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Thread: Compass use

  1. #1
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    Compass use

    I'm writing a book for very advanced compass use. Likely just for my own reading.

    Before starting it, I didn't carry a compass for about 35 years. Just never found a use for one. Now, I have found all sorts of uses.

    My question is: "How do you ACTUALLY use a compass when hiking."

    Maybe there is some topic I'm missing.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GDeadPhans's Avatar
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    A great way to use a compass, or GPS, is geocaching. A neat little "game" outdoor enthusiasts like to play. Simply set out a box somewhere in the wilderness with a goodie in it. Then post your cache on geocaching.com. It is mostly for GPS but there are some out there that use a compass.

    A hiker goes to the website and gets the directions, then goes out and finds the box, taking the goodie but replacing with one of there own.

    I use a compass mainly when I am bushwacking. I buy topographic maps of the area, then set out and try to find peaks or points of interest. I set way points and use landmarks of sorts to help me stay on track. Its a lot of fun and quite challenging because you never know what you are going to have to cross or go through. I do this mostly in the woods behind my school as I am very familiar with them by now, and I know that these woods are surrounded by roads. So if I do get lost I just keep going in a certain direction and I will eventually hit the road. But I also know to just head northwest, which I have oriented just using the sun, and I eventually make it to campus .

    I am interested in the book Gershon, keep us posted!
    "Do not fear mistakes, there are none" - Miles Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by GDeadPhans View Post
    A great way to use a compass, or GPS, is geocaching. A neat little "game" outdoor enthusiasts like to play. Simply set out a box somewhere in the wilderness with a goodie in it. Then post your cache on geocaching.com. It is mostly for GPS but there are some out there that use a compass.

    A hiker goes to the website and gets the directions, then goes out and finds the box, taking the goodie but replacing with one of there own.

    I use a compass mainly when I am bushwacking. I buy topographic maps of the area, then set out and try to find peaks or points of interest. I set way points and use landmarks of sorts to help me stay on track. Its a lot of fun and quite challenging because you never know what you are going to have to cross or go through. I do this mostly in the woods behind my school as I am very familiar with them by now, and I know that these woods are surrounded by roads. So if I do get lost I just keep going in a certain direction and I will eventually hit the road. But I also know to just head northwest, which I have oriented just using the sun, and I eventually make it to campus .

    I am interested in the book Gershon, keep us posted!
    You might be just the person I need to talk to. I don't generally use a GPS. I prefer the art of a compass. If send me your email privately, I can send a copy of what I've done so far. If you have a Kindle, I can send it in Kindle format.

    It's not perfect, but if you work through the exerises, you will learn something I'm almost certain is new to you. It will give complete freedom from maps if taken to its ultimate level.

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    Senior Member GDeadPhans's Avatar
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    Sounds good. I sent ya a private message with my email.
    "Do not fear mistakes, there are none" - Miles Davis

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    Quote Originally Posted by GDeadPhans View Post
    Sounds good. I sent ya a private message with my email.
    email sent

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    Gdeadphans,

    If you decide to use the tables in the second part of the book, I can send you copies.

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    I generally just use the compass to verify my trail map positions, marking off the locations of each pit-stop and finding the overall bearing to the next point of interest.

    of course, someday I will probably experiment with triangulating my position from known points, just for fun

    unless I ever get around to building that boat, when I will be using more esoteric procedures
    Help preserve the Environment - Teach Compassion for Wild Animals

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    Thanks whiteoak

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    Senior Member Sergemaster's Avatar
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    Most folks don't know how to use a compass, especially in the age of free or cheap downloadable apps to ones smart phone for easy navigation. Regardless, it's a good skill to know, and I remember many a squared away soldier failing PLDC for one simple reason: the inability to read and use a map and compass. This still hasn't changed and I've been out for about 10 years now.

    Cheers,
    Serge
    SENTIRE-PENSARE-VOLERE


    SERGEMASTER

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergemaster View Post
    Most folks don't know how to use a compass, especially in the age of free or cheap downloadable apps to ones smart phone for easy navigation. Regardless, it's a good skill to know, and I remember many a squared away soldier failing PLDC for one simple reason: the inability to read and use a map and compass. This still hasn't changed and I've been out for about 10 years now.

    Cheers,
    Serge
    I read soldiers are getting GPS's now. The inexpensive ones are the same price as a compass and really more suitable for what a soldier needs.

    In my studies, I'm taking it to an advanced art form which will not interest most.

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