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Parts of a Compass

This is basically what is on the most common compasses. Many have various features like; a magnifying glass, more scales, measurements, and other fancy gadgets. You will not need anything more complicated than the compass shown, unless you need pinpoint accuracy, in which case you would need a engineer's compass.

The plastic that everything is attached to is called the baseplate.

The black ring with 360° on it is called the compass housing, used for making the compass "point" to different degrees. The compass housing rotates to change the degree of the compass.

The arrow towards the top of the baseplate (above the circle) is called the direction-of-travel arrow.

The red needle is called the orienting arrow. This arrow always points magnetic north. The white arrow always points south.

The needle with the red and white is called the compass needle.

The arrow just below the big red N, is referred to as "the dog house."

There are scales on three sides of the compass to help measuring distances.



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