How to use a compass

By: Maddie D.

Basics of a compass

The compass is a pretty useful tool that comes in handy when you are lost or want to go to a desired location. That is one reason why you should know the parts of a compass and what types there are. First let us start off with what the basic parts of a compass are which are: The needle, base plate, and the markings of the compass which are the four cardinal directions and the inter cardinal directions such as North,East,West, and South as the cardinal directions, and Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast as inter cardinal directions.(The rest of this Flyer should explain how each of these parts function in the compass.)

What is the magnetic field, what is it's purpose, how does it affect compasses and how was it created?

The magnetic field is a field that encases the earth and the life in it.The magnetic field's purpose is to protect earth from the sun's charged particles and Flares, and the magnetic field was created by the earth's outer core spinning really fast gathering and melting more iron and minerals into the outer core while the outer core is spinning really fast bringing in more minerals for the magma involved with the process to react to or in other words the minerals involved release magnetism when becoming part of the outer core substance. The magnetic field also affects the compass by the amount of magnetism being put out on each end of the earth sort of like a bar magnet, which is the one reason why the compass needs to stay oriented in the same direction because if you look on a map no matter where you are to where you want to go you can mark you and your desired location to get a parallel line from point A to point B.

The Compass and it's Mysteries.

The compass has many parts, including many excess parts that support the compass' function. First let us start with basics, the basic parts of a compass as we know of are the needle which points toward your destination.The cardinal directions which are, North, East, West, and south. The base plate is the part where you have to hold the compass by and you have to keep it level. The inner pieces of the mechanism include the orienting arrow, direction and travel arrow, declination marks, housing , dial, index pointer, and the magnifier.

How to use the compass with a map.

Lost in the woods.

If you have a map the most important things to look for are the North arrow and the map scale because you want to know what view you are looking from and in what direction. For the map to be useful you need to know your location and mark it on the map with a pencil. Then take a look at the map for peaks, waterfalls or anything of interest and estimate flood areas for rich resourceful areas . After that choose your desired destination and mark it on the map with your writing utensil. Next you take your compass and align the compass from points A to B and then put pressure on your compass to the map. When the pressure is applied you rotate your orienting arrow in the Northern direction or parallel to the prime meridian. At the time the dial is turned look at the degree that is near the index and make sure it makes sense to you depending on the cardinal directions. As soon as you have your guide line of travel you must rotate the compass to where the red arrow lines up underneath the outline of the needle or the red arrow to where you know that is the way you are heading.

Compass 101 - How to Use a Baseplate Compass