Wilderness Navigation, a life saving skill
Let's set up for hunting, the check list usually includes: backpack, blind, boots, weapons, knives, some food and water, signaling devices and a dozen more gadgets; everything is right and it's time to hit the woods but ... Have you thought anything about navigation?
In the GPS era it seems almost impossible to get lost out in the woods, after all with a few inches precision positioning device only a fool could get lost, and even when most of times hunters and hikers have no issue due to GPS, each year many people get lost out in the forrest despite the GPS devices.
The reason behind such problem is the lack of navigation skills; nowadays everyone has a GPS device or a smart phone with GPS and trust on such devices to get oriented and go back home once the hunting but each day less people is concerned about acquiring proper navigation skills, a key to survival when things go wrong.
After all electronic devices depends of batteries for power supply, may be affected by moisture or get broken after a fall or simply may not work properly due to weather conditions and then is when navigation skills becomes life saving.
The ability to read a map and get oriented with a compass could be the difference between live and dead; and even when you count with a GPS; it's mandatory to acquire proper navigation knowledges such as reading a map and using a compass in order to be safe when out hunting.
In this regard, there are many compass choices, from basic ones up to advanced. The first group usually count with the basic features such a magnetic needle and rotating bezel while the second has more specialized functions such as mirrors or declination adjustment.
The type of compass to choose depends of the user skills and how far the hunting trail will get us; thus for beginners and on-trail hikers and hunter a basic compass could be the cheapest and more convenient option while for big leaguers, an advanced compass would be better.
Besides the compass, high resolution, topographic maps are key to get oriented and able to estimate how far we are from safety and help, thus before going out, especially towards unknown areas, it's very important to find detailed maps and study them in advance.
Perhaps is an old fashioned habit but next time you go out for hunting, don't forget your set of maps and a reliable compass. At the end of the day they could become your best friends.