Skip Navigation Website Accessibility
WE HAVE LETCHWORTH STATE PARK'S OFFICIAL MAP & GUIDE!
Trail Otter Logo

Map & Compass 1: Compass Skills

WANT TO FEEL COMFORTABLE USING A COMPASS?
It’s one of the Hiking 10 Essentials. But every week we have people mention they have no idea how to use a compass and wouldn’t know how to use it if they had one. If you feel the same way, read on!

In this course we’ll have fun identifying why people get lost, and how you’ll most likely get lost. Next, we’ll grab our compasses and start slowly, getting you comfortable with how to use a compass to go in a straight line. Then we’ll get you comfortable returning to where you started. And finally, you’ll learn one of the most fun parts of the course - how to successfully get around hazards and obstacles!

After you feel comfortable with the compass, we’ll grab a map and learn about the different types of “north”, and after a quick trick, you’ll understand the difference between magnetic north and true north. You’ll learn why it’s better to move towards a “baseline” than a specific point, then we’ll have fun figuring out how to use a map & compass to go to fun places!

We’ll practice, practice, practice until you feel comfortable with the compass and map orientation.

Two-hour introductory class. A great beginner’s course, or a chance to brush up on rusty skills.

What You'll Learn

Why We Get Lost
Main Reasons
Navigation Without Senses
Compass Navigation
Compass Parts
Compass Points
Interference
"Red In The Shed"
Walking A Straight Line
Obstacles & Hazards
Using A Compass With A Map
Magnetic Vs. True North
Using Baselines Vs. Specific Points
Properly Orient A Map
Having Fun Figuring Out How To Reach Places
 

SHOP