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Mitey Mo
02-26-2012, 10:02
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!

vamelungeon
02-26-2012, 10:10
Those results might have been due to the metal-rich store environment and not the fault of the compasses themselves.

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HiKen2011
02-26-2012, 10:12
Those results might have been due to the metal-rich store environment and not the fault of the compasses themselves.

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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.

peakbagger
02-26-2012, 10:21
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.

Rocket Jones
02-26-2012, 10:21
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.

Spokes
02-26-2012, 10:42
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=p584IPVf0-w&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Cheers!

Feral Bill
02-26-2012, 13:10
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.

vamelungeon
02-26-2012, 14:05
And you can't test compasses side by side. They will affect each other.

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moongoddess
02-26-2012, 14:17
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.

rocketsocks
02-26-2012, 14:31
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

rocketsocks
02-26-2012, 14:33
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=p584IPVf0-w&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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

hunter121
02-29-2012, 03:48
He's the one on the right, twylight.
http://www.primeaffiliate.com/track/images/20.creation.jpg
http://www.canadablackberry.com/imgs/images/2.tod.gif

The Cleaner
02-29-2012, 09:32
Iphone.....

Mitey Mo
02-29-2012, 12:27
I thought about my iPhone. I'm taking it. How is the cell reception say... in VA?

Spokes
02-29-2012, 12:32
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.

lemon b
02-29-2012, 12:41
I use an army lensatic which I've had since 1970. My issue has more to do with pace count then readings.

beakerman
02-29-2012, 12:50
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.