Traditional Methods for Precision Backcountry Navigation

The ability to travel safely, confidently, and independently in wild and remote outdoor places requires practiced skills with knowledge of your surroundings, your tools, and yourself. The art and science of precision land navigation is not difficult if taken one step at a time, anyone can master it but field practice is necessary to build confidence and skill. Details of teaching advanced methods and techniques may vary but the philosophy is the same – observe the surrounding environment, use a few simple tools, let your mind process information and work with nature’s available clues to find your way in the woods. This tutorial focuses on basic traditional methods that have been successfully applied by woodland and mountain navigators for decades and much longer.  Navigation methods of terrain association, observational navigation, dead reckoning, map reading, and map with compass all require you to interact with the environment using very simple tools.

Paul Repak has an excellent article addressing Route Planning, Map Study, Terrain Association and Observational Navigation and the The Nitty Gritty Tricks of Terrain Navigation.  Read it here.

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