Kirk picked up for us and the boys a copy of Essential Wilderness Navigation: A Real-World Guide to Finding Your Way Safely in the Woods With or Without A Map, Compass or GPS, which came out in 2019.
With the boys getting older (they will turn 9 & 11 in the coming months), we have been working on more outdoor skills with them. Navigation has been big for us, as I will admit I have gotten lazy with it. Smart phones opened that door…..I am happy to whip my phone out, open Google Maps and orient myself to see where I am. Great and all…except it doesn’t teach anything! Without a working phone, you are essentially lost. I’d like to think I could still find my way, like I could 12 years ago, when I found myself on the wrong side of the mountain range, and figured out where I was, but to be honest? My skills are rusty.
So last year we updated the boys’ backpacks and got them both Suunto A-30 compasses as gifts. It is a reliable, and affordable compass, that slips into a pack pocket. I had one for nearly 20 years, before it died finally, and I got myself a new one as well.
They loved getting them, this is our winter project, to get them working with old school skills, rather than taking the easy way out. And I can incorporate it into their homeschooling as well.
And maybe that is good for us all.