Compass and Map Training

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Provide brief input on using a compass with a mapped out course based on our site. Keep the learning fun. This could be adapted to be used on a campsite, park or your own site, thanks to Google Maps.


Compasses, Orienteering course base on our school base. Map prepared using Google Maps and a graphics programme plus on site work checking that everything was 100 percent correct. Did it in an afternoon.


Wide game/training activity: Compass and map. The map includes locations the players will visit. Each player will be given a compass and a map. They start and finish at the same point and use the map to complete the course. The adult team will monitor them and check that they are using the two together properly.

Before setting off from each location, they must write down the compass bearing on their map for their next location, this is to prove they have used their compass and not just gone to the destination. At the end they will all end up back where they started.

This is not difficult to prepare with the help of Google Maps. It allows you to create your own training course where you are or in a local park. There are no markers on the ground, the map simply pin points features at the venue. They learn to set the compass and move to the different locations and then work their way back to the start. For this activity, we get them to record the compass bearing, only so they can prove they have set the compass to fix their direction to the next location. This avoids the need to set up lettered and numbered orienteering bases. See attached file. We used this as preparation for our next orienteering trip. It achieves: setting a compass using a map, standing up and turning to face the right direction. Sighting a point in the distance and then walking to it. When we go to a permanent orienteering venue, we will then teach them how the compass points to the destination, but the map shows how to get there when walking in a straight line isn't practical.


  • compass bearings outdoor
  • map work
  • orienteering practical training

Badge Links

  • Navigator - Bearings
  • Navigator - Orienteering course
  • Navigator - Use map