compasses.

Discussion in 'Survival and Wilderness Skills' started by charlie, Apr 30, 2017.

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  1. charlie

    charlie Member

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    i have three compasses: a lensatic, a baseplate, and a little baseplate like compass made by SUN that i wear around my neck on a daily basis. now i have heard that the lensatic is not all that reliable because it is not liquid filled. any thoughts on this? i like the SUN compass because i can wear it as a necklace as i said, and the basseplate i keep in my edc bag. can anyone re3commend a decent inexpensive compass to carry at all times?
     
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  2. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

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    IMG_20170430_151929.jpg most inexpensive compass there is :D
    I believe the Sunto brand compass's are what the ESEE crew relies on.
     
  3. charlie

    charlie Member

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    thanks for the pic. is that what it's like where you're at right now?
     
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  4. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

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    Yep, party cloudy 95°
     
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  5. S.Keyes

    S.Keyes Member

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    Tru-Nord compass has really good pocket compass's, Expat had a post on them on the old site or maybe on the this one , don't remember but I got one and to me they work great .
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
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  6. S.Keyes

    S.Keyes Member

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    Also I like the Sunnto clippers .
     
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  7. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    I have had a generally good run from Silva Compass' however the "Ranger" model I bought in January lost 50% of it's fluid (started as a small bubble and went from there) in a 5 week period (notably while I was standing on a ridge in NZ). They replaced it under warranty of course but I am watching the replacement closely.
     
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  8. JDavidBoyd

    JDavidBoyd Member

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    I'm on my 3rd Ranger model. Got one as a Christmas present in the 80s, used it until 3 years, when all the fluid leaked out. Got a warranty replacement, sat on my desk for ~9 months, and developed a huge bubble. Got a warranty replacement, been carrying it around in my EDC bag, and so far so good....
    But I wouldn't buy a new one....
     
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  9. McKROB

    McKROB Member

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    Suunto MC2G is definitely the way to go! I have several for work that get used a lot and have never had any issues.

    I've had two Silva Rangers spontaneously reverse needle polarity (north needle points south) which is pretty scary. I'll never buy another.

    For an inexpensive option, the new Brunton TruArc baseplate compasses are hard to beat, for less than $20 you can get a compass with adjustable declination and a global needle that is made in the USA.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
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  10. Andris94

    Andris94 Member

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    For all the money I've spent on compasses, I could have bought a Suunto and had cash for an ESEE left over.

    A military issue lensatic compass is MILSPEC at +/- 3 degrees.
    Knock-offs are horrendously inaccurate.

    Suuntos excellent quality and rugged, whether lensatic or baseplate.
    But get the "global" version of the lensatic, as it is more forgiving of you failing to hold it perfectly flat.

    I use the watchband mounted button compass more than anything. It is perfect to supplement backpacking by terrain association.
     
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  11. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    MC2G - only way to go for me.
     
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  12. charlie

    charlie Member

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    mr. randall,


    it was absolutely WONDERFUL hearing from you the founder of ESEE. now, if you don't mind, i'd like to share my story with you.

    i am fifty one years old and on social security disability. i live pretty much paycheck to paycheck and don't really have a lot of money to spare. thus far, about the only compass's i've been able to afford has been the ozark trails base plate compass and some military compass i bought at a gun store that has the word HUMMER on the outside of it. what could you recommend as a fairly inexpensive compass? thank you.
     
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  13. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    @Jeff Randall
     
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  14. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    I would just get a small Suunto baseplate compass such as the Suunto A10 and start with that. They're great little compasses for general wilderness nav work.
     
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  15. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

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    There ya go Charlie, answer straight from the big kahuna.
     
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  16. S.Keyes

    S.Keyes Member

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    I guess I misunderstood the question, when I read carry on me all the time I think of on the body carry . But yes the Sunnto A10 is a great compass that is in the Esee/Rat Advance survival kit that I have as a car kit .
     
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  17. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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  18. OhCanada

    OhCanada Member

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    New Silva is junk; they sold the name to an American company that doesn't get them from Finland anymore. Stick with Suunto if you want a quality compass still made in a country that actually understands compasses.

    PS: Have any of you used the clear ESEE compass/nav cards?
     
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  19. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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  20. Mike Perrin

    Mike Perrin Administrator Staff Member

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    The compass industry is a little like a soap opera where all partners change year after year. ))
    Silva of Sweden still exist but due to an underhanded move by a U.S. company, Johnson Outdoors, many years ago the Silva name in the U.S. can only be handled by Johnson. Johnson Outdoors doesn't make anything themselves so they buy compasses wherever they buy compasses.)) The Silva USA compasses have had a spotty record for quality. The Silva compasses of Sweden are still great quality compasses, if you can get one. Silva of Sweden cannot sell their Silva branded compasses on the North American continent. ))
    Brunton USA used to be owned by Silva of Sweden so Silva could market compasses in the U.S.. But Brunton made a split a few years ago and is now only a U.S. company. But the better , more practical compasses (in my opinion) went with Silva back to Sweden.(( Brunton's pocket transit is still the industry standard though for geologists and surveyors.
    Suunto makes a good practical compass with the MC2 global. K&R makes a decent mirrored compass as well with a flexible capsule that greatly reduces the chance of an air bubble due to changes in pressure.
    Just buy one that works and is accurate with a way to adjust for declination.
     
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