posted on Nov, 18 2021 @ 09:40 PM
I've always been a nut about knowing exactly where I am, and where I'm going. I've loved maps and navigation ever since I was a kid.
Compasses and orienteering have always been a fun hobby for me. Even living in Wyoming, I used to try to get lost just to see if I could find my way.
Much like many things today, computers and technology have made things easier for the lazy people. When that technology doesn't work (out of range /
out of service) they're screwed. GPS is a great example.
I had a hunting buddy of mine bugging me for years to get a GPS. I finally did. It's nice, but I can still do way more with a map and compass.
Yeah sure, I can't see where Memphis is from the mountains of Montana, but I don't need to.
Compasses fall into (2) basic categories, baseplate compasses and sighting compasses. For most of my years I always used a baseplate compass, and was
generally more accurate in my navigation than most with any other type of compass. The drawback is, most baseplate compasses don't have adjustable
magnetic declination. For that matter, most compasses in general don't have adjustable declination. I would always make sure I knew the area's
magnetic declination and was very familiar with converting back and forth, but it can be easy to make a mistake. Compass to map is one way, and map
to compass is the opposite. One minor mental slip and you're going in the wrong direction (sometimes by miles).
Getting an adjustable declination compass is fairly difficult...and they're expensive. I guess they figure most people will get lost in the math,
but the reality is they're much easier to use once you understand them.
With my handheld GPS, you have to actually move to get an accurate compass bearing. With a compass you don't have to move at all.
Back in my youth I used to say a compass was useless without a map, but the reality is if you understand your environment a compass is still useful.
With an accurate map, a compass is far more useful then even a GPS, especially with a USGS top map.
What do you think about compasses, and compass navigation.
Note - Even with all my fancy electronics, I recently got a new mechanical compass. It's a SUUNTO MH-2, and yes, it has adjustable declination.