What Is a Bearing on a Compass?

In simple terms, a bearing (one of the 360 points on a compass) is the direction you want to travel from your position to another in relation to magnetic north. You can measure the bearing either on a map or directly in the field.

What Is a Bearing on a Compass?

A bearing is an angle, measured clockwise from north, between the direction you are facing and the direction of the destination. The four main compass bearings are north, south, east and west.

To take a bearing, you need to know two things: the direction you are facing, and the direction of the destination. You can use a compass to find both of these.

The first step is to find your direction of travel. To do this, hold the compass level in your hand so that the needle is free to rotate. Then, turn your body until the needle points to north on the compass dial.

This is your direction of travel. The next step is to find the bearing to your destination. To do this, align the compass dial so that north is in line with your direction of travel (i.e. the needle is pointing to north).

Then, turn the bezel until the red needle points to the direction of your destination. The number on the bezel at the point where the needle is pointing is the bearing to your destination.

For example, if you are facing north and your destination is to the east, the bearing to your destination would be 90 degrees (i.e. east is 90 degrees clockwise

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