Archive | Navigation

Before setting out, it's good to get everyone on the same page in terms of declination, GPS datumns, and waypoints

Backcountry Navigation in a Group by Blake Miller

There is nothing more enjoyable than hiking with friends in the backcountry. However, preparation is essential for any wilderness trek.  When hiking in a group, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page regarding our navigation.  Agree in advance to some simple parameters before heading out.  The following recommendations can be done at home […]

Continue Reading · 19
Presidential Traverse Topo

Time Control Plan for a Presidential Traverse

How long does it take to hike a Presidential Traverse? That depends on a lot of factors, but there is a way to figure it out using a navigational aid called a Time Control Plan. Time control plans (TCP) are used to estimate the time and required to reach a destination and predefined way points along […]

Continue Reading · 10
Casio Men's PAG240-1CR Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch

SectionHiker Gear of the Year Award: Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch

Every year, I like to recognize a piece of gear that has the biggest transformational impact on my hiking and backpacking experience by giving it the Section Hiker Gear of the Year Award. This year’s winner is the Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch whose built-in barometric altimeter helped transform my off-trail navigation skills this year. […]

Continue Reading · 15
Two-way communication with Search and Rescue

DeLorme inReach Explorer Satellite Communicator Review

The DeLorme inReach Explorer is a satellite communicator and GPS tracking device that sends and receive text messages, can send an SOS message for help, and track your route and GPS waypoints, even when you are out of range of cell phone towers and wireless networks. I’ve been using one since late summer on all of […]

Continue Reading · 17
Caltopo UI

Caltopo: A Great Online Mapping and Planning Tool for Hikers

I started using to plan and document all of my hikes and backpacking trips about a year ago after my friend Matt (Matt’s Hikes) recommended it on the approach hike to Peak Above the Nubble. Matt raved about Caltopo’s ability to print out custom maps using the 1:24000 USGS scale – which are excellent for […]

Continue Reading · 11
1950 Crawford, NH USGS Quad, Southeast Corner

Hiking into the Past with Historic Maps

When I plan hikes in the White Mountains, especially off-trail hikes, I try to research the history of the area that I’ll be hiking in before my trip. One of the richest, but rarest forms of information is in the form of old maps of the region, which often show abandoned trails, logging, or ski […]

Continue Reading · 17