NBS Outdoor Fall Issue 2020
Paper maps don’t.
waterproof notebook and pencil, or a new compass of our own.) A universally fun kid camping activity (and a parent-approved way to wear them out) is building shelters (ranging from a simple lean-to to a teepee.) While cutting down trees is usually prohibited on national or state land, you can almost always find plenty of big branches and piles of brush you can drag to your building site. Make sure to instruct kids to kick branches and logs over with their feet before picking them up so they can check for bugs and critters. If your kids do a good enough job, they may even be able to sleep in their shelter (if you’ve thoroughly evaluated it for safety and sturdiness.) Fire-building is another valuable camping skill you can teach your kids (assuming fires are permitted.) Get some non-match ways to start a fire and teach your kids how to use them. I taught my granddaughters how to use a simple striker tool out on the back patio with some
Spread your map out flat. Take your compass (available for a couple dollars at most outdoor stores) and adjust it by turning the ring until it is pointing off true north the same way that arrows on the map show. Place the compass on the map and line up the edge or the center line along a north-south line on the map. Turn the entire map and compass together until the arrow on the compass is between the lines where you turned the dial. Now it’s oriented with the real world. Look around — can you see some of the landmarks you see on the map (mountaintops, windmills, etc.?) You should be able to mark your campsite on the map if you know the roads you took, especially if you’re parked next to a creek or other identifiable object. When you go hiking in the woods, not in a developed campground, use your map to locate springs and tunnels and nearby attractions. One thing my dad and I
always did was look for bench markers. These are marked on maps with a number and the letters BM. You’ll know when you find one because usually out in the middle of nowhere they are metal disks set in concrete. We always took a photo and circled them on the map when we found them. Dad used to set up simple treasure hunts with us using the map. We felt very accomplished when we used our skills and found the reward (such as a chart up. The chart shows how the sky looks when it first gets dark. ” “ To read a star chart, you just stand facing south ... and hold the
58 • NBS OUTDOOR • Fall 2020
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