What compass do you use?

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 13:31
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Hi there,

I started using a Suunto KB-14 about 25 years ago and have found it to be a great compass.

It's good to about half a degree and I can get a bearing in about 5 seconds. It takes practice as you use one eye to look into your target and the other to look at the dial but to get an accurate reading you have to "look" behind the dial.

I'm on my second one (as I lost the first one) and am happy to continue using it.



Does anyone else have a favorite compass?

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 13:44

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 13:44
Hi Alan, keen bushwalker here, until a couple of years ago, dedicated map and compass man.
Silva, have short and long base plate, simple compass, bombproof in the bush.

The new HEMA 4WD Maps app on the iPad is great though, takes all the pressure off when driving :)
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Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 14:11

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 14:11
Silva Type 4 and Francis Barker M-73 Black.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 14:34

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 14:34
I went to check on my old Silva, looks like a model 15T?? It has a mirror in the cover.

Sadly ( for it), it is buried at the back of my glovebox. I don't think I have used it for at least 10 years with GPS being so easy and accurate.

Sometimes I think about doing a navigation course using a theodeliete, but not even the navy teach those skills any more.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 14:38

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 14:38
Ahh Expedition 15t that is it. ( thanks Google) Looks like there is an newer version too, but mine would have to be about 35 years old. Doh....
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Reply By: The Explorer - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 15:23

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 15:23
Hello Alan
My favourite - inherited off my Grandfather..


Don't use it of course...These are my current ones, two Suunto KB 14/360Rs and a Silva (Type 15T - The Ranger).

One of the Suuntos is now close on useless as the fluid has gone blue for some reason and you can only just read bearings through the eyepiece (yours also appears to be a bit blue?). This is the one I have had in my car (most of the time) for 25+ years and think it may possibly be due to heat but dont really know? Apparently it is not possible (or worth the trouble) to change the fluid and its a bin job. The other one has been inside the house for the same period and is OK so I am happy.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 15:59

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 15:59
Hi Greg,
That's a great selection there, especially your grandfathers.

You're right the fluid in mine is slightly blue, though doesn't affect the operation (I hope).

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Follow Up By: B1B2 - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 16:31

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 16:31
Greg,
I reckon your grandfather's compass is survival equipment from a ship's lifeboat.
Has it got Capt Bligh written anywhere?


Cheers,
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 16:34

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 16:34
...yeah the blue colour doesn't stop the compass working but it will slowly get darker and darker making seeing through the liquid difficult to impossible (especially small numbers/tickmarks). Not sure how long it took mine to become close on useless.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 18:38

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 18:38
Hullo Alan
Silva Type 80
Pretty basic; used it on the boat as a backup and for keeping my hand in checking the course on the charts.
Now in the survival bag for similar reasons :-)
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 21:59

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 21:59
Alan
Mine is as described by Idler Chis but more modern. Encased in yellow shock absorbing rubber and hangs around my neck.
Damped movement and quite accurate. Good for taking bearings.
Cheers
Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Will 76 Series - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 18:50

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 18:50
Allen, I am another fan of the silva compass it used by militaries around the world and has everything you need. A trap sometimes is that there is northern and southern hemisphere version.
AnswerID: 594710

Reply By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 21:23

Sunday, Jan 10, 2016 at 21:23
I brought a compass about 40 years ago when I use to sail. It was mounted in rubber so as it swung around your neck it did not really matter if it hit something. Very robust. It was not your conventional compass. You hold it up to your eye, point it at something in the distance, and then read the bearing numbers. If you want north, you turned until it reads zero and then look at the things on that bearing in the distance. Take it with me on every trip, but with 6 or 7 GPS equipped devices it does not get a lot of use. If I could find it at the moment I would take a picture, but with turning my truck over last year I am not sure which box it is in.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 22:26

Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 22:26
Hi Chris,
Sounds Iike yours uses the same principle as mine. Do you need both eyes?
I'm not really sure how to use the Silva type for terrestrial nav. so have just stuck with what I know and trust.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 23:20

Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 23:20
Posted my first reply in the wrong spot, see it below.

Here is a YouTube video that explains how my compass works.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP3vbSRfoE4
Mine is some 40 years old, but the one in the video is just a more modern design but the work just the same. When you look through the prism at the object of your desire it is quite easy to read the bearing within 1 degree of accuracy.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 15:50

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 15:50
I have at long last found my compass. Here is a photo. Bit of an old relic like me, but it works,



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Reply By: Member - Russler - Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 18:49

Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 18:49
I use a digital watch when I'm driving, but use a relatively basic Silva when bushwalking and off-track (backed up by a GPS app on my smartphone).
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 22:59

Monday, Jan 11, 2016 at 22:59
Hi Alan, no, only one eye. It is designed to get a bearing on some distant object. I would imagine that something like mine would be very handy when you are on the Arctic Cat in the middle of nowhere looking for somewhere. I will have another look tomorrow to see if I can find it and take some pic's
Cheers Chris
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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