Using Your Map and Compass

Troop 175 Foster City

Topographical Maps

Topographical Map Info

Map Contour Lines

Contour Lines

Determine Land Shape

More About Contours

Map Symbols

Symbols and Colors
Black - man-made features such as roads, buildings, etc. Blue - water, lakes, rivers, streams, etc. Brown - contour lines Green - areas with substantial vegetation (could be forest, scrub, etc.) White - areas with little or no vegetation; white is also used to depict permanent snowfields and glaciers Red - major highways; boundaries of public land areas Purple - features added to the map since the original survey. These features are based on aerial photographs but have not been checked on land.

Topographical Map Symbols
Railroad Large Falls/Rapids Mine Woods

Topographical Map Symbols
Trail Campground / Picnic Area Small Falls/Rapids Glacier

Topographical Map Symbols
Scrub Highway Lake Sand

What Can YOU Tell From a Map?

Your Compass

The Basics!

The first thing you need to learn are the directions.
North South East West

Look at the figure and learn where they are. North is the most important.

Parts of the Compass

The compass needle. On some compasses it might be red and white for instance, but the point is, the red part of it is always pointing towards the earth's magnetic north pole.

Parts of the Compass

The Compass Housing. On the edge of the compass housing, you will probably have a scale. From 0 to 360 degrees. And you should have the letters N, S, W and E for North, South, West and East.

Example “I want to go northwest”

You find out where on the compass housing northwest is. Then you turn the compass housing so that northwest on the housing comes exactly there where the large direction of travel-arrow meets the housing.

Example “I want to go northwest”

Hold the compass flat in your hand so that the compass needle can turn. Turn yourself, your hand, the entire compass, just make sure the compass housing doesn't turn. Turn it until the compass needle is aligned with the lines inside the compass housing.

Let’s Do It!
Stand up Using your compass as an aid, move five paces to the southwest Go 3 paces to the east Travel 5 paces to the northeast Now go 3 paces to the west. Sit down

Let’s Do It!
It is extremely important that the red, north part of the compass needle points at north in the compass housing. If south points at north, you would walk off in the exact opposite direction of what you want! And it's a very common mistake among beginners. So always take a second look to make sure you did it right

A second problem might be local magnetic attractions. If you are carrying something of iron or something like that, it might disturb the arrow. Make sure there is nothing of the sort around.

Using Your Map AND Compass Together

Using the compass with a map
Align the edge of the compass with the starting and finishing point

Using the compass with a map

• Rotate the compass housing until the orienting arrow and lines point N on the map. • Rotate the map and compass together until the red end of the compass needle points north. • Follow the direction of travel arrow on the compass, keeping the needle aligned with the

Keeping a Bearing
Hold the compass in your hand, with the needle well aligned with the orienting arrow. Then aim in the direction the direction of travel-arrow is pointing. Fix your eye on some special feature in the terrain as far as you can see in the direction. Then go there. Be sure as you go that the compass housing doesn't

Keeping a Bearing
Winter conditions can make things a lot worse, when there is snow on the ground. The fog is white (or grey), the snow is also white. Then aim in the direction the direction of travel-arrow is pointing. Fix your eye on some special feature in the terrain as far as you can see in the direction. Then go there. Be sure as you go that the compass housing

Measuring the Height of a Tree
Extend your arm holding a pencil until it is appears to be the same height as the tree

Measuring the Height of a Tree
Rotate the pencil 90 degrees Pick out an object on the ground

Measuring the Height of a Tree
Have a friend “pace out” the distance.

Measuring the Distance Across a River
B Take a bearing across the river (AB) Add 90 degrees to it (AB+90) (AC) Subtract 45 degrees (CB) Walk AC until you reach C (Bearing CB) Count paces back to A

A

C

Magnetic Declination
Align

Compass Links

http://www.learn-orienteering.org/old/lesson1.html http://www.trailsillustrated.com/skills/ http://www.cis.ksu.edu/~dha5446/topoweb/guide.htm http://www.ghosttowns.com/topotmaps.html

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