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Compassing 101

Ahhh, the compass. It's a simple device, hardly more than a strip of magnetic steel swinging on a pivot, but—in the right hands—a compass can lead one across thousands of miles over land and sea virtually anywhere in the world. We won't be doing anything quite so ambitious as sailing around the world, but mastering the compass is a vital skill every letterboxer should have in their toolbox.

The focus of this tutorial is not, however, about using a map and compass. Map reading is certainly an important part of letterboxing, but that will be left for another tutorial on another day. Here, we're just focusing on the compass. This tutorial is divided into several lessons, each progressing to a higher level of skill and sophistication.

Marjorie and George Jr argue about which way is north
"No, I'm telling you, north is that way!"