Map and Compass Navigation
I've been working with the kids on their map and compass skills and realized that I too could use some brushing up on an essential skill that is often overlooked until it's a little too late.
Fortunately I've got some topo maps of the area so we can go over the basics and the kids can actually take the map and compass and see precisely what we're talking about.
I give them both notebooks to write down bearings so they have one less thing to worry about if they're ever called upon to navigate.
The basic steps:
Plan your route
Orient the map
Line up your "from" and "to" points with the edge of the compass
Put red in the shed (get the red "N" arrow" pointing North)
Get your bearing
Now you can sight along your bearing (the direction of travel arrow on most compasses) keeping red in the shed and find a landmark on that line. Walk to it. Repeat.
I often fold my maps and put them into gallon Ziplock bags to protect them from water and so I can use a wax pencil to plan a route without mucking up the map.
If land navigation is a topic of interest please let me know and I'll go into more details and try to give you some tips and tricks for finding your way in the wilderness.
Thanks for reading,