Introduction to Tools, Techniques & Instruments for Outing

As the definition says, is oriented east and find the rest of the cardinal points. But when we talk about an adventurous inroad in remote natural environments, making trekking, hiking or exploration, in addition to being oriented at all times through the corners this adventurer would have to master all the techniques possible orientation.

How a guidance manual says: “The tools for exploring nature” and the thing goes through there. Learn and master the techniques of counseling and land navigation, mapping and learn procedures position on the charts, as an operator knows how their tools, it is essential to explore the nature without missing.

Tools used the adventurous trip

  • Maps,
  • Compasses
  • GPS are tools

Topographic maps

The general mapping and topographic maps in particular are one of the tools. Maps and charts are representations of portions of the earth’s surface they have been reduced proportionately (to scale) for observation.

These representations in a plane have information that can be read directly (as posts, villages, rivers, landscapes, etc.), information that can be measured (distances, directions) and information in three dimensions to be interpreted.

Through altimetry, using heights (heights above sea level), and equidistance contours can obtain heights, slopes, identify edges and streams; so we can imagine the relief of the surface we observe.


Find the east and from there the rest of the cardinal points: N, S, E, W and based on these quadrants: NE, SE, SW, NW. To find the east and the rest of the cardinal points and there are several methods that divide two groups in natural and instrumental methods:

  • Natural methods of guidance: they are derived from the stars. The movement of the sun and stars. The rising and setting in the lexicon of stallholders, carriers and field men. The Southern Cross in the southern hemisphere. Mosses on stones and trees that indicate South to name a few.
  • Instrumental methods of guidance are given by three instruments: compass, altimeter and GPS Each has its benefits and limitations. It is important to use all the options of each to realize their potential.


Knowing the position and to place it on the topographic map is the key.

An element to consider is the position line. A line position in the city is a street or an avenue. We can say a street and a height and reach a meeting point in the city. We can say the intersection of two streets and get a fix.

In nature it is the same. A river is a line position shown in the field and in the topographic map. One direction is a direction of a reference in the field that can take it to the topographic map as a steering angle and draw a line.

Geographical coordinates are read on the display of GPS can take them to the topographic map as parallels and meridians and we can get a position. There are several techniques that can be used in position topographic maps according to the instruments.  We have available as Compass, altimeter, GPS, environmental conditions of visibility, references in the field, through the method of triangulation by geographical coordinates, flat and polar coordinates.

Land Navigation

Sailing is moved from one position to another following a referral system. In the cities we sailed along the streets and heights in the area sailed following different natural, artificial and instrumental references to advance a march, walking or hiking and always knowing where and where we go out. When we have paths, marked and signposted chopped navigation becomes apparent.

When we point the way (point position) of our destination loaded in the GPS, there is good signal and the equipment has batteries, navigation is simple. But when we are off-road with varying visibility and we topographic map and compass, there mastering techniques and navigation with compass position are vital. Mastering the different techniques of land navigation compass allows us the ability to move on the ground and give us autonomy and security.

These tools, techniques and procedures have to be learnt, master them and practice them. Making use experience we will manage more accurately and give us many possibilities when planning and making a trip, a trek or a scan.

Besides the topographic map has a lot of information that can be used in planning the trip. The level of information that gives us lets us know the type of terrain, terrain heights, vegetation, water courses, distances, directions, coordinates and to calculate the running time backpacking that require us trace the route.

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