Turning or orienting the map | Steve Gurney

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Turning or orienting the map

Orienting your map with a compass

Chapter 4 - Orienteering and Navigation

G'day!  Steve Gurney here - Beginner's Guide to Adventure Sport - Chapter 4 - Orienteering and Navigation

So this video is about how to orient your map using your compass.

Using the terrain to orient your map

So first of all, we need to point out that you don't always need to use your compass to orient your map.  If you can see the terrain around you, you know how to read your map.  Then you can look at these features and you say, "Oh look, there's a trail there, there's the big peak over there, there's a creek there. And you can line your map up and figure out where you want to go from there.  

However, sometimes if there's a forest around you, or a fog, you might need to use your compass to orient it.  Sooooo we'll show you how to do it!

Rotate the map until the magnetic north lines line up with your magnetic compass needle

So remember in the other video, we drew magnetic north declination lines on our map?  Makes it really easy if we've got that on our map.  So, all we need to do is line up this magnetic needle with those lines that we drew on there.  So the way we do that... is hold the map and just rotate until - there you go - so we've rotated the map until those lines are lined up with the magnetic needle.

A trick for beginners, sometimes it's a bit confusing, you think "How do I get that needle to rotate?"  You don't, you can't - it'll always point to magnetic north.  So put the compass on the map and then rotate yourself until it lines up.

Tip for beginners: Make sure your map is the right way up!

Make sure you've got your map the right way up - it's not 180 degrees out - that's why we point those arrowheads on there.  Or remember you can use the words on there - they'll always be the right way - facing for north. 

Magnetic north is 23 degrees east of grid north in New Zealand

I hear you ask - "What if our map has no magnetic declination lines - just grid north?"  That's OK, all we to do is make a compass adjustment.  So remember in New Zealand, magnetic declination is 23 degrees to the east of grid north.  That's all right, so we need to adjust our bezel so we have 23 degrees subtracted from 360, which is 337.  And so I set 337 on my bezel, and then I simply line up the edge of my baseplate compass with grid north, and then we rotate the whole lot until... the magnetic needle is in line with the bezel arrow.  And there it is!  The map is oriented for North.