This is a preview of a member exclusive premium article.

When GPS and smartphone navigation fails or is otherwise impractical, map and compass navigation can save the day. Add this critical skill to your outdoor toolkit.

Mastery of map and compass navigation can reduce your reliance on smartphone and GPS use. This saves batteries, makes you safer, helps you understand the fundamentals of navigation, and in many cases, is faster.

Keynote: An Introduction to Map & Compass Use (~40 minutes)

  • Terrain association
  • Fixing your position on a map without a compass using Lines of Position (LOPs)
  • The compass
  • Magnetic declination
  • Orienting a map
  • Using a compass to identify lines of position
  • Fixing your location on a map

Q&A (~ 20 minutes)

  • How to wander off-trail with and without a map and compass?
  • Best way to find your current map location on a trail while hiking?
  • How to account for constant changes in magnetic declination?
  • Differences between backcountry wilderness navigation for backpacking vs. competitive orienteering?
  • Resources for learning and practicing map and compass skills?
  • Best practices for learning map and compass skills near home?

About the Event & Access Info

To access the live version of this event, a printable slide deck for note-taking, and the related resources/downloads, you must be logged in with an active Basic, Premium or Unlimited Membership.

Become a Member Today to Access this Event

Live Event Info:

  • Event Description: An Introduction to Map & Compass Use
  • Livestream Date and Time: July 2, 2022 9 AM US Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)

Backpacking Light Member Q&A Sessions are Hour-Long Members-Only Live Events – they are recorded, and the recorded session will be made available below after the live event has ended.

Members-Only: Watch the Recorded Video & Access Additional Resources

--- End of free preview ---
Member Exclusive

A Premium or Unlimited Membership* is required to view the rest of this article.


* A Basic Membership is required to view Member Q&A events