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I've got delorme east coast version and have library of maps, topo and areils. But does anyone know what to look for or how to read one. I've long hiked the AT (App. Trail) from MD to Baxter State Park, ME and I'm presently training my 10 yr old son to use a map, compass, and gps. I bought him the same one I have. After researching to teach him, I'd bet most don't know how to accurately use a map. let alone a gps or compass. By a map, a good silva compass, and a simple gps. I say simple because, when i bought mine I bought 5 of the major brands at 1 time kept the reciept and took them home for the weekend and played with them. I kept the one that was simplest.The one I wouldn't have to carry the user's guide with. The garmin e-trex. Very simple and accurate enough for me. When I hiked the AT I had no gps nor did Lewis and Clark. A good map and comp [no swearing please] are all I really need. Teach yourself this skill and journey forth. My 10 yr old has know idea that he is in training for the rest of my life. Just like I'm with my grandfather. He raised me in the outdoors and life. He's 80 in good shape (rabbit hunted 2 times with me this year)and has seen so much. A great teacher. So much knowledge. To keep information in ones head without teaching is such a waste.
 

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I learned in the army and I know there is some good books on how to read and understand a map ( can't remember the names sorry ) I can still read a map good, but i can show better then tell you how to use it. There are different kinds of compasses and different type of maps too, some are made to be used with each other.
 

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I was shown by a Ranger (US Army) on how to navigate over land using map and compass. I'll tell you that without practice, you lose these skills. I was never that good in orienting my current position to a coordinate on a map unless I know where I am; if I'm just walking around, I can tell 'generally' where I mostly I cannot pinpoint my position using landmarks and translating them to topo features on the map. I was taught to begin tracking my movements from the time the car door shuts. I carry a pace string (every 100 paces I tie a knot...this way I know how many paces I've walked since the car) and a notepad and pencil (write down my comp [no swearing please] bearings each time I change direction). One needs to know how many paces it takes for one to cover 100 yards uphill, downhill, and on flat terrain. To know these things will give you a somewhat accurate idea of where one is on the map being used. Because I navigate by comp [no swearing please] and just casually note my position on a map, I do not really need to know the scale of the map; that's how one would relate how many paces walked to distance travelled on the map and to come to a conclusion as to location on a map. When I hunt, I go maybe a mile and for that, I can just use my comp [no swearing please] and keep track of paces and course changes to get me out. For walking 'off the beaten path' for great distances (like from Md to Me) I'd surely want to know the scale of my map and follow my progress across it. I cannot use GPS...I've gotten to that 2nd plateau in life where electronic gizmos and buttons become a mystery.

I don't know that much about 'orienteering' but I'll tell you that when I hunt up in the Moosehead Lake region (Me), a map and comp [no swearing please] are true survival gear and I won't go in the woods without them !
 

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As I get older I find the topo maps most important ability isn't for directions but telling me where I don't want to go. Whenever I see a whole bunch of those little squiggly lines coming together I automatically know thats not a place where I want to be unless I'm in my car.[smirk]
 

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When I see on a topo the little ones that look like bushes I know it's swamp... and don't want to be in my car. Unless it's my trail rig... that's just fun to have in the mud.:D
 

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Some people are born with a comp [no swearing please] in their head[cool] When I came over from my home land in my 1957 Chevy, converted into a 1957 Sea Craft I used my God given knoweledge of the stars. Any way I ended up in the Gulf of Mexico[confused] Just kidding you guys:D
This is a book that has help me a lot. A Comprehensive Guide to land navigation with GPS (second edition) by Noel J Hotchkiss.
 

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Ah yes, the importance of a map and compass/gps.

More of it relates to deer hunting than most people can imagine. Learning what to look for on a topo or aerial map is key to continued success, and really helps to shorten scouting sessions.

A book many of you might find interesting is Brad Herndons(I think thats his name?) book called;

"Mapping Trophy Whitetails!"

Pick it up if you can, you will learn what land features to look for on maps. Most of it is simple common sense and deer wisdom, but its still a good book nonetheless.[up]
 

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Ummmmm. Ask my wife to read it for me while I'm driving? Oops sorry I was answering - how to get the LEAST out of a map.
 
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