Quality Mountain Days
                                                                 & Advanced workshops

Magnetic Declination

Adjustments for magnetic variation

One thing to remember is that your compass does not point to the true north
– except by coincidence in some areas. The compass needle is attracted by
magnetic force, which varies in different parts of the world and is constantly

The magnetic variation throughout Great Britain currently ranges from 2º to 6º.
The amount of variation changes every year, so check your Ordnance Survey
map to work out the most current value.
You can properly orientate the map by carefully turning the compass housing 4º
clockwise (for example, depending on where you are in Great Britain) and then
turning your body again to realign the magnetic needle with the index line. Your
map is now oriented to the north.

A word of caution

Compass readings are also affected by the presence of iron and steel objects,
so be sure to look out for – and stay away from – pocket knives, belt buckles,
railway tracks and so forth when using your compass.

Important: Participation Statement

Climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

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