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Thread: Good Compass

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    Default Good Compass

    I've just curiously tried out several compasses in sporting sections of stores and found that NONE of them point North in the same direction! I'm guessing that they are just not good compasses. Can anyone recommend a GOOD compass? I would think a GOOD one is kinda important.
    Thanks!

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    Registered User vamelungeon's Avatar
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    Those results might have been due to the metal-rich store environment and not the fault of the compasses themselves.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9330 using Tapatalk
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    Quote Originally Posted by vamelungeon View Post
    Those results might have been due to the metal-rich store environment and not the fault of the compasses themselves.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9330 using Tapatalk
    That's what I was about to say, I like the flat ones (map compass) just in case you are turned around and hopefully have a map as well.
    Don't Die Before You've Had A Chance To Live!

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    Hard to beat a Silva or Suunto baseplate compass, preferably with liquid damping and adjustable declination. As noted compasses are thrown off by metal so you cant really test them in the store. They can even be thrown off with by a metal belt buckle. I use a Suunto sighting compass for AT corridor boundary work but that is a somewhat specialized application and its useless for map work, but its spot on for running a boundary accruately.

    By the way a compass is darn near useless unless you have been trained and have practiced with it in the field.

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    Good compasses can be affected by the metal around them, like in the store. Less likely, but still possible, is that some of the better models have declination adjustments which may be off for your area, and you'd fine-tune it yourself after purchase. Compasses aren't hard to use, but they are incredibly versatile tools and you'll be amazed at what you can do with one. Silva is a good name for a budget compass of good quality. I also recommend the ones with a flat baseplate to use with a map.

    Google is your friend here. If you can learn to really use the compass, you'll find that it'll do so much more than just point north.

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    Ditto about all the metal and interference indoors. Now.....

    You really can't go wrong with any of the major brands like Silva, Suunto, or Brunton. A basic model runs about 10 bucks on Amazon. You'll pay more for adjustable declination or for a sighting compass.

    BTW, the Green Mountain Club has a fantastic 7 part YouTube video series on how to use a map and compass.

    Check it out here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p584I...e_gdata_player

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Spokes; 02-26-2012 at 13:11.

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    It's not just the steel in the store, it's also the magnetic fields created by the electrical current in the wiring. You can't trust any compass indoors.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    And you can't test compasses side by side. They will affect each other.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9330 using Tapatalk
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    Check out http://www.thecompassstore.com. Great compasses in a wide variety of price ranges, plus books which will teach you how to use them.

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    All very good points above.In addition using the same compass each time you take a reading is very important,so that all readings are relative,to the task at hand.They all differ or drift a little even my very expensive geological Freiberger to my old army lensatic,which I love and use the most,paid about $14 dollars for it 25 years ago.When it comes to compasses,you pretty much get what you pay for.But they all work.Even the little compass/temperature combo w/wind chill scale.Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Ditto about all the metal and interference indoors. Now.....

    You really can't go wrong with any of the major brands like Silva, Suunto, or Brunton. A basic model runs about 10 bucks on Amazon. You'll pay more for adjustable declination or for a sighting compass.

    BTW, the Green Mountain Club has a fantastic 7 part YouTube video series on how to use a map and compass.

    Check it out here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p584I...e_gdata_player

    Cheers!
    Execlent posting Spokes...A+ on this

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    He's the one on the right, twylight.


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    Iphone.....

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    I thought about my iPhone. I'm taking it. How is the cell reception say... in VA?

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    Cell reception? Verizon gets good marks from AT thru hikers for cell but don't expect much on the data side from any provider. Gets worse the further NOBO you go.

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    I use an army lensatic which I've had since 1970. My issue has more to do with pace count then readings.

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    Yep everything from the shelves and wiring in the store to a cheap ring or necklace can make a compass go goofy.

    The baseplate models are the easiest to use in combination with a map. Having declination adjustments is only useful if you know the declination for the area you are in. As you go farther north along the AT (GA-ME) the declination changes from -5 to -17 that's enough to get you turned around a bit if you are not paying attention.

    the only problem with using the smart phone compass is your battery life is somewhat limited. Maybe in airplane mode you can get enough life out of a single chare to make it worth it but I don't know.
    Take almost nothing I say seriously--if it seems to make no sense what so ever it's probably meant as a joke....but do treat your water!

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