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Navigation and Trip Planning

9 Expert Stream Crossing Tips

Wait for water to drop to a safer level or find a different crossing point.

Stream crossings can be intimidating for many hikers, even small streams where the consequences of getting wet or falling are minor. But learning to cross small streams forms the foundation for coping with larger streams and rivers, where the consequences of a fall are much higher. Here are some expert …

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Hiking Navigation Gear List

My Navigation Toolkit consists of a couple of maps, compass, whistle, watch:altimeter, pencil, paper, and a smartphone running the Gaia Navigation App

I carry a variety of navigation tools and devices on my hikes and backpacking trips because I’ve never found once that’s perfectly reliable or easy to use in all situations. Every navigation tool and device has different strengths and weakness, as I describe below. Maps, often more than one Compass, declination adjustable …

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9 Winter Navigation Hazards

Winter Navigation Hazards

Winter hiking navigation is different than three season navigation because easy trails can become unsafe from avalanche danger, deep snow, or dangerous weather conditions. When planning winter hiking routes, it’s important to factor these hazards into your route plans and preparation, even if it means taking a longer and safer route. Here’s a …

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Winter Navigation and Escape Route Planning

When bad weather rolls in above treeline, you want to have a pre-planned escape route that provides better cover

Whenever you plan hikes in backcountry areas, far from roads or towns, it’s useful to plan out escape routes in case an unexpected thunderstorm storm or blizzard blows in, you encounter white-out conditions, avalanche conditions, flash floods, forest fires, or you need to evacuate a companion. I do contingency planning like …

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Wilderness Navigation and Route Planning

Wilderness Navigation and Route Planning

Wilderness navigation requires planning routes across terrain that doesn’t have pre-defined trails or roads to follow. While following a route using a map and compass, GPS, map-to-terrain association or just dead reckoning is required, those tools and techniques don’t provide you with the skills to plan good cross-country routes. Part art and part …

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