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Plot an Off-Trail Route

Try these 10 tips for cross-country travel.
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Check Your Work

Many mapping programs calculate mileage and elevation profiles. Look at both: Can you really handle 15 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain in one day? Bushwhacking takes significantly longer than on-trail hiking: Figure one mile per hour in rough terrain.

Explore your route in 3D with Google Earth. Zoom over the track to preview terrain and look for campsites–but remember that you can’t see current conditions (snowfields, rockslides), and won’t have enough detail to evaluate potential hazards, like cliffs.

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