60

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 ...


43

If you look at the current time, and imagine yourself in the center a big analog watch, just place your shadow on the location of the hour's hand. Then imagine the location of the 12 o'clock hand, and exactly in the middle of the angle between those two hands is the north. Be sure to ignore daylight saving time (As the time your hand watch is showing ...


41

I double checked a couple of websites (thanks a lot for the comments to the question) and I'm sure that my compass is not compatible with Australia. As a result of these magnetic variances, the compass industry has divided the earth into 5 "zones", as identified in the map which shows the different zones starting with Zone 1 at the top and ending with ...


36

Compasses are good equipment both spelunking and diving. Even the deepest cave you could go to is still near the earth's surface, geologically speaking. The earth's magnetic field is also essentially the same under water as above. If you are using a compass, what you need to be aware of is nearby magnets and large sources of iron. So if you were exploring ...


34

There seems to be a fixation with North in navigation. Step back to the basic purpose, why do we navigate? We navigate to get to somewhere or to find our way back. Knowing north is just one method of doing such. So predicating navigation on knowing which way is north is unnecessary. North isn't the goal, it's a reference for finding what you really want....


32

If there's a stick around and enough sunlight, I've found the stick method surprisingly accurate: Find a straight stick, around 2 feet long (length isn't that important) and plant it straight in the ground. Mark the end of the stick's shadow, perhaps with another short stick. Wait for about 15 minutes then repeat step 2. Draw a line between the two ends you ...


30

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.


29

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. ...


25

With fog, the only thing you're losing is extended visibility. This shouldn't throw off your plan too much, unless you were navigating by watching far away landmarks. If you were on a trail, stay on it. There's no need to wander around. If you can't see anything and traveling is becoming dangerous or you're not sure where you're going, then stop and wait ...


21

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 ...


20

If you need to walk on a compass bearing in poor visibility, stand still, and send someone out in front of you on the correct bearing for a distance (probably as far as you can see). Have them stand still, then walk to them. Repeat. It's slow going, but you will be walking on the correct bearing, and more accurate than just holding the compass out in front ...


19

Basic celestial navigation: In the northern hemisphere, the star Polaris indicates north. In the southern hemisphere, you can use the Southern Cross, see Finding the south celestial pole.


19

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, it'...


19

Having used my Europe compass in America as well as in Australia, I would say you do not need a new one. It will still point one end of the needle to the north and the other to the south, only the south pole is closer to you than when you are home. Edit As pointed out in the comments and the other answers, the direction as given is good enough for casual ...


18

Yep! If you store your compass near objects that have strong magnets in them (such as your car speakers) it can demagnetize over extended periods of time. There are a few other issues your compass can run into that makes it less reliable as well. Air getting into the compass housing (in excess) Bubbles can form within the compass housing when doing big ...


18

Prerequisites: A Topographical Map for the area you are in. Ordnance Survey's Landranger series cover all of the UK. A compass suitable for the task. (I use the Silva Expedition 54) Knowledge of your current location on the map. Step 1: Taking Bearing. Point your compass at the distant peak. (This is done without a map, by physically looking at the ...


17

You don't need a compass, nor any mechanical tool at all. You just need your fingers. I've linked an article with illustrations at the end, but here is the basic idea: Stand facing the sun, extend your arms out fully, and bend your hands inward. Rotate your fingers to be parallel to the horizon, and move your hand(s) to position them between the horizon ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


15

According to this site there are only a few things that can go wrong with your compass: Mechanically, it can become hard to read because of a cracked dome or contaminated fluid; it can leak, causing a bubble in the fluid which, if allowed to grow, will interfere with damping of the dial; or it can become “sticky,” a condition that prevents the card from ...


14

The only reliable information I seem to be able to find points to the fact that if you store a compass next to a strong magnet for a long period of time, it can wreck it. Additionally, it seems that some people have reported their compass becoming demagnetised when stored adjacent to something like a phone, headphones etc. though this appears less common. ...


14

They're absolutely NOT the same thing. The distance varies. But it's about 500 miles. (The North Pole: Location, Weather, Exploration … and Santa). 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. True north (Wikipedia)


13

GPS systems can, and do, work everywhere you can get satellites. The coordinate system -- or datum -- you choose to use should vary (even in the US) depending on the maps you are working with, your project needs, the area you are working in, or what the legacy system you are dealing with... In the history of map-making, a ton of different projections and ...


13

What you describe is exactly how it was done: Accurate measurement of distances and angles Obviously, measuring distances on flat ground is relatively straightforward: you use a known length measurement (perhaps a robe marked at known intervals); and to measure the distance to a distant point, use two points and a bit of geometry (Pythagoras is helpful ...


13

While Rory Alsop's answer points exactly to the method followed by cartographers and geologists before the invention of GPS and other modern techniques, I'd like to make a point that it was done with an assumption that they knew what altitude they are at and when you stand at planar location located from a mountain at a known distance and you can figure out ...


13

I wouldn't call it normal, but it does happen and if the bubble is large enough it will effect your accuracy. In that case you may want to purchase a new one or if possible send it back to the manufacturer. From Silva's FAQ page We intend that our compasses are free of bubbles; however, if a small bubble forms in the liquid-filled capsule, it has no ...


13

You need something else. You need a sextant and a marine chronometer (a fancy watch). The sextant measures the inclination of a star or the sun, and helps to determine latitude. Once you know that, using the chronometer and some additional trigonometry gives longitude. I do not know how to do either of these things, so here's some articles: Wikipedia's ...


12

Beyond the ones you have mentioned, there are, Solar Compasses The solar compass, a surveying instrument that makes use of the sun's direction, was first invented and made by William Austin Burt.1 Burt’s solar compass is a precision instrument made of brass with a solar attachment that allows surveyors to determine the true north direction by ...


12

The old style pocket compasses worked just like that. The problem: If you use a compass without using that arrow -- just using the degree marking on the dial, your error will about triple. If you hold a compass at waist level look down at it, and look up, you won't be looking the same direction. You can increase the accuracy by first pivoting your ...


11

Lensatic Compasses are often used by the military, because the are: Reliable Durable Compact Stealthy (more on this) The things that I would look for in a lensatic compass are: Solid outer casing Sighting guide with thin slot or notch Compass latching cover. Electrically buffered needle Some lensatic needles are buffered with oil, which can leak. ...


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