So, knowing that we need to go 216 degrees from our bearing, we can set our compass. We used a very simple compass, just purchased at a local department store. There’s nothing special about it, but there doesn’t need to be. All I need is to be able to set the bearing, which I can do.
The best thing that you can do is make sure that you have a flat edge to use as a basis. Your compass is going to have an arrow pointing right down the middle of the compass. Line that up on the straight edge. I used the white of a piece of paper for a little more contrast.
And then around the ring of my compass are all the different degrees, my bearings. And I’m going to line that arrow so that 216 degrees, the bearing that we came up with looking at the map, is pointed down that arrow. Now when I move my compass so that the north stays pointing at north, if I walk the direction of my arrow, I know I’ll be walking 216 degrees.
So let’s take this to the woods, find our pin, and see if 216 degrees on our compass gets us to the other pin.
It is pretty typical if you’re looking for a pin on your property to find that it is just a piece of rebar that’s been hammered into the ground with a bit of surveyors tape thrown around it. Sometimes they might be kind enough to put another stake of wood next to it, or to take that surveyors tape and tie it not only to the rebar pin, but also a little higher up on a tree, something so that you can see it a little more easily and get to the pin. Ours happens to be next to a very large pine tree so it’s fairly easy to locate.
We started off by tying this piece of mason line to the tree and putting the knot a little closer to the side where the pin is on. I know it’s not 100% accurate, but we know that we’re going to get close enough doing it this way.
Remember, the whole point of this isn’t that we know exactly where the fence line is going to be or precisely where the property line is, but to make sure that when we start cutting down trees, we’re only cutting down our trees and not the neighbors. We can get a whole lot more close by doing this, clearing some trees, going back and double checking later, than just blind clearing trees.
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