1. Learn how to read a map
Map skills are essential knowledge for any aspiring outdoorsman—but few people, if any, really know how to orient themselves with a map. Before you learn how, you should first pick up a quality baseplate compass like the A-10 NH compass by Suunto ($21, suunto.com), which is great for plotting routes on a map.
To learn map skills, you should take a class or join an orienteering group. Classes are most easily found at your local REI store, along with lots of other great courses on enjoying the outdoors. Local orienteering groups—a sport of navigation and racing—are always welcoming and can be found at Orienteering USA.
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