Maps and compasses
Tips for learning to read a map and use a compass effectively on expedition.
What maps and compasses do I need for a DofE expedition?
- What makes a great compass for a DofE expedition
- DofE recommended compasses, maps and map cases
- Save money on expedition kit
- How to use your navigation equipment
What makes a great compass for a DofE expedition?
A compass is an expedition essential, and it’s important that you can trust it to guide you on unfamiliar ground.
Your DofE Leader might provide a compass, but if not look out for reliability, accuracy and toughness. These are the three key markers of a great compass – and Silva gives you all three.
Silva Field Compass
View Field compass
Silva Ranger Compass
1:50K and 1:25K scale
View Ranger compass
Silva Expedition 4 Compass
Sapphire jewel bearing
View Expedition 4 compass
Silva Classic Compass
View Classic compass
Maps and map cases
Learning to use an Ordnance Survey (OS) map is a central part of your expedition, and in fact the DofE work so closely with OS, they offer a 20% discount for all DofE participants. Click here to get your OS discount.
OS maps are available at 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale, and are made with both standard paper and stronger laminate which can be wiped clean of route markings.
View Explorer maps
Std or weatherproof
View Landranger maps
Silva Dry Map Cases
A4, M30 or Large
View Dry map cases
You can also customise your Ordnance Survey maps, centering it on your location or if your route crosses two or three standard maps. You can even add your own photographs.
Buying good navigation tools will help your expedition run smoothly and there are lots of other ways to keep your costs down:
- Talk to your team about sharing the costs of navigation kit.
- Tie your compass to your pack or jacket to avoid losing it – this string can be used to measure distances.
- Keep your compass in a soft case and away from magnets.
- Silva can re-polarise your old compass for FREE.
- Enjoy the 20% discount for DofE participants on all OS standard maps, and 15% off OS custom maps.
- Use your exclusive DofE Card or voucher to claim your discount* in all local GO Outdoors, Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors or Tiso store (Scotland only) and online.
For DofE Adults’ discounts, click here.
Silva’s 1-2-3 on how to use your compass
Download Silva’s quick guide to setting your compass so it’s always pointing at your destination.