JUST FOR GIRLS NAVIGATION COURSE
Navigation is a skill. The skill is in how you use a map to find your way, to locate that ridge, single track or creek marked on the map and navigate efficiently.
SESSION 1 – MAP READING
Understanding Maps – Requires looking at the area mapped, noting features in that area and their relative positions in regards to one another. It requires understanding that certain symbols represent those features on the map. It means looking at the symbols on the map and matching them to the features in the mapped area around you.
It’s important to get familiar with the symbols and able to understand what they are representing on the map. We use some key colours to represent different features:
BLACK -Manmade or cultural features
BLUE -Water-related features
BROWN -Contour lines and elevation numbers
GREEN -Vegetation features
WHITE -Sparse or no vegetation. Basically, white indicates any landscape feature except for trees or water – including desert, grass, sand, rocks, boulders, and so on.
PURPLE -Denotes revisions that have been made to a map using aerial photos. Such revisions have not been field-checked for accuracy.
Vertical distance, also known as Relief, is shown using Contour Lines. How do we represent elevation on a flat piece of paper?
Think about the layered cake ;-), that you use a flat knife to slice the layers, in the case below, we did at every 10m. The contour line is the imaginary line on the ground along which every point is at the same height above sea level. The index line represents every 100m and it is a heavier line.
With practice you start visualising the shape of the landscape from the map, is a key navigational skill and one that improves with practice. Try to identify contour features on your travels and use the map to anticipate changes ahead.
Topographic maps used on the Spring Challenge usually have 20m interval between the contours, but always check the interval on your map before making calculations.
The closer the contours are, the steepest the hill will be. So the best option to climb a hill is to choose a place where the contours are far apart.
RIDGES VS GULLY