Equipment > Compasses

Why we carry more than one compass


One of many reasons found in the news to carry spear compass.

Maybe this lady could benefit from attending a course on natural navigation? It's a great skill to acquire and it helps a lot when things start to wrong.

I always carry two compasses: one is my wrist compass from Suunto with a dial of less than an inch, the other electronic one is in my watch. I never use it, but in an emergency I would. Once I broke my Suunto KB-14. And I often carry a little thermometer with a small compass incorporated. The wrist compass solves 99 % of my navigation problems, even in the underground railways of Madrid or Paris.

Angle of Repose:
Amen to that. I usually carry a Suunto M3 Global in my chest rig and a backup button compass in my mini AMK Survival Kit that goes in my cargo pants pocket when out in the woods. I also have an electronic compass in my watch (Casio) but never use it.

On a recent SAR Land Nav training exercise, the compass that I had then, a cheap Silva needle was acting all wacky. Compared it to a known working compass and it apparently was all messed up. Had to go to my backup button compass. Apparently my radio (speaker) had gotten too close to the compass needle and affected the magnetism. Better in training, than in real life.


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