In the olden days, people did not have the luxury of utilizing a GPS to get around. They had to rely on other methods such as pendulum clocks or chronometers to navigate, but one of the most commonly used tools was the compass. Overtime, the compass has greatly advanced and is still continuously used up till today. Although it may look like an intimidating piece of equipment to use, but learning how to use compass in Malaysia is easy as ABC. Below are simple steps to use a compass.
It is always a good idea to first familiarize the various parts of the compass you are working with. At least get a rough understanding of what the lines on the compass mean and also why does it turn a certain way. This will enhance the learning process, making it easier to grasp the idea of utilizing a compass. Always begin with a starter compass if possible as it serves as a great introduction as a hobby, sport or overall enjoyable activity. The learning process can also be enhanced with the combination of a topographic map which is also known as the Silva System. The method is straightforward and suitable for any beginner.
Getting from one place to another might not be easily done in one go, so it is best to break the journey down into manageable sections. Start by setting the edge of the base plate of your compass on the map. This serves as a line connecting your current position to the location you wish to go. It basically draws an invisible line between the two locations.
Utilise the cardinal direction on your map as an indicator while setting your compass to the letter “N” which can be done by manually rotating the dial. Once the “N” on the compass lines up with the cardinal direction on the map, you should be able to locate the compass rose signifying which way is which.
The compass should be held flat in front of you, while making sure the direction of the travel arrow points straight ahead. Keep an eye on the magnetic needle as you rotate the compass. Stop rotating once the red end lines up exactly with the orienting arrows. The exact direction that you would want to go will be pointed by the travel arrow. To determine whether the direction you are going is correct, look out for landmarks that stand out. Once you have reached the landmark, you may repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach your final destination.
Although the Silva System is one of the simplest methods of using a compass, there is one detail that you should not miss out. The magnetic needle will always point to North, but North itself is not a fixed, immovable point.