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Hiking begins even before walking, as we find out the route on the map. A detailed reading of it will provide all the information on what walkers can expect, hence it is a useful and important tool.
A map shows the terrain only on a horizontal plane, seen from the sky, minimised and schematised . It takes a little training to establish the relationship between the map and terrain. You can’t read it too quickly. Whether it's to prepare for a hike or to get a sense of direction, your map will always be there to help you, and unlike GPS and mobile phones, it won’t fail. Think of bringing a compass so you never miss the north direction.
Indicates wooded areas
Indicates meadows and cultivated areas
Generally indicates contours
Indicates hydrography elements (lakes, rivers ...)
It is widely used and refers to everything that comes from human intervention; it also indicates rocks and scree
You will see areas that are more or less darkened. Shaded areas on slopes or hillsides give the impression of a relief. By convention, theoretical light mapping is determined as if the sun illuminated the ground from the North West (with an average angle of 45°). This fact is not an element of orientation, it is simply a tool to facilitate the perception of a relief when reading the map.
By convention, the north is located at the top of the map.~
If you rotate the map in a flat position facing you such that the elements of the terrain are aligned with the map's symbols, you will be able to get the correct orientation of the map.