Travel Without a GPS
There is nothing more exiting than waking in the wildness. Since the beginning of the times our ancestors were doing this. Of course, they used to travel without a GPS. Now, many of us are having this hobby. And why not? I mean, it is a very healthy and fully adventurous way of spending your free time. But before you navigate through the wilderness you need to plan a little how to do it.
Obviously, the first thing to come in mind when you think of going hiking, is a GPS. It’s a natural reflex of the modern men. But if you think of it, it’s the last thing that could help you in the nature, technology. Just because it is the easiest way, it is also the one that is the most probably to fail first. So let’s see what you should do if you travel without a GPS. And after all, let’s put it this way: you need a second plan with everything in life.
The Everyday Carry Bag
Firstly, you need to make sure your everyday carry bag is up to date. The EDC is essentially for any trip. No matter what amazing outdoors you are exploring, you need a proper survival bag. Maybe even more important than this is to have some minimum survival items on you all the time. The phone, some water, a fire starter and a sharp knife should assure your survival even if you lost the bag. A nice and helpful trick I’ve learned is that a whistle can often save your life. Just pun one around the neck and you can make yourself heard for as long as you still have lungs. Research for multi-tasking items and select those which fits best for your trip. Therefore, you can look for a knife with lighter. Also, make sure you read the instructions clearly and you know to use the devices.
Secondly, when you travel without a GPS in the wildness, you have to know what your purpose is. It is very important to know where are you going, if you want to find something specific or just discover new areas. You also should try to approximate the amount of time you want to spend there. Many wonderers were lost trying just to explore new areas. If you are not an experienced traveller you should avoid random roads. You should set your destination and just have a few planned stops. Maybe the best argument for “having a destination” is that it saves you a lot of time and possible danger.
Preparing the trip
This part is also important if you travel without a GPS for any trip you prepare and it consists in gathering every piece of information you can get about the places you are going to visit. You should be aware of any animal, fruit or flower that can harm you. The climate and the terrain are also factors that can help or obstruct you. Guidelines for the preparation:
- Even if you did not plan to use any shelter you should try to identify some from around before going anywhere.
- Find out if there are dangerous animals you need to defence yourself from and if you are able to do so.
- Anywhere you plan on going you should be able to start a fire. Inform yourself if you can find any wood and also make sure you can light it up.
- Always be sure to have some water with you if there are not any sources of drinkable water.
- Even if it sounds foolish, these are important matters that will totally come in handy in any unplanned situation.
Track down the territory
Be sure to know a few things about the landscape before trying to reach it. Anything others have to say about it on the internet is welcomed. Stuff like time of the year or walking near a river can make the trip easier if you use them on your side. What to look for before going:
- Always check for closed roads. It is easier to go on “in and out” roads. Make sure you choose one of those if you are not looking for something specific.
- Remember to think to the fact that you are hiking not walking, so take into account that climbing is harder than walking. Miles of climbing are more miles than walking.
- Try to consider the role of the sun in your trip. Even if in the forest, it does not play any role, in a desert are it’s dangerous to adventure without water.
- You should avoid trails marked as difficult if you are a beginner in hiking. Always look for the appropriate trails as your fitness level.
- Be careful at the animals that are able to camouflage because they can be very dangerous. Therefore, you should take into account the time of the year and the wildlife you will likely encounter along the trail you are navigating.
Compass and map, meet no trap
Last but not least, the brain of the operation. It is very important to always know where you are. This is why a compass and a map are essential to any travel. A compass will always show you the way. A map is very light and you can keep in your pocket without having any trouble assigning any other tasks. More than that, and probably most important, it does not need a battery. You can assure you are not having any unexpected trouble and also be aware of the time you have left until you reach the destination just by being sure of what the symbols in the legend refer to.
All in all, it is better to avoid unexpected situations but if anything, this guide will help in any situation. Best before leaving, make sure to tell a friend where are you going and how much time do you expect to spend there. In this case, they will not panic earlier than needed.