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Compass Guide

A quick guide to using a Compass


Magnetic and metal items may disturb the compass and cause incorrect readings, do not place the compass on the metal railing of a gate etc, and it is advisable to keep them away from mobile phones.

To Orientate the map
With all maps North is on the top of the map, to determine your route you have to orientate the map north.

• Place the compass on to the map with the edge along your desired line of travel, making sure that the direction of travel arrow points towards your destination.
• Rotate the capsule until ”N” on graduation ring point towards North on the map, checking that the compass housing North and South lines are parallel to the map meridians.

The map is now orientated North – the map and land now match.

To get the direction from your position to your destination using the map

• If necessary draw a line between position and destination.
• Holding the compass out horizontally in front of you, turn yourself until the red end of the needle points towards ”N” on the compass graduation ring. (red end of needle will now be aligned to red north arrow in bottom of the compass capsule). The direction of travel arrow now points precisely to your destination.
• An idea is to look up and sight on a land-mark e.g. church spire and start walking, once you have reached your position you will have to repeat this procedure until you reach your destination.

To Determine Your Position

• Orientate your map North.
• Look for an object or feature which is marked on the map e.g. church spire.
• Now orientate the red arrow to North, so that the red arrow and compass needle match.
• Place the compass on the map and orientate it so the directional arrow points to the object or feature and again get the red arrow and compass needle to match.
• Then draw a line.
• Now do the same again, with another object or feature, your exact position will be where the two lines cross.

If you would like more help in understanding map reading with a compass please view the lessons.

Lesson 1    Lesson 2

Visit the AQUA3® Website for your discounted Silvia Compasses and Free Delivery.


Gear Guide

Trekking Advice

Using a Compass

Mountain Rules

GPS Systems

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