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Gps Compass & North Settings


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I have myself a Garmin xTrex GPS. So far so good. No complaints.


But I have been wondering - If I am going on a trip and start marking waypoints, should I set my GPS compass to point to True North? Or should I leave it to the default setting of Magnetic North (with 0 declination/variation)?


I am not into mapping but I do mark out trails for jungle hikes for my colleagues and friends to follow subsequently. We do not have topo-maps (the availability of such maps in our country is severely limited) so I suppose unless we are doing orienteering or surveying, True North setting will be more appropriate?


Advice on this is appreciated. Thanks.

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Whether True or magnetic, it doesnt matter if you use your gpsr to get you back to your starting point as it leaves a breadcrumb trail behind. If you use your gpsr for locating caches or for excample following a topo map, I would choose True north.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it. :mad:

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Waypoint coordinates do not change regardless of the setting. You can set your GPS at Magenetic or True North and you'll have the same coordinates for the same location. What changes is the direction of the north arrow on a compass or the compass direction between waypoints.


If you're making maps you can overlay the grid on the map afterward plotting the waypoint showing a True North or Mangetic North grid. For your location in Kuala Lumpur, there's only a 1 degree declination between MN and TN, so you won't see much difference anyway.


good luck.

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