Get Better at Land Navigation

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Learn about putting your newly-acquired orientation skills to use

This is the end of the first chapter in our free hiking program

Leading the World - jewelbeat.com
Voice-over by Dominic di Rollo

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Practicing orientation when hiking

In this video, you're going to learn how to orientate yourself on your hike, making you indepent and helping you get the most out of it.

To orientate yourself on your hike, remember these three compatible methods; orientation using signposts, a map, and your surroundings.

Firstly we'll look at how to orientate yourself using signposts.

Numerous hiking trails are signposted, meaning that they're marked out in a particular way, either by signs or painted markers, to show you the way.

To follow a signposted trail, make sure you follow the signs or inscriptions as you walk.

The symbols will vary depending on the country, region and signposting organisation, so read up on it beforehand to get to know the signpost symbols of your route.

Secondly, you can orientate yourself with a map. Now that you know how to orient one with the help of your compass and surroundings, you can use it during your entire hike in order to follow your route

The most common mistake is to only get the map out a few hours after you set off, it might be too late by then to work out where you are.

Consult the map as often as possible, and compare it with what you see around you.

The most noticeable landmarks are generally villages, highways, rivers and a change in gradient.

Note that if you're following a signposted route, it will be marked as such on your hiking map.

Thirdly, you can orientate yourself using your surroundings,. There can be enough significant landmarks around you for you to be able to use them to follow your route.

Locate these landmarks, such as rivers, hilltops, paths or buildings, and use them to guide you.

If you haven't got a compass, remember that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. In the northern hemisphere, it is in the South between midday and 2pm, and vice-versa in the southern hemisphere.

To orientate yourself when hiking, remember to use these compatible methods; signposting, the map, and your surroundings. Over to you!

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