I personally tested outdoor, on a hike in the woods, and it proven to be of great help out there. If you’re like me, you have a smartphone. I have half a dozen navigation apps on my phone, so I rarely get lost! But phones have several major weaknesses: battery life and signal reception. Both of those work against you when you’re tromping through the woods. So, just when you need your phone’s navigation aids the most, they can let you down. There’s a low-tech solution to this problem. A compass. Though such a simple device has been around for about a thousand years, compasses have not lost their utility. They don’t need electricity and they can handle almost any weather condition. And they can save your life.
Knowing how to read a lensatic compass is an important navigation skill for outdoor enthusiasts to have. Whether you refer to the instrument as a lensatic, military, or engineer directional compass, what matters is that you have the ability to use it in conjunction with a topographic map to find your way. It is also advisable to learn how to read a topographic map before venturing into the backcountry. Everyone who hikes or camps in the backcountry can benefit from these skills, as well as other key wilderness survival skills.
Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass Features
– Proffesional Grade. This professional grade military compass will always lead you in the right direction. Ideal for camping, military usage, emergencies, and anywhere the beaten track takes you.
– Ergonomic Design. The lensatic function increases the reading’s accuracy with a lens on the rear sight that magnifies the card dial – so you’ll always get an accurate reading.
– Military Construction. Tough and tenacious, the military construction with waterproof and shakeproof properties is built to survive the harshest of hikes.
– Portable. Keep the compass near you with a belt loop attachment, or place it safely in your pocket with a carrying case, so you can keep your hands gripped on the mountain you’re scaling
– Fluorescent. The compass’ interface glows in the dark, so even when night falls, you can still soldier on.
What is a Lensatic / Military Compass?
At its most basic, a compass is a device which uses a magnetized needle to find magnetic north. The earth has a magnetic field which pushes on magnetized needles. Maps are typically made so north is up. You can, therefore, use a compass to figure out your bearings and know which direction is north. Once you have that, you can use a map to determine where you need to go. A lensatic compass, also called a military compass, is a more advanced and useful version of a magnetic compass. The term “lensatic” refers to the magnifying lens that helps you use the compass more effectively. They’re also called military compasses because this is the design used by the US Military.
Compass to Cheek
The most precise method of using a compass, this method is similar to using a handgun. Unfold the compass so the cover is at a 90-degree angle and the lens is at a 30-degree angle. Place your thumb through the thumb loop, hold your index finger alongside the body of the compass, and support it with the rest of your fingers. Take your other hand and grasp the hand that’s holding onto the compass. Much like holding a pistol, this increases the stability of the compass. Now, bring the compass close to your eye, so the thumb loop is touching your cheek. Make sure you’re holding the compass level! Look through the lens and align it and a distant object with the sighting wire. You’ll look through the lens and read the numbers. Now you can shoot the azimuth and figure out the direction of that object.
Also called the center hold, this method is a little less accurate but is easier to perform. Start by putting your thumb through the thumb loop and putting your index finger alongside the compass, similar to the cheek method. Put the thumb of your other hand on the compass, between the compass body and the lens.Compass center two hand hold. Extend your other index finger alongside the compass body and wrap the fingers of that hand around the fingers of your first hand. Now, hold your elbows tight against your sides. Point the compass in a direction by moving your entire body. When aimed where it needs to be aimed, read the compass. Since military compasses often glow, you can use this method at night.
You don’t always have to use two hands. Using one hand is easier but is less accurate, because you don’t have multiple points of contact holding everything steady. Stick your thumb through the thumb loop and rest the compass on top of your bent index finger. You can either put it to your eye or hold it in front of you, depending on what you need to do.
Compass on Map
Another useful method is to orient your map to north by using your compass. Unfold the compass entirely, so the sighting wire is level with the map. Put the map on a level surface such as the ground, and place the compass on top. Make sure that the sighting wire of the compass is perfectly parallel to any north/south lines on the map. Rotate the map and compass together until the needle and the map both point directly north.
Set a Course
– Open the lensatic compass completely.
– Place the compass on a level map with the azimuth directly under the index line. If you want to follow a 90-degree bearing, put the 90-degree mark under the index line.
– Hold the compass in this position and rotate the bezel until the luminous indicator is over the north “N” arrow. The course is now set. To check your course, open the compass and line up the luminous indicator with the “N” arrow. Do not move the bezel.
Following a Course
– Open the lensatic compass with the cover at a 90-degree angle and the lens bracket at a 30-degree angle to the case.
– Point the compass along the desired course bearing.
– Line up an easily identifiable object with the sighting groove and the sighting wire.
– Keep this object in sight as you travel.
Tips & Warnings
– Practice using the lensatic compass using known courses.
– If you lose sight of your distant object when following a course, immediately stop and locate a new object to guide you.
– If there are no objects to sight when following a course, find one to the side. When you reach the object, travel perpendicular to your course of travel to get back on course. Sight a new object and resume travel.
– Never use a compass on or near metal or magnetic fields. This will affect the accuracy of your readings.
About Sportneer Founded in 2016, Sportneer has been serving professionals and amateurs of all ages who love sports, fitness and the outdoors. Just like the compound word “Sportneer”, we successfully blend sports and engineering. In the spirit of healthy living and the pursuit of perfection, we aim to provide the best products and services that enable a stronger, healthier, and happier you! Our brand is rapidly growing thanks to our steadfast commitment to these values. Athletic professionals even agree that Sportneer is a reliable, professional sports brand.