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The Wilderness Survivor, Issue #007 - Cross-bearing
November 01, 2004
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Table of contents

- Editor's Notes
- Cross-bearing
- Content has been updated

Editor's Notes

Hello ,

I hope everything is well with you and that you are ready for a new issue of the Wilderness Survivor.

Where am I ? How far isít to my destination ? These are some of the most frequently asked questions in wilderness travel. Remember! For you as a wilderness traveler itís extremely important you keep yourself oriented so that at any time you can point out your actual position on the map. But what if , for some reason you canít determine your exact position on the map ? Well, one alternative you have is to use cross-bearing, see below how to use this navigation technique.

Being able to read a map and translate this information to your surroundings in the field also means you can plan new and interesting bushwalks in the comfort of your own home before embarking on the real thing.

Enjoy your reading!

Have a safe and fun wilderness trip - Respect and protect the wilderness !

Don't forget that wilderness survival skills and learning is a powerful and exhilarating experience.

Get your copies of the The Survival Guides

Your next wilderness adventure travel will give you even more enjoyment because of your greater knowledge.


Cross-bearing is the technique used to locate your position by plotting intersecting lines from two distant points on the ground that you can also identify on your map. Itís a useful navigation technique for all wilderness traveler. This is the steps you need to do:

1. Identify at least two features in the terrain which you could also locate on the map. For ex a high area.

2. Take a field bearing to one of the features:
Hold the compass in front of you and point the direction of travel line at the sighted feature. Then rotate the compass housing until the pointed end of the orienting arrow is aligned with the north-seeking (red) end of the magnetic needle. You can now read the bearing at the index line.

3. Put the compass on the map with the long edge of the base plate intersecting the sighted feature. Turn the entire compass keeping the sighted feature, of a position half way along the edge of the baseplate, until the compass orienting lines, at the bottom of the housing, are parallel with the meridian lines on the map. Ensure the orienting arrow points North on the map.

4. Draw a line, without moving the compass, along the edge of the base plate intersecting the sighted feature on the map. Your position is somewhere along this line.

5. To establish your position along this line, repeat the same procedure 2-4, using another feature. You will find your exact position where the two lines cross. For greatest accuracy , select features which are approximately 90 degrees apart from your position.

Content has been updated

New more good content have been added to the Wilderness Survival Skills website.

Learn how to use a compass .

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Written by Erik C. Falk


(c) copyright 2004

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