Access Special Features, Register Now!

Outdoor Navigation

Getting where you need to be, while staying on the right track, is a key part of backpacking. A hiker can quickly become lost in dense backcountry, making outdoor navigation skills an important part to any wilderness trip. Modern GPS navigation systems are a great tool for finding your way, but, as with any device, they can fail, leaving you stranded without any means to navigate. It’s best to keep a topographic map and compass as a backup in your pack, along with a map of the area. Study the terrain you’ll be snaking through before the trip to ensure you have a lay of the land, also. Read Backpacker’s articles on outdoor navigation to help guide you through this essential backpacking subject.


How to Cross a Frozen Lake

By: Carolyn Webber

Sometimes it’s the fastest way. Often it’s the prettiest. And in places like the Great Lakes region, ice creates temporary routes only winter adventurers get to explore. Stay safe with tips on assessing ice and preparing for self-rescue.

Google Map of the Columbia River Gorge

How to Read a Topo

By: Maren Horjus

Learn how to discern the markings on your two-dimensional map.

Page 1 of 912345...Last »
Photo Galleries View More
  • Sun1 445x260 38436 Track the Sun to Find North
  • use a map Maps: How to Orient a Map to the Surrounding Terrain
Featured Videos
Learn to Calibrate Your GPS

Make sure you stay on track with this step-by-step guide to calibrating your GPS unit.

  • Learn to Calibrate Your GPS
  • Essential Skills: Map a Trail with Your GPS
  • How to Align Your Compass with Your Map
  • Survival Skills: Get Un-Lost with GPS