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True2ThySelf

How do I find out where I am?

15 posts in this topic

I don't know anything about reading maps. Can someone teach me or point me to where I can learn? I usually bring my car GPS with me so I can find my way back to the car.If I am in the field, how do I figure out if I am in area 1, 6, 7, etc (refer to attachment)?

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You need latatude-longatude numbers, This map will give you elevations, as near as I can tell you are near sugarloaf near Los Angles, but I don't know the area.Someone correct me if I am wrong.Tom

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True2ThySelf,You really left you're self open for some funny jokes. I am holding back thou.Go to REI, check out the compass/map classes they hold all of the time on reading maps and using a compass/GPS's.Your map should always have a (North arrow) along with using your compass (North arrow) you can use it identify valleys and high land marks. I may be lost but I know where I am, it's just getting to where I want to go is the only problem.

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I'll also suggest going to a surplus store/mountaineering store for the military manual(s) on"Map and Compass Reading". Get the paper book,not PDF. Or,print it out.Why ? Computers can fail.Compasses don't need batteries or power,don't need 1 or more gig's of memory to keep the last turn being made.GPS's are fine,if it has power, and don't fail. Should they do, you're out of money for that thing.Circuits can and will fail.It's just when. Remember "Murphy's Law"; Anything can and will fail at the least expected moment. Or something like that.I sold my GPS in 2010. I will not have another one.

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I believe that the USMC offers an excellent course in map reading that has a 'hands on' component in cross country navigation. ;)

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Here's a link to a book on using maps & compasses. The company is The Compass Store. No, I have not used the book but, it is the only one I found. The instructions you get with a good compass have basic instructions on using the instrument.Map & Compass Book

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For basic orienteering knowledge, as well as a lot of other useful outdoor stuff, pick up a copy of the Boy Scout Handbook. If you need more detailed information, get a copy of the orienteering merit badge book. Why is a retired Marine endorsing the Boy Scout book instead of a military book? Because the military uses maps that are different than those available to the general public. Sure, if you can read one you can read the other, but why not learn the method you'll be using for the map you have? You don't have any map skills right now and a military map course would have you staring at your civilian map trying to figure out where grid north is. (Hint: there is no grid north on a civilian map)

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At the top of this page theres a bunch of guides by a member named Watchmaker. Very helpful in using a map/compass/gps.

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I really like the boy scout idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

For basic orienteering knowledge, as well as a lot of other useful outdoor stuff, pick up a copy of the Boy Scout Handbook. If you need more detailed information, get a copy of the orienteering merit badge book. Why is a retired Marine endorsing the Boy Scout book instead of a military book? Because the military uses maps that are different than those available to the general public. Sure, if you can read one you can read the other, but why not learn the method you'll be using for the map you have? You don't have any map skills right now and a military map course would have you staring at your civilian map trying to figure out where grid north is. (Hint: there is no grid north on a civilian map)
Smart Alec :roflmao3[1]:
from your profile, you are in Simi Valley CA

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Buy yourself a good boy scout compass and learn how to use it. The battery has never gone dead on my compass but I can't say the same for my GPS. In 56 years of hunting and fishing I've never been lost. My truck gets lost on occasion but I always know where I am.

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GPS's are nice but learn how to use a compass. I have had my GPS go awry once on an encroaching lightning storm. Fortunately I knew my way back but I also had my trusty compass on me to confirm things.

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Cross section and Resection, if i remember correctly. Put map facing north as your facing north. Locate hill,creeks by site, then look at your map and try and locate those features. Draw lines from each object(location) back toward you location. At least two focal points are needed to be simi accurate, 3 or more even more accurate.

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