View Poll Results: Do you know how to use a map and compass?

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  • yes

    79 86.81%
  • no

    12 13.19%
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Thread: Do you know how to navigate with a map and compass?

  1. #1
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Default Do you know how to navigate with a map and compass?

    This question was posted in Mike Strahan's thread - It would be interesting to find out some 'unscientific' stats.

    It has been a while since I used a map and compass, but don't think it would take me long to get back on the bicycle. So I answered yes.
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  2. #2
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    YES!

    I grew up hunting in thick bush for whitetails and we always had a small compass that pinned on our chest.....a quick compass check on those cloudy days can be an eye opener as you realize you are not going where you thought you were going.

    Where I hunt in AK, I can usually see some landmark and easily determine my approximate whereabouts.

  3. #3
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Alaska makes for some interesting declination calculations, but it certainly is a valuable skill set that everyone should have and practice.
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    somthing good came from the ridicule and bruises that we received for wearing a boy scout uniform to a public high school

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Alaska makes for some interesting declination calculations, but it certainly is a valuable skill set that everyone should have and practice.
    What is the declination up here? I have some maps, I've ordered some compasses. I haven't looked up the declination yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    What is the declination up here? I have some maps, I've ordered some compasses. I haven't looked up the declination yet.
    I believe around the Anchorage area it is +17 degrees. Don't know if it is much different where you are at. NOAA used to have a website that would show the declination and inclination each year as it changes.

  7. #7
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    What is the declination up here? I have some maps, I've ordered some compasses. I haven't looked up the declination yet.

    Big state so the declination varies widely. Most the areas I spend time it it's 18-20 degrees, but you have to look it up for your area. More than enough to get you lost if you aren't accounting for it.

    Ironically, there are iphone apps for that. They work good too.

    Yk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    Big state so the declination varies widely. Most the areas I spend time it it's 18-20 degrees, but you have to look it up for your area. More than enough to get you lost if you aren't accounting for it.

    Ironically, there are iphone apps for that. They work good too.

    Yk
    Here is a pretty cool interactive map I just found that you simply click on a spot and it will give you the declination.

    http://www.magnetic-declination.com/

  9. #9
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    Short answer, Yes. I was traveling all over the north end of the KNW Refuge by snow machine for years before I finally got a gps. I still carry the maps and compass. They will get you out when the gps goes teats up.
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  10. #10
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    The only time you need to know what the declination is if you have a map you want to line up with true north. The map will tell you what the declination is so you don't have to look it up. If your wanting to set a bearing using the map you are going to need to know where you are on the map. In Alaska that can be a problem.

  11. #11
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    GPS is very nice but having a water proof Topo map in your day pack with a solid compass is the ticket.

    I taught 8th grade science up in Kotz for a long time and we had a unit every year on map/compass and finished off with a point to point geo cashing course and then brought out the GPS. Solid skill to have especially in the Arctic.

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  12. #12
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Here in the SE I have had 180deg changes by just taking one step forward. I have also stood on a few big rocks where the compass never quit moving.
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  13. #13
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    Smile What??

    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Here in the SE I have had 180deg changes by just taking one step forward. I have also stood on a few big rocks where the compass never quit moving.

    Stop shaking that K-Mart Compass!

  14. #14
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Interesting. Almost everyone is claiming to know how to use a map and compass, but I wonder that's due to to the vagueness of the question. Most people can generally read a map, and most people know that the needle points north(ish).... However, in my experience of hunting and traveling with a bunch of different people, very few people actually use a compass for point to point navigation (i.e. orienteering), or can locate themselves on a map using one.

    It has been my observation that most people use a map to navigate by terrain association, and perhaps the compass for general directional awareness. The skills to actually using the compass as a navigation tool seems much more rare than this poll appears to indicate.

    Yk

  15. #15
    Member GAredneck's Avatar
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    Was in the FFA back in high school and this was one of our regional competitions each year. We were given a map, compass and a few distances and headings to hidden stashes throughout a planted pine forest (if you've ever been in one of these you know EVERYTHING in every direction looks the same). If you knew what you were doing, you could be out in about 3-4 hrs. with all required items at the stash locations. Fastest time with all items won. I too believe this is a very important skill to have and have been teaching my boys the importance of this tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    What is the declination up here? I have some maps, I've ordered some compasses. I haven't looked up the declination yet.
    You can get a good variation from the aviation sites type in PAHC Holy Cross is 18E or +18

  17. #17
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    It has been my observation that most people use a map to navigate by terrain association, and perhaps the compass for general directional awareness. The skills to actually using the compass as a navigation tool seems much more rare than this poll appears to indicate.
    Perhaps the results are as they are because those folks like me who fit your above description aren't apt to reply lest we're made to feel like lesser woodsmen.

    I use a map just as you describe above, and I'll admit it, I almost never carry a compass. Recent discussion has been food for thought, and perhaps I should start carrying one in the future. That said, 95% of my hunting is high-country hunting where topography coupled with a map can solve 95% of navigation issues. Not claiming to be doing it right nor that I will never run into an unanticipated problem, but that has generally been my approach.

  18. #18
    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    Interesting. Almost everyone is claiming to know how to use a map and compass, but I wonder that's due to to the vagueness of the question. Most people can generally read a map, and most people know that the needle points north(ish).... However, in my experience of hunting and traveling with a bunch of different people, very few people actually use a compass for point to point navigation (i.e. orienteering), or can locate themselves on a map using one.

    It has been my observation that most people use a map to navigate by terrain association, and perhaps the compass for general directional awareness. The skills to actually using the compass as a navigation tool seems much more rare than this poll appears to indicate.

    Yk
    Good point. If you are "somewhere" on your map and have a compass and an altimeter, you can find your way back even in dense fog. Orienteering is a valuable skill.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    That said, 95% of my hunting is high-country hunting where topography coupled with a map can solve 95% of navigation issues. .
    The other 5% is when the fog moves in for days.....lol

    I can navigate somewhat with a map and compass. Even know how to triangulate. But I will admit I'm not near the know how of some of guys I've seen that REALLY know what they're doing. It really is quite an art when you get down to the nitty gritty.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  20. #20

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    I had to answer no, I never learned to navigate with one. My dad simply dropped me in a stand and told me to be back for dinner. So it would be a crap shoot for me, I would like to think I could figure it out??

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