How To Use A Compass

Using the compass alone

This is a very easy lesson, and I would say, not sufficient for those who would like to travel safely in unfamiliar terrain.

The first thing you need to learn, are the directions. North, South, East and West. Look at the figure and learn how they are. North is the most important.

There are several kinds of compasses, one kind to attach to the map, one kind to attach to your thumb. The thumb-compass is used mostly by orienteers who just want to run fast, and this is the kind of compass I normally use. But not in this tutorial. I would recommend the third kind of compass. Lets take a look at it:

drawing of compass

You see this red and black arrow? We call it the compass needle. Well, on some compasses it might be red and white for instance, but the point is, the red part of it is always pointing towards the earths magnetic north pole. Got that? That’s basically what you need to know. Its as simple as that.

via How to use a Compass alone.

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