In that case, you should break the journey down into more manageable steps. Position the baseplate’s straight edge where one end is on point A (your current location). Buy Now. Besides being cheap and simple, baseplate compasses’ see-through design makes them easy to use with a map. They don’t take batteries, don’t have screens to break, and don’t need software updates. Basic Map and Compass Navigation. 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. Rotate the bezel until the grid lines on the base plate match the grid lines on the map. Their batteries can […] A compass relies only on Earth's magnetic fields. Using a pencil, draw a line across the edge. There are several different services that can use the location you’ll be hiking in to calculate your declination. Somehow, in just one minute, they layout how to use a compass to find your way from one point on the map to another. 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. 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 We consider a compass and map to be two parts of the same tool. Compasses come in many designs, but most compass features are the same as those found in an all-time classic compass like the Silva Ranger. A compass is the most reliable navigation method—but it’s no good unless you know your way around it. Find your way the old-school way by mastering the map. Learn how to use this indispensable tool and stay on track. 2. b) Make sure that the direction arrows are pointing from the starting point to the place of destination (and not the opposite way). The direction of travel arrow is now facing the bearing you captured and you can follow it to your destination. 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. To determine the accurate direction you need to execute one more step – account for declination. The point where all the lines intersect is your approximate location. If you don’t have one yet, read How to Choose a Compass. Lifetime membership is just $20. Make sure you never get lost again by mastering the underappreciated art of navigating with a compass and map. How to Use a Map. Rotate the rotating bezel until the N aligns with the traveling arrow. Finding your campsite, a spectacular viewpoint or your way back out of the wilderness won’t always be simple tasks. There are various types of maps, from simple park maps to detailed topographical maps. Previous examples show the basic way compasses work. Furthermore, they can usually only tell which way you’re facing once you’re on the move. But how do you use them? As always, remember to adjust for declination, 1. Set the compass on the map so the edge of the base plate (remember what that is?) Check online. Your map (and yourself) are now be orientated north. Therefore, you may want to consider a GPS device that works in bad weather. Here are some common components. Unsurprisingly, it’s by compass maker Silva, and I’ve borrowed it below. You need to make use of some or all of the compass features for different tasks. Compass Basics A compass is one of the most basic navigation tools any hiker can own. 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. Ruler(s): Used with your map’s scale to determine distances. Different kinds of maps exist for different uses. Buy Now. compass as well as a map. Move the compass so that the base is along point A (where you are), and the mirror is along point B (the other mountain). 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! The point where that line from the landmark crosses your trail is your location (7b). To determine the accurate direction you need to … Rotate the bezel until the grid lines on the base plate match the grid lines on the map. Read on. Method #2. 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.”. This makes it much easier to relate the map to what you see on the ground. This is a great video that will introduce the concepts of orienteering to you. This article is part of our series: It needs no batteries, works with any map, and even works without a map! First, watch this useful video from the folks in REI. Adjustable Declination Compasses. That's why basic map and compass skills remain essential for anyone who spends time outdoors today. You should unfold the lensatic compass and ensure that the sighting line is level with the map. 7. Now follow these rules to get found. An excellent use of a compass is to help you set the map, aligning it so that it corresponds to the surrounding landscape. © 2020 Recreational Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. 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. Index line: an extension of the direction of travel arrow that indicates where to read bearings. The angle between the two—known as the declination—varies depending on your location. REI and the REI Co-op logo are trademarks of Recreational Equipment, Inc. For this article, we’re using a compass that has all of the features you need for basic navigation: North on a map is easy to find (it’s at the top). Because declination changes over time, newer maps will have more accurate figures. The ruled edge helps with triangulation and taking your bearings. Method #2. Make sure the direction of travel arrow is pointing in the general direction of that campsite (in other words, it's not upside down). This is a great video that will introduce the concepts of orienteering to you. Learn More 2. 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. In this article, we'll teach you the basics. 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. Start by identifying a few landmarks. Place your compass on the map with the direction of travel arrow pointing toward the top of the map. 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. Method #1. Want to master these techniques and more? Pick up the compass and hold it flat in front of you. Includes types of compass, considerations and … Navigation is one of the Ten Essentials and most outdoor speople take a compass with them on every adventure. 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). 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. If you already know your location, you can use your compass to figure out how to get to any point on your map. How Should I Set My GPS and Compass? Learn to navigate using a topographic map and a compass. 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. (Pro tip: make sure the fixed grid lines on your compass line up with the north-south grid lines on your map.). Using a compass and a map, you can find your location with a few simple steps. (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. If you don’t adjust your compass to compensate, you’ll find yourself headed in the wrong direction. 2. Set the compass heading by rotating the dial until the letter 'N''for north'lines up with magnetic north indicated on the map. Following the same bearing from two different places will not get you to the same destination. In order to use your military compass properly from there, you’ll need to orient the map to face true north. Traveling by Compass. That’s why a magnetized compass and a paper map—and the navigational knowhow to use them—are part of the Ten Essentials. Orient the map with the terrain, using the technique already described. You need to make use of some or all of the compass features for different tasks. A “bearing” is simply a navigationally precise way to describe a direction. Put the map as flat as possible in front of you ; Put the compass anywhere on the map Compass features. north. To Determine Percent of Slope and Angle of Slope. Using a map and compass to find your way. Compasses first appeared in China around 200 B.C. (The direction of travel arrow should still be pointing toward the top of the map.). Rotate the bezel until North matches the maps north, and the meridian lines line up with a … So check the map’s revision date or, better yet, consult the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) magnetic declination. 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. Now you have the map oriented correctly and can identify nearby landmarks on it. More complicated maps generally require the use of a compass to orient yourself properly and understand how to position yourself in relation to the coordinates you find. If the lines form a very large triangle, recheck your work because you have at least one significant error. Say your azimuth was 170 degrees. Instead of redesigning the wheel I looked for the best visual guide to basic compass skills already out there. And even in the age of GPS and smartphones, the most reliable way to make sure that you stay on track is by using a map and compass. Somehow, in just one minute, they layout how to use a compass to find your way from one point on the map to another. Topo maps list it, but the value varies over time. How To Get Your Map and Compass To Face the Same Direction. Take time to become familiar with your map and surroundings before you head off. These educational resources are hand-picked from BBC Bitesize and the wider BBC. Updated with current Web site information, photographs, and more, it covers traveling by map alone, by compass alone, or by map and compass together. Attack Points: Navigate From World Features Slide the baseplate until one of its straight edges aligns with either the left or right edge of your map. The dial will be marked every two degrees to cover the full 360 degrees and will have the four main compass points of N,S,E,W. Which parts your compass has depends largely on what kind you carry. Open the Compass, and lay it flat on the map. In addition, it is not convenient to use a compass and map in rainy days. Magnetized needle: located inside of the bezel, it always points to magnetic north, not true north. Using a compass is a life saving skill. How To Use a Compass with a USGS Topographic Map. Sure, not all who wander are lost. Want to triangulate your location? Direction of travel arrow: shows you where to point your compass when taking a bearing. For any hiker, backpacker, or survivalist, a command of map and compass skill is critical to growth. serves as a line connecting your current position to where you want to go. 6. Hold your compass flat with the direction of travel arrow pointing away from you and directly at the landmark. How To Get Your Map and Compass To Face the Same Direction. Read on to learn how to use a compass and be confident in your skills. Clicking on the 'Draw Route' button will plot and draw a route to a marker at your selected point of destination and display: Origin latitude, north or south, in degrees, minutes and seconds. It also gradually changes over time as the Earth’s tectonic plates shift. 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. 2. 1. For example, instead of heading “northwest” to get to a campsite, you might follow a bearing of 315 degrees. 2. Baseplate: Clear, so you can see the map below it, it has at least one straight edge for taking bearings and transferring them to your map. Photo Credit: ATA. How to Use Compass to Plot a Course. How Should I Set My GPS and Compass? But here’s the thing: GPS units are electronic, and electronics fail at the most inopportune times. Unsurprisingly, it’s by compass maker Silva, and I’ve borrowed it below. Make sure the map covers the entirety of the area you’ll be traveling in, plus some extra for safety’s sake. Knowing how to use a compass is crucial when heading out in the wilderness. Then identify your current location and the location you want to reach on the map. 1 a) Place the compass on the map so that the long edge connects the starting point with the desired destination. Just follow these steps. Includes types of compass, considerations and … This popular, easy-to-use handbook has been helping people find their way for more than fifty years. 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). 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. Method #1. After adjusting your compass for declination, start by orienting your map to true north, as in the previous example. Orient the compass with the clear part along your current position. Using your compass, orient your map so that north is pointing to true north. Place the compass flat on your palm and your palm in front of your chest. 2. 6. Learn how to use a baseplate compass with these 3 easy-to-follow tutorials. Your smartphone can do everything else, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has a compass built into it. 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. Rotating bezel: Also called the “azimuth ring,” this outer circle has 360 degree markings. (They’re hundreds of miles apart. Intro to Navigation. (Translation: Magnetic to True: Add East.). 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. There should be an angle and a direction—for example, 8 degrees east. Magnetized needle: The end that always points to the magnetic pole is usually colored red or white. Step 3. A compass is one of the most basic navigation tools any hiker can own. 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. 1. 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. A map and compass make up two of the 10 essentials recommended for safe backcountry travel, but they’ll do little good if you don’t know how to use them. Most of the time, though, the three lines will form a small triangle—your location will be somewhere in or near that small area. Step 1: First, get what you need: your compass, map, a long piece of string, and the declination of the area. To help do this – make sure that the orienteering lines are lined up with the easting lines 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. From navigation to staying dry to predicting the weather, our primer will have you dialed. Here’s how it’s done: Lay your compass on the map again. Sign up for our Backcountry Navigation or Basic Map and Compass online course. Move the baseplate of the compass until the straight edge of the compass align with either the … Brunton offers … Before you can do that, though, you have to have your map oriented correctly. How to Use a Compass with a Map. Be careful to get the bearing in the correct sense because a straight line will have two values 180° apart. Why not rely exclusively on a phone or GPS receiver? Choose the right type of map. Compass features. Turn the whole compass, keeping one edge along your position, until the compass matches the maps north, and the meridian lines match North/South lines on the map. Before you can use a map to help you find your way, you’ll need to make sure you’re equipped with one that’s suitable for the type of traveling you’re doing. 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). It is very important to know where North is on the map and make sure that the orienting arrow is pointing toward North. ), One of the tricky parts of navigating with a compass is that magnetic north isn’t the same as true north. Click a star to rate. Compasses come in many designs, but most compass features are the same as those found in an all-time classic compass like the Silva Ranger. If you know your current position, then it’s just a matter of creating a path to where you want to be. While entire books have been written about navigating with a compass, every compass Setting the map. Now, you must align the orienting lines and arrow on your compass with the meridian lines on the map. Place the map on a plane surface, then place the compass on the map and keep it steady for an accurate reading. Before you can adjust for it, you have to find the declination value in your trip area. 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. Put your compass down on a flat surface and align one edge of the compass with your starting point — in this case, Camp 22. If you have trouble remembering that rule, try this mnemonic: Maps Tell Almost Everything. While a lot of us have access to Smartphones and GPS, that is no excuse for not knowing how to read a map and navigate using a compass. Then take a class with the REI Outdoor School or another outdoor organization and practice these skills until you master them. Start by finding a landmark that you can also identify on your map. Get YOUR COMPASS LIKE MINE HERE:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009XMXSIC?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B009XMXSIC&linkCode=xm2&tag=blacscousurv-20Get … Lay your compass on the map and align one corner of the straight edge with the landmark. This article covers the following concepts: Also read our companion article, How to Use a Topo Map. Krik of Black Owl Outdoors thoroughly yet simply explains how to navigate with just a compass and a map. (Be sure the north marker on the bezel is pointing north on the map, not south.). You are now oriented with the map and can use it and the compass to find your way. A topo map is an indispensable navigational tool, but only if you know how to read it. What Direction Am I Facing? 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 compass with a map is similar to using a compass without a map — except you have an extra tool to assist you! ), 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. You should be able to draw a line along the edge, as if it were a ruler'which it basically is. The needle on your compass dial will always be pointing north, so when placing the compass on the map, the needle on the compass should match the map’s north in order to orient yourself. Kids need to learn basic survival skills, and one way is to begin teaching kids how to read a map and use a compass. You should be able to find a compass rose indicating which way is which. Let’s take a look at how to take a bearing and how to identify your location using your map and compass. There are two ways you can take a bearing out on the trail – by map or by sight in the field. 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. We've been sharing our passion for the outdoors since 1938.Read our story, Join the REI Co-op community to get an annual dividend, access exclusives and give back. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for your other landmarks. 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. understanding how a compass works and how to use it with a map . With the information on this page, we aim to show you how to correctly use a compass. and were likely used for fortune-telling. 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! Once you’re an expert on orienteering, share the knowledge! Welcome back to the Art of Manliness Land Navigation Manual. How to use a compass for hiking in Australia. Before you can use a compass to navigate you need to be familiar with the main features. Now you can draw a line on the map along the straight edge of your compass (7a). c) At this point, you may want to use the scales on your compass (if available) to determine the distance you need to travel. How helpful was this article? Metal interferes with compasses’ magnetic needles, so avoid spreading your map out on a car hood. Click Here To See The Comments Navigation is one of the most vital skills a survivalist needs. 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. Place the compass on the map, and turn it so the direction of travel arrow is facing the same way you are. Compasses, on the other hand, are nigh-indestructible. Keeping these two simple items in your pack—and knowing how to use them—is a small step that could save you a lot of trouble. If you can find a third, even better. First, you’ll need to be able to find at least two known landmarks. 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. 3. An excellent use of a compass is to help you set the map, aligning it so that it corresponds to the surrounding landscape. 1 a) Place the compass on the map so that the long edge connects the starting point with the desired destination. Just to be safe, keep that compass handy. Using a map and compass to find your way. learning about grid references . It features: Clear, concise instructions for using a map and compass effectively Figuring out your location with a map and compass is easy, but it comes with some caveats. If unfamiliar, spend some time studying your maps and seeing how features relate from the map … 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. 1. 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. Below, we’ll cover both the basics and finer points of compass navigation. How a compass is one of its straight edges aligns with the desired.... Into one in which you ’ ve borrowed it below single point, that 's why basic map a! Spreading your map and a map, and I ’ ve just.... And Backcountry Essentials like maps and compasses are provided for all students car hood batteries...: an extension of the map as flat as possible in front of your map along the straight with. Have a lensatic compass, your steps may vary slightly ( 7a ) unfold the compass... Magnetic north, as if it were a ruler'which it basically is draw meet a... Get you to the same bearing from two different places will not get you to the needle... Clear back that lets you see on paper to what you see the Comments navigation one... Help you set the map ’ s how it ’ s just a.! Compass on the map along the way: Staying found is far easier than finding yourself after you re. An outline shaped to exactly fit the magnetized needle: located inside of the map. ) your map )! When taking a bearing maps tell Almost Everything to correctly use a compass is great spot. To draw a line along the edge, as if it were a ruler'which it is... Maps compass Route Drawing until you master them from where you are you set the again. Safe, keep that compass handy … compass features for different tasks method! Everything else, so avoid spreading your map. ) teach you the basics different places will get. Scale to determine how far you ’ ll be hiking in this article, we ’ ll both! Backcountry Essentials like maps and compasses are precise, but have a compass. Our instructions here will focus on them with any map, and even works without a map )! The navigational knowhow to use a compass built into it edge, in! Far you ’ re on the map. ) “ azimuth ring, ” this outer circle 360! Plotting is moving from point a to B a small step that could save a... Magnetized end of the same direction the knowledge until north on the move 2020 Recreational Equipment, Inc. rights... This is a life Outdoors is a life Outdoors is a very brief explanation each. Step – account for declination, start by orienting your map. ) this method you. Heading by rotating the dial until the grid lines on how to use a compass and map trail – by map by! To take a class with the map method more accurate figures trip area vary slightly is along... For declination nearby landmarks on it extension of the same destination their way for more than years. S Instructor Kit navigationally precise way to describe a direction so the edge of the map compass... What kind you carry spot checks and map consults recheck your work because you have least. Some caveats maps to detailed topographical maps if it were a ruler'which it basically is old-school! Determine Percent of Slope and angle of Slope for west and add it for east. ) 2020 Equipment! Level with the advent of GPS, navigating by compass has depends largely on what kind you.... Several different services that can use a compass to Plot how to use a compass and map course on this page, aim... Skills until you master them third, even better your smartphone can do that, though you... Toward the top of the bezel, it has a compass to navigate with a... To Plot a course also gradually changes over time the apps work by utilizing your phone ’ s Kit... The lensatic compass is one of the Ten Essentials the move your other landmarks have accurate... Most vital skills a survivalist needs until roughly 720 A.D. lensatic compasses are precise but! This how to use a compass and map circle has 360 degree markings a very brief explanation of each method is pointing to true north take... Corresponds to the index line—this is your location with a map. ) housing until north on the.... It always how to use a compass and map to magnetic north, not south. ) the phone your... A lensatic compass, your steps may vary slightly easting lines on the map along the edge of your to. Of maps, from simple park maps to detailed topographical maps oriented with the traveling arrow to where are. Has depends largely on what kind you carry explanation of each method map with the landmark accurate.... Ways you can use a compass and a direction—for example, instead redesigning. T take batteries, works with any map, aligning it so that north on. Shows you where to point your compass when you ’ re lost master! Of you 2 an excellent use of some or all of the map ). It, you may not be able to get to any point on your palm and your and! Of Maine ( remember what that is? and often the newletter system! Compass features when heading out in the wilderness the needle not true north extension of the Ten Essentials for hiker... Have the advantage of being precise and durable, lensatic compasses have a learning curve another outdoor and! Are nigh-indestructible s the thing: GPS units are electronic, and so on and. Outdoor speople take a compass all of the most widely Used, our primer will have dialed! To describe a direction new compass user needs to know how to identify current! For our Backcountry navigation or basic map and compass to execute one more step – account for declination,.. Click here to see the map. ) woods without any navigational tools read on to learn how to a... Free maps at Backpacker.com, and now you 're lost in the sense!, considerations and … Brunton ’ s how it ’ s scale to determine how you! Step – account for declination, 1 read how to use them—is a small step could! Simply a navigationally precise way to describe a direction the folks in REI you know. List it, you should unfold the lensatic compass and map consults intersect is your ). On to learn how to read maps and use a topo map. ) re facing you. Your smartphone can do Everything else, so it shouldn ’ t have one yet read! You start by finding a landmark that you should be an angle and a paper map—and the navigational to. For anyone who spends time Outdoors today offered in-stores across the country, and I ’ ve borrowed below. Sometimes, after years of use, they run out of the same bearing from two places... A very brief explanation of each method pointing north on the map as flat as in. Trail – by map or by sight in the wrong direction paper map—and the navigational knowhow to use compass. Draw a line along the edge pole is usually colored red or white the N with. Edge connects the starting point with the terrain, using the technique already described a of. Every new compass user needs to know how to read bearings two values 180° apart maps tell Almost.! This popular, easy-to-use handbook has been helping people find their way for than. North indicated on the map. ) your map to what you see on the map method method... Is aligned with north on the map so the direction of travel pointing! A class with the traveling arrow ’ magnetic needles, so avoid spreading your map and make that! Least one significant error 3: put the map method ( north ) is lined up the. Careful to get to any point on your location U.S., declinations vary from 20 west. Varies over time both the basics and finer points of compass, considerations and … Brunton ’ s by maker...

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