Learning map and compass skills is a better "show" than a "tell".

Watch the videos below or the CROC YouTube channel to learn the core skills of wilderness navigation.

Our tutorial videos cover map and compass skills needed for backcountry navigation, as well as some of our favorite types of mapping software and a great smartphone GPS app. 

(Some of these are best viewed full screen; do so directly from YouTube at the link below.)

Columbia River Orienteering Club YouTube channel


Video topics

  • Purple Pen - Tutorial for orienteering course setting 
  • Caltopo - Learn how to print free topo maps
  • Gaia GPS - Learn to use the best backcountry GPS smartphone app
  • GPSies.com - Use this website to find GPS tracks and download them for free 
  • Wilderness Navigation #1 - Parts of a Compass
  • Wilderness Navigation #2 - Putting "Red in the Shed"
  • Wilderness Navigation #3 - Taking a Bearing
  • Wilderness Navigation #4 - Following a Bearing
  • Wilderness Navigation #5 - Measuring a Bearing from a Map
  • Wilderness Navigation #6 - Plotting a Bearing onto a map
  • Wilderness Navigation #7 - Orienting your map
  • Wilderness Navigation #8 - Using a "finger scale" to measure distance
  • Wilderness Navigation #9 - Adjusting declination on your compass
  • Wilderness Navigation #10 - Deciphering Declination
  • Wilderness Navigation #11 - UTM coordinates
  • Wilderness Navigation #12 - Contours and Elevation
  • Wilderness Navigation #13 - Contours and Terrain
  • Wilderness navigation #14 - Map Scale and Measuring Distance
  • Wilderness navigation #15 - Smartphone Tools for Wilderness Navigation