Yosemite Hiking Map

True north

The North Pole, which is of no use to hikers whatsoever, except for those doing a polar hike.

The differences between all three varieties of north are usually indicated on the map that hikers use, but as we’ve seen, the variation of magnetic north is constantly changing, so the variation mentioned on a map is likely to be inaccurate.

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Hikers can resolve this by searching for the Pole Star, but this is only of use if you get lost at night. The Pole Star sits directly above the earth’s North Pole, give or take a couple of degrees.

In light of all these variations, it really is somewhat surprising that hikers actually manage to arrive at any of their destinations. Of course, it enables you to add one more line of defence when temporarily misplaced:

‘Magnetic north isn’t in the same place it was the last time I was here!’

You will realise that telling an angry landowner that the sign really should read ‘Trespassers will be sued’, not ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted’, is ill-advised, especially if he is pointing a shotgun at you.

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