by Diane Spicer
Times have changed for hiking navigation.
Back in the day (when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, or 1971 when I started hiking), we had little squares of paper called maps.
And our wits (most of the time).
Hiking women today have access to a staggering variety of hiking navigation aids:
Or you could use dead reckoning (don't let the "dead" throw you).
Regardless of which system you use for figuring out where you're going, the underlying fundamental is knowledge.
It will cost you some time and effort to figure out which navigational tools are the most important for the type of hiking you do.
But don't begrudge that personal investment in your safety, along with the money you invest in it.
And count yourself in on that!
Peace of mind as a hiker is worth way more than the money it takes to navigate safely in all weather conditions.
Maybe wandering around in the woods for no reason appeals to you.
Or perhaps you're a hiker who likes to have a real purpose when you hit the trail.
If that's you, are you a geocaching hiker?
Food for thought:
Recent evidence shows a distinct trend.
And this article about the Guthook app and how it has changed thruhiking forever is worth a read.
Hopefully you don't rely upon your cell phone exclusively when you're hiking.
The chances of getting a signal while under dense forest cover, in a deep valley, or during nasty weather are rather low.
And cell phone batteries have been known to discharge completely at exactly the wrong time, leaving you helpless if you don't know:
I've noticed that two things contribute to the tales of woe which hikers share once they return to civilization after getting lost:
It's so easy to fall under the sway of "it will NEVER happen to someone as smart as me".
And it's also easy to overlook, ignore or plead ignorance of all the planning it takes to be a safe, not lost hiker.
Read these Hiking For Her tips on how to avoid the panic of getting lost, and how to deal with the panic of not knowing where you are on a hike.
Then go back up to the top of the page and start putting together your own personal navigation plan.
Stay tuned for detailed information on how to use maps, GPS, and other hiking navigational tools.
I'm perfecting my navigation skills, and writing down exactly how I'm learning to be comfortable no matter where I am.
My husband has figured out a way to use a cell phone with an app to take the place of a GPS system, and I'll be providing details right here.
Regardless of where you hike, you need to know a few navigation basics and I'll be sharing them soon.
It pays to stay found, wouldn't you agree?
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