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Old 06-09-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
Wldrns's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,005
An old guide once told me to carry 3 compasses in separate places in my gear. One as primary, another in case I lose or break the primary, and a third to give to the poor soul I come across who has lost his.

Actually I do usually follow this advice. Compass #3 would be a much cheaper model.
When I am bushwhacking in tough stuff, I tuck the compass inside my shirt so it doesn't snag on brush.

One of those things best learned by the experience.... I was on a long bushwhack one time, when I noted the landscape I was in was not meeting my expectations for what it should be doing. (I learned much earlier how to navigation by what I call "great expectations" in the landscape.) I thought I was following a compass bearing closely enough, but something was wrong. So I recalculated my intended course from the map and noticed that my compass was not set to that azimuth. The bezel must have gotten randomly turned somewhere in the brush. Did it happen just once (a relatively easy fix) or more than once along the way (a more complicated fix) and where?

I tell my land nav students they are allowed one mistake for an easy fix. Compound with two mistakes and things may get a lot tougher. It wasn't a very big deal to figure out what really happened, though it was frustrating and made me loose a lot of time. But lesson learned, check the azimuth frequently when in the thick stuff. Minimize the chances of that ever happening again.

By the way, old school myself and confident in my skills, I would never chastise an accomplished traditional method navigator for not bringing a GPS. A phone? I feel forced to carry one sometimes when I leave home. An old stye flip phone. Usually leave it in the car where it can be stolen. No pictures, no touch screen, no accessible GPS on it, no texting ever. Just voice for when I am at the store and forget what I was told to get.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
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