Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Friday, December 2, 2011

GPS Electronic Compass

What interferes with your GPS receivers compass?

Even an experienced hiker will forget about gear that is carried in the field that potentially impacts a digital electronic compass.  While teaching a community college class on land navigation a student asked me what affects a GPS receiver’s electronic compass? This was a great question and offers an opportunity to assess equipment.
In my map and compass (magnetic) navigation class I make a point of discussing the care that should be taken while handling a compass.  A rifle barrel, flash light, radio and other metal and electronic bodies will impact the compass’ magnetic needle.  To see this first hand, move a flashlight next to a compass and the needle will move noticeably.

It never occurred to me that my digital compass would behave similarly.
In November while elk hunting and camping east of Oregon’s Cascades mountain range, I decided to check this out.
To read the rest of the post go here

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