||When using both
compass and map the compass is really good, and you will be
able to navigate safely and accurately in terrain you've never
been before without following trails. But it'll take some
training and experience, though.
procedure is as follows:
- Align the edge of the compass
with the starting and finishing point
- Rotate the compass housing
until the orienting arrow and lines point N on the map
- Rotate the map and compass
together until the red end of the compass needle points
- Follow the direction of
travel arrow on the compass, keeping the needle aligned
with the orienting arrow on the housing
a map. In the first example, we look at a map made for orienteering,
and it is very detailed. Well, not really. We look at a fictitious
map I drew myself, but never mind. You want to go from the
trail-crossing at A, to the rock at B. Of course,
to use this method successfully, you'll have to know you really
are at A.
What you do, is that you put your compass on the map so that
the edge of the compass is at A. The edge you must be using,
is the edge that is parallel to the direction of travel arrow.
And then, put B somewhere along the same edge, like it is
on the drawing. Of course, you could use the direction arrow
itself, or one of the parallel lines, but usually, it's more
convenient to use the edge.
At this point, some instructors say that you should use a
pencil and draw a line along your course. I would recommend
against it. First, it takes a lot of time, but offers no enhancement
in accuracy of the method. Second, if you have wet weather,
it may destroy your map, or if it is windy, you may loose
it. You should keep your map (preferably in a sealed) transparent
plastic bag, and if it is windy, tied up, so it can't blow
away. But most important is that any drawings may hide important
details on the map.
||Time to be careful
again! The edge of the compass, or rather the direction
arrow, must point from A to B! And again, if you do
t his wrong, you'll walk off in the exact opposite direction
of what you want. So take a second look. Beginners often make
this mistake as well.
the compass steady on the map. What you are going to do
next is that you are going to align the orienting lines
and the orienting arrow with the meridian lines of the map.
The lines on the map going north, that is. While you have
the edge of the compass carefully aligned from A to B, turn
the compass housing so that the orienting lines in the compass
housing are aligned with the meridian lines on the map.
During this process, you don't mind what happens to the
There are a number of serious
mistakes that can be made here. Let's take the problem with
going in the opposite direction first. Be absolutely
certain that you know where north is on the map, and
be sure that the orienting arrow is pointing towards the
north on the map. Normally, north will be up on the map.
The possible mistake is to let the orienting arrow point
towards the south on the map.
And then, keep an eye on the the edge of the compass. If
the edge isn't going along the line from A to B when you
have finished turning the compass housing, you will have
an error in your direction, and it can take you off your
When you are sure you have
the compass housing right, you may take the compass away
from the map. And now, you can in fact read the azimuth
off the housing, from where the housing meets the direction
Be sure that the housing doesn't turn, before you reach
your target B!
Hold the compass in your hand.
And now you'll have to hold it quite flat, so that the compass
needle can turn. Then turn yourself, your hand, the entire
compass, just make sure the compass housing doesn't turn,
and turn it until the compass needle is aligned with the
lines inside the compass housing.
mistake is again to let the compass needle point towards
the south. The red part of the compass needle must point
at north in the compass housing, or you'll go in the opposite
It's time to walk off. But to do that with optimal accuracy,
you'll have to do that in a special way as well.
Hold the compass in your hand, with the needle well aligned
with the orienting arrow.
aim, as careful as you can, in the direction the direction
of travel-arrow is pointing. Fix your eye on some special
feature in the terrain as far as you can see in the direction.
go there. Be sure as you go that the compass housing doesn't
If you're in a dense forest, you might need to aim several
times. Hopefully, you will reach your target B when you
explanations above are taken from www.learn-orienteering.org.
For questions please contact