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. A compass. Though such a simple device has been around for about a thousand years, compasses have not lost their utility. I keep one in my truck and one in my bug-out bag because they can save your life. The first part of this article explains the basics of lensatic compasses and how to use them.
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I also work with other affiliate networks and may receive compensation from some of the links on this site. More details here. A lensatic compass is also known as a military compass, and these compasses are used to cross terrain that may not have trails or may be more challenging to navigate. Lensatic compasses come equipped with more tools to make the most of understanding your surroundings and the topography.
With sightlines, bubble levels, and elevation guides, you can get a better idea of where you are on a map than you can with a very basic compass. These compasses were designed to help you find your way in the wilderness, and that is an essential thing for serious hikers to learn how to do! Until you have that chance, this guide will give you an initial idea of what is involved. Doing that with a lensatic compass is much like doing that with any other compass.
Ensure that the dial is moving freely. Put your thumb into the thumb loop, which is located on the side of the compass. Let the compass rest on your thumb and index finger. Lift the compass, and make sure it is at your eye level. You will see that there is a sighting wire and sighting groove on the lens bracket. Find a distant object, and line it up with those two. Read the course bearing. Ideally, there should be two numbers.
The degrees are in red while mils are in black. Step Two: Set a Course To successfully find your way while using a lensatic compass, you will need to know how to set a course to your destination. Lay the compass completely open. Put the compass on a level map. Make sure the level bubble shows that you are at level, that is if your compass is equipped with one.
Line the azimuth course bearing on the map underneath the index line on your compass. If you want to follow a degree bearing, then you should be placing a degree mark under your index line to keep this in order. Take account of any declination requirements. Your course is now set. If all lines up, you should be on course.
Open the compass to a degree cover angle and a degree lens bracket angle. Line your lens up with your eye level. Find an object in the distance that is in this line. Follow the object while checking your course bearing to be sure it stays in line with your bearing.
By keeping this object in sight, which is along your bearing, you can easily travel without needing to use your compass to check your location every few minutes. Instead, the object has become your compass! Tips and Tricks This guide introduces a very simple approach to using a lensatic compass, but not everyone will find it comprehensive enough to understand how to use a lensatic compass.
That is why we suggest taking a class in which you can practice these skills in a real environment. That being said, these tips and tricks may help you to avoid many common mistakes that beginners make when they are using a lensatic compass.
Go out into an area that you are very familiar with and use your compass to move around that location. Do this immediately; otherwise, you could accidentally move off course without realizing it Do not try to use a compass in magnetic fields or near big metal objects. If you cannot find an object directly on your bearing, try moving to the side.
Once you read the object, you can move perpendicularly to get back on course before finding a new object. Wrapping Up You may be wondering where you can use this new found skill or how to practice it.
Taking any topographical map of an area you are visiting out into familiar territory is a great way to practice. You can use your knowledge of the area plus your recently learned skills to see how these skills work in the field.
Once you know how to use the lensatic compass, it will hopefully become difficult for you to ever be lost again.
How to Use an Engineer Lensatic Compass
I also work with other affiliate networks and may receive compensation from some of the links on this site. More details here. A lensatic compass is also known as a military compass, and these compasses are used to cross terrain that may not have trails or may be more challenging to navigate. Lensatic compasses come equipped with more tools to make the most of understanding your surroundings and the topography. With sightlines, bubble levels, and elevation guides, you can get a better idea of where you are on a map than you can with a very basic compass. These compasses were designed to help you find your way in the wilderness, and that is an essential thing for serious hikers to learn how to do!
HOW TO USE A LENSATIC COMPASS PDF
Announcement: My online Land Navigation course includes four hours of video instruction, and two downloadable PDF books, all for about the same price as a typical paperback book. It has its advantages and disadvantages over the orienteering compass. Learn Land Navigation Now. Enroll in my personalized step-by-step video-based online course. Lensatic Compass Parts Use the illustration above to familiarize yourself with the components of a lensatic compass. Point of Interest An "azimuth" is pretty much the same as a "bearing. Two-Hand Hold To make a two-hand hold: 1.