Make a map

Make a map

1 On a sheet of paper, draw a rectangular grid with meshes corresponding to one square kilometer of the land area. In the middle, draw a cross to denote your position.

2 Find a convenient vantage point. Determine the azimuth with the compass, determining the direction of a characteristic point on the horizon. Estimate the distance from this point (look down).

3 Orient the map grid along the North-South axis and draw a line from the cross, according to azimuth. On the line, mark the hill.

4 Likewise, locate two other objects, visible from the place, where you are. Your position on the map should be determined by the point of intersection of the lines coming from them.


To determine the location of a given object on the plan, you must first estimate its distance from the site, where you are. You can do it by setting the azimuth. First, determine the direction, in which the object is located. Then move to the second place, that you can mark on the map. You can measure the distance between them in steps. After determining the direction of the object from the second place, lines running from both points should be drawn on the map, according to azimuth. An object symbol can be drawn where they intersect. Now with the help of the grid you can easily calculate its distance from the place, where you are.

1 The presented method allows you to measure the distance from any object in the field, both using a ready-made map, as well as a personally drawn plan. Pay attention when plotting your own plan, that all the meshes of the rectangular net are the same. First you need to determine the azimuth to the selected object, for example hills. Then draw a line from the cross (observer) towards the subject, according to the azimuth.

2 Walk a certain distance, choosing an azimuth of 90 ° to the north, until you reach the point, in which the azimuth to the object will differ by at least 30 ° from the previously measured one. This position should be marked on the map and the azimuth should be determined and defined with a line on the map. The hill is at the intersection of both lines. Now you can estimate its distance by counting the lines of a rectangular grid.


When setting directions and determining azimuths, we make the mistake of having three different northern directions – magnetic north, north on the map and true north, that is geographic. The angle between the north and the heading, which points at the end of the magnetic needle is called magnetic declination or yaw; is related to the difference in the position of the magnetic and earth poles. It increases significantly in high latitudes, and in the polar countries it can completely exclude the use of a magnetic needle for orientation in the field. Therefore, you need to know the magnetic declination in your area. If it's significant, it must be added to or subtracted from the compass measured azimuth. On many maps, magnetic declination is indicated by three arrows in the legend.

Three midnight – Magnetic North is the north indicated by a compass needle; topographic – determined by the map grid, the right north is the direction, in which the north pole of the earth is actually located. The magnetic declination is the angle between the direction of the magnetic needle and north on the map.


■ The golden rule is: "Trust the compass". That's why many people get lost, that he believes his own more, illusory orientation than the indications of the magnetic needle.

■ Always set azimuths and distances according to your own location.

■ Try to recognize the topography correctly, course of mountain valleys and ridges.

■ Orient the map using the compass. Then put the visible ones on it, more important landscape elements, and before setting off, set the direction of the march and set the correct azimuth.