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Q&A

Posts tagged compasses

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Q&A How to explain unexpected success following a bearing taken from an iPad

I live in northern British Columbia where the relevant declination values are currently Magnetic declination: 17° 45.30' East Grid declination (for Natural Resource Canada's NTS maps): 16° 17.04'...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by tomfumb‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How can you navigate without a compass or GPS

What are the ways you can navigate when you don't have a compass or a GPS? For example how can you tell which way is north.

10 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Gabriel Solomon‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What are the differences between prismatic, lensatic, mirrored, and optical sighting compasses?

Background I am looking at compasses for backpacking and camping, and have come across more compass varieties than I had ever thought possible. Three terms that often come up together are "prismat...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Jonathan Landrum‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is there an easy way to remember if you add magnetic declination to magnetic bearings or true bearings?

For some reason, once in a while I get confused if you add magnetic declination to magnetic bearings to get true bearings, or if you add magnetic declination to true bearings to get magnetic bearin...

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by RockPaperLizard‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question maps compasses
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Q&A How do simple compass needles remain level instead of see-sawing with magnetic dip? Are they flat even near the poles?

This instagram post by Colin O'Brady (just hiked across Antarctica) shows his compass needle looking fairly level, but I can't see enough else to know if he's holding it level. A significant fract...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by uhoh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Taking and using bearings

How would I go about taking a compass bearing of a distant peak and then relate this to the information on a standard map?

1 answer  ·  posted 9y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A When using a compass, why not follow a degree mark without rotation?

Instead of taking a bearing the "official" way, why not just see what degree mark corresponds to on the direction I want to go (in real life or on a map), and follow that degree mark? That is, why ...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Steve‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

Question maps hiking compasses
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Q&A I never adjust for true north. Is this bad practice?

This question (Calculate true north with a compass and map) got me thinking. I rarely bother adjusting compass bearings for magnetic north. Is this bad? I understand the theory but I just rarely bo...

6 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Magnetic deviation at either pole

I know that the magnetic north is not exactly at the polar north, so when hiking very close to the Northern Pole, you have to take the difference into account. This got me thinking: Is this also a...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by Henrik Hansen‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A What is head/lift indication in a digital compass on a sailboat?

A simple explanation would be great. I am reading a manual for digital compass and there is a paragraph with the following words: The SpeedPuck automatically detects when a sailor is trimmed t...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Vladimir Markiev‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A Can a compass be thrown off by its surroundings?

Would it be possible for a compass be affected by its surroundings, such as a large iron deposit or other rocks to the point where it is not working correctly? I am not talking about declination ...

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 4y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to take a bearing when the geographic coordinate grid is not aligned with true north on a map?

I am confused by my new map of the Westfjords of Iceland. The geographic coordinate grid is rotated slightly, but the map indicates that true north is still the top of the page. What's going on...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by gwg‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A Offset in compass

I have a Brunton Truarc 3 compass. At the time I bought it I wasn't aware about declination settings or navigation basics. But recently I realized that it has offset of a few degrees (around 6 degr...

4 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by Arsalan Ahmed‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A Are there bubble free handheld compasses?

We have one question asking where it is normal for a compass to have bubbles and another asking why compasses get bubbles, but we do not have a question clearly asking if handheld compasses exist t...

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A Why do compasses develop bubbles?

Please note I am not asking 'in what conditions some compasses can develop a bubble', what I am asking is, why can't manufacturers make liquid filled compasses that will not, ever, develop bubbles....

1 answer  ·  posted 5y ago by user1256923‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A Can a compass reverse polarity?

Can a compass have its polarity reversed so that the end marked "north" points south and vice versa? If so, what could one do to prevent and fix this problem?

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A Navigational gear worldwide

Is there any difference in navigational equipment between the northern and southern hemisphere? We live in the northern hemisphere but will be emigrating to the southern in the next few weeks. We'l...

3 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Sirex‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it normal for a compass to develop an air bubble at high altitude?

I live in Denver, Colorado. Going above 10,000 ft. (3,000 metre) always results in an air bubble large enough for me to want to tilt the compass to prevent the bubble from interfering with the nee...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by jsf80238‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A What should I look for when buying a Lensatic Compass

Lensatic Compasses seem to be priced from $5 to $100 USD. What features should I look for when buying one?

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by wyocalboy‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A What things should I look for when buying a compass?

Compasses seem to come in all shapes, sizes and (especially) prices! What sets a good compass apart from a bad one and what are some good characteristics to look for when making a purchase?

2 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by berry120‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A How did people make topographical maps in the pre-modern?

I've been getting into making maps with compass and a ruler and just triangulating positions of objects. I would like to start making topographical maps but how? How did they make them before the m...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by that guy‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A Most accurate way to judge distances traveled in a kayak?

I like to make maps in my kayak, so I need to know how far away I was from the last point, so the only way I know of is dead reckoning, and being in kayak its not that accurate. So my question is:...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by that guy‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question maps kayaks compasses
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Q&A How to identify latitude & longitude with a compass?

I am not exactly sure where I am in the world. It could be that I am in a boat on the ocean, been in a plane crash, or suffered some other calamity. In any case I either have a compass with me or...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A How easy is it to magnetically destroy a compass?

I have quite a lot of items with built-in magnets in my backpack, like a mobile phone, an iPod or headphones. How easy is it to destroy my compass by putting it too close to these items?

2 answers  ·  posted 10y ago by zoul‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A How did cartographers map out shores before modern times?

I was down at high rock lake N.C. and I was making a little map of the shore lines in my kayak, or at least going to. I ran into a problem, I could not judge the distance from the last mark I made ...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by that guy‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

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Q&A Handheld Compass Triangulation Typical Error Range

I understand that there are a lot of factors that add to the error of a bearing and therefore the accuracy of a triangulation but I would like to know in general how accurate it is possible to be. ...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by NULL‭  ·  last activity 5y ago by System‭

Question maps compasses
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Q&A What is dead reckoning when navigating with a map and compass?

There is a technique for navigation known as dead reckoning, what is this technique exactly and when would it be useful?

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A I have a compass but no watch, how can I tell when it will get dark?

I was reading all of the answers to Are there any situations while backpacking that would require a watch? and surprised at the number of answers that said you need a watch so you would know how lo...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A Can you find your location using the angle between compass bearings?

Sometimes compasses are less accurate than we would like them to be. They can be thrown off by their surroundings, have their polarity reversed, become demagnetized, develop air bubbles or be take...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Charlie Brumbaugh‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A What is the minimum knowledge to navigate with only a compass?

Assuming I have memorized the major Latitude and Longitudes as they relate to the world, as shown in the image below and that I know how to identify latitude &amp; longitude with a compass. What e...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A Are there types of compass other than the regular magnetic one and the gyrocompass?

Today I learned about the existence of the "gyrocompass". A gyrocompass is a type of non-magnetic compass which is based on a fast-spinning disc and rotation of the Earth (or another planetary bod...

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by user12359‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A Compass compatibility: Can I use my US compass in Australia?

Background I bought my compass in the US last year. Next week I'm going to travel to Australia. Question Is my US-compass compatible with Australia? or do I need a special compass? Do I need an...

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Christian Deckert‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A How much distance is there between True North and Magnetic North Poles?

This question is not as simple as it seems, and a few minutes of googling did not drop the answer in my lap. A comment at I never adjust for true north. Is this bad practice? suggesting that: ...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A How can you navigate / determine your location in thick fog?

Are there any good hints, tips and ways you can use to navigate around and find your location in thick fog (apart from a GPS)?

9 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by berry120‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A Making a compass from magnet and needle -- which end is north?

I was watching one of those Discovery Channel wilderness survival shows last night and one of the "survivors" made a compass from a piece of wire tie and an earbud's magnet. He stripped the plasti...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by rrauenza‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should you store a compass flat?

My girlfriend keeps hanging my compass on the wall. Is this doing it any harm?

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by System‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

Question compasses storage
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Q&A Can a compass needle become de-magnetized over time?

My compass has become increasingly untrustworthy. Over the past couple years I had noticed that it often pointed pretty close to magnetic South, but it corrected after a light tap. In two recent t...

2 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by orangejewelweed‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should orienting arrow and meridian lines be parallel on a compass?

I recently bought my first compass, a SUUNTO Spiegel- und Peilkompass MC-2/360/D CM/IN NH, black. I observed that the red orienting arrow and meridian lines are not parallel. They are forming an an...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by robert‭  ·  last activity 6y ago by System‭

Question compasses
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Q&A Will a compass work underground or underwater?

Because they rely on radio signals, GPS units generally do not work underground or underwater, but what about a plain ol' magnetic compass? Are the magnetic fields of earth present at all depths? ...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by JPhi‭  ·  last activity 7y ago by System‭

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Q&A How dependable is a cheap compass?

I was reading the BBC news today and there was an ad for an inexpensive "5 in 1 Outdoor Survival Gear Escape Paracord Bracelet Flint / Whistle / Compass / Scraper" I clicked on the link and saw t...

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by James Jenkins‭  ·  last activity 7y ago by System‭

Question survival compasses
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Q&A Calculate true north with a compass and map

We've a map and a functional compass. A compass shows of course the magnetic north and the map provides us with the correct and current declination. The North Magnetic Pole is the point on the...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by OddDeer‭  ·  last activity 7y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is a compass generally accurate in only one hemisphere, or both?

Possible Duplicate: Navigational gear worldwide I'm not that well travelled (never been outside of Europe!) but at some point I'd love to head elsewhere to perhaps hike somewhere a bit m...

1 answer  ·  posted 10y ago by berry120‭  ·  last activity 10y ago by System‭

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