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#242712 - 03/08/12 06:37 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: bacpacjac]
Snake_Doctor
Unregistered


Sounds like it could be a learning experience for your little one Jac. Thanks for responding.

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#242713 - 03/08/12 06:39 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: NightHiker]
Snake_Doctor
Unregistered


My good one is a Ranger. And my old mil with tritium has seen much service. Thanks nighthiker.

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#242714 - 03/08/12 06:44 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
I'll give you three guesses. First two don't count.
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

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#242715 - 03/08/12 07:05 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ILBob]
Snake_Doctor
Unregistered


My only concerns with GPS, which is great, are that the system could go down when I may need it, and battery failure. That's when a compass can be a lifesaver. Thanks for responding.

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#242716 - 03/08/12 07:08 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I use a Suunto MC1G Global, The reason is that it has the global needle that will work properly anywhere in the world and because it is a very reliable, well made compass.
http://www.thecompassstore.com/sumcmimeco.html

I have an old (1970's) Silva Ranger that I used for many years but eventually got a bubble inside that kept getting larger until I retired it. I did not buy another Silva because the name Silva in the US now belongs to a different company than Silva Sweden and the compasses Silva USA sells are nothing like the genuine Silva compass. Most of the Silvas sold now in the US are made in Asia and are just not that good. The Brunton compasses sold in the US are made by Silva Sweden and are excellent. So, the choice for me is Suunto or Brunton.
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#242717 - 03/08/12 07:11 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I love compasses. I carry about 3 in my EDC pack not including my iPhone apps. 2 are just small button/ watch strap compasses in my EDC box (2 is 1, 1 is none). My primary is a rotation of a GI Lensetic, Silva Ranger or Suunto M3.

On my Ranger I taped a patch of glow in the dark tape under the bezel that holds a charge for quite a while.

If your interested in different compasses, I always go to The Compass Store Mostly because I have always wanted a Gentleman's Compass but every type is well established there.

TIP: On my map cases I sticky back velcro little button compasses to help.

skill set. Y'day I came across a booklet that might help out. It will allow you to work on Land Nav issues without having to leave the house. I haven't bought it yet but I think it has merit. Navigation Challenge book
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#242718 - 03/08/12 07:25 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1085
Loc: North Carolina
Anything technical will fail on you when you least expect it and need it most. I have even had basic compasses get broken in the middle of negotiating obstacles. A planning acronym we used to use is that works with equipment as well is PACE: Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency. Primary is self explanatory, but always carry supplies to keep it working (batteries for the GPS), Alternate is another way of accomplishing the mission in case the first way is not working (map and compass), Contingency is case you can't accomplish the mission the way you initially intended, but may have another way of doing it (Knowledge of major terrain features and navigate from memory, button compass in your survival kit) and Emergency is when SHTF and you are just trying to survive the experience (flare, strobe light, PLB or a good route out to safety, overdue on your plan you left with friends).

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#242719 - 03/08/12 07:29 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: comms]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: comms
skill set. Y'day I came across a booklet that might help out. It will allow you to work on Land Nav issues without having to leave the house. I haven't bought it yet but I think it has merit. Navigation Challenge book

That looks like a good resource to pick up. I worked my way through Wilderness Navigation by Bob & Mike Burns last year and one of the things I really appreciated about it was the practice problems it supplied. They really helped to ensure I was understanding the concepts correctly.

With regards to the original topic, I have a Suunto MC-2DL NH. It seems like a solid and reliable compass and, as others have mentioned, the map scales on the base plate make map work a bit easier. I also find the mirror makes it easier to use than one without, plus the mirror has a few other non-navigation uses.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#242720 - 03/08/12 07:48 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Originally Posted By: Snake_Doctor
My only concerns with GPS, which is great, are that the system could go down when I may need it, and battery failure. That's when a compass can be a lifesaver. Thanks for responding.


The chance of GPS going down is very low. Close to nil. The chance of it going down at the exact second one might need it is even lower.

Failure of some kind of the GPS unit, including battery failure, is of course possible. I suspect anyone relying on anything with batteries will have spares. But it could be dropped, or sat on and broken like a lot of things.

But it is also not real hard to break a compass, or to lose it. It is also not unheard of for local oddities such as deposits of magnetic materials to throw a compass off by a substantial amount.

I once had a similar discussion with a guy who absolutely was convinced that only a mil-spec compass with tritium backlight was worthy. I kept trying to get him to tell me why I could not use my flashlight to look at the compass at night, or why I would want to. Eventually he said it was because when one is on patrol at night one does not want the enemy to see the flashlight. I also got a line about how one could still use a compass that had a tritium backlight, even if one had no flashlight. I did get some kind of a response about walking in the desert at night so one could walk when it is cooler, which made more sense than the patrol idea to me. I never got much of an answer when I asked how he was planning to walk in the dark without a flashlight. NV maybe. Sometimes it is not real productive to try and get people past their preconceived notions.

I am not going out on patrol any time soon. When I go out in the woods it is recreational in nature. I would never go anywhere any distance from civilization without a map and a compass. These days I would not go without a GPS either. I think of them as a backup to each other, even though I am not the world's most adroit user of GPS. That is something I should probably practice more.

_________________________
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile

Bob

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#242726 - 03/08/12 08:34 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: widget]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: widget
I use a Suunto MC1G Global, The reason is that it has the global needle that will work properly anywhere in the world...


Quite true. I don't travel OCONUS but Suunto's global needle has 2 features that endear it to me:

1) It settles very fast, and stays stable enough that you can refer to it while moving and maintain reasonable accuracy.

2) The compass is more forgiving of not being held perfectly level. You are less likely to get the needle brushing against the capsule's inside surface when you are tired, rushed, and it is getting dark.

BTW in my earlier response on this thread I should not have taken such an elitist tone. I was mistaking what is dear to me as being dear to everyone else; wrong move. I do maintain, however, that if you get truly skilled at doing demanding landnav the everyday stuff becomes not just easier but second-nature, and your awareness of the experience is enhanced.

Originally Posted By: Denis
...plus the mirror has a few other non-navigation uses.


Agreed. When unfolded completely the MC2G's mirror housing lines up perfectly with the baseplate, giving you a substantial straightedge when working with the map. Unfolded to 90-120deg or so and set on a log or rock, it allows hands-free use of the mirror when I'm dealing with my contacts or extracting a foreign body out of my eye (which has happened). And of course it can be used to signal, which is appreciated here at ETS more than most places.

Originally Posted By: Montanero
Anything technical will fail on you when you least expect it and need it most. I have even had basic compasses get broken in the middle of negotiating obstacles. A planning acronym we used to use is that works with equipment as well is PACE: Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency.


Well said. When I was planning a relief trip to Haiti (didn't wind up going though), a doc who is retired .mil helped me develop an exfil plan based on PACE. The "E" element was pretty desperate...


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