How to Use a Compass With Compass Anatomy

How to use a compass?
Compass may seem old-school in this modern world of Google Maps, but it is an efficient tool. It has been used since the world had no technology but just the Pole Star. Though the normal compass is replaced by electronic one but is still very much used in important places like military and navy.

use a ccomapss
Use a Compass –

Let’s consider you are on a trek in the mountains or a forest. Your cell phone probably won’t catch signal in there so you have no network connections—isolated. These are such places where there are no sign boards to indicate where are you, so no luck there too. Here’s were a compass can help you. Compass can be called as a hiker’s best friend so if trekking and hiking interests you then learning about this device should be helpful.

So to know how to use a compass let’s begin with its parts. / Use a compass

Different parts of a compass are:

use a compass
Comapss Anatomy

1. Magnetic Needle: A magnetic rode which acts as a pointer in the device. It aligns itself according to the magnetic field of the place and rotates accordingly. Its tip is usually red colored which points towards the magnetic north.

2. Baseplate: The base of a compass is called baseplate. It has the necessary measurements. It makes it easier to use a compass with a map.

3. Compass-Housing: The transparent glass or covering through which you can see the needle.

4. Rotating Bezel or Degree Dial: The measurements of 360 degrees are marked on it in the clockwise direction. It surrounds the magnetic needle.

5. Oriental Arrow: Used to gain orientation.

6. Orienting Lines: They are along the orienting arrow to orient the compass in finding the North direction.

7. Declination Scale: It is on the compass-housing to find the declination.

Some important terms to keep in mind regarding navigation:

Use a Compass

1. True or geographic North: It is the North Pole.
2. Magnetic North: A point in the Northern hemisphere where all the magnetic lines join.
3. Declination: The difference between the magnetic north and the true north.
4. Bearings: Directions given in degrees are called bearings. A compass is used to find them.

Now, we have sufficient information to learn how to use a compass. You will also require a map to follow the process. It is simple and quick. The procedure is explained in steps below.

1. Step 1: Adjusting the compass in account for declination

According to the place we are on Earth, the declination changes. It can be some degrees on the west or east. To find the declination of your area check the map of the area or to get accurate values check it on the internet. We need to adjust the orienting arrow in the direction and degree value of declination for the compass to point towards the true north instead of magnetic north.

2. Step 2: To find the bearing of the desired place

Use a compass/ When you use a compass there are two ways in which you can find a bearing on it:

• From the map to the field (place): Used when you know your location on the map. The process goes like this:
o Align the compass in the direction of the destination from your location on the map.
o Then rotate the degree dial until the orienting lines are aligned with North-South on the map and make sure the N on the compass is towards the north of the map.
o Note down the bearing from the dial.
o Now move in a direction so that the needle rotates and overlaps the orienting arrow.
o Head in the direction in which the needle is pointing to get to your destination.
• From the field to the map: Used when you do not know your location on the map. This process takes place like this:
o Point the compass towards the direction in which you are heading and choose a landmark on it.
o Rotate the bezel or dial until the needle aligns with the orienting arrow.
o Note down the bearing from the dial.
o Repeat the process two more times from different landmarks in the same direction. You will get three bearings.
o Put the compass on the map and align it with the landmark.
o Rotate it, until the orienting lines are aligned North-South on the map.
o Draw a line from the landmark.
o Repeat this two more times and you will get three lines on the map.
o The point at which they intersect is your location.

3. Follow the bearings:

As mentioned above, after finding out the bearings by using a compass just the follow them to your destination or to find out your location.

That was the process to use a compass while you are hiking and short of electronic help. Remember, you will never get lost if you have it handy. So before every adventure, you start, keep this small portable, long lasting and serviceable device with you.

Use a Compass

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