Monday, January 19, 2015


One of the key attributes of an experienced explorer is the ability to navigate and find his way. I need to know not only where I'm going, but where I am at the present moment. This is where a good map, a simple compass, and the skill to use them come in handy. A map and compass make my hike easier and then help me return safely home. I would never consider a wilderness journey without them.

But, important as they are, neither compass nor map get to the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter goes more to the spirit. Carrying a map and compass may tell me where I happen to be, but they do not reveal why.

No  matter where I am on the trail, it is my love of all things natural, wild, and free that brought me there, and I must always be mindful of that truth if I am to feel gratified at the end of the day. This love is what drives me, and without it any trail threatens to become a drudgery of mere miles and pounds and minutes. To loose sight of this is to ignore an internal compass that compels me to wander and celebrate wild, natural landscapes one step at a time.

Checking map & compass while hiking with Scouts at Montgomery Bell State Park
(photo by Mike DuBose)

No comments:

Post a Comment