Technique Sheet 1
TAKING A BEARING
- Align the edge of the compass along the line on the map you wish to take.
- Rotate the compass dial so that the lines on the dial are parallel with the north lines on the map.
- Remove the compass from the map. Hold at right angles to your body, and move your whole self around until the needIe lines up with the lines on the compass dial. You are now facing in the right direction.
RUNNING / WALKING ON A BEARING
- Obtain direction as above.
- Estimate distance to run, (or use ruler scale on edge of compass to measure the distance on map) and calculate how many paces are needed.
- Look along the direction indicated by the main arrow on the compass. Pick an object eg tree, hedge on your line of sight.
- Without looking at your compass. run / walk to chosen object, counting paces and checking off features on the map as you go. Repeat process until correct distance is covered. You should have reached your destination!
- It is difficult to run accurately on a bearing over long distances. Navigate using features to a suitable attack point to take a bearing from.
- Many people find that they always veer off course in the same direction. Do you end up to the right or the left?
- Following bearings diagonally across hillsides is more difficult than on the flat and requires extra care.
- Magnetic north lines are shown on orienteering maps so no correction is required.
- When running along an obvious feature eg a path, it is important to use the compass to check you are travelling in roughly the right direction. This can prevent 90 and 180 degree errors.
Written by Carol Whitworth, published in PACEMAKER, January 1999, Issue 70, Page 20.