How to use a compass without a map

Similar Posts


  1. Mr. Haines,
    So I have question related yet unrelated to the post. Not sure if you are a survivalist your self or have just researched this topic, but I am writing a book where my main character has settled herself deep in the woods. She uses a compass to mark her true cardinal points and I had made it to where she had pre-marked all the points by creating starting trails in each cardinal direction and ordinal point. Is this realistic or would these directions change due to declination or by moving from your starting point?
    Thank you, I would love some feedback to make my book as realistic as possible.


    1. If I understand your question correctly, your character need only take readings on entry and then follow these in reverse to exit. They can be time or distance (pacing) based readings.

      Declination will only change if she was in a different region or if significant time has passed (many years). Magnetic declination can change as little as 2-2.5 degrees over 100 years, depending on the distance of the location from the magnetic pole. Close to the pole, it can much more, but it will still take years to affect the reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *