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 ...


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 ...


37

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 ...


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. ...


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 ...


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

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

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

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

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 reference to ...


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

Yes, there are certainly areas where there magnetic anomalies. There is on in the Kursk area of Russia that is caused by a very large iron deposits. There is also one in Africa that they are not certain of the cause, but the effect on a person's compass is described as, “If you were on the ground there and you had a magnetic compass, you’d need to correct ...


11

There are some very crude outdoor compasses which tell us the direction of true north (and assume we can estimate angles from north). The following also assume we're in the northern hemisphere. A sun-stick-shadow compass: If the sun shines, place a vertical stick in the ground. Every 15 minutes or so, mark the end of the stick's shadow. The line of shadow ...


11

What is dead reckoning? Dead reckoning is the skill of moving along a specific bearing for a specific distance - eg, to walk 350 meters on a 25 degree bearing - without reference to any major feature in the landscape. When is dead reckoning required? The foundation of land navigation is the attack point, a term borrowed from orienteering. Basically, this ...


11

The typical protractor-style compass is an optical compass. To shoot an azimuth with it you align marks on the compass and read the bearing off the dial. The other varieties have a sighting wire which is placed over the target and a separate mechanism to help reading the bearing. The primary advantage is accuracy because the bearing can be read while ...


10

Adjusting Declination According to the maker that compass has "tool-less declination compensation" - so you should be able to correct that for local magnetic declination The video on their webpage shows how to make the adjustment - it looks like you apply pressure to the top and twist. For comparison, my old Suunto has a small brass-coloured screw on the ...


9

The topics of navigation and cartography are two sides of the same coin, and there are entire books written about each. It is interesting to study the history of cartography because it very graphically shows the corresponding improvements in navigation over time. In order to make an accurate map, you need to know first where you are making your ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


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