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Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

By Simon Colley


Navigating in very windy, snowy or wet conditions can make things more tricky. Here are a few tips I use to help our students improve their technique.


Tip One

Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

When you.re taking a bearing try to create a stable platform for the map by kneeling or bending down and using the front of your thigh as a table.


Tip Two

Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

If it's really windy, or your compass keeps icing up, consider getting inside a bothy bag or group shelter to take that crucial bearing ... and recover for a bit!


Tip Three

Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

In wet conditions it can be hard to accurately line the edge of your compass along your chosen bearing on the map. Try using the long black lines marked inside the base-plate to increase accuracy.


Tip Four

Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

Walking on a bearing in wild weather can be tricky. Make the compass part of your body by locking it in place with your arm. Instead of turning the compass around with your hand, turn your body with the compass so you are pointing the right way. Imagine you have a laser guided sight that draws a line down between your eyes, through the centre of your body and along the ground. Where the laser hits a distinguishable rock or ripple in the snow use this as your point to walk to. Put the compass in your pocket and walk to the point.


Tip Five

Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

Using two points one in the middle distance and another beyond that means you can line them up a bit like sights on a gun to gain even more accuracy.

Using two points one in the middle distance and another beyond that means you can line them up a bit like sights on a gun to gain even more accuracy




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