Observations in the Natural World

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January 17th, 2020 at 4:40:56 PM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 22
Posts: 4564
Quote: odiousgambit
why I didn't watch this video  "how to use a compass"


I got to the the intro which indicated it would cover 4 subjects, saw what they were, shook my head, and didn't go further. Why? The title suggests of course that this is what a person new to all this is going to need to know. OK, I have to admit I'm long irritated about the kind of directions you generally do get, to begin with. The bottom line is for most people in most situation you do not need to be an expert with the compass who can take a topographical map and triangulate off mountain peaks etc. For one thing, unless you're in the Rockies or something, all that crap is near useless instantly. 


The 4 subjects


1] parts of a compass ....... well, OK, no harm in knowing this *except* it probably creates instant intimidation


2] setting declination .......... in 99.9% of situations: only an experienced outdoorsman needs to deal with declination


3] taking a bearing from a map .........  yep you better have some peaks around and find a spot where you can see them. Now, I live in the Blue Ridge mountains area and I have to tell you I'd be in big trouble if I had to start taking bearings from a map


4] taking a bearing in the field .... see #3


The fact of the matter is most of the time situational awareness is the key to making your way in the wilderness, and is the first thing someone new to a compass needs to get down. In this case, situational awareness about directions as you start out. If you are going to be hiking into deep wilderness, yeah, time to get more into 'expert' or 'experienced' and believe me by then using a compass is second nature. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cF0ovA3FtY
I remember when there were orienteering competitions "back in the day", when I first started out I had this exact compass being used in your link. Elk, deer and mushroom hunting in the PNW prior to cheap and good gps, made orienteering familiarization fun for me. The way she tells it, makes it seem confusing.

IDK why, but recently I saw this youtube video https://youtu.be/UVJVZtLmAb4 , and I have never seen it laid out so simply in such a short time. And I have studied and tested for navigation. Funny how when someone really really understands something, they can tell it so easily.

Unless I order charts from the www or find a map store, I find it hard to locate good maps, or street maps anyway. Not like the old days when every gas station gave them away.

If one is out in the forest of the PNW, in a short time it is easy to recognize the "5 sisters", Mt.'s, St. Helens, Hood, Ranier, Adams and Mt. Baker. Combining that and knowing "down is out", It doesn't take a long time to be comfortable outdoors.
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
January 18th, 2020 at 5:42:24 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
well, I have to admit I'm *assuming* these videos are aimed at "beginners" [though the second one does say so] and not someone looking to go to the next level, which is what they seem like to me.

One of the important things to get down first is how to make sure you are not getting a false reading due to the needle getting stuck because you are not holding it level. How's that for 'beginner'

PS: finished the video from 'stalker' and it's OK, but if it were me I'd sure show a newbie something simpler to start, and maybe that's because I started out with cheap, simple compasses you just had to look at and decide if you can follow a direction or not with just that needle, you know
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
January 18th, 2020 at 8:59:12 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 59
Posts: 7490
it is also matter of knowledge versus instruments. Some examples:
The pilot whose gyroscope failed ever so slowly rather than with a loud "clunk": he had been on an erratic course over the ocean for hours, he had to really know how to navigate his way to land.

The Qantas pilots who had to use a sextant and do twenty minutes of math rather than press a button and get the answer instantly, it kept them mentally in the loop instead of getting complacent in the cockpit.

The first time deck-hand on a yacht whose two-day shakedown cruise wound up at an island 300 miles from their intended destination because the Captain was a lousy navigator. She was so embarrassed she chose to really learn celestial navigation and then used those skills when a hurricane dismasted and capsized her in the middle of nowhere.

The sailors who really learn how to sail because they have no life raft, no radio and no engine available to them when in tight places. They have to do everything themselves, do it on time and do it right or else they drown.

So I would say learn the map and compass skills, even if you have a GPS and the glow of a shopping center available to you. You never know when you might find yourself suddenly in "the outback".
January 18th, 2020 at 10:08:52 AM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 22
Posts: 4564
Quote: odiousgambit
well, I have to admit I'm *assuming* these videos are aimed at "beginners" [though the second one does say so] and not someone looking to go to the next level, which is what they seem like to me.

One of the important things to get down first is how to make sure you are not getting a false reading due to the needle getting stuck because you are not holding it level. How's that for 'beginner'

PS: finished the video from 'stalker' and it's OK, but if it were me I'd sure show a newbie something simpler to start, and maybe that's because I started out with cheap, simple compasses you just had to look at and decide if you can follow a direction or not with just that needle, you know
Yes, that is a good point about making sure the compass works. All that I have now is a really cheap compass that stays in a backpack. A large amount of my things got legs and walked off, and I don't desire to repurchase all that cool gear from my earlier hunting years.

I still do have though, my water navigation kit of decent quality that I'd like to give to someone who was going to be doing some dead reckoning, or studying charts. It would only bring maybe 5 dollars at a garage sale, so I'd rather give it to someone who was interested in that sort of thing. Rules of the road, navigation etc. Along with a copy of Bowditch's "American practical Navigator". Great stuff for someone who's really into it.

I agree, those videos are probably above beginner level, I forget the things I don't know. I sometimes get my hands on a cheapo cheap compass, and I like checking them to see if they will at least point north.

Have you been watching the story's about "true north" has now moved into Siberia? I wonder how long before a big change needs to be done on gps, charts, etc?
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
January 18th, 2020 at 10:28:15 AM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 22
Posts: 4564
Quote: Fleastiff
it is also matter of knowledge versus instruments. Some examples:
The pilot whose gyroscope failed ever so slowly rather than with a loud "clunk": he had been on an erratic course over the ocean for hours, he had to really know how to navigate his way to land.

The Qantas pilots who had to use a sextant and do twenty minutes of math rather than press a button and get the answer instantly, it kept them mentally in the loop instead of getting complacent in the cockpit.

The first time deck-hand on a yacht whose two-day shakedown cruise wound up at an island 300 miles from their intended destination because the Captain was a lousy navigator. She was so embarrassed she chose to really learn celestial navigation and then used those skills when a hurricane dismasted and capsized her in the middle of nowhere.

The sailors who really learn how to sail because they have no life raft, no radio and no engine available to them when in tight places. They have to do everything themselves, do it on time and do it right or else they drown.

So I would say learn the map and compass skills, even if you have a GPS and the glow of a shopping center available to you. You never know when you might find yourself suddenly in "the outback".
We have a friend that taught celestial navigation for the Coast Guard, now a retired master chief. A very impressive man, having driven the USCG icebreaker "Polar Star" to Camp Murdough South Pole, twice.

It was a sad day for beginning mariners when the Coast Guard removed the requirement for CG ships to carry a sextant aboard, about 15 years ago? I guess it saved them a ton of money and time in training, by going to gps. Sad for the lost arts.
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
January 18th, 2020 at 10:41:36 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3869
Quote: petroglyph

It was a sad day for beginning mariners when the Coast Guard removed the requirement for CG ships to carry a sextant aboard, about 15 years ago? I guess it saved them a ton of money and time in training, by going to gps. Sad for the lost arts.


Even the Federation Starship USS Enterprise carried a sextant =(
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
January 18th, 2020 at 10:50:51 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3869
Quote: odiousgambit

Now, I live in the Blue Ridge mountains area and I have to tell you I'd be in big trouble if I had to start taking bearings from a map


Had to laugh at this. I found a "peak". It wraps 360* around my town. Now what? lol It's much the reason I champion iron sights. Ain't nowhere around here you can see more'n 70yds. Now what? lol

Not that I have much to add with being very attached to dead reckoning, but as a fellow Appalachian I just use manufactured peaks. Wind farms, cell towers, water towers, power plants, developed waterfront. Especially this year with new boat giving courage, I went so far I couldn't see NY anymore, or at least not its shore. That and staying out later both took me by surprise, as after going for 30yrs, you don't expect to look up and be "lost". But twice I was either too far out and my typical landmarks were behind the horizon, or I stayed out too late and could no longer see detail. I imagine a man on the plains looking toward peaks is no different than me on the water looking for blinking lights.

More i think about, the more I realize we do that all the time. Hunting this year my push was "water tower to gas line". My cousin set up shop "in ravine on power lines". Get lost wheelin' and we rendezvous at the smoke stack, the blown up pine, the tornado patch. Eyes up, you'll find something to anchor to.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
January 19th, 2020 at 6:01:30 AM permalink
pew
Member since: Jan 8, 2013
Threads: 4
Posts: 1178
Whenever I go hiking off trail I drop little pieces of bread as I walk.
January 19th, 2020 at 12:08:01 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 141
Posts: 8724
Quote: pew
Whenever I go hiking off trail I drop little pieces of bread as I walk.


Last seen with Gretel before she went missing?
Vote smart and honest, not Trump the poll butt plug
January 19th, 2020 at 12:15:17 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 109
Posts: 2751
Quote: Face
Ain't nowhere around here you can see more'n 70yds. Now what? lol
yeah, really, they never mention this in "instructions for compass" stuff. Situational awareness is everything, and maybe they assume you know that.

Quote:
Not that I have much to add with being very attached to dead reckoning,
Knowing how to do dead reckoning is essential and becomes second nature too
Quote:
... but as a fellow Appalachian I just use manufactured peaks. Wind farms, cell towers, water towers, power plants, developed waterfront...
well now, out on the water, that's another thing.

Quote: pew
Whenever I go hiking off trail I drop little pieces of bread as I walk.
lol
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way!..Fleastiff
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