Backup Compasses,

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:19
ThreadID: 70138 Views:3134 Replies:9 FollowUps:18
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Hi Team,
What do people carry as a backup compass for navigation?

You know those old fashioned things that where around long before GPS and moving maps?

Any particular recommendations on brands, styles etc.

What sort of places to look. Places such as Kathmandu or Rays or anything more specialised. Even an on line store or two would be fine. (Bear in mind Newcastle isn't always a hot bed of specialised hiking and orienteering stores)

I'm more after something hand held than vehicle mounted as obviously a Troopy's worth of steel is a fair old magnetic variation!

Thanks,
Geoff

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Reply By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:24

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:24
i use a Silva which also has a prisim for sighting to get a bearing
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:41

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:41
it is a 6/54...now called a Expedition 54 i think
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:07

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:07
Thanks MN1

Geoff

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Reply By: Member - cuffs (SA) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:30

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:30
Silva & hand held electronic compass, watch, just like the old days
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:43

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:43
watch?...digital or anologue
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:08

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:08
Thanks Cuffs,

Heaps of votes for the Silva,

Geoff

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:41

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:41
Hi Geoff,
I use and always carry a Silva orienteering compass, with back up paper Topographical maps. The compass is around my neck on a lanyard.


Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Dick (Int) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:54

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 13:54
I am the same as Stephen, I still carry a compass around my neck, paper maps, a douglas protractor and a good reliable watch. There are enough landmarks around in most area's to work out your speed

In my younger days I flew in the remote area's and that is all we had to go on and it worked ok. My first trip across the Simpson Desert in a Land Rover that is all I had. There it is relatively easy if you keep track of the number of dunes you have crossed.

Even today, I am always aware of where I am on the paper map and even without the GPS would not have any problems continuing. GPS's should be an aid to navigation only, not the sole basis of your navigation.

Cheers
Dick







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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:04

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:04
Thanks Gents,

You've pretty much covered my plans anyway. Those items are continually in use but also a backup for the GPS and movong maps.

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Bushtrek - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 15:08

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 15:08
Geoff,
Why not try the Scout Shop


Kotara Westfield - Shop 2075, Cnr Northcott Drive & Park Ave, Kotara (02 4950 9340)

They usually have all this basic gear.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 15:20

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 15:20
Thanks Bushtrek,

I wonder how long the Scout Shop has been at Westfield!! I know it disappeared years ago from Hunter St!

I've never seen it in the shopping centre! I know, I'll ask one of my teenage daughters. They practically live at Westfield!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Member - The Bushwhackers -NSW - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 17:55

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 17:55
Glad you got that info, Geoff, I've been wondering where to get a decent compass to replace my el cheapo eBay one. Better than nothing, but want a quality one. Catch ya sometime, Dave
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Reply By: tim_c - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:26

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 14:26
I generally just use a clock/watch and the direction of the sun (doesn't work in the summertime in the Top End though).

With the "12" of the clock/watch pointing in the direction of the sun, north will be in the direction halfway between the "12" and the hour hand... ie. at 4pm, north will be in the "2 o'clock" direction.
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Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 15:25

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 15:25
Funny how your brain can unconsciously work out north from the time of day (or the rumbling of your belly) and the position of the sun and keep a rough and ready compass going

Great if you’re below the tropic of Capricorn

Really stuffs you up in the Northern hemisphere though; 40 km the wrong way down an autobahn because I wanted to turn east and turned right from the sun’s direction
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 17:05

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 17:05
What happens at night?
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 18:15

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 18:15
"What happens at night?"

Turn the backlight on in your digital watch!

About as useful as summertime in the Top End.

Geoff

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Reply By: Member - Johny boy (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 16:46

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 16:46
I would just look at the sun, throw some grass into the wind then bend over and kiss my butt good bye !!

I would also have to pray for help to arrive ,that's if it does .

I have no idea how to even use a compass ,so now I will have to learn as I feel a bit left out here ?
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 18:01

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 18:01
John,
I'm doing the preliminary planning for a trip to here: Geosurvey Hill

If the GPS navigation goes down it could get seriously ugly in that part of Australia! At the moment there are at best 1 group per year travelling through this area.

If the following winter is very wet we could be sitting out there 2 years waiting for rescue or revert to the old standby paper map and compass.

There's a tutorial here on using a compass: Compass Tutorial

Geoff

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Reply By: equinox - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 19:04

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 19:04
I have a Suunto KB-14/360R.

It is not my backup compass though, it is my only one, and I frequently use it to check north (and therefore every other direction). GPS compasses only work with velocity - when normal compasses can work whether they are in motion or not.

Is has a sight glass and you have to tune into it, with both your eyes. This is a bit of a practised art, and generally anyone giving it a go for the first time will get it wrong. I can generally get an accuracy of half a degree with it.

Cheers
Alan


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In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 19:17

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 19:17
Hi Alan,

Thanks for the information, how could I forget Suunto?

I guess I worded the question a little poorly, my use is exactly the same as yours.

The backup part is probably a furphy as the GPS is really a luxury and the compass is the primary means of navigation.

Thanks again,

Geoff

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Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 21:40

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 21:40
where did you get lost this time Geoff?
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 22:58

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 22:58
East end of Hunter Street, why?

Congratulations to you and Keryl mate.

Geoff

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Reply By: D200Dug- Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:27

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:27
The new Apple iphone now comes with an electronic compass for when you get lost looking for a coffee shop in Lygon.

I have rarely used any compasses I passed my RAAF map reading exercise by using dead reckoning and common sense :-)

Margo is the map and compass expert in the family.
expedition
I can usually have a look at a map and then work of dead reckoning. I would never risk an difficult expedition by using this method but I can usually find my way OK if I need to. I know a lot of people who get lost quicker using a map and compass than I do using my head.
AnswerID: 371885

Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:35

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:35
Didn't Les Hiddins always maintain the most dangerous thing in the Australian Army was an officer with a map and a compass?

Seriously Dug, I can do the same as well but if it's really, really important then some backup is always good.

My ex-wife was seriously useless with a map. Spin her around once and she was buggered. I couldn't even conceive what she'd do with the help of a compass!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:38

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:38
The iPhone struggles as a phone!

Sheesh, I can't imagine what it'd be like as a navigaional aid or should that be navigational impediment!

Geoff
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:51

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 23:51
Margo was one of the few army officers I have ever met who can accurately navigate across unknown terrain using just a map and compass.

I have seen her get lost in a shopping center car park, I have seen her lose her way in a one way street, I am constantly and totally appalled by her complete lack of any sense of direction, but give her a map and compass and she has no problems.

I, on the other hand can find my way quite easily by using my sense of direction, but I am hopeless with map and compass navigation !

Complimentary defects !!!!
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Reply By: Flywest - Friday, Jun 26, 2009 at 19:28

Friday, Jun 26, 2009 at 19:28
If you buy one online - make sure you specify a southern hemisphere one.

I have a matching pair of the silvas, one northern hemisphere and one southern hemisphere.

The northern hemisphere one drags it's needle on the backing card when used in the southern hemisphere.

Hate to see you get one you can't use.

Cheers
AnswerID: 372006

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