Tip: Stay Found with Basic Navigation Skills

It was a dark and stormy day. Two travelers followed a trail which was clearly marked as they journeyed from the Florence Lake Ferry to connect back onto the John Muir Trail. They followed the trail nearly 2 miles before one of them had a funny feeling and she glanced at her compass through the pouring rain. The clearly marked trail was in the wrong direction, we were adding an extra 4 mile loop!

This can easily happen to even experienced travelers. I recommend EVERYONE should know the basics of back country navigation.

These videos are thanks to Diane Purkey Wilson and CeCe Canton from the San Diego Sierra Club. They easily explain basic map reading skills which are so essential. As you learn these new skills, be patient. Each video is 2 to 4 minutes and you may want to break up the time you spend to help the info really stick.

LandNav 01 CONTOUR LINES 1:32
LandNav 02 PATTERNS MADE BY CONTOUR LINES 1:20
LandNav 03 UPHILL AND DOWNHILL 1:49
LandNav 04 GET YOUR COMPASS READY FOR ADVENTURE!3:45
LandNav 05 WHAT AM I DOING WITH THIS COMPASS? 2:24
LandNav 06 SETTING A BEARING 1:16
LandNav 07 TAKING A BEARING IN THE FIELD 1:49
LandNav 08 ORIENTING YOUR MAP 1:31
LandNav 09 TAKING A BEARING OFF YOUR MAP 2:56
LandNav 10 TRIANGULATION 3:27
LandNav 11, HEY, WHAT MOUNTAIN IS THAT? or, TERRAIN ASSOCIATION 3:01

LandNav 02 PATTERNS MADE BY CONTOUR LINES 1:20

LandNav 03 UPHILL AND DOWNHILL 1:49

LandNav 04 GET YOUR COMPASS READY FOR ADVENTURE!3:45

LandNav 05 WHAT AM I DOING WITH THIS COMPASS? 2:24

LandNav 06 SETTING A BEARING 1:16

LandNav 07 TAKING A BEARING IN THE FIELD 1:49

LandNav 08 ORIENTING YOUR MAP 1:31

LandNav 09 TAKING A BEARING OFF YOUR MAP 2:56

LandNav 10 TRIANGULATION 3:27

LandNav 11, HEY, WHAT MOUNTAIN IS THAT? or, TERRAIN ASSOCIATION 3:01