Using a compass

Compass Navigation & Using a Compass

Using a Hiking Map alone will often not be enough. To be sure about your location and heading, you can use a Compass or use GPS Navigation. In this section, we will look at the features of a Compass. Nowadays, most Compasses used for Hiking and Outdoor Activities look like the Compass given here. These are the basic components of a Compass:

  • Compass Needle: This arrow will always point to the Magnetic North. This will be outlined later in more detail. Often the compass needle is painted red so you do not mistake the north arrow for the south arrow.
  • Heading Arrow: This arrow is fixed on the base plate and it should point in the direction that you are going. So when you hold a navigation compass, always make sure this arrow is pointed towards your destination.
  • Turnable Housing: This top part of the Compass holds the basic directions (north, east, south, and west) and the degrees. As we will see later on, this housing is turnable so you can adjust your bearing to the magnetic north.
  • Base Plate and Grip: The base plate often has a ruler that can be used in combination with your topographical map for determining distances and triangulating your position. The end is often shaped to form a palm grip with the Heading Arrow pointing in the direction that you are going.

After getting familiar with the features, you will now learn how to use a compass. For Compass Orientation & Navigation you will need more: a topographical map, a compass, a protractor, a ruler and a pen. With these tools, you will be able to both determine your current location (Orientation) and follow a course (Navigation). Before you determine your location or follow your course, it is important to calibrate your hiking compass:

Calibrating your Compass for Magnetic Declination

Different areas on the globe have a different magnetic declination which is basically the difference between magnetic north (where your Compass will point to) and true north (the direction where north really is). There is a difference because the magnetic north pole lies about 1000 miles below the true north pole. So the declination differs per location on the globe. In general, the further north you go, the bigger the declination becomes. The magnetic declination of the area you are in can often be found on hiking maps or can be asked from local authorities. You will need to adjust your Compass to take the magnetic declination of your area into account. This is how you do this using a map:

  • Get your topographical map and find the Magnetic Declination Information. Most of the time, it will give you two arrows – one signifying True North and one is for Magnetic North. Often you can also find the declination in degrees.
  • Place your Compass on your map. If there are arrows then make sure to place the Heading Arrow along the True North line and turn the Compass Housing until it aligns with the Magnetic North line. Now turn your map until the Compass is pointing North along the Magnetic North line.
  • Your map is now aligned to True North.

Orientation: Determining your Location on the Map

You can use your map and Compass to determine your exact location on the map by triangulating:

  • Take an initial bearing on a recognizable landmark and draw a line from it through and beyond your estimated position.
  • Identify a second landmark that is at least 45 degrees away from your first landmark and draw a second line.
  • Your position is where both lines intersect. For a more accurate determination, use a third or even fourth landmark bearing to verify your location.

Navigation: Plot a Course using your Compass

Once you have determined your location, you can use your Compass to keep on a certain bearing:

  • Place the Compass Base on your map with the Heading Arrow along the line on your map that you want to follow.
  • Rotate the Compass Housing until the Compass Needle and the North Line on the Compass Housing line up.
  • The Heading Arrow will now show you the correct direction and as long as you keep the Compass Needle and the North Line on the Compass Housing lined up, you will be going in the right direction.
883 Responses to “Using a compass”
  1. hotel saving sites…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to web sites that we link to since we consider they’re worth visiting[...]…

  2. DISCO HIRE says:

    DISCO HIRE…

    [...]one of our visitors lately proposed the following website[...]…

  3. adam eve wand massager…

    [...]although internet websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they are really really worth a go by means of, so possess a look[...]…

  4. apps for windows 8…

    [...]Here are a few of the sites we suggest for our visitors[...]…

  5. apps for pc download…

    [...]Here is a great Weblog You may Come across Exciting that we Encourage You[...]…

  6. best male masterbator…

    [...]we came across a cool internet site that you could enjoy. Take a appear for those who want[...]…

  7. dental Imaging…

    [...]please go to the internet sites we comply with, such as this 1, as it represents our picks through the web[...]…

  8. noteboook repair…

    [...]just beneath, are a lot of totally not connected websites to ours, on the other hand, they are surely really worth going over[...]…

  9. 스포츠닥터스…

    [...]just beneath, are many entirely not associated sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re certainly really worth going over[...]…

  10. 스포츠닥터스…

    [...]The data talked about inside the post are a number of the most beneficial available [...]…

  11. Chatting room…

    [...]here are some links to web-sites that we link to for the reason that we consider they’re worth visiting[...]…

  12. best kona says:

    best kona…

    [...]here are some links to web-sites that we link to for the reason that we feel they’re worth visiting[...]…

  13. free chat says:

    free chat…

    [...]although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they may be in fact worth a go as a result of, so possess a look[...]…

  14. Disco Bunny Vibrator…

    [...]below you’ll locate the link to some web pages that we believe you’ll want to visit[...]…

  15. Triple Pleasure Rabbit…

    [...]check beneath, are some entirely unrelated websites to ours, on the other hand, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  16. Drain basin repairs…

    [...]Every the moment in a although we opt for blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date web sites that we choose [...]…

  17. Wool rug says:

    Wool rug…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a lot of link enjoy from[...]…

  18. clasificados y directorio…

    [...]just beneath, are a lot of completely not connected sites to ours, nonetheless, they are surely really worth going over[...]…

  19. How to Order Online…

    [...]usually posts some very intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  20. Fake Pussy says:

    Fake Pussy…

    [...]below you will find the link to some web sites that we consider you’ll want to visit[...]…

  21. sex toys for her…

    [...]that would be the end of this article. Here you will find some web pages that we assume you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  22. play online games…

    [...]please visit the web sites we stick to, such as this 1, as it represents our picks in the web[...]…

  23. ashlynn brooke’s love doll…

    [...]here are some links to web-sites that we link to because we believe they may be really worth visiting[...]…

  24. games for pc download…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to simply because we consider they are really worth visiting[...]…

  25. software download for windows 7…

    [...]please check out the web pages we adhere to, including this a single, because it represents our picks in the web[...]…

  26. free tech forum…

    [...]here are some links to web pages that we link to simply because we assume they are really worth visiting[...]…

  27. CISO Terbaik 2017…

    [...]the time to study or check out the content material or web-sites we’ve linked to beneath the[...]…

  28. سرور مجازی فرانسه…

    [...]the time to read or check out the subject material or internet sites we’ve linked to below the[...]…

  29. beagle dog says:

    beagle dog…

    [...]the time to study or go to the material or web-sites we have linked to beneath the[...]…

  30. nasa robots world…

    [...]one of our visitors just lately encouraged the following website[...]…

  31. chug says:

    chug…

    [...]although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we feel they may be truly really worth a go as a result of, so have a look[...]…

  32. экзамен на гражданство сша онлайн…

    [...]below you will locate the link to some sites that we think you’ll want to visit[...]…

  33. free download for windows xp…

    [...]usually posts some extremely intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  34.  
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Login »