News Item

Walkers' compass errors

A compass manufacturer has commissioned a study to find out the most common mistakes made when navigating.

The US outdoor brand Brunton commissioned a study by Northamptonshire-based Strong Roots Training to find out the most common mistakes made when navigating on foot.

So the organisation asked a group of outdoor professionals where they went wrong when route-finding with a compass. Their top 5 errors were:
- having the map 180 deg incorrect when taking a bearing . . getting north and south mixed up
- using a compass near metal objects or electronic items, causing the compass to be inaccurate (deviation)
- looking at the map all of the time and not looking at visual clues in the real world
- losing concentration and walking too far when getting to a pinpoint, ie falling victim to confirmation bias . . the tendency to see things that confirm you are right, but missing things that show you are wrong
- carrying only one compass . . and getting stuck if it breaks

So it seems that even the most experienced hill-goers can occasionally go wrong - and find themselves temporarily misplaced.

Brunton will be hosting a demonstration of its TruArc compass at the Outdoor and Adventure show on 12-15 February at London’s ExCeL.

Details from the links below . .

  • 12 February 2015
  • NOF

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