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Old 03-02-2010, 04:37 AM   #11
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If the ocean ever changes position or the rotation of the earth changes I'm sunk. But wait...if the magnetic core shifts we'll have to float Al Gore in a pond to find magnetic north.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:52 AM   #12
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Thanks for the Info, I planned to learn how to use a compass but have never really knew where to start. Hunting here in Rural Tennessee where the Major landmark is HWY 64, It helps too know how to use a compass.
Like I said before, Thank you very much for the Information, It will be used well.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:28 AM   #13
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I'm fair to middelin when it comes to compasses, enough to get me close to where I want to go. This thread, however, is very good info. I can see it helping me alot becoming more proficient at using one. Am looking at some of the books you suggested as well.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:45 AM   #14
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This is a great post, I have always wanted to now how to use a compass, but never had a clue where to start other than google. Thx for the info, I think I'll try that book.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:51 PM   #15
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I 'hate' UTM because many GPSs aren't pre configured by their owners for it. Likewise in the US civilian maps use one type of UTM coordinate, while the military maps use a different one. Much easier to say go to NAD 78,000 43.000 and their GPS will make the meet happen. Good post though.

Everyone should know this stuff. Even though I haven't used them since the coming of the Magellan 315, I still have several different compass types laying around. Truth be told, not much less than the sudden loss of the ionosphere (other than the simultaneous detonation of 20 - 30 equidistant placed 40 meg hydrogen warheads just below the the ionosphere to force an expansion of the ionosphere is likely to make the GPS satellites fail. Of course if the Ionosphere goes, so too does most life, so worry about the GPS will be way down on the priority list. I much prefer it when my topo maps have NAD latitude and longitude grid lines rather than UTM. I had several maps of places I go customized to show the lat and long rather than the stock UTM. Several of today's hand held GPS units do allow one to take a bearing. You may have to take one or three steps in the direction to get your reading, but the system is accurate. There is a game called geocaching in which someone hides something small (like a dog tag in the woods) somewhere, then lets others know the coordinates where the item is. There are websites devoted to the game. Many GPS units will bring you to within 30 feet of the place. Some even closer. Finding cached items from a starting point several miles away that way can be fun.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:25 AM   #16
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This is a very excellent thread that I missed. This thread is now stuck for everyone to be able to find quickly and learn from the master.

Very well done sir!

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:31 PM   #17
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I have a nice old Leupold and Stevens compass that needs some adjusting. The needle dont swing freely. Know of anyone that can do a repair without breaking the bank??

Leupold & Stevens is now Leupold scopes. They dont do compass repair.

Around here iot is quite flat. When hunting in strange areas just remember that you are eithr N or S of the(a) road,. Go in to the N,, come out to the S esp when dark the compass helps.

I also took some Boy Scouits on a compass course. A couple got twisted around and ended way off coures at a location that had a phone. The kids knew where they were so no big deal. Only problem was they called the one boys Mom. She picked em up and went HOME.. Yuk. No scout leader wants to leave a kid in the woods.

I dont recall how we found out they were at home. He heard about it later. I suggested talking w/ the Mom. I dont know if she ever got it.

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:59 PM   #18
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I like the GPSR but it isn't as accurate as a compass can be.
Batteries die and electronics break. It is good to know how to do things the old ways.
Not true, compass are less accurate than a GPS system. As the earth goes around the sun the magnetic field around the world keeps changing, not by a lot but enough, If Columbus used the same heading he did in 1492 today, he would completely miss north america on his trip. Whereas GPS are accurate with in feet, the north pole keeps shifting each year and north becomes south about every 25,000 years. You should be OK to use you compass for the next week or two, but me I will use my GPS unless sun spots knock out the satilites.


Here is a novel idea you should have learned in boy scouts. Make yourself a sun dial compas, take a stick about 10 inches tall and stick it in the ground. Mark where the shadow of the stick meets the ground, wait an hour or so and then mark where the shadow now meets the ground. If you draw a line between the marks, that will be east and west, now you all know where north is from there right? Or just check the trees to see which side the moss is on (that will north). If you need a compas you are already in trouble and may become part of the landscape (ashes to ashes, dust to dust)

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Old 04-25-2013, 10:41 PM   #19
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To the Original Poster from years ago- Thank you- yours remains a most excellent post.

To all: Yes, I use GPS. Sometimes I am in a location that cannot receive an adequate signal- and if I ever bash it on a rock, or run out of battery, I have a military compass- or at least a decent Silva as a backup.

Find yourself with no compass? In dire straits, if you have a watch with hands and a dial....
What we have here is... failure- to communicate.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:31 PM   #20
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I still have 2 old WWII engineers compass's I bought in 1971?? When ever when I am in the woods I have both, one on me one in my pack. I have had a few times when the night sky was heavily over cast and low and you could not tell direction at all or in some swaps like the fakahatchee strand that you could not see the sky on a good day . You needed a compass. I also have limited use for a gps BUT do have a old garmin V for locating fishing wrecks and general location from days back in south Florida's ten thousand islands and to get back to camp when hunting. But my trusty old compass is always near. Wife bought a first year tom tom that still works . My girls have updated it a couple times .

I still like a good map like the altas /maps from delorme and love topo's for hunting . Easier to plan the trip I want , not what the darn gps wants . Agps will still get you all screwed up. Now that I live in NC mountains the garmen has been unused for some years by me and the tom tom is used by the kids mostly. My old compass's are still used and always near by. Our year old accord ex-l v-6 was bought with out gps. Had to look to find that one.
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