The Lost Art of Map Reading

Imagine for a minute that you’re cruising around the countryside looking for the swimming hole that all of your friends have been talking about. You know that the trail to turn off is somewhere between a road called Carriage Way and Rose Street. The last time you checked, 40 minutes ago, the GPS on your phone said you were 45 miles away. You grab your phone to see how far you have left to travel when, to your horror, you notice in the top left corner two dreaded words. “No service.”

 

If you’ve ever driven in an unfamiliar area, you’ve probably become accustomed to relying on your phone’s GPS to guide you through. However, the thought of limited or no cell service in foreign territories is daunting, especially when you’ve relied on a GPS, MapQuest, or GoogleMaps your entire life. What if you run out of gas? What if there is no one to ask for directions? What if you end up being lost forever? These thoughts can be paralyzing. However, with these five easy steps, you can learn to read a physical map and never worry about dead zones again.

Step One: Get A Map

This step may seem obvious, however, we’re willing to bet that the last thing you’d think to purchase before embarking on a road trip to a new destination is a road map that covers the trip there and the destination itself. When looking for a new map, you may want to pick up more than one for yourself, a road map that covers highways, byways, and backroads, and a tourist map that covers where certain tourist destinations are. Having the right map in the car with you will save you lots of stress and time if you encounter a data free zone.

Step Two: Orient Yourself and the Map

Maps are typically oriented with North at the top, South at the bottom, East on the right, and West on the left. In order to determine if this is correct there should be a compass located on one of the pages that will indicate what direction your map is facing. If you don’t have a physical compass on you to match up with the map’s, use landmarks that you’ve passed and the road that you’re on to figure out which direction you’re heading, and then look at the map accordingly.

Step Three: Study the Legend

All maps will have a legend (or key) in one of the corners. This will tell you exactly what you’re looking at on the map. If you need gas or food, you should be able to figure out where the nearest town is based upon colors indicated in the legend. The legend will also give you the relative scale of your map. Use a spare piece of paper and a pencil or pen to copy the scale down. This will allow you to measure distance for the next step.

Step Four: Plan and Measure Your Route

After you’ve found where you are and which direction you should be traveling in, grab a pencil, pen, or highlighter and circle your final destination (and any stops you may want to make along the way). From there, start tracing a route from your current destination to your end point. Once you’ve found and decided upon your desired route, use your spare piece of paper with the scale on it to determine how many miles you’ll be traveling. This will allow you to approximate how much time there will be between directions and will help you estimate how many miles you can travel before you will need to fill up your tank.

Step Five: Hit The Road

Now that your route is planned out in detail, it’s time to hit the road. Because you won’t be using your GPS, you will have to pay closer attention to where you’re going in order to ensure you don’t miss a turn. It tends to be helpful if you note the street or landmark right before and after your planned turn so you have something to look out for before the turn and after, in case you miss it. Keep in mind that there may be detours or closed roads on your route that you hadn’t anticipated. In this case, pull over, pull out your map, and plan a new route.

 

Finally, when you purchase a new map, make sure to plot out the gas stations along the way. So, if you get lost without cell service you’ll be able to enjoy learning to navigate on a physical map without worrying about running out of gas.

Recent Posts
Showing 27 comments
  • Gerardo Tysarczyk
    Reply

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Many thanks!

  • bastcilkdoptb
    Reply

    Great write-up, I am a regular visitor of your website, maintain the nice operation, and Im going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

    • Additech Inc.
      Reply

      We are glad to have you as a visitor. Thank you for the feedback!

  • Reply

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled
    blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  • quest bars
    Reply

    It’s going to be end of my day, I am
    reading this enormous piece of writing to improve my knowledge.

  • quest bars
    Reply

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

  • StarrADurhan
    Reply

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this
    onto a coworker who was doing a little research on this.
    And he in fact bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about
    this subject here on your blog.

  • million hits secret
    Reply

    I couldn’t have asked for a much better blog. You’re always there to offer excellent assistance, going on to the point for convenient understanding of your target audience. You’re undoubtedly a terrific specialist in this area. Thank you for always being there for people like me.

  • read review
    Reply

    I just want to say I am all new to blogs and really loved this blog site. Likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You really come with fantastic articles. Bless you for revealing your blog.

  • internet
    Reply

    Probably I’m going to bookmark your website . You really have beneficial writings. Appreciate it for sharing your website.

  • walmart credit card
    Reply

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this great content on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  • ShawnQSpella
    Reply

    Hello everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this website,
    and piece of writing is truly fruitful in favor to me, keep up posting such posts.

  • you could check here
    Reply

    I simply want to mention I’m very new to blogs and seriously enjoyed your page. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You actually have excellent well written articles. With thanks for sharing with us your web site.

  • DeborahZCoar
    Reply

    I was suggested this website by
    my cousin. I am unclear whether this post is written by him
    as no person else know such detailed about my problem.
    You happen to be wonderful! Thanks!

  • ClintQWide
    Reply

    Ahaa, its an interesting conversation concerning this
    piece of writing on the site, I actually
    have read everything, so at this point Im also commenting.

    • Additech Inc.
      Reply

      Good to hear our writing is interesting for you. Thanks!

  • JanFMouzon
    Reply

    You actually make it seem so simple with your presentation but I find this topic to become really something
    that I believe I might never understand. It seems too
    complicated and very broad to me. I am just looking forward for your forthcoming post, I will
    try to get the hang of it!

  • ChangSKazimi
    Reply

    I feel this really is one of a kind of lot vital information for me personally.
    And i’m satisfied studying your article. The website style is perfect, the
    articles are in reason for fact excellent : D. Good process,
    cheers

    • Additech Inc.
      Reply

      We are please that you are enjoying the information. Thanks for visiting!

  • DonyaGKadish
    Reply

    That is a good tip particularly to individuals unfamiliar
    with the blogosphere. Short but very precise information Appreciate your
    sharing that one. A necessity read article!

  • LesleyTButts
    Reply

    It’s very easy to find out any topic on web in comparison with
    books, when i found this article on the internet.

  • CoryAHyler
    Reply

    Nice post. I was previously checking continuously this
    weblog and I am impressed! Very helpful information particularly the closing
    part 🙂 I find this information a good deal. I had been searching for this particular info to get a very long time.
    Many thanks and best of luck.

  • his explanation
    Reply

    I simply want to tell you that I’m all new to blogging and definitely loved you’re web blog. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You actually have awesome well written articles. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your website.

  • CleoSMiyoshi
    Reply

    What’s up to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this website,
    and your posts are fascinating for new visitors.

    • Additech Inc.
      Reply

      Thank you for the note. Glad you find the topics fascinating!

  • LannieWYeddo
    Reply

    We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m
    looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write.
    Again, awesome site!

  • VictorALinet
    Reply

    I like everything you guys are usually up too.
    This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep
    up to date the really good works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

Leave a Comment