SAR Fundamentals/Navigation/Map/Route Selection


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[edit] Subject

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[edit] Authors

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Brett Wuth

[edit] Scope

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  • Students can visualize and describe landforms on a topo map.
  • Students can recognize forested areas, water and vegetation indicators on a topo map.
  • Students can determine distance and bearings between points on a topo map.

[edit] Objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson the participants:

  1. will be able to ...

[edit] Time Plan

Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 2013-02: 18 min

Time Material


3 min

Introduce topic title

Introduce Instructor

Present Objectives


Present a topo map of a day hike area that the students aren't likely to know.

Describe a travel problem for which a trail is not shown on the map.

Ask students to describe possible routes.

  • How terrain features affect travel route.
    • climbing spines/ridge lines
      • often easiest as more open, things fall away to either side
    • climbing draws
      • often choked
      • sometimes washed clear
    • traversing side hills
      • difficult keeping your footing
    • inferring underbrush
      • moisture, streams makes thicker

Choose one of the proposed routes. Break trip into segments of bearings and distance. Record as a set of instructions.

Estimating time:

  • 1000 ft elevation gain = 1 hr
  • elevation loss = no penalty
  • 3-5 km/hr horizontally on trail
  • slower if thicker bush

Estimate time of this trip.

[edit] Aids

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  • 82G/8 for each pair of students
  • plenty of table space
  • a compass for each pair of students
  • pencil for each student
  • map quality eraser for each pair

[edit] Question bank

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[edit] License

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Copyright © 2012, Brett Wuth. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

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