Credibility is becoming a major problem on the Internet. So to assure you that these compass-pages can be trusted, here's a word about its author.I am an 29 year-old orienteer, and I've been doing orienteering for fiftheen years now, so I would say I am pretty experienced. But I guess I have known how to use a compass since I was 6 years or so. In my daily life, I am recent graduate from the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo in Norway, where I completed a thesis on gravitational microlensing of quasar clouds. The degree is called
Candidatus Scientiarum. Officially, it's equivalent to the Master's of Science, but according to friends who have experience from other degree systems say that it is rather somewhere halfway between a master's and a Ph.D.
I'm also a certified level 1 trainer, after having completed a course arranged by the Norwegian Orienteering Federation. I've held several courses for beginners in the University of Oslo Sports Club orienteering group.
Further out-doors education include a course glacier mountaineering, and can seek employment as a glacier guide, as well as basic training in climbing multi-pitch routes, and route-finding in terrain where there is some avalance-hazards. All these courses have been approved by Norsk Fjellsportforum, which is a national certifying body for mountaineernig courses in Norway.
I have also been hiking since I was a kid, and become a pretty experienced mountaineer. For a 29 year-old that is. I have experienced thick fog and white-outs, that are very demanding conditions.
In the summer of 2002, I climbed to above 6000 meters or about 20000 feet above sea-level in Peru.
I love to hike where there are no trails, no sign of human impact, which indeed require more insight into orienteering.
But I must admit one little weakness: I have just once had to take the declination of lesson 3 into account myself. It isn't very difficult, though, once you get to know about it, so I guess it's going to be allright. The reason I haven't had to worry about it, is first that on orienteering maps, the meridians are corrected, so they point to the magnetic north, and secondly, the declination in southern Norway, where I live isn't more than three degrees or so, so it is almost negligible under almost all conditions.
Orienteering isn't easy, and there are lots of pitfalls along the way. I'll show you a number of them. But that doesn't mean you'll not fall into them. I know, because I have been into each one of them a number of times. They say it takes 15 years to be a really experienced orienteer. So start now!
I wish you all the luck on future hikes and trips in the forest, the mountains and all unfamiliar terrain. Great experiences lay ahead, I'm sure.