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Be Expert with Map and Compass: The Complete Orienteering Handbook Paperback – June 24, 1994


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Paperback, June 24, 1994
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised edition (June 24, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020292651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020292654
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Björn Kjellström, an enthusiastic outdoorsman, experienced wilderness traveler, and cross-country skier, is a former Swedish champion in Orienteering. His writings on the subject have been published in several languages. He was one of the founders of the Swedish Orienteering Federation, the first of its kind in the world, and also of the U.S. Orienteering Federation. He was a director of the U.S. Orienteering Federation for several years and was vice president of the International Ski Federation from 1951 to 1979. He was born in Sweden and now lives in Pound Ridge, New York.

Customer Reviews

This book teaches you all you need to learn to be an "Expert".
Amazon Customer
Even if you know nothing of how to use a compass or map when you begin reading, you'll have a good working knowledge by the time you're through with the book.
Jon M. Hager
Be Expert with Map and Compass provides a good introduction to land navigation and the sport of orienteering.
Bukkene Bruse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

246 of 262 people found the following review helpful By Peter on December 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I ever bought on the subject of using a map and compass. It was recommended by everyone I knew, as there wasn't a whole lot else out there at the time, and it had been in print since 1955. Today, about the best I can say for Kjellstrom's book is that it is better for beginners than the rambling "Sierra Club Land Navigation Handbook" (revised edition or not), but that's about it. The illustrations in "Be Expert With Map and Compass" are few and small, and the book has an ancient feel to it, with outdated references and quirky language (it's been in print for nearly 50 years, and the author died over 10 years ago when in his nineties). A smaller criticism is the tiny format and paperback-size pages - difficult to lay flat and read while attempting to orient the map or set the compass (you'll have to practice this stuff in the field, remember).

The age of Kjellstrom's book is revealed in the obsolete recommendations on adjusting the compass for declination, where the hoary old methods of memorizing rhymes or worse, of drawing magnetic declination lines all over your map with a pencil (usually inaccurately) and obscuring important detail is advocated. The latter method, still practiced by orienteering or adventure racing competitors (who get nicely pre-marked magnetic-oriented maps or draw their lines at home on a draftsman's board with a protractor), it's not easily accomplished without error using only a ruler. And if you have to improvise in the field, imagine doing it in the wind on some rock with only a compass baseplate for a straightedge! Modern books recognize better methods: either buy a compass with adjustable declination, or else tape a separate pointer for local east or west true declination for your area onto your compass baseplate.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
Completely foreign to this subject I was searching for a book to use to teach our homeschool group about orienteering and map reading. The book has an excellent method of learning about mapping and using the compass with hands on projects for a group. The kids had a grand time with the classes and the parents learned a lot, too. Loved all the references that were included to order maps and supplies.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jude E. Sanchez Jr. on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have several books on land navigation. And I consider this book to be "The Orienteering Book". It is written by one of the pioneers who developed the "Silva" compass, who is also a former world champion in orienteering. The basic techniques are well discussed and the advance techniques are well presented with a lot of exercises. I read the book from cover to cover and did not find anything that is useless and un-important. I will surely buy the next edition of this book if there would be one.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bukkene Bruse VINE VOICE on May 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Be Expert with Map and Compass provides a good introduction to land navigation and the sport of orienteering. The first two sections discuss how to navigate with a map alone and a compass alone. Separate discussions of these two components give the reader a strong understanding of how they work and how they can be useful. The third section then deals with the combined use of map and compass. These sections gently move up in difficulty and make navigating with a map and compass easy to learn. The last section is an introduction to the sport of orienteering and provides information on how to get involved, the rules of the game, and how to set up a competition. Even if you are not interested in competitive orienteering, the book is a good way to learn how to get about with a map and compass.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jon M. Hager on July 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides excellent instruction on land navigation. Even if you know nothing of how to use a compass or map when you begin reading, you'll have a good working knowledge by the time you're through with the book. It is well written, easy to understand and even includes a fold-out topographic map in the back (actually, about a third of a topographic map, but it gets the job done). The map allows you to work the exercises found in the book (which are quite helpful). The book was written some time ago and Hjellstrom does focus on the sport of orienteering, but as the entire point of that activity is navigation using a map and compass, I don't see this as a negative. As others have pointed-out he does not cover newer topics such as GPS or altimeters, but if you're buying it to learn to use a map and compass, that really isn't an issue either. This is a well written book that provides solid instruction and is certainly worth the purchase price.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas on May 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I signed up to compete in an all day adventure race with orienteering being the main focus. I had never done orienteering before in my life and had no idea what was involved. Upon advice from other racers I purchased BEWMAC (as those in the "know" call it) and I read this book to my team-mate over the course of a 5 hour drive from Pittsburgh to Detroit.

Literally this was my first exposure to orienteering. We were able to successfully navigate through an all day orienteering adventure race using this book. I thought it was easy to understand, came with a sample book and all of the skills were reinforced with simple quizzes at the end of each chapter. I have no doubt that there are more in debt studies, but from a beginners standpoint you can't go wrong. Just get it already.
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