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With every the digital gadgetry that exists -- cell phones, general practitioners units, an individual locator beacons -- why stroked nerves learning just how to navigate choose pathfinders of the critical (20th) century, v map and compass? Well, because that starters girlfriend won"t worry about your battery failing you.

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Sadly, I must admit that my map and also compass an abilities are horribly, horribly rusty. Numerous years ago, while filling out part spare credits in my college days, I in reality took an orienteering food in which i learned how to negotiate through the backcountry v map and also compass. I recall that the first field trial finished miserably, v me and my companion finishing, if storage serves me well, ahem, dead last. However that to be motivation, and also we crushed the compete in the next field trial.

That course taught me that orienteering not just was fun, yet that map-and-compass an abilities were valuable and shouldn"t it is in overlooked.

But the was many, countless years ago. Around five years or so earlier I invested in a book and also a brand-new compass with wishes of to brush off the rust that had bogged down my an abilities and once again coming to be at the very least passable in the field. After all, it"s easy to check out the merits of gift able come navigate in the backcountry with map and also compass.

Well, sad come say but the publication pretty lot never stirred indigenous its point out on the bookshelf, and the compass remained safely tucked far in the drawer. But the arrival of a new book, or at least a brand-new edition of one old, however venerable, publication on orienteering has me once again anxious to get out in the field and rediscover those long-lost skills.

Be skilled With Map and also Compass, The complete Orienteering Handbook ($18.95) an initial came out in 1955 as soon as Bjorn Kjellstrom decided it to be time the general public had a guide to help them achieve map-and-compass skills. The so late Mr. Kjellstrom certainly had the credentials for this task -- a swedish champion in orienteering, the was one of the co-founder of the swedish Orienteering Federation, and helped beginning the U.S. Orienteering Federation, of i beg your pardon he was director of for number of years.

The third edition of this book arrived in December, and it has actually been revised and also updated by Mr. Kjellstorm"s daughter, Carina Kjellstrom Elgin. While the book maintains the strong underpinning of just how to come to be competent v map and also compass, Ms. Elgin has carried it right into the 21st century by addressing general practitioners devices, noting beneficial websites, and also providing an updated guide to global orienteering symbols.

Perhaps the most noticeable reason to come to be proficient v map and compass is what I noted in the second sentence above. Her batteries could fail girlfriend or there can not it is in a cell phone signal. An ext so, the an abilities improve your self-reliance, something the shouldn"t ever before be overlooked or undervalued.

The publication starts slowly, introducing the importance of map and also compass skills and exactly how they"re offered in every job life. Yet then you dive right into the nitty-gritty in part 1, learning around the details that topographic maps -- how they"re made, what the squiggly lines represent, the miscellaneous scales mapmakers use, how to tell paved roads from dirt roads, and also springs indigenous wells. The authors even suggest field exercises friend can shot to hone your skills. And they provide a fold-out map attached to the book"s ago cover for use in occurring your map-reading skills.

Compasses aren"t given short shrift, either, as a primer on their history is contained in part 2. This section of the book likewise details today"s compass designs, defines what the assorted components and scales ~ above compasses are supplied for, and also instructs friend on how to uncover your bearings. Again, the authors provide you with exercises -- part that show off the map detailed in the book -- to build your compass skills.

Parts 3 and also 4 are dedicated to orienteering, both the an easy skills of navigating your method across a landscape and the challenges of competitive orienteering.

Today"s equivalent to compete orienteering, in which people or teams see which deserve to most easily negotiate a course requiring girlfriend to use map and also compass to uncover checkpoints, is geocaching, where much the very same is accomplished, but with general practitioners devices. If geocaching absolutely is cultivation in popularity, attention in map-and-compass orienteering is not waning. According to Be expert With Map and also Compass, in 2009 the annual O-ringen orienteering compete in Sweden attractive 8,000 participants native 43 countries.

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Not only does this book administer a riches of information, info that have the right to make you more comfortable in the backcountry, yet reading it through your youngsters could assist increase your interest, and comfort, in the out-of-doors.