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Embarrassing admission.....

bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior MemberPosts: 2,543 Senior Member
For all of my time working with my son & the Boy Scouts..........I still can't read a compass.  I just don't get it, and it frustrates me.  It's a skill I should know, and I haven't fully learned it yet.  No one has ever fully explained how it is done to my satisfaction.  I stand before you an incomplete man. 
Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.

Replies

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,250 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #2
    There's not much I'm good at....I don't even know how to turn on a GPS, let alone use one. But given a recent USGS map of the area, a Brunton Eclipse compass adjustabe for magnetic declination, and a given starting point.....I'll lead you anywhere you want to go.. Linefinder is my screen name....for a reason. 

    Ask any questions you want. I'll be glad to help and may even offer a few tips most don't know.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,250 Senior Member
    Primary thing is a compass isn't much good without a decent map, unless your goal is... to say, "head east". You can do that easy enough, and that's about all a compass by itself is capable of. OTOH, if you're trying to get to a place you've never been to before......a good "recent" USGS map at a usable scale is required. 

    And "Magnetic North" isn't the same as "True North". This is a VERY important concept to understand, and why a compass that can't be adjusted for magnetic declination is gonna get you killed in a serious situation. (It's amazing how far a "couple of degrees off" can lead you over a relatively short distance).

    Given a good compass adjusted for the magnetic declination of the area you are in....you start by orientating your maps "true north" symbol with what your compasses needled (adjusted) reads as true north. 

    Hang on....I'll be right back......

    "Be Expert With Map & Compass" by Bjorn Hjellstrom. Available on Amazon.......best book ever written on land navigation.......

    This will save me a lot of writing, and you a lot of questions.

    Pay particular attention to the part about intended directional misses and backstops. Distance is really hard to judge in tough terrain and these 2 concepts are priceless.

    Mike




    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,879 Senior Member
    For non-experts that just want to avoid wandering lost.
    Like me.

    I check direction with it to establish my direction of travel in comparison to where the truck, camp, or the road is. Wander off, reverse to go home.


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,250 Senior Member
    edited September 2020 #5
    For non-experts that just want to avoid wandering lost.
    Like me.

    I check direction with it to establish my direction of travel in comparison to where the truck, camp, or the road is. Wander off, reverse to go home.


    Tie one end of a a string to your trailer hitch, Tie the other end to one of your belt loops. You're good to go. Take off. Don't even need a map.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,810 Senior Member
    There's not much I'm good at....I don't even know how to turn on a GPS, let alone use one. But given a recent USGS map of the area, a Brunton Eclipse compass adjustabe for magnetic declination, and a given starting point.....I'll lead you anywhere you want to go.. Linefinder is my screen name....for a reason. 

    Ask any questions you want. I'll be glad to help and may even offer a few tips most don't know.

    Mike
    An adjustable compass would have been nice, I suppose we had that with our nav systems, somewhat;
    but, during pre-flight planning we had to make the math correction to magnetic heading. 
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,879 Senior Member
    For non-experts that just want to avoid wandering lost.
    Like me.

    I check direction with it to establish my direction of travel in comparison to where the truck, camp, or the road is. Wander off, reverse to go home.


    Tie one end of a a string to your trailer hitch, Tie the other end to one of your belt loops. You're good to go. Take off. Don't even need a map.

    Mike
    I tried that once. Lucky the old farmer found and untied me before I ran out of crackers.....
  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 386 Member
    edited September 2020 #8
    For non-experts that just want to avoid wandering lost.
    Like me.

    I check direction with it to establish my direction of travel in comparison to where the truck, camp, or the road is. Wander off, reverse to go home.


    Tie one end of a a string to your trailer hitch, Tie the other end to one of your belt loops. You're good to go. Take off. Don't even need a map.

    Mike

    How long is a trailer hitch?
    Suspenders only.

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,250 Senior Member
    NN said:
    There's not much I'm good at....I don't even know how to turn on a GPS, let alone use one. But given a recent USGS map of the area, a Brunton Eclipse compass adjustabe for magnetic declination, and a given starting point.....I'll lead you anywhere you want to go.. Linefinder is my screen name....for a reason. 

    Ask any questions you want. I'll be glad to help and may even offer a few tips most don't know.

    Mike
    An adjustable compass would have been nice, I suppose we had that with our nav systems, somewhat;
    but, during pre-flight planning we had to make the math correction to magnetic heading. 
    I'm betting navigating  an F-4 on a bomb-run with an abacus was a chore, too...... ;)

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,138 Senior Member
    GPS has gotten pretty simple to use
    Like Mike said, map and compass work together well. Just be sure to orientate your map and compass.
    I thought it was easy until I had to do it underwater, in the dark.  Trust you equipment
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,086 Senior Member
    Once you learn to shoot an azimuth you're all good.

    Still haven't found any good recipes for them though...

    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,066 Senior Member
    I just carry a stick and a couple of rocks, get lost every time but that stick sure is comforting.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

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