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A compass is a necessity as part of your camping and hiking gear. Before you set out on your hike, you will need to adjust your compass to the correct magnetic declination of your hiking area. On your topographical map, find the magnetic declination information. This is usually indicated with two arrows: one signifying True North and one showing Magnetic North. Place your compass on your map, placing the heading arrow along the True North line. Turn the compass housing until it aligns with the Magnetic North line. Now turn your map until the compass is pointing North along the Magnetic North line. Now you will be aligned to True North.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|