Route Finding and Navigation for Hiking & Mountaineering

As promised yesterday, Meanderthals will shift gears for awhile and introduce you to shared information on the Internet that can help you be a better steward in the outdoors. Today, it’s how to improve your route finding from the REI Co-op.

On many hiking or mountaineering adventures, you’ll leave the well-trodden trail behind to set off for the summit. Doing so is an exciting opportunity to explore new terrain and test your abilities. But to stay on course, travel efficiently and choose a suitable route up the mountain, you and your other group members need to have solid route-finding and navigation skills.

Successful route finding and navigation while hiking and mountaineering combines at-home preparation with on-mountain skills. In this article, we’ll go over ways you can get ready before leaving home and the things you can do while you’re climbing to stay on course.

Good route finding and navigation starts before you set foot on the mountain. In the days and weeks leading up to your trip, spend time brushing up on your navigations skills and pouring over route information so that you can develop a solid mental picture of what the route looks like, including what obstacles, hazards or other challenges you may encounter. Of course, you can’t predict everything that will happen during a trip, but with thorough planning you can eliminate some of the unknowns and increase your odds of having a successful journey.

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