are at any given moment. Recent improvements to MapMyHike GPS have officially established it as an asset whether you’re deep in the backcountry or going out for a simple afternoon jaunt.

It’s mapping system and ability to search without internet connection make it an easy choice for hikers and backcountry enthusiasts needing a searchable database at the click of a button. With route planning features and the ability to access 360-degree panoramic views of important landmarks, Google Maps should be a staple amongst your hiking and backpacking navigation app collection.

Its features allow users to share hikes and adventures online with friends and family, all the while using the app to also navigate and track their progress against live maps. With live status tracking, hikers can see exactly where they are on the map as well as key data including altitude, speed, and distance traveled.

The app labels the peaks, passes, rivers, lakes, and other topographic features you’re looking at through the viewfinder: an easy and awesome way to center yourself on the landscape. With pre-downloaded maps, it works offline as an alternative to a traditional GPS: displaying too charts, logging waypoints and routes, and much more.

wilderness navigation course
(Source: www.redballoon.com.au)

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