Compasses

Compasses

A compass and map are essential for any hiker. Even if you own a walking GPS, it’s always best to carry around a map and a compass to ensure that you have a backup for if your battery dies. At Decathlon you’ll find a range of compasses from novelty keyring compasses through to an orienteering compass.

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Many people rely on a walking GPS nowadays, but they aren't a substitute for traditional maps and compasses in outdoor navigation. This is firstly because to use a GPS successfully, you still need to have a reasonable understanding and experience of map reading and navigation. And secondly, a GPS can’t be relied upon, especially in remote areas where accurate navigation is critical. You may lose signal in particular conditions, or the batteries may run flat. So it's always a good idea to carry a map and compass in your hiking rucksack as a backup, just in case.

HOW DO YOU USE A SET OF COMPASSES?

While there are a number of helpful videos online about how to use a compass, many people still use this as an excuse not to use a traditional map and compass. So let’s take a look at the features of a compass to help you understand what it is and how to use it.

Baseplate: This is the plastic base of the compass.Compass Dial / Compass Wheel: Shows the N, E, S, W compass points and will have 360 degrees marked in 2 degree increments.Magnetic Needle: The needle in the centre of the compass with a red arrow for north and white arrow for south.Compass Lines / Orienteering Lines: The lines marked on the bottom of the baseplate.Orienteering Arrow: The fixed arrow within the compass dial that always points north.Direction of Travel Arrow: The large arrow at the end of the baseplate.Index Line: Used to extend the direction of travel arrow.Romer Scales: Map scales 1:25 000, 1:50 000 and metric measure.

Orienteering is a fantastic sport and hobby for those interested in navigation. It involves your OS map and compass and moving from point-to-point using purely your navigational skills. And there are events for running, walking, and more. At Decathlon, you’ll find an orienteering compass to get you started.

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