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Following a compass bearing from a known position

TrackLogs Digital Mapping

You're out in the mountains and you've worked out exactly where you are on the map. You know where you want to go on the map but the trouble is you can't see which direction you should be heading. Here's how to use your compass to guide you.

1. Line up the Compass

Place the compass on the map with the edge of the compass aligned along the direction of travel. Your current position and your destination should both be aligned with the same edge of the compass. Remember to make sure the compass is pointing along the desired direction of travel and not pointing from your destination back to where you are now.

Hint : The distance from your position to the target is limited by the physical length of the compass base and the scale of your map. This is why expedition compasses have larger bases.

2. Rotate the Dial

Rotate the compass housing until N on the dial points north on the map. Check that the compass housing red/black, north/south lines are parallel with the maps meridians (the grid lines running north/south).

Hint : Put the map on a flat surface to help get a more accurate setting. It's important to get the north/south lines as parallel as possible as any error will be magnified when sighting to your destination.

3. Point and Turn

Hold the compass in your hand and turn yourself until the red end of the compass needle (North) coincides with the red arrow in the bottom of the compass housing. The front of the compass (with the direction of travel arrow) is now pointing towards your destination.

If your final destination is obscured on the horizon then use your derived compass bearing to sight a landmark object on the horizon. Head to this object then repeat the process to your final destination.

Note : If using a mirror-sighting compass - angle the mirror/lid approx 45 degrees towards yourself and hold it with a straight arm in front of you. Now, at the same time looking in the mirror to see that the compass needle aligns with the red/black N/S arrow, sight above the mirror (using the sight) towards an object in the field in line with the direction of travel.

Written by TrackLogs Digital Mapping. Copyright TrackLogs Digital Mapping 2002-2017. All rights reserved. Please send any comments, questions or feedback to support@tracklogs.co.uk


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