Kjetil Kjernsmo‘s illustrated guide on

How to use a compass

My main motivation for writing these pages is to let people have the same nice experiences I have had when I have been, well, nowhere… Places you see just by coincidence. The compass is an indispensable tool to find your way home, or to go nowhere.


This tutorial is intended for individuals and non-profit organizations, and may be printed out and used free of charge as long as my name is on it.

I hope these pages will help people enjoy and learn more about our beautiful earth.

When you are going to use this tutorial, it is essential that you have a compass in your hand. If you are teaching a class of kids, they should each have a compass, or at least have compasses with them.

Then you have to use it. First, go out in your backyard. Well, you’ll need a place covered by a map. Then try it out, on just a short distance, hundred meters or yards or so. Then go for greater and greater challenges, and soon, you’ll hopefully be able to travel safely in unfamiliar terrain.


It is now almost 15 years since I wrote this, an eternity in Internet time, and I have had plans to upgrade it, but there hasn’t been time. It doesn’t look like I will have much time in near future either, but I hope that the above material is still useful.

Receive E-mail announcements!

As things are slowly progressing forward with my new plans for this site, a new mailing list is now online. It is intended for announcements only, so by signing up, you will not be overwhelmed by lots of e-mail. So do sign up!. You will be asked to enter your e-mail and write a password twice. Then, you will receive an e-mail asking for confirmation, that you must respond to. This is to prevent anybody from signing you up against your will.

Credibility on the Internet is a growing problem. Here’s a few words about the author of this tutorial.

There are a few people on the net I would like to thank, and in particular Denzil Broadhurst for helping me with my language.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to answer many questions these days, but if you have access to the USENET, you could try the newsgroup rec.sport.orienteering.

Other languages:

These pages has been translated to other languages: