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Compass navigation skills

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posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:33 AM
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Hi everyone,

I'm interested in learning and mastering using a compass to get about. After looking around in the ATS Survival archives it seems like this skill set is best learned from someone already in the know.

My question: If you have functional compass navigation skills and your buddy that lives 500 miles away asks you how could they learn too, what book, pamphlet, guide or website would you send or refer them to?

Note: I already tried going the "get an old Scout manual" route only to learn that a lot of fellows love collecting those books, and they are more rare and expensive than you may think.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to reply. I appreciate your time and help.




posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:38 AM
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Hi, Though i did not look through it, I find that when needed information for navigation and such skills are required, look under military titles. This may help you out.
www.armystudyguide.com...

Good luck!

edit on 5-2-2011 by gardCanada because: spelling errs



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by LargeFries
 


It's pretty simple you could prolly find it on google, but I would recommend learning to tell direction via the rising and setting of the sun, always helps if you dont have a compass.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:46 AM
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I think compass skills would be relatively easy but you have to incorporate map reading skills and also have the map.

Don't get too lost and good luck.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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Cool question.

I am great with a compass, from scouting and then later as a dedicated hunter/camper. I still carry one and use rely on it instead of GPS. (GPS is great for logging my journey, or noting great hunting spots; but GPS often cannot get a good reading under a forest canopy, and I prefer to hunt in the woods....)

As a scout I carried a BSA approved Silva compass (which I still keep in my hunting gear). The instruction manual was almost exactly the same as the BSA course in compass craft-whole paragraphs were identical. I don't know that I still have the manual.

A serious compass has a folding sight, usually a wire on one wing and a lens on the other. You use it to take azimuth readings on 2 distant objects, and triangulate your distance from them. This can be extremely accurate, to within a couple of percent of the distance to the object. In that sense, it is indispensable for mapping caches, and far more reliable if you ever need to return to the cache.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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you could also look in your area for an 'Orienteering' club/group.

it's good fun.

you go running in the woods, map and compass, and navigate a course via marker points.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:50 AM
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It's hard to mess up a how to book on using a compass. You can pick up a nice compass that comes with a book form most outdoor stores. also search the web, alot of orginizations offer the classes for free. Military surpless stores should also have basic training material that covers the subject.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:53 AM
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compass and legit map line compass up to " N" north on the map then orient you and the map north map should have key/legend explain ft. mile to inches /ct on the map .

or just keep a fully charged GPS in the bug out bag w/ chargerl

-jplays



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 01:11 AM
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Here is a link to the best resource out there: My opinion of course.

FM 3-25.26 Map Reading and Land Navigation

You want to make sure to have a good compass and a map of the area in question and start by learning the basics like learning to recognize and identify terrain features both on the ground and on the map.

The reason I say this is the best way to use land navigation skills is not by using the compass/pace method but by using terrain association instead. This is the method most people use over long distances because watching a compass for an azimuth over a long period of time is taxing and very tedious - plus you can't pull security while you are staring at the compass. When you get good as long as you stay oriented you can travel qoute quickly only checking the map/compass occasionally if something seems to not match your mental image of the route you planned.

For your safety make sure that you learn the parts about intersection and resection so you can find where you are if you get disoriented or lost.

When you start out make sure and leave your plans with a park ranger (of you are using a public area) or with the land owner so they have a way to track you down should you go missing.

This is advisable even after you get good at it. I spent 24 years in the military most in Special Forces and when we (my daughter and I) go hiking I leave a copy of the map and intended travel plans with my wife so she can give to the authorities should we not come back. Anything can happen!

It is my experience that land navigation is something people either have or don't have - sure you can learn to do it in theory but to some it just comes naturally. Usually kids who grew up hunting and stuff or rural have a good innate ability to know their approximate location or relative location to where they started moving. This is not a given though we had a guy grew up in Brooklyn who never got lost anywhere - he was an innate navigator.

People get better with practice and it is a perishable skill...practice as often as you can.

EDIT: For a compass I recommend the Silva Ranger which is what I always used - there may be better but this is a simple and cheap one. Also, I recommend later a civilian GPS - some mid grade models are quite good for around 2-300 bucks. Don't get a GPS till you learn you stuff or you will rely on in then when the SHTF you are bummin.


edit on 5/2/2011 by Golf66 because: (no reason given)

edit on 5/2/2011 by Golf66 because: Added Compass recommendation



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 01:18 AM
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I often wondered if people truly need a compass and map to navigate. I watched televised program about Polynesians circumnavigating the Pacific Oceans. In one scene, the guy demonstrated how he used his hands and the sun to "map out" their designation.

Sometimes speaking with a trained expert in person and doing actual field work would be most beneficial than learning by oneself. Perhaps classes or the scouts would be available to assist.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 01:28 AM
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reply to post by LargeFries
 


Send your friend this.

1. Hold the map and look at it. The text on the map is such that the top of the map is always to the north. Find your location on the map.

2. Put the compass on the map. Turn so that the red pointer on the compass lines up with the vertical lines. When that is done your map is correct with the terrain.

NB. You can also line up the compass with the vertical lines, and then turn so that the red pointer is lined up with the vertical lines on the map.

3. When you have the map lined up with the terrain. You can make a heading.

4. To make a heading in which you want to travel. All you have to do is turn the compass in that direction. The red pointer on the compass will still be pointing north. And your map will still be lined up with the terrain.


If you know the basics. You can make the heading right away and then turn so that the red pointer on the compass is lined up with the vertical lines on the map pointing North.


edit on 27.06.08 by spy66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 03:09 AM
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How accurate would that remain if magnetic north (where the pointer aims) travels to the north east at 40 miles per year? Wouldn't that make the map off a bit more every year?

How to Align Your Compass


Maps are oriented toward geographic, or "true," north (the North Pole), but compass needles point to magnetic north, a place that wanders slowly within the Canadian Arctic. The difference in angle is called magnetic declination, and it varies from 21 degrees west in Maine to 26 degrees east in Alaska. That's why you should buy a compass with adjustable declination and set it properly.

edit on 5/2/2011 by SeenMyShare because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 03:31 AM
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Originally posted by SeenMyShare
How accurate would that remain if magnetic north (where the pointer aims) travels to the north east at 40 miles per year? Wouldn't that make the map off a bit more every year?

How to Align Your Compass


Maps are oriented toward geographic, or "true," north (the North Pole), but compass needles point to magnetic north, a place that wanders slowly within the Canadian Arctic. The difference in angle is called magnetic declination, and it varies from 21 degrees west in Maine to 26 degrees east in Alaska. That's why you should buy a compass with adjustable declination and set it properly.

edit on 5/2/2011 by SeenMyShare because: (no reason given)


This is not a problem when navigating with the use of a map and terrain. You will make corrections anyways each time you check your map to the terrain.

You usually never walk in a straight line because of the terrain. So you have to make corrections all the time. You really dont even need a compass to be able to navigate with a map. All you really need is the terrain.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 05:51 AM
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Originally posted by spy66
You usually never walk in a straight line because of the terrain. So you have to make corrections all the time. You really dont even need a compass to be able to navigate with a map. All you really need is the terrain.


Assuming you can see the terrain, though. The compass becomes invaluable in mist on the hills. When your visibility is down to below a few hundred metres some extent of compass knowledge is really useful.

For instance, assuming you have a good map with contours and a good scale (1:50,000 or 1:25,000), you can navigate and find where you are by looking at which bearing the slope you are standing on goes downward, with references to other things you have passed beforehand. It is also useful to work out how fast you walk as well, as you can then reference that as well when you navigate.

Be careful with what you read off a map, though. Forests change quite a lot, as well as tracks leading through them. Navigating off Cairns is also hazardous, as they can be marked on the map, though people on hills seem to like making new ones al lthe time in busy areas.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 06:17 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by the_0bserver85
 


Not really. If the pole shifts, so will the compass shift with it. South will be where North is to day. So instead of using the red pointer on the compass as North you use the white pointer.

The red pointer on the compass always fallows earth magnetic current. Right now the magnetic current goes from South to North. After a pole shift the magnetic current will go from North to south.


edit on 27.06.08 by spy66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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I mean for the majority .... people who dont know ATS or survival skills.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by the_0bserver85
I mean for the majority .... people who dont know ATS or survival skills.


Well they will be very confused if they dont know how the compass needle works. They will have trouble lining up the map with the terrain. And start to have doubts about their map.

Doubting the map is a beginners habit even when the map is lined up correct with the terrain and the compass.



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 02:02 AM
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Thank you all for your excellent replies. I think I will do just fine with the instruction, tips and leads you all have shared.

LargeFries




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