I only got lost really badly once when map reading, I was about 15 and my mum and I were out in the countryside on a drive to visit a friend. On the way back she asked me to read the map as she was not sure of the way. I had not really done it before and if course got us horribly lost. But we stopped, she looked at it, and we found our way home.
From then on I tried to do better. Noting landmarks to look out for, trying to remember which direction we were going in. Even when it’s cloudy you can guess where the Sun is if there is a glimmer in the sky. Add that to the approximate time and you can pretty much guess where the points of the compass are. It does help when you know the road name and number, but you also need to know which direction along the road you are going.
I try and memorise the major junctions, how far it is before a turn, and names of towns or cities we have to drive through. But when we drove through Manchester recently we got really lost, not because of not knowing the roads, but because there are so many new buildings, changed road priorities, and new dead ends! Why don’t they put up ‘through route’ signage so you know where you are going.
So why use a map you ask? Well I do have an old satnav but I rarely use it. It’s not been updated so no doubt it’s no longer accurate. I don’t have anywhere to stick it, we perch it on a cupholder but it often falls over if you go over a bump. The voice directing you is too quiet, especially if I want to talk to my partner. I just dont like it!
Only problem is when my husband is navigating is he now needs to wear reading glasses and uses a magnifying glass! But I still prefer map reading, it’s a useful skill.