How To Use a Compass To Never Get Lost in the Woods

With a baseplate compass and at least two prominent landmarks indicated on your map, you can determine your exact location in the woods. Here's how.

[STEP 1] Hold your compass at eye level with the direction-of-travel arrow pointed at one of the landmarks (such as a mountain peak). Keeping the compass still, turn the dial until the north end of the magnetic arrow lies within the orienting arrow.

[STEP 2] Spread your map flat and place your compass on it so that one of the long edges of the baseplate intercepts the landmark. Now, turn the entire compass on the map until the orienting arrow lines up parallel to one of the vertical lines of longitude. Ignore the magnetic needle. Draw a line from the landmark down the length of the baseplate.

[STEP 3] Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the second landmark. The place where the two lines intersect marks the spot where you are standing.