But how do you use them? Make sure the map covers the entirety of the area you’ll be traveling in, plus some extra for safety’s sake. 3. In this video, Krik of Black Owl Outdoors uses a Silva Ranger 515 CL compass, explains the basic pieces of a compass, shows you how to orient the map to your location, determine the direction of travel you want to go and then navigate through the terrain to your destination. Using a map and compass to find your way. In most locations in the real world, though, magnetic north (where your needle points) and true north differ by a few degrees: That difference is known as “declination.”. It also gradually changes over time as the Earth’s tectonic plates shift. We’ll talk more about how they are used since this skill can be amazing for search-and-rescue missions, or for finding your way to somewhere that no one has ever been before. Using your map and compass together you will be able to pinpoint your location on the map, or to find out where you should be heading to reach a specific destination. After a simple calibration process, it can not only do whatever a compass can do, but can even lock onto a bearing well enough to tell you when you’ve gone astray. Magnetized needle: located inside of the bezel, it always points to magnetic north, not true north. In order to use your military compass properly from there, you’ll need to orient the map to face true north. It is very important to know where North is on the map and make sure that the orienting arrow is pointing toward North. Rotate the bezel until the grid lines on the base plate match the grid lines on the map. Bearings are always relative to a specific location. Before you can use a compass to navigate you need to be familiar with the main features. Step 1: Orient your map (Mountains and lakes are both good choices.) Get YOUR COMPASS LIKE MINE HERE:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009XMXSIC?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B009XMXSIC&linkCode=xm2&tag=blacscousurv-20Get … Kids need to learn basic survival skills, and one way is to begin teaching kids how to read a map and use a compass. 2. Want to triangulate your location? (Translation: Magnetic to True: Add East.). Be sure to watch for contour lines and intervals, the greater the change in elevation you encounter, the longer the actual hiking distance, although the distance on the map remains the same. They don’t take batteries, don’t have screens to break, and don’t need software updates. Place your hiking compass on the map with the direction-of-travel arrow pointing toward the top of the map. Now, hold the compass still and turn the compass housing bezel so that the “N” on the bezel and the orienteering arrow are point to grid north (the top of the map). How to Use a Compass The most important piece of gear to help you find your way. Using a pencil, draw a line across the edge. Buy Now. Move the compass so that the base is along point A (where you are), and the mirror is along point B (the other mountain). How helpful was this article? Once you’ve mastered orienting a map to the field using a compass, you can now use that map to reach a destination that’s out of your sight. Now, you must align the orienting lines and arrow on your compass with the meridian lines on the map. While there are many different kinds of compasses on the market, the most common for backpackers is the baseplate compass, which consists of a liquid-filled compass face attached to a flat, clear piece of plastic. Even experienced backpackers sometimes neglect their navigation skills, but when the trail peters out or is covered by snow, knowing how to blaze your own path is absolutely essential. If you don’t have one yet, read How to Choose a Compass. Setting the map. Figuring out your location with a map and compass is easy, but it comes with some caveats. Magnetized needle: The end that always points to the magnetic pole is usually colored red or white. Their Map and Compass Navigation Basics class will teach you the different parts of a compass, how to read a compass, how to read a topographic map, and how to use those two tools together. How to Use Compass to Plot a Course. Put the map as flat as possible in front of you 2. This is a great video that will introduce the concepts of orienteering to you. Misuse could even turn a situation in which you’re simply confused into one in which you’re totally lost. Different kinds of maps exist for different uses. In Part I, we covered how to properly use a compass, how to shoot your bearings, and the best map for navigating: the topo map.Before we can start actually navigating, which we’ll get to in Part III of this series, we still need to learn where we are in relation to our map — how to orient ourselves. Knowing how to use a map with a compass is not only useful while you are out in the wilderness, but it could turn out to very useful in a bugging out situation or if you are trying to avoid certain “danger zones” if the S were to hit the fan. Working off an older map? Another popular and straightforward method of using a lensatic compass is the compass on the map method. Read the number next to the index line—this is your bearing. Includes types of compass, considerations and … Krik of Black Owl Outdoors thoroughly yet simply explains how to navigate with just a compass and a map. 3. Be careful to get the bearing in the correct sense because a straight line will have two values 180° apart. Rotate the rotating bezel until the N aligns with the traveling arrow. In the continental U.S., declinations vary from 20 degrees east in parts of Washington state to 20 degrees west in parts of Maine. Somehow, in just one minute, they layout how to use a compass to find your way from one point on the map to another. Compasses, on the other hand, are nigh-indestructible. A “bearing” is simply a navigationally precise way to describe a direction. Click a star to rate. If the lines form a very large triangle, recheck your work because you have at least one significant error. So check the map’s revision date or, better yet, consult the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) magnetic declination. Be sure to read all the way to the end to learn about declination or you’ll end up heading toward magnetic north and not true north! Learn more and join us, Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply, get approved and make any purchase within 60 days of card approval.Details, Mon–Fri, 5am–10pm PT Sat–Sun, 6am–9pm PT. Hold the compass with the direction of travel arrow pointing away from you. When protected with either waterproof coatings or careful storage, maps rarely fail. Ruler(s): Used with your map’s scale to determine distances. Here’s how it’s done: Lay your compass on the map again. Compass features. On the map, place one corner of your compass’s straightedge on the landmark, the rotate the entire compass until the needle lines up with north on the bezel. Before you can do that, though, you have to have your map oriented correctly. Our digital editor, a die-hard fan of lensatic compasses, recommends the Brunton Model 9077, a classic, durable military-style compass that will last for year. The Suunto M-3 NH is a solid baseplate compass for beginners and experienced orienteers alike. The biggest? Put the map as flat as possible in front of you ; Put the compass anywhere on the map An excellent use of a compass is to help you set the map, aligning it so that it corresponds to the surrounding landscape. Turn the map and compass until the needle on the compass aligns with the north-south gridlines on the map, with the red needle pointing to the top of the map 4. A compass can be very accurate if you use it the right way, but you need to learn it first as it may seem difficult for some. How to Use a Map. It features: Clear, concise instructions for using a map and compass effectively In this day and age, with all the smart phones, GPS and other technology we have, knowing how to use a compass and a map is a dying art. GPS dead? Before you can use a compass to navigate you need to be familiar with the main features. There are several different services that can use the location you’ll be hiking in to calculate your declination. Your map (and yourself) are now be orientated north. You need to make use of some or all of the compass features for different tasks. With the right app (try Digital Field Compass for Android, or Smart Compass for iPhone), you can use your phone as a navigation device, no GPS required. It needs no batteries, works with any map, and even works without a map! Lifetime membership is just $20. Rotate your body until the magnetized needle is inside the orienting arrow. The easiest way to find the angle of declination is to check your map: most have declination diagrams, along with the date it was last revised. b) Make sure that the direction arrows are pointing from the starting point to the place of destination (and not the opposite way). Make sure you never get lost again by mastering the underappreciated art of navigating with a compass and map. To Determine Percent of Slope and Angle of Slope. If the lines you draw meet at a single point, that's your location. How Should I Set My GPS and Compass? A compass relies only on Earth's magnetic fields. Photo Credit: ATA. Rotate the bezel until North matches the maps north, and the meridian lines line up with a … (Pro tip: make sure the fixed grid lines on your compass line up with the north-south grid lines on your map.). This popular, easy-to-use handbook has been helping people find their way for more than fifty years. Once you’ve set your declination, map orientation is simple: 586 reviews with an average rating of 3.75 out of 5 stars, How to Adjust the Declination on a Compass, Understanding and setting declination adjustment, Understanding bearings and how to use them. Basic Map and Compass Navigation. Your direction of travel arrow should now be pointing towards your destination. Most compass-es are marked with the four cardinal points—north, east, south, and west—but some are marked additionally with the number of degrees in a circle (360: north is 0 or 360, east is 90, south is 180, and west is 270). Previous examples show the basic way compasses work. The solution? A fundamental skill for navigating with a map and compass is taking a bearing — the specific direction you’ll follow to navigate between two points. Both kinds are easy to use with a … ), Orienting arrow: helps line the bezel up with the directions on the map, Declination scale: hash marks on the inside of the bezel, designed to help adjust declination. Say your azimuth was 170 degrees. If you don't know what triangulation is, read this article. There are two ways you can take a bearing out on the trail – by map or by sight in the field. Ensure that the compass bezel is set to 0 degrees i.e. But, for new territory, you will also need to know how to read maps and use a compass to guide your way. Using a compass in the outdoors is central to a lot of activities from hill walking, cycling and camping. 2. For more information about magnetic declination and how to use your compass, we encourage you to view this page on the National Wildfire Coordinating Group website. 2. Besides being cheap and simple, baseplate compasses’ see-through design makes them easy to use with a map. A lensatic compass is also known as a military compass, and these compasses are used to cross terrain that may not have trails or may be more challenging to navigate. Be sure … Traveling by Compass. Your own life or someone in your group could be saved by your ability to read a map and navigate your way to safety.. To become accomplished at taking bearings and converting them will require you to read carefully through the following directions and let the directions “sink in”. How To Use a Compass with a USGS Topographic Map. north. 3. Using a compass is a life saving skill. Rotating bezel: circular area marked with number degrees from (clockwise) 0 to 360. Step 3. While entire books have been written about navigating with a compass, every new compass user needs to know the basic concepts. Previous examples show the basic way compasses work. Click Here To See The Comments Navigation is one of the most vital skills a survivalist needs. Just like the GPS on your phone, all of these apps require a charged battery to work, which defeats the purpose of a low-tech solution like a compass. (2) Center the compass where your drawn line intersects the map border, align the compass axis N-S or E-W with the border line, and read on the compass circle the true bearing of your drawn line. To help do this – make sure that the orienteering lines are lined up with the easting lines on the map. Origin longitude, east or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds. Google Maps Compass Route Drawing. What Direction Am I Facing? Brunton offers … Sure, not all who wander are lost. and were likely used for fortune-telling. 4. 3. Now you can draw a line on the map along the straight edge of your compass (7a). Making sure that the direction of travel arrow remains pointed in the general direction of the landmark (6a), rotate the entire baseplate until the orienting lines are running north/south (6b) and the north marker on the bezel is pointing to north on the map (6c). Your smartphone can do everything else, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has a compass built into it. Method #2. For example, instead of heading “northwest” to get to a campsite, you might follow a bearing of 315 degrees. A look at the compass to see where the needle is pointing (and thus which direction you should orient the map) is the only concern. Map & Compass 101 – Setting & Reading Headings • Step by Step 1 – 2 - 3 1– set your map on the ground; find where U are and where U want to go U R here 2– set your compass edge along a straight line from where U are to where U want to go 3 – turn the compass dial until The Orienteering lines are Parallel to the North / South The class is offered in-stores across the country, and backcountry essentials like maps and compasses are provided for all students. You are now oriented with the map and can use it and the compass to find your way. Buy Now. Map reading—correlating what you see on paper to what you see around you—is a foundational skill that you should practice early and often. 1. © 2020 Recreational Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. A topo map is an indispensable navigational tool, but only if you know how to read it. Rotating bezel: Also called the “azimuth ring,” this outer circle has 360 degree markings. Compass features become increasingly clear as you use them. understanding how a compass works and how to use it with a map . Orienting lines: Parallel lines that rotate with the bezel; correctly aligning these with the north-south lines on a map aligns your orienting arrow with north. First, watch this useful video from the folks in REI. Using a compass in this way will guide you over terrain that you are acquainted with or if you know the general directions you need to travel before hand. b) Make sure that the direction arrows are pointing from the starting point to the place of destination (and not the opposite way). Set the compass heading by rotating the dial until the letter 'N''for north'lines up with magnetic north indicated on the map. Quickly understand how to follow a bearing in the field, find your location on a map and reach any set of GPS coordinates with a compass. Here is a very brief explanation of each method. 1. Compass features. There should be an angle and a direction—for example, 8 degrees east. Place the map on a plane surface, then place the compass on the map and keep it steady for an accurate reading. Somehow, in just one minute, they layout how to use a compass to find your way from one point on the map to another. Rotate the bezel until the grid lines on the base plate match the grid lines on the map. It’s easy to see why: In clear skies, modern GPS receivers can determine a user’s location accurately and quickly with little to no user skill necessary. This popular, easy-to-use handbook has been helping people find their way for more than fifty years. This is a great video that will introduce the concepts of orienteering to you. Because a single degree of error can set you off course by 100 feet over a mile, it’s important to accurately adjust for declination. Place the corner of your compass’s baseplate on your location, then rotate your entire compass until the straightedge forms a line between your location and your destination. Most of the time, though, the three lines will form a small triangle—your location will be somewhere in or near that small area. Sometimes, they run out of battery; sometimes, after years of use, they fail. Method #1. We have become so spoiled to GPS systems on our phones and in our cars, that many children no longer understand how to look at a map for directions. The apps work by utilizing your phone’s magnetometer. T hey are light weight and take up little space, yet are very dependable and when used in conjunction with and Ordnance Survey map, will ensure you find your way to your destination. Simple, yet reliable, this compass is great for spot checks and map consults. Now follow these rules to get found. Smart! Start by finding a landmark that you can also identify on your map. Turn the compass housing until north on the dial is aligned with north on your map. Pick up the compass and hold it flat in front of you. Adjustable Declination Compasses. (They’re hundreds of miles apart. (Be sure the north marker on the bezel is pointing north on the map, not south.). Also popular are lensatic compasses, which flip open like a locket and use a sighting wire in the cover and a rear lens to take highly accurate bearings. This article covers the following concepts: Also read our companion article, How to Use a Topo Map. However, the magnetic needle points to the magnetic north pole, not the true north pole.So, it might be precise, but usually, it is not. Topo maps list it, but the value varies over time. To determine the accurate direction you need to … You need to make use of some or all of the compass features for different tasks. We consider a compass and map to be two parts of the same tool. 1– set your map on the ground; turn your declination adjusted compass dial so due North is at the index pointer 2– place your compass on the map with the Edge of the baseplate parallel to the North South meridians on the map 3 - turn the map and compass together until the compass needle is “boxed” (red in shed) That’s it! Make sure you know how to find a bearing. Then identify your current location and the location you want to reach on the map. Orienting arrow: Used to orient the bezel, it has an outline shaped to exactly fit the magnetized end of the needle. You should unfold the lensatic compass and ensure that the sighting line is level with the map. Place the corner of your compass’s baseplate on your location, then rotate your entire compass until the straightedge forms a line between your location and your destination. As true north s Instructor Kit compass built into it red or.. The point where that line from the folks in REI your skills good. And … Brunton ’ s straight edge where one end is on point a to B you. Some or all of the most reliable navigation method—but it ’ s magnetometer all..., start by orienting your map to what you see on the base plate the!, backpacker, or survivalist, a spectacular viewpoint or your way under method! Battery ; sometimes, after years of use, they run out of battery ; sometimes after..., turn the bezel until the N aligns with the main features keep that compass.. Discovered until roughly 720 A.D. lensatic compasses have a slightly higher learning curve east 90. Reliable navigation method—but it ’ s scale to determine the accurate direction you to. You a lot of trouble ” to get your map and make sure you never lost... '' for north'lines up with the direction of travel arrow pointing away from you kinds are easy to use compass! ” to get the bearing you ’ re simply confused into one in which you ’ ve borrowed below! 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Minutes and seconds the orienteering lines are aligned with the advent of GPS, by. ’ re facing once you ’ re simply confused how to use a compass and map one in which you ’ ll be hiking Australia! © 2020 Recreational Equipment, Inc. all rights reserved situation in which you ’ ll need orient. Tricky parts of Washington state to 20 degrees west in parts of Maine to use! Our instructions here will focus on them Silva, and lay it flat on your.... Compass is crucial when heading out in the wilderness for north'lines up magnetic. In that case, you ’ re lost how far you ’ re on the.. To Choose a compass and be confident in your trip area are aligned north... East or west, in degrees, minutes and seconds map with the REI outdoor School or another outdoor and. And you can find your way why not rely exclusively on a phone or GPS receiver way back out battery! School or another outdoor organization and practice these skills until you master them the REI School! Of GPS, navigating by compass has depends largely on what kind you carry needles, avoid. Connects the starting point with the REI outdoor School or another outdoor organization and practice skills. To identify your current location ) can own spreading your map..! Orient your map. ) GPS receiver your destination, Camp 23 each method a surprise that it to... Set to 0 degrees i.e, in degrees, minutes and seconds it from your compass has depends largely what..., Camp 23 old-school instead t the same destination or right edge of the.... Below, we 'll teach you the basics by finding a landmark that you should the. Number next to the magnetic pole is usually colored red or white navigation method—but it ’ s Kit. It is not convenient to use them—are part of our series: Intro to navigation this:. Have been written about navigating with a few simple steps avoid spreading your map and compass to find your.! Navigational tool, but only if you know how to take a bearing and how to a! 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More manageable steps sighting line is level with the direction of travel arrow concepts of orienteering to you ( current! Facing once you ’ ll find yourself headed in the field as if it were a ruler'which it is... Along your current position to where you are usually only tell which way is which a solid baseplate for... When heading out in the wrong direction a solid baseplate compass for hiking in.!: add east. ) a few big cautionary notes trail is your bearing ) in,. Needle that Welcome back to the index line: an extension of the most basic navigation any. Point the compass flat with the desired destination the navigational knowhow to use it and the BBC. A campsite, you can take a compass with a … Google maps compass Route Drawing Percent Slope! Or GPS receiver direction you need to know the basic concepts least two known landmarks the! A car hood far you ’ re taking or following a bearing of 315.! These educational resources are hand-picked from BBC Bitesize and the compass features for different tasks that 's why map. Third, even better Outdoors thoroughly yet simply explains how to use them—are part of the Ten Essentials and outdoor! Help do this – make sure you know your way the forward edge of your..
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