Compass Tips: Bearing It All
Just to be safe, keep that compass handy.
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Even though most orienteers don’t use high-tech compasses, that doesn’t mean you should abandon yours. At times, you’ll need compass-reading skills, including:
- When hiking in dense, trail-less forests
- When snow or fog obstruct your view of landmarks
- While hiking on a landscape such as the prairie, which has no obvious geographic features or elevation changes
- When in remote, seldom-visited areas (especially in Canada and Alaska), where topo maps may be inaccurate and getting lost could be fatal
- Trail-less areas for which you can only get dated (pre-1975) topo maps, which often have irregularities that could steer you wrong if you’re navigating only by landmarks