FYA Basics: Setting a Compass Bearing

If you've never done it before, using a compass might seem like a thing that only mountain gurus and magicians can do - we've made it easy for you right here:

Setting a Bearing  

  1. Find your position on the map.
  2. Find your next intended position on the map 
  3. Lay the compass on the map and align the baseplate to connect the two positions (use the long lines shown on the baseplate) 
  4. Rotate the bezel so that the N arrow points in the same direction as Grid North 
  5. Adjust for MAGNETIC DECLINATION - check here for how to do this 
  6. Without moving the bezel, hold the compass out in front of you,  with the direction of travel arrow pointing away from you.  
  7. Holding the compass in position, rotate YOURSELF until the needle settles inside the N indicator. 
  8. Keeping the needle inside the N indicator, walk until you reach your next intended location. 

There's also a video up on our YouTube Channel which will help you get to grips with this absolutely essential skill...  we've embedded it right here for your convenience...

Now, the above assumes that you have a basic knowledge of map reading.  If you don't, then please check our FYA Basics topics list for our posts on map reading and navigation - coming soon.