Compass - Map - Map & Compass

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by bgeddes, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

    441
    0
    0
    Compass - Map - Map & Compass do you know how to use them?

    When I refer to a map, I mean a topo map, not a Rand-McNally. Figuring out where I-80 and I-81 meet is not map skill.

    Just seems that with the availability of GPS units, folks no longer see a need for compass skills and the ability to utilize a topographic map. I think this is a mistake. Being able to move on without electronic devices could be a life saver.

    Certainly lots of folks, especially on this site, were in the Scouts or the military, but how many of us continue to practice the very basics of getting from point A to point B?
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    i keep em in my boat topo maps are handy for boating. i like em for hunting too. gps devices are da poop for outdoor sports. makes the mind weak and complacent.

    i got a gps for getting around cities and driving. but map and compass for boating hunting etc. i use a cammenga tritium compass they are my favorite.

    [​IMG]

    was introduced to land nav and orienteering in the army and i loved it. its stayed with me as a hobby.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,334
    190
    63
    Our oldest son had finished his Basic and Advanced tng in the USMC, and was home on leave. We were sitting out on the deck, sharing a beer. He said "Ya know, I feel a bit stupid. I thought EVERYONE'S dad taught them to use a compass and read a map!" I started him at 12 when we were hiking or hunting. When he hit Land Nav, he assumed that was a basic life skill, and maxed the course.

    Yes, I use a GPS when driving. It failed me last Tuesday- announced I had arrived at destination. At top of small mountain, when the town I was looking for was still 18 miles North, and in a valley by a river. Still keep a compass attached to my pack, and a smaller one in my pocket.

    Navigation truism- "If you should find that the map and the terrain disagree with each other, assume the terrain is correct."
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  4. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

    5,132
    1
    0
    Compass and map skills are much needed by myself.
     
  5. Troy Michalik

    Troy Michalik Is it Friday yet? Supporter

    2,455
    1
    0
    Hell yeah, I love orienteering! Take someone hiking that has no idea about it and they look at you like you've got two heads. And then are totally freakin amazed that you got them where you said you were going to get them.

    And don't even bring up declination.
    "What do you mean magnetic North isn't true North?" :eek:
     
  6. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

    7,141
    0
    0
    Since the advent of GPS, I've become fairly rusty on my dead reckoning and pilotage skills. But we are still checked regularly on whether or not we can find our way with a plotter, compass, and sectional map (think of topo for the air). But hey... that's why they print the names of towns on water towers in great big letters. And God forbid you are caught without your sectional maps if you lucky enough to get an FAA ramp check.

    Hand me a topo map and a compass, and I'm pretty confident I could find my way out of the wilderness. I'd like to have the GPS as well however. :eek:
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,334
    190
    63
    Scott- Just remember- IFR- I Follow Roads! Knew one gent getting ready for his first (low tech) night cross country flight. Marked the flight legs on his map (fly 185 magnetic until you get to drive-in theater, turn to 089, etc) He used a RED nylon tip pen.
     
  8. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

    7,143
    1
    0
    Us Air Force guys never had to trifle with this low tech crap. Unless you were a pilot, you stayed at the NCO Club while they were flying the mission. If you didn't drink, then the PX or Bowling Alley were acceptable hangouts. The streets were well lit with good signs which aided in basic navigation...:D
     
  9. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

    6,288
    8
    38
    It's been sometime, but I think I remember.
     
  10. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

    3,659
    0
    0
    Have basic compass and map skills.
    Bought a gps a couple years back and use the units topo map features a lot to get a compass bearing for where I want to get to on the display.
    Then I'll use a compass to maintain my bearing until I get to the peak, ridge, saddle or creek I'm heading to.
    Need to get a few waterproof maps for my hunting area in case the GPS and extra batteries go TU.
     
  11. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

    3,287
    0
    0
    Never learned how. I'm very interested in doing so. I definitely see it as a valuable resource if lost in the woods.
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,334
    190
    63
    Actually, the purpose is to KEEP from getting lost in the woods!
     
  13. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

    8,590
    2
    38
    My phone has GPS. What is this map and compass you talk about?
     
  14. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

    3,287
    0
    0
    Its pretty hard to get lost in the woods in the tri-state area. Keep walking in one direction for a day at most and you'll end up on a road/off road trail. 99% of the time, I bet I could tell you exactly which road I end up on.

    Still, I would like to learn this skill. I guess I'd have to find a survival school or something?
     
  15. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

    7,141
    0
    0
    Everybody makes that mistake once. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  16. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

    7,141
    0
    0
    The state requires a hunter education course which has a survival segment to it. Of course, it's taught as if you are in the Rocky Mountains.

    I leaned over to the guy next to me and said "Pay attention. The next time you wander out of the woods and don't recognize the 5 farm houses within a mile of you, this could just save your life."
     
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    13,934
    3
    0
    OMG I am lucky my wife does real good with a regular map and I am sure that she would do well with a topo map.

    I had a squad leader in the Army that couldn't nav his way out of the shower. We went and did a night land nav course as a squad and he got his group so lost we had to go find him. He was off his point by 4 miles. This was on West Fort Hood.

    If you look at a map of fort hood there are 2 roads around the impact area. East range Rd and West Range Rd. We had a dozer stationed on East Range Rd. While we are on call for range fires. He took one guy and a truck to pick it up one day. I get a call on the radio about 2 hours later. Hey can you tell young to come and get us we are lost. HE GOT LOST on FORT HOOD. I get to the truck and get out of my car. He jumps out of the truck and says look we are right here and the dozer should be here but I think some one stole it. REALLY who the hell steels a TAN D-7 dozer you stupid ass.

    I look at the map and it hits me. YES he had the damn map UPSIDE DOWN. I turn the map right side up and say here you are here dozer is there. Can you make it to the other side of the the post? I know it is hard.

    I won't even go into how bad he got lost every single day at Fort Irwin for NTC.
     
  18. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,334
    190
    63
    The GPS in the phone is nice- but the batteries don't go dead in the map.

    If you want to learn basic land nav, start by doing some reading. Get a decent compass (does not have to be a $400 surveyor's model, but more than a $1.98). You can get topo maps of the area where you live for US Geodetic survey, and learn about the map symbols (like contour lines, etc) Spend some time studying HOW to use a compass to set your route, and then go play.

    Good exercise for legs and brain.
     
  19. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

    8,358
    4
    0
    What he said. ^^^

    Also, pay close attention and search out obvious or natural topographical landmarks, climb a tree or get to higher elevation if needed, to orientate your map and you, especially if you become lost.
     
  20. wmille01

    wmille01 New Member

    508
    0
    0
    went backpacking with a group of guys down south we started in the parking lot and started walking through the woods. I was the only one sadly that actually know how to use a compass and map. Most of them didn't know how long one step was, it was fun but I was dissapointed.