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Comment Utiliser Une Boussole Militaire

How to use a military compass?

MILITARY COMPASS: A VERY PRECISE TOOL

A compass is one of the most essential tools if you are out hiking, in the forest, kayaking, on mountain bike trails, hiking in the mountains... When you leave your home, your city and go on adventurous trails, it is important to bring a compass to cover any unforeseen event, you never know...

There are many types of compasses, the most precise is the military compass . It is typically used like any traditional compass. Knowing how to use a military compass is essential if you are not trained in orientation with the stars or the sun.

Let's get back to our army compass .

MAGNETIC NORTH VERSUS TRUE NORTH

Before understanding a military compass , you must first know the difference between magnetic north and true north. The compass dial indicates two distinct norths. However, the needle never points to true north , which corresponds to the north pole.

Regardless of the direction of the compass, it always points toward magnetic north. So why are there two norths? In fact, the Earth is completely covered in a magnetic field which affects the direction of the compass needle. To complicate matters, the strength of the magnetic field on Earth is not the same.

If you don't make any adjustments beforehand, you will be tens or hundreds of meters from the reference point at the end of your route. However, this variation is negligible in Europe, so unless you are located in other regions outside of Europe, this parameter can be avoided.

Use a military compass

UNDERSTANDING THE COMPASS AND HOW IT WORKS

Reading any compass model is easy. As we said above, the pointer must point towards magnetic north. To differentiate from a pointer pointing towards magnetic north, you have to look at the color level.

The needle pointing north is generally red, always being the most visible, while the others are often the same color (white, black, etc.). Here is a tip for reading a classic compass:

Place the tool flat, moving it a little away from your body to avoid any interference with your equipment. Then you would just be looking at the most visible needle and where it is pointing. And here is the magnetic north and that without any map!

HOW TO READ A MILITARY COMPASS

You've been waiting for it all along, this is how you read a military compass.

Our military compass products

FIRST STEP : ALIGN STARTING POINT AND FINISH POINT

Maps are essential for knowing where you are and where you want to go. To do this, lay the map flat in front of you near the military compass. Make a landmark where you are (at the marker), name it A, and make another where you want to go by naming it B.

After that, look at your compass, the magnetic needle points you to north. Then slowly turn the compass until the directional arrow (the non-magnetic arrow) is aligned with the north indicated by the magnetic needle. You will then be sure of the direction to take. If the needle is between east and north, your direction is northeast.

Now observing the scale indicated by the pointer. Suppose you read the number 24, your heading will therefore be 24° North-East. There you are, almost ready to go.

Military compass for orientation

STEP TWO : CORRECTING THE MAGN ETIC DECLINATION

Assuming that you are in an area with a different magnetic field intensity, you will need to make some corrections to avoid deviating from your trajectory by several tens of meters.

To avoid complicated calculations, note that the magnetic north pole shows a difference of 11° from the geographic or north pole. In some regions this value can be doubled. This is why your map must show an indication of magnetic declination depending on the country.

STEP THREE : A REFERENCE POINT TO FOLLOW THE RIGHT PATH

Once you have found your bearing and made a declination correction, remember to maintain your position throughout your journey . Make sure the directional arrow and the magnet are aligned.

Using a military compass

Before moving, look at a distant object or tree on the trail, which will serve as a reference point. Once you arrive at this mark, you will need to find another point to better orient yourself and so on, it's a bit like steps.

FOURTH AND FINAL STEP: TRACE YOUR DIRECTION ON THE MAP

Before you can go in the direction indicated by the compass, you must mark it on the map. Simply place your military compass on the map and again make sure the red directional arrow is pointing true north. Then follow the direction of the arrow to mark a line in the direction you want to go.

The magnetic needle is always aligned with the directional arrows of the military compass. There are several markers on the map. Circle the three in your direction. They should be far enough apart to ensure that you are aligned in the correct direction . The marks on the edge of the compass (the sort of ruler) should extend over three large marks.

Here's a nice little video on how to use this unique tool:

To learn more about navigation with this extraordinary tool and a little about survival in hostile places, here is a little book dedicated to the subject.

IN CONCLUSION

By following each of these steps, you can be sure to find a path or landmark that will allow you to identify a location and head in the right direction. Presented in this way, these tips may be abstract for those who have never used a military compass. This is why it is advisable that you do a few tests before embarking on an adventure into unexplored territory to better master reading and using your military compass.

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