When hunting, if you want to think outside the box, you need to have certain notions of orientation to have fun without fear of getting lost.
To learn more about the subject, I discussed with one of the most outstanding specialists in Quebec, Sylvain St-Louis from Orientation Azimut.
“The basis, I believe, is knowing how to use nature and the tools we have in hand, such as a GPS, if we want to put all the chances on our side,” explains the expert. You can have the best calculator in the world, the best watch with health and performance information, the best GPS, if you don’t know how it works, it’s all useless. It’s the minimum. ”
He makes a living by giving lectures all over Quebec, hunting and fishing lounges, and now virtually.
“God knows I’ve heard all kinds of stories about it. Some people tell me how they got out of bad situations because they dared to act. Too often, people forget the first thing to do. We always have to inform someone of our movements, where we are going, and at what time we expect to return. The first thing to do is have a fire with you, preferably a lighter, because it will withstand bad weather. It will allow you to light a fire to reassure you, keep animals and mosquitoes away while allowing you to boil water, cook food and greatly help the search teams. ”
Nature and Compass
Before relying solely on electronics that can fail you, especially when the batteries are dead, take advantage of what nature has to offer.
“The first good habit to take is to work with the sun when it is there. If you enter the forest in the morning with the sun in your face, you must retrace your steps at the end of the day with the sun still in your face. He is mobile. It is therefore essential to always watch where the sun is when entering the forest. ”
Even a tree can help you find yourself. “Know that hemlock is the only tree whose crown tilts east because the prevailing wind is from the west. This tree looks like a pine tree but with shorter needles resembling those of the fir tree. Other natural tools are also at your fingertips, such as the direction of the current of a stream, the moss on the trees, the prevailing wind, and the constellation Ursa Major. ”
The other two essential elements are the compass and the maps.
“The compass will always remain a safe tool, but you still have to know how to use it,” explains the expert. A good mastery of the latter will allow you to navigate in the forest and return to your starting point. It takes good training. She can make a difference. Here is a little trick. Take a few steps and turn back to your vehicle. Hold your compass level and turn the dial to the red or black needle in the orientation arrow. Thus, it will already be placed to bring you back to your vehicle. Notice that this is just a trick. The training says a lot more. ”
Map, GPS, and Course
Knowing how to work with a paper map is also excellent security, even if equipped with a GPS.
“You have to know how to read it, even that of the GPS. By memorizing a map, an emergency azimuth can be quickly detected. You have to look at the sector where you want to evolve and identify elements such as a road, a power line, a river, or a succession of watercourses. The position of these elements can help you deduce the direction you need to go. We must not wait for the GPS to break down. ”
Using a GPS Can Become a Double-edged Sword
“In the beginning, there wasn’t much in a GPS. Today, devices are more and more sophisticated. Contrary to what one might think, the more gadgets a GPS has, the easier it will operate. People will quickly understand how to operate and get the most out of their devices with the proper training. ”
To help amateurs, the specialist has developed a whole new teaching method. “Specific training for each GPS is now available. There is a notebook including cards, an integrated video player, and a 7-inch screen. It is an innovative Quebec tool that requires no download, no wifi, or network of any kind. ”
By using the Avenza Maps application, you will obtain maps of the territory and the geolocation of your position on your cell phone. In Sépaq wildlife reserves and on several other sites, you will be able to download MicroSD files for Garmin GPS, which will allow you to access maps of territories. In the case of a contingent hunt in a wildlife reserve, all the group leaders will receive a MicroSD card installed directly into a Garmin GPS.