How to Read Urban Map Outdoor Wilderness Survival

Reading a map is one of the most important parts of wilderness survival. In case you got lost in the wild, you can find your way to safety if you know how to interpret the lines and routes indicated in a map.

This skill also includes measuring distances, planning your shortest but less risky route to safety. Reading a map also requires you to correctly determine the azimuth. Here are a few tips on how to read a map:

How to determine a distance on the map?

If you want to travel from point A to point B, all you have to do is to mark these two points on your map. Draw a line between them using a ruler-looking bar scale or a written scale. In case the line drawn is curved, use a string as a measurement.

Once that is done, coordinate your distance with the distance scale given at the bottom of the map. This will give you an idea of how much distance you should cover. Make sure to get the total amount of distance. To be sure, measure it at least two to three times.

How do determine the azimuth?

Now, to be able to travel from point A to point B, you have to know the heading of the compass, which is also known as azimuth. And this process is called dead reckoning. To do this, draw a straight line from your standing point to the place you want to go. User can use either a scale or the straight edge of a paper as a measurement. Then use a protractor to get the degree of the azimuth.

There are two types of azimuth – grid and magnetic. The one that we determined in the previous paragraph is called grid azimuth. To judge the magnetic azimuth, simply align your compass and the map to the magnetic north. This should give you the approximate value of the magnetic azimuth.

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