This week was about camping!
The first lesson was about the “leave no trace” principles and wilderness risk management. Leave no trace just means when you leave to go home from camping the place where you camped should look like how you left it. Risk management is about making sure you are prepared for sickness and other things such as if it is cold where you are going, you should pack things that will help you with hypothermia or just a nice thick sleeping bag so if it is freezing at night you are nice and cozy.
Lesson two focused on navigation. I learned why I need a compass and a topographic map. And also learned how to avoid making navigational mistakes. And how to adjust your compass according to magnetic declination.
You really need a compass or a topographic map for not getting lost. Even if you think you are traveling in a straight line you most likely are not, because humans naturally travel in circles so having a compass is good so you can check if you are heading in the right direction.
Now a topographic map is so you know where your camp site or anything is. Say you have a compass and you are trying to get to your camp site. You will need a map to figure out if that place that you are going to is either east or north from you. So the compass and the map work together.
Adjusting your compasses magnetic declination is really easy but fist you need to know what magnetic declination is. A compass always faces magnetic north but that is not true north. So you have to adjust the magnetic declination to the correct north. Magnetic north always changes so on a map there is a sign that says how much you must change the magnetic declination to. But you should always check when the map has been updated because magnetic north changes every year or so.
Lesson three I learned what a bearing is and how to measure a bearing with and without a topographic map and how to hold a base-plate compass to take a bearing.
And lesson four I learned how to How to read contour lines on a topographic map and how to plan your route. When you are counting contour lines you should look at the numbers and see what it is counting by. So if it says 40 – – 100 then it is counting by 20s. You will know if there is a mountain if the lines are getting closer and closer together. And you will know if there is a volcano or a cliff if the lines are getting farther apart.