Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sources of Reference for the Backcountry Hiker

There is a lot of reference material published and online that the backcountry traveler has access to.
Outdoor Quest image

There are some that are no longer valid or are just plain inaccurate.  For example, one major magazine publication had an article a few years ago about hiking on one of the major trail systems in  the United States.  When it came down to how to lighten a pack  the comment was made to leave the map, compass and GPS at home because the trails were so well marked.  As a Search and Rescue team member that statement leaves me cold.  During a recent SAR convention in Oregon I brought that up and found no one in agreement with the magazine.

Thus I always read with caution if I don't know the writer.

My recommended short list of good solid references includes the following:

  • Peter Kumerfeldt's book Surviving a Wilderness Emergency
Some books I tend to steer clear of.  For example, Bradford Angier wrote a series of books about living off the land.  The books are dated and many of is suggestions are out of date.

Do visit Kummerfeldt's website at  and check out his extensive bibliography of published material.

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