November 26, 2015


Map reading skills: How to use a compass

Updated March 2020.

SBNav2Week five in our six-week blog series on map reading skills focuses on the compass. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

So far we’ve covered which OS map you needunderstanding map symbols and making sense of contour lines and how to read a grid reference. Today we’re covering the compass. Next week, our final blog in the series will cover:

  • Understanding magnetic north

Each week we’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing in these two short videos:
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