Navigating for Scouts

A Self-teaching Guide to Navigation with Map and Compass

By Scouter Don Burgess, February 21, 2005

The ability to navigate with a map and compass gives one the freedom to venture outside of our urban surroundings and is a satisfying skill to master. It also allows one to take part in activities such as orienteering and geocaching. This guide gives an introduction to using maps and compasses.

The guide is divided into three parts: map reading, map and compass, and travel techniques. Each may be studied on its own. Each part consists of a series of topics with questions that give opportunities to try the ideas. Solutions to the questions are given on a separate page.

The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid is used throughout to indicate locations on the maps. Directions for using this system are included.

You may use this guide on your own, but you may find it more useful with an experienced navigator on hand to offer help. Make sure that you understand the questions and their answers.

This guide is specific to Hamilton-Burlington and Pogomasing, Ontario map sheets. The basic questions can easily be adapted to maps local to your home.