Map Reading 201
Once you understand the information contained in a map margin you can then get down to the information on the map itself. Next are the colors you will see on a topographic map. There are numerous colors used but here are the basics and what they represent.
BLACK - The color black indicates man-made features such as roads, buildings and surveyed elevations.
RED-BROWN - This is the color is used for relief features such as contour lines.
BLUE - The color blue is used to show water like in lakes, streams, rivers or swamps.
GREEN - Green depicts vegetation such as forests, orchards, or vineyards.
These two groups are major features and minor features.
Although this may seem like oversimplification itís really not. Once you understand the basics of a map the rest will come with experience and familiarity. Map reading and usage is whatís called a perishable skill, which means you can get really rusty if you donít use the skill regularly. The skills explained here are just the very basics one must have to get started. There is much more to map reading and using a map for scouting. Now you have just enough information to become temporarily disoriented rather than flat out lost. In the next article we will cover compasses and their use, terrain association, and basic scouting from the kitchen table.