Backpacking, Sea Kayaking and Kayak Fishing: How to Triangulate Your Position

Backpacking, Sea Kayaking and Kayak Fishing: How to Triangulate Your Position



To triangulate your position when backpacking, hiking, sea kayaking, ocean kayaking or kayak fishing, use a handbearing compass, the kind with a mirror. Sight with the compass and mirror two landmarks you can positively identify on your chart or your topo map. Take bearings from both landmarks. Choose two landmarks that are obvious and unique: a radio tower, a water tower, the top of a lighthouse, a fire watchtower or mountain peak, etc.
Using your Nav-Aid if sea kayaking or ocean kayaking, the edge of the bezel of your compass if backpacking or hiking, and a straight edge, duplicate the two bearings on your chart or topo map. If on water, mark the bearings in grease pencil. If on land, use a mechanical pencil. Where the bearings cross is pretty much your position. More or less. Not exact. But much better than lost.

Why isn’t the technique more exact?

Most experts agree the best margin of error you can expect using triangulation while backpacking or navigating a kayak is to always be at least five degrees off. There might be ferrous metals in the area or in your kayak somewhere. It’s difficult to compensate for local variation and deviation with true precision.

And bouncing around in a drifting kayak, which is basically in motion even when at rest, also complicates taking accurate bearings. Taking bearings in the field or in the woods and mountains is tricky without a finely calibrated handheld compass.

In the above example, let’s say a lost kayaker took a bearing of 335 degrees off a lighthouse to the north, a radio tower 40 degrees to the east. Assuming this is one of her better days for triangulating ranges and duplicating them on her chart, her position is somewhere within a box about a two square miles in size; on a bad day, her position lies within a larger box.

It’s not rocket science, it’s not pinpoint accurate, and it’s not a cinch. But triangulation is all sea kayaking and ocean kayaking enthusiasts kayakers have outside of a single LOP and a measurement of distance off, and a whole lot better than having no clue whatsoever where we’re at. It’s also less distracting than gps.

And besides. Outside of GPS (in itself not simple work) there’s no other where are we? technique on the water or in the mountains that eliminates as much guesswork.

Some tips

—Triangulation is more accurate if your bearing landmarks are at least 20 degrees but not more than 50 degrees apart.

— It helps much if you can prevent your kayak from drifting while you take your bearings and do your chart work. Tie up to a lobster pot. Raft to another paddler who holds your kayak in position as you do your work. Get out of current and wind.

One final tip for sea kayaking and ocean kayaking: Be careful your paddle doesn’t float off while you’re triangulating your position. Paddles have an uncanny tendency to drift away when dropped…

Keywords for this story are sea kayaking, ocean kayaking, backpacking and hiking, compass use, triangulation

About the writer: fishing guide Adam Bolonsky writes about fishing and the outdoors for Sea Kayaking Dot Net and NorthAmerican Kayak Fishing.

For my next post is a review about The PNW Ultralight Backpack. Will also be having a contest soon.

HTML and Web Design Basics

HTML and Web Design Basics



Creating a web site has become a much easier task than it was ten years ago. With the internet becoming a more popular means for business and pleasure, it has become available to the general user. There are programs available that can help even a novice web user create and manage a web page. The entire web is created with Hypertext markup language (HTML) and can be easily created.
HTML is a standard text and formatting language used as a computer “code” to accept and apply commands in order to move around the web. HTML documents are text files that generally contain two distinct parts: there is code that is designed to be coded for viewing on a computer screen; and tags, which consist of coded computer language that deciphers the text format on the screen. These tags cue the main CPU to respond to the user’s actions on the keyboard or mouse. By combining the two types we have a functional “web” that displays information and accepts commands in order to move around and view more.

All pages are created with the basic HTML language which tells a computer what it is your supposed to be seeing when you access it. These pages are viewed using an application called a browser. An internet browser is a software application that permits you to search the web and view HTML formatted pages.

Internet browsers allow the user to view the contents of the HTML on a web page. The browser will read the code and then translate this text for you to view. This way the user can see a web page the way the designer intended and not have to translate the HTML code.

There are many applications that can help a novice user create a web page. Microsoft offers the “FrontPage” application. FrontPage has features unique to web design, such as web “themes.” The themes available with FrontPage let you create pages with a professional look and feel. The Global Marketing theme has a multinational, corporate look. Another great feature is the script editor that can run scripts without a serious knowledge of computer design. I do suggest you research some fact or read up on Canadian web hosting reviews.

Decorating a Baby Girl’s Bedroom

Decorating a Baby Girl’s Bedroom


The nursery should be a place that is not only soothing to the infant, but soothing to the parents as well. Decorating a baby girl’s nursery can be a bit of a challenge as it is difficult to choose something that will grow with the child but with the perfect combination of style and beauty than a look can be achieved that will grow up with the child. Trends for nurseries are becoming more sophisticated as design awareness grows in the general population. Gone are the days of cartoon characters pasted to the wall, and in are the days of chic wall treatments, embellishments and color palettes that look good, soothe, and make those who visit green with envy.

Stripes are one of the modern wall treatments that are growing popularity and when done right they look astonishing. Vertical stripes of many different sizes, painted on the walls, in varying shades of the same color, or contrasting colors are one of the big hits for girl’s nurseries in 2008. They are simple to create. First, start with the base color of the room. This color should be on the neutral side of the color palette and could be cream, mint green or a light shade of pink. Next, tape vertical areas in which other contrasting colors will be painted to create the appearance of solid stripes. A classic example is cream and purple, photography and mint green, or cream and pink. Next, smaller stripes can be painted adjacent to the larger stripes in a bold color such as magenta, fuchsia or turquoise. Keep in mind that the room should be soothing, and these bold colors should be used only as accents. You can even buy some  wooden dinnerware sets to am up your dining table which creates an earthy tone.

To give the room texture consider a feature wall of textured paper, or implementing the stripes as floor to ceiling height planks painted in the particular colors. This gives the stripes a three dimensional effect, and is sure to hold the child’s attention for years.

In addition to the stripes on the wall, consider using cutouts of stars, circles or hearts with the appearance of polka dots. These can be adhered directly to the wall or directly to the stripes on the wall so that no further damage is done to the wall itself. These can be painted in coordinating colors, and will give that room the certain pop that a child’s room should have!

On one wall, it is time to create a focal point. We have the feature wall with fabric, or other treatment covering it so why not have a wall focused on the child? Spell the child’s name in large cutout letters and arrange them across the wall. These life-size letters should be an interesting focal point.

Match the fabrics to the room, and buy furniture that can grow with the child. The room should be a comforting place for the infant, as they grow into a toddler, and a place where the mother can spend time with the infant in a peaceful environment.