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Declination is the distance on your compass between true north and magnetic north. The map always points north and the compass always points magnetic north. You can change either map or compass to point the other way. When you do this on a compass, you are adjusting for declination. The map always points true north. True north is at the top of the earth, at the north pole. Your compass always points magnetic north, which is about 700 from the north pole. The distance between true and magnetic north is called declination. Depending where you are on the earth, the distance between these two north's may grow or shrink. Find out what the declination is in your area. On the topographical map, it will say what the declination is. Look on the bottom, in the legend; next to or on the big V. When using the map you don't have to worry about declination that much because it's written on the map. But when you are using the compass only, that's when you need to know the declination.

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