Compass

Tactical Gear – Compass, Survival & Mapping

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Backpacking, Compass | Comments Off on Tactical Gear – Compass, Survival & Mapping

Tactical Gear – Compass, Survival & Mapping

Understanding how to use basic navigation is extremely important when you are starting your backpack adventure, without proper navigation tools, you may lose your trail. Therefore, navigation gear is crucial for any serious exploration.
Understanding Your Map
The topographic map is the basic and the most important tool that you need to understand if you want to have a successful trip. Travel manuals often have a simple map that shows tracks over plain land. Such map comes in many different shapes and sizes, giving you comprehensive information about the area you’ll be traveling to. From other side, a detailed topographical map is a useful tool that will help you to route in the wilds; it is much more detailed, accurate and it provides an altitude outline of an area.

A single contour line marks a given elevation on a map, so the proper way of reading topographic maps is in small lines that cover the whole map, contour lines.

Because contour lines signify various elevations points, they never intersect, but if you travel along the elevation, you will come to a new contour line that signifies another elevation on a map.


Understanding Your Compass
Even if you plan on staying on track for your complete trip, knowing how to use a compass can be very helpful. Your compass is a very important tool that you should use with your map to help you locate yourself in the wilderness. You will need to understand the basic parts of a compass if you wish to learn how to use it properly. The needle always points towards North and the dial is a circular part on top of the compass that spins. Orienting lines are on a back and spins when a dial spins. The Index lines or degree lines are the marks around the dial, and the direction of travel arrow is the direction that you go after you’ve taken your compass bearing.


Finding Your Current Location with a Compass
Here is a handy technique that you can use for your backpacking trips. If you need to find your exact location by using only topography clues around, you should use survival method called triangulation or line location. In the first step, just take your compass and point at the first prominent feature that is also on your map with the direction of travel arrow pointed that feature, turn dial into the North.

To use your device, you will need to find several large objects in the landscape like a hill, mountain or high rock, that are also on your map. In next step, take a compass and place it on the map, line up the edge of your compass with the object that you just pointed out.

Then, twist your compass on the orienteering lines, line up directly with the north lines on a map and use a marker to draw a straight line. Repeat the process with other chosen objects and the spot where all three lines are intersecting will mark the exact position on a map where you are standing.

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