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Use of Compass

Categories: 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_ dire
tly 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