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COMPASSES
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:22 am    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

ElyBoy wrote:
Is it me, or is everybody getting too complicated around here??? wtf wtf wtf
I should start a new post on what finger a guy should use to wipe his rear end.
I'll bet all of the rocket scientists will come out of the woodwork on THAT one. Pictures and all. Very Happy


Eric Confused Confused wtf wtf wtf Confused

Gidday Eric. Unfortunately mate, navigation is by its very nature a complicated subject. Having said that, you don't have to go into any real depth to have a basic understanding of the subject.

If you have a hankering to learn all about navigating with a map and compass then there is heaps of information available for you to educate yourself. Whilst in the Army I went into it in some depth because it is something that a soldier was required to know, but we still didn't cover every single part of the subject....there was plenty that went way beyond what we needed to know.

Just for the hell of it mate, do a little research on the subject. You will be surprised what there is that hasn't even been mentioned in this thread.

Now, as to your suggestion for a new thread.....:yuck: Yuck
I was always taught to use "date roll" or "butt fodder".....not a finger... although one day I just might tell you all about what to do if you only have one square of paper with which to do the "end of job paperwork". Very Happy

Cheers, Vince

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Because I worked for the U.S. Navy as a employee of a Navy contractor and had to operate small boats (24' work/tow boats and 36' oil skimmers) at sea out of sight of land My company sent me to a 2 week U.S. Coast Guard Navigation course. (a brag here) I finished 2nd in the class of 30 and the one that finished 1st got lost on his chart... Watchmaker...It wasn't, and isn't, that complicated...Charting courses just isn't that hard. In fact, it's quite simple. The only difference on land is you have contour to contend with which means a lot more course changes...Still...Not that complicated.

A straight edge and a protractor (or parallels) and a good chart or map and I can plot you to anywhere in the world you want to be. Once on the ground (or in a boat) all is needed is a fair to good compass (even the cheap ones point to magnetic north)...

Still...I do not take chart, map or a compass to the wilderness for my hunts or what ever I plan to do out there. I use my common sense, land marks and "dead reckoning"...

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Last edited by Bushmaster on Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Still...I do not take chart, map or a compass to the wilderness for my hunts or what ever I plan to do out there. I use my common sense, land marks and "dead reckoning...

I'm with you, Bushy. I was a professional surface navigator for many years. We had all sorts of hyperbolic electronic navigation systems, SATNAV, etc. I always double-checked them with my trusty sextant, and my margin of error was the width of my pencil point. More than once, I discovered location anomalies in the LORAN grid, and satellites have their issues too.

Unless I am navigating in a featureless environment on land, such as the Nunavik, I really don't feel the need to carry a compass. Common sense dictates that you mentally and/or physically identify your landmarks. Every woodsman should learn dead reckoning techniques. They can save your life.
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twofifty
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Watchmaker, thanks for starting this thread.

Speaking of navigating in Nunavik, I once flew in a DeHavilland Beaver rigged with a special bracket on the 'dashboard'. Pilot said this plane had been flown in the canadian Arctic before electronic nav aids. So the bracket had held a sighting instrument used in celestial navigation, i.e. plotting one's position at night by measuring angles off of the stars. Something like a sextant I guess, only you don't need to see the sun or the horizon. Now that's commitment to the art of navigation.

I've used GPS a few times. Trained by standing at known places (RR track and roadway intersections; bridges) and seeing if the GPS would yield MGR coordinates that matched the MGR coordinates of the topo map I had for the area.

Wow, the little eTrex said I was standing in the very spot where on the map the road crossed the tracks. Then I took three magnetic bearings off three known landmarks that also appeared on the topo, adjusted for declination...and sure enough, the three bearing lines triangulated right where the road crossed the tracks. Cool.

Under tree canopy, in the Rocky Mountains, GPS reception can be spotty at times, esp. when near cliff bottoms or in steep drainages. The game I now play is to plot my position on the map from magnetic bearings sighted off known (or inferred) landmarks, then try an confirm or disprove with the GPS. Works pretty well every time. Sometimes I can only get one mag bearing, but if it comes near my GPS fix, I feel confident enough. Another dimension is to learn to relate how the map countour proximity relates to the actual terrain on the ground...a useful skill to have when planning a practical/realistic route from the comfort of one's living room.

Another fun game in a familar or new area is to fix position by GPS from a tall vantage point...a ridge with 40 mile sightlines is awesome Smile , but smaller areas, even urban areas, work fine too. First, while in a known location, orient your topo with your compass. Then sight over the still oriented map, eyeballing from your known position on the map out toward a prominent landmark. That same landmark will be on the map, in the same line of sight. A mag bearing adjusted for declination should confirm that you've oriented the map properly in the first place, and that the actual landmark is the one you used when you first sighted/eyeballed over the map. It's also a great way to learn the names of mountains, passes, valleys, rivers and streams, and to understand how these landforms relate to each other both on the map and on the ground, from your particular vantage point.

Where I live the peaks run up to 10,000', so there is no shortage of amazing things to discover and relate back to the map. In big sky country, you can even do the above with a 1/250,000 scale map, provided it has a grid overlay. Anyhow, this is a great game for scouts, and is actually how I was taught in the first place. At another time, from a vantage point, show the scouts how the same landmark appears at the three most common scales for your area, then overlay that with a road map...a good way not so much to confuse them as to help them understand scale, contour intervals, and which map is best suited to what purpose.

Speaking of scouts, another game would be to have them orient a topo map by using the wristwatch trick, then ask them to identify known and new landmarks, by 'sighting' over the map. You could then have them point out several 'handrails' both on the map and on the ground. Then have them discuss and agree on a practical route from here to there, and why. Then go and do it as a group. This is a great introduction for novices, as the technique automatically takes care of declination, while making the point that a map and simple watch is enough for basic navigation. On the scouts' next outing, introduce them to compass work.

In familiar areas - or areas adjacent to familiar areas - usually observation and senses are enough, but I sure like knowing how to back myself up with facts, whether they be derived from a GPS or compass. The compass is on standby in my pack; the GPS I borrow when going to a new area. I hate that weird chilly feeling I get when I am disoriented. lol.

I have yet to learn how to go from waypoint to waypoint using GPS, prolly because the resulting collection of waypoints clutters up the screen and I have a hard time 'seeing' the resulting map (GPS I use does not hold topos).

Oh well, maybe the young'uns can teach this old dog new tricks.


Last edited by twofifty on Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:30 pm; edited 3 times in total
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twofifty
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Vince, I noticed from that image of an Aussie topo, that local magnetic declination is measured relative to mag and grid north.... Hmmm.

But the magnetic south pole is in Antartica, to your South. Hmmm again.

So then, if your compass needle points south... how does this all work out in your world, on the ground?
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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

twofifty wrote:
Vince, I noticed from that image of an Aussie topo, that local magnetic declination is measured relative to mag and grid north.... Hmmm.

But the magnetic south pole is in Antartica, to your South. Hmmm again.

So then, if your compass needle points south... how does this all work out in your world, on the ground?

Gidday mate.

The compass needle ALWAYS points North, regardless of where you are on Earth....unless of course you are right on the magnetic North Pole in which case they tell me that the needle will slowwly spin around and around and around and around Laughing

The only time you need to worry about what hemisphere you are in is if you are using the watch method of finding North or if you are using the stars.

Cheers, Vince

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twofifty
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:46 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Well I'll be dam'd!

Please help me out here Vince, as this news is counterintuitive to me. I want to understand this as much as possible. So here goes:

A few months ago, looking at a Nat. Geo. map of Antartica, I noticed the location of the south mag pole. The earth is a 'magnet', with the flux flowing/looping from the iron core out through both mag poles.

Over here, in Canada, travellers heading for the southern hemisphere are sold different mag compasses, suited for the southern hemisphere. It is said that our northern hemisphere compasses are not reliable 'down under'. Mebbe we're being taken.

Also, when we're travelling at the northern-most latitudes, near to or north of the N. mag pole, our compasses are useless, or so I am told. What happens is that the flux lines are actually drawing the needle tip down toward the ground, which prevents free needle rotation within the compass housing and screws up accuracy. I have been told this and have no personal experience of the phenomena. But that is one of the reasons why that Beaver aircraft had celestial nav instruments.

What date/time in the am is it right now where you're at? It's half past midnight (Mountain Time) on Oct. 18 here right now. Just curious...I'm not too good at time zones either. ;-)
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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:04 am    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

twofifty wrote:
Well I'll be dam'd!

Over here, in Canada, travellers heading for the southern hemisphere are sold different mag compasses, suited for the southern hemisphere. It is said that our northern hemisphere compasses are not reliable 'down under'. Mebbe we're being taken.

Also, when we're travelling at the northern-most latitudes, near to or north of the N. mag pole, our compasses are useless, or so I am told. What happens is that the flux lines are actually drawing the needle tip down toward the ground, which prevents free needle rotation within the compass housing and screws up accuracy. I have been told this and have no personal experience of the phenomena. But that is one of the reasons why that Beaver aircraft had celestial nav instruments.

What date/time in the am is it right now where you're at? It's half past midnight (Mountain Time) on Oct. 18 here right now. Just curious...I'm not too good at time zones either. ;-)

Time: Its 1650hrs on Thursday 18 October 2007...or in military DTG terms: 181650KOct07 (180650ZOct07). I am in the Kilo world timezone, which is 10 hours behind the Zulu timezone, or Greenwich Mean Time.

Now, the compass you guys are being sold in Canada.....I think someone is pulling your leg...having a lend of ya. The compass I use is a Silva:

Type 4 Silva Compass

I have been using this compass for about 20 years now. Silva compasses are made in Sweden which is in the Northern Hemispere, so as I said...someone is "having a lend of you".

Cheers, Vince

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twofifty
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Thursday afternoon then. ok.

Found a good Aussie govt. website and a Cambridge-UK site that were also saying that north is north, even down south. Like you said, those who buy these so-called southern hemishphere compasses are certainly being taken.

Sylva sure makes a great compass, very well featured and easy to use by all skill levels.

'Nite
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

If you really want to get complicated the Geographic North pole that kids know as "Santa Claus' home" isn't the Magnetic North pole. Antarctica where the penquins live down under which we know as the south pole (geographic south pole) is the REAL magnetic North pole. Laughing

As you can see in this picture the magnetic feild is alot like DC electrical current it travels from one magnetic pole to the other, so the needle will point North no matter where you are in the world because the feild goes from the magnetic north pole (or geographic south pole) to the Magnetic South pole (or geographic north pole). Smile



Dimitri

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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Navigation can get complicated Vince.
I used to do grid work with only a compass and a topo map for work on my Brush Cat, and the Forest Service.
But boy, guys can go nuts getting too complicated, with too many charts on how to navigate.
Just like Bushy says, no matter what kind of navigation a guy is doing, it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to get from point A to point B. Just use the tools and information that is there for you.
I don't think that Magellan needed all of the information on this post to navigate around the world.
If he would have had it, he would have been so confused, he most likely wouldn't have left home. wtf

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

ElyBoy wrote:
Navigation can get complicated Vince.
But boy, guys can go nuts getting too complicated, with too many charts on how to navigate.
Just like Bushy says, no matter what kind of navigation a guy is doing, it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to get from point A to point B.
Eric

Gidday Eric. I know what you are saying mate, and I believe that the info passed on by those that have posted here is good info.....but I think a lot of it has been lost in "the delivery"...it has been a little too verbose, however, it is all good and correct info.

You are quite correct in saying "it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to get from point A to point B", but it does take someone who knows how to use his chart/map and a compass. Case in point...give Bushy, or any of the other ex sailors here, a sextant and a big puddle and they are laughing...to them it would be second nature. Put the same tool in my hand and I wouldn't know how to hold it, which way was up or down, left or right, back or front. Laughing Laughing

Its the same with a Slide Rule.....give one to your kids and ask them to perform a calculation...they will look at you like you have three heads, but you wouldn't think twice about it.

All too often I have seen guys "following" a compass bearing, map in hand, beetling off into the bush and drifting off their bearing. A lot of people have a tendency to drift off to the left when following a bearing....watch someone next time you are out and see how many times they pass to the left of an obstacle or tree...I've done it Embarassed ...and a couple of degrees out on your bearing can put you out many hundreds of yards after a couple of miles.

Still if you know and trust your tools and how to use them and also your ability to use them, you shouldn't have too many problems.

Cheers, Vince

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

You have a few other items to contend with at sea...Wind drift and current drift besides changes in compass deviation because of the distances to be traveled at sea.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

Bushy,

Don't you also got to figure out longditidue that isn't done with the sextant as that figures lattitude ?? Confused

Dimitri

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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: COMPASSES Reply with quote

You are right on the money Vince.
My Dad was Navy just like Bushy, but never taught me about those type of navigation tools.
However, I was raised in the woods and sense I can remember knew how to read the maps, compass etc.
What is complicate for some, is just second nature to us guys who are used to individual types of navigation tools.

Hey guys, on a different topic, I just learned that I could shoot geese at 55+ yds. with a 28ga.
A guy SURE can learn a lot buy staying on the HuntingNut site. Very Happy Very Happy

Eric Angel Angel Angel

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