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Tips in Using a Compass

Finding Your Way through a Compass

The concept behind the use of compass is to find where the north is. There is a huge but not so strong magnetic field around the earth. The magnetized needle inside the compass is aligned with this magnetic field. This needle provides great help during navigation. The compass has been improved through the years, making travelling safer and more efficient.

What can be seen in a compass?
The face of the compass shows the cardinal points may it be north, south, east and west. When using a compass, it is better to forget relative directions such as left and right. Cardinal directions are constant and do not depend on your relative directions and locations. There are also the so-called intercardinal points, which are NorthEast, SouthEast, SouthWest, and NorthWest, and the secondary intercardinal points, which are the points halfway between each cardinal point and intercardinal point. Examples of these points are North-NorthEast or East-NorthEast. The need for a very precise direction has split the compass face into 360 marks called degrees. Therefore, if you are finding a direction, the use of North and South is alright but once you are locating destinations in the forest, then degrees are much more useful.

The types of compasses

There are two types of compasses, namely: the mountaineering compass and card compass. The former is also known as orienteering compass because the needle always points in the direction of the north. The latter does not have a noticeable needle because there is a plastic ball around it that rotates freely.

Tips in using the compass

1. No matter what kind of compass you are using, the red end always points to the North. Before using your compass, make sure that it is really working. A good way to test it is to stand facing the sun during lunchtime. If the red end points at the North and you and the other end points at the sun, then your compass is in good working condition. This applies when you are the north of the equator. However, if you are down under, then the red point should be facing the sun.

2. When you are reading your compass, make sure that you are holding it steadily in your hand in a way that the baseplate is level. You must hold your compass on a comfortable manner, which is between your face and your waist with your elbow bent. The compass should also be read while holding it close to your stomach.

3. When you are using your compass, use your common sense. Be aware that if you heading towards the sun, there is no way that you are going to the direction of north, northwest, or northeast.

4. Never use a compass near metal objects such as knife, flashlight or keychain because it can give you a false reading.

Using a compass can be a lot of found for those who are just learning about it. A compass can be used in several things, may it be telling the direction of the North or just playing games such as putting something in the wild and trying to locate it using the compass or just practicing Feng Shui to locate the good luck directions.

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