Charting Your Course




Whenever I see a compass, my mind does a quick black & white flashback to the orienteering course I completed at Camp Cris Dobbins as a boy scout. Jaren and I were tasked with retrieving several bright yellow flags hidden deep in a Colorado pine forest using only our compass and a list of coordinates. Drawing lines on a map is one thing, but navigating around trees and through ravines is entirely different! I was simultaneously loving the adventure and fearing that we’d end up on the evening news. Somehow we found all of the flags and made it back to camp, and I’ll never forget the experience.

Now it’s time to dust off those compass skills and show a new generation of adventurers how to navigate their way through the wilderness. For this week’s Bonus Challenge, you’ll use your compass to triangulate a location using several points of reference. Need a few pointers? Check out this video to see how it’s done.

But there are other wonderful orienteering exercises you can do with (or without) your trusty compass. Some ideas:

  • Use a map and compass to navigate – This is orienteering 101. Here’s a great video that gives a crash course in compass basics.
  • Use just a wristwatch and the sun to find North – I love this trick – you don’t even need your compass! Here is a video that shows how it’s done.
  • Build a compass using the sun – If you’re ever stuck in the wilderness… and you have some time on your hands… you can use this primitive method to find the cardinal directions.
  • Create an obstacle course of your own – Want to put your skills to the test? Design an orienteering course for your family and friends! Want to make a video of your own? Send us a link – we’d love to see it!


Did we miss any orienteering activities? Let us know what ideas you come up with. But first, go outside and have an adventure!

Team Brain Chase