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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 problem on the Southern Pole?

I would say "yes," but then I read this question about world wide navigation, and from one of the responses it seems like there are other problems when closer to the Southern Pole.

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Magnetic deviation is not a problem of accuracy. Pick one. – Jay Bazuzi Mar 11 '12 at 7:11
I've edited to question so it doesn't mention "accuracy." I'm mostly interested in knowing the effects of magnetic deviation at the Southern Pole - but any helpful information would be helpful too. – Henrik Hansen Mar 11 '12 at 8:25
The accuracy of specific compass might vary depending on where you are because of the balance of the needle. – Henrik Hansen Jun 7 '12 at 16:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The magnetic declination at the south pole works the same way to that at the north, and for exactly the same reason. The magnetic field, while generated by the spin of the Earth's core is not tied to the physical spin axis for the earth so the exact magnetic north and south move.

Before you travel near the poles (you don't even need to be that near for declination to be significant) you should look at a declination map, or the online NOAA page for declination. At really high latitudes (either north or south) it is essential to have an accurate declination map with you or you could get very lost.

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