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.
The decision between using hiking apps, GPS device and map and compass depends on personal preference and hiking needs. Iv’e learnt how to use a map and compass, smartphone apps and GPS devices so I...
Observation is a vital skill for hike navigation. By observing your surroundings, you can identify trail markers, assess terrain and hazards, identify landmarks, and enjoy the scenery.
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