How to Use a Compass for the Absolute Beginner

How to Use a Compass for the Absolute Beginner

We stalked 100 compass owners* and found out what they were doing with their compasses.  Here are the Top 5 Ways to Use a Compass:

  • 5 – Arch support. Forget about those expensive inserts. If you have a compass, your days of collapsing arches are over! Simply insert the compass into your shoe and viola, instant comfort.
  • 4 – Makeup applicator. Finding quality brushes, pens and foam thingy’s can be expensive. Why not try a compass? The compass has many surfaces and edges for every makeup need.
  • 3 – Spackle knife. Carpentry tools are one of the first things to be forever lost in a kitchen junk drawer. But if you have a compass handy, it can serve as a replacement for many household tools such as a screw driver, mallet, tape measure, or spackle knife. Just don’t put your compass in the kitchen junk drawer!
  • 2 – Windshield ice scraper. Credit Cards, sun glasses and fingernails have long been the standard replacement for windshield ice scrapers. But nothing works as well as a good old fashioned compass. In fact, early indigenous people used to use compasses to clean ice off their yaks before traveling.
  • 1 – Finding your way in the wilderness. Perhaps one of the least-known or understood functions of a compass, is finding your way in the wilderness. Few adventurers carry one, and even fewer know how to properly hold and use one. Let’s face it, most people are just as likely to apply makeup with one as use it to find their way. It’s sad really…

What should I use a compass for?

A compass is a life-saving tool to use in the wilderness. You can navigate, determine your location in the outdoors (or large building like a mall), calculate the slope of a hill or mountain, take a bearing, or even take amazing selfies.

Where do I get started?

Step one is to purchase a compass. There are numerous compasses out there and most of them make better paper weights than functional compasses. But, we have taken the guesswork out of buying a compass! So check out our compass buying guide so you are sure you are getting a quality compass (get it at the bottom of this page).

Learn to Hold a Compass

Step two is to learn how to hold a compass. Many people think they are holding a compass correctly but are actually holding it backwards, or following the wrong arrow. Check out this video to learn how to hold a basic compass correctly.


Learn to Use a Compass

Step three is to learn how to correctly use a compass. Once again Tyee Outdoor Experience to the rescue! In this video we will show you how to follow a bearing or direction using a compass. This is an essential skill for anyone adventuring in the outdoors. This is the method you would use if you were lost and needed to determine which direction was your safety bearing.

Never heard of a safety bearing, or know how to follow/take a safety bearing? When a person or group of persons goes on an outdoor adventure, her/him/them would determine a bearing that would lead them to safety no matter where they were. Next week we will show you everything you need to know about a safety bearing.

*No compass users were harmed in the making of this post

Need a Compass Now? Download the Compass Buying Guide for our recommendations and tips for buying a compass that works.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for our STEAM activities?

They’ve moved!  You can find them at our new website STEAM Thinkers.