Reading a map is an essential outdoor skill. The ability to relate to what’s around you with what is displayed on a map is a vital skill. You should learn this first before using a compass. Compass navigation skills come later once you have a good understanding of maps. A map is nothing more than squiggles and symbols, so you should learn some basic symbols. Symbols like how roads are shown, footpaths, streams and rivers, wooded areas and contour lines.
Once you have mastered the ability to observe what is around you to what the map is showing, you will be able to find where you are. You will also be able to look at the map and see what the terrain is like further ahead on your route. A compass can be used once you can read a map competently !