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Topic: What's your favorite compass?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 8:53 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been pretty happy using my brunton, nothing fancy but it gets the job done.


What is everyone else using out there?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The one I brought.  :)

I have one just like yours, but it's not my favorite.  I don't like that no orienting lines are drawn in the see-thru part of the dial, and the needle doesn't really fit cleanly in the "shed," at least not without looking straight down on it, which I don't want to have to do.  That said, most of what I use a compass for doesn't require all that much accuracy--things like looking for lake that's a quarter mile wide--so it does just fine.

Really, though, I haven't found my favorite yet, but I know what it'll look like--it'll be the large print edition!
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Silva Ranger 515

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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ May 04 2013, 10:11 pm)
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Silva Ranger 515

That my favorite.  A mirror really helps accuracy.  A split mirror is especially nice.  I like the declination adjustment, but I wish the screw was a little bigger and traveled fewer degrees per turn.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Suunto MC-2 Global, just because it's such a great piece of work.  Overkill?  Yep.  Don't care.

HYOH,

Drake
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Drake @ May 04 2013, 10:36 pm)
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Suunto MC-2 Global, just because it's such a great piece of work.  Overkill?  Yep.  Don't care.

That is a wonderful device.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Although I primarily use a compass for travel, I really don't care which compass as long as I can set declination and it's got a pointer. Heck, most of the time, I set my bearing based upon where I am on the map, look at the angle of the shadow cast by the sun and start hiking.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 6:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ May 04 2013, 10:44 pm)
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(Drake @ May 04 2013, 10:36 pm)
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Suunto MC-2 Global, just because it's such a great piece of work.  Overkill?  Yep.  Don't care.

That is a wonderful device.

I have the same one, but to echo your comment on the Silva, I wish the declination adjustment was a little easier.  On the other hand, once it's set, it ain't movin'.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 8:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Anyone saw thise Brunton o.s.s compass's?
http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/navigat.....s.-30b
I bought on for the lady and she's reallly liking it. I'm a little jealous, but ya know ;)
That Suunto MC-2 Global, looks nice. Where is the is additional costs coming from? Build quality?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 7:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ May 05 2013, 8:07 am)
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That Suunto MC-2 Global, looks nice. Where is the is additional costs coming from? Build quality?

It has fancier gimbal mechanism on the needle so it can tolerate a wider range of dip angles.  That's what the "global" designation is about, since you don't have to buy a different compass for the southern hemisphere.

Compasses with adjustable declination are more expensive because their degree scale is on a separate ring that can be rotated by a small gear relative to the "standard" north direction.

The mirrored lid also adds cost, but when used properly, it enables more accurate readings.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 7:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Drake @ May 04 2013, 10:36 pm)
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Suunto MC-2 Global, just because it's such a great piece of work.  Overkill?  Yep.  Don't care.

HYOH,

Drake

That is the one I use.
Great device.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 7:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Suunto KB 14/360 and/or a Silva Ranger 15 T.  

I've had a Brunton (an 8099) develope bubbles while the 40 year old Suunto just goes along and the not much younger Silva does the same.

Feature and costwise the equivalent Brunton is this one

http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/navigat.....s.-70m
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 9:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've used one of these for over 40 years:

http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/navigat....360-deg


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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 10:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A friend does a lot of world travel for competitive "fox hunting" (finding hidden transmitters with a handheld directional antenna) and some Russian friends gifted him a compass with no swing to the needle. It points north and that's where it stays no matter how fast the case is spun (in a horizontal attitude). Pretty impressive.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 11:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ May 05 2013, 9:09 pm)
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A friend does a lot of world travel for competitive "fox hunting" (finding hidden transmitters with a handheld directional antenna) and some Russian friends gifted him a compass with no swing to the needle. It points north and that's where it stays no matter how fast the case is spun (in a horizontal attitude). Pretty impressive.

I had one of those once. Wandered around the mountains for three days before I realized the needle was actually stuck.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 7:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am pretty satisfied with the cheap and basic Silva Starter.  I bought one as a starter many years ago and never felt the need to upgrade.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 2:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh, my, it's hard to choose just one....

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 2:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Jim Fuller @ May 06 2013, 2:28 pm)
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Oh, my, it's hard to choose just one....

I can't help but notice that they're not all pointing in the same direction.   :laugh:
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 2:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

'Tis a good thing I like taking the scenic route....

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 4:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From the answers I guess it depends on how one actually uses the compass.

I’ll not go out without a good accurate sighting compass. When marking camp, a vehicle or areas of interest in rugged terrain, the more accurate bearings, the better. I like the global compass mentioned and have two of them, one of the Brunton’s and one a Suunto. Both get bubbles and the expensive Brunton got them so bad that it affected accuracy. The bubble never did leave that compass either, sent it back and they sent another that did the same thing. The Suunto bubble does go away at lower elevations and warmer weather but was bad in some places. So, a year ago I switched to a Cammenga model 27, no bubble and very accurate sighting.



It has a straight edge so works on the map as well as without. This design cannot correct for declination but I found that this was easy to do by adding and subtracting when doing map work. We tend to move a lot and come into various declinations so I keep a set in my notebook for all the areas. You don’t need to do it when marking points in the field if you are solely navigating them by compass alone. All readings go into my field notebook, so I can use them any way needed later on. I use a compass for moving through those crazy juniper/pinion woodlands towards a point too and this one is good for that. It rides where I can get to it, not buried in my pack, an essential off trail tool.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 4:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What's a compass?  I have never owned one.

Ben


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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(frihauf @ May 06 2013, 1:55 pm)
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What's a compass?  I have never owned one.

Ben

Then how do you know what direction some spot in the middle of nowehere in northern Canada is from your location? With, ofourse, GREAT precision...

#GreatlyPUzzledByTheLack
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 5:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lol...I guess if I ever head to the middle of nowhere in the middle of Canada, I'll have to borrow a compass. Normally where I usually go a map is handy and I have never needed a compass.

Ben


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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 6:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(frihauf @ May 06 2013, 2:18 pm)
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Lol...I guess if I ever head to the middle of nowhere in the middle of Canada, I'll have to borrow a compass. Normally where I usually go a map is handy and I have never needed a compass.

Ben

Pretty much my experience. A map and an alitmeter have usually served me well.
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ May 06 2013, 4:17 pm)
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(frihauf @ May 06 2013, 2:18 pm)
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Lol...I guess if I ever head to the middle of nowhere in the middle of Canada, I'll have to borrow a compass. Normally where I usually go a map is handy and I have never needed a compass.

Ben

Pretty much my experience. A map and an alitmeter have usually served me well.

Map reading and relating the map to the ground are the primary skills for land navigation; the compass is mainly to orient the map.  This is often forgotten in discussions and courses, where all the compass work is emphasized, it being more suited to the classroom environment.  And it's fun and informative.  

I just like compasses.  There are a few more that I want, including the G.I. style, now made by Cammenga, just for nostalgia.  

They all work.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2013, 12:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Jim Fuller @ May 06 2013, 7:28 pm)
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They all work.

The least reliable part of any compass is the person holding it.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2013, 7:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm really surprised at how many don't carry a compass.
If things are going great, sure, you don't need one. Just use your map.
It's when things go sideways that you really need one.
Nice collection Jim :) Keep up the good work.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2013, 8:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ May 07 2013, 7:27 am)
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I'm really surprised at how many don't carry a compass.
If things are going great, sure, you don't need one. Just use your map.
It's when things go sideways that you really need one.

That make me wonder...
How do folks use their compass, in actual real world usage?

1. Do you use it mostly to maintain a general sense of direction, like basically and only generally which way is north.
2. Do you actually take sighting off of different points in the distance to specifically locate your exact position on the map.
3. Do you actually go off trail and walk a particular and somewhat precise heading (as opposed to staying on a very general heading to avoid going in circles)?

My guess is that the large majority of backpackers use it only for item 1 and many wouldn't know how to use it for item 2 even if they wanted/needed to.  Given that, for them the cheapest zipper pull compass would probably suffice.

While I learned to do all three, I find that I have almost never done item 2 when hiking and can generally do item 1 without a compass.  Item 3 I have never done.

I carry a compass when bicycle touring and when backpacking, but to be honest use it very seldom when backpacking and pretty much never when bike touring.

I did use a compass much more extensively when I used to sail.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2013, 8:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[I]3. Do you actually go off trail and walk a particular and somewhat precise heading (as opposed to staying on a very general heading to avoid going in circles)?[/I]

After allowing my self and friend to get "lost" last year I have done three bushwhacking trips in pretty neat places in the Adirondacks....I gotta tell you it is addictive.  Did it the last weekend in April...my friend who always gets turned around had his smartphone going, (Backcountry Pro) and he did a tracking of our trip....I do not think we could have drawn a better line than the one we traveled on a certain ridgeline.

That being said, I just use my Silva Starter...but of course now I read this thread I need a "better" one.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2013, 9:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTromper @ May 07 2013, 7:24 am)
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How do folks use their compass, in actual real world usage?

1. Do you use it mostly to maintain a general sense of direction, like basically and only generally which way is north.
2. Do you actually take sighting off of different points in the distance to specifically locate your exact position on the map.
3. Do you actually go off trail and walk a particular and somewhat precise heading (as opposed to staying on a very general heading to avoid going in circles)?

All three, sometimes.

The most frequent thing I use a compass for is orienting the map. Once I've done that, I can usually locate myself and my destination just fine using visual clues.

I do use headings for off-trail travel, usually, as you say, more as a failsafe while I aim for visual landmarks.

I have followed an exact heading off-trail, though. Since it's very difficult to follow a heading precisely for any distance, it's usually better to travel to a trail, road, stream, etc with a bit of intentional error. That way, when you reach that trail, road, stream, whatever, you know for sure which way you need to turn to follow it. (i.e. if I already know that I reached the stream east of the place I'm trying to get to, then I know that I must travel west along the stream to get to my destination.)
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