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Movement in the forest. Tourist tips

Tourist tips

Directory / Tourist tips

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Как move in the forest?

If possible, the forest, especially dense ones, should be avoided. When moving, try to stay on roads and trails. But if, after all, part of the path passes through the forest, you need to prepare for this accordingly.

When choosing a route in a wooded area, you should not, unless absolutely necessary, outline a route through large forests, since orientation in a dense forest, especially at night, is very difficult. It is advisable to lay a route near clear local landmarks (edge ​​of a forest, clearing, river bank, lake), coinciding with the direction of travel.

It is very important to properly arrange all the property intended for carrying, and adjust the equipment so that it does not restrict movement and does not make any sounds when moving. You should not take anything extra. You need to prepare your shoes especially well (dry them, lubricate them), and choose the right socks or foot wraps.

In some cases, they must prepare on their own the simplest means for increasing cross-country ability (snowshoes, drags), as well as means for overcoming obstacles.

To walk confidently even through dense bushes, windfalls or through rubble, it is best if your legs and arms are protected. In the taiga, wear clothes that prevent ticks from crawling through your collar and cuffs. Simple encephalitis is the most comfortable clothing.

Before entering the forest, get your bearings. The best means for this is a compass if there is no compass for the sun. You can read more about this in the relevant sections of the site. Careful orientation at this moment is necessary due to the fact that upon entering the forest, visibility is reduced to several tens of meters. And if you move ineptly, it is very easy to lose your bearings and start circling in one place.

But the most reliable thing is to make it a rule, before entering the forest, to look at a map or at least a hand-drawn plan of the area. Remember landmarks.

When entering the forest, remember which side of you the sun is on. If, for example, it is on the right, you need to go back so that it is on the left. In this case, it is necessary to make an adjustment for time: due to the rotation of the Earth, the sun will appear to have shifted to the right. For every hour you need to add to your direction a slope of 15 degrees to the left.

If you lose your way at night or on a cloudy day, then at night you should determine the cardinal directions using the stars to make orientation easier in the morning.

While driving, you need to check yourself more often: remember landmarks, leave marks. Without visual references, a person in the forest begins to circle, since the right leg always takes a step slightly wider than the left. To avoid this, a straight line must be mentally drawn between two landmarks in front. Having reached one (for example, a tree), immediately select the next one. The straight line will thus be continuous.

You need to go around the trees alternately from the left, then from the right side.

To maintain the intended direction, they usually choose a clearly visible landmark every 100-150 m of the route. This is especially important if the path is blocked by rubble or dense bushes, which force you to deviate from the straight direction. Trying to go ahead is always fraught with injury.

You cannot find a large swamp in the forest, as they say, simply by definition. Otherwise, it will be a swamp, not a forest. But wetlands come across all the time. It is better to avoid them, but once you have bypassed them, be sure to take this into account and try to quickly return to the chosen azimuth. Water obstacles, especially rivers with fast currents and rocky bottoms, can be overcome without taking off your shoes for greater stability. Before taking the next step, the bottom is probed with a pole. You need to move obliquely, sideways to the current, so that the stream does not knock you off your feet.

The speed of movement is set taking into account the complexity and length of the route, time of year, weather, ground conditions, and other conditions.

Depending on these conditions, the speed of movement may be different. The average speed of a pedestrian on a plain with hard ground is considered to be: without a load - 4-5 km/h, with a load - 3-4 km/h. When calculating march speed over rough terrain, corrections should be made for ascents and descents and, depending on the angles of inclination, the following speeds should be accepted:

The right combination of intense movement and rest is important to maintain a high speed of movement and preserve strength.

For a short rest, as well as to clarify the location and determine the direction of further movement, to inspect and put in order shoes, clothing, and equipment, you should take short rests. It is better to make the first stop for 5-10 minutes 25-30 minutes after the start of movement. During the halt, adjust your equipment again, check your clothes and, above all, your shoes. Further stops can be made much less frequently, every 1,5-2 hours. The duration of the stops is 10 minutes. When driving through very rough terrain, with a lot of blockages, ascents and descents, the intervals between stops must be reduced. With a steep climb of 15-25°, rests should be made after about 50 minutes, and with steeper climbs more often.

It is better to walk at full height, as usual, without allowing unnecessary tension, maintaining the rhythm and depth of breathing. Breathe evenly through your nose and exhale completely. The muscles of the legs, torso, and arms should be as relaxed as possible. You need to change the rhythm of movement smoothly, gradually picking up speed at the beginning of the movement and slowing it down 3-4 minutes before the end. When stopping, you cannot immediately plop down on the ground; you should stomp around a little (1-2 minutes), choose a place, gradually remove the load, and only then remove the burden and settle down to rest.

When a group of tourists walks through the forest, the forest seems to be extinct. This is understandable, they make noise, smoke, crack branches, from such impudence all living creatures freeze or go somewhere far away, even before there is an opportunity to “make eye contact.” Move through the forest as silently as possible, looking back every 40-50 steps. This is the only way to see a rare animal and remain unnoticed.

But you still have to learn how to move like that. The first requirement for silent walking is the ability to move without making noise when placing your feet on the ground, and being careful to avoid noise from brushing against branches. The stride when walking this way is shorter than usual. The foot is placed on the ground easily, carefully. When moving short distances, it is better to place your foot on your toes, slowly transferring your body weight to the entire foot. When moving over significant distances, the leg is placed on the heel, and the other leg is slightly bent to a semi-squat position. The forward leg should be placed so that you can immediately raise it if it hits an object that makes noise. Walk so that the force comes from the hip, not the knee.

Usually the noise is made by the heel, especially where sticks, twigs, stones, etc. are lying on the ground.

Moving on viscous soil causes additional energy consumption, which is spent on “pulling” the legs out of the viscous soil and maintaining balance. Therefore, on viscous and muddy soil you need to move in short steps, quickly moving your legs so that they do not have time to go deep into the soil. The leg should be placed on the entire foot, the movement should be facilitated by vigorous work of the hands. It is advisable to choose harder areas of soil, furrows, hummocks, and clay ledges. In these cases, movement in small steps alternates with jumps and large steps.

When moving on a slippery surface (for example, on clay soil after rain), the foot should be placed on the entire foot. One hand must be free to make short, sharp movements with it to maintain balance.

When moving through tall grass, it is recommended to raise your feet higher and place them on the ground with your toes.

When moving through shallow water, in order not to create noise, the leg should be gradually lowered from the toe, dragging it forward through the water with a sliding movement, as when skiing.

At low temperatures in winter, the creaking of footsteps in the snow can be heard at 30-40 m. On a frosty night, the propagation of sounds increases. To reduce the sound of footsteps in winter, you can line the soles of your shoes with fur rags and wrap them with soft rags.

In the forest, fallen leaves, branches, and dead wood continually make noise and crackle underfoot. To walk quietly, the steps are shortened, the foot is placed on the ground, with a soft, groping movement. If an object capable of causing noise comes under his foot, the scout, leaning on his foot with solid support, looks for another place to step. If there are a lot of branches under your feet, before you step you need to stir them up with your toe, feel for solid ground and step on it. When moving aside branches that block the path, you should not throw them, but, holding them, slowly return them to their previous position. Then they won't make any noise.

We often carry noise with us, sometimes something rattles in our backpack, sometimes in our pockets. This must be eliminated, metal objects should be placed in cloth, a roll of bandage or a piece of paper in a box of matches, etc.

To avoid coughing, you need to swallow a crust of bread and press on your Adam's apple. To prevent sneezing, rub the bridge of your nose or stick your little fingers into your nostrils. If there is no way to restrain yourself, you need to open your mouth wide, exhale more air from your lungs and, covering your mouth and nose with crumpled material, cough or sneeze without inhaling a new portion of air.

Movement at night is carried out in the same ways as during the day. When walking at full height in unfamiliar places covered with forest or bushes, you need to bend your left arm slightly at the elbow and hold it in front of you at face height for self-insurance.

In most cases, you have to protect your face by raising your elbows forward to chest level and your fists up. In this case, the blows of the branches are taken by the hands.

When moving along a windbreak, an alpenstock or a simple stick is very useful.

If the trunks are dry and there are not many branches on them, you can walk along the logs lying approximately in the desired direction. However, beware of sharp and broken branches. You should not test your abilities in balancing act - walking on slippery, moss-covered or rotten wood, especially in the rain.

The most unpleasant areas are in the windfall, where the trees are too high to climb over and too low to pass under. It is always better to try to avoid such places.

In the Baikal region, in the Far East, there are many kilometers thick thickets of dwarf cedar. These dwarf birches or cedars, spreading like a carpet, are overcome slowly. Thin trees are crushed by foot, thicker ones serve as support. The travel speed is sometimes less than half a kilometer per hour, so to save time and effort, it is better to try to find a detour.

In the taiga, it is not allowed to move along an unfamiliar route in the dark without noticeable landmarks, especially in the presence of windbreaks, rubble, swamps and other obstacles. You need to spend the night where night found you.

Traveling in winter

Snowy areas are almost impossible to cross without skis or snowshoes. It is easier to move along frozen river beds while taking the necessary precautions (see thin ice). The ice is especially thin under snowdrifts near steep banks. In places where rivers bend, you need to stay away from the steep banks, where the current is faster and the ice is therefore thinner. Often, after a river freezes, the water level drops so quickly that pockets form under the thin ice, which pose a great danger. In spring, the ice is thinnest in areas overgrown with sedge and near flooded bushes.

If you feel that you are lost, you should immediately stop and not panic, but think about when and how long ago you lost your bearings. And then try to return to the place where the familiar path begins.

What do you need?

Remember the last sign on a familiar part of the path and try to trace the road to it. You can establish the lost direction of movement by remembering which side the sun or moon was on. Where the wind was blowing from (if it was constant), where the clouds were floating. You can calculate (by multiplying your approximate speed by time) the distance to the place where the road was lost.

If this fails, you need to remember familiar landmarks, for example. long and noisy: railway, navigable river, highway.

Sounds help you reach people - a tractor is running (you can hear it from 3-4 kilometers away), a dog is barking (2-3 kilometers away), a train is going by (up to 10 kilometers away). The smell of smoke helps: here you need to move against the wind.

In the absence of familiar landmarks, trails and roads, the best way to get out of the forest is to reach some stream and go downstream. If the stream does not turn into a swamp, then sooner or later you will come out to people.

If there are no landmarks, you need to try to climb the tallest tree - from a height you are more likely to see pipes, antennas, power transmission towers, a familiar hill, a column of smoke. Chimneys on roofs can be seen 3 kilometers away, factory chimneys 6 kilometers away, bell towers, towers against the sky 15 kilometers away.

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