Hot answers tagged

11

There are several ways to determine true north, especially when you have a map and compass: Competent maps, like most intended for backcountry hiking, will have the magnetic declination marked. This is usually in one of the corners. Take a look at any USGS topo map, for example. The compass will tell you the direction to magnetic north, and the map tells ...


11

Of course, there are many long-distance hiking trails without any available maps. As far as I'm aware, none of the European long-distance trails have dedicated end-to-end maps, unless you count Openstreetmap or a collection of several hundred topographic maps. In some places they're well-mapped, e.g. when passing through Switzerland, Germany, or France, ...


8

What you describe is exactly how it was done: Accurate measurement of distances and angles Obviously, measuring distances on flat ground is relatively straightforward: you use a known length measurement (perhaps a robe marked at known intervals); and to measure the distance to a distant point, use two points and a bit of geometry (Pythagoras is helpful ...


7

While Rory Alsop's answer points exactly to the method followed by cartographers and geologists before the invention of GPS and other modern techniques, I'd like to make a point that it was done with an assumption that they knew what altitude they are at and when you stand at planar location located from a mountain at a known distance and you can figure out ...


6

The Kungsleden (lit. kings way in Swedish) is a 440 km long trail in northern Sweden/Scandinavia. From Wiki: The trail is separated in four portions which each represent approximately one week of hiking. The most practiced part is by far the northernmost, between Abisko and Kebnekaise. The season, when the huts are open usually runs between ...


6

The topics of navigation and cartography are two sides of the same coin, and there are entire books written about each. It is interesting to study the history of cartography because it very graphically shows the corresponding improvements in navigation over time. In order to make an accurate map, you need to know first where you are making your ...


4

Walk the line on a humid very cold still morning. If the hot spring is of any significance -- e.g. enough surface to get in, and enough flow to be hot, -- you should get a plume of steam rising off the water. This will likely require an air water temperature differential of at least 40 degrees F to be visible. I have seen 'steam' (fog) tendrils off of ...


3

It helps to know what is going on underground when looking for geological patters. Hot springs are of course geothermally heated by pockets of magma in the crust that are relatively close to the surface. Understanding the underlaying strata and ground water patters are essential to accurately predicting where hydraulic phenomena will appear. At the very ...


3

I have used the free caltopo.com for my recent trips. They use 7.5 minute quadrangles and stitch them together seemlessly. It is possible to create custom maps by creating tracks or import tracks created with Google Earth. They also have a topographical image overlay for Google Earth, which I have used extensively.


3

Ignoring the difficulties of travel (in summer you may need a boat, in winter, skis), then the current weather will make more difference then the season. Given the correct time and standard navigation tables, you can get the latitude by measuring the angle from the horizon to the limb of the sun, the limb of the moon, or to a bright star. Winter might allow ...


2

Map scales are decided by the cartographer based on what they think is the the best scale for the map they're producing. This is naturally a judgment call sort of like the projection of the map. If you feel like the cartographer's choice is unbearable then I'd suggest you find a different map that covers the same territory. I believe you can find complete ...


2

You can't ignore the difficulties. Those difficulties are precisely what dictated when you could attempt the trip. For the most part, those limitations still exist. However for the actual calculation and finding of the North Pole, that would be night time, when you could calculate how far away from the pole you actually were, and also whether you are ...


2

We could get really complicated with this. But basically, magnetic north is a mostly fixed place on the surface of the earth. It's actually moving, but very slowly. Sometimes the map you have may have two compass circles on it. One inside the other. The inner circle identifies magnetic north, and the outer circle identified true north. In addition, the map ...


2

At night it is very easy to find true north using the stars (true south doesn't quite have an equivalent.) First identify Ursa Major, the Great Bear or Big Dipper. Then take the two stars at the end of it away from the handle, and follow the line they make for 5 times its length. The star you hit is Polaris. Head towards it and you are heading towards true ...


2

You need to do some research on the area that you are traveling on. Google maps or the NOAA maps using seaclearII.exe will allow you the ability to make a map guide, that you can annotate as you travel. mark off 100 yard and point to point track measurments. If you are going to dead recon from point to point on a river as an exercise or recreation you might ...


2

As the other answers point out using trigonometry you can determine the height of a distant peak. You can also use the same approach horizontally to determine the distance between two points. Provided that the length of one side of a triangle is known the other two sides can be calculated. Using a combination of these techniques any area can be divided into ...


1

One of the primary techniques is the use of Dead Reckoning although the secrets of long distance Polynesian maritime navigation still remain a mystery despite huge evidence of their wayfinding ability. The easiest way for maritime navigators to map locations was to build on the predecessors knowledge through the use of the Periplus. It served the same ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible