About the Study Guide

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Two hunters reading map

As you hike into unfamiliar terrain, you can keep your bearings by taking frequent compass readings and plotting your progress on a map.

  • Note key points, such as stream crossings, to help you find your way back.
  • Pay particular attention when you reach a high point at the top of a ridge.
  • Use the elevation to locate landmarks visible from there.
  • Use these landmarks to triangulate your location on a topographic map using your compass, a pencil, and pieces of string.

Learning to set a course and take bearings takes study and practice. The best way to become proficient with a compass is under the guidance of an experienced individual.