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Using a compass

If you're going to be kayaking, it's even more important to learn how to use a compass than it would be if you were just going to be going hiking. The reason for this is that unlike being on land, when you are in the water, there may not be any reliable landmarks - or they may be very hard to distinguish if you have never kayaked in the area before.

You can buy compasses that are designed to rest on your kayak, or you can get a different compass that you can hold in your hand. The first thing that you need to know if you are going to use a compass is that the needle will always point north.

The other thing that you will need to learn how to do if you want to use a compass is to read a map in conjunction with the compass. That way, you can be sure that you'll be able to figure out where you want to go. The easiest way to do this is to pull out your compass and find out which direction is North. After you've determined this, you should turn your map around so that the North arrow on the compass rose is pointing in the same direction as your compass.

This is the easiest way to use the compass, because then whichever direction your destination is on the map is the direction that you should head in. If you have a compass attached to your kayak, then you should be able to keep heading in this direction without pulling out the map again. Just make sure that you keep track of exactly where the North arrow on your compass was pointing. That way, you'll still be going in the direction you want to.

This may not work perfectly, however, if you are using a map that is oriented toward geographic north, since the compass will always be pointing at the magnetic north pole. Therefore, before you leave home, you should make sure that you know what the declination will be where you are. Then, you should either add or subtract the declination from your compass reading (depending on if your location has a positive or negative declination). The result will correct your compass reading so that you'll be able to figure out what direction you need to go in.


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