Top 7 Map & Compass Resources
By: Posted On: 2018-09-04


I remember being a 3rd or 4th grader in school and having a chance to go out to the school farm. One of the things that they taught us was how to use a map and a compass. The teachers split us up into groups and gave us a map and a compass to use. We were then blindfolded and put on the school bus and dropped off in different locations around the farm out in the country.  After we were dropped off of the bus and our blindfolds were removed we were instructed to find our way back to the school farm (there was an adult present with each group). I am happy to say that our group was the first one to get back to the farm. I’ve liked to study and use maps ever since! 

Use the stars, Luke…

In a survival situation, you will be extremely fortunate if you happen to have a map and compass. If you do have these two pieces of equipment, you will most likely be able to move toward help. If you are not proficient in using a map and compass, you must take the steps to gain this skill. There are several methods by which you can determine direction by using the sun and the stars.


What if you don’t have a compass?

This 2nd resource webpage talks about dealing with the situation of finding your way, without the aid of a compass. What you have, is the sun, the stars, and the nature around you.


If you have a compass use it

This page has a few suggested exercises, and this page is intended for coaches and educators who have themselves, some experience. Anybody can be taught using this page, of course, but it is principally aimed at teaching kids.


Lesson 1 of how to properly use a compass

This is a very easy lesson, and I would say, not sufficient for those who would like to travel safely in unfamiliar terrain.



Lesson 2 of how to properly use a compass

This is an important lesson, and you should learn it well.
It's when you use both a compass and map the compass is really good, and you will be able to navigate safely and accurately in terrain you've never been before without following trails. But it'll take some training and experience, though.


Lesson 3 of how to use a compass properly

Unfortunately, sometimes, for some quite often, it is even more complicated. There is something called magnetic declination. You see, the compass is pointing towards the magnetic north pole, and the map is pointing towards the geographic north pole, and that is not the same place.  To make things even more complicated, there is on most hiking-maps something (that is very useful) called the UTM-grid. This grid doesn't have a real north pole, but in most cases, the lines are not too far away from the other norths. Since this grid covers the map, it is convenient to use as meridians.

 How to use a compass properly in foggy conditions

Fog makes things difficult, and in some situations dangerous. When you hike, you will probably someday experience these difficulties, and you'd better be prepared. The fog can come creeping very fast.




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