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Video I put together for AllOutdoor talking about keeping your bearings / not getting lost in the woods.

Dogs were having a great time making this video.


Be sure to subscribe to the AllOutdoor YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/AllOutdoorcom

Full article - http://www.alloutdoor.com/2018/04/23/how-not-to-get-lost-hiking/

The gist of the video and article is about land navigational skills. Before heading into the woods, take time to learn basic skills, practice, and then at the very least take a compass reading before heading out.

P.S. The preview image of the video is me. I took the picture using my walking stick, camera and timer. The stick was shoved into the sand, camera sat on top of it, and the timer set.
 

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Good video and excellent point about practicing "before" heading off into the woods. Another consideration is terrain. Flat, wooded terrain makes terrain association difficult without key features such as a river (hopefully on your topo map). This is where your compass and dead-reckoning become far more important.

There are times that walking along your azimuth isn't feasible due to terrain or impassable features (lake, swamp, major depression, simply very thick/dense foliage). Understanding how to "dog-leg" or navigate around the obstacle is pretty critical. Those obstacles are often what causes meandering and getting off course. Prominent terrain features are vitally important to identify from your starting point and having a boundary feature helps to keep from really screwing up (such as a major river, power line, rail-road, highway, coast-line, mountain range, etc.) and keeping you inside your intended area or path direction.

Practice in a controlled environment first. Learn the basics and how to use both a topographic map and compass.

You mentioned understanding your time/distance when hiking. This is my primary method of locating our position when hiking on the AT and really narrows down our location quickly. I don't necessarily need a compass other than a quick map-orientation, but I can quickly zone in on our location based on the map and time/distance we traveled. It's pretty important when looking for a marked water source or figuring out if you have enough time to make it to your designated campsite before a heavy down-pour hits or if we need to start looking for a site immediately.

ROCK6
 

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You know, I'd have to sit and think hard about the things I do. They happen in the back of my mind. Kind of like describing how to do a three point turn vrs. simply doing your 10,000th 3 point turn.

"My gosh man! You were just a kid, barely into your teens and you were wondering around in forest and swamp hunting squirrel by yourself. How could you not get lost?"

"I dunno. Just always knew where I was."
 
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