Find the Right Bearing
To read a compass, hold it level at waist height and away from metal. Bearings are best taken using prominent landmarks far away such as a mountain or a stand of trees. If the compass has a base plate, align the directional arrow with the landmark or intended route, then turn the ring so the floating needle points to 360/0. The degree reading on the ring at the directional arrow is now your bearing (Fig. 2). No base plate on your compass? When facing your direction of travel, with the needle at north, the bearing is the number farthest from you on the ring.