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Can we talk about our compasses?


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The moderator may move or delete this, I don't know, but our magnetic compasses (if we carry one) are as much a part of our gear as our GPSr.

 

I am curious as to what make and model magnetic compass people are using.

 

I have a Suunto M3G with the global needle (I am in Ecuador). Turns out the little Silva starter compass I carry every day in my backpack worked just fine. But I like the larger dial and needle and the luminous dial on the more expensive model.

 

Looking through the catalogs, you sure can spend a lot for a compass! I Remember years ago Silva was the only game in town.

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The moderator may move or delete this, I don't know, but our magnetic compasses (if we carry one) are as much a part of our gear as our GPSr.

 

I am curious as to what make and model magnetic compass people are using.

 

I have a Suunto M3G with the global needle (I am in Ecuador). Turns out the little Silva starter compass I carry every day in my backpack worked just fine. But I like the larger dial and needle and the luminous dial on the more expensive model.

 

Looking through the catalogs, you sure can spend a lot for a compass! I Remember years ago Silva was the only game in town.

 

MC-2G Sighting Mirror Compass with Global Needle

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My military issue compass. It sure beats the cheap ones. I've been on several caches where they are off set and the log says go 85 degrees. I go 85 degrees and the cache is no where near it. I go back and re-shoot it and it maybe off by 15-20 degrees. Spend the extra couple bucks and get a good one.

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Yep 3 dollar Discount model..... My new 60CSx has a digital one Who needs that?...

 

Yup! Got the magnetic compass with my new Etrex Vista HCx. But I'm a curmudgeon. I use the cute little white globe magnet that I traded for in one or more of BrianSnat's caches. Great little compass! I trust that one! It's also good when you get confused coming out of the subway.

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I have a Suunoto MCB Compass, its a nice one around 20 bucks and its even got a whistle in the lanyard so thats also helpful, and trust me when ur batteries die suddenly you will be glad you had a compass.
No, I'll be glad I've got another set of batteries in my backpack. :huh:

We even carry a pair a lithiums each wrapped and dropped into the bottoms of our packs for if and when we ever run out of spare NiMH rechargeables. That happened to us once. As we got low on the last set we turned off one of our units to conserve its batteries.

 

Additionally, a compass does one little good if you don't know which way you're supposed to go. How many blindly follow their GPS in paying attention to which way the pointer is pointing and not to bearing or heading. I know I do it. Just make the little pointer point straight up and I know I'm heading towards the cache.

 

In the Southeast, it's not that big of a deal if you get a little turned around. It's hard to walk for more than a day without hitting a road. If you get lost you might be inconvenienced, but rarely is it deadly. Other regions could be different. I'm guessing trying to walk in a straight line on a random heading in one of the Western states and it could take several days before you hit a road--if you make it that far.

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I carry several compasses along with the use of a GPS and extra batteries, but use the compass most of the time.

Suunto M2

 

Brunton 8099

 

And a UTM Roamer Scale

 

I also make maps of several scales in the area that I am patroling, never know when I will leave the trail to look for something different. There are several more items that I carry in my kit, a military lensatice compass that was issued to me in '65, a 1:24 K ruler. Pencils and a pencil sharpener, a loupe.

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I just picked up the Silva Polaris to replace a P.O.S. that I got for a few bucks a while back. As tollerdudes said... if I'm in the wilderness, I'm not about to rely solely on batteries that run out. Unless the earth stops spinning, the Silva should hold me... and if it DOES stop spinning, I'm sure there'll be a lot more problems to worry about :huh:

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I use a magnetic compass that I clip to a belt loop. The compass part is about the size of a quarter and probably not as accurate as the $30 or even the $10 types. But when I'm in the woods and my GPS is pointing NW and not changing as I move, I can take a quick look at the belt loop compass to get a general idea which way to head. If I remember it, I also have a $10 Boy Scout grade compass in the car.

 

Camper17

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While this is not the best compass - at all - for a cross country bushwhack, I have the $1.99 compass from the Groundspeak store on my GPSr lanyard:

 

AlienBug.jpg

 

 

Its quite handy for taking a quick reference - I can just grab a quick direction check without breaking stride while leaving the GPSr on its belt clip, no need to take it out, hold it level and let the electronic compass unscramble itself.

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After doing a cache where I had to shoot a bearing, which I did using my non Electronic Compass GPS...I decided that maybe it would be easier with a real compass.

 

Then I laid out a cache where you did need to shoot a bearing and needed to get a compass to be more accurarte.

 

With both of those in mind, I got some 50.00 compass that was good at shooting bearings. That was 4 years ago. Never used it since, but it's in the cache bag Just in case.

 

Edit: The compass is a Silva.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I've been using a little clip-on watch band compass to augment my GPSr but recently found my dads old WWII compass. I'll take it out with me next cache and see what it does

I've forgotten all the stuff I learned in scouts 40+ years ago. I guess it is never to late to learn again...

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I am so glad that you have started a thread devoted to this question, as it gives me a long-awaited chance to brag about my nature-friendly homemade compass which I take with me on all geocaching excursions where I will be hiking more than a quarter-mile from home or from my car.

 

At one time, I used high-end Brunton and Silva compasses as backups to my GPSr, but then I started reading on the Internet (and we all know that everything that you read on the Internet is true) that the powerful synthetic magnets employed as pointers in those commercial compasses can seriously disrupt the body's energy meridians and energy fields, causing neurasthenia and other problems, including hooliganism, and worse, I eventually later also learned -- again from the web -- that almost all of those commercial compasses have sophisticated alien tracking technology embedded in them to allow the evil alien grays and their reptoid reptilian cohorts to be able to abduct compass users easily when they are out in rural areas. And so, at that point, I vowed that I would never again use a commercial compass, and rather, that I would use only an all-natural compass made from natural materials and that I had built myself so that I would be assured that it was entirely free of alien gray tracking technology. This led to an 18 month R&D effort in my shop and laboratory, and finally, about a year ago, I finalized my design and created a working model for my use on all cache trips where I would be venturing far from my car or home on foot.

 

The natural compass device which I came up with after extensive research and development employs as the pointer a small chunk of naturally-occurring lodestone rock, embedded in a small circular disk of styrofoam which floats atop a half gallon of water in a clean glass bowl. The chunk of lodestone rock (hand-harvested from a river in Georgia) employed as a pointer has been machined into an arrow shape, with the tip of the arrow pointing to magnetic North, and with the tip painted red with a red enamel. The small disk of styrofoam (mined by hand from a styrofoam mine located in New Brunswick, Canada) in which the chunk of lodestone is embedded is labeled with N, E, S and W markings in the appropriate places, and the disk, when floating on the surface of the water, is able to turn so that the pointer is always pointing north. Better, the green glass bowl which I chose for use in building this fine hand-crafted all-natural magnet is a 1930's era antique green uranium glass (aka vaseline glass) bowl which emits a soothing aura of natural healing ionizing radiation at all times, gently bathing my hands and my entire torso in a soothing bath of healing ionizing beta and gamma radiation in order to increase my health, vigor and stamina.

 

I am so pleased with this design that I am thinking of selling complete plans, in the form of a fifteen-page manual, for crafting and using such a natural compass on Ebay for perhaps $300 per manual and perhaps $40 for shipping and handling. For your edification and enjoyment, I have appended some photos below of my homemade natural magnetic compass:

 

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The photo above shows a close-up of the glass bowl containing a half-gallon of water atop which the styrofoam disk bearing the lodestone pointer floats. Note the beautiful and soothing green color of the antique uranium glass bowl.

 

f4f21750-08f3-491e-b807-dd13698dc3b7.jpg

The photo above shows me, during a 20 mile hike while seeking a wilderness cache in West Virginia, holding my trusty magnetic compass. Note the calming and peaceful green color of the antique uranium glass bowl.

 

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And finally, the photo above shows one more shot of me holding the magnetic compass while on a lengthy hike seeking a cache in West Virginia.

 

I am very happy to report that since switching to using this powerful and effective hand-crafted all-natural magnetic compass of my own design, I have not experienced any disruption to my bodily energy meridians, nor have I been the victim of any abduction attempts by the alien grays or their reptoid reptilian shapeshifter minions, and so I can report that the magnet is working with 100% effectiveness! Better, my records show that I find caches with 34% greater speed and with 39% greater efficiency when employing this compass. Amazing but totally true! i :)

Edited by Vinny & Sue Team
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I like mine. It gets 29 mpg, the passenger seat folds down like a desk, and I can plug my computer into the standard 110 volt plug. It is so nice for geocaching, and while the 4X4 leaves something to be desired, the limited offroad capability is offset by great gas mileage.

 

Oh, wait. This isn't a Jeep discussion? :)

 

Right. I would like to purchase one of the Vinny versions. I'm scared to use my Silva now. Where can I buy your version, vinny?

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After doing a cache where I had to shoot a bearing, which I did using my non Electronic Compass GPS...I decided that maybe it would be easier with a real compass.

We're still using the Magellan SporTraks. If the hiding isn't obvious I'll put my unit down to average. After a while of being unsuccessful, I'll come back and check the bearing and distance. I'll use the compass for bearing and guesstimate the distance. I don't move the unit as the longer it averages the closer to the "real" coordinates it will read.

 

Of course, I keep cussing myself--after walking off 50' in dense woods at night--for not putting some reflective tape on it so I can find it easier.

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Suunto KB20/360R. I love being able to look through the lens, read to within half a degree and look through the gunsight notch at my target. At least once, this compass has bailed me out of trouble when the GPSr has gone dead or can't find 4 sats. Remember or write down the magnetic az. to the cache if you are out of sight.

If the GPS fails for any reason, rely on the compass to get back.

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I just ran across this one, and think there are some notable cachers that would like to keep this knowledge in their survival bag...

 

Okay, here's the scenario. A bit far-fetched, I admit, but look who's going to be our next president. Let's say you're hopelessly lost in the wilderness since your GPSr batteries went dead, and you forgot to pack replacements (or the cool strap that holds batteries like a bullet bandolier sold by CR you had to throw at an angry bear, or perhaps the batteries flew all about in the forest when you flogged yourself with the badolier because you just had a DNF).

 

Items required-

All you have is a can of beer, a sewing needle, a small bowl, and a pair of extra-large silk panties. Because this is a matter of life and death, any adult female in your caching group should give hers up. this being said, it is a good idea to require adult females at all times to only wear silk underwear on caching expeditions. If extra large is not available, try any size, since I mention extra-large just for the sake of visualization to enhance memory of this life-saving procedure. REMEMBER - don't mention to her they are extra-large, or there will be at least one less member of your caching party that survives. Also, this step gets much more interesting if, instead of lost in the woods, you are lost in a barren desert, with no trees behind which clandestine production of said clothing is accomplished.

 

Step 1 - Open the beer. If you brought a bottle that requires an opener, use your Leatherman. If you don't have a Leatherman, use your teeth. If you don't have teeth, the law of averages indicate you don't have a nice lady wearing silk, so you are going to perish anyhow. Break the top of the bottle off on a rock and drink the beer.

 

Step 2 - Pour some into the bowl, and let it go flat. (Better drink the rest; this may not work. Not to mention if you do not drink the rest, then you may dehydrate awaiting the beer flattening process. Alternatively, you can feed the beer to the selected adult female in the group if she refuses to produce the silk prior to Step 3- just remember to leave some beer for this step!).

 

Step 3 - Magnetize the needle by stroking it repeatedly in one direction on the panties. Now that I think about it, this step does not necessarily require the silk to be off the selected adult female, although generating static is probably easier without a human body grounding out the building charge. Regardless, this rubbing will generate a charge of static electricity.

 

Step 4 - Float the needle in the beer. When it stops, moving it'll be pointing in a north-south direction.

 

Step 5 - Assuming you know the cardinal direction of your start point, now get outta there! If you do not know the general direction, go north (I'm currently in the El Paso region, so north is a good choice. There are some places in the world where north may not be a good choice (Kuwait, Nepal, South Korea and the North Pole may be some examples), so use your good judgement in these places (that being said, if you have read the survival plan to this point, your judgement is very questionable).

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I just ran across this one, and think there are some notable cachers that would like to keep this knowledge in their survival bag...

 

Okay, here's the scenario. A bit far-fetched, I admit, but look who's going to be our next president. Let's say you're hopelessly lost in the wilderness since your GPSr batteries went dead, and you forgot to pack replacements (or the cool strap that holds batteries like a bullet bandolier sold by CR you had to throw at an angry bear, or perhaps the batteries flew all about in the forest when you flogged yourself with the badolier because you just had a DNF).

 

Items required-

All you have is a can of beer, a sewing needle, a small bowl, and a pair of extra-large silk panties. Because this is a matter of life and death, any adult female in your caching group should give hers up. this being said, it is a good idea to require adult females at all times to only wear silk underwear on caching expeditions. If extra large is not available, try any size, since I mention extra-large just for the sake of visualization to enhance memory of this life-saving procedure. REMEMBER - don't mention to her they are extra-large, or there will be at least one less member of your caching party that survives. Also, this step gets much more interesting if, instead of lost in the woods, you are lost in a barren desert, with no trees behind which clandestine production of said clothing is accomplished.

 

Step 1 - Open the beer. If you brought a bottle that requires an opener, use your Leatherman. If you don't have a Leatherman, use your teeth. If you don't have teeth, the law of averages indicate you don't have a nice lady wearing silk, so you are going to perish anyhow. Break the top of the bottle off on a rock and drink the beer.

 

Step 2 - Pour some into the bowl, and let it go flat. (Better drink the rest; this may not work. Not to mention if you do not drink the rest, then you may dehydrate awaiting the beer flattening process. Alternatively, you can feed the beer to the selected adult female in the group if she refuses to produce the silk prior to Step 3- just remember to leave some beer for this step!).

 

Step 3 - Magnetize the needle by stroking it repeatedly in one direction on the panties. Now that I think about it, this step does not necessarily require the silk to be off the selected adult female, although generating static is probably easier without a human body grounding out the building charge. Regardless, this rubbing will generate a charge of static electricity.

 

Step 4 - Float the needle in the beer. When it stops, moving it'll be pointing in a north-south direction.

 

Step 5 - Assuming you know the cardinal direction of your start point, now get outta there! If you do not know the general direction, go north (I'm currently in the El Paso region, so north is a good choice. There are some places in the world where north may not be a good choice (Kuwait, Nepal, South Korea and the North Pole may be some examples), so use your good judgement in these places (that being said, if you have read the survival plan to this point, your judgement is very questionable).

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I just ran across this one, and think there are some notable cachers that would like to keep this knowledge in their survival bag...

Sure, but do you know how to start a fire with a can of Coke and a Hershey bar? :surprise:

 

Duh. Of course I do. Since this forum topic is about compasses, I will create a new topic that has to do with survival tips when your GPS fails....

 

Edit: Here's the link to that one, Mr. PS.

Edited by Jeep_Dog
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I like mine. It gets 29 mpg, the passenger seat folds down like a desk, and I can plug my computer into the standard 110 volt plug. It is so nice for geocaching, and while the 4X4 leaves something to be desired, the limited offroad capability is offset by great gas mileage.

 

Oh, wait. This isn't a Jeep discussion? :P

 

Right. I would like to purchase one of the Vinny versions. I'm scared to use my Silva now. Where can I buy your version, vinny?

I am selling the diagrams and instructions for building such an alien-influence-free magnetic compasss at home on Ebay for $934. I had originally been selling the complete instructions for only $300, but Ebay's Fair Pricing for Esoteric Physics Devices Department contacted me and told me that the instruction package was grossly underpriced, and begged me to raise the price to the $1,400 range. I did not wish to go quite that high, and so I raised the price to $934. If you wish to purchase the actual device, that is, an antique green glass bowl made of radioactive vaseline glass (aka uranium glass) and the styrofoam disk with a lodestone pointer installed in it (all you need to upon receipt is add 0.6 gallons of water to float the styrofoam disk), I am able to sell them for the low, low price of only $6,555. Obviously, the price cannot remain at that insanely low level for much longer, so place your order today! And, quantities are limited! Order today!

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I like mine. It gets 29 mpg, the passenger seat folds down like a desk, and I can plug my computer into the standard 110 volt plug. It is so nice for geocaching, and while the 4X4 leaves something to be desired, the limited offroad capability is offset by great gas mileage.

 

Oh, wait. This isn't a Jeep discussion? :P

 

Right. I would like to purchase one of the Vinny versions. I'm scared to use my Silva now. Where can I buy your version, vinny?

I am selling the diagrams and instructions for building such an alien-influence-free magnetic compasss at home on Ebay for $934. I had originally been selling the complete instructions for only $300, but Ebay's Fair Pricing for Esoteric Physics Devices Department contacted me and told me that the instruction package was grossly underpriced, and begged me to raise the price to the $1,400 range. I did not wish to go quite that high, and so I raised the price to $934. If you wish to purchase the actual device, that is, an antique green glass bowl made of radioactive vaseline glass (aka uranium glass) and the styrofoam disk with a lodestone pointer installed in it (all you need to upon receipt is add 0.6 gallons of water to float the styrofoam disk), I am able to sell them for the low, low price of only $6,555. Obviously, the price cannot remain at that insanely low level for much longer, so place your order today! And, quantities are limited! Order today!

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I've been reading these forums (fora?) researching magnetic compasses for geocaching, and the Brunton Eclipse 8099 seems to be one of the favorites. Just wanted to let people know about a smokin' deal I found tonight. Amazon has the 8099 for $30.95 with free shipping. That's about half the price I've been seeing elsewhere. I just ordered one for myself and I thought I'd share the deal with my fellow cachers.

 

Here's the link.

 

They were in stock as of this post.

 

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Amazon or Brunton--I'm just a bargain hunter.

Edited by scoopsfolks
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I have a Suunoto MCB Compass, its a nice one around 20 bucks and its even got a whistle in the lanyard so thats also helpful, and trust me when ur batteries die suddenly you will be glad you had a compass.

No, I'll be glad I've got another set of batteries in my backpack. :ph34r:

 

Extra batteries are always a plus. If you are on the side of a road looking for a magnet on a guard rail.

 

A true Lensatic Compass is a must if you are going into the woods.

 

You'll find that your GPSr will be showing your distance, but not always the proper heading. Higher end models will do better, but even they can't control the canopy or severe weather. Magnetic North won't change on you, ever. That's why a Lensatic Compass is so valuable.

 

We carry a US Military Issue Lensatic with us. You can tell the authentic ones because they are made of steel, and a bit heavier. (There are replicas, but they are lighter because they are made of aluminium). A second thing to look for is on the back of the compass. The back will be secured with screws, not pressed together. There will also be a warning about Radioactivity. (No need to worry if you don't open it up).

 

If you are going more than ten feet into the woods, have a compass with you. If you're going to go deep, get one like I described. You shouldn't rely on a sattelite signal to get you back safely. A lensatic compass is a must have. Unless of course, you are going after lamp post's and magnets.

Edited by JASTA 11
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If you can read your map it doesn't matter much what kind of compass you have.. and if you can't read a map your compass probably won't be of much help. All it tells you is the direction of Magnetic North.. carry a map and know how to read it.

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I carry a $10 compass in my geocaching bag, but I hardly ever need to use it. The built in digital compass in my GPS works just fine. However, I agree that every cacher should carry a back-up. No reason to get blitzed on a cache just because your batteries died.

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What do you do when your compass develops an air bubble?

 

Take the compass away from the Blonde, give it to a Brunette or Redhead, and problem solved.

 

Very funny but it is a legitimate question and I'd thought you would have answered in a slow and Zenful manner. Since JD blew you off, here's an answer from a blonde female backpacker.

 

No More Air Bubbles

 

What causes - and how do you prevent - air bubbles from showing up in liquid filled compasses? Just about every liquid filled compass I have used usually gets a small air bubble in it.

 

First off, never fear: a small bubble in your compass will not affect its accuracy. Bubbles can form from high elevation or exposure to cold temperatures, which cause the liquid to contract, leaving an air bubble behind. Usually, the bubble will disappear when the compass is returned to sea level and/or room temperature. If it doesn't, place it in a warm spot-like a sunny windowsill-so the liquid can heat, expand, and return to it's normal volume.

 

I have to agree with the author's solution as it has worked for both my wrist compass and orienteering compass in the past.

Edited by eagletrek
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