Using A Print Map

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by Vinaya, Jul 5, 2017.

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  1. Vinaya

    Vinaya Expert Member

    Blog Posts:
    Are you good at using printed map especially in the wilderness? Can you follow all the markings on your map?
    When it comes to reach the destination by following a map, I am really bad at this. I cannot follow the map instruction.
    One of my biggest feat while traveling in the wilderness is being lost. Since I cannot follow the map, I need someone to be by my side. A traveling companion will be good, if not a guide.
    What about you?
    Keith H. likes this.
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member

    Blog Posts:
    I can follow a map well enough to get where i'm going.
  3. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Expert Member

    Blog Posts:
    I am not sure what you mean by the term "wilderness" ? If you just mean out in the countryside, but someplace where there are actual mapped roads, then I am usually pretty good at following the map to get where I am trying to go. If you are talking about an actual wilderness with no mapped roads (or even roads at all), then I am not sure how well I would do with just a topography map that showed only mountains and rivers.
    When I lived out in Western Washington near Mt. St. Helens, there were a lot of the old Weyerhaeuser logging roads in the forest near our house, and this was where the military from Ft. Lewis sent their soldiers to learn survival training. Even they got lost out in the woods sometimes, and that was with some actual roads to travel on and a map to follow, and all of the survival and mapping gear to help them.
    We found one poor soldier who said he was almost a week overdue to be picked up because he was lost and could not find his way back to the main road. My daughter and I were out riding our horses on the trails, and he stepped out of the woods (where he had been hiding) when he saw us, to ask directions.

    I think that just spending time out in the woods (or whatever uninhabited area you have) and familiarizing yourself to finding your way around would help a person get some good basic skills in mapreading, before you actually have to go out and use a map to find your way through some wilderness.
    Also, it depends on how accurate your map is.
    When I worked for the census bureau, they gave us maps that showed every road in the area; but some of the maps were so old that they weren't relevant anymore. What was once a road migh now just be a trail through a cow pasture, and new roads might have been put in that didn't show up on the old map. So, it is important that you have up-to-date and accurate maps to use.
  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

    Blog Posts:
    In order to be able to use a map, e.g. understand the contours & lay of the land & match it to your surroundings, you need to know roughly where you are in the first place. Personally I think you are better off learning how to tell direction, & how to maintain a straight line of travel. Check out the post on Lost Survival.
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