Top 5 Tips for Navigating While Climbing

Getting lost on your way to the top can be scary and dangerous. There are times when the upper reaches of the mountain are covered in snow and it gets difficult to tell where the trail leads. Whenever heading into the wilderness, keep these 5 pointers in mind.

Route Planning

Before heading out to the top or setting the direction, always remember to get your facts right about the terrain, climate, weather, freezing levels and visibility. The best is to set the plan for alternative routes in advance a night before so you always have a plan B ready. Guidebooks are a great information source and a perfect companion you can refer to whenever in doubt.

Mark Your Maps!

Even when driving on trails that are well marked, there are times when you would still need the reassurance of your exact location. A trail map or a good old paper map can be very helpful with this. Maps show you some major natural landmarks like rivers, mountains, hazardous areas, ridges, and even man-made points of interest such as lodges. The maps are easy to carry and store and are unaffected by artificial factors.

Time Tracking

Never forget to plan things ahead and keep track of time. It is very important to be aware of each and every minute. It helps in reaching the destination on time so you are back before it gets dark or at least plan your meals timely. Always remember to calculate time for lunches, halts and fun breaks.

Hold Up

Keeping up with the surroundings and updating your location does not take a lot of time but helps you take the best route. So taking a break and matching the map with your surroundings becomes a necessity. All you need to do is ask yourself a few questions, like “Where am I ?”, “What will I see along the way?”, Where do I want to go?” or “How long will it take?”.

Compass Leads the Way

It is advisable to never head to the mountains without carrying a compass. People who love to participate in any outdoor adventure should learn to use one. One can choose to use just the compass or a map as well that will provide directions to the north, south, east, and west in accordance with your position. The compass not only aids you with the correct direction but also helps you take the correct path even when the visibility is poor. The main advantage of a compass is that it does not run on batteries, so you don’t need to depend on supplementary batteries or cells.

All the above pointers may help you reach the summit and return to the lodge safely. No extra gear required, just a set of tricks and old school methods to keep you ready for your next big adventure. If you carefully learn the tricks and tips, no one can ever stop you from getting to the peak.


Chris shares his passion for cycling, hiking, skiing, and climbing from Buxton, in the Peak District. As a blogger for Outdoor Look, Chris shares outdoor tips and indoor tricks to help you get the most out of your time spent outside. When he's not out adventuring he's making videos or trying to keep up with his 4-year-old son.

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