There are two ways to use a compass, first taking a bearing from the ground and the other taking a bearing from a map. In this section, we will talk about taking a bearing from the ground. This is particularly useful if you are aiming for something that isn’t always in view. This is called a Direct Bearing.

It helps to have a steady hand when using the compass so it can often make sense to adopt the Brace Position to ensure you have a firm platform to use a compass from.

How to take a Direct Bearing

Step 1: Point the Direction of travel arrow on the compass towards the feature you are aiming for.

Step 2: Let the compass needle float and put your head directly over the compass to avoid error.

Step 3: Rotate the compass housing so that the north(red side) lines up with the red alignment lines.

Step 4: Read the bearing at the compass index, this is the bearing you should be following to get to the feature.

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