How To Use a Compass Rose

The compass rose is the elaborately designed flower figure present on notable naval maps, demonstrating the cardinal points found on a compass, namely North, East, South, and West.

It is a term that is also used to describe the graduated markings that are displayed on the conventional magnetic compass, a navigational device used to determine directions relative to the magnetic poles of the earth.

Long ago, the compass rose was also referred to as wind roses only because no distinctions were established between both cardinal directions and the course of the wind coming from a particular area.

At the present time, you will find the concept of the compass rose in the majority of systems for navigation. As for wind roses, meteorologists make use of them to describe frequencies of the wind from various directions in a specific area.

All in all, the compass rose provides 32 measured directions from which these cardinal points can be set apart. Whether on the streets or on rural terrain, in rough country or river channels, you can be able to find your way around using a compass and a map as your tools.

The way to do make use of both of these tools properly is to plot the course based on the compass rose displayed on the map. Here’s how to do that.

Prepare your map and compass

Look for an area with a flat surface and place your map of any particular are you want to navigate on top of it. Rotate the compass on top of the map to the point where the North is the same on the compass and the map, leaving some allowance for the magnetic north and the true north.

This would be around 5-8 degrees at the west side of Northeastern part of the United States’ true north.

Determine the location of your destination on the map

You will need to find out from your map exactly where you are and where you want your destination to be, and make a mark on the area. Now set your compass from your map’s starting point and work out the precise direction of your compass rose to where you are going to be.

You can continue to use the direction of your compass if you are not faced by any obstructions along the way. You may also break your exact direction to 360 degrees to get accurate directions.

Follow the direction of the marked area on the map

If you are expecting a much longer trip, follow your map’s direction or create a course that you can travel on.

As it did in times past, the compass rose, or at least its main idea, still plays the same role when it comes to navigational purposes. Mastering how to use it to give you directions as to where you need to go can save you from losing yourself in unfamiliar territory.

If however you are lost somewhere in the wilds and you are really unsure of where you are exactly, it is best not to navigate on your own to make it much easier for you to be located by rescuers in the shortest possible time.

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