Every compass is a little different, so be sure to get familiar with yours. Practice with it! Of particular importance is understanding how to adjust for declination. Each compass can be a little different.
Advice and aids to help you navigate with your map
It happens to everyone
Everybody gets disoriented in the backcountry at some point. Being tired, hungry, cold, and worried about the dwindling daylight only makes the situation harder. And we all know that our phone batteries can die, taking away any digital maps we might have. In these situations, we have to rely on our fundamental navigational skills - and sometimes those are rusty.
To help you, we provided some basic tips below. We also created a pamphlet that with more detailed information about how to navigate in the backcountry.
Know Your Compass
Trust Your Knowledge
Even if you don't have a compass or lose it (it happens), you can still get your bearings. When you feel lost, stay calm and be confident in your observational skills. The sun, stars, and terrain can give you clues to orient yourself.
Declination is the difference between true north (how your map is oriented) and magnetic north (where your compass points). For precise navigation, you need to account for declination. Declination changes depending on your location. In the USA, it can vary from 13 degrees East (in California) to 13 degrees West (in New York). It's usually printed on your map!
Be Ready For Anything
More and more folks are heading into the outdoors alone. When we get lost or injured while alone, we need to be prepared for a survival night out. Don't forget your ten essentials.
We studied hundreds of lost hiker situations and compiled statistics about what happened. We also took this data and combined it with the lifetime experience of our team's survival expert to create the best lightweight, comprehensive survival kit for anybody headed into the backcountry.