Orienteering: Using a Compass
With today's navigation technology such as handheld compasses and global positioning systems (GPS) people are becoming more confident in finding their way outdoors, however, getting lost still happens. Take time to learn how to properly use a map and compass or GPS and practice your orienteering skills before you head out into the field. Don't wait until you're lost to use your compass or GPS. Before you head out for a hunt, take a bearing of where you plan to hunt, to help find your way back if necessary. If you are not familiar with a compass, we have provided an easy and simple explanation of the parts and how to use it. Let's look at the parts of this kind of compass:
It is clear and has a ruler for measuring inches on one side.
A mark on the compass base for accurate reading of the bearing or direction to an object.
Compass Housing or Bezel
The bezel can be rotated and features degree markings on it from 0 through 360 degrees. The degree markers are usually in two-degree increments.
An arrow that is used to point in the direction of your travel.
Used in conjunction with a viewed object or topographical map to determine bearing to an object or place.
Magnetic North Needle
The needle pivots in a 360-degree circle and points to magnetic north. It is usually colored red, to indicate the north end of the needle, and white to indicate the south end of the needle. However on certain compasses the south end of the needle is colored black.