Wilderness GPS: A Step-by-Step Guide (Mountaineering Outdoor Basics)

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Pack waterproof and insulated ski gloves or mitts for cold temperatures and bring lighter weight water-resistant fleece gloves for warmer days. For casual snowshoe walks, insulated winter boots will keep your feet warm and dry. You can wear your summer hiking boots for snowshoeing, along with some warm wool or synthetic hiking socks.

To keep snow out of the tops of your boots, layer on a pair of gaiters. Not sure what to bring snowshoeing? The weather changes quickly in the winter and you should be prepared in case you are out longer than you planned for. Pack lots of snacks in your bag too! Some suggestions to get you started:. Before you head out, check the conditions and weather forecasts to ensure you have the right gear and know what to expect.


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Trails can be hard to follow in winter, so remember to pack a map and compass or GPS and brush up on your winter navigation skills. If you plan to snowshoe in BC and Alberta or anywhere with avalanche potential , check the avalanche forecast too. Trails that are fun hikes in the summertime can become treacherous avalanche terrain in the winter — learn about avalanche safety and training.

If you can walk, you can snowshoe… on flat ground at least. Things get a bit more complicated once hills are involved. Since there are more people out in the trails, follow these snowshoe etiquette tips to keep things fun for everyone:. A few ways to keep the wilderness wild:. Date September 23, Date September 20, Date September 9, Date September 5, Skip to content Skip to navigation.

Skip to main content Skip to content navigation Close navigation. Learn Running and fitness tips Hiking and camping tips Cycling tips Rock climbing and bouldering tips Watersports tips Backpack tips Outdoor clothing tips Travel tips Snowsports tips How to start snowshoeing How to choose snowshoes How to enjoy winter activities with kids How to choose downhill skis How to choose and fit ski boots How to choose ski bindings How to choose and size ski poles How to choose backcountry skis Avalanche safety gear and training How to choose cross-country Nordic skis How to wax skis and snowboards Snowshoeing checklist MEC packing lists.

How to start snowshoeing. Pack a backpack : Bring the 10 essentials for safety, plus a few extras. Choose a place to go : Before you head out, check the weather, conditions and avalanche forecast. Practice your technique : Learn how to travel safety in hilly terrain to avoid wipeouts. Follow our trail tips : Advice on snowshoe etiquette and how to keep the wilderness wild.

Navigation tasks can be shared among the entire team. You must plan accordingly.

Background

The eLearning Workshop is online at your own pace over a 2 - 3 week period. It will take you a 7 to 8 hours of time to complete the included readings from the book, the online modules, and the practical exercises with map and compass. You must finish this activity before the In-Person Workshop.

It will take 7 to 8 hours, including readings from the book and practical exercises at home with map and compass The Online GPS Module is also done at your own pace over a 2 - 3 week period and also must be finished before the In-Person Workshop. It will take you hours of online work and practical exercises to complete. It expands further into GPS and the use of digital tools for trip planning. You'll do practical exercises with Map, Compass, and GPS and other exercises to prepare you for the field trip.

You'll tie together different ways to use all four tools in your navigation toolkit - map, altimeter, compass, and GPS, along with how and when to use emergency communication devices such as locator beacons and satellite messengers. See the Required Equipment and Course Materials tab for links. Please support the Mountaineers by purchasing it directly from the Mountaineers. Additional reading is available in " Freedom of the Hills.

Course Requirements. GOV with the product numbers shown below.

You must register for this course to see course materials. The Mountaineers Helping people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Mountaineers Books An independent nonprofit publisher. Connect with the Mountaineers Community YouTube. Design: Neal Maher. Powered by Plone. Seattle Program Center. Tue, Oct 15, Registration closes Oct This app contains complete trail data for many of the most popular National Parks. You can search for hikes in each park using a map display. Hikes can be sorted by difficulty rating, star rating, or elevation profiles.

There is also community input giving insights into camping, guided tours, and best seasons to go.


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In the case of an emergency, you can also send your coordinates to rescuers. If you want a printable map, the app can link you to nps. All of the operations work in 3D with augmented reality. This allows you to track stars on a cloudy night or overlay directions and info over the camera or a printed map. The overall interface is a step below its competitors — I would describe the map and elevation profile as clunky — but in the overview tab industry standard statistics are presented in an easy to interpret way.

Viewranger gives you the option of downloading maps for offline use but it uses a credit system per map or you can download bundles for a higher price. With that little caveat, you can browse maps and routes posted by some pretty credible sources such as the trekkers at Backpacker Magazine.

Like many of the other navigation apps, you can track location which can be shared privately in real time with select friends , speed, and distance.

Storm King Mountain

One of the key features to consider with a navigation app is planning. Outdoor Active unfortunately has a tendency to crash when adding a photo waypoint while recording a route. Google Maps Offline has the ability to download maps for offline use but they are meant for street-level views not trail level use.

Alltrails, Gaia, Outdoor Active, Rambler and Viewfinder are strong in this category as well, although they all require you to purchase an upgraded membership or pay per download. In one way or another, all of these apps give you the chance to download maps. The feature works especially well with All Trails and Gaia who allow you to plot a trail with waypoints on your desktop and easily move them to your phone. For this, you need to accurately know your position along a route to track your speed and elevation along with distance traveled and distance to the next point. I was able to communicate with the developers at Guthook and they are working to integrate a speed tracker in future updates.

A tricky point is whether or not an app actually tracks your elevation or just gives an elevation profile of your route. In general, if an app will track your elevation then it will also give you an elevation profile. They both have easy to navigate planning and tracking features and are easy to share across platforms and devices. Gaia has an especially customizable readout that will allow you to see the information that is most important to you and not worry about the other stuff. Guthook is especially nice for hikers who are shy on experience in the backcountry and may need the frequently updated information that Guthook provides.

It has all of the tracking features with an emphasis on syncing with your social media accounts. The hi-res has been useful for precise route finding.

Wilderness Navigation Course

You can download lower resolution maps in the base free mode. Recording tracks and compass are included in the base mode, planning and access to better maps is available for a fee. I have used the base application on trips for the last year and a half, while using sites like caltopo for planning and map printout. With all the love here for the Garmin Inreach kinda surprised not to see Garmin Basecamp included. Did learn of some others I never heard of. Maps are all vector based and derived from Open. Street Maps. You can download a whole country at once.

Contours, hills shading are also downloadable. Maps are all updated regularly. Imports GPX, saves way points etc. A key issue that you rather skated over is the availability of mapping. ViewRanger offers access to good mapping for 23 countries, including the US and Canada. In the UK they offer the full range from both the OS and Harvey, which makes it the standard app here.

Mapping subs are reasonable, especially compared to Garmin, which offers a more limited choice at higher cost.

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In choosing apps to only review apps that worked on iOS and Android phones. Other apps were excluded because they were for iOS or Android but not both such as Backcountry Navigator. One of the nice things about most of these apps is that you can import or export GPX to other devices such as a Garmin inReach.