What happens when the batteries conk out on your GPS? If you know how to use a map and compass, you have nothing to worry about.
Most maps are drawn so that north is at the top of the page.
Topographic maps, or “topos,” are the best maps for finding your way in wild places. Learning what the symbols, colors, and squiggly lines mean is the first step in using a topo. To download a free map of the area you plan to explore, visit store.usgs.gov.
Hold the map flat or place it on the ground.
Twist the rotating dial of your compass so that “0” or “N” lines up with the bottom of the direction-of-travel arrow. The orienteering arrow should now be pointing in the same direction as the direction of travel arrow.
Turn the map and compass together until the red end of the magnetic needle is between the sides of the orienteering arrow. This is called “boxing the needle” or “putting red in the shed.” North on the map now points to magnetic north in the real world. Features on the map should closely match those
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill