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GOING FROM POINT A TO POINT B WITH A COMPASS

The hiker's must-have tool, a compass, should always be in your bag. Prefer a baseplate compass to use it with a map. It has a turning base that will enable you to record directions. Tie your compass' cord (if you have one) to your bag, to avoid losing it.

1 - Strap

2 - Rotating dial~      Degrees from 0º to 360º~      Used to calculate your azimuth

3 - North of rotating dial

4 - Magnetic needle, North

5 - Orienting arrow

6 - Baseplate

How to use a compass - diagram
How to use a compass

FIND A CLEAR VIEW POINT

If you are at point A and want to go to point B.~If possible, find a clear space that will allow you to easily locate notable landmarks like summits, buildings or bodies of water.~If they are too far from point A, try to find unusual features around you, that are visible on the map.

PLACE THE COMPASS ON THE MAP

Start by laying out your map flat, not necessarily completely.~You will then place your compass on the map. If it isn't flat, the needle may get stuck in the compass and no longer show the north.~Place your compass on a line, which you have drawn or not, joining point A to point B.~Direct your orienting arrow, which is on the tip of your compass. towards your destination.

How to use a compass
How to use a compass

ADJUST THE COMPASS

Now that your compass has been placed flat, turn the rotating dial to match up the compass's north with North on the map. As a reminder, North is always at the top of the map. You can now calculate your azimuth. This is the angle that forms north of the map with your direction. It will be between 0° to 360° degrees. Your azimuth is the number that appears where the dial and sight line cross.

TURNING THE COMPASS

Leave the compass on the map or hold it flat in your hand.~Rotate it until the north on the dial corresponds with your needle.~Congratulations, now all you need to do is follow your orienting arrow ensuring that you always match your red needle with the north of the dial.

How to use a compass

If you aren't used to following a compass bearing yet, start with small half-day or shorter hikes, that you already know. Even if you make a few mistakes at first, you will easily find your way if you know the area.

To be well-equipped:

Keep all electronic appliances away from the compass to not disrupt it.~Indeed, mobile phones or other electronic objects can modify the magnetic field and attract your needle away from the north.