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Compasses point to true north

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by Woody girl, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Have just read in the guardian news feed on my phone that compasses in the UK will be pointing true north for the first time since the Greenwich obsrvatory was set up. I had noticed my compass pointed to one corner of my kitchen when I first moved in nearly 20 years ago. Now it points to the window. I mentioned this to several friends and they all said I was imagining it! Ha ha I'm vindicated.
    Has anyone else noticed this and wondered? . I knew that the magnetic north has been moving west over many years but it has apparently sped up remarkedly in the past few years.
    Pole flip comming? I don't know but the speed it is moving could be a sign. It may carry on slowly moving for many more years yet. What do you think? I'm not an alarmist but it's a very interesting phenomenon.
     
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  2. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Natural oscillation; nothing alarming.
     
  3. John Fenna

    John Fenna Lifetime Member & Maker

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    End of the world in 5, 4, 3, 2.......
     
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  4. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    The true North will not change, and a fairly modern map will tell you how to adjust/compensate for the difference between the True and Magnetic North.

    Which you do not need to know anyway, as your navigation is adjusted by the features on the landscape/map...

    Flippin' Poles?

    They make some awesome sausages, cold cuts ,nice rye bread, and their Vodka is not bad either......
    Zubrowka specially, goes very well with smoked fish!
     
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  5. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I'm talking magnetic north Janne. Not true north. Polish food is OK. But I still think British is best... apart from French bread and Italian olives and lemons and.... OK now we are off track again!
    Just wondering if anyone else had noticed the fact that their compass was pointing more to the east than normal like I have.
     
    #5 Woody girl, Aug 30, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  6. MikeeMiracle

    MikeeMiracle Full Member

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    We are actually due a pole flip, it flips roughly every 500,000 years and it has been roughly that long since the last flip.
     
  7. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I think the movement is about 50 km per year. Over your life time = negligible abount of degrees as seen from Europe ( during our lifetime)

    If you feel the compass needle has changed - look for other reasons.
     
  8. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I have four compasses all the same. I bought a new one a month or so ago for my grandson..... same. Even out in the garden it's the same. Further down the road it's again the same. Explain that! :) it's definitely not a compass fault unless all four are somehow simultaneously wrong.
     
  9. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    A new electric pylon erected nearby? a new TV/electrical device in the vicinity? Magnetic North is moving East by 1 degree in 6 years; it is currently about 1.4 degrees west and will be 1 degree west in 2021.
     
  10. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Nope. Nothing I'm aware of. Definitely no new pylons or anything like that. I don't have a TV. So it's not that. The article in the guardian said magnetic north will be directly above the meridian at Greenwich this year for the first time in over 350 years.
    It's something I've noticed over the past year or so. I was realy puzzled the first time I noticed it. Thought I was going barmy at first. But when I first moved in I needed to know where north was, so used my compass to find out. Definitely remember the needle pointed to the corner of the kitchen to the left of the window. Now it points directly at the window.
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Well, Britain is moving away from Europe.....
    :)

    I assume you are standing in the same place?
     
  12. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Yes . I've just got all my compasses out including the button ones lined them all up on the kitchen table... ad they all point to the window. Went into living room and bedroom they don't change. All point the magnetic north/ south axis directly from front to back of the house whereas 20 yrs ago magnetic north / south axis was markedly more diagonal.
     
  13. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Maybe it is you that is more enigmagnetic then when you young....
    :)
     
  14. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Well I know age is taking its toll, but realy Janne! There is no need to rub it in!!!! :)
     
  15. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Yeah, I read about it a few days ago. It’s been moving ever since it was plotted in the 1800s (Actually it was moving long, long before that but that’s when we first learned of it)

    Apparently it was moving at a speed of about 9 miles per year u til the last turn of the century and it’s been moving around 50 miles per year since then. So yes, the agonic line has also shifted. https://earthsky.org/earth/magnetic-north-pole-shift-northern-lights
     
  16. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    It was a compliment using a word I just made up!
    :)

    I believe humans are just like alcohol, improving with age!

    50 miles, that is close to 80 kilometres. Quite fast. I do not know the name &or it, but &or precise navigation proper maps indicate the deviation. It varies a lot in the landsc@pe.
    ( can not explain in English)
     
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  17. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Thanks Wayland for the link. I realy must learn how to do that.! I'm a total numpty when it comes to doing that sort of thing.
     
  18. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    Just read through this thread and it got me thinking.....

    I have always navigated by map and compass. Even when GPS came along at a practical and user friendly size. I do carry a GPS now (Garmin 301) but I only use it confirm 10 figure GR, which I will then send to my Mrs as a safety measure. When I think about it, my navigation always follows the same routine....

    1. Plan the route. Write it down stage by stage.

    2. Off you go. I know how to take bearings off the map and off the ground, so as I move through the check points I will set the bearing for the next point, check the distance and off I go. I know my pacing so every now and then (distance dependant on terrain) I will do a rolling navigation check.

    3. Rolling navigation checks: look at the ground around you. Consult the map and make sure everything tallys up. Compass out, check my bearing on a fixed point and off I go!

    4. Bearings to check points. I always aim to the right or left of the actual check Point. That way if I approach the check point in limited visibility and cannot identify te check point off the ground, I know all I have to do is head right or left and then I'll be bang on. This has never failed me in practice...

    Magnetic north hasn't really been a strong consideration for me I suppose. I know how to work out the difference between mag, grid and true north. As Janne pointed out, most modern maps give the variation to help you out. In practice I have always 'micro-navigated', breaking distance between checkpoints into smaller legs, forcing myself to regularly check my bearing, pacing and distance covered, thus always being confident of my location.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Wayland

    Wayland Hárbarðr

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    I find the thing many people forget to do is turn around and look behind you.

    If you do make a mistake, it is a very good idea to know where you have come from so that you can return to your last known position.
     

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