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New Life List: Traverse a Mountain Range

Walking a high ridge with countless views and no people is the stuff of dreams. Make it real in Olympic National Park's Bailey Range.
George-Wuerthner_445.jpgPaintbrush and Lupine in Olympic NP. (George Wuerthner)

Key Skill: Use a GPS to Navigate Off-Trail
» Pretrip, determine important navigational features, like a hidden lake or saddle, and their UTM  coordinates, either by using mapping software or by taking the UTM coordinates from a map (see backpacker.com/skills/navigatefog).

» Load those waypoints into a GPS receiver. Also, if your GPS can upload maps, draw the route on map software, and then upload it.

» On the ground, when you’re approaching those key landmarks, hit the Go To button, for turn-by-turn directions to them.

» As you hike, identify terrain features on the map as well. Feel lost? Use the GPS to pinpoint your spot: Read your position coordinates, and then plot them on your map.

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