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KBob
2006-12-27, 09:26
Anyone carry one? I still have the type I used in my other life. Still remember how to use it. Since I hike on trails don't seem to use it much but still good to have in the pack.

Steinberger
2006-12-27, 10:09
I hike by compass a good 60% of the time. And even when I use a GPS I always bring the compass so I can verify my position by triangulating my location. I used to use a lensatic but noticed I never was anymore accurate with it than with a map compass so I pretty much only use them now. They're much smaller, more compact, and more handy for what I use it for.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-27, 10:41
I have three I rely on. A tritium GI lensatic for hunting (nothing else works at night). A Silva Ranger if I'm doing a lot ot cross-country work. Last comes a smaller Silva (sans mirror) that stays in my pack for trail hiking. A GPS is no substitute for map reading/navigation skills, it can only augment the skills you have. If you don't understand proper shooting positions and trigger control, a scope won't help, the same is true with a GPS.

Iceman
2006-12-27, 11:02
I have a quality map reader type stashed in my survival bag inside my pack while hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, etc.... I also attach one of those rediculous (pin on) round ball compasses onto my shirt while I am in unfamiliar territory or when visibility is poor. These cheapo two dollar compasses are great because they are always in sight and are as accuarate as my good compass. They have saved my behind many times when the fog rolls in.

If traversing rough country with no trail I also rely on my Gischard altimeter. I have found out West here that because of the steep hillsides and trees that I cannot rely on a GPS for squat. Map, compass, altimeter.

stray1
2006-12-27, 12:01
Suunto A-30 and a Suunto MCB and FM 3-25.26

bird dog
2006-12-28, 20:10
While I dont use it much because I hike mostly on trails, I never leave my Suunto at home. Kinda like my American Express! BD

GGS
2006-12-28, 23:59
I too stick to the trails. I bring a compass with me just in case but never had to use it.

dropkick
2006-12-30, 02:49
I always carry a compass when I'm in the woods, I don't want to end up walking in circles.
Haven't had to use one to get out of an area yet, but I've used them many times (along with a map) to find my way into an unfamiliar area.

I also used to do a bit of orienteering years ago. Got into it when I was army.

I still use a metal lensatic compass. I had one of those flat plastic map compasses and it was very nice to use with the map, took up less room, and weighed tremendously less. However I put it in my pocket and it cracked and leaked all the liquid out of it. I went back to what I'm used to.

If you gave me a GPS I'd probably squat down and try to start a fire by banging it with a rock.

KLeth
2006-12-30, 03:05
We use both GPS, map and compass.
Since I am too cheap to buy the GPS maps we are normally using a 1cm map - These 1cm maps are toy-maps but these are normally what is available for tourists. For compass we use a cheap sturdy scouting compass which is well enough for the plains and canyons we have hiked in.
The GPS is only used for trip-planning, track history & camp-locations and as backup

atraildreamer
2006-12-30, 06:34
I have hiked in a land preserve in the town of Cumberland, RI called Monastery Heights. The northern end of the property is bounded by a high tension electric transmission line which, if followed to the east, leads back to the trailhead parking lot.

I never used a compass when hiking there, but always found my direction by the position of the sun. Sure enough, I was hiking on an overcast day, got totally confused, :confused2 and ended up going in the wrong direction, being unable to locate the power lines that would lead me back to the parking lot. :hmmmm2:

A 12 year old kid, who lived nearby, who was riding his bike on the trails, :bike: came by. After saying hello, I swallowed my pride, and asked him how to get back to the parking lot. :dontknow:

The kid was a real trail angel. After he had a good laugh, :hahaha: He led me about 1/2 way back and got me to the power lines, which led me back to the car.

After that embarassing moment,:embarasse I ALWAYS brought my compass along!

Iceman
2006-12-30, 18:02
Embarassaing yes, but probably worth the lesson. I have been turned around in the woods here a few times, and of course I had not taken a reading before I stepped off the road or trail. I have yet to hike on really big "flat ground", always some sort of lean one way or another. I did get turned around chasing deer one year, in a flat wooded area, added an hour to getting out....but for the most part, most of the land here has a gradient to it, and if you know the area, you have a good grasp of how to get back to civilization.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-30, 18:41
Iceman, the Army calls what you are referring to "terrain association". In hilly or mountainous terrain it is easy to stay "found" as long as you start out from a known point. Some of the most challenging land nav I've ever done was at Camp Blanding FL. It is wooded, where it isn't swampy, and flat as a pancake. Azimuth and pace count are your only tools, that is when a GPS shines, especially when you can only move at night.

n2o2diver
2006-12-30, 22:42
I have hiked in a land preserve in the town of Cumberland, RI called Monastery Heights. ...

That's too weird, I grew up there>

Iceman
2006-12-31, 00:12
Takeaknee, I have never had any formal training, and would enjoy the challenge and learning ... I do have a weird ability to find my way to a given point just from looking at a map in advance, and then working the terrain, coming out exactly where I thought I would. I do think the terrain out here helps a bit. One problem we face here is extrememly thick underbrush... I am sure JimTanker would agree...

atraildreamer
2006-12-31, 01:14
That's too weird, I grew up there>

It's still there and much improved. The town has built a new library and a senior center next to the old monastery. They have developed playing fields, picnic areas, and a playground. They have left most of the property undeveloped (The main reason they acquired the land) and it has a lot of excellent hiking! :proud:

jimtanker
2006-12-31, 01:20
One problem we face here is extrememly thick underbrush... I am sure JimTanker would agree...


Sure do. I dont mind the blackberry briars so much but when youre going along at a clip and run into a nice big patch of devils club........

Fun times!!

JAK
2007-01-25, 09:44
I had a little training on map reading in basic training, but I have always been into compasses and angles and geometry and stuff because of math and sailing. I am real good at getting lost though. I actually have learned to get a real kick out of it, and try and figure out exactly where my mind went haywire. I am one of these intuitive thinkers, so my mind tends to wander of and get creative now and then. I tend to hike near trails but I also like to go off bushwacking, if there isn't too much underbrush. Just can't help it. It is the same way I think. If it's not broke, fix it. So needless to say using a map and compass and watch and a shoelace for counting paces and reading the terrain and keeping an eye on the sun and stars comes in very handy, after I sit down and have a good laugh and a cup of tea first, or make camp if it is near sunset. I tend to hike alone for obvious reasons, but I am a little more careful when my daughter is with me. She is a pretty good navigator herself, and so I let her get us lost sometimes also. Fun age to watch. ;)

p.s. I don't have a GPS, though they are really handy for driving on logging roads, old and new. Time and distance is very useful also, to keep from getting lost, but once lost with no reliable past references to rely on GPS works very well. My daughter and I both have a small compass and thermometer and whistle on our zippers, and a nice old metal hand bearing compass also in a nice leather pouch. Guess who gets to use the good one. :)

I also like a watch with hands and use that method with the sun.
I also like to check the accuracy of my compasses against solar noon.
Looking for a good wind up watch, not too expensive.

n2o2diver
2007-01-25, 21:52
It's still there and much improved. The town has built a new library and a senior center next to the old monastery. They have developed playing fields, picnic areas, and a playground. They have left most of the property undeveloped (The main reason they acquired the land) and it has a lot of excellent hiking! :proud:

Yeah, I haven't been back in years but my whole family still live there.
My folks take my sisters kids there a lot. I use to tear ass around all those trails on motorcycles when I was a kid. Thats how those trails got there. It wasn't till the late 80's that they really developed it and ran all us little delinquents out.