Finding North

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 I randomly pulled a book from my outdoor library and found a section on back country travel and survival.   My book was printed in the late 1950’s.  To say Tt was dated is obvious.

I skimmed through the navigation section and began to read about determining True North.

I soon began a discussion of using the north star to find True North.  Nice idea but finding True North is a challenge.  The north star doesn’t stand out as some material would have your think.  Weather can have a huge impact on locating that star.

My reference talks about determining declination by comparing magnetic north with the bearing of the north pole.

Interesting idea but it’s a bit tedious.

Let’s keep this simple.

First, lets start with a quality adjustable magnetic compass.  I’d suggest that the hiker consider the Silva Ranger 5/15 or one similar by Brunton or Suunto.  These are frequently found at REI, Cabala’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Second, determine the coordinates of the area that that one will travel through.

Third, visit www.magnetic-decllination .com.  The hiker will find lot of options but the key thing one is looking for is the declination of the area to be traveled through. One can enter Latitude an Longitude of the area or a noun name like Bend, Oregon.

Read the compass manufacturer’s instruction  and adjust the compass as directed to find north.

Take a look at my post about buying a compass.Buying a Compass