Hot answers tagged

36

This map (and the Wikipedia article) will explain why you don't have a problem (in the UK, I'm guessing), but others do, elsewhere. In the UK, you can ignore it at the moment, but you need to understand WHY you're ignoring it :) As an aside, compare this with the declination in 1872... Then, the declination error in the UK would have been between 20 and ...


24

Isolation and prominence are the two key criteria to classify a peak as an independent mountain. To understand the meaning I like the visualization from the German Wiki where "Dominanz" means isolation and "Schartenhöhe" means prominence: Isolation is the distance to the next point with the same height (radius) of a higher mountain. So the nearest ...


23

This depends highly on your location. Contrary to popular belief, the difference between the magnetic pole and the geographic pole is not the only reason for declination. As a matter of fact, the magnetic poles are simply defined as the points where the magnetic field points vertically. This is not the same as the pole of a anyway non-existing earth-magnet. ...


21

Where your magnetic compass points can be quite far away from the north shown on your map For example, on the line marked 30, your compass would point 30 degrees away from true north.


14

They're absolutely NOT the same thing. The distance varies. But it's about 500 miles. (http://www.livescience.com/41955-north-pole.html) Since its discovery in 1831, the magnetic North Pole has been around Canada’s Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the geographic North Pole. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_north


14

Magnetic pole The distance from the rotational north pole varies over time -source By the time you read this, the north magnetic pole could be half the circumference of the planet away from the true (i.e. rotational) north pole. Thats over 20,000 km apart. It has been in the past. See magnetic pole reversal and rate of transition. Declination More ...


13

The distance between the magnetic north and geographic north poles is not important for navigation purposes. What matters is the angle between them, which is called the magnetic variation or magnetic declination. The magnetic variation varies depending on where you are on earth, and also changes slightly from year to year. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ...


11

I think you already answered your own question. Most dedicated GPS devices are more rugged, have better battery life, and don't require a data connection to work well. A phone has a lot of power overhead and is fragile. There are a few possible advantages to a phone. If you're already going to be carrying one, it reduces the total weight required. It's ...


11

There are several ways to determine true north, especially when you have a map and compass: Competent maps, like most intended for backcountry hiking, will have the magnetic declination marked. This is usually in one of the corners. Take a look at any USGS topo map, for example. The compass will tell you the direction to magnetic north, and the map tells ...


10

Olin Lathrop's very good answer to the question you reference basically already contains most of the information needed also your gut feeling about the topic is quite right. So let's look at it in a bit more general way: Keeping your compass declination in mind gets the more important, the closer you are to one of the magnetic poles, the more you travel ...


8

Most GPS receivers in phones work not nearly as good as stand-alone GPS devices. Usually, one wouldn't notice this because phones use assisted GPS where they get the orbital data and/or almanac of the GPS satellites as well as the exact time from the GSM network. Also, they have a average position of the device. Without that data, phones are very slow ...


7

Source: John Baldwin: Slope Angles from Map Contours View this page for a refresher on how to do the maths to calculate slope on a topographic map.


7

Prominence Is it's height above the surrounding ground (so the ground level is x height above sea level, the mounting is y height above sea level, it's Prominence = y -x) Isolation Is the distance between it and the nearest point at the same height. This is all based on the "footprint" on a map of a peak. This can be straight forward, or it can be very ...


6

As others have said the importance depends on your location. In the UK & Europe the correction is quite small, approx 2-3 degrees and can therefore mostly be ignored. Compared to parts of the US where the correction can be at least 15 degrees. This is because the magnetic north pole lies somewhere in northern Canada, so the UK is relatively far away for ...


5

Not discounting the existing answers which provide great perspectives. You don't really care where the North Pole is. It is not like there is only one or two, nor is like anything is stable. There are half a dozen north poles and most of them move around regularly and they move a lot (10s and 100s even 1,000s of miles/kilometers). Wandering of the ...


5

I use Timble GPS Hunt Pro on my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. You can download topo, BLM boundaries, private property and other types of maps that work just fine without a cell signal. The maps I use are incredibly detailed. If you do have cell coverage, you can add weather overlays. Map prices are reasonable, and you can buy a subscription that lets you ...


3

For your situation I strongly advice against relying on your phone. It's a great backup but to much of a risk to use as a main device. Three reasons to get a dedicated gps: Batteries: A gps mostly works on standard AA batteries which can be bought anywhere and rechargeable ones are easily charged on solar energy. (look up goal-zero for instance). ...


3

Ignoring the difficulties of travel (in summer you may need a boat, in winter, skis), then the current weather will make more difference then the season. Given the correct time and standard navigation tables, you can get the latitude by measuring the angle from the horizon to the limb of the sun, the limb of the moon, or to a bright star. Winter might allow ...


2

You can't ignore the difficulties. Those difficulties are precisely what dictated when you could attempt the trip. For the most part, those limitations still exist. However for the actual calculation and finding of the North Pole, that would be night time, when you could calculate how far away from the pole you actually were, and also whether you are ...


2

We could get really complicated with this. But basically, magnetic north is a mostly fixed place on the surface of the earth. It's actually moving, but very slowly. Sometimes the map you have may have two compass circles on it. One inside the other. The inner circle identifies magnetic north, and the outer circle identified true north. In addition, the map ...


2

At night it is very easy to find true north using the stars (true south doesn't quite have an equivalent.) First identify Ursa Major, the Great Bear or Big Dipper. Then take the two stars at the end of it away from the handle, and follow the line they make for 5 times its length. The star you hit is Polaris. Head towards it and you are heading towards true ...


2

Let's go through the different aspects of phone versus dedicated GPS device point by point (however, quite surely without being complete). Basically you have to decide which points apply in your situation and how you weigh them. GPS reception and accuracy When the first smartphones with GPS units hit the market, there was the saying that their GPS ...


1

In the marine environment, it's often a little easier if you reference a known location. Offshore, you want to use lat/lon coordinates for sure. But if you're a mile from the coast (or less), it's a lot easier for people to find you if you say "We're a hundred yards south of buoy three, looking at the hotel with the red roof." I worked for a water rescue ...


1

In the UK the prevailing wind blows from the south west and trees/ bushes grow away from the wind so assuming one can see a tree it should be easy to determine the other points of the compass. Elsewhere in the world it would be sensible to determine the direction of the prevailing wind prior to setting out.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible