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© The Alpine Bicycle
Navigation & Orienteering
Anyone contemplating mixed terrain touring should
be aware that biking through the alpine environment creates special
demands on navigation. At a minimum you should:
Exploring the unknown is part of mixed terrain touring. But proper
planning can minimize the risk of getting lost. Always have a plan
and know the general terrain. Pre-planning with Google Earth or similar
program and studying your route maps can help with an understanding
of the larger topographic context and likely exit strategies.
rely exclusively on GPS
Batteries run down, electronics get damaged. It's best to have redundant
backups for safety.
- Carry a map
Always carry a map and know how to use it. Always have a good idea of
where you are and what to expect. If expectations differ from reality,
stop and reassess.
- Carry a compass
Always carry a compass and know how to use it. Always know your direction
of travel. Know how to coordinate the use of map and compass to determine
bearings and verify your position.
- An altimeter
Although not completely necessary, an altimeter can help confirm your
location by giving additional data for confirmation with your topographic
map. An altimeter can also help you determine that your route is correctly
ascending or descending.
- A bike computer
aids in navigation
General route way points can be confirmed through mileage readings on
your bicycle computer. This is known as dead reconing and is commonly
used for ocean navigation.
- Stop at critical
locations, look around
It's easy to focus entirely on the trail and immediate surroundings.
Look up and behind regularly to identify views and landmarks.
GPS Guides (Garmin)
How to Use a Compass
Map Reading Guide
Map & Compass
Army Navigation Manual