When I was 18 I took the Seattle Mountaineers basic climbing course, and one of the things we learned was map and compass reading. We even did a course in the mountains where we started out with compass readings and had to find the next point, where there would be another compass direction, till we got to the end point. Well, I’ve forgotten most of that, so last night I was at the REI map and compass class, with a new compass.

Over the years I dealt with my forgotten compass skills by meticulously not getting lost. However, re-learning the skills seemed like a good idea.


good compass


I’m good with maps, always have been so that was no problem. The most usefull information was triangulating with your map and compass to figure out where you are if you are lost. After all, if you never get lost you don’t really need your compass. It is finding your way back to the trailhead after losing the trail that is where you really need that knowlege.

Also, GPS’s batteries can die, so totally depending on them could be a mistake . . .  I’m just saying. . .

Hamster report