Proper use of a compass is a basic but essential skill in backcountry hiking, which often involves getting off marked trails The lensatic Read more. Learn how to use the lensatic compass used by the US Military. Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass. Sighting the bearing. To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information.

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Unless you are stranded on a deserted islandknowing how to use a compass just may save your life! Watch this video on YouTube There are different ways of holding the compass. Hold it square and straight in front of you like you mean business.

The declination diagram may not be drawn with an accurate angle, or the angle may not represent the current declination. The fact that they glow in the dark especially, if they’re the tritium kind which will glow for years without having to be exposed to light means you can use your compass without a light for night navigation.

Note the red number on the dial, which is the degrees under the black index line on the compass face.

Using a Lensatic Compass

When hiking, use a map to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain. Hold the compass level now your thumb and index finger. In the daytime, you’ll normally find something in the distance on your azimuth and walk to it, so you don’t have to keep staring at the compass.


She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. My page, fully illustrated book is yours for the asking. The degrees are in red, and are the ring’s inner measurements.

How to Read an Engineer Compass | Sciencing

Place your thumb in the loop on the side of the compass. One advantage is it’s probably more accurate when it comes to “shooting azimuths,” meaning the act of determining the specific compass direction to a spot on the earth.

Your usd is now set. To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information on our map. Keep doing this until you get to where you want to go. Using our compass we have uuse a bearing to our cabin of mils from Magnetic North. You want to go cross country directly to Devil’s Wash Basin, a deep and beautiful lake you’ve heard a lot about.

Whenever the luminous magnetic arrow lines up with the luminous short line, you’re following your ues azimuth. Keep your head still and then read the azimuth through the lens bracket.

The bezel clicks as it moves–three degrees for every click. Holding the compass up to your face, angle the rear sight so that you can read the compass dial clearly through the lens while peering through the sighting slot and lining your distant target the water tower, in this case up with the sighting wire.

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Rotate the bezel on the face of the ot until the indicator is directly over the “north” position indicated by an upper case “N”. Use a straight edge aligned with the sighting wire and central pivot point.

In addition to degrees to measure directions in a circle, the military also uses 6, mils. But not to you, I trust.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

A lensatic compass, also called a military compass, is a more advanced and useful version of a magnetic compass. It has its advantages and disadvantages over the orienteering compass. Like any skillit is good to practice navigating with a lensatic compass before your life depends on it.

Some of the components’ terms are used in the explanations below. At night, however, or in other periods of limited visibility fog, blizzard, etc keeping these two luminous bits lined up will be your only remedy. What Are the Parts of a Sextant?

When we plot it on the map, we will start plotting at the known location, and extend the bearing line back towards the unknown location.

Get your own customized topographical maps, built according to your specifications. Now, read the degree marking under the fixed black index line.