compass use

mongoose

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Apr 6, 2003
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87
Location
North Dakota
Just wondering how many folks still use a compass along with shooting azimuths. It seems to be a dying or near dead art. What precipitates the ponderance, I use a compass as part of my normal work in conjunction with a GPS and have found that recent grad students haven't a clue how to use one.
 

carl1775

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Apr 17, 2018
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KS
Now days, those are only used for open bolt weapons shooting solutions and lanes. Or, to find the nearest USAF base to get good chow and ice cream.
 

carl1775

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Apr 17, 2018
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KS
I think the serious answer you're looking for is, it has fallen out of favor for easier, faster, and Nintendo. An absolute vital skill to learn and know, but rarely used en masse these days. Much like the standard transmission automobile.
 

ducky

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Jan 17, 2016
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292
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Colorado
I used to teach land navigation quite a bit in the Army. I'm pretty good with a compass and topographical map, but my pace count is a little off these days since I shattered my leg. A map, compass, and a set of Ranger beads doesn't add much weight to a pack, and I don't have to worry about batteries or loss of GPS signal. Don't get me wrong I like my Garmin, but I'm not scared to open a map.
 
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ZAK13

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Jul 18, 2015
Messages
57
It is definitely a dying art, I still use one occasionally, but for the most part, I use either OnX on my phone or my Garmin.
 

300whisper

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May 15, 2012
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3,726
Location
Macon, Georgia
Just wondering how many folks still use a compass along with shooting azimuths. It seems to be a dying or near dead art. What precipitates the ponderance, I use a compass as part of my normal work in conjunction with a GPS and have found that recent grad students haven't a clue how to use one.
Who uses a compass?! Terrain association!! That’s all you need!
 

ofbandg

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Jul 26, 2015
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177
I carry a compass, a silva ranger, have for decades. It's way better than the round, heavy ones I learned on in the army. I seldom carry maps anymore though because of the GPS. I guess I am not a trusting sort because I sometimes like to check out my GPS reading against my compass. The early GPS didn't always point you in the right direction until you were moving and that could be a bother.
 

Huggy

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Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
71
Location
Southern Arizona
Just wondering how many folks still use a compass along with shooting azimuths. It seems to be a dying or near dead art. What precipitates the ponderance, I use a compass as part of my normal work in conjunction with a GPS and have found that recent grad students haven't a clue how to use one.
I carry and use both when I'm in the field for redundancy sake. The GPS let's me know where I am distance-wise from camp or a particular destination whereas my topo and my compass and map combo shows me intervening terrain, graduations in the terrain, and waterways/holes if I need to avail myself of them or avoid them for practical reasons. All I need do is shoot an azimuth, get my visual clues situated in my head and boogie thataway yonder.
Also, in an emergency should I require immediate medical attention and/or a flying eggbeater (aka helicopter) to rescue me due to a nasty fall, etc., having the coordinates staring me from a GPS screen to relay to the dispatcher, makes finding me (or my remains....GULP) much easier for all involved and prevents mistakes in relaying the data if I'm in too much pain to figure out the exact coordinates from the paper topo map.
So I see benefit in both but should I be forced to have ONLY one, I'll take my topo and compass, please.
Overnout
 

ntsqd

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Nov 16, 2015
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669
Location
Upper SoKA
Word of warning: Check your compass against others if you've had it very long. I had a Silva that was ~30° off. Couldn't figure out why I kept ending up in the wrong place in a college orienteering class. On the day of the final I was way off the mark. So far off that the instructor after reviewing my technique thought to check it against several school compass' and found the error. Said that in 15 years of teaching that class that he'd never seen a compass that far off. I don't know if it slowly changed or something it was exposed to changed it. Silva replaced it for the shipping.
 

birdiemc

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Jan 1, 2011
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824
Location
San Antonio, TX
I know how, but haven't used it since land nav course in the Marine Corp 19 years ago. Not really necessary where I hunt. South Texas hunting on a ranch is a lot different apparently than what you guys are getting into elsewhere.
 

Hatrick

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Sep 15, 2016
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724
Location
Cape May NJ/ Stuart, Fl
I have been using a compass first for fishing then hunting for 55 years. With the new electronics it would be easy to put it down but old habits that worked die hard. I remember hunting in Nova Scotia if you got lost and did not have a compass and a way to make a fire you paid for the rescue.
 

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