Introduction: Orienteering Using a Thumb Compass

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate c…

Orienteering is a sport of navigation using a map and a compass. You can orienteer for fun in nature, to get more comfortable using maps, to stay in shape, and to compete in races.

This video shows you how to use a compass for map-based navigation. In the video, we use a thumb compass: a compass designed for orienteering so that you can navigate easily while running off-trail.

There are two steps to using the compass:

  1. Line up the straight edge of the compass so that it is parallel to your direction of travel – from where you are to where you want to go.
  2. Keeping this straight edge pointed directly out from your body, and keeping the compass level, rotate your body until the north arrow on the compass lines up with the north arrow on the map.

Now your map is lined up with the terrain, and your are pointed in the right direction!

Watch the video to see a demonstration of how to do this, and three examples of navigation

  1. In an open field
  2. On trails in the forest
  3. In open woods

Enjoy, and let me know if you'd like to see other navigation techniques! We have a Youtube channel for them here: Navigation Maniac