# BACK TO BASICS: Compass Headings

A compass is a simple tool that has been around for thousands of years. We use its markings to figure out not just where we are, but where we are going. When aiming a satellite dish or antennas, we use compass headings to know exactly where to point. We’ll say, “point the antenna at 270 degrees.”

That’s great if you’re using a smartphone app that gives you exact numbers but what if you have one of these?

Our Classic Pocket Compass is an inexpensive way to get compass headings, but it isn’t as easy to read. Here’s a quick guide.

Turning around in a circle can be looked at as “going around 360 degrees.” In other words, as you spin, you could stop in any of 360 equally spaced points. If you’re facing north, we call that zero degrees. If you spin around halfway, we call that 180 degrees. and you’re facing south. Here’s how compass directions (like north) translate into numbers, called compass headings.

 North 0 degrees North-Northeast 22.5 degrees Northeast 45 degrees East-Northeast 67.5 degrees East 90 degrees East-SouthEast 112.5 degrees SouthEast 135 degrees South-Southeast 157.5 degrees South 180 degrees South-Southwest 202.5 degrees Southwest 225 degrees West-Southwest 247.5 degrees West 270 degrees West-Northwest 292.5 degrees Northwest 315 degrees North-Northwest 337.5 degrees

Here’s a picture if it’s easier for you to visualize it that way.