Recta - More Than 100 Years of Heritage

Working with the compass

In order to navigate your way safely to your destination by compass, some elementary knowledge is essential. For the sake of simplicity and because the DP compass range can be used for all purposes, we have illustrated the following examples with these instruments. They can also be applied to the other compass lines, depending on their specifications.

1. Orienting the map

  • a) Set bearing on compass to N = 0°.
  • b) Place the compass pointing north along the grid lines
    on the map.
  • c) Turn the map and compass until the N point of the
    needle comes to rest between the north marks.

Note: As a general rule, north is situated at the top of the map. On maps with no N-S grid lines it is advisable to draw these every 3-4 cm in the area under consideration.

2. The bearing (azimuth)

The bearing is the angle between true north and the direction of travel and is also called the azimuth (see page opposite). The figure can be read off directly from the index. The compass dial is normally divided into 360°. On request, some models can also be supplied with scales of 6400 art. ‰ or 400 grade.

3. Sighting with the mirror

Thanks to the mirror which is part of the standard specification, the Recta compasses in the DP and DS ranges offer the advantage of accurate, uncomplicated sighting of the direction of travel while observing the compass rose. All that is then required is to turn on the spot, allowing the red N point of the needle to settle between the north marks on the capsule. You can now easily determine a target by means of the sighting device.

4. For an approximate general sighting

The compass is held at waist level and the needle observed from above.

5. Sighting a visible point of the terrain

  • a) Use the compass to take a sighting on the desired point and set the bearing by turning the compass rose (until the north marks on the capsule correspond withthe N point of the needle).
  • b) Mark your own position on the map.
  • c) Place the compass on the map, align the front edge to your position, then rotate the compass (while keeping the front edge on your position) until the N-S lines on the capsule are parallel to the N-S grid lines on the map.
  • d) The point to be fixed is now on the line formed by the long edge of the compass. By estimating the distance you can identify the desired point.

  • 1 Own position
    2 Desired point
    3 Rotate compass until its N-S lines are parallel
    to those on the map

6. Locating your own position

Using a similar technique to that described in point 5, it is
also possible to determine your own, unknown location.

  • a) Take a sighting on an identifiable point in the terrain
    and set the bearing.
  • b) Place the long edge of the compass on the landmark and turn until the N-S lines on the compass are parallel to the N-S grid lines on the map.
  • c) Draw a line from the landmark towards the front of the compass and parallel to the long edge.
  • d) Sight a second point and repeat steps a-c (the closer the angle between the two points is to 90°, the more precisely your own position can be determined).
  • e) The intersection of the two lines indicates your own

  • 7. Avoiding an obstacle

    When you encounter a small obstacle, such as a thicket,
    swamp, hill or lake, etc., the direction of travel can be
    adhered to as follows:
    • a) Change your route to the line of detour 2 well before the obstacle (N point of needle under one pair of detour marks). Count your paces.
    • b) As soon as the way is clear, turn back to the normal
      line of travel 1.
    • c) Once the obstacle has been overcome or by-passed, turn to line of detour 3 (N point of needle under the other pair of detour marks). Go back the same number of paces in direction 2 as counted for line of detour 2.
    • d) You can then continue in the original direction of travel 1.

    Fig 1.
    1 General direction of travel
    2 Line of detour 2 Count your paces
    3 Line of detour 3 Count the same number of paces as walked in 2

    Note: All Recta compasses are supplied with comprehensive instructions for use.