Training Network: Wilderness Survival | Fitness Training  
Fitness Training

The Sport:

  • Orienteering History
  • Orienteering Overview
  • Course Setup
  • Officials
  • Start/Finish Areas
  • Course Safety
  • Control Point Guidelines
  • Map Symbols
  • Orienteering Techniques
  • Civilian Orienteering

    The Skills:

  • Maps
  • Marginal Information and Symbols
  • Grids
  • Scale and Distance
  • Direction
  • Overlays
  • Aerial Photographs
  • Navigation Equipment and Methods
  • Elevation and Relief
  • Terrain Association
  • Navigation in Different Types of Terrain

  • Field Sketching
  • Map Folding Techniques
  • Units of Measure and Conversion Factors

  • Protractors

    There are several types of protractors—full circle, half circle, square, and rectangular (Figure 6-5). All of them divide the circle into units of angular measure, and each has a scale around the outer edge and an index mark. The index mark is the center of the protractor circle from which all directions are measured.

    Figure 6-5. Types of protractors.

    Figure 6-5. Types of protractors.

    a.   The military protractor, GTA 5-2-12, contains two scales: one in degrees (inner scale) and one in mils (outer scale). This protractor represents the azimuth circle. The degree scale is graduated from 0 to 360 degrees; each tick mark on the degree scale represents one degree. A line from 0 to 180 degrees is called the base line of the protractor. Where the base line intersects the horizontal line, between 90 and 270 degrees, is the index or center of the protractor (Figure 6-6).

    Figure 6-6. Military protractor.

    Figure 6-6. Military protractor.

    b.   When using the protractor, the base line is always oriented parallel to a north-south grid line. The 0- or 360-degree mark is always toward the top or north on the map and the 90° mark is to the right.

    (1)   To determine the grid azimuth—

    (a)   Draw a line connecting the two points (A and B).

    (b)   Place the index of the protractor at the point where the drawn line crosses a vertical (north-south) grid line.

    (c)   Keeping the index at this point, align the 0- to 180-degree line of the protractor on the vertical grid line.

    (d)   Read the value of the angle from the scale; this is the grid azimuth from point A to point B (Figure 6-4).

    (2)   To plot an azimuth from a known point on a map (Figure 6-7)—

    (a)   Convert the azimuth from magnetic to grid, if necessary.

    (b)   Place the protractor on the map with the index mark at the center of mass of the known point and the base line parallel to a north-south grid line.

    (c)   Make a mark on the map at the desired azimuth.

    (d)   Remove the protractor and draw a line connecting the known point and the mark on the map. This is the grid direction line (azimuth).

    NOTE: When measuring an azimuth, the reading is always to the nearest degree or 10 mils. Distance does not change an accurately measured azimuth.

    Figure 6-7. Plotting an azimuth on the map.

    Figure 6-7. Plotting an azimuth on the map.

    c.   To obtain an accurate reading with the protractor (to the nearest degree or 10 mils), there are two techniques to check that the base line of the protractor is parallel to a north-south grid line.

    (1)   Place the protractor index where the azimuth line cuts a north-south grid line, aligning the base line of the protractor directly over the intersection of the azimuth line with the north-south grid line. The user should be able to determine whether the initial azimuth reading was correct.

    (2)   The user should re-read the azimuth between the azimuth and north-south grid line to check the initial azimuth.

    (3)   Note that the protractor is cut at both the top and bottom by the same north-south grid line. Count the number of degrees from the 0-degree mark at the top of the protractor to this north-south grid line and then count the number of degrees from the 180-degree mark at the bottom of the protractor to this same grid line. If the two counts are equal, the protractor is properly aligned.

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