Tag Archives: hiking

Do these tourists need a map?

Talk about people who need a map. Two french tourists (Guillaume Combot and Enora Nedelec) are in the middle of a three-year hike from Cape Town, South Africa to Paris. They are now near Khartoum Sudan. Check out their web site here. (It is in French, but there is an english version, which looks like a machine translation.)

They must have access to computers as they are posting updates and photos. There are also some videos. There is a fascinating one showing how Guillaume cut pieces from a water bottle to reinforce his crumbling sneakers.

I hope they write a book or make a documentary film of this adventure. In addition to all the other adventures they are having, I am curious how they are navigating. Do they use a GPS? Are they using road maps? I know from experience that good road maps are hard to come by and are expensive in many African countries. This is an adventure I definitely want to keep an eye on.

Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Going Around in Circles


2553049197_bd5d13187a_b.jpgThis recent article in the New York times describes research into why hikers who get lost feel as though they have been walking in circles. It’s because they actually are. As long as hikers can fix on the sun, moon, or objects in the landscape they can keep more or less to a straight line. However, on cloudy days or when there are no landmarks it is very easy people to start looping in circles.

To avoid this problem, the article recomments using a compass or GPS. Another way is to pick a tree or landmark and head directly to it. Finally, if you are hopelessly lost you shold just sit down and wait for rescuers so that you don’t make your situation any worse!

Photo from the Bibliotheque de Toulouse via the Flickr Digital Commons