Improving Your Sense of Direction on the Road

Young couple holding map

While some folks are born with a compass seemingly integrated into their heads, the rest of us can get turned around pretty fast, especially in unfamiliar territory. Improving your sense of direction isn’t an impossible task, however. There are exercises you can do to get better at finding your way even in places you’ve never seen before. Pretty handy trick for an RVer such as yourself.

Don’t Depend on Your GPS Navigator as Much

It can be hard to stop using such a useful tool, but if you want to foster a better sense of direction and navigation, you’ve got to stop using your GPS as a crutch. While there’s no reason to chuck it out of your RV (you should certainly keep it around to use if you’re in a bind and totally lost), just don’t use it immediately. Give navigating without it a shot. Buy a good road atlas (they still sell them at bookstores and travel centers) that’s current and has major road systems across the United States included, and use that as your guide. It may take a bit longer and you may miss your exit here and there, but that’s just the price you’ve got to pay to learn how to find your way around. Besides which, some of the best adventures start when you get off the beaten track by accident. You never know what wacky roadside attraction you might have missed otherwise.

Don’t Drive on Autopilot: Engage with Your Surroundings

It’s a simple thing to get into the driver “zone” where you’re merely focused on staying in your lane, maintaining speed, and getting to where you’re going. But “active” driving is the way to go if you want to improve your wherewithal with regards to knowing your location. Try to connect to the world outside your windshield. Take note of landmarks and not just mountains or towns, but strange signs (like a giant donut) or historical markers. Try talking to your fellow travelers as you go. A conversation about what you’re seeing is going to stick in your head longer. Verbalizing really helps to solidify memory. Finally, don’t be afraid to stop in the side of the road and soak in scenery if you see a pretty landscape. Getting out and walking the earth helps to connect you to the world around you rather than just seeing it zoom past as you hurtle down the highway.

Test Your Internal Compass

Your compass may not be fine-tuned immediately, but that’s okay. It takes practice. Try buying a physical compass (or using a smartphone app) and putting it in the glove box of your RV. Then, throughout the day, test yourself by determining which way is north as quickly and as confidently as you can. After you’ve decided which way is north, check your determination against the compass and see how close you were to being accurate. Eventually, you won’t need that compass as much and you’ll be able to tell the direction with less and less information present.

Visit Capital RV Center

Stop by Capital RV Center before you hit the road on your next adventure. Whether you need to shop for your next RV or simply need to schedule some service on your rig to make sure that it’s good to travel, Capital RV Center can help.