compass use

Discussion in 'Maps, GPS and Google Earth' started by mongoose, Jul 13, 2019.


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  1. mongoose

    mongoose Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. carl1775

    carl1775 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    I still use one, but I am old enough to come from the times when it was all you had.
     
  4. carl1775

    carl1775 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  5. ducky

    ducky Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  6. ZAK13

    ZAK13 Member

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    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.
     
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  7. hunter67wa

    hunter67wa Well-Known Member

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    Always have one when Im hunting. It never dies. Just taught my wife how to use one and took her out for some orienteering two weeks ago. Valuable skill like starting a fire
     
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  8. 300whisper

    300whisper Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Who uses a compass?! Terrain association!! That’s all you need!
     
  9. Elkeater

    Elkeater Well-Known Member

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    I still require their use and understanding from my employees. I’m not that old and we had to learn how to traverse using a compass and map in college. It’s an important skill if the GPS craps out in the woods.
     
  10. ofbandg

    ofbandg Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  11. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  12. ntsqd

    ntsqd Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. birdiemc

    birdiemc Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  14. Hatrick

    Hatrick Well-Known Member

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    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.