Know where you are! I'm a map and compass
freak. After being a Cavalry Scout for years, and teaching land navigation, I
have a compulsion to always check maps, know about my surroundings, and know
where I'm going at all times. I have used GPS, but find they don't have much use
for a backpacker on a trail. I chuckle at the techies that have these things on
a trail as obvious as the AT, Pinhoti, Mammoth Cave trails, etc. Some don't even
have maps - a GPS really won't tell you anything unless you have a map to
reference it to.
|Weight in Ounces
||For accurate dead
||Use the protractor and the map to determine the bearing
you need to follow, then use the compass to follow it
||Maps at 2.9 per sheet
||A good Topographic (Topo) map is a must for
me. It greatly enhances my enjoyment if I can see where I'm going, what the
names of the area are, and see what areas and trail are available besides the
way I'm going.
||2 Laserlyte Minibrite Light
||I include them here because they help
read maps and guidebooks at night. Some people strap headlamps on themselves to
hike in the dark, but I prefer night hiking without any lights. It isn't hard
when you practice. As lights go, I prefer to use colored lenses to prevent
destroying your night vision.
||Zip Lock Bag
||Makes a good waterproof map
case and a dry spot for your trail journal and trail guide.
||Trail Journal with Pen
||Write down thoughts, lessons
learned etc. Zebra makes a nice pen that writes at angles. I used a
pencil, but the writing can fade.
||They aren't always available, but
when they are they can be a wealth of knowledge. History, flora, fauna, geology,
re-supply, side trial, etc. I always get one when they are available for trails