Old school map reading class

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!

Fozzy325

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Calgary, AB, Canada
Member #

15226

I am preparing a MAP reading course here in Calgary and i want to run the syllabus through with you guys / girls /Zijn

I'm going to have to dig out my Mountain rescue navigation books again for the advanced

Basics,
  1. Direction
    1. What is map reading
    2. North, East, South, West
    3. North and South poles ( Magnetic Field)
    4. Magnetic, Grid, True north, & Magnetic variation
  2. Map
    1. What is a map (A map is simply a plan of the ground on paper. The plan is usually drawn as the land would be seen from directly above.)
    2. Types of maps
      1. Topographical
    3. Colours of a map
    4. Map Orientation
    5. Legend, Symbols, Map numbers & Scale
      1. Roads
      2. footpaths
      3. woods
      4. buildings
      5. rivers and streams
      6. Scale
    6. Grid reference
    7. 4-Figure map References
    8. 6-figure map reference
    9. National Grid lines
    10. Contour lines
  3. Tools
    1. Types of Compass
      1. Lensatic Compass
      2. Compass Handling
    2. Compass
      1. The base plate
      2. The compass Housing
      3. The Compass Needle
      4. Orienting Lines
      5. Orienting arrow
      6. The Index Line
      7. the direction of travel arrow
      8. Compass Scale
    3. Using your compass
    4. Field-Expedient Methods
    5. Global Positing System (GPS)
    6. Using Land Features
    7. Protractor
  4. Planning
    1. Right Equipment
    2. Tell someone
    3. Abide by Country side Code
    4. Have fun
Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced
  1. Pinpointing your location
  2. Transit Lines
  3. pinpointing your location with a compass
  4. Triangulation
  5. Aspect of slope
  6. Contouring
  7. measuring distance travelled on the ground
    1. Pacing
    2. Timing
  8. Naismith's Rule
  9. Walking on a Bearing
    1. Aiming off
    2. attack points
    3. spiral search
    4. sweep search
  10. Direction
    1. Methods of expressing Direction
    2. Base lines
    3. Azimuths
    4. Grid Azimuths
    5. Protractor usage
    6. Declination Diagram (Intermediate)
    7. Intersection (Advanced)
    8. Resection (Advanced)
    9. Modified Resection (Advanced)
    10. Polar Plot (Advanced)
  11. Overlays
    1. Purpose
    2. Map Overlay
  12. Elevation and Relief
  13. Terrain Association
  14. Navigation in Different Types of Terrain
    1. Desert
    2. Mountian
    3. Jungle
    4. Arctic
    5. Urban
 
Last edited:

old_man

Rank VI
Member

Contributor III

4,147
Loveland, Colorado
First Name
Tom
Last Name
Houston
Member #

8300

Ham Callsign
WØNUT
The boy Scouts used to teach this. Practically no one knows how any more.

My office walls are covered with topo's from around the world.
 

ArmyofMike

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,857
fresno, ca
Member #

7890

Ham Callsign
KM6YFE
Are you going to cover an Interpolator? Those things are God sends!

and remember: "You can go alone, as long as you take someone else!" <--My favorite saying!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fozzy325

Pirate75

Rank II
Member

Contributor I

484
Statesville, North Carolina
First Name
Steven
Last Name
Grimes
Member #

12285

Ham Callsign
KN4RWT
Nice! I don’t have any topos, but I do keep a compass in the camping/bugout bag..
I just haven’t invested in the hard copies since my knees have gone awry.Probably would be smart when venturing in unknown areas..
 

Fozzy325

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Calgary, AB, Canada
Member #

15226

Are you going to cover an Interpolator? Those things are God sends!

and remember: "You can go alone, as long as you take someone else!" <--My favorite saying!
I wasn't going to go in depth but I was going to cover it slightly when talking about contour lines and contouring. Mainly when you have a 1:10000, 1:25000 or 1:50000 you can normally see it from the symbols on the map. But understanding it from a snow avalanche would be more helpfull in the overland situation.
 

Fozzy325

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Calgary, AB, Canada
Member #

15226

We used to call that course Orienteering, and it included a similar syllabus.
I have heard this before. Orienteering to me is a group of sport where the use of navigational skills like map reading is required. Orienteering courses would have points around a large area where you find a marker. On that marker there would be a stamp, letter, number, or a combination. Your goal would be to visit your designated points to collect all the references as quickly as you can but also collecting the correct data at each of the points.

Fell running is another Orienteering sport.
 

JimInBC

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

2,988
Southern Vancouver Island
First Name
Jim
Last Name
Freer
Member #

10955

We have just started teaching this to the Cub Scouts. Packing for a weekend were there will be more compass work. So glad to be passing it along to the next generation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fozzy325

Polaris Overland

West Europe Region Director
Moderator
Benefactor
Member

Influencer II

5,488
Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire,
First Name
Dave
Last Name
Spinks
Member #

3057

It's a good topic and what with GPS, trackers, mobile phone mapping apps like Google maps or offline mapping such as maps.me people have moved away from paper maps something that I personally think is a bad thing.

I could sprout all the usual about how technology or batteries can let you down or that if you leave the vehicle you leave your technology but we all know technology is now portable and very reliable.

However from a personal prospective I can say this:-

On our long 8 month trips to the likes of Mongolia, Morocco or even the Pamir Highway we run with a number of GPS' all the time. I have a Tom Tom which honestly is useless once you get further east than Turkey. We have an Android Device with Maps.me, we run a Garmin with free street maps and finally my mobile phone with google maps. Additional to this who ever is not driving has a paper map opened and is following our progress as we drive.

So I'm sure your question is why do I encourage paper maps.

Firstly my experience is that technology as stated can fail but I have also found the algorithms used by different companies work differently so in many cases some do not follow the same routes which can get you in trouble.

Secondly off road routes are often not covered by the digital maps unless it is a major route.

Thirdly in the likes of Mongolia pretty much all routes are off road and they change yearly as the terrain changes as many main routes are actually dry river beds or deserts. If you blindly follow a GPS you can end up at a dead end or worse stuck in the middle of know where on a track that has not actually been used for years.

And my final reason for encouraging paper maps is this. They give you an overall perspective on your actual location in a country and what is around you and where you have travelled. Following a GPS does not give you this, at best you have a small window and each road looks like any other in any country.

We even draw our actual route travelled including camps onto our paper maps so we have an accurate record to look back on.
Then when we get home the likes of our Mongolia Raid Trip this year is collated together and we use it to assist in planning our next trip and building info on our trip reports on our website.

So yes teach map reading and encourage everyone to carry paper maps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: danl and Pilgrim

MuckSavage

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

Cool that you bring this up. I work for a suburban municipality that has multiple "Green Spaces" basically small patches of woods tucked in between subdivisions. Recently, someone proposed a Disk Golf course at one of the locations. It got me thinking. An Orienteering course would be low-impact & educational. I miss that in my Boy Scout days some 30-40 years ago. Finding that note with the next bearing & distance was the predecessor to finding a geocache!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Polaris Overland

blackntan

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

3,629
Uk. 53.4084 N 2 .9916W.
Member #

2385

It's a good topic and what with GPS, trackers, mobile phone mapping apps like Google maps or offline mapping such as maps.me people have moved away from paper maps something that I personally think is a bad thing.

I could sprout all the usual about how technology or batteries can let you down or that if you leave the vehicle you leave your technology but we all know technology is now portable and very reliable.

However from a personal prospective I can say this:-

On our long 8 month trips to the likes of Mongolia, Morocco or even the Pamir Highway we run with a number of GPS' all the time. I have a Tom Tom which honestly is useless once you get further east than Turkey. We have an Android Device with Maps.me, we run a Garmin with free street maps and finally my mobile phone with google maps. Additional to this who ever is not driving has a paper map opened and is following our progress as we drive.

So I'm sure your question is why do I encourage paper maps.

Firstly my experience is that technology as stated can fail but I have also found the algorithms used by different companies work differently so in many cases some do not follow the same routes which can get you in trouble.

Secondly off road routes are often not covered by the digital maps unless it is a major route.

Thirdly in the likes of Mongolia pretty much all routes are off road and they change yearly as the terrain changes as many main routes are actually dry river beds or deserts. If you blindly follow a GPS you can end up at a dead end or worse stuck in the middle of know where on a track that has not actually been used for years.

And my final reason for encouraging paper maps is this. They give you an overall perspective on your actual location in a country and what is around you and where you have travelled. Following a GPS does not give you this, at best you have a small window and each road looks like any other in any country.

We even draw our actual route travelled including camps onto our paper maps so we have an accurate record to look back on.
Then when we get home the likes of our Mongolia Raid Trip this year is collated together and we use it to assist in planning our next trip and building info on our trip reports on our website.

So yes teach map reading and encourage everyone to carry paper maps.
Look forward to you running a map reading work shop. At a meet in the future mine need a. Top up. Ex boys brigade :flushed: