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Backpacker Magazine – September 2010

The Manual: Travel Off-Trail

Navigate across scree, snow, and rivers without getting blocked or lost.

by: Text excerpted with permission from BACKPACKER's Trailside Navigation: Map and Compass, by Molly Absolon, Illustrations by Supercorn



Map Folding 101
During cross-country travel, you’ll repeatedly be folding, unfolding, and refolding your map—a tricky skill, especially with a new quad with no fold lines. Here’s how to avoid a crumpled mess: Lay the map on a flat surface (1), and fold it lengthwise in half with the printed side facing in (2). Fold these halves back on themselves so the printed side faces out (3). The map should now be folded into quarters lengthwise. Find the map name. Bend the folded map in half again so the name is hidden on the inside (4). Fold the two ends back on themselves, ending up with a small square with the map name facing out (5).

Master Snow
>> In the winter and early spring, use snowshoes to avoid postholing. In late spring the few snow patches might not merit schlepping snowshoes. Walk along the typically shallow edges or shady, firm spots. >> Summer snow is harder in the morning. Angle upward, kicking your uphill boot into the snow to create a platform at least half a foot length. Swing from the knee for momentum. On steeper, softer slopes, face forward and kick straight in, ascending the snow like a ladder. >> To descend, face out and “plunge step.” Kick your heels deeply into the snow, and lean forward slightly, knees flexed. For glissading and self-arrest tips, see backpacker.com/snowtravel.



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READERS COMMENTS

D.Taylor
Oct 20, 2010

Lie down and die, you are to stupid to save.

bob
Sep 30, 2010

what if you dont have a map or pencil an your in antartica with only a bathingsuit?

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