Picture of How to Read a Topographical Map
When you venture into the wilderness, plan the means for a safe return. Unless you sincerely intend to get back to nature for an extended period of time then you may need some map reading and navigation skills in order to return to the usual comforts of your everyday life.

for more information on how to navigate using a topo map:
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Step 1: What do you need

Picture of What do you need
A map or map set of the area and know how to read it. What you want is a topographical map which shows elevation and preferably uses the UTM coordinate system.

A wealth of map resources exist online but a map printed from and online source may not include all the necessary information.

A good source for paper maps is the US Geological Survey (USGS)

Step 2: Map name

Picture of Map name
This uniquely identifies the map typically named for some prominent geographical feature in the area

Step 3: Scale

Picture of Scale
A typical scale you may find, smaller numbers are more “zoomed in” and have more detail:

1:250000 – each map unit = 250,000 units on the ground

(i.e. 1 in = 250,000 in = about 4 mi)

Step 4: Date

Picture of Date
Indicates when it was revised and field checked (usually 1950s). This is important if roads, trails or fences are identified, they may have changed since the revision date or they may no longer exist.
billbillt9 months ago

great instructions!.... double plus good!...

billbillt9 months ago

great instructions!.... double plus good!...