Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bring a Map...

Well worn topo from a favorite backpack
I was recently reading a string of posts in one of my favorite hiking forums about lost hikers.    I also ride volunteer mounted horse patrol at my local state park,  and by far the most common help I give visitors is passing out maps and reorienting lost hikers.
You'll see from my blog tales that it took a number of trips for me to learn to read a topo map properly....I had some amusing and not so amusing mishaps on the way to learning to read a map.   But,  that was mostly while learning to read maps proficiently enough to hike off trail.   Basic map reading is not that hard...providing you remember to bring a good map!
You can get good maps at any backpacking store worth their salt,   you can order them on line,  you can get them at visitor centers near the area you are planning to visit.  
While you are at it...pick up a compass to go with your map.   Your compass does not need to be a large expensive compass that does everything.   Pick up a simple cheap compass and start using it even on day hikes!
Don't count on electronics to get you there.   Batteries go dead,  satellites cannot always be found when you need them.   If you hike,  learn to read a topographical map and compass....and have fun out there!

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