A Walk With A White Bushman by Laurens van der Post

By Laurens van der Post

Explorer, novelist, author and film-maker, Sir Laurens van der publish used to be essentially the most influential figures of our period. the following, in dialog with Jean-Marc Pottiez, he documents his principles and insights right into a wide selection of matters and personalities, cast via a life of huge reports and demanding situations.

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One way is to compare the direction of north indicated by your compass with Polaris, the North Star or Pole Star. This star has been used by land and sea navigators for centuries. It is one celestial body that remains in a constant position: almost directly over the geographical North Pole. An example will help illustrate how to check your compass against the North Star. Let's say that you are camping in the Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming, around the forty-fifth parallel, where the magnetic declination is 13 degrees east.

On lightweight orienteering compasses, however, a needle lifter is rare. A needle lifter, as mentioned earlier, can also be used to dampen needle movement. Luminous Dials A luminous dial is a handy feature when you are traveling in the dark or in low-light conditions. As a rule, you can charge up a luminous dial by shining a flashlight on it for a few moments, and then it will glow for several hours. Level Indicators Level indicators use a tiny, round bubble to indicate that the compass is being held flat.

Inside are a needle and compass card. Few show more than the major compass points, and even fewer are damped to slow needle travel. There is rarely any sighting device or direction-of-travel arrow, so they are suitable only for showing general direction. Fixed dial compasses are one step above a magnetized needle stuck in a cork and floated in a bowl of water. Their operation is very slow and their accuracy never better than questionable. They make nice prizes in caramel-covered popcorn, but there are infinitely better choices for wilderness route finding.

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