Today’s podcast talks about nature mapping as a learning tool to promote deeper awareness of the land & how animals are using your local environment.
I’m excited to share the story of how mapping helped me trail a mother cougar with her sub-adult family through the Pacific Northwest rainforest.
I actually got to see these animals up close and personal, but the really cool thing is how mapping techniques helped me predict where they were going, even after I lost the trail.
All you have to do is click play to listen and learn, or download the mp3 to your device for later!
Here’s How YOU Can Apply Nature Mapping To Grow Your Knowledge Of The Outdoors:
The most important thing when it comes to nature mapping is to always keep your practice simple.
- Just start by gathering up some basic materials. You’ll need some paper & colored pencils or markers.
- Next, go wander around an area of nature. Pay close attention to possible landmarks & observations that could help you communicate what the landscape is like.
- Keep your senses open while you explore nature! Look and listen for unique features. Pay attention to turns in the trail. Remember to look behind you, side to side, up and down.
- When you get back home, grab a piece of paper and sketch out what you noticed as best you can.
- You can include things like trails, quirky trees, water, big rocks, changes in vegetation patterns, cardinal directions, even bird & wildlife activity.
- Don’t worry about getting your map perfect. It’s not about creating perfect maps. It’s about how the process of mapping engages your brain & sensory awareness!
- Rinse and repeat. Don’t just make one map. Take multiple trips to the same location and continue refining your observations!
- Mapping is a skill that simply requires practice. It’s normal for your first maps to be messy and inaccurate. It’s all part of the learning process. Keep going and your maps will keep getting better!
- Start with what’s easy & accessible. The best place to study nature is right outside your own home. Make a map of your backyard or a nearby park to help build your capacity for viewing nature with 3 dimensional & 360 degree awareness.