How to Read A Compass

How to Read A Compass

1. Hold your compass steadily in your hand so the baseplate is level and the direction-of- travel arrow is pointing straight away from you. Hold it about halfway between your face and waist in a comfortable arm position with your elbow bent and compass held close to your stomach. Look down at the compass and see where the needle points.

Compass 1
Compass 2

2. Turn your body while keeping the compass in front of you.

- Notice that as the compass rotates, the needle stays pointing the same direction.

- Keep turning until the needle points to East   on the compass like the picture below, keeping the direction-of-travel arrow    and North mark facing straight in front of you.

3. To find your direction, you must turn the compass dial until the North mark and the “Orienting Arrow” are lined up with the   North end of the needle. Then you can read the heading that is at the Index Pointer spot (the butt of the direction-of-travel arrow). 

Compass 3

Since the Orienting Arrow is usually two parallel lines on the floor of the compass housing, a good thing to memorise is: RED IN THE SHED