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AmbassadorofSodomy
Dec 30, 2016

SUCK A MALE CAMEL'S DICK WITH MIRACLE WHIP!!


This is a work in progress, I'm hoping that some knowledgable goons will add their expertise in the (several) areas that the OP is lacking. I will update,
and cite the goons who are kind enough to contribute their knowledge to the thread as it becomes available.


Don't get lost!! The Wilderness navigation thread.

I looked back and didn't see anything resembling a thread like this and decided that a thread for learnin' goons to navigate in the woods might be interesting/good
etc.. The idea of course is to share experience, tips, knowledge and so on about navigating in the outdoors.
We have a lot of goons who hunt, are avid outdoors people and also some people whose job it is to be outside and use compasses and other poo poo to navigate, so I'm
hoping they will add some of their expertise to the fire.

My own experience:

Not a hell of a lot TBH. When I was in my first semester in college, circa fall 2001, part of my requirement was to be taught/learn to navigate with a compass and map.
After they figured we knew what we were supposed to know, my class and I were loaded in to a bus, driven out to somewhere, dumped off and the teacher was all like
"here's a map, use your compass and the poo poo you were taught to go from here (point X) on your map to point Y. If you come out of the woods in 3 metres or less from
point Y you pass. Any more than that and you fail".

Well, I knew enough to come out within 3 metres of point Y and get a passing grade on that but then I pretty much haven't used those skills since.
Thats not to say I haven't used a compass since then, just not for *that* particular type of legit, map + compass navigation. Thus I've forgotten how to do it.


Compasses, Why do I need one?
A good compass will last you forever, can be used just about anywhere, doesn't have batteries that can go dead on you at an inopportune time, electronics that can
bug out on you (My old Magellan GPS, I'm looking at you), and if you drop it in the water, it'll probably still work. Though there are a lot of GPS units these days
that are waterproof to a certain extent.

"Just about anywhere"?
There are, I guess you could call them "northern hemisphere" compasses, and "southern hemisphere" compasses. They can suffer from inaccuracies on the other side of the equator. BUT, there are also "world" compasses that have some sort of voodoo that makes them good for both hemispheres. Someone smarter that me can feel free to elaborate further on this. Also electric fields can mess with a compass's accuracy, and big hunks of ferrous metal. Like cars, construction equipment and so on. My friend had a pair of subs in the trunk of his car and the compass read out on his rearview mirror always showed that he was pointed north.

"I got a compass as a stocking stuffer. It came from walmart and cost 33 cents, is it good"?
Well, I guess if the needle points somewhat accurately to north, then its better than nothing.

A decent compass can be had for 20-50 bucks at most outdoors stores. It'll last a life time as long as you don't drop it from too high on to a rock.

"What are some good brands of compass"?

Suunto, Silva, and Brunton are the 3 brands that I see most of in just about every store that sells anything even remotely outdoorsy, and as far as I know they
all have good reputations. If any goons wish to add a few more names to this, I'm happy to update this one.

"What should I look for in a compass"?

Read this, its better than what I could post here: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/compass.html


What about a GPS?

A GPS is great for navigating with pinpoint accuracy. Assuming you can pick up enough satellites, which doesn't seem to be much of a problem these days, compared
to the past, but there are still times when that may be a problem

I have little experience with GPS units made in the last 10 years or so, and even those ones were kinda buggy (Magellan, Explorist 210 and Triton 2000).
They were quite accurate, but the Triton would crash on a regular basis.
If you're a goon with modern GPS experience and don't mind posting it up, I'll include it in this section and I know the entire thread will appreciate it.

Maps

A compass and/or GPS co-ordinates can only get you so far. You still need a map, whether its electronic or paper.

Since electronic maps are typically only found on a "device" like a gps/phone etc, I'll concentrate on some basics of paper maps here

Map scale:

Map scale is the ratio of map distance to ground distance. For example: 1:10,000 Thats a big scale. 1cm on the map is equal to 10,000cm on the ground.
10,000 cm is 100 metres. A smaller scale would be for example 1:250,000. 1cm is equal to 250,000 cm or 2500 metres, or 2.5 km.
Things like rivers, lakes streams, cliffs, buildings and more should be shown in good detail, the bigger the scale of the map is.
I've got some amazing 1:10,000 scale maps from the Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources, they show so much poo poo. To me they're worth their weight in gold.
If you're going to get paper maps for whatever adventure you have in mind, get the biggest scale you can find.

Note the scale measurement and you can see the "70" and "80" grid lines. As this is a 1:10,000 scale map, that means there is 1000m (1 Kilometer) in between the grid lines. Also shown in this photo, the contour interval


Contour lines:
Contour lines show the changes in elevations on a map. If you look at the line, it will have a number on it, which corresponds with the elevation of that line.
In most places it will be in metres, in freedom land it will probably be feet (?). Depending on which way you're moving your finger, the numbers will
increase or decrease denoting a rise or fall in elevation. The contour interval is the difference in elevation between successive contour lines. Lines
spaced far apart would denote a gentle rise, or fall (depending on which direction you are going) while lines closer together denote a sharper rise or fall.
If the lines are REALLY close together, you're probably looking at a very sharp change in elevation, a cliff perhaps. If you see those contour lines really close
together along the course of a river or stream, you're most likely looking at a waterfall.

I'm an awful photographer here, but these contour lines, so close together indicate a cliff. They read 200m, 205, 210, 215 and 220m with an interval of 5m.

I can confirm that its a cliff having been there. Observe:


Also note in the map photo, that white line running through the middle with the dark line that has dots on it. That is the electrical transmission towers shown in the photo of the cliff. As well as the swamp feature that sticks out from the bottom of the map photo.

Legend
A map's legend is a visual explanation of the symbols used on the map. With an example of each.
A blue line will denote a river for example, lines of varying thicknesses and colours may denote roads whether primary, secondary, or tertiary. Various other symbols
will indicate airports/air strips, buildings, lot and concession boundaries, state/provincial and national park borders, mines and more. Check your local map legend for more details on the all the neat stuff you can find on a map legend.

I tried to get a decent photo of my map legend to add to here but I'm an awful photographer, so here is one I stole from the internet.


North, north and north
There are three norths.
True north, which is the direction on the earth which leads to the geographic north pole. Basically "real north"
Grid north refers to the direction to north along the grid lines of a map projection.
Magnetic north is the "north" that your compass needle points at and changes over time. The amount that this changes should be noted on the map information

Publication dates/data
Publication date should be listed, and is important because you will use that date to determine how much change there is in magnetic north from the time (year)
the map was made, to the time you're using it.



Grid interval. The "distance on the ground" between grid lines. For my 1:10,000 maps, the grid interval is 1000 metres. So, each grid square is 1 square KM.

Map Datum.
Someone smarter than me can explain this better than I ever could I'm sure, but there are three "datums" in use in North America. And probably others used in
other parts of the world. The ones used in North America are:

NAD 27 CONUS - North American Datum of 1927 for the Continental United States (Common on older USGS maps)
NAD 83 North American Datum of 1983 (Used on most newer USGS maps)
WGS 84 World Geodetic System of 1984 (The default datum used by the GPS system)

When using a GPS and a map, you need to make sure that the datum your GPS is set to, is the same as that found on your map. To once again use my 1:10,000 maps
for an example, the datum is NAD 83, ot North American Datum 1983. So I would need to set my GPS unit to NAD 83 in order to work with these maps. If it was
set to a different Datum, my position would be substantially off compared to the map.

UTM: Universal Transverse Mercator.
Basic explanation is a system or assigning coordinates to locations on the surface of the earth.
It divides the earth in to Zones, and then inside each zone you have an "Easting" and a "Northing"

The following article and short video from one of my college instructors can explain things better than my dumb rear end so sit back for a few minutes, read and then
check out the video. Watch it all the way to the end, because when I saw it, I was all like "well its easy to figure it out because everything you're measuring
corresponds with a grid line, but closer to the end, he shows a point or two that are inside a square.
https://www.explore-mag.com/The-Hap...GY-iAM9_1s3a10Q


I hope some of you have learned something from my post, and hope that all can contribute and make this the bestest thread in TGO!

AmbassadorofSodomy fucked around with this message at 02:49 on Feb 21, 2021

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AmbassadorofSodomy
Dec 30, 2016

SUCK A MALE CAMEL'S DICK WITH MIRACLE WHIP!!


Reserved for stuff tbd.

Elmnt80
Dec 30, 2012

OH NOOOO!





Oooh. I have like 0 to contribute to this since I can somehow get lost on city roads with gps running on my phone, but I am extremely interested in this thread.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

wesleywillis posted:

I'm an awful photographer here, but these contour lines, so close together indicate a cliff. They read 200m, 205, 210, 215 and 220m with an interval of 5m.

I can confirm that its a cliff having been there. Observe:


Also note in the map photo, that white line running through the middle with the dark line that has dots on it. That is the electrical transmission towers shown in the photo of the cliff. As well as the swamp feature that sticks out from the bottom of the map photo.

Seems like this is the key to getting started. Just grab a map and a compass and get out there. I remember being intimidated by all the technical seeming aspects, and avoided engaging at all. Then I just gave it a whirl and found it fun and much easier than expected.

The Rat
Aug 29, 2004

You will find no one to help you here. Beth DuClare has been dissected and placed in cryonic storage.



Something to note is that if you're planning on going off trail, it can be worth it to look at the area in Google satellite view ahead of time. Contour lines don't tell the whole story. There are probably other examples, but the one I'm thinking of is rock glaciers. Can't tell from contour lines, can't tell when you're looking at it in person, but they do have signs you can see from satellite view. Good to know where they are so you can go around and avoid them.

Rick
Feb 23, 2004
And now the whole nation - pulpit and all - will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open.

Do you have any favorite places to buy maps? We had a Map and Flag store but the owner retired and closed the retail store (apparently you can still buy weird flags from him direct but he doesn't keep the maps anymore).

AmbassadorofSodomy
Dec 30, 2016

SUCK A MALE CAMEL'S DICK WITH MIRACLE WHIP!!


Rick posted:

Do you have any favorite places to buy maps? We had a Map and Flag store but the owner retired and closed the retail store (apparently you can still buy weird flags from him direct but he doesn't keep the maps anymore).

Don't know where you're from, but I used to buy my 1:10,000 maps straight from the Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources. Unfortunately they don't sell them anymore.

I got a few from a place called Jeff's Maps, which had a pretty good reputation. I actually got a couple custom maps made by them. Basically I was looking for a map to cover a certain area, but on the government maps available, the area was half on one map, half on the other. They were able to stitch the left part of one map, and the right part of another map together. Complete with Legend, all relevant info, etc in to one map, and even print it off on to a waterproof sheet.
I don't think Jeff's Maps is in business anymore, but Jeff, who was the Jeff in Jeff's maps started another company (there was a falling out between him and partners IIRC) called Unlostify.
https://www.unlostify.com/

I'm not sure what if any custom stuff they do thus far, but you can always email and ask.

If you're elsewhere besides Ontario, you could probably check your state/province/territory government's website for publications.

The Voice of Labor
Apr 8, 2020



usgs still publishes topo maps for the u.s.. it takes a fair amount of navigation on their website to find the shop for printed maps and it likewise takes some digging to find the one that encompasses the chunk of the country you're looking for. they're also a little pricey at around $35 each.

if you're good with loading it up on a tablet or something though I'm pretty sure digital copies are free

Rick
Feb 23, 2004
And now the whole nation - pulpit and all - will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open.

Thank you.

I guess I can find the visitor center for most of the places I go so they probably have maps.

Natty Ninefingers
Feb 17, 2011


REI often has a good selection, with Nat Geo and Greentrails. I usually just print something off caltopo for dayhiking tho

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Endjinneer
Aug 17, 2005


Fallen Rib

This is a really useful guide on techniques for navigating across difficult terrain on foot. It's written for the sort of people who enjoy racing on foot between checkpoints across miles of featureless bog in horizontal rain so the focus is on efficiency.
https://fellrunner.org.uk/documents/mountain_navigation.pdf

Micronavigation is good fun to practice if you have access to even a small patch of wilderness that's decently mapped. You can make yourself a series of bearings to follow between features a few hundred metres apart like ring contours, forks in streams, changes in vegetation, ponds or whatever. Then walk the bearings without looking up (or go in the dark), see how far off you are with each section and work out what caused the error.

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