Asked • 04/15/19

When using a compass, why not follow a degree mark without rotation?

Instead of taking a bearing the "official" way, why not just see what degree mark corresponds to on the direction I want to go (in real life or on a map), and follow that degree mark? That is, why do I need to go through aligning edge of compass, rotating the bezel to align the meridian lines, rotating body so compass needle aligns with orienteering arrow? Clarification: Assume point B is exactly NW of point A. If I want to go from point A to point B on a map, I'd be tempted to do as follows: Orient map so magnetic north on map corresponds to north on compass (needle), then see where point B is in relation to point A (at compass bearing 315). Then, I'd pick a landmark in that direction, head to it, and then repeat. My point is at no point in this process did I need a compass with a baseplate or travel arrow and I never needed to rotate my bezel to align to meridian lines, etc. So I'm stumped about why I need to go through all of those steps. I do fully understand that those may be good skills to have for other more complex needs down the road... just wondering if I'm missing something in my simple approach to issue at hand.

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