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  #1  
Old 6 Sep 2004
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which compass?

I'm wondering which compass to get. I know I need a sighting compass of some description but I don't know much else. I want it primarily for use in deserts, and ideally to cover different parts of the world. To this point I've only ever used a basic compass. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 13 Sep 2004
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Hi

I used a Silva Expedition 4 for an orienteering weekend. It was easy to use in awful weather and I imagine would be suitable for basic navigation anywhere.

Sean


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  #3  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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watever you get, if you want to use it all over the world, make sure its designed to be. as they have to be balenced accordingly.
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  #4  
Old 13 Mar 2005
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hi,
knowing how to use what you have is a lot more important than what you have, if that makes sense.
you can have a GPS with all the bells and whistles or you can push a stick in the ground and note the shadow movement, but understanding what it tells you is the important bit.
i should think a local orienteering group would be worth contacting?

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  #5  
Old 17 Apr 2005
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hi

I use, and I’m very pleased, with a military MK3 prismatic compass. it's very accurate (probably a bit too accurate for desert use). It’s potential is best noticed in cost sailing navigation or in walking orientation.

http://www.temeraire.co.uk/MKIII%20C...IIICompass.htm

you can buy in on eBay by around 30£


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  #6  
Old 30 Jun 2005
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I use a Suunto MC-2D
http://www.thecompassstore.com/51mc2dq.html

Does everything it says on the tin It's about midrange expense wise and isn't too bug & clumsy
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  #7  
Old 30 Jun 2005
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I have a Silva Type 15 sighting compass which is very good. I like the fact you can adjust the base plate to automatically factor in magnetic variation. It also has an inclinometer, however i have never used it and you are a better judge if this would be useful to you. As some one said though, you have to make sure your compass is made for the hemisphere you are in or the needle takes on an alarming tilt which could make navigation difficult. I believe you can get 'multi region' compasses which work any where but don't know how much you pay for this. At the end of the day they all point north so your ability with it is more important than the model (another thing someone else already said!)
matt
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  #8  
Old 18 Oct 2005
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Hello,
also try the Recta DP65 global. It is a good and very evertive way to handle your compass problems.
ave a look at http://www.recta.ch/e/index.html

It is of very good quality and will not let you down.

Have a good ride.
Burnout1
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  #9  
Old 18 Oct 2005
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Read the magnetic variation from the map, factor this into your compas reading (either adjust the base plate or similar or make a mental note), and, presto, you have a compas for all regions.

Of course, you need one that is upside down for Oz and the southern hemisphere ;-)

John

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  #10  
Old 18 Oct 2005
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Hi
It's not the magnetic variation that causes the problem when using a northern hemisphere compass in the Southern hemisphere, its the angle of the magnetic field in relation to the surface of the earth. You CAN use a compass for the Northern Hemisphere in the South and vice versa but its not particularly advisable. This is because the magnetic field drags the needle point down causing it to drag on the baseplate, which could obviously cause innacuracies of navigation. By holding the body of the compass at an angle to keep the needle moving freely you can get round this but quite frankly it's a pain in the butt and difficult to get a decent bearing this way. (And try using a sighting compass this way!) I'd say buy 2 compasses, one for each, if you're going to be in both hemispheres. You can buy perfectly good silva compasses for about £15 last time I looked so it's hardly a massive outlay of cash.
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #11  
Old 18 Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matt Cartney:
Hi
It's not the magnetic variation that causes the problem when using a northern hemisphere compass in the Southern hemisphere, its the angle of the magnetic field in relation to the surface of the earth. You CAN use a compass for the Northern Hemisphere in the South and vice versa but its not particularly advisable. This is because the magnetic field drags the needle point down causing it to drag on the baseplate, which could obviously cause innacuracies of navigation. By holding the body of the compass at an angle to keep the needle moving freely you can get round this but quite frankly it's a pain in the butt and difficult to get a decent bearing this way. (And try using a sighting compass this way!) I'd say buy 2 compasses, one for each, if you're going to be in both hemispheres. You can buy perfectly good silva compasses for about £15 last time I looked so it's hardly a massive outlay of cash.

Mat

Thanks for the explanation.
Typical education system, included physical geography at university and this thread is the first I have heard of a different compas for the northern vs southern hemisphere.

John

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  #12  
Old 18 Oct 2005
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Yep, its a not a commonly recognised problem. When I offered to lend my S. Hem. compass to a mate (with 15 years mountaineering experience all over the N. Hem.)for a trip to NZ he thought I was taking the mickey! He thought I was trying to lumber him with a dodgy compass as a practical joke!
I'm not sure but I think the further north/south you get the more accentuated the problem becomes, for that reason I think a compass from either hemisphere will work well enough between the tropics say. Maybe someone with experience of that could clear it up!?
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #13  
Old 19 Oct 2005
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I have to agree with Dave. Having the compass and using it are different things.

I don't know where in Canada you are from however in Edmonton you can take an orienteering course through the U of A.

I believe in Saskatoon you can take one through Kelsey as well.

Don't worry too much, whatsthe worst that can happen. An unexpected visit to a new place ?

Have fun
Rick
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  #14  
Old 6 Nov 2005
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If you can hack the price none better than Suunto Vector computer, actually it is a wrist watch and mounts easily to the crossbar or your arm. It is a watch and stop watch and alarm. It is a barometer(very helpful)that shows the trend. It is an altimiter showing rate of ascent and descent and finially it is an electronic compass that always works. Use the foam bar mount. It is lighted. Available from Aerostitch. $187. In their on line catalog. Tel no.800 222 1994. The best.
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  #15  
Old 6 Nov 2005
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Bill,
They are great wee things, true, but personally I'd always back up an electronic compass with a tradtional unit.
Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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