No.45 find your way with a map and compass

Girls holding a map and compass atop a hill

Finding your way with a map and compass might seem really simple, but there's quite a lot to learn. Once you've mastered it, you'll never get lost again! Use our guide and tips to help you set out.

Being able to read a map and use a compass are two super cool skills that are practical too. You'll never get lost again if you can master this challenge.

What you'll need:

  • A map of the area you want to explore
  • A compass
  • An idea of where you want to end up - your destination
  • A whistle to let people know where you are

Getting started

Start off by working out where you are right now on the map, so that you know you're starting in the right place. Make sure you're holding the map the right way round too. It's good to do his activity with your family, or friends, and you'll probably need an adult or two for the trickiest bits!

You will also need to work out which way north is on the map, so that you can compare it to where north is on the ground for you to use your compass. 

Work out a route

If you look at where you are, and where you want to end up, you should be able to work out a route between the two, but be careful to check that there are bridges if you want to cross rivers, or that you're not walking on private land.

Getting there

Once you've plotted your route, use your compass to check you're going in the right direction and your map to see where you are. You'll find you'll notice all sorts of other things that maps can show you too, like terrain, distance and scale and features such as historical places or buildings.

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No.45 find your way with a map and compass

Once you've learned to read a map and a compass there will be no stopping you on your adventures.