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Blind Compass Bearings

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A training exercise for walking on a compass bearing with limited visibility


A large field
A length of rope (20 to 100 metres, or similar)
Marker pegs, or traffic cones, or similar
Buckets (clean!)


Peg out the rope, measured to a known length (between 20 and 100 metres should be fine). This will be your scale base line.
Place at least one marker as a start point.
Set other markers at known bearings and distances from the start point(s).
The members should work in pairs.

Each member should count the number of their paces that it takes to walk the length of the base line.
They should then move to a start point, and set a given bearing from that point.

Now place a bucket over the head of the member who will be trying to walk the bearing.
The bucket should restrict their visibility, such that they can only see the compass and the immediate area in front of them.

They should then try walking along the bearing, for the required distance, using just the compass, laid flat in the palm of their hand in front of them.

When they think they've walked far enough, stop, and remove the bucket - and see how far away from the intended destination they are.

Repeat the exercise, on a different bearing - but this time, the second member of the pair can help by communicating - they should stay at the start point, and they hold the compass - and direct the other team member to move left or right, until they believe they have aligned with the bearing. Then the member at the start point advances to the point where there partner is waiting, and continue.


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