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One of the most basic navigation tools. A compass in its simplest form is a magnet that will always align with the north-south magnetic field of the earth. Their are two basic forms of magnetic compass available: Hiking Compass and Marine Compass. The marine variety is usually better suited for kayak navigation purposes as the direction can be read directly without using your hands.

A compass can tell you your magnetic course - the direction of travel is relative to magnetic north. Used in combination with a chart a navigator can do most of the work required to find their location and determine where to go next. Since most charts are referenced to true north you will need to correct for magnetic variation to transfer readings between chart and compass and determine headings.

A compass can also be used to determine an object's bearing.

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Last edited April 13, 2006 2:38 pm by Michael Daly (diff)