Navigation Gear


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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links


Navigation Gear

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 Item Description
1.0 Suunto Compass Standard Compass For accurate dead reckoning.
Nil Protractor Army Protractor Use the protractor and the map to determine the bearing you need to follow, then use the compass to follow it
5.8 Maps at 2.9 per sheet AT Section map 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.
0.7 2 Laserlyte Minibrite Light Binder clip holding my 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.
0.5 Zip Lock Bag Makes a good waterproof map case and a dry spot for your trail journal and trail guide.
3.5 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.
5.7 Guide Book 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 I'm hiking.
17.3 Total  

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