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Use of Compass






Category: Ii Woodcraft

Should you be on the trail and sudden storm-clouds appear, the sun
cannot help you find your way; the shadows have gone. Moss on
tree-trunks is not an infallible guide and you must turn to the compass
to show the way, but unless you understand its language you will not
know what it is telling you. Learn the language before going to camp; it
is not difficult.

Hold the compass out in a _level position_ directly in front of you; be
_sure_ it is level; then decide to go north. Consult the compass and
ascertain in which direction the north lies. The compass needle points
directly north with the north end of the needle; this end is usually
black, sometimes pearl. Let your eye follow straight along the line
pointed out by the needle; as you look ahead select a landmark--tree,
rock, pond, or whatever may lie in that direction. Choose an object
quite a distance off on the imaginary line, go directly toward it, and
when intervening objects obscure the landmark, refer to your compass. If
you have turned from the pathway north, face around and readjust your
steps in the right direction. Do not let over two minutes pass without
making sure by the compass that you are going on the right path, going
directly north.



Practise using the compass for a guide until you understand it; have
faith in it and you may fearlessly trust to its guidance. Try going
according to various points of the compass: suppose you wish to go
southeast, the compass tells you this as plainly as the north; try it.
Naturally, if you go to the southeast away from camp, returning will
be in exactly the opposite direction, and coming back to camp you must
walk northwest. After learning to go in a straight line, guided entirely
by the compass, try a zigzag path. A group of girls will find it good
sport to practise trailing with the compass, and they will at the same
time learn how to avoid being lost and how to help others find their
way. It is possible to





Next: Make a Compass of Your Watch

Previous: Wind



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