Hike navigation tools and techniques

Knowing how to navigate a hiking trail is an essential skill

While hiking is a relatively safe outdoor activity, it is only safe if you are prepared and know how to navigate the Australian bush. The key to any successful hike is knowing where you are going, where you have been and how to return safely. During your trip preparation you should also be aware of potential emergency and evacuation points in case things don’t go to plan. The most common cause of ill-fated hiking trips is people getting lost, so it is important to know how NOT to get lost and what to do if this does occur.

The most honest advice I can offer is, if you don’t know how to read a topographic map and use a compass or navigate a hiking trail using other aids, then stop to consider the hikes you plan to undertake as some hikes will require more advanced navigation knowledge. Having someone in your group that knows how to navigate is not really enough. You need to be able to return from every hike as if you were hiking solo. We all need to start every hike with the knowledge that we are personally in control of making it back safely.

How to read a map for hiking


Learn how to read a topographic map for hiking with ease. Master symbols, contours, and more through training and practice. Start your adventure now.

Rock cairns for hike navigation


Discover the controversy surrounding rock cairns in the bushwalking community. Are they pointless or do they impinge on the natural environment? Find out now.

Smartphone navigation for hiking


You want topographical maps and offline GPS navigation when you’re hiking into the wilderness? Have you considered smartphone trail navigation and hiking apps?

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