Figuring out your location with a map and compass is easy, but it comes with some caveats. You are now oriented with the map and can use it and the compass to find your way. 2. Slide the baseplate until one of its straight edges aligns with either the left or right edge of your map. Start by finding a landmark that you can also identify on your map. Compasses first appeared in China around 200 B.C. Learn how to use a baseplate compass with these 3 easy-to-follow tutorials. 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. 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). While entire books have been written about navigating with a compass, every new compass user needs to know the basic concepts. 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). Rotate the rotating bezel until the N aligns with the traveling arrow. 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. It also gradually changes over time as the Earth’s tectonic plates shift. This article is part of our series: Pick up the compass and hold it flat in front of you. 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. Welcome back to the Art of Manliness Land Navigation Manual. 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. b) Make sure that the direction arrows are pointing from the starting point to the place of destination (and not the opposite way). Unsurprisingly, it’s by compass maker Silva, and I’ve borrowed it below. For example, instead of heading “northwest” to get to a campsite, you might follow a bearing of 315 degrees. You may not be able to get from where you are to your ultimate destination in one go. You should be able to draw a line along the edge, as if it were a ruler'which it basically is. An excellent use of a compass is to help you set the map, aligning it so that it corresponds to the surrounding landscape. Set the compass on the map so the edge of the base plate (remember what that is?) In order to use your military compass properly from there, you’ll need to orient the map to face true north. 1. The biggest? Method #2. The apps work by utilizing your phone’s magnetometer. Smart! That’s why a magnetized compass and a paper map—and the navigational knowhow to use them—are part of the Ten Essentials. Find your way the old-school way by mastering the map. To determine the accurate direction you need to execute one more step – account for declination. Previous examples show the basic way compasses work. Compass features. Make sure the direction of travel arrow is pointing in the general direction of that campsite (in other words, it's not upside down). 1. Lifetime membership is just $20. 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. (They’re hundreds of miles apart. Place the compass on the map, and turn it so the direction of travel arrow is facing the same way you are. ), One of the tricky parts of navigating with a compass is that magnetic north isn’t the same as true north. Compass Basics. 3. Setting the map. Compass features. Using a pencil, draw a line across the edge. north. 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. Rotate the bezel until the grid lines on the base plate match the grid lines on the map. After adjusting your compass for declination, start by orienting your map to true north, as in the previous example. How To Get Your Map and Compass To Face the Same Direction. Now rotate the bezel until the orienting lines on the compass are aligned with the north-south grid lines and/or the left and right edges of your map. 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. They don’t take batteries, don’t have screens to break, and don’t need software updates. Rotate the bezel until the grid lines on the base plate match the grid lines on 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. You should unfold the lensatic compass and ensure that the sighting line is level with the map. 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. © 2020 Recreational Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. Want to triangulate your location? Because baseplate compasses are the most widely used, our instructions here will focus on them. Set your compass on the map so that the straight side of the baseplate lines up between your current position (1a) and the map location for a destination like a campsite (1b). While entire books have been written about navigating with a compass, every compass 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. Using a map and compass to find your way. Place your hiking compass on the map with the direction-of-travel arrow pointing toward the top of the map. Open the Compass, and lay it flat on the map. The direction of travel arrow is now facing the bearing you captured and you can follow it to your destination. Orient the compass with the clear part along your current position. These educational resources are hand-picked from BBC Bitesize and the wider BBC. (Be sure the north marker on the bezel is pointing north on the map, not south.). To Determine Percent of Slope and Angle of Slope. Magnetized needle: The end that always points to the magnetic pole is usually colored red or white. Learn More 2. 3. Rotate your body until the magnetized needle is inside the orienting arrow. You need to make use of some or all of the compass features for different tasks. The point where all the lines intersect is your approximate location. Holding the compass level in front of you, turn your body until the north arrow on the bezel matches up with the compass’s needle. Face true north for our Backcountry navigation or basic map and make sure that long., in degrees, minutes and seconds place the map again colored red or white, of... Properly from there, you must align the orienting lines and arrow on your ’. Of Slope called the “ azimuth ring, ” this outer circle has 360 degree markings reliable... Skill that you can also identify on your map to true north to true: add east )... And … compass features become increasingly clear as you use them toward the top of the tricky of... 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