Questions tagged [navigation]

This tag is for all questions about outdoor navigation with maps, compasses or mobile devices equipped with sensors for satellite based positioning systems.

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8
votes
1answer
774 views

I have a compass but no watch, how can I tell when it will get dark?

I was reading all of the answers to Are there any situations while backpacking that would require a watch? and surprised at the number of answers that said you need a watch so you would know how long ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Can a compass be thrown off by its surroundings?

Would it be possible for a compass be affected by its surroundings, such as a large iron deposit or other rocks to the point where it is not working correctly? I am not talking about declination but ...
8
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2answers
1k views

How do I find north using a watch?

I've heard this is possible but I'm not sure on the details. Can someone elaborate?
8
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2answers
1k views

How do you correct Google Earth's incorrect slope percentage?

I often use Google earth to plan trips. One part of that is marking paths and seeing how steep they are. However Google Earth severely underestimated the steepness of slopes. For instance here is a ...
8
votes
1answer
888 views

Getting lost and circling a trail in a loop?

What is the term for that phenomenon when someone in wilderness start experiencing a strange situation? When, They aren't certain that they have lost the route They may or may not be walking on a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

GPS navigation device or app that allows entry of UTM coordinates?

I would like to start being a little more active by getting outdoors more. My state offers a "water guzzler" program that puts water in remote locations for wildlife. They also publish a large atlas ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

What is a glass artificial horizon?

On Amundsen's polar expedition they had, Of instruments and apparatus for the sledge journeys we carried two sextants, three artificial horizons, of which two were glass horizons with dark glasses, ...
8
votes
2answers
266 views

Are the orienteering marches popular in Germany?

I'm engaged in orienteering marches, which differ from sport orienteering: there is the time limit, where finishing before time gives no advantage to the participant, and the center is put on the ...
7
votes
7answers
579 views

Would there be any practical uses of a geological map for a hiker/backpacker?

I just found that I can get free geological map overlays for Google Earth for all of the individual states in the United States from here. For instance, this is what a good deal of Yosemite National ...
7
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2answers
6k views

How to identify latitude & longitude with a compass?

I am not exactly sure where I am in the world. It could be that I am in a boat on the ocean, been in a plane crash, or suffered some other calamity. In any case I either have a compass with me or ...
7
votes
2answers
574 views

What is the risk of getting lost while canoeing in a cypress swamp?

Based on the answer here I would be exploring a cypress swamp in the Mississippi valey north of the 35th Parrell. If I canoe in a lake or on a river, I always have a pretty good idea where I am, and ...
7
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3answers
260 views

What do unusual waymarks in France mean?

I recognize the official system for French waymarks of Grand Randonees and local paths like shown here: but I've also seen large white rectangles with a horizontal red line in the middle. They are ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Can a compass reverse polarity?

Can a compass have its polarity reversed so that the end marked "north" points south and vice versa? If so, what could one do to prevent and fix this problem?
6
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1answer
747 views

What are the differences between prismatic, lensatic, mirrored, and optical sighting compasses?

Background I am looking at compasses for backpacking and camping, and have come across more compass varieties than I had ever thought possible. Three terms that often come up together are "prismatic",...
6
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3answers
182 views

Identifying named peaks from the summit of a north-american peak

Is there a good resource for quickly identifying peaks that are visible on the summit of a north-american peak? Currently I use a topographical map and painstakingly identify each individual peak. I ...
6
votes
1answer
512 views

If I lose my compass, what is the easiest way to identify and follow a heading? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can you navigate without a compass or GPS Obviously we all carry a compass and a map when we go trekking, but if I lose them but know I need to get back to my car two days ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

What is the col between Mt Meru and Kilimanjaro?

When browsing Wikipedia's List of peaks by prominence, I was surprised to see that the parent peak of Mt Meru (in Tanzania) is Mount Kenya (350 km away) and not Kilimanjaro (50 km away). The col ...
5
votes
4answers
314 views

How would navigation be different while hiking at night?

If one were to hike during the night and sleep during the day, what differences in navigation would one have to take into account? In my experience you are more on instruments (such as a compass or ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

How do simple compass needles remain level instead of see-sawing with magnetic dip? Are they flat even near the poles?

This instagram post by Colin O'Brady (just hiked across Antarctica) shows his compass needle looking fairly level, but I can't see enough else to know if he's holding it level. A significant fraction ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Garmin Etrex 10

I just got an etrex 10, and I am using it mostly for geocaching. When you are navigating to a geocache is there a way to see your distance from the cache? I know the geocaching app has this.
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Is there an app: remind me when I get back here

The basics of what I'm after is very, very simple: Push a button, it notes your location. When you reach that point again it tells you. I've looked around and I don't find anything that seems to ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

IOS Map App that creates routes by tracing a path?

I've been using a topo app on the PC for years that lets you, among other things, trace a route on the map with the mouse, then it gives you the distance and height profile for that route (even turns ...
4
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2answers
201 views

If you have figured out one compass direction, is that always/sometimes/never enough to tell all the other three as well?

For a long time, I've been wondering for myself: if I know for sure that a certain house has this wall facing West, and I'm standing facing the wall in front of me, and I have nothing else to go by, ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How to triangulate your position with a map and compass?

While navigating or orienteering with a map or compass one of the essential skills is the ability to find your position on the map with the aid of the compass. This can be important if you need to ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

Learning to find north using moon phases

How to learn to find north using moon phases? I'm looking for easy-to-remember rule of thumb, at best some simple graphic. It's quite trivial by full moon. Since full moon is in direct opposition to ...
4
votes
2answers
185 views

How to explain unexpected success following a bearing taken from an iPad

I live in northern British Columbia where the relevant declination values are currently Magnetic declination: 17° 45.30' East Grid declination (for Natural Resource Canada's NTS maps): 16° 17.04' ...
4
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1answer
484 views

In orienteering/navigation, what is an attack point?

Some features in orienteering or navigation are called attack points. What exactly does this refer to?
4
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2answers
172 views

Can you find your location using the angle between compass bearings?

Sometimes compasses are less accurate than we would like them to be. They can be thrown off by their surroundings, have their polarity reversed, become demagnetized, develop air bubbles or be taken ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

What signs can I use to navigate a cave if lost?

I'm working on a story where a character gets trapped in a cave but use his knowledge as a weatherman to navigate and escape! Are the any weather-related clues you could use to escape a cave ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Does the two sticks and a star method of finding north work the same way in both hemispheres?

There is a method of finding north by aiming two sticks at a star and then tracking the star's movement to find which way is north. You can read the full description here. However, there is the a ...
3
votes
2answers
393 views

How accurate is the method of finding north with a watch?

There is a method of finding north with a watch described here So you point the hour hand of your watch at the sun. Halfway between your hour hand and the noon mark is south. How accurate is this ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

What is the local accuracy of the Garmin Oregon 750 barometric altimeter?

I want to manually create a topographical heightmap of a hillside property with the highest possible accuracy for the altitude. This will later serve as the basis for planning terraces and building ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Orienteering skill organized trainings in Germany?

Are there any schoolings/trainings for orienteering skills in Germany? I hike during weekends, but mostly using GPS (geocaching) or using trails, so there's not much opportunity to fully train ...
3
votes
0answers
202 views

How to find good hiking maps for the Laugavegur trail in Iceland? [duplicate]

I will be hiking the Laugavegur trail alone and have been looking for good hiking maps (1:50 000) online. My google searches yield no good results. Where do you even begin to look?
3
votes
0answers
65 views

GPS unit for road cycling and mountaineering [closed]

I am looking for a GPS device for road cycling (road navigation and gpx tracking) and mountaineering (topo maps, compass, barometric elevation / pressure). I am finding no products explicitly marketed ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a back bearing when navigating with map and compass?

Sometimes when navigating with map and compass one will take a back bearing, i.e. a bearing taken directly opposite to the direction one is travelling? When and why would one want to do this?
2
votes
3answers
145 views

Navigation device with offline maps and GPX support

I have a subscription service from komoot for maps. Is there any GPS device that supports offline maps and GPX, preferably with android OS integration. Example scenario would be: Use an android based ...
1
vote
2answers
392 views

What is the minimum knowledge to navigate with only a compass?

Assuming I have memorized the major Latitude and Longitudes as they relate to the world, as shown in the image below and that I know how to identify latitude & longitude with a compass. What else ...

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