Navigation is vastly important to you getting to where you need to be. Recently a young lady was traveling in Wyoming with the aid of her GPS unit. She was reported missing and the highway patrol and other law enforcement were on the lookout for her. She was found 12 miles off the main roads in a wilderness area. Even though she abandoned her vehicle when she got stuck in the snow and tried to walk out. She was recovered alive and well by the highway patrol. BTW, especially in cold weather, if you get lost or stuck in the snow it is generally best to stay with your vehicle, as it is easier to find the car and it provides you with shelter.
Her GPS had malfunctioned and she had blindly followed its directions and did not realize it was leading her astray as she had not reviewed a map ahead of time. Obtaining a map is easy enough to do either as a hard copy such as an atlas or a state specific map provided by the states tourist bureau or most wayside rest stops on the interstate. Or you can Google Maps it and get turn by turn directions. Navigating with a map and compass is ‘old school’, this is true. However it is tried and true technology that has served us well for many hundreds of years.
Today many people consider map reading and making [cartography] and compass use to be hard or a mystery. It does take a little bit of time to learn the language of cartography as with any area of learning. The rudimentary points 5 to 7 year old can master. An example is when they start to school the kids are told where their class is located and where the toilets are from that room. The kids are told to turn left [or right – depending] when they walk out the door and go 7 rooms down the hallway, turn right at the intersection of the halls and the boys [or girls] restroom is the 2nd door on the left. Most kids can handle that, right? Many schools will even have a ‘strip map’ or floor plan with the toilets, their room and the office marked on it. This is basic navigation and is really not much different except in scale to travelling to the other side of the world.
Today, larger ships and airplanes have automatic pilots, GPS, gyrocompasses and radio direction finder or homing beacon. When the pilot or crew needs to ‘double check’ these advanced systems they rely on old magnetic compasses or the stars. When GPS systems are up to date and working correctly, they ARE more convenient to use perhaps than a map and compass.
Discussing the basic compass first- there are 4 major directions listed on a compass, they are North, East, West and South with YOU in the middle.
West  [you] East 
North is always at the top of the globe and the bottom is always south. It is the same with maps.
The compass is further broken down to North east, North west, South east and south west. While it is easier for some to use those as general directions in conversation, it is much more accurate to use bearings expressed in degrees to write out actual navigation steps. A compass is divided into 360 degrees with due north expressed as either 0 degrees or 360 degrees. East is 90 degrees, west is 270 degrees and south is 180 degrees.
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