The compass makes it easier to navigate the terrain. With it, you can understand your location without using a map. The compass in the phone simplifies the task, it is always on hand: it works well, does not take up additional space in the luggage.
This material clearly explains the advantages and disadvantages of various measuring instruments, as well as an explanation of how to use the compass.
How to navigate with a compass
In the compass, the floating needle is magnetized. The red tip constantly points north. It doesn’t matter which way you turn the compass, the red arrow will still point north.
It responds to the earth’s magnetic field, electrical wires, railroad tracks, and other iron structures. Make sure that there are no objects within a radius of 50 meters that can distort the information received, and only then set the route.
Determination of the cardinal points
To find an application in your mobile phone, you need to go to the “Tools” or “Utilities” folder. Click on the compass icon. All is ready.
Instructions on how to use the compass correctly:
- Get out of the tent, open the compass and wait for the device to come to a state of static, since even minor vibrations can result in long hours of wandering through the forest.
- Wait until the blue arrow freezes, pointing to the North Pole, then think over the further road, focusing on the cardinal points.
On the compass, they are indicated as standard: above – North, below – South, on the right – East, on the left – West.
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Determining your current location
To understand the location, you need to have not only a compass, but also an application with maps in your phone. How to find them in a smartphone and learn how to use them – step by step below:
- On your phone, open an application with maps, it can be “Google Maps” or a built-in application called “Maps”.
- For orientation in the area in which there is no Internet, you must first download the offline maps of the area in the same application.
- Directly in an unknown place, you need to click on the location button in the corner of the screen.
- Then you can go, focusing on the compass and understand the symbols with your own hand. Or, in the lower right corner, click “Route” and select the “Walk” option.
- To start navigation, press “Start”. To stop or cancel navigation, you need to click “Close” in the lower left corner.
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Orientation without a map
If the phone is discharged, access to the map is closed, you will have to get out using orientation methods without additional devices:
- Looking at the sun
It rises in the east and sets in the west. By marking its position in the sky, we can get a rough idea of our location. In the northern hemisphere, the highest point of the sun on any given day is directly in the south.
- Watching the stars
In the northern hemisphere – the North Star. She orients to the north. To find it, they look at the Big Dipper – this is a bright star formation in the shape of a curved “handle”.
Follow the line between the outermost two stars (on the right side) of the Big Dipper up the path, you will see the North Star. In the southern hemisphere, you need to focus on the Southern Cross (a set of stars in the shape of a cross). If we draw an imaginary line from the top of the cross to the base and continue it 4.5 times, this conditional parallel will be directed to the south. In this way, other cardinal points can be determined.
- Use water bodies
Water bodies, in the language of navigation, are known as “handrails”. They can be used as handrails to help climb or descend stairs to guide a person parallel to the desired course of travel.
If you know where the lake or river is in relation to other objects on the ground, you can follow their edge in the direction you want to go, or use it as a guide when trying to get to the nearest object. Small streams on the slopes of the mountains are perhaps even more useful, especially when hiking in poor visibility conditions and when trying to go downhill.
Water flows down to join other water sources. Thus, if you happen to find a small stream on the side of a mountain, it will lead to another, lower river or lake. It is not for nothing that even small lakes and streams in the mountainous area have names. In most cases, they have historically been used as landmarks to aid navigation. Before setting off, you need to learn the names and shapes of these streams, as well as their location.
How to use the compass on your phone
On Android phones, you can download various compass apps from the Google App Store, as there is no factory app. Such utilities are more likely to display a numeric “degree”. They use different methods of calculating direction than hand compasses. Due to the fact that all the micrometals and magnetic components are already inside the phone, the device cannot rely on a suspended mechanical magnet to take readings.
Smartphones are equipped with three digital sensors that measure different types of information:
- magnetometer – for detecting the Earth’s magnetic field;
- accelerator – to measure speed and changes in movement;
- a gyroscope that measures position based on gravity.
All three sensors collect different data to help the phone determine whether you are standing or lying down, and how the phone tilts when you hold it. The small bits of data collected from these sensors are fed into an algorithm that mathematically calculates the final compass reading.
To use the compass on your phone, you need to download any application from Google Market in advance. In a situation when you need to navigate the terrain, open the application, it shows a virtual compass, but it looks the same as a classic one. You need to look at the arrows and determine the side of the world in which you are. It’s that simple.
Tip : When hiking, a portable external battery will not be superfluous. Help out with a few servings of food when gadgets need recharging.
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How to use a compass on an iPhone
All iPhones are equipped with a digital compass app. Before you start working with it, you need to calibrate: go to “Settings”, find and launch the “Compass” icon. Perform actions suggested in the application away from power lines, microwave ovens, etc. When the phone vibrates – calibration is complete, a notification will be displayed on the screen.
Now you can get to work:
- the screen will show “magnetic” North;
- a white line will show the current direction;
- At the bottom of the screen there will be degrees and cardinal points;
- it is worth putting the compass in the right direction and clicking on the screen. Now you can walk with confidence that you will not go astray. The application will beep if the owner of the phone went in the wrong direction;
- to remove a direction, you need to tap on the screen.
The electronic device can be used with Apple or Google maps. To do this, in any maps, you need to click on the geolocation option several times.
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How to use the compass on your smartwatch
A smartwatch with a built-in compass sensor is more of a necessary accessory than a serious device for tourism. But it has advantages that should be considered by lovers of cycling in the vicinity, mushroom pickers, lovers of recreation in places where there is no Internet. Main advantages:
- no need to take an additional compass device;
- there are many additional functions in the smart watch;
- they are always on hand;
- Internet is not needed to use various utilities.
Let’s look at how to use a compass in a smartwatch using the Apple Watch as an example . The following is required:
- find in the utilities an application with a compass icon, which is appropriately signed, and click on it;
- position the device parallel to the ground and align it centrally;
- turn the wheel on the clock up;
- use the “add magnetic heading” option to calculate the part of the world you are in;
- turn the clock in the indicated direction, which is highlighted on the screen.
- confirm – “Done”;
- then you can look at this compass and use it in the same way as a standard wearable device.
The heading is cleared by turning the wheel up and the “Clear magnetic heading” option.
If you are going to use your smartwatch as a compass, do not forget about calibration, with which the device will more clearly calculate the cardinal points and directions. Also, if there are metal elements in the strap, the data may be slightly distorted.
The pros and cons of each type of device are rather subjective. It is advisable to have the entire kit in order to feel as confident as possible in any situation.
But it is not always possible to take the whole kit, so let’s consider a comparison of a compass in a smart watch, smartphone and a standard unit.
|Compass||Complete independence from chargers, batteries, etc.||Reaction to metal structures and products located near the device|
|He doesn’t care about the weather conditions.|
|Can be used anytime and anywhere|
|Telephone||The most accurate determination of coordinates.||Energy dependence.|
|The ability to receive additional data without the need to use other means.||High risk of application crash when there is no internet connection.|
|Internet independence||Dependence on weather conditions|
|Smart watch||Always in sight.||Dependence on energy sources.|
|Convenient to use if your hands are busy.||Small display.|
|Does not depend on weather conditions, works correctly in the rain||Questionable level of reliability of the data obtained|
Now, knowing the basics, you can figure out what type of device is needed and how to use the compass correctly. But it is better to take several devices on the road, because these are all equipment, sometimes it breaks down. Also, it will not be superfluous to be able to navigate by the stars, sun and water. After all, you never know what awaits next.