Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Friday, January 9, 2015

Compass Tips

Outdoor Quest image
I recently read a post on another blog where the writer discussed always keeping a compass attached to the hiker’s body with a cord.

Not a bad idea.

My recommendation is to use a cord or even better a lanyard with a breakaway connector.  The last thing I’d want would be to have a length of para cord go tight if I stumbled or fell.

I don’t like gear swinging freely so if I didn’t have a shirt pocket the compass would go in a pant pocket.

I always carry a compass.  Regardless if I am/am not carrying a GPS receiver the compass goes with me; it’s a part of my “ten essential systems.”  For serious trips (e.g., off trail, overnight) I will carry a small back up compass.  Everyone in a group should carry a compass too.

Keep your compass away from metal objects.

Occasionally a bubble will become present in the compass dial assembly.  Small bubbles generally develop into bigger bubbles.  Contact the manufacturer to see what help the can be.  Worst case, get rid of it.

If the compass dial assembly develops a leak replace the unit.
Outdoor Quest image

A map always accompanies a compass.  Check out free maps at

For more information on choosing a backup compass read my post on the topic.

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