How to Read a Topographic Map
Whenever you go hiking it’s important to bring a map with you. Ideally, this will be a topographic map, which is the kind with the squiggly lines on it. Called contour lines, they can tell you whether you’ll be hiking uphill, downhill, or over flat land.
Learning how to read contour lines is an important skill to learn if you want to become a better day hiker or backpacker. For example, when planning a hike, you can trace the path you plan to take and see whether it has hills or cliffs which might be dangerous and too difficult for the people you’re hiking with climb. You can do this before you even walk out the door and plan an alternative hike if you want to hike an easier trail.