Save to shopping list
Create a new shopping list
Safe shopping
Idosell security badge

What do the marks on the compass mean?


A hiking compass  is one of the accessories that should not be missing in the backpack of any hiking enthusiast. It significantly facilitates orientation in the area and determining the further route. However, a novice user may wonder what the individual symbols visible on the device actually mean. Today we will focus on each letter and explain how to read them!

Markings on the compass – basic information

The markings on the compass refer to the cardinal and intermediate directions. The letters visible on the shield come from the first letters of their English names. Each accessory is also equipped with a magnetic needle suspended in a special liquid, the ends of which are different in color. The red arm means north, while the white or blue arm means south. Determining the cardinal directions using a compass allows you to find or completely determine your route.

  • N, i.e. north

The "N" marking at the very top of the compass is related to the English word north, meaning "north". This is an azimuth of 0°.

  • E, i.e. entrance

The letter "E" on the compass means east, or earth in English. This marking appears on the right side of the dial and is an azimuth of 90°.

  • S, i.e. south

The "S" appearing at the bottom of the dial - on the side opposite north - is nothing else than south, i.e. an azimuth of 180°. The abbreviation comes from the English word south.

  • W means west

The designation "W" is related to the English word west, which means "west". This sign
is located on the left side of the compass, on the side opposite "E". That's an azimuth of 270°.

What about indirect directions?

Some compasses show not only the cardinal directions of the world, but also the intermediate ones. "NE" then means northeast, while "SE" means southeast. Similarly, "NW" means northwest, and "SW" means southwest. Typically, these signs appear on the dial in the form of smaller letters.

Azimuths in the compass

Azimuth in a compass is nothing else than the angle between the north direction and the selected point to which we want to go. It is counted clockwise and its value is expressed in degrees. Determining the azimuth may be helpful, among others: in unknown terrain or when we intend to leave the trail. When wandering off the trail, you can easily get lost among trees or forest paths - thanks to the azimuth, you can find your way and reach a specific place.

The Laplander store's assortment includes compasses and compasses from respected manufacturers, e.g.  Silva compasses - both map compasses, wrist compasses and button-type compasses. By choosing one of them, you can be sure that you will not get lost during any hiking trip - even  in a completely new place. If you can read specific values, you will easily get out of any situation - even the most extreme ones. Just get  the right model and... go ahead to experience new adventures!


IdoSell Trusted Reviews
4.75 / 5.00 4 reviews
IdoSell Trusted Reviews
Amazing service: fast delivery, excellent product.