Tips for Navigating the Wilderness: Practical Skills

Navigation is one of the most crucial abilities needed to make it through the wilderness. Without it, a lost hiker or camper has no choice but to depend on luck to escape the wilderness safe and alive. If you have future plans consisting of the wilderness among your adventure journeys, it is a great idea to learn some navigation skills because this will be beneficial for your own safety and security. Here are some camping tips to help you out with navigation.

Our ‘natural’ sense of direction

Our inherent talent to find our way home has been without a doubt a strongly debated topic and there is no tangible evidence that we can truly navigate ourselves out of the wilderness using only our ‘6th sense’. More often than not, it’s usually the force of habit or the lessons from a previous training that allow us to keep to a certain route in order not to lose our way.

There is also a tendency for people to follow the path that is predominant in their person. For example, a right-handed person will eventually veer to the right and walk in circles in that general direction while a left-handed person has a tendency to do the exact opposite.

Instead of trying to find your way out of the wilderness with the help of your ‘natural’ navigation talents, it’s best to learn how to find your way out using something you will be able to actually see, hear or control.

Navigating the wilderness

Granted that you can, do not ever go into the wild without first having an idea of how to navigate using a map or a compass. Make sure you possess these instruments with you and that you know how to read them properly. Map out your route before your trip so you will know which direction you will be headed. During your trek, refer to the map or compass periodically to check if you’re on the right track.

In case you don’t have these items with you, here are things you can do to navigate the wild and find your way home:

Always be aware

Let’s say for instance you voluntarily go on a trip into the wilderness. Prior to entering, understand where you are. Research study exactly what you can see and hear. Remember of roadways, rivers, streams, lakes, houses, buildings, anything that could assist you find where your exact starting position is.

If you can, try to find a distinctive feature of the landscape you are in– ridges, bodies of water, rocks, hills– and try to memorize where they are in relation to your present position. You might likewise want to attempt to identify the sun’s position and wind directions, although these factors can change throughout the day. It is likewise extremely useful to develop the directions to where you are headed right before entering the wilderness.

Leave a mark

If you are still unfamiliar with the area, you may try leaving a mark such as a broken branch, an improvised flag or a piece of material on a tree trunk or a rock so you will know where you’ve been. This is especially handy if you have to backtrack your steps. It will work well if you have absolutely nothing else to assist you with and in case someone has to find you.

Get an eagle’s eye view

Try to ‘map’ out your path or course by discovering a high vantage point (a tree, a rock or a hill) and looking out in all instructions to find your goal. This might be required if the terrain or immediate environment looks the same to you. By establishing your target area, you will understand the basic directions you should be headed.

Finding North

If you know where the direction of East is, discovering North will be simple. Face East and spread your arms straight shoulder high. Your left will be pointing to the North and your right toward South. Behind you is West. Based upon these directions, you can now determine where you must go.

If you’re uncertain of where east is or if you cannot tell whether it’s day or afternoon based upon the sun’s existing position, you may need to use other tools. One of these is your watch. This method is recommended for an analog watch, but it can likewise work with the digital type as long as you mark a specific part for the essential function. Here’s how:

If you are located in the northern hemisphere, hold your watch and turn until the hour hand points straight at the sun. The direction which is discovered midway in between the number ’12’ and the hour hand is South. As soon as you’ve identified where South is, you’ll understand that the specific reverse is North. Knowing where North is will help you establish where East and West are.

If you remain in the southern hemisphere, turn your watch up until the number ’12’ points directly towards the sun. The direction that is discovered in between the hour hand and ’12’ is North.

There are other ways to determine directions and browsing your escape of the wilderness and some of them take a little effort and time. Bear in mind that the wilderness, for most of us, is unfamiliar territory and needs to be approached with much care, readiness and respect. Discover the basic details about navigation and you’ll never need to hesitate of the wilderness, despite whether you are lost or not.