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How To Use A Compass

Aug 17, 2007
Traveling and exploring different places is a good adventure. It can bring many experiences and memories that will be treasured for a lifetime. It is also a good way to discover other wonderful places, cultures and people.

Of course, for any adventure, one must come prepared. One must have the necessary tools and gadgets to enable the adventurer to take any challenge and obstacles in the trip.

People ordinarily envision a traveler or an adventurer as one who proceeds in an expedition with too many devices and packages along. This is not an ideal picture as most trips require that one travels light. The weight of having too many carriages is not in line with the goal of the endeavor.

Thus, it will suffice to stick with the necessary tools only. One of the most basic tools to bring along in any traveling adventure is the compass.

A compass is an indispensable device to bring along when heading to a specific destination, and of course, when finding the way back home.

How Does a Compass Work?

The compass is a simple gadget. Most of the compass work by having a small magnet called a needle. This is usually what you will see as the arrow with the mark N at one end. This constantly indicates where the North Pole is.

How to Use a Compass

Basically, a compass tells the direction by having an arrow or hand that constantly points to the North Pole. Thus, wherever you go this is a handy tool to keep you oriented and provide a sense of direction.

If you suddenly find yourself in the middle of the forest or in the middle of the ocean without any landmarks to signify direction, the compass will make everything under control.

Here are some ways to properly use a compass -

1. Hold the compass firmly when using it. Avoid any unnecessary movements as it is necessary to let the needle rest to the right direction when you are still figuring out the directions and navigation.

2. It is very advisable to first let the compass in front of the chest so that it can be stabilized. Let the needle to freely float until the magnetic point of the needle settles in pointing to the north.

3. The compass usually contains the directions North, South, East and West at the base with the needle over it. Turn round the whole compass until the needle corresponds with the right direction.

This shall make navigation and ascertaining the directions easier rather than keep getting confused by the different indications.

Other compasses do not have the four directions as a zero degree indication is instead provided. Do the same way as above. Allow the magnetic north to correspond to the zero degree for easier reference.

4. When going to a specific location, it is best to rotate the base plate according to the right direction being traced. This will make sure that you are properly oriented.

5. The degrees are clearly indicated in all compasses. Make sure to take note of this properly. Ascertain the right measure of degrees with the line that overlaps with the dial of the compass. Such degree measurement shall point toward the proper path to the destination.

Measuring the precise direction towards a certain point shall guide you to the rest of the journey. Even if there are no landmarks that can be seen on sight, as long the calculations are accurate, you will find your way through.

6. Accuracy in measurement is also a must in using the compass. Limit your self to an allowance of up to 1 degree only to stay within the points aimed for.

7. Avoid mixing up the north point of the needle of the compass with the other end, south. This shall dispense with unnecessary miscalculations and thereby evade getting lost.
About the Author
For more great compass related articles and resources check out http://allcompasses.info
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