Do You Use Your Compass Perfectly?

Do You Use Your Compass Perfectly?

When you were a kid, you might have come across a compass in your grandfather’s closet without any sign of its importance. Well, not all people around the world know how to use a compass in the right way. 

They protrude the tool out and look for the needle pointing the direction without identifying the essential components. 

In this article, you will learn about essential components, navigation skills, and other vital aspects to safely complete hiking or camping. 

Compass – Navigate the right way

You have got smartphones and smart GPS tracking applications, indeed. However, still, some secluded places for camping or mountain trails for hiking do not have the proper network to use them. 

Therefore, you have to resort back to the compass, the best performing tool for navigation. 

Do You Use Your Compass Perfectly?
Do You Use Your Compass Perfectly?

So, if you are least aware of how to use a compass ideally, follow this perfectly described article.  

1. Learn the Basic components and layout

Compass from a variety of manufacturers may have different designs, but basic elements and navigation tools are the same. A basic compass has below mentioned components –

  • Base plate – It is the plastic casing of the compass to embed it. 
  • Travel Arrow – It is the arrow that points away from the center. 
  • Housing – Made of clear plastic, it encases the magnetized needle. 
  • Degree dial – Surrounding the device, this dial can be twisted by 360 degrees.
  • Magnetic needle – The magnetic needle spins in the compass with the impact of the magnetic field. 
  • Orienting arrow – This is a non-magnetic needle within the device. 
  • Orienting lines – Orienting lines run parallel to orienting arrow within the housing. 

2. Hold the compass in the right direction

As you have learned about a compass’ components, it is time to understand how to put it in the right direction. To do this, put the device on your flat palm facing your chest. It is your proper stance whenever you will be travel. 

Now, if you are accessing a map while traveling, you will have to place the map on a linear surface and then place the device on it.

3. Find the right orientation

Whenever you are using this navigational device, make sure your orientation is in the right direction. So, before putting it out on your flat palm, guess in which direction you are. After that, look at the needle (magnetic), and if you are facing any other direction unless North, it will swing. 

Note: Until both needles, magnetic and orientation needle, point north, keep turning the dial. If both the needles align between N and W, then you are somewhere in the North-West direction. For the degree, see the dial markers. 

Do You Use Your Compass Perfectly?
Do You Use Your Compass Perfectly?

4. Differentiate between true and magnetic North

Another aspect that most users don’t understand is true North, and magnetic North is not the same thing.  

For the initial start, the information, as mentioned above, is enough. As you start using a compass often, you will discover more of its uses.

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